Missing children being collected by Granny Goodness, a bar full of lounging Japanese super powered teens and a whodunnit story involving the New Gods… Final Crisis has hit its running mark and it’s just in time.
The universe-changing seven-part series by DC Comics helmed by Grant Morrison has comic fans nearly biting their nails clean off with worry and anxiety. This is the big one… in a series of big ones. The story began with Identity Crisis, then ballooned into numerous minis running into Infinite Crisis followed by the year-long weekly comic 52 and the second year-long weekly comic the critically panned Countdown. So… is any of this going to be ‘worth it?’
From the looks of this issue… maybe.
The clues and mysteries come fast and furious in this series and it’s difficult to see how they connect or if they are just idle ‘nods’ to Grant’s favorite creations. The opening scene introducing a bevy of character that I’m not sure I’m supposed to remember leads to the plot point that Shiloh Norman, the second Mister Miracle, has found Sonny Sumo and is attempting to assemble a team to combat the coming darkness. Meanwhile Kirby-created tough guy Dan Turpin (who is now and again remembered by DC Editorial as being alive) roughs up the Mad Hatter as he chases down clues to the whereabouts of missing children… leading him to Command D deep in the ruins of Blüdhaven. Libra has killed The Martian Manhunter to prove that he can deliver the heart’s desire to the super-villain community, but Lex Luthor doesn’t buy it and attempts to build a resistance to Libra‘s plans. The Green Lanterns have enlisted Alpha Lantern Kraken to help solve the mystery of how Orion could be killed before the New God rejoins with the Source. John Stewart is ambushed as he collects clues to the murder and Batman is attacked by Kraken who delivers the dark knight detective to Granny Goodness in Command D, just as Turpin is told that he is the human host for Darkseid.
As if that’s not enough to happen in one issue, Flash-Barry Allen (the herald of the most inventive period of comics, the Silver Age) attempts to outrun both a bullet shot through time to kill Orion and the Black Racer of Death himself… and he urges anyone who can hear him to run as well.
This series is a real handful. In attempting to create a blockbuster event comic, Morrison has taken out all the stops. We have new characters by the truckload, deaths, returns of obscure heroes and devilish revelations of oncoming badness. While all of this is exciting, I’m not entirely convinced that the result will satisfy comic fans who have been strung along for four years for a story that will ‘forever change everything.’ DC Comics has been steadily losing creators to Marvel Comics in just the past few months and their sales are drooping very sadly due to a combination of online piracy and a lack of quality comics. Dan Didio has been steering the good ship DC Comics in various directions that have upset creators and readers both, wondering where he is leading them, if anywhere at all.
So can Final Crisis undo all of this?
We’ll just have to wait and see.