Review: Final Crisis #2 – Spoilers!

(*****)

Whew. Let me start by saying that this is probably the hardest comic to read and especially to write a review for. But I love it for that! It’s one of the most intelligent comics I’ve ever read. I have to give major props for any book that makes me want to read it 3 or 4 times the first day I get it.

The book opens with a splash page of a bunch of kids in front of a club. The bouncer says “Stop! You must be supercool to proceed! Your life depends on it!” I think in addition to a comment on youth culture, this is a humorous way of Grant telling us that we need to be on our A-game to read this book. Also, one of the kids is wearing a Killing Joke shirt with a Robin bag. That’s hilarious! I want to say that I love J.G. Jones’ art and he is doing a fantastic job on this book. I love his detail.

Inside there is an old Japanese hero of sorts complaining about the youth. The kids don’t like this guy. They want to be superheroes themselves and one even expresses her want of being a gimmick, “the transformation of man into merchandising”. That’s hilarious. One of the kid’s idols enters the scene. He rips out a man’s heart and puts it into a glass. The kids love this guy and want his autograph. I believe this is Morrison commenting on today’s youth. Of course there is plot to this too. Mr. Miracle recruits him for his team. So the New Genesis guys are fighting back, cool.

We next get a look at Uotan, that monitor who was banished last issue. He’s working in a fast food place and is going through words in the dictionary looking for “the magic word that’ll take me home”. He is also drawing pictures of what kind of look like Superman, when he thought he was Darkseid’s son, to me.

We next see Turpin, who is beating the hell out of the Mad Hatter. This is because he feels he is responsible for controlling the children. This is weird because when we last saw Turpin, he pretty much was given an explanation to why the children were the way they were, and the Darkseid figure told the children to “show him what you’ve learned about anti-life”. Turpin buys a ticket to Bludhaven for some reason. The title of this issue is Ticket to Bludhaven.

We then see Martian Manhunter’s funeral on Mars. It looks like the whole league is there. Superman is giving the eulogy. He says “We’ll miss him. And pray for a resurrection”. I actually laughed out loud when I read that. Is Grant commenting on the silliness of comic characters coming back from the dead? Seems like it.

We take a look at an abandoned strip bar where Libra and all the baddies are at. He asks if everyone is satisfied with Martian Manhunter’s death. Luthor isn’t and would have preferred if something happened to Superman. Clayface makes a silly comment, but I’m sure in Morrison’s hands it will end up being foreshadowing. Luthor feels that he has to form an alliance against Libra, that this is all too good to be true. Smart man. He asks if Vandal Savage is in and he declines. He feels that if Libra can offer him an end to boredom that he’ll take it. I feel that this is Morrison commenting on the situation of a wise and ancient man making a stupid decision when he should have all the right answers. The much younger Luthor seems to be the smarter one. When no one but the Human Flame and Libra are around, Libra says that he answers to a higher power. Also, he feels Luthor will turn when he sees what happens next. Also, the Human Flame seems to owe Libra something big for killing Martian Manhunter.

The JLA are still investigating Orion’s body. Batman feels that he was shot with a bullet. An Alpha Lantern comes in and disagrees. It seems like she is taking over the situation against the league’s wishes.

John Stewart is analyzing the crime scene.  A GL (sorry don’t know his name) enters the scene. John says he has found a bullet that seems to have been buried for fifty years. John’s ring starts to go haywire and his lantern buddy construct spikes him against the wall. He even makes a hilarious construct of a guardian with cymbals. John Stewart then says “My God. It’s you!” Oh, and his lantern buddy heard something right before he went nuts.

The Alpha Lanterns and the GL we just saw show up in Hal Jordan’s bedroom and arrest him for murdering Orion and the attempted murder of John Stewart. Well, last issue when John Stewart got the deicide call, Hal didn’t respond, but seeing as how the guy that just threw spikes into John Stewart is also arresting Hal, it seems he is innocent.

The Alpha Lantern and Batman are alone back at the place they are keeping Orion. She messes up Batman and it seems that this is Granny Goodness.

We next see Turpin in I guess Bludhaven, and he sees the strangest thing. He sees two knights riding dogs. Did anyone understand this? Did parademons ride dogs on Apokolips? Is that what this is supposed to be? I guess so. Turpin runs into reverend Good. This is the guy you’ve been seeing on T.V. talking about cleaning up Bludhaven. So I guess Bludhaven is new Apokolips. The reverend starts talking to Turpin like he is Darkseid and makes comments about “your son, Kalibak the Cruel”. Turpin’s ear is also bleeding. The lantern guy that turned earlier said he heard something right before he went nuts so perhaps how the New Gods, or at least the Apokolips people, enter your body is through the ears? Turpin sees that Batman is being held in this place and something is being done to Batman.

We next check out the Daily Planet. Lois, Mr. White, Clark, and Jimmy Olsen are all present. Lois give Jimmy something on the missing children case. Clark says “I thought I just saw Jimmy down there on the-“. We then see it isn’t Jimmy Olsen in the elevator but Clayface, see it was foreshadowing. The entire floor of the Daily Planet blows up. We see Superman looking at a hand with a wedding ring under the rubble screaming “Lois!”

