Final Crisis and a War of Kings

For What its Worth:

  • I cannot help but like Final Crisis. I know that it has been slow moving, repetitive, and confusing. I really am against decompressed comics, so I should not be liking this series. So what is wrong with me? I am generally a fan of Grant Morrison, but I try to be “professional” enough to not let the “fanboy” part of my brain override my critical thinking.After reading issue #6, Superman 3-D #2, and a couple of online pieces, including a Grant Morrison interview, I think I have stumbled onto it. This is not Morrison trying to give us yet another sequel to Crisis on Infinite Earths. This is Morrison cramming a bookful of nifty neat ideas, and using a “channel changing” (his words, not mine) storytelling style to show us what happens to the souls of our characters as they fight the good fight.
  • The surprise (apparent) death in Final Crisis #6 did not have the same effect on me as it seemed to have with most of the comic “blogosphere”. I don’t know how people reacted to the original Crisis when characters started dropping, and things started changing, but I have a hard time taking his death “hard”, knowing that he will not stay dead. Beyond all of the meanings and symbolism in the scene, sometimes, for example, Spock has to die to prove that he, and others like him, would give up their lives to save others. Sometimes just saying you would isn’t enough.
  • Speaking of big event stories I can’t help but like, and this one hasn’t even seen its issue #1 yet, War Of King. It had me at hello. To digress for a moment, my depth of comic book knowledge revolves around DC, while Rokk’s is more Marvel. Rokk has tried to persuade me to read more Marvel, and I keep an open mind and keep trying.Recently, Civil War was a decent read that was totally invalidated by the lack of real follow up. Secret Invasion’s premise showed promise, but issue after issue I kept waiting for something to really grab me, and that never happened. At at the end of Secret Invasion all we got was the start of another big event? Really?So, to bring us back to the point, Rokk was excited about the War of Kings: Secret Invasion one-shot, so I top-stack it and keep my mind open. I was blown away. I knew almost nothing of the galactic side of the Marvel Universe but in that one comic, I knew all I needed to know, and was hooked. Everything just felt right, there were twists and plots, the characters were interesting, and I wanted to read whatever came next.What came next for me was the most recent Guardians of the Galaxy comic, and it has a neat Civil War/Secret Invasion link that has me awaiting the next installment. Even the X-Men tie in was decent.
  • Comics like Final Crisis and War of Kings are examples of what can be done with the medium, in its mainstream market, when the writers and artists are trying to make the most of every page. Pixar movies are another great example of this. Each scene has as much information, ideas, and detail as the production can stand.In Final Crisis there is detail and background that make it a strong book. In War Of Kings, the elaborate yet natural way all of the stories, past and present tie together in such a natural yet compelling way. Contrast that with a Titans comic that has a team member turn evil and posses another teammate. Again.Many comic books feel like they are written like many television shows, that they have some good ideas, but sometimes rely on too many ideas repeatedly, and try to pad shows with dialogue or simplify scenes for budget reasons. Comics don’t have that budget, but sometimes the writers act like they are limited by it.
  • I think I need to read more non-mainstream comics. I doubt I ever stop following some of the major publisher’s events, but I think I need to see what the world with fewer editorial mandates looks like. To see if someone is exploiting more of the medium’s potential, or if I am holding today’s artist to too high of a standard.

And that is what I think, for what its worth.

4 Comments

  1. Christoph Wagner January 27, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    I’d recommend giving Avatar Press a Shot. Especially what Warren Ellis does over there:)

  2. Okay, given you review comics and love Morrison, you must know The Omega Effect as used by Morrison the didn’t kill Batman so why do you keep going on like he is?

  3. No arguments in Morrison trying to show how characters deal with events. Its the lack of (my) caring about the New Gods (regardless of Countdown, I never cared for them) and the lack of feeling that this is linked to the greater DC universe (as Rokk pointed out). Those two things are making me disappointed. That said, I enjoyed Superman Beyond as a ‘real’ Crisis event and hope it leads into more of FC 7 than FC6 does.

    Digression 1: Secret Invasion, on the other hand, had ties to the greater Marvel universe but was your typical alien invasion that, aside from a change in ‘leadership’ and a token death, had no effect.

    Digression 2: Just reading the Swamp Thing tpb Murder of Crows. Now the original Crisis really had an effect on EVERYTHING including Swamp Thing, the most tenuously-linked DC title at the time. And the effects of Crisis (though twisted deliciously by Moore) were felt even there. Now that was an event. And Tenzil, as a veteran of all three Crises, the deaths in the others were much more ‘felt’ than the ‘non-death’ in this one. Even if it was supposed to be a real death, which it wasn’t, its like when Superman died. Everyone knew a big character would come back. With Flash, Supergirl, and Superboy, there was hope that death would be meaningful, but alas, they have taken that away from us too.

  4. I would like to point out that MM’s death might not have been a token death, John Ostrander once established that the Martians used a Life Equation and Darkseid upon visiting Mars concluded the possibility that if a Life Equation exists then an Anti-Life equation must exist too. It’s possible that the death of MM was planned from the start, since it was possible that he might find a way counter the Anti-Life Equation.

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