Thursday, May 29, 2008

Final Crisis #1


I felt very little about this comic. I read it and thought, "I'm not sure what that was about." Then i waited a while, read it a second time, and i still didn't know what it was about.

Anthro (who isn't identified, and neither is his setting) is met by Metron. (It's neat that Morrison combines the image of the burning bush from the Old Testament with the Prometheus story from Greek mythology, but it doesn't add to the story.)

Dan Turpin (who isn't identified, and neither is his history with the New Gods) finds the expiring Orion. We get the hint that the New Gods have been reincarnated somehow (as we've seen in Seven Soldiers and Birds of Prey).

John Stewart investigates. The Black Racer is floating in the background. I guess that's the new Black Racer. The New Gods reconstituted themselves really quickly. They're already online before the last of their old forms has completely croaked.

I like Mirror Master's accent.

Why would those supervillains stage a protest march? Aren't they all wanted for multiple felonies? Shouldn't they be hiding out instead of marching down the street in costume? And why is that lone panel in the middle of the "League of Titans" bit?

It's good to see that Luthor, etc. aren't simply accepting Libra as the new boss. And Libra's dig at Vandal Savage was funny.

The cell phone bit confused me. I thought that maybe the Human Flame was watching something he'd recorded earlier. So i thought maybe he was watching the execution of Martian Manhunter on his phone. Something about that scene didn't flow well for me. That might just be me.

I kind of like the New Gods being in human forms. Of course it will depend on what sort of role they play, but it could be cool. I suspect that Darkseid's machinations have somehow fused the New Gods' essence with humanity, which is fitting since all of his plans seemed to involve Earth anyway, and "New Earth" is the "foundation stone of all existence."

Is it me, or are the Leaguers talking about the New Gods as if they don't know them? As if Orion, Lightray, Big Barda and Mister Miracle weren't members of the League? Has that bit of history been changed, or has the reincarnation of the New Gods somehow caused amnesia?

I don't know what the Monitors are here for. Thematically, they're another level of cosmic power and mythology; they're like another pantheon of gods who may be higher than or in competition with the New Gods. How does their story relate to the others? The other stuff all ties to Darkseid's plans, but i don't see how this one does.

Then Anthro meets Kamandi. Apparently Anthro is either transported to another Earth (if this is the Countdown version of Kamandi) or the distant future (if this is the old school Kamandi). Kamandi is not identified, and neither is his setting. But we do learn that Metron set his own plan into motion before he croaked, and this is the good guys' Last Best Hope.

The monitor who was "exiled" wakes up in his new, human form (more gods becoming men, soon to strive towards godhood again; Morrison's working his literary themes) for i guess the first time.

This issue was set up, as you'd presume a #1 to be, but while it put the pieces into place, it didn't give us any indication of what kind of game is about to be played. Any thread between these various plots has to be deduced by the reader. That's not necessarily bad, but it's not Summer Event Series storytelling. The stakes are unclear.

It was odd.

Readers not already familiar with DC's superhero universe will have a lot of questions. Characters and concepts are not introduced in several instances, as i noted. If you haven't read Seven Soldiers, you might scratch your head about the Dark Side Club. This is a big minus for an Event comic, which is intended (or so i always thought) to sell to a lot of people, not just faithful DC fans who follow their "universe" as a whole. Something as simple as caption boxes, or a couple editorial pages, would have helped.