Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Mess That is "Final Crisis"

Well, the big moment has finally arrived folks and DC's much-hyped "Final Crisis" is upon us. We've had 53 weeks of the "Countdown to Final Crisis", so we should be well-versed in exactly what awaits us, right? Well, after two issues, it's safe to say: "Huh?"

"Countdown" wasn't the greatest thing in the world, but it did manage to have some sparkling moments. One of the biggest was when Jason Todd took on the mantle of Red Robin from Alex Ross's "Kingdom Come". Even though the character had all of one page and really no action sequences, it was something fans everywhere loved. Seeing the costume in the final issues of "Countdown" was great, and Jason turned the character into a tougher version of Batman. I was looking forward to seeing him really be a big player in "Final Crisis". Alas, it was not to be.

Looking at the first two issues of FC, it's safe to say Grant Morrison never bothered to read any of the comics DC had put out in recent years. Instead, he decided to start his own series and hope the rest of the books could keep up.

Two issues so far and we've seen the death of a major character (Martian Manhunter) in a beautiful ONE PANEL death scene. I've never been a huge fan of MM, but even he deserved some sort of better send-off than this.

Then issue 2 comes out and readers everywhere are going "What in the world?" and trying to find the missing pages of the book. There aren't any. This incoherent mess really was published this way on purpose. And we end on what's supposed to be the biggest bombshell moment of DC in recent years: the return of the Flash.

Is this the "YEAH!" moment comic fans everywhere have been looking for? Has Barry Allen returned to bring the Flash back to the comic icon he once was? Given Morrison's track record so far, don't hold your breath. More than likely, Bart Allen would return permanently before Barry did. A guest shot, maybe, but is Barry sticking around? Nope. DC hasn't done well lately in keeping a story strong, so there's no reason to think they would start now.

So where do we go from here? Given the patchwork storytelling we've seen so far, I think it will be another 2 or 3 issues before any of the storylines started here are resolved. We'll probably see about 4 more tragic beginnings next issue and have to pick up the one-shot or mini-series that finishes it. But hey, it's not like Marvel's doing much better with the Skrull war. More on that one later.

DC, the fans are beginning you to tell a coherent story. When "Crisis on Infinite Earths" came out, it did manage to cross over a few titles. All the same, you can read the collected maxi-series and keep up with everything going on. Even "Infinite Crisis" made sense in that format. This one is relying way too much on other books to clean up the mess they're starting. You've still got 6 issues left of this. Fix it...please.

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