Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: JG Jones
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Story: 9.4 out of 10
Art: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.2 out of 10
In Japan a bunch of "poser" superheroes gather at some sort of superhero club. Inside the club a fight breaks out involving Sonny Sumo and Megayakuza. Sumo quickly ends the fight by ripping through Megayakuza armor and taking out his heart. After placing Megayakuza heart on the bar counter Sumo goes to the bathroom to check his injuries. Just then a black "Mister Miracle" comes in and tells Sumo that Motherboxx has found him.
We then cut to a short scen of a teenage kid waking up in his room and at work telling his co-worker his strange dream of being exiled to Earth by some judge. Then we see the same kid drawing sketches of different superheroes.
The scene again changes to an apartmant were Tupin, the detective from last issue, beating the crap out of The Mad Hatter for answer to what happend to the mind controlled kids. During this time Tupin feels strange like he is being controlled from an outside force. Tupin finally gets Mad Hatter to tell him the kids are in Bluehaven.
Next we see Superman and all the rest of DC superheroes gathered together in Mars for Martian Manhunters funeral.
Elsewhere Libra ask all the supervillains if they are coonvinced of his power yet. Lex Luthor says he wont believe Libra until he is able to take down Superman. Libra just says fine. Outside while all the supervillains are leaving Libra tells The Human Flame how he can repay him for killing Martian Manhunter.
At the Hall of Justice the Justice League is running their test on Orion's body to find out what or who killed him. Just then Hal Jordan comes in with Alpha Lantern Kraken who decides to take charge of examining Orion's body and telling the League their help is not necessary.
Over at the dock where Orion's body was found John Stewart is looking for some evidence with some help from his Green Lantern ally Opto. After finding a glowing bullet both Lanterns are attacked out of nowhere. The attacker appears to be a fellow Green Lantern although we only see him from the neck down. This unknown Green Lantern pins John against some crates ready to kill him.
Over at Hal's apartment the Alpha Lanterns come in and arrest Hall for murdering John Stewart and take away his ring.
Back at the Hall of Justice Superman decideds to go back to the Daily Planet as Clark Kent so no one becomes suspicious of were he is all the time. As Superman leaves Batman goes back to the emergency room to check Orion and Kraken testing. Just as Batman is about to question Kraken she attacks and knocks out Batman and takes him with her through a Boom Tube.
In Bluehaven Tupin meets with a reveren that leads him to an underground base were all the kids are locked up. As the suppose reveren leads Tupin through the base Tupins ears start to bleed though he doesn't seem to notice. They then reach what looks like an experimentation chamber were we see Batman locked up in some sort of machine. Batman tells Tupin to get the League and warn everyone but some sort of headware is placed on his head before he finishes.
At the Daily Bugle we see that Clayface is posing as Jimmy Olsen and blows up the whole bulding with Clark, Louis, and Perry in it. Clark, in just his Superman gear, comes out of the rubble and see what looks like a dead Louis buried under rubble.
We then see Wally and Jay in Central City running to were all the supervillains gathered earlier in the day to find some evidence on who killed Martian Manhunter. They then see a machine inside the building that seems to start up with something screaming there name. That something appears to be a returning Barry Allen running out of the machine telling them to "RUN." End of issue!
Wow! That is all I can say about how awesome this issue was. I did not realize when I first read this issue how much stuff happend until I wrote the summary. Morrison really didn't pull any of the punches with this issue. Final Crisis #2 was far and away a much superior read than the first issue of the series, which was just plain average.
I practically loved every scene in the book. I thought the scene in Japan with all the kids dressed up in superhero costume was hilarious. I kind of wonder which of the kids in the club actually have superpowers and which ones are just dressing up so they could get into the club. Also the scene where Sonny Sumo ripped out Megayakuza heart out was just gruesome. Any time I get to see someone pull out some other characters heart in a comic book its a A in my book. Also I kind of wonder who this black guy calling himself "Mister Miracle" is since last I heard the New Gods Mister Miracle is still alive and white, but I may be wrong. Still I wonder if this guy is working with Granny Goodness at Bluehaven.