Lastly, we see Wally West and Jay Garrick checking out the old strip bar that Libra and the baddies were at earlier. They know that this is where Martian Manhunter died. Wally talks about a concept of a time bullet that Batman came up with, the concept that is, not the bullet. About a bullet being fired backwards through time and that is why when John Stewart found the bullet earlier he said it had been buried for fifty years. The chair that looks like Metron’s that Dr. Light and Mirror Master got Libra last issue is still there and it begins to light up. The issue ends with a splash page of Barry Allen running from two objects. One is some kind of tube thingy. The second is the more sinister looking Black Racer character that we saw last issue in two panels hovering behind Turpin.

Man that was a lot to cover. Sorry for the long review, but hopefully it helped some of you notice or figure out some things. I’ve read this issue and the last one three times so I think I noticed a lot. I’m sure there is a lot I missed or misunderstood. Hopefully Morrison will give another commentary like he did on the last one. Please let me know if I helped you guys understand anything. Or if I missed something. Or if you think I misunderstood something. Man I love this comic so much. I can’t wait till it’s all over and a hardcover of this stuff comes out. I’m going to buy it on the first day and will probably need to read it four times. I love your genious Morrison!

26 thoughts on “Review: Final Crisis #2 – Spoilers!

  1. “It’s one of the most intelligent comics I’ve ever read.”

    Not to be a dick or sound too pretentious but… you really need to read more comics, dude! Don’t get me wrong, this book is indeed just as amazing as you say, but it’s definitely not the most intelligent comic you’ll ever read (not that you even said that, but…). Shit, it’s not even close to the most “intelligent” comic Morrison has ever written. So… HA-HA!!

    Your buddy, TBZ

    (Yeah, it’s just me giving you shit. Enjoy!)

  2. It isn’t, but if you generally only read mainstream comics, you wouldn’t have hit most of Morrison’s biggest gems, and FC#2 does lend itself to in-depth analysis better than most comics out there. I rarely ever pimp my blog, because I rarely ever have content worth pimping, but I came across a great reading of the first half of FC#2 and it’s posted up there.

    FC #2 may not by one of the most intelligent comics around, but it lends itself to deep-reading, repeated reading, historical examination, etc…. Since that’s all stuff you learned to do in English class, it feels smarter than it is.

    Still, I think it’d be a lot of fun to get a ‘Final Crisis Analysis’ thing going with each issue. I don’t know why I think that would be fun, but it seems like it would.

  3. Well, maybe I are read to many dumb color books, but it done seem pretty intelligant to me.

    Yeah, I guess it does have a lot of stuff you go over in English class, but most of that stuff does indicate intelligence right? I mean, we could get into a six hour debate on how to identify intelligence or what intelligence really is, but for the most part, Final Crisis seems pretty smart to me.

    Yeah, I do mostly read mainstream comics, but there can be intelligence in mainstream comics as well (Grant Morrison has written mainstream before). And I do read a good amount of indie comics (Invincible is a smart book right?). But I was blown away by the first two issues of Final Crisis. It can be enjoyed on a primitive level and an intelligent level which I think is a staple of good art.

    As far as your idea of doing a “Final Crisis Analysis’ thing” SeventhSoldier, didn’t I just do that? What didn’t I analyze damn it!? I think Billy should give a more in depth review next time. You can’t hide behind your scans forever Billy! Anyway, I tried to review this issue to the best of my analyzing ability, but please SeventhSoldier, if you’ve got something to add, by all means do it. You seem like a pretty smart guy to me (or at least you done type perty words), so yeah we could start a “Final Crisis analysis’ thing” if you wanted to. There are definitely people I know who didn’t understand or notice a lot of stuff. I will try my best to help people understand this awesome comic!

  4. Oh, I meant a group analysis, not a single person – apologies for the confusion. It was kind of a goofy suggestion, since I’m pretty bad at analyzing fiction myself, but I had a great deal of fun participating in a group that analyzed Seven Soldiers as it was coming out, and part of my continuing love for the series comes from that back-and-forth trading of ideas.

  5. the reviews i do for Cap, Buffy, FC and SI are totally for those people that love big scans and spoilers. it’s why i do them the day the book hits as opposed to waiting till my shipment comes in from DCBS. meh, maybe that means i have to buy an extra copy to read and scan every Wednesday, but whatever. it’s fun. i don’t want to fill my “Spoiler Reviews” with too much analysis. that angle seems pretty well covered, as most of the “day of” reviews lean heavily in that direction…

    …which is not to say i don’t have a ton to say about these books…

    …i LOVE to analyze fiction, mostly comics and movies, so if you want to start an “analysis review” a few days after an event book hits, i think that would be totally cool. that’s Seventh Soldier and me so far, i’m sure Pi and Desiato are down as well. 🙂

  6. I was just kidding about the scanning thing. Actually, since you are the only one who seems to have a scanner, I usually love to see those scans.

    Yeah a group analysis thing would be kind of cool. I certainly don’t have all the answers and two heads are always better than one right?

