Well, after my disappointing Final Crisis #1 review, I got my hands on Final Crisis #2, written once again by icon Grant Morrison and drawn by the capable JG Jones. Going in reading this comic with ZERO expectations, I’d like to say I was pleasantly surprised, but once again I have to scratch my head how DC would allow the pacing and confusion of the Event of the Year to continue for 2 months now. YES, it was better…but not by much.
Yes, it was an easier read this time. since I know what’s going on (thanks to all of the comments I received last month for readers explaining everything to me, panel by panel), but ultimately, Issue 2 is still a setup issue with questionable time devoted to obscure or new characters.
It seems like the real word is much more exciting than FINAL CRISIS.
Anyway, it wasn’t THAT bad this time…things are a bit clearer, and it’s clear that the heroes have NO chance of winning this fight (not joking). (Of course, I don’t know for sure if these heroes are from the main DC Earth yet….)
Okay, on with the story:
The cover features The Flash. Last issue said that Barry Allen was returning. Kind of bait and switch. Barry returns on the LAST PAGE.
The first 10 pages…to tell you the truth, I had to look at the cover again to make sure I was reading DC’s FINAL CRISIS…the first 10 pages featured previously unseen or VERY obscure (more likely) Japanese super-heroes. I guess DC never explored how different Japanese heroes would be in 2008. We see how the culture is 100% different than ours. Heck, this would make a great comic series by Morrison. The only problem is…WHAT THE HECK IS IT DOING HERE? The 10 pages led up to Mister Miracle (not Scott Free) in a human avatar’s body recruit a Japanese hero. Again…this should have been one page at most.
Page 11 shows the fallen Monitor trying to live as a human in a fast food joint. He seems to have some memories of his previous life, and is drawing them.
The next two pages show hard nosed DanTurpin, the detective, beating the Mad Hatter to the brink of death to find out who is killing kids. The Hatter points him to Bludhaven.
We then have a one page funeral with the JLA for the Martian Manhunter. Superman with a great line: “And we pray for a resurrection.”
The next two pages show the bad guys, and how Luthor doesn’t want to follow Libra. Some villains want to follow Libra, since he put the Human Flame on the map by killing the Manhunter. Luthor wants Libra to hurt Superman for real proof.
The next 8 pages (the middle of the story) show the JLA and an Alpha Lantern investigating the death of Orion. The Alpha Lanterns are the Green Lanterns’ superior officers and more rude, mean, and arrogant than the blue Guardians ever were.
Jon Stewart comes close to finding the bullet that killed Orion. The bullet is 50 years old! Another Lantern turns on Jon and tries to kill or blind him.
The Alpha Lanterns place Hal Jordan under arrest for Jon’s attempted murder. (I think.)
I think that the Alpha Lantern female is possessed because she atacks Batman, and throws him in a boom tube for a plaything for Granny [Goodness].
The next three pages have Dan Turpin investigating in Bludhaven. Glorius Godfrey (in an Al Sharpton/Don King/Reverend Wright human avatar) treats Turpin like he’s Darkseid’s human avatar by showing him the tour of Granny’s torture and slave chambers. By now, we all know that the New Gods have human avatars, but Turpin was not Darkseid’s avatar last issue, so this was a little confusing. Batman is being tortured here.
The next two pages are at the Daily Planet, with the usual cast of Superman’s supporting characters. Jimmy Olsen is Clayface in disguise and blows up the top floors. Lois Lane looks dead (like the scene from Jim Krueger and Alex Ross’ JUSTICE series) and Clark Kent’s clothes are torn off to reveal his Superman costume. This was a shock and the best scene of this comic.
The next two pages show Wally West and Jay Garrick investigating where Martian Manhunter was killed. They have come to the conclusion that the bullet traveled backwards through time (an awesome Morrison idea) to kill him. (This links the murders of Orion and Manhunter.)
The last page has Barry Allen and the Black Racer appearing and warning them to “RUN!”
Things are picking up. I feel a lot more confident that issues 1 and 2 were setups, and issue 3 will be very dramatic and exciting. I feel the mystery and see some clues. The Daily Planet explosion was awesome, as was the fact that the HEROES HAVE NO CHANCE OF WINNING THIS TIME.
Too many pages on those Japanese heroes. I hate the Alpha Lanterns. I’m still confused…I thought I had a PhD in Comic Books, but a lot this is over my head, still. Compare this series to Marvel’s SECRET INVASION, and SI is may more accessible to an average fan.
FINAL CRISIS is self-contained and has nothing to do with COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS or THE DEATH OF THE NEW GODS. It looks like Morrison’s private playground. In many ways, these first two issues were a waste of money, since it’s all a setup.
Better than Issue 1. I’m ready for some action now. I’m starting to feel excited. Morrision is like fine wine…you gotta let him sink in, and reread it a few times. I’m 100% sure by the next 2 issues, my reservations and complaints will be irrelevant. I just have to question how DC let these 1st two issues be so unusual. It’s not like me to complain about pacing, mysteries, or Grant Morrison, but All-Star Superman and Morrison’s JLA were perfect, and was hoping for that here. For DC’s most-hyped series since INFINITE CRISIS, I was expecting..well, INFINITE CRISIS, which had super-action and continuity in every issue. Anyway, I feel better about FINAL CRISIS. Still not enough to lend my issues to my DailySkew partner Tony Vahl, though. YES, there WILL be a payoff in this series, and YES, it’s great to not to know what is going to happen for once, but…………..kinda hard to give thumbs up yet.