Friday, January 16, 2009

Final Crisis # 6 Review

Creative Team
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: JG Jones, Carlos Pacheco, and Doug Mahke
Colorists: Marco Rudy, Christian Alamy, and Jesus Merino

Story - How to Murder the Earth

A true epic! One for the ages! A must read! As good as comics get! Heart pounding! Brilliant! Perfect...! A masterpiece!

No these aren't words or phrases to describe my feelings for this issue or series. Far from it. But if any of you have visited any major comic book websites review of this issue and series so far these are the types of things you probably have come across when reading those reviews. And it is these kind of words and phrases that DC will be eventually use to describe Final Crisis on the cover of its trade paperback.

I will admit that after reading this issue for the first time I read it during my lunch break. All I remember from when I read this issue for the first time was being super pissed off and thinking what the hell I just read. Except for the first issue this has been my general reaction to all of the issues of this series so far. But after a few hours were I was able to get my mind of what I just read in this issue by going back to work and school for the rest of the day. After calming down and drinking a bit of caffeine to stay awake I figured that like any of Morrison's recent work I would have to read this issue over at least two or three times to see if I missed anything from the first read through of this issue.

In truth if I had reviewed this issue after I read it the first time I would probably have to had placed a disclaimer on this review since it would be filled with a lot of inappropriate wording. After reading this issue a few more times, along with some overwhelmingly positive reviews of this issue on comic book websites, I found that while their were some things that I did miss I was still highly disappointed by this issue.

Now before I start ripping this issue I will say there were a few positives in this issue. For one we finally get to see the big Supergirl vs Mary Marvel fight that has been talked about as much as anything else that has/will happen in Final Crisis. The fight was one big chick fight, which I don't mind one bit. With Desaad controlling Mary there were moments were it actually looked like Mary was humping Supergirl. The fight between the two super-chicks was brutal and the ending to the fight was predictable but satisfying. It was great to see that the one to get Mary back to being Mary to be Freddy. It was a nice scene seeing Freddy holding a crying Mary in his arms and it would be interesting to see a mini or ongoing series that explores the relationship of both characters, since Freddy has had a crush on Mary in the past, and Mary return to being Mary Marvel.

Also I got to give it to Morrison for making Tawky, a character I know nothing about, into a badass with how he was able to kill Kalibak. Tawky slashing Kalibak's guts and his people accepting him as their knew leader was a pretty cool scene.

What I most enjoyed about this issue is that Morrison presented both Superman and Batman as complete badasses in this issue. It was obvious with all the build up Morrison has done with Batman that it would be he who took the shot that would kill Darkseid. It was a great sight to see and it was even better seeing Superman rushing towards were Darkseid and Batman were located. Superman completely teared up everything in his way and the final scene, probably everyone has seen by now, of Superman carrying out Batman's dead body was incredible.

With that said my biggest problem with this issue and series is the "final" fate of Batman. As big as Batman is, and his books being DC's best selling books, Bruce deserves to be killed in one of his own titles (Detective Comics or Batman). As a big Batman fan I feel very cheated with not only how but were Bruce meets his "final" fate. In total Bruce probably only appeared for about 10 pages in Final Crisis with his last appearance being him hooked up to the machine that made go into a dream like state. Even the Batman tie-in to Final Crisis still had Bruce hooked up to the machine without knowing how he took care of all of Darkseid's men in order to get to Darkseid's chamber. Morrison just wants us to think Bruce just magically appeared out of nowhere and not question it. It is just weak storytelling and actual makes Darkseid to be completely stupid to leave his whole hideout without any guards except for the three that were suppose to look after Bruce. And in truth it doesn't feel that I had to read "Batman RIP" or the two Last Rites issues to undertand what was going on in this issue since RIP has basically become a mute point now and all dangaling plot lines from RIP are still left up in the air for the readers of that Batman story. And from the looks of it it will stay that way for a while.

I understand that for writers to make the reader feel there is a big payoff to the events than their should be at least one major death in the book to make the event feel epic. I am fine with that. I actually thought it was a great idea that Martian Manhunter was killed since he was a major character in the DC Universe but also a character that has never been big enough to maintain his own monthly title. But for Bruce to die in any other title outside of Detective Comics or Batman feels cheap.

There are certain characters in comics that should never die in anything but their own titles. Those characters are Superman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Wonder Woman, and Captain America. Two of the biggest deaths in comics that I have seen are the deaths of Superman and Captain America. In "The Death of Superman" I remember reading that as a kid and thinking that his death was one of the coolest moments ever since Superman was always suppose to be invincible. And Captain America was handle so perfectly by Brubaker that it only felt that Steve's death in his comic to be a natural progression of what was being built in that title over the past few years in that title and Civil War. The reason these two deaths were so big was because they happened in those characters titles and not another title.

Also because Batman is the #1 comic book character his death will probably overshadow the whole series and is what people are going to be talking about more than the conclusion of this big, convoluted series. And also if you look at were the Omega Sanction hit Bruce each beam hits him in the back of the head (brain) and in his chest (heart) which is a big red flag in how Bruce will eventually return from the dead. From what Darkseid said Bruce mind and soul will be probably be transported to other universes in the multiverses living lives that are more horrible than the next until Nightwing, Robin, Oracle, and everyone else in the Batfamily go on a big event to get Bruce back.

I think I talk about this about the "death" of Bruce Wayne enough (for now). Now I want to talk about Darkseid's. Morrison what the hell were you thinking when you came up with that and this story. For all the talk about Darkseid being the most evil of evil to walk this Earth to go out like a little bitch like that makes all the build of the Darkseid character unneccessary. Even though I suspect that Darkseid will make some sort of miraculous return, along with Libra, in the next issue since Superman does need someone to fight in the last issue. Up to this point Darkseid has done nothing but sit on his ass and talk about how big and bad he is. Either Darkseid is suffering a serious case of couch potato syndrome or Morrison just didn't know what the hell to do with Darkseid since Superman wasn't in the series at all until now. I suspect that the latter and because of that Morrison clearly shows a lack of giving the any pay off for what he build Darkseid to be.