Speaking of Granny Goodness, I believe that was her maquerading as a revern since that is her thing. All I know is that were Granny Goodness is involved Darkseid is not far behind and it does seem that both Darkseid and Goodness are gathering up the re-encarnated New God children for some sort of diabolical plan, obviously. But I am kind of wondering why Goodness is running test of these NEW New Gods in what seems to be turning them into animal creatures.
Also how was Goodness able to control one of the Alpha Lanterns and why didn't the Guardians of the Universe know their was a traitor among the Alpha Lantern? Though I got to say I love it when any character stands up to Batman and just brushes him off. While Batman is my favorite comic book character it doesn't happen often when a character, in this case Kraken, completely ignors Batman. Also the more I see the Alpha Lanterns the more I love to hate them because it is obvious that Morrison and Geoff Johns over in Green Lantern are cooking up the Alpha Lanterns to be a force in the near future.
I don't know if it is just me but I am getting the feeling that Libra is Darkseid. Because it seems that Libra is working together with Granny Goodness to take down all the superheroes one by one. And Morrison has already revealed that Darkseid will be the big bad guy of Final Crisis so it could be interesting to see if Darkseid is using the Libra identity to work behind the scene and slowly manipulate the villains to do his bedding or if this Libra may be the re-encarnation of Darkseid and is looking for the Anti-Life equation to regain his power.
My second favorite part of this issue was how Libra and his crew of villains were able to take down some of the biggest heroes in the DC Universe. First we had Martian Manhunter quickly die last issue without warning. Then in this issue John Stewart seemingly killed by a Green Lantern. Then Hal is accused of by the Alpha Lanterns of killing John Stewart and basically becoming useless with his power ring taken away. Then Batman is quickly captured by the rogue Alpha Lantern and imprisioned in some secret underground bunker under Bluehaven. If that wasn't enough the Daily Planet is blown up and seemingly killing Louis and Perry. Now I do not think John is dead sinc he we do not see his actual death the reader is only told of his death. But I thought it was genious how Libra took out Superman because we all know Superman is invulnrable to all physical harm so the only way to take him out is to take out his loved ones. As Kingdom Come proved that without those closest to him Superman isn't so super anymore and is really at his weakest.
But my favorite scene of the whole issue has to be th return of Barry Allen. Morrison made sure the reader anxiously awaiting for the third issue with the mystery of how Barry is back. And now with three Flashes existing in the same universe it will be interesting to see if one or more of them die or if Morrison has something else in store for us with all the three Flashes. And what is a Crisis without a Flash playing a big role in it anyways
The only reason I did not give this issue a perfect score is because I still have no idea what Tupin's, I think that his name, role is in this title since I do not know hardly anything about this character and have never seen him before Final Crisis. Also it is clear that if you haven't been reading any DC book in a couple years this title will only confuse you since it seems Morrison is not really making any effort to make Final Crisis new-reader friendly. So if your thinking of picking up Final Crisis I advice you to look some of the stuff leading up to Final Crisis on Wikipedia since it is a pretty good website to get some info on whats going on in comics or else you may be lost with this and the first issue.
JG Jones art in this issue was just phenomenal in this issue. This is how art should look like for a big event. Jones nows how to make each page better than the last and the last page with the return of Barry Allen was awsome.
