Review: Final Crisis #5 – Spoilers!

Final Crisis #5 (of 7) (Cover B)

(*****)

Pages 1-3: Even Granny Goodness knows about Parallax? Hal can’t catch a break! Remember that scar on Hal’s head that you first saw in Final Crisis #1? Well that’s explained here. Granny goes after the power battery! Good God these guys have a good plan. Take out the best heroes. Check. Enslave most of the planet. Check. Take control of the most powerful weapon in the universe.

Pages 4-6: Thankfully, not check. Hal punches Granny in the face! That was a fun sentence to write. Wow! Granny hurts a Guardian. Way to give the Alpha Lanterns too much power guys. Stupid Smurfs! We also know for sure that Darkseid’s fall, actually seen in DC Universe #0 I believe, is as Guy Gardner says, “dragging all our friends into hell with him”. Remember in issue #3 when the fast food Monitor was talking about the increased gravity? Think of Darkseid’s fall like a black hole. Everything is getting pulled in. Oh and this was a nice Hal moment. “You have 24 hours to save the universe, lantern Jordan”. I’ll stay away from the Jack Bauer joke, but I like that Grant is making the Lanterns play an important role here. And why shouldn’t they? Green Lanterns rule! Sure it’s mostly about Hal, but hey he was the one wrongly accused and had something put in his brain. And Kyle fans should be happy because he’s there too and so is Guy. What about Stewart?

Page 7: Ah, government super-soldiers, you have to love them. Hey it makes sense that Checkmate would have these. I wonder what role Montoya will play.

Pages 8-9: Ok, so the Plague Goddess, Wonder Woman, and the new Furies, Catwoman, Batwoman, and Gigantrix are set up in the present. Darkseid’s servants talk about their worth, but it doesn’t matter. This is all about Darkseid.

Pages 10-13: We see the struggling heroes. A lot of JSA, Tempest, and the Bulleteer! Oh and Donna Troy is a Dark Zombie, too bad. More Super Young Team, yay! “How will you explain yourselves to this man’s fans?” Ha Ha! So the new hip definition of a Motherboxxx is “If Gods made I-Pods that were alive?” Way beyond that”.  The Swiss border just got further away? Explain it Mr. Miracle. “A fallen Devil-God is dragging us down with him into a deep, dark hole in time, with no light, no hope and no escape”. So Grant has explained it a few times now. No confusion, right?

Pages 14-17: King Kalibak and his Tiger-Clan! The animal theme continues! Why shouldn’t big events affect the animals? We also get two pages of pretty splash. Four motorcycles? Why not? As we learned from Mad Max, it’s the best vehicle for the apocalypse. Who’s in here? More JSA (Makes sense. They’ve been around the longest. They’re the cockroaches of the DCU), Black Adam, John Stewart (No not from the Daily Show, the GL. See, all the Green Lanterns are getting some love) and Frankenstein baby!

Page 18-19: The different languages theme continues! Again, I love it! Why should big events just affect Americans? Frankenstein quotes Paradise Lost? That’s cool. I know Morrison thinks of Darkseid as part Milton’s Satan. Supergirl vs. Mary S&M? Not yet, first Black Adam has to beat her ass!

Pages 20-21: “I saw a leering old man in her eyes!” Who do you think is in Mary Marvel? Is this Desaad? I wonder what her “blasphemous name of power” is. Damn, she hits Freddie and Black Adam pretty hard. Oh and Kalibak beating Tawky Tawny? I called it.

Pages 22-24: We check up on our lost Monitor. There’s a harry figure, that is pretty much revealed to be Weeja Dell, the lost Monitor’s girl. And the other mysterious figure is Metron. Think about it. Weeja shows the chair drawing. This guy is wearing blue and glued to his chair. When was the last time you saw Metron out of his chair? He also cracks the “God number” of the Rubik Cube that makes things go blue explodey.

Page 25: This is an interesting Luthor moment. Siding with aliens trying to enslave the human race? That’s what you fight against Luthor! Fight back! Libra, haven’t seen much of him lately, says something unsettling as well, “I might even let you be first in line with Supergirl”. Raping Supