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COMIC LEGEND: Grant Morrison was forced to add a scene to give Final Crisis a happier ending.
STATUS: Bit of a True/False Mixture
A few years back, reader Michael G. wrote in to ask (among some other legends, which I still haven’t addressed):
Did DC editorial make Grant Morrison add a scene to the ending of Final Crisis to make it a happier ending?
Final Crisis was a crossover by DC back in 2008-09, with a basic plot (and this is really distilling a complicated plot down to just the most basic levels) of Darkseid coming back to life (after the events of Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle) by essentially traveling through time. This time travel has made a bit of a hole in the multiverse and has made it possible for an evil Monitor to break free from the prison that the other Monitors placed him into at the beginning of the multiverse. So Darkseid finally manages to conquer Earth with the anti-life equation. Eventually, though, whichever heroes on Earth remain unaffected manage to fight back and take control of Earth and defeat Darkseid. The heroes then must take on Mandrakk, the evil Monitor, who is using this opportunity to basically destroy all of the multiverse. Superman and a legion of Green Lanterns and other heroes stand up to defeat the evil Mandrakk (Superman first encounters Mandrakk during the tie-in series, Superman Beyond, when he gets caught up in the story while trying to save a mortally injured Lois Lane).
Batman plays a major role in the story, as he is captured by Darkseid and is seemingly killed, but not before Batman mortally injures Darkseid. It is this aspect of the story that Michael is referring to.
A major scene in the series is when Batman takes out Darkseid, but not before Darkseid’s Omega Beams are sent out and seemingly take out Batman, too…
This leads to a memorable scene where an enraged Superman cradles a seemingly dead Batman…
The scene even made the cover of the hardcover collection of the story.
However, there were some clues that Batman was not really dead, most importantly being that Darkseid’s Omega Beams had been shown to send people traveling through time in the past and, in fact, Morrison had used them that way in Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle. So there was a very good chance that Batman was not actually dead, but trapped in time.
It is fair to say, though, that that was certainly not explicit in the text, so DC did request that Morrison add a scene where he made it clear that yes, that IS what happened to Batman, and so he did.
In a great Matt Brady interview with Morrison at Newsarama after the series ended, Morrison explained:
[M]y simple goal was to reach the end without too much hassle and/or interference! Apart from one scene at the end, which I included at DC’s request, and contrary to online rumours, there were no rewrites on Final Crisis. Every word is mine. The guilt and the glory are all mine!
So this is definitely what Michael is referring to, but like Morrison notes, the ending didn’t CHANGE at all. It was just now more explicit. So I’m hesitant to say that it actually gave the story a happier ending. I think it was just to make the ending that was always there a little clearer, that’s all.
Thanks to Michael for the suggestion and thanks to Matt Brady and Grant Morrison for the information!
On the next page, why did the Superman comics change the name of Clark Kent’s newspaper from the Daily Star to the Daily Planet?
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