Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
This issue of Final Crisis brings a bit more of the standard “action-packed” story that one expects from a big company crossover, although even there, Morrison adds a little extra flair. How can you turn down a double-page spread with a group of “still in their right mind” heroes attacking en masse, led by Frankenstein on a motorcycle, and the other heroes following on motorcycles made up of the Metal Men?!
That’s very cool, like this issue.
The art in this issue was a lot stronger, as it looks like Carlos Pacheco was given a LITTLE more time to draw this issue (although towards the end, it was a bit scratchier) than he was on the previous one, and he and J.G. Jones went together well, although, of course, I’d prefer Jones to draw the whole thing, the comic maintained a decent synchronicity, which will be especially handy when the story is collected.
One thing that is a bit odd is that, okay, so we know that Morrison’s one-shots SHOULD be read (as they were quite good), but it is a bit odd that it appears as though Superman Beyond is going to be practically REQUIRED reading for the end of the story, as the bad guy from that story is going to be heavily involved in the rest of this story. I guess that’s a bit of an odd complaint, “Why are you forcing me to buy an extra two good comics!” but still, why not just have the Superman stuff IN Final Crisis? Then again, just this week, Warren Ellis’ Astonishing X-Men mini-series ended, and that two issue story was also pretty darn important in learning more about the main story, so I guess that’s just a “thing” nowadays – use stand-alone mini-series to get extra story across that you would never be able to do with your main title’s slow artist. Whatever, so long as the comics are good, I guess it’s not a big deal (and Superman Beyond and Ghost Boxes WERE good – even if Ghost Boxes was insanely overpriced).
Anyhow, like I said before, this comic had a lot more standard superhero elements in it, at least in the beginning, although you can easily argue that the early stuff with the Green Lanterns kicking Granny Goodness’ behind (while she still achieved her purpose – keep the Lanterns off Earth while the stuff happens) is designed to give you a false sense of security for the ending scenes.
The ending scenes are nuts, as we see Darkseid come into being in a tremendous series of panels – his very coming into existence is ripping through time and space – that’s heavy duty stuff right there! The power of him taking over billions of souls is almost a black hole of evil.
Meanwhile, we get some nice work introducing the first member of the “Fifth World.” There is a bit playing on the real-life “God’s algorithm,” which is referenced when people discuss the fewest moves possible to solve a Rubik’s cube – the smallest is 18 turns, until Metron, in this issue, does it in 17 – unlocking the motherboxxx (or however it is spelled), which is awesome, because remember how in Seven Soldiers, the motherboxx was in a die? So first it is in a die and now a Rubik’s cube – pretty cute.
Morrison continues to keep the book more of a series of events rather than a long story, which I’m enjoying – the pointillism storytelling approach gives it a nice, epic feel. So let me hit on some of the awesome points –
– “You have 24 hours to save the universe”
– “There’s no struggle with anti-life!” “Life, on the other hand…is all struggle!” (says Hawkman as he hits mind-controlled Donna Troy with a mace)
– “You have thoughtlessly gunned down a global megastar! How will you explain yourselves to this man’s fans?”
– “Motherboxxx is more than a machine. If Gods made i-pods that were alive? Way beyond that.”
– All of Frankenstein’s Milton-ian dialogue.
– “Radar says that the Swiss border just…just got further away.”
– “I saw a leering old man in her eyes!” (Desaad finally shows up!)
– The bit about Mary still being enough in control to scream at what Desaad is making her do – ever the torturer is Desaad!
– Tawny on a jetpack!
– Luthor’s struggles
– The Green Lantern’s rings being affected by Darkseid’s sapping of free will (and their rings run on willpower)
An awesome comic, although I expect even more from #6 and 7 and Superman Beyond #2.
This has set those issues up, now give us something even cooler!
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