Closing Comments: If you liked the first issue of Final Crises than you'll definetely love this issue but if you were on the fence with this series you'll still love this issue since it was miles away better than the last issue. In any case Final Crisis is truly shaping up to be an great series and hopefully it will be the FINAL Crisis we have in the DC Universe.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
With all the bad press DC Comics has been getting these past few weeks I thought I would give my thoughts on the two biggest comicbook companies. The bad press started for DC with the announcement that Chuck Dixon posting on his message board that he no longer works for the company. When asked if he quit or was fired he stated that he did not quit, since their really is only two options when someone leaves a job it's obvious that Dixon was fired. Then to top it off Diamond came out with the May 2008 Sales Chart and Market Share Report (found here) showing Marvel having 47.56% of the unit shares and DC only having 29.95% of the unit shares for May. That is a pretty large discrepency between the two comic book companies and these are just a rough estimate since in other comicbook websites it is being reported that the discrepency might be even larger. And to top it of in the battle of the big events Secret Invasion #2 top the sales chart at the number one while Final Crisis #1 came second. Here is the list of the top 25 comics in May:
1) Secret Invasion #2– 200,344 (MARVEL)
2) Final Crisis #1 – 159,036 (DC)
3) New Avengers #41 – 119,898 (MARVEL)
4) Avengers/Invaders #1 – 118,767 (MARVEL)
5) Invincible Iron Man #1 - 116,251 (MARVEL)
6) Giant Size X-Men #1 – 115,860 (MARVEL)
7) Batman #676 – 115,345 (DC)
8) Mighty Avengers #13 – 106,397 (MARVEL)
9) Batman #677 – 105,547 (DC)
10) Mighty Avengers #14 – 104,630 (MARVEL)
11) Justice League of America #21 – 98,869 (DC)
12) Dark Towers: Long Road Home #3 – 96,229 (MARVEL)
13) Thor #9 – 95,648 (MARVEL)
14) Uncanny X-Men – 90,144 (MARVEL)
15) Buffy the Vampire Slayer #14 – 90,122 (DARK HORSE)
16) X-Force #4 – 88,041 (MARVEL)
17) X-Men: Legacy #211 – 87,650 (MARVEL)
18) Captain America #38 – 87,135 (MARVEL)
19) Justice Society of America #15 – 85,994 (DC)
20) Amazing Spider-Man #558 – 86,518 (MARVEL)
21) Amazing Spider-Man #559 – 81,487 (MARVEL)
22) X-Men: Legacy #212 – 81,297 (MARVEL)
23) Amazing Spider-Man – 81,274 (MARVEL)
24) All-Star Superman #11 – 77,254 (DC)
25) Green Lantern #31 – 72,337 (DC)
It is important to note that these total sale numbers does not reflect which comic sold well with customers but it shows how much retailers ordered for each issue. While Secret Invasion #2 from total sales from the first issue it is still suprising that Final Crisis #1 did not out sell Secret Invasion. If there was ever a time when Final Crisis would outsell Secret Invasion it should have been with its first issue. This just goes to show that retailers were not confident enough in Final Crisis to order more copies of the first issue which they have a right to be since DC really bauched the lead in to Final Crisis with the sorry excuse that is Countdown to Final Crisis. So its understandable why Secret Invasion crushed Final Crisis by a little over 40,000 comics.
The embarrasment for DC doesn't end there because DC only had 7 of there titles in the top 25, four of the titles are written by Grant Morrison. That is just pathetic especially when you compare it to Marvel having 17 of their titles on the top 25, more than double DC number. To make things worse if you look at the sales numbers for DC Trinity characters ongoing series only one (Batman) was able to crack the top 25 while Superman's Action Comic and Superman titles were 47 and 49 respectively on the sales chart and Wonder Women was 55.
We just know that the heads at Marvel are kust enjoying the success they are having in both comics and the movies while DC is struggling with just their comics. This really just show that outside of Batman DC really does not have much appeal with comic fans and it may be the case where it is only those DC fanboys that are reading their titles in an ongoing bases.
I may not be happy with a lot of the stuff Joe Q has done (One More Day) I have to give him credit because overall Joe Q has risen the interest in all his comics in general. It doesn't hurt that Marvel has had success with their movies Spider-man, X-men, Daredevil, Blade, Punisher, Ghost Rider, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and The Hulk. While some of these movies have been better than the others there is no doubt the Marvel has pique the interest of the public with there characters.
While over in DC Didio and company have been really struggeling with their sales after Infinite Crisis and the One Year Later storylines. It is not a quality issue because DC does have some real great stuff coming out with Batman, Green Lantern, Booster Gold, Teen Titans, and 52. The real issue is that Marvel is just much more reader friendly than DC and in the past 9 years Marvel has been much more in the main stream than DC.
Going back to the reader friendly stuff the truth is that Marvel make sure that the reader is able to pick up an issue of Amazing Spider-man or Iron Man with out have read it to much in the past. Also it helps that the first page on Marvel's comics has a recap page were it informs the reader what has happend to lead to the point of said comic. Another thing that helps new readers to comics or to a title is that Marvel, especially in their crossover and team books, they have a small text next to each character so that the reader does not have to fry there brain thinking who Luke Cage or Iron Fist are.
