Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Final Crisis: Submit #1 Review

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Matthew Clark and Norm Rapmund

As good as Final Crisis #4 was this week, it should have been labelled with a, "Read Final Crisis: Submit first.", sticker. While I don't think this tie-in is absolutely essential to read or understand FC #4, it goes a long way to explaining what the heck was going on with Black Lightning and the Tattooed Man.

However, while FC #4 was a great read and as much as I think Submit should be read as a companion piece, I don't think Submit comes anywhere close to being as good as FC #4. I think the reasons behind this stem from how simple and straight forward this issue reads.

It's almost like any one of the numerous Secret Invasion tie-ins in that it fails to address the very thing the tie-in was setup to expand upon - in this case, the "circuit" Black Lightning gives the Tattooed Man - and, instead of devoting an entire one-shot to this rather straight forward 'hero meets anti-hero and butt heads before reaching an understanding' story, they could have simply condensed it all into an extra page or two of story in Final Crisis #4 and it would have been just as good.

Regarding this whole Metron circuit deal that the Tattooed Man showed up with out of nowhere in FC #4 with, it is revealed in this issue that Black Lightning had the pattern stitched into his glove for some, as yet (or maybe I'm forgetting something from previous issues of FC) unexplained, reason and, when things look bad, he makes the Tattooed Man memorize the circuit and tells him to safeguard it for the other heroes. This leads to the Tattooed Man turning said circuit into a tattoo on his body and hiding it in plain sight until we see him again in Final Crisis #4.

The rest of the issue consisted of Black Lightning and Tattooed Man butting heads and disagreeing at every turn as they try to escape the Justifiers. When they finally reach an agreement, the Tattooed Man's son, who TM has raised to hate super-heroes, decides to shoot Black Lightning, thinking he's fighting with his father when the two were having a spirited discussion. It was a random ending that causes Black Lightning to be captured and turned into a Justifier and I think I liked it better, as I had read FC #4 prior to reading Submit, when I didn't know how Black Lightning was turned into a Justifier.

Verdict - Check It. While I think it's safe to avoid this if you are short on cash, it is actually one of the few Final Crisis tie-ins that actually impacts the main storyline and, while I didn't overly enjoy the story, it does explain a lot about what happened with Black Lightning and the Tattoo Man's circuit tattoo seems like it will be important to the storyline, making this worth checking out at the very least.

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