  7. heh, i didn’t take offense to what you said… no way yer as good at being a dick as me.

    RE: my scanner… yeah, i was wondering that too.

    shit, group discussion about comics with friendly people who share common interests (as opposed to the randomness of a larger message board) is the VERY reason i started this damn blog. it’s been a couple of months and we’re finally attracting enough attention to get a friendly dialogue going. it’s nice. let’s keep it up. 🙂

  8. Yeah, hooray for us! Yeah, no one will ever be as good at being a dick as you Billy. I mean that in the best possible way of course. So yeah, did you read this review? Did I cover almost everything? What’d you think about some of this stuff? I know you agree with me about Turpin being Darkseid.

    What did you think that panel meant about the knights riding the dogs? Were they supposed to be like parademons or something? Is it supposed to symbolize that Bludhaven is new Apokolips?

  9. I’m not sure whether I’m going to do a full review of FC 2. I did read it, and I did like it quite a lot more than the first. For whatever reason, this issue made me a lot more at ease as far as the overall direction of the event. And I’m even buying a tie in (the Meltzer one)! I’ll probably throw up a paragraph in my next batch of mini reviews alongside the Thor one shot and Cap and a couple other books.

    As for the whole analysis thing, I’m a pretty verbose fella. I can’t write just one sentence to sum up a book (unless it’s Hulk 3 or my upcoming review of Hulk 4. STAY TUNED). I’d be down for some kind of roundtable on Final Crisis or other important books, though my nature as an online buyer could get in the way sometimes, and I’m not about to waste gas to go to the LCS for, like, one book. But still, if I have it, I’m down for some interaction instead of all of us on our own little islands.

    Oh, and I sure do have a scanner. But I spend enough time forsaking my obsession with Rock Band drumming long enough to write reviews in the first place, so I’ll be DAMNED if I’m going to waste more time scanning and cropping panels. Plus, my scanner barely covers 8 1/2 X 11 paper, so double page spreads are basically impossible unless I want to spend an hour in photoshop. I really wanted to scan an 11X17 print of the Red Skull I got by Dave Wachter for the Red Skull preview, but I’m WAY too lazy.

    Remember that thing about being verbose? DING

  10. Hmm, yeah that’s a good one Billy. I suppose if I was Turpin that probably would be my thought as well.

  11. Actually, I THINK the knights on dogs were the Atomic Knights, the people who stepped up to try desperately to cleanse/defend Bludhaven after Infinite Crisis but ended up being damage control at best. They’re a part of Jack Kirby’s Kamandi mythology, and believe me, Jack Kirby is going to be absolutely vital to this event in every way possible.

  12. Yeah I didn’t read it either so again thanks SeventhSoldier. On the other hand, if that is the case, it kind of takes away from that panel for me. I like the idea or interpreting something better. Oh well.

  13. Oh, there’s definitely something to be said about the juxtaposition of mundane and mythic as a statement, especially coming from Morrison, about DC Comics as a whole. In James Robinson’s first issue of Superman, there was a scene – I’ll look for scans from somewhere – in which Hal and Clark play catch with Krypto while talking about girls…in space.

    That’s precisely why I love DC so much, and Morrison has done a lot of it. Something like that, something like knights riding dogs through a post-atomic-disaster city, something like freakin’ IVY TOWN, that could never happen in Marvel. It just wouldn’t fit. The fanboys would freak. Look at Nextwave!

    In DC, though? Yeah, they’re having a funeral on Mars, while the dog knights roam a city bombed by a sentient mass of toxic waste. Wonder Woman has gorilla knights in her apartment and an invisible jet, and two guys are shooting the shit over a game of frisbee with the puppy – in space. It’s obviously not a major part of their appearance, if I’m even right about who they are at all, but Morrison loves that part of DC, from what I’m given to understand, so I wouldn’t put it past him to include all the madness and cool imagery native to the DC Universe that he can.

    I’ll be posting an extremely extended edition of my analysis on the front page tonight or tomorrow. I like the discussion we’ve got here, but I’d like to open it up to people aside from us three…and my initial thoughts are going to be VERY, VERY long.

    However, if you guys don’t want me to do that, that’s cool, too – I’ll happily post it here!

  14. Hey there are four of us here. If you’ll look, desiato posted once. Well, as much as I’d like to add to the amount of comments on my review, it’d probably be better if you posted it on the front page. After all, you haven’t posted anything in a month. You’ve got to give something to your fans man.

  15. Hah! I think I got, like, 1 comment on one review I did, from TBZ. That was pretty much it.

    Yeah, I should start posting reviews again. I do, after all, have the free time.

  16. But, if SeventhSoldier starts posting again, it’ll push MY reviews further down the first page. And I don’t know if my MASSIVE ego can deal with that. I’m very fragile, you see.

    Solidarity, baby!

    /blue text

  17. All right – I’ll try and get something up every week.

    Meanwhile, my 5000 word Final Crisis #2 analysis is up.

  18. Pingback: Review: Final Crisis #6 - Spoilers! « read/RANT!

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