Review

Final Crisis #7

28th January 2009 | by | 2 Comments

Well, okay. If you’ve hated the series so far – and there are many, many readers out there who’ve done just that – you’re going to hate this. But if in the previous six issues you saw increasing hints that there was something worth paying attention to in it; that you were kept reading by the fact that Morrison is still capable of awe-inspiring ideas and moments, and you were finally gripped by the story at some point during issue #5 or #6 then there’s a chance – not a huge chance, admittedly, but a chance – that you might love it.

I loved it. Absolutely and completely.

Alright, look. Final Crisis, if it needed repeating, has pretty much been a failure as a summer event story. The format was entirely unsuited to what Morrison was trying to do, the pre-publicity promises he had to make in order to whip up enthusiasm among the fanboy community never stood a hope of matching their expectations. Doubts remain, therefore, over his ability to write this sort of blockbuster – probably one of the few things in comics that he hasn’t mastered. But I tell you what, for someone who can’t do blockbuster events and can’t always do endings, this is one hell of an ending to a blockbuster event.

It’s frustrating, of course, because you realise just how little of what went on in the first four issues actually mattered. A number of subplots could have been stripped out of the series entirely and left it none the poorer – because what makes this issue work isn’t its culmination of an intricately structured set of story layers (although, that said, the single-page culmination of an entirely different download eagle eye free comic’s intricately structured set of story layers is one of the things that people will be talking about the most – and it pretty much confirms that Morrison is in no way finished with this particular character). What makes it work is that the scope is absolutely massive, characters everywhere get to have their triumphant moments (in the “punch the air” stakes, it comes close to matching Captain Britain and MI:13), and it has all the satisfying epic resonance that the likes of Infinite Crisis lacked. The gathering of an entire multiverse‘s army of Supermen is exactly the sort of huge ending that this type of story should be doing.

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There are ideas and moments that I want to sit here and list, but to say too much would give away things that are a joy to discover as they happen. Then again, I can’t help myself, so I’ll try and be as vague as I can : a one-panel appearance by someone you’d never

expect to see in the DCU. Another perfect Lex Luthor moment (“Not a single word, Superman”). The human race in ice-cube trays. Firing the bullet into the past. The Black Racer. The way the Flashes talk. The heart-rending failure of the Black Gambit. “Darkseid always hated music”. Captain bloody Carrot. Superman’s wish. That

final page. If you’d spread the contents of this issue over the course of a seven-part series, then it’d be up there with Crisis on Infinite Earths. The sheer amount of quality material packed in even makes up for those parts that still seem superfluous.

Some will complain about the ending of the story, given that it doesn’t appear to have had the massive, DCU-shaking ramifications that many expected. To be honest, though, if the most we can hope for is a resolution of the garbled, confusing mess about the status of the multiverse that has hung over the last half-decade of DC stories, and finally be done with the bloody Monitors once and for all (honestly, who thought that a group of characters that were a cross between Uatu and the Time Lords would be a good idea?), then the story has already served its purpose. Others will complain about the structure, given that it jumps around in time and narrative with no real explanation – but it’s really not as difficult to follow as some early messageboard commenters and bloggers would have you believe. If you’re one to actually pay attention to narration (and of the interweaving multiple narrations and perspectives, it’s Lois Lane’s that drives the story in a truly elegant way, especially in the first half of the issue), and you can cope with non-linear storytelling – and don’t mind reading things more than once – it’s hardly a struggle.

Of course, as far as critical opinion on the book goes, I know I’m fighting the current rather than following it. On the whole, Final Crisis was a disappointment. There’s no denying that. And structurally, the entire thing was a mess. Readers who persisted in the belief that they only had to read the core series have been downright cheated by the fact that Superman Beyond‘s one major carry-over is a character who turns out to be the “final” threat that the Supermen and the Green Lanterns have gathered to face. If you haven’t read that story, thinking it was a throwaway “this is what happened to Superman while he was gone” type affair – and at $4.50 an issue, you couldn’t be blamed for ignoring it – then you will be genuinely baffled by Mandrakk’s appearance. It’s deeply unfair, and it almost casts a nasty shadow across the whole thing.

free extreme ops movie download But. For all the problems with the structure, the delays, the change in artists (and hey, Mahnke does a decent job here, even if some of the panels are, like in #6, too small for what they’re trying to convey. It’s amazing what a difference having a consistent artist makes, though), and the fact that it went a good four issues before making clear just what was going on, I honestly feel that the way in which it’s managed to come good at the end – and it really has done that – almost makes the whole thing worthwhile. After all, this issue thrilled, entertained and gripped me more than almost any other in-universe superhero title I’ve read in quite some time. And in the end, what more can you ask of a comic?