Final Crisis #1

So here begins the First edition of The Source. The Source hits the ground running with high hopes and spirits as I bring to you an in-depth look at Final Crisis #1. Before I begin I have one small request, opinions are needed and requested. Discussion will definitely be warranted as many of you will find some of the plot to be, well, discussion worthy.

Before I actually begin it is best that I wrap up some key points for those readers who have not followed 52 or Countdown, which was a very big around the bush achievement in killing off the New Gods and ending the Fourth World. I don’t want to get into too much detail on the specifics of their deaths. If you want the skinny it would be a great idea to check out Darkseid’s Revenge. Look in the left Column and find the articles I wrote on the Death and Rebirth of Darkseid. Scans accompanied in the DC Universe #0 will give you all the information you need.

Now that you know the New Gods have been killed it is also best to understand who the mastermind behind the Final Crisis is, meaning who is writing it, Grant Morrison. Now, this is part disappointment and part appeal for fans. Let me explain the disappointing part first, Grant Morrison is known for revamping characters, he has practically made a career out of it. So this means you can definitely expect a revamping of some of DC characters in this Final Crisis, evidence is in the very first issue of Final Crisis.

Now that you know Grant Morrison slightly and what he does, one of his works is probably going to be an off the shelf item for a lot of people interested in Final Crisis, Seven Soldiers. Seven Soldiers was a part of the 2005 Mister Miracle Miniseries, which happened out of continuity. In the series Morrison revamped the Darkseid character into a character known as Dark Side, who finally discovered the secrets to the Anti-Life Equation and used it to destroy the Fourth World. In the series Morrison revamped a lot of the New God characters. Well it looks like Morrison’s out of continuity work is about to become a part of continuity. As long as your mind is wrapped around these basic concepts then you should be fine to continue reading;

1. Grant Morrison is the brains behind the operation.
2. The New Gods are dead.
3. Grant Morrison once wrote an alternate story called Seven Soldiers which featured Darkseid as Dark Side.
4. Dark Side is the man behind the villainy in Final Crisis.

Pick up a copy of Final Crisis #1 on your comic book retail shelves; I am sure it will be flying off as fast as his miniseries. Now let’s get to the review.

J.G. Jones is on pencil assignment for Final Crisis. I am not really impressed with his artwork. He uses a lot of heavy pencils which don’t really mesh well with Alex Sinclair’s colors. The pictures look much smudged and paint brushed. The cover looks great though and I can’t really complain about that.

The continuity for this Final Crisis event has been really weird. We already had the Death of the New Gods series complete its run where all of the New Gods and the Fourth World were destroyed, but somehow the opening segment of Final Crisis has Detective Turpin finding the almost dead Orion near the port. Really weird since we saw him astral fighting Darkseid in Death of the New Gods and then also killing him in the countdown series, where he walks away from Darkseid’s exploded heart. I am assuming from all the “War in Heaven” talk between DC Universe #0 and Final Crisis #1 that these two had it out up there some more and Darkseid won. Like I said following it has made little sense and there really hasn’t been an explanation for it by the writer yet, but it keeps getting reiterated as if it is very important. Either way Orion warns Turpin about Darkseid’s return telling him that Darkseid is within us all. I am not sure how this is going to lay out but I am onboard because it sounds like the movie “Fallen” with Denzel Washington.

Now I included some scans here not for importance, but to point out something that maybe Morrison wants to leave a mystery. At the Death of Orion there is a figure in the sky that looks very Zod like, but on skies? If anyone has answers on this, please feel free to chime in.

With the Death of Orion the Guardians of the Universe send the Lanterns into action ordering them to seal off the crime scene? Am I missing something? I know the Lanterns are the police force of the universe, but since when do they reside over the New Gods? This is a new revelation to me. Either way Hal and John respond to the scene and 3 Alpha Lanterns; Green Man, Boodikka, and Varix “imprison” the earth. I have to say seeing these three, “internal affairs” lanterns at work is amazing. You will have to pick up issues of Green Lantern after the Sinestro Corps War, but basically these Lanterns are fused with their rings and directly connected to OA. While this is going on Renee Montoya, the new Question meets with Detective Turpin to discuss some missing children and the link to the Dark Side Club? Why is she handing this information over to Turpin? Who is Turpin?

Okay more interesting things are happening with the rogue’s gallery who are procuring a piece of “junk treasure” in the form of a chair that he needs. Dr. Light and Mirror Master are teaming up for this endeavor and doing so against some minor league Teen Titans. I wouldn’t be surprised anymore with Morrison if this chair was one of the Seven Treasures left to the world’s first Super Hero that he used in his Seven Soldiers storyline. We saw the “Father Box, which is similar to the Mother Box in the form of two dice in that series.

The most exciting thing to happen in this issue is the Death of Martian Manhunter, but this doesn’t really have any flair because it has been known this was going to happen for how long now. I can’t say if this was just bad planning on DC’s part which I wouldn’t be surprised about or just leaked information. With Morrison it could just be something he wanted to blatantly put in our face’s because it will be a shocking moment later toward the end of the Crisis that he returns.

The moment I was waiting for was Darkseid’s, or should I say Dark Side’s entrance into the Final Crisis. Again I was disappointed because it was like it was ripped from the Seven Soldiers story. We get Dark Side and we get the Apokoliptian New Gods in the bodies of mortals. Dark Side mentions that these mortal forms are temporary and I am thankful of that because I couldn’t stomach Morrison revamping Darkseid into the wretched old form, especially when the Source told Superman that he was responsible for bringing about the end of the Fourth World in order to remake the New Gods into better beings. Turpin finally finds his missing children who Dark Side is controlling using the Anti-Life Equation. I am assuming this is his spoils of the war in Heaven he won. So we know Granny Goodness, Kalibak and Kanto are alive.

Other than this something weird is happening with the Monitors, we witness some weird dialogue about the multiverse orrery and the sentencing of a Monitor to a fate worse than death for his crime of not protecting his universe. He gets to spend the remainder of his days in mortal coils. Morrison lives up to his promise placing Anthro the Caveboy and Kamandi the Last Boy on Earth in the issue, great for Morrison, I hope there is ultimately a point to it all, which seems to be missing from Final Crisis #1 on a whole.

To be truthful I really am pissed off with the issue because it made me feel like 51 week’s worth of comics were purchased for no reason. Everything in this issue seems to have been a rehash of Morrison alternate stories brought into continuity and things we have already seen over the course of 51 week’s worth of comics. Even if the argument is that all of this was included for new coming readers then I have to say thank you for telling me “piss off,” which is what I want to do after reading this. There was absolutely nothing about this issue that was redeeming for me to take this Final Crisis seriously. I am happy Darkseid is back, but if it is as Dark Side, who reminded me of Kingpin in the Seven Soldier’s Story arc and who now resembles a third rate henchman I would have preferred he stayed dead. Even the Justice League’s response to the Death of Orion is just out of place, Superman was there in the Death of the New Gods series, and he had front row seats to their end.

I understand Grant Morrison has these ideas in his head that he needs to get down on paper and he has been imagining ways to revamp DC’s beloved characters since before I was born, but taking too much liberty is destroying what I believe could have been a good reworking of the DCU. Simplicity is better than complexity especially when trying to weave that magic across multiple histories and established characters. That’s my review, drop a comment or two and feel free to discuss this in the Comic Book Discussion section of the Versus forums. I would give Final Crisis 2 out of 5, just for being on the comic shelf, but hardly worth picking up, unless you loved Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldier Storyline.

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