Final Crisis #7
So, the conclusion to Final Crisis is here. And it… well, it’s certainly epic, quite possibly the most epic comic ever produced. But does that make it good? Final Crisis #7 has the nearly impossible task of wrapping up the many threads begun in Final Crisis #1-6, as well as in the Superman Beyond tie-ins, the two tie-ins that frankly should have been included in the main series. And it does an admirable job of just that, answering plenty of questions and tying up all those pesky loose ends. While the non-linear narrative of this issue will certainly confuse some readers at first glance, it remains a relatively simple jump between just a few points in time, so it should be easy to puzzle out after only a few pages to establish rhythm.
Quite a lot happens in this issue, of course, as see humanity trying desperately to save itself in a variety of ways. As Checkmate prepares their Black Gambit, their ploy to run away and reinhabit another universe uncorrupted by Darkseid, Renee Montoya gathers Supermen from as many different realities as she can, and Nix Uotan awakens to his true power. Humanity fights, humanity flees, Darkseid falls, Mandrakk arrives – and all of it in a single issue.
But perhaps that’s part of the problem – while Secret Invasion has about 4 issues of content spread throughout 8 issues, Final Crisis has roughly 12 issues of content spread between 8 issues, and in the end, neither is particularly helpful when forming a truly coherent narrative. Scenes like the melodrama of the Super Young Team, the return of Barry, I could go on, all these scenes had some genuine heart, but due to the hyper-compressed nature of them, came off more cerebral than heartfelt.
This issue provides a satisfying, epic conclusion to the series as a whole, more a sequel to Superman Beyond than anything else… which is okay, given that Superman Beyond was a vastly superior series. An old school comic book in which the forces of light, uncorruptible, battle the hideous forces of darkness and prevail, Final Crisis is a beautiful mess of a series. It certainly isn’t for everyone, but for those who enjoy the Super Hero Myth with a slight storytelling twist, this is an ideal issue.
Epic? Yes. Good? Mostly.
Final Crisis Grade: B
Secret Six #6
Simone & Co (this time joined by three different artists) provide us with the most twisted, action-packed issue yet. In this issue, we have… a shocking(?) betrayal, the origins of Jeanette, the origins of Junior, and the identity of the person who put the Six on this hellish collision course. And for an issue this packed with what should be exposition, I can’t remember an issue with this many laughs since… well, since the last issue of Secret Six.
Secret Six appears again and again to be the best work Simone and Scott have ever delivered. While it is far from perfect, it delivers again and again with a combination of clever character moments and strange action sequences, balancing dark revelations with laughs in a way that few writers have proven able to do.