It also helps that Marvel has the Ultimate Universe that helps new readers become familiar with the characters. And while many say that the Ultimate Universe has out lived its pupose I think it still helps new readers trying to get into comics. I know that when my friends asked me to what I would recommend them reading to get familiar with Spider-man or the X-men or Iron Man I always gave them Ultimate Spider-man, Ultimate X-men (at least Millars run anyways), and Ultimates 1 and 2 for them to read.
With DC it is much harder for new readers to get into the titles because you would have had to be reading the characters for a while to understand what is going on in the title. Final Crisis #1 is a perfect example of this a title that was not new reader friendly title. While I was able to recognize most of the characters in the title I could not recognize who the hell was that detective at the beggining of the book who talked to The Question (Montoya). For new readers trying it might have been harder to recognize some of the characters. I know I had a couple of friends that decided to give this title a try since they haven't read a DC title in a while ask me who the hell is Tupin? I thought Question was a dude? Why are all the New Gods children? Why was Orion in a dumpster? and so for.
If I was an editor at DC I would have the books always have the first page of the comic be a recap page similar to Marvel instead of having to read three pages of internal monologue of the main character recaping what is happenning. I know that Didio has said he does not want to copy a Marvel thing but I really think that it is neccessary for a title like Action Comics were the reader had to wait almost a year for them to receive the last issue of the "Last Son" storyline. Last Son is only one example of the huge delay issues that DC has had in the past and that blame has to fall on Didio lap.
Also another thing that DC seems to face is that there is a lack of communication between the Editors and Writers. From an interview Morrison did before the start of Final Crisis he said that he already handed the script for the first issue of Final Crisis to Didio before Countdown even began. So really what was Didio and those behind Countdown doing and not building on what Morrison was going to do with Final Crisis. Countdown, which I am happy I did not read, is seen by many as a complete and utter failure which went off on its own that did not develop any of the characters and left all those involve no better than they were before Countdown started. And really can any title be a success when the reader had to through 52 issues of crap so that the payoff is Jimmy Olsen vs. Darkseid? Seriously, I know that a lot people I talked to that read Countdown were pissed of with how it turned out. And now it seems Morrison is just ignoring everything that happend in Countdown, which makes completely errelavent and a waste of $156.
Also if you keep calling your crossover a "Crises" than really loose appeal with readers since in many minds they are just saying "Oh great another end of a World event." But while over in Marvel , while not all the events are great, each event like Civil War, World War Hulk, Messiah Complex, and Secret Invasion have their own way to market them which appeals much greater with a casual reader unlike calling all your events as "Crises." Also each of these events have there own way to market them.
Now I am not about call for Didio's head mostly because I don't think the heads of DC would fire Didio before Final Crisis ends which isn't until late in the year barring any delays. What I would do if I was Didio and the rest of DC staff is to suggest using the Multiverse that has largely been unused since Infinite Crisis to tell stories similar to that of Marvel's Ultimate Universe. I know that DC wouldn't go for it but if they did make one of the 52 Earths into somthing similar to the Ultimate Universe than that will give new readers a way to familiarize themselves with the characters and then they could start reading the regular "Earth-1" characters. These stories would more or less act along the lines of the Year One, Two, etc stories DC published after Crisis of Infinite Earth. The only difference is that these titles would act in there own "Ultimate" universe free from any continuity.
And I know DC has there All-Star linebut that line has just been bogged down with delays that made it unsuccesful. So for this new "Ultimate" line I would have Batman, Superman, and Green Lantern be the three titles for the new line. Also DC should place Geoff Johns and Mark Waid as the architects of this new universe similar to how Marvel had Brian Bendis and Mark Millar as the architects to the Ultimate Universe. Also this new universe could also allow new takes on characters that have existed for over 70 years with a fresh start.
Now if Didio was fired from his post the most likely canidate for his job in my mind would be Mark Waid. Waid has an encyclopedia knowledge of the DC Universe and also has a good relationship with all the writers and artist as well as editors.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Penciler: Steve McNiven
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Story: 9 out of 10