Also outside of the Battle in Bluehaven and the short scene/fight in the Watchtower this was another issue were all the heroes mostly stood around hiding in there shells and being clueless of what has been happening the past six issues. The new Brother I that Checkmate has is cheap and not going to work out well for the end that is been their done that. And the Mister Miracle crew has done nothing but stand in front off Checkmate headquarters doing nothing but talking. And to make things worse Morrison in his attempt to make this event feel huge by shifting from one scene to the scene has failed to capture the magic of what a big event should be (Crisis on Infinite Earths, Identity Crisis, and Civil War are a few examples of what a big event should be written like).The only real person that gives any shred of information to the reader is Barry Allen who seems to know everything. But the problem with Barry's return is that because Morrison continues to shift from one scene to another completely different scene the Barry part of the story has been seriously underdeveloped.

There are other things I could mention about Morrison storytelling (or lack thereof) in this issue and series, like how did Lois go from being on her death bed to being fine and standing in the middle of the street or the point of Libra. But what I want to talk about is the Superman part of the story. From the looks of it this issue wasn't suppose to be read at all without having read Final Crisis: Superman Beyond, which comes out next week, and Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, which still has three issues left. Because if you are a person who is waiting for this series to come out in trade or even just reading this series will be confused how in the hell did Superman get transported from being with that weird woman that appeared earlier in the series to being with Brainiac 5 in the future. Didio, Morrison, and DC really dropped the ball with this one since now those to mini-series are pretty much a must to understand why the hell Superman is where he is in this point of the story. If there was one series that needs an Omnibus collection edition is this series. The Omnibus should include all the tie-ins along with the main series because or else this is one confusing series.

Also I find the GEH-JEDOLLAH-THE ABSOLUTE (Miracle Machine) to be a lame plot device that is basically Morrison and DC saying they are going to yet again reboot the DC Universe after only doing it a few years earlier. This series should have just been called "Crisis: Reboot" since with the introduction of the Miracle Machine that is what has turned out to be.

The art in this book wasn't that great either since their was an artist and colorist by committe in this issue. There were some scenes that were just horrible and none of the characters looked right. For most of the issue the art was just sloppy and all over the place. Am I the only one that noticed that Rennea Montoya is all of a sudden white and not Hispanic. Also Mr. Miracle and Sony Sumo look exactly the same. The colorist were did not help the sloppy art.

There are only two real scene that I thought were great: Batman being hit by the Omega Sanction and Superman carrying Batman's dead body in his arms. Those two scene were some of the best art in the series so far. The good thing is that Mahnke will being doing the whole last issue himself so we will at least see consistency with the art in the last issue.

Issue Rating
Story: 4.7/10 - It is clear that Morrison need a lot more pages in each issue to tell his story since he was all over the place in this issue. Morrison has dug a huge hole for himself but he did create a scapegoat for the series in the Miracle Machine which makes his story that much worse.
Art: 5.2/10 - The art lacked consistency throughout the issue and making this a perfect example why artist by committee does not work.
Overall: 4.9/10 - After being excited of what was going to happen from the 5th issue of the series this sixth issue was a big disappointment. Unless you have been steeped in DCU history for the past 60 years this series makes no point in making it new reader friendly.


Anonymous said...

2 quick things:

a) Batman did not technically die. Darkseid blasted him with the "Omega Sanction" which "traps the organism in a series of alternate realities, each worse than the previous one." Mister Miracle got hit with the Omega Sanction but managed to escape it.

b) Read Batman: Last Rites, which explain where Batman was during Final Crisis and how he escaped capture.

Kevin said...

@Anoymous: Ya your right about Darkseid's "Omega Sanction" and that is why I think that Batman' was actually split into two parts. Instead of being hit by the two "Omega Sanction" beams in the same place Batman was hit in the back of the head (brain) and chest (heart). Knowing Morrison this will play an important part in how Bruce return's and it would make things difficult for Nightwing, Robin, Oracle, and everyone else since their wont be just one Bruce but two Bruce's they have to find.

Also I did read Batman: Last Rites but in that issue it ended with Batman just waking up and making the the monster he was attached to attack the two scientist that were holding him. But after that in Final Crisis #6 we are lead to believe Batman escaped and was able to defeat all of Darkseid's guards alone, since he did come into Darkseid's room pretty beat up and limping, and found a gun to put the bullet that killed Orion. I just think Morrison could have added a little more detail of how Batman got from being captured in issue #2 to escaping and being able to appear from nowhere to shot Darkseid to allow those that don't read Batman some info since they are probably wondering why Batman suddenly appeared.


I figured the battle outside was the excuse for where said goons are.

Though I have enjoyed the series so far I do agree with your point about Batman only 'dying' in his titles.

But like Anonymous said, he's not technically dead. Everyone just thinks he is.


Ha Ha I just thought of the Infinite Crisis hard cover. Maybe they'll add the fight later.

Kevin said...

@Johnny Zito: LOL! I wouldn't doubt that DC would pull something like in order to increase the sales of the TPB since the series has had bad word of mouth so far.

Ya and I agree with you and Anonymous that Batman is not dead and is living in another reality but what I think is that Batman was split in two due to were the Omega Sanction hit Batman. And I think the idea of Bruce living out two different lives, equally horrible, would be up Morrison's ally. In one life Bruce will probably be some master detective while in the other he is some sort of leader of the mafia.