Review: Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #2

Final Crisis Superman Beyond #2 (of 2)

(*****)

Wow! This issue just blew me away. I find it interesting that so many people hate this comic because they “don’t get it”. Whereas others like me, love it. I can understand the complaints a little. Superman Beyond is a lot to take in. Heck, even the visuals (Does anyone else’s vision get weird after wearing the 3D glasses?) can be jarring. But I for one adore this book.

First off, just look at that art. It’s truly stunning. Mahnke produces the best work of his career. Morrison challenges him for sure, but he hits the right notes every step of the way. In a fantastic voyage (It even has a yellow submarine) such as this, the art is crucial. Mahnke captures both the epic (And boy are they epic) battles and the tender scenes beautifully. Even the 3D works better here. I read the 2D art with my normal vision and the 3D art with my funky (Can they seriously change the design of these things already) glasses. In the first issue, I had to constantly switch between the two, but here the first several pages were normal, then 3D, and then back to normal for the conclusion. It was more of a pleasant read and damn those 3D pages were awesome!

As for the story itself, it’s just packed with goodies. Some of the more subtle stuff (Although I don’t think it’s that subtle sorry) may be missed. But I would think that if nothing else this is a psychedelic journey about the original superhero trying to save his dying wife. This is the spiritual sequel to All Star Superman. Both portray Superman as the quintessential hero in new ways that don’t come off as cheesy.

Now, I’ll try to delve beneath the surface without spoiling anything. I love that the citizens of Limbo (Where forgotten characters go to rot. A concept that’s not only awesome, but also fits the book’s theme) fight the “yet to be”. I love that Morrison explains why these Supermen were chosen. Morrison acknowledges all the Supermen (Majestic, Icon, etc.) and even here he uses Captain Adam (Based on Captain Atom from Charlton Comics) and Captain Marvel (From Fawcett Comics). Hell, even Overman (The German word for Superman) comes from Friedrich Nietzsche’s original influence on Superman. I love the fact that Superman Beyond is a study of the story itself. It’s all about the pros and cons that stories bring to our society. I love that the villains are Vampire Gods. Vampires and Gods are two fictional (If God doesn’t exist. Just think of the Roman Gods. Please don’t hate me) creations that will outlast us all, much like Superman. And finally, I absolutely love the last page of this comic. Seriously, it’s the best last page in recent memory.

Bruce Castle Presents: Crisis Tie-Ins Just Got More Final

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond 3-D #1 (*****)

I’ve been avoiding this review. I’ve only read it twice and that’s not nearly enough to properly comprehend everything contained in this issue. I would have liked to have written up a long in-depth analysis review, but instead I’ll just write a few kind words. Hopefully, either my words or somebody else’s will convince you to pick this up. Yes, this story is very complex and it does demand quite a bit from the reader. However, I still feel that it can be enjoyed on a primitive level and can actually be fun at times. With most Grant Morrison stories, all of the attention, good or bad, is directed towards Morrison. His artists don’t always receive the accolades that they deserve. Doug Mahnke drew this book wonderfully. His work alone is worth the price of admission. This book is truly sublime.

SPECIAL FEATURE!!!!

For those who can’t understand German, I’ll provide the translations for free! Well, what I will ask is that if you didn’t read this issue, please go pick it up! Then you can get your translations here too! Oh and when I list page numbers, I don’t count advertisements!

Page #9- “We will have to accept losses! This machine will immediately explode!”

Page #17- (This is obvious but..) “Great Krypton!”

Page #18- “All these universes in different frequencies vibrate”

Page #20- “What is it? I can not remember why I do; all the technology is for the dog.”

Oh and Overman is German for Superman.

As an added bonus, here is the Nazi Supergirl translation in Final Crisis #3:

Page #4- “I…I…I am…Supergirl…No. Is the…the sky bleeding? The (There are typos here and I think this is one of them. It says h^lle in the issue, the closest I can get is..) hall…is…is here

So there you go. I’m sure the translations aren’t perfect, but you can get the general idea. Plus, the text wasn’t perfect either. I hope that helps!

DC Universe Last Will And Testament #1 (Cover A)

DC Universe: Last Will and Testament (****)

