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Final Crisis #6 Review

Well, that final sequence sure whetted everyone’s appetite for a full issue of Doug Mahnke, no?

Another great issue, although the art could certainly be better (and it will be next issue – woohoo!).

Throughout the series, Morrison has been using what I’ve been calling a “pointillist” style, where he shows a quick scene here, a quick scene there, all so you get an overlying sense of universal dread. In this issue, he picks up the shifts quickly, forming an almost staccato storytelling rhythm.

This is particularly noted by the artist changes – Carlos Pacheco and Marco Rudy are clearly pressed for time on their pages, so they are not all that great, but the major scenes in the issue are done extremely well, art-wise, like the JG Jones fight scenes between Talky Tawny and Kalibak and the Supergirl/Mary Marvel fight. Plus, of course, the aforementioned dramatically awesome ending to the issue as Superman shows up too late for the big Batman/Darkseid confrontation.

Greg already wrote about the awesome Batman/Darkseid fight, but suffice to say, it is, you know, awesome. What’s especially neat is that JG Jones and Morrison made an explicit point of showing Batman putting the bullet that killed Orion into his belt, so it makes sense that he’d have access to it (Morrison, in a surprising piece of “hitting us over the head with it,” even mentioned the bullet again in the Last Rites story). So yeah, Batman going past his vow never to use a gun to kill someone to shoot Darkseid? That’s a damn cool comic book moment. Speaking of setting up future stories, I love how Morrison used the Omega Sanction already in Mister Miracle during the Seven Soldiers storyline, so he has already set up Batman’s return – it just won’t be for quite a time, I’m sure. I like that he’s not seriously telling the reader that Batman is dead – although Superman, et al don’t KNOW about the Omega Sanction, so they think he IS dead. That’s clever. Since Darkseid died before the Omega Sanction hit Batman, I presume that’s why Batman has a body (usually the Omega Sanction would not leave a body) for everyone to mourn – ANOTHER reason why they won’t expect his return from the Omega Sanction (how many times am I going to say Omega Sanction? Who knows?!?).

I loved the little bits with the Japanese heroes (“Ask her out before the final battle” “Ask him out if we survive the final battle” – that was a cute scene) and Amazing Super-Bat’s power is great.

So, to recap…

- A lot of exposition, but delivered in a dramatic way, so it doesn’t read too much like straightforward exposition

- A lot of great fight scenes

- An amazing final confrontation between two of the most popular DC characters

- A staccato storytelling style leading towards the (I’m sure it will be) crazy finale next issue

and

- Superman showing up in a rage to find Batman’s “dead body.”

Good stuff.

Recommended.

32 Comments

YAY YAY YAY YAY FINAL CRISIS YAY YAY YAY.

I really like Final Crisis.

And I REALLY liked this issue.

Maybe I am just blinded by my Morrison love, but I have never really understood all the negative reactions to Final Crisis. I’ve thought it was awesome from the beginning (and even the tie-ins are pretty good). There are things that I don’t 100% get, because I am not too up on my DC lore, but I still find the story itself quite enjoyable. I could do without the delays, but a good comic is a good comic, even if its a couple of months later getting into my hands than I would like.

My ONLY gripe is that I think the last splash was a bit awkward. This is supposed to be an iconic moment, Final Crisis’ version of the two most famous COIE covers… but there’s something stilted about the scene. Maybe it’s one of my more frequent complaints about Mahnke coming forwards: he’s great at conveying motion, but his characters standing still don’t look right.

But, yes, I love it when a lot of plot planning comes together, and it was obvious that was the case here. Still don’t understand what the point of Resist was, as we still haven’t seen the OMAC army.

I think Morrison called his style “Channel-Switching” or something like that in the wizard interview up right now.

Have to see where it goes, but Bats (perhaps owing to his lack of experience with firearms) clearly misses Darkseid’s vital organs and only dings his shoulder. It would be a shame if Bruce’s “last battle” resulted in failure.

Of course, who knows where vital organs would be located in a New God. Death by radion poisoning, also possible.

Great to see some love for Mr. Tawky Tawny this issue. I was so worried he was going to get killed off to satisfy the need for a Big Event body count!

My dismay over not understanding the “Omega Sanction” reference (didn’t read Seven Soldiers. Where’s an editorial footnote when you need one?) was drowned out by my relief for Tawky, as Anthony just mentioned.

Who says that the person inside the Batman costume was Bruce Wayne???

I’ve liked Final Crisis up to this point, but somehow this issue felt lacking. As the fragments of story come together, the fragments of narrative seem to be flying farther apart. I read it through twice yesterday, and the second time through realized that it’s a lot like watching Cloverfield in that you see flashes of events, and you can tell there’s a lot of stuff going on off-panel, but you don’t get to see much of it.

It’s clearly intentional, but somehow it didn’t work as well for me this issue as it did for previous issues.

I’ve written a longer review on my site, if anyone’s interested.

It’d be a really lame bit if it weren’t, JC.

I think the lion’s share of the negative reactions to Final Crisis is due to the fact that it was marketed like an “event comic,” and it clearly ain’t one. A big DC mashup with explosions and stuff, but not an event as the reader base is used to experiencing one.

“Who says that the person inside the Batman costume was Bruce Wayne???”

Not after all that stuff with the Lump – no one else would have been able to generate those images.

“but Bats (perhaps owing to his lack of experience with firearms) clearly misses Darkseid’s vital organs and only dings his shoulder. It would be a shame if Bruce’s “last battle” resulted in failure.”

I never thought he was shooting to kill – what he just did to Darkseid will inevitably lead to his downfall, but although he may have violated his rule about using guns… Batman doesn’t kill. That’s the BIG rule.

(given the plots-coming-together theme, maybe Barry leads the Black Racer straight to Darkseid, since the Racer’s been really following the *bullet* the whole time?)

Actually, “strip-mining” works better, now that I think of it.

The whole sequence of Superman returning frigging ruled!

I’m not sure it’ll be all that long until we see Batman again, Brian. It’ll probably end up being off-base, but here (in the broadest of strokes) is what I HOPE will happen:

The circuit isn’t a letter of the New Gods alphabet. Well, it might become one, but that’s not the point: It’s the Bat-Symbol. Seriously, look at that thing. Look at the little pointy ears. Total Bat-Sigil. And when you consider how many times Bruce has drawn the thing on his clothes, vehicles and weapons, it’s one of the more common sigils in the DCU.

Somehow, Bruce (who prepared for this sort of thing with the thogal) will either use this simplified Bat-Symbol to escape the Omega Sanction’s ‘death that is life’. He’ll get it to Metron, who gives it to the humans when they need it most. The humans, not knowing what the sigil stands for (a crucial part of any successful sigil, for memory), use it to resist anti-life. After all, who has a stronger will than Batman?

No idea where Superman Beyond fits into all that, though.

I wish the art was a little better in parts (Rudy is a good artist but yeah he was pressed for time).

Some of my favorite bits:

-The Sivanna/Luthor conversation (especially Sivanna’s point about the fate of Libra)

-Checkmates bailout plan (also cool tying Montoya in with OMAC and the evasive response to what they are doing with Nazi Supergirl)

-Hawkman/Hawkgirls reincarnation conversation

-The Super Young Team!

-The Tawky Tawny/Kalibak fight was awesome but even more awesome was the reaction of the other TIgermen.

-Superman returns

I have to admit I’m a little disappointed we haven’t seen those awesome New God designs that Jones came up with. I wonder if they will play a bigger role in issue 7 cause for the most part the Evil Gods have been in hiding throughout the whole series (heck Darkseid hasn’t even left his chair).

Still a whole lot of fun.

Also, I love how this event comes off as a big extrapolation of the story structure from ‘It Began On Yancy Street’.

Why was Superman in such a rage? Was he trying to find Batman? Was it explained? Not complaining; that was a great silent scene. The fav scene of mine not mentioned — Black Canary punching Green Arrow in the face.

This sucked. Morrision should have gotten off smack for a couple of weeks before writing this.

“but Bats (perhaps owing to his lack of experience with firearms) clearly misses Darkseid’s vital organs and only dings his shoulder. It would be a shame if Bruce’s “last battle” resulted in failure.”

I never thought he was shooting to kill – what he just did to Darkseid will inevitably lead to his downfall, but although he may have violated his rule about using guns… Batman doesn’t kill. That’s the BIG rule.”

emmm since when the god of all evil had “vital organs”?? the last time i check in his new body he does not need a heart ¬¬ … the guy is a new god… and now is THE GOD

Why has no one mentioned “Blackest Night” coming up with Batman “dying”? It seems obvious to me that this could play a major role in that story.

I loved Superbat:

“I have the greatest power of all, Mr Miracle. I am so rich I can do anything.”

Best line in a comic so far this year.

“The circuit isn’t a letter of the New Gods alphabet. Well, it might become one, but that’s not the point: It’s the Bat-Symbol. Seriously, look at that thing. Look at the little pointy ears. Total Bat-Sigil. And when you consider how many times Bruce has drawn the thing on his clothes, vehicles and weapons, it’s one of the more common sigils in the DCU.”

I’m glad someone else noticed this, I mentioned it on the forums a few days ago and wondered if anyone else had too.

Also, it’s a little silly that if you only read the final crisis issues (and miss the last rites), you’d have absolutely NO idea why batman was suddenly out of the pod he was placed into.

“I’m glad someone else noticed this, I mentioned it on the forums a few days ago and wondered if anyone else had too.”

Awesome! Either I’m not crazy or we both are. But I’m certain I’ve read Morrison interviews where he refers to superhero logos and corporate emblems as sigils (even if that might not be right on a technical level), and which superhero has emblazoned their logo on as many things as Batman?

I’m quite fond of this little theory, because it seems like something that might allow Morrison to indulge his love of Batman and his love of magic to the point where I can see why he’d look at this as his last major DCU work. I mean, where would he go from there?

The whole Batman breaking his twin vows to kill Darkseid is actually really lame and completely out of left field as there has been exactly 0 dramatic buildup to this moment for Batman (and its a HUGE moment for him). He’s appeared for like two panels in FC and that Last Rites tie-in centered around Batman’s steadfast perseverance, which if anything, builds to Batman finding away to beat Darkseid while still keeping his vow. It’s character change by authorial fiat and shoddy craftsmanship imo, unbefitting of Morrison.

Still though, there were a bunch of good bits like:

The Miracle Machine, especially the explanation as to why it hasn’t been used

Tawny vs Kalibak and Tawny straightening his bow tie as he prepares for death

Superbat’s superpower

“Nothing” to the dissection Checkmate performs on Nazi Supergirl

The image in the book is Metron sitting there looking shit serious while he fiddles with his Rubik’s Cube. Classic Morrison irony.

Doug Mahnke! ::clouds part and ethereal light shines upon us:: Why is he not credited?

Shame about the Batman bit and the pre-Mahnke art.

Batman shouting “DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR!?” at the nigh-all-powerful God of evil Darkseid. Best moment of the series so far?

How are they going to fix Wonder Woman’s face?

I want a Tawky Tawny mini.

It’s a mask. They showed her putting it on last issue.

You know what i thought this was an awesome issue and i think DC made a bold choice to let Morrison lead this when they know how divisive he is. They split if from continuity to take a chance and tell the story they wanted they gave the tie ins to good creators to tell whatever they wanted,

The best thing about this is they took a chance to tell something bold not just a spoon fed piece of sh1t and let the original titles run as they are except batman,

the batman scene was awesome; man overcomes a god – showing that the potential of man is so vast you can do the impossible trying to inspire the modern man.

Also i love the fact that DC is going completely creative with this and not to going ultra-realistic and letting the creativity speak for itself.

I can’t wait for the next issue and i do concede while this series is not for everyone i think its great. i read it three times in a row and still was amazed.

I hope issue 7 can better than this and i am pretty sure it will be.

Unless issue 7 really brings it home, I think FINAL CRISIS will be an artistic failure. There’s a lot of great ideas and memorable moments, but not enough story to stitch it together and answer the “So what?” question.

I hope the final issue is just 30 pages of Grant Morrison explaining to the DC universe that they’re all fictional and he’s just been mucking about with their lives.

Well, I liked this issue in that I didn’t have to read it again as many times to figure out what was going on. I didn’t get why Tattooed Man suddenly got the symbol on his face, for example. Generally I’ve been coming off each issue feeling awkward. I’ve been reading comics for 30 years, and I just found this series hard to follow. I get what has happened, but it wasn’t always easy. I mean, it seemed to jump from one big thing to another, without explanation of what happened. If I hadn’t read R.I.P. and Last Rites online, i wouldn’t have known what transpired to get Bruce where he was and how he freed himself. [Also, was it really necessar y to create a huge story arc, R.I.P. just to get people to buy F.C?]

I don’t understand why it’s such a crime these days to have a “see this issue” or at least have a “this is what you need to know” page like Marvel has with their comics. Overall, I mean, I know what has happened, but it seemed sometimes a chore figuring out what I was looking at.

In any event, my big question is where this fits in with the rest of the comics in DC. Or rather, where they fit in with this. I mean, does Trinity happen before this? Is it just a non-canonical story? Does the Olympians thing in Wonder Woman take place after Final Crisis? What about New Krypton?

My bet:
Bat’s wasn’t shooting at vital organs but to poison Darkseid.
And, based on Morrison’s love of showing the inherent strength of normal people to beat back gods, I’m betting Detective Turpin, the guy whose body Darkseid claimed, claws his way back and has a key role in defeating Darkseid in the final issue.

given the plots-coming-together theme, maybe Barry leads the Black Racer straight to Darkseid, since the Racer’s been really following the *bullet* the whole time?

oooo… good call! But to add to that, isn’t that the “Morticoccus” virus from Countdown inside the bullet as well?!

Who says that the person inside the Batman costume was Bruce Wayne???

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