Robot 6

Your Mileage May Vary

Final Crisis #6

Final Crisis #6

In celebration of our relocation, the “Variations on a Theme” column is undergoing a slight change.

Well, really, just a name change. You are now reading “Your Mileage May Vary” which is essentially the same column but with the added bonus that once a month or so, I get to post my opinion about… something. (I haven’t figured that part out yet.)

This week, the big topic among all of you seems to be Final Crisis #6. If you’ve read it, you know what I’m talking about. If not… Well, don’t continue reading this post.

Patrick generally enjoyed the issue:

FC #6 is as strong an issue as most of Final Crisis to date, and I’m sure read under normal circumstances I would have been more into it. There are some absolutely fantastic moments, most of them involving the use of the Metron symbol to tie the resistance together and cut holes in Darkseid’s power. I love the moment where the Tatooed Man ignites his symbol and throws chaos into the onslaught of justifiers. Also awesome is the two page spread at the end where Metron tells Nix Uotan about the oncoming fifth world.

Kevin was less fond of the issue:

I think I talk about this about the “death” of Bruce Wayne enough (for now). Now I want to talk about Darkseid’s. Morrison what the hell were you thinking when you came up with that and this story. For all the talk about Darkseid being the most evil of evil to walk this Earth to go out like a little bitch like that makes all the build of the Darkseid character unneccessary. Even though I suspect that Darkseid will make some sort of miraculous return, along with Libra, in the next issue since Superman does need someone to fight in the last issue. Up to this point Darkseid has done nothing but sit on his ass and talk about how big and bad he is. Either Darkseid is suffering a serious case of couch potato syndrome or Morrison just didn’t know what the hell to do with Darkseid since Superman wasn’t in the series at all until now. I suspect that the latter and because of that Morrison clearly shows a lack of giving the any pay off for what he build Darkseid to be.

Meanwhile Anitalee is cautiously optimistic:

Now, though it may certainly appear as if Batman is dead following the sure to be iconic image of a burnt Bats, you can save the eulogy on behalf of later since the Omega Sanction doesn’t necessarily equate death. Grant Morrison’s entire jog on Batman has pretty much been all about showing how awesome Bruce Wayne is. If anyone can survive a string of worsening alternate lives, it has to be Bruce Wayne. The an estimated all exciting thing about the whole event: how Bruce Wayne returns (because you know he will). If they play their cards right, this can manufacture on behalf of some seriously cool comic book moments. IF they do it right.

So what do you think?

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I loved it. I thought last half-dozen pages were more exciting than the entire run of Secret Invasion (not trying to start a war here…).

The criticism about Morrison’s Darkseid seems a little week. It’s like the guy is criticizing the ending of FC before we’ve even come to the end.

At any rate, minus the delays, I think FC has been a very rewarding read.

To quote a fine movie: “Two word review actually….”

FC has been a jumble of poorly executed ideas, lurching and jerking forward from exposition scene to exposition scene with no sense of drama, loss, threat, or even coherency.

So, Superman Beyond (which doesn’t conclude until *after* the issue where we see Superman’s arrival in FC), did it mean anything to the main story? We sure didn’t see anything resembling that. Superman has a random interlude with the classic legion revealing a possible deus ex machina, and then again, randomly shows up to…um…well…show a dead Batman (who isn’t apparently dead anyway).

Batman is thrown in for a couple of pages to provide a very unsatisfying conclusion to RIP; the Japanese team no one cares about does nothing, the Flashes talk some more about what they’re going to do (how many issues has it been now?) and generally people bring pop up in vignettes to talk about what they are going to do instead of actually do it.

Seriously, were people dying for Tawky Tawny to be featured in the major event series of 2008?

And we’re told the *real* villain, some “dark monitor” is waiting until the last issue to do whatever he is going to do?

I don’t need to be told “wait until the last issue for it all to come together” the plotting sucks *now*, and I don’t need to be told “I just don’t get Grant’s genius in post modern story-telling”, because few people want an event story that we have to decode from issues of Seven Soldiers and Grant’s theories of superhero universes.

The pacing is bad, the action is terrible, the drama is non-existant.

I can’t imagine anyone at DC is going “Whooo! This is the series that’s going to get more people to buy comics, and form the foundation of how we go ahead with the universe for the next years. This is *exactly* what we want!”

DC editorial should all be flogged for letting this happen. This is a trainwreck of a series

Superman will have someone to fight in the next issue, it’s the dark monitor. Darkseid is probably dead, at least for now, if not the sacrifice of batman would REALLY be disappoint. So it’s a lose-lose situation: one way batman death sucks, the other darkseid arc sucks.

It’s about time. The series besides Barry Allen coming back got me in a sleeper hold. The death of Batman by Darkseid might be a good thing. Will the Batman come back with powers. I hope so. This is something the character needs, something like the cosmic powers that Spider-Man had at one time. I would love to see Batman get super-powers and go toe to toe with Superman. Also would it not be cool if they made a new Flash series with Barry as a CSI type of character, that was his job at one time. Bring back the glory to our DC heroes guys. I love the attention the Marvel family characters are getting. The characters are morphing into great potential new books in the future. The seeds are well planted to flourish in the future. I don’t like the pacing of the story, a bit drawn out but worth the wait.

Batman destroyed the current physical incarnation of Darkseid. He will no doubt attempt to gain hold in a new body next issue, which is where Barry Allen’s plan will come in handy.

I dug it. It certainly wasn’t flawless, but it was well worth the money.

…”Seriously, were people dying for Tawky Tawny to be featured in the major event of 2008?”

Yes.

Well…at least I was.

You’re going to find a lot of folks who love it and a lot who hate it.

I really haven’t seen much middle ground. It’s quite interesting.

For the record, I loved it. Wish Mahnke drew the whole series.

@Jacob

Completely agree about Mahnke doing the whole series. I love JG Jones but I think Mahnke might have been more reliable scheduling wise, and he’s totally underused by DC. He should be up there with the Kubert Bros. and Van Sciver

ElCoyote's Prophet

January 17, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Grant Morrison hasn’t written a decent comic book in well over a decade, and he hasn’t ever written a super hero book that made sense.

He shoulda stuck to the Invisibles. That was fun. This is tedious. As was All Star Superman, as was his Batman nonsense. No super hero comic he writes makes sense character wise, story wise or even plot wise, it’s like he’s just making things up as he goes along. There’s no cohesive story. I have no idea what is going on in Final Crisis. When did Darkseid takeover Earth? What’s his connection to Libra, Libra is just some random sadsack 70s villain why is he all of the sudden so gosh darn powerful? Why would anyone change Darkseid’s design? WTF were they thinking? “Hey, let’s change one Jack Kirby’s few understated and simple designs.”

Nevermind that Dan DiDio again screwed the pooch by giving a slow artist not enough lead time for a major series ending up with a total clusterfark artwise. This and Infinite Crisis should be proof that man knows nothing about how comics are made.

Of course, JG Jones has never done much for me, so the Carlos Pacheco stuff kind of made it bearable, Doug Mahnke’s stuff has looked rushed and has never been as…elegant as Pacheco’s, Pacheco’s pages just look nicer. Mahnke’s stuff can be dynamic and all, but his faces tend to be unappealing.

Anyway, I can’t wait for this to be over with. At least Superman, Green Latern and JSofA continue to keep me from ditching DC altogether

“The an estimated all exciting thing about the whole event: how Bruce Wayne returns (because you know he will). If they play their cards right, this can manufacture on behalf of some seriously cool comic book moments. IF they do it right.”

I hope/suspect, based on the LiTG rumor that Morrison will pair up with Quitely to do something Bat-related, that this is going to be Morrison’s plan when he returns to write Bruce Wayne. I doubt he will be the regular writer on Batman anymore (based off the fact that he doesn’t want to have anything to do with Battle for the Cowl, a series that is a stepping stone to the new Batman status quo) and instead will do something about Bruce Wayne’s trippy adventures.

I quite liked it.

For all that the stuff on the edges can get very confusing, the gist of the main action in each issue isn’t hard to grasp. The emotional momentum is very strong- earlier issues were all “this is as bad as things are going to get”, this is “the good guys are fighting back and almost made it but DAMN THIS ISN’T GOOD”, which is just the beat you want before the Big Exciting End.

It’s dense, it’s complex, and it rewards rereading, but I could follow the threads from page one to the end without much trouble. The only thing I had to go back for was why Superman was going all red-eye angry on things, which at a second glance made perfect sense.

Here’s what I had to say in my blog:

“Final Crisis #6 came out in DC Comics latest attempt to alienate all fans. I don’t even know where to start with the bad things about this book. I guess these are my main three: First off, this book made little to no sense without Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #3, Superman Beyond #2 and Final Crisis: Revelations #5. Have those books shipped yet? Nope. Plus, we all know how we got royally screwed in Batman: RIP when Dan (Wife? I Don’t See Anybody’s Wife Here) DiDio told us that RIP didn’t actually end in Batman #681 like we were told, but in FC #6. Somewhere between Batman being blown to lil Bat-Chunks at the end of 681 Batman had the time to sneak off, find a new costume, get his God Killin’ Gun with it’s own God Killin’ Bullett and smoke Darkseid. To make things a perfect clusterf*@k, there were 3 pencillers on the issue. JG Jones, Carlos Pacheco and Doug Mahnke. 3 great tastes that do not taste great together. However, we did get a great version of “Superman’s Dead Body Pose” from Mahnke.”

Plus, it left me wishing that Doug Mahnke had done the entire thing.

I read 0 out of 3 of those books and figured out what was going on easily enough.

Maybe it’s because I’m used to this style of pacing from Morrison’s JLA (who knows what the hell the internet’s reaction would’ve been to World War III, since that was twice as briskly paced as this series), but not having all the information filled in when the concept is introduced doesn’t really bug me that much at all. Remember in the first couple of issues when people were complaining that they didn’t get what was going on with Turpin? That got wrapped up neatly. Same thing here.

I’m with Evan – it’s dense and complex, but that’s not a bad thing by any means. We need more comics like this, not disposable stuff that you read once and toss aside. But more than anything else, you want the good guys to save the day in the end. Which is kind of, you know… the point.

(My guess is that Darkseid isn’t dead, but that the Black Racer has been homing in on the *bullet* all this time. So Batman’s just setting him up.)

My only real gripe is that Final Crisis: Resist seems to have been lost in the shuffle. Mr. Terrific sets forth an OMAC army to stop Darkseid and… nothing. I keep expecting them to show up as the cavalry, but no dice.

“who knows what the hell the internet’s reaction would’ve been to World War III, since that was twice as briskly paced as this series”

I can’t tell you the reaction of the entire Internet, but among people I asked, they thought it was rushed and throwaway, as if DC suddenly decided “Oh crap, we said WWIII was going to happen. We better get on it.”

Can you imagine a world where Countdown lead to a “WWIII” of Darkseid battling over the earth, and the 52 weeks of story were the 52 weeks off battle, occupation and saving of Earth from him?

Something where plots aren’t brought up, and seemingly discarded or ignored, and characters who should be doing things could be shown…doing things. Battles didn’t feel arbritrarily lopped off, or just skipped altogether? Something that actually built some drama, instead of all these issues (because it started well before FC) of things that had no impact on the DC universe past the page they were printed on, even though we were told they would?

“My only real gripe is that Final Crisis: Resist seems to have been lost in the shuffle. Mr. Terrific sets forth an OMAC army to stop Darkseid and… nothing.”

There’s a lot like that going on. And the side issues seem to be more interesting than the main story, even if they’re ignored. It’s like people were assigned to try and fill the holes in and flesh it out, and even their work is getting ignored.

Sad. Sad. Sad.

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