Final Crisis

by Alan Rapp on June 4, 2008

in Comics

“Somebody just murdered a God on our watch.”

A “final” crisis you say?  I’ll believe that when I see it!  What, it’s here?  That’s right folks the first issue of Final Crisis has hit the shelves and we’ve got the review.  Filled with appearance from countless DC heroes and villains, Grant Morrison has packed the first issue with characters, and a somewhat bewildering story.

After a brief introductory scene involving Metron supplying Anthro with knowledge, which perhaps is more than just the gift of fire, the story moves into full gear with a dying Orion and the discovery of a connection between a group of missing children, all of whom have a genetic disposition towards super-powers.

As the Justice League and Green Lanterns begin to search for the cause of Orion’s death, and the possibility of other New Gods on Earth, a villain named Libra temps the members of the Secret Society into joining his quest by offering them them their heart’s desire.  His presentation is quite convincing, as it ends with the apparent death of the Martian Manhunter (except for that odd final page…?).

We also get an appearance by Darkseid, the discovery of the missing children and what he has planned for them, a glimpse at the Multiverse Orrery and its Monitors, and an appearance by Kamandi, who somehow still holds the knowledge for victory Metron has locked away in the human brain.

As first issues go it’s a little confusing, highly ambitious, and kinda’ cool.  The set-up, including the bookends of Anthro and Kamandi, reminds me a a little of STNG‘s final episode, and we’ll have to see how these are each incorporated into the main tale.  Grant Morrison packs as many characters as he can into this first issue, and another – Barry Allen – is promised to show-up in the next issue.  As an epic event if feels like it has the possibility of living up the the hype, but I’m still not sure how the various threads (including the Monitors and those creepy zombie kids) are going fit together.

A small complaint about the art of the book by J.G. Jones.  Although there was much here I liked, I wasn’t impressed with the panels dealing with the Justice League which look much too soft (it reminds me of bad romantic films shot with the soft focus lens), nor do I like the depiction of Batman whose cowl looks too much like Adam West‘s with it’s tiny, tiny ears.  Morisson’s writing stumbles here as well, including the issue’s worst line – “Justice League Condition Amber.”  Ugh.  But hey, having them meet in the Hall of Justice at least was cool (but where are Zan and Jana?).

Issue #1 does what you want it to do, even if it is a bit all over the place.  I’m still not sure where exactly events are heading (and several characters who seemed poised to play major roles do not even make an appearance here), and the vastness of the story which Morrison is reaching for leaves me a little afraid of how many tie-in books I’ll have to pick-up to get the point.  Even with some issues and complaints, I’m intrigued enough to pick up issue #2 (and more than just for the appearance of Barry Allen).

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