I have to admit that the first part of Morrison's RIP has me really intrigued. But the first issue of Crisis is just all the stuff that he does that I'm not fond of. But I wish I could tell you where the differences are.
all right you convinced me... this ain't a broken frontier review anyhow...
so here is what I thought of Final Crisis....
Final Crisis #1
Published by DC Comics
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by J.G. Jones
Grant Morrison is a genius. In Final Crisis #1, he has written the kind of book that is a puzzle for both new readers and old. There is enough information given that a new reader should be able to follow the story, but there is enough reference to other story lines that the most seasoned of DC readers will feel that there are pieces they missed along the way.
This is a breath taking story that starts at the beginning of history, showing that the New Gods have been a powerful force in human history from the very start. Metron in effect names our species and gives us knowledge to defeat those stronger than us. This is a story that has been told numerous times and numerous ways from 2001: A Space Odyssey to The Quest for Fire. The fragile human has always wondered what caused the tipping point in our knowledge thus causing our rise to supremacy on this planet, even though there are more fearsome beasts on that walk the earth.
This is setting the stage for quite a few things. First of all, it speaks to the importance of the New Gods to the DCU. This is a multifaceted importance; sure they have been a returning point since the Kirby introduced them. Everyone wants a go at Kirby’s most prized creation. Not only because Darkseid is such a menacing character, but for the drama that plays out in his relationship with Orion or the story of Miracle Man and Barda. These are epic stories, ones that every great comic writer bites at the bit to leave their imprint on. Another reason for this importance is the revolutionary nature of Kirby’s Fourth World saga. It is the height of what a shared universe can be. Kirby took four books and wove one epic story out of them. Unfortunately, then as today, sales are the determining factor in a book’s life and the saga went out incomplete. This means that everyone wants a chance to finish it.
Walt Simonson did the best job of continuing the legacy with his Orion book. He added to the mythos with revelations about the characters and the anti-life equation. Now Grant Morrison gets to play in comicdom’s favorite sandbox. Fortunately, he is allowed to reinvent the characters due to the work of Dini and company in Countdown and Starlin in Death of the New Gods. Any who thought that Starlin’s mini was the swan song of the Fourth World mythos was fooling themselves. In this issue, the characters are reborn in a new day and age. Orion’s last words are “They did not die. He is in you ALL. Fight.” This is Morrison at his best giving us a clue to the larger picture and preparing you for what is going on.
Of course there is more to the book and mysteries abound. How does Superman not remember the events of Death of the New Gods as he was a witness to it all? I think a big clue lies in the scene where Kamandi runs into Anthro, this just shouldn’t be possible and we see a glare of light, so something is amiss. The Monitors are aware of it as they argue over the fate of one of their own as the orrery is repaired from the loss of Earth 51. Which begs back to a suspected misprint in the Tangent: Superman’s Reign book, why kill off 51, instead of 52? What is Libra up too? Why are Dr. Light and Mirror Master not at Libra’s summit or with the Flash Rogues being rounded up? Something tells me we are missing part of the puzzle with the delayed final issue of Salvation Run , but this is not Morrison’s fault.
All along the way there are references to so much, it is ludicrous. The first words out of Turpin’s mouth to Darkseid are a reference to the first time he ran into Kalibak and gave the New God a beat down, showing the henchman and his boss that humans don’t care what you are super muk muk or god, we fight. There is such a rich history in the DCU and Morrison, like Johns and Waid, is best when utlilizing as much of it as he can.
As for the writing on its writing on its own merit, Morrison seems to voice everyone pitch perfect and the story that is there is generally a set up, much as a first issue should be. I have faith in Morrison above all to explain it all to us in the end. He will take us on one hell of a rollercoaster ride and I love him for it. The best thing you can do is throw your arms in the air and enjoy the ride. That means enjoy the parts you enjoy, folks. Oh yeah, and I’ve read enough Morrison at this point to know two things. 1. He will never ever play to the lowest common denominator. If you are lost ask for help.. the rama and Wikipedia are your friends. 2. Reread a lot. I’ve read Final Crisis three times now and will probably give it a couple more reads before issue 2 ships. I notice different things every time! You will too.
As for the art, J.G. Jones is a cover artist for a reason. Every single frame is gorgeous in detail, line structure and concise narrative ability. He is a master and has only gotten better with time. I wish he did interiors more often.
As much as I love this, I know that it caters to my particular sensibilities and mileage will vary both with one’s ability to follow the mind that is Grant Morrison (who is my favorite working comic writer, Vaughan I miss you!) and the knowledge you may have of the DCU, I know that some time in the next month I am sitting down with Seven Soldiers of Victory and giving it a reread, I am positive that there are clues there.