Saturday, October 09, 2010

Comic Book Review: Final Crisis

Title: Final Crisis (DC Comics, DC Comics Database, Amazon, Wikipedia)

Final Crisis was a crossover series put out by DC Comics that was intended as a sequel—or more accurately the third part of a trilogy—to Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis. The series had quite a few related crossover series (like Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds) but this graphic novel contains just the primary series and a couple of other related issues all by series writer Grant Morrison.

The series directly follows the events in Countdown to Final Crisis and Death of the New Gods (the first of which I have read and the second I have not, but the New Gods was one of the series that I followed back in my teens, so I’m familiar with the characters & concepts). The series deals with the rebirth of the New Gods of Apokolips on Earth and the use of the Anti-Life Equation to enslave humanity under the rule of Darkseid.

The ideas behind the plot of Final Crisis are really good but the translation to the page just didn’t work. The writing is haphazard and it jumps from one place to another, with little to no transition, leaving the reader wondering what he/she missed. Often throughout the reading of this series I had to stop and ask myself what was going on because there were that many holes in the story. In fact I’m reading Final Crisis again at the moment to make sure I just didn’t miss something but so far it doesn’t seem like I have (the first time I read the series, I read the actual issues that I borrowed from someone at work and this time I’m reading the graphic novel).

What’s frustrated me most about this series is that it should have been much better. The story is epic, it deals with great characters, the villains are pure evil, the stakes are high, and it followed an excellent series in Countdown to Final Crisis, but sadly the writing in Final Crisis is just lackluster at best and really bad at worst. It also doesn’t help that the artwork is mediocre at best and bloody horrible at worst. And just to drive the point home, the related series Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds, which was written by Geoff Johns and penciled by George Perez (who did the amazing work on Crisis on Infinite Earths), was fantastic. The story just moved better and made sense (which is pretty amazing considering I’ve had very little exposure to the Legion of Superheroes characters over the years). I suspect that had Johns written Final Crisis it would have been much, much better.

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