Yep, this is about Geo-Force. Does anyone really care about Geo-Force? Not that I’m aware of, but it does have Deathstroke and he’s cool. This is written by Brad Meltzer. If you like his stuff, then you’ll probably like this. If you don’t like his stuff, then you can probably pass. However, before you do, there are a few things to consider. I’m not a big fan of Meltzer, but I did like most of Identity Crisis.  This was marketed as a FC tie-in (even though it doesn’t have the tag). It was supposed to be the night before the end of Final Crisis #3. It isn’t. In fact, you could read this without reading FC and still enjoy it which is cool. The only way this relates to FC is that this is a kind of sequel to Identity Crisis (and FC is kind of a sequel to Identity Crisis), and we see DC characters dreading something bad about to happen. The story is basically Geo-Force wanting revenge wrapped in lots of little character moments. I’m happy to report that the aforementioned character moments are beautifully rendered by the legendary Joe Kubert. I especially love his homage to the cover of Batman #1. The Geo-Force story is drawn by Adam Kubert. It’s nice to see a father-son duo handling the art chores. In addition to all of this, we get a big fight between Geo-Force and Deathstroke. This is really what impressed me the most because it was my kind of fight. It’s just a knock-down-drag-out fight with lots of blood. This was a very dark outing, but it ended on a surprisingly happy note. I feel this comic is good enough for even the people that dislike Meltzer to enjoy it.

Final Crisis Rogues Revenge #2 (of 3) (Cover A)

Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge #2 (*****)

I liked the last issue, but things have improved tremendously since last time. Everything in here really hit the mark. Is there more Final Crisis stuff in here? Yes. Can you still enjoy this without reading Final Crisis? Yes. Do these C-List (in the wrong hands) villains seem totally badass? Yes. Are there pleasing twists and turns? Yes. Is this well-written? Yes. Does this contain pretty art? Yes. As you can tell, I was really impressed. If you’re looking for a read filled with quality action or an awesome villain book you really need to pick this up!

Spoiler Review: Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1

The art was perfection (really wish i could have scanned this baby). Okay, I’m not quite sure how else to review this book, so I’ll just make a list.

Things I know or think I know after reading Final Crisis: Superman Beyond:

• Sometime next issue, Superman dons “Cosmic Armor” and fights what I can only assume is the “Echo of Midnight”.
• Zillo Vallo, the female Monitor that recruits Superman invented the “Chrono Paralyzer” that is keeping Lois Lane alive.
• “Ultramenstruum” is the proper name for the “Bleed”.
• The Bleed is the arteries between the universes… could this be why the skies always turn red during a Crisis, because the Multiverse is bleeding?
• The Bleed “medicine” promised to Superman has the power to heal or annihilate.
• Superman’s comrades consist of alternate versions of himself: The Nazi Overman from Earth 10 (he’s looking for his cousin, the Nazi Supergirl from Final Crisis #3), Ultraman from the Anti-Matter Universe, Captain Marvel from Earth-5, and the “Quantum Superman” from Earth-4 (this is obviously a reference to Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen).
• The Carrier the Supermen are piloting through the Bleed looks like a Yellow Submarine.
• The Carrier from Authority appears prominently, with no reference made to it, in one of the “Multiverse” panels.
• Earth-51 is referred to as the “Graveyard Universe” where no life exists. Did this happen in Countdown?
• Zillo Vallo tells Overman that she needs blood to survive, and at first, he gives his blood freely. Later, when this is revealed to Superman, it appears that Zillo Vallo has drained Overman dry. She’s some kind of vampire, what does this mean? How does this tie into the Bleed?
• Apparently, if you come into contact with a version of yourself from another world, you both spontaneously explode. Where was this established in the DC Universe?
• We aren’t supposed to remember any of the characters in Limbo because that is the nature of Limbo. Interesting…
• Anyone speak German? What the hell is Overman saying on Page 20, Panel 2?
• Grant Morrison reveals to Superman the nature of his existence… which I doubt he can understand at this point… and that nature is this: Story continuity is the fatal flaw of creation. Um, wow. Shit just got weird… will Final Crisis end with Superman shaking hands with Grant Morrison? meeting Shuster and Siegel?
• …are we the “Conscious Living Void”described by The Book, or the descendants of that Void? Does that make us “The Monitors”?
• The “Superman” idea, the archetypal superhero, is a contagion that spreads throughout the Multiverse, infecting everything with the concept of “story” and “hero”.
• Upon seeing the concept of Superman, one of the Monitors says, “It can only be a weapon. A doomsday machine engineered by genius to defend us against some ultimate enemy.” What I think he’s talking about here, is the idea that stories serve as the instruction manuals for a civilization. Stories help society understand itself and its place in creation, and stories also act as a defense against oblivion.
• While trapped in Limbo, Billy Batson forgets his magic word. Perhaps it’s already too late; perhaps they’ve stayed too long.
• The Mandrakk is the Ultimate Evil, it controls the Evil in all its forms throughout the Multiverse, even Darkseid.
• At the end of the issue, Ultraman, holding the book that “contains every book possible”, declares, “Evil wins in the end!”

Whoa…

There’s so much more going on here, but my brain is too small and exhausted to handle it all tonight. I look forward to anyone else’s comments on the subject of Superman Beyond, I’m anxious to figure out this little mystery since, more than any of the other tie-ins, the outcome of this mini will surely play a pivotal role in the outcome of Final Crisis.