All the people who cried “I don’t understand Final Crisis” will be very happy this week. Not only did the main title get more straightforward, but Submit is very much like a summer blockbuster. It’s the action movie answer to the sci-fi Superman Beyond. Oh and before I forget, please read this before Final Crisis #4 (and yes it is very annoying that they came out in the same week).
I’m a big fan of this type of story. Few against many, people overcoming their fears/prejudices to deal with evil, all about the characters, it’s kind of like a George Romero zombie flick. Ooh there may even be some social commentary in here too! The stars here are Black Lightning and Tattooed Man. I know I know who cares? There’s a right way to write C-listers (52, also Morrison) and there’s a wrong way to write C-listers (current JLA, also Black Lightning. He is still on the team right?), this is definitely the former. You could read this issue without knowing (or caring about) the characters at all and you’ll still walk away with at least some respect for these guys.
Besides the awesome action and the cool characters, there are some intriguing ideas in here as well. I mean this is Morrison, so you pretty much know you’ll get more than just a blockbuster. Oh and speaking of the creative team, Matthew Clark does a great job providing the pretty pictures. I’m not very familiar with Clark’s work, but he handles both the action and the character moments extremely well. Although, there are a few times when he couldn’t quite keep up with Morrison’s script, but then who can?
One thing that was interesting was the way Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species was treated. It’s first spotted by Black Lightning as it is about to be used as fuel for a fire. “These are the treasures of our civilization” he says. Then, after he gets one of those anti-life helmets, he says “Garbage. What disagrees with Darkseid is heresy. Fire needs no teacher! Flame needs no introduction! Anti-life justifies my ignorance”. If you live in America (especially for the last eight years), this will definitely get you thinking. That’s the more obvious observation. The more subtle one is that all the heroes in here are black. I never read Milestone comics so for me this is pretty rare. Throughout this comic these black heroes are hounded (ha ha!) by men with dogs. I could go a little bit further with that but I’ve gotten political enough. Whether you think I’m reading too much into this or if I’m right, shouldn’t you at least appreciate that this comic gets me asking those questions? I believe that was intentional. Morrison wants you to think about these things. This is a thought provoking comic that also contains impressive action. How cool is that?