Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Final Crisis #2 Review

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by J.G. Jones

I came away from Final Crisis #1 with a very positive outlook on this series, despite its numerous continuity problems and other quirks. Morrison had set up numerous plots that all showed great potential and had me genuinely interested in seeing how they all developed in the next issue.

Well, the next issue is here and, like an X-Men comic from the 90's, instead of answering any of them, Morrison just piled another dozen plots and subplots and sub-subplots onto the heap. Add in a lot of downright confusing scene changes, many of which left me scratching my head thinking a page had been left out, and this issue has really shaken my faith in this event.

The opening pages, featuring Morrison's pet project, the Japanese super-heroes, did nothing for me and was a poor choice to start this issue, too. It was only saved by the Sonny Sumo character's shock value killing of a random yakuza villain, which saw Sonny punch through the villain's chest and deposit his heart in a nearby shot glass. If not for that, I'd probably have fallen asleep out of boredom during this scene. They closed out with Shilo, aka Mister Miracle, showing his Motherboxxx to Sonny and trying to vaguely explain the New Gods to him.

It just sounded like he had no respect for J'onn and, while I know it was not intentional, sounded like he was making light of his death instead of honouring his friend.  
One thing that I was surprised by was the funeral for Martian Manhunter. I had expected it to be dealt with in the Requiem special, but it seems they addressed it right away here with a funeral held on Mars, which I thought was a nice touch. However, Superman, after a standard funeral eulogy, had to tack on the "and pray for a resurrection" bit. It just sounded like he had no respect for J'onn and, while I know it was not intentional, sounded like he was making light of his death instead of honouring his friend.

In one of the more confusing bits of the issue, Detective Turpin, who was just about to be attacked by Anti-Life Equation children after visiting Dark Side last issue, is seen beating the hell out of the Mad Hatter, asking him where the children are and what happened to Dark Side. He eventually beat the location of Bludhaven out of him and, once he arrives there, the Reverend character that was preaching on television last issue takes him in and informs him of his son, Kalibak, which I guess means Dark Side has taken over Turpin's body somehow?

On the death of Orion side of things, Superman leaves Batman with the Alpha Lantern Kraken to go over the facts. For those unaware, Kraken used to be from Apokalips and that should have been something explained in the issue instead of just having the Alpha Lantern randomly go nuts. Actually, the Alpha Lanterns, in general, should have been explained at some point for the non-Green Lantern readers, but I digress.

Seems Karken is possessed by Granny Goodness or Dark Side - it's never really explained - and framed Hal Jordan for an attack on John Stewert. While Superman was away, Kraken proceeds to attack and capture Batman, bringing him back through a Boom Tube to Bludhaven, where he is imprisoned.

In the last few pages, Morrison tries to make up for the general disarray of the numerous storylines and abrupt scene changes with two very dramatic "money shots". The first consists of Libra's attack on the Daily Planet, where Clayface, in the guise of Jimmy Olsen, plants a bomb in the office. It detonates and takes out the entire upper portion of the building, leaving Lois, Perry and everyone else looking very dead while Clark, his normal clothes blown away and his costume plainly visible to any possible survivors, stands over them screaming Lois' name.

The other moment consists of the unnecessary return of Barry Allen, which was revealed at the end of DCU #0 a months ago. The two current Flash's, Wally and Jay, are at that strip club where the villains all met and the bolt of lightning was seen in the already mentioned DCU #0 and they witness a series of vibrations that they instantly recognize as Barry's and the final pages leaves us with Barry telling the two of them to, "RUN!", as the Black Racer chases him. There's also a weird capsule-like thing with a monster, I guess, inside it. Not sure what that is.

Verdict - Check It. It's by no means a bad issue and I'm sure it will all connect together in a few issues or on subsequent read throughs when everything's said and done, but it would be nice to be able to follow the comic I'm buying on a monthly basis. I shouldn't have to wait for the whole thing to be over with to enjoy something I bought now. Also, I found Jones' art to be lackluster in comparison to the first issue, but it may have been teh colourist or inker's fault, hard to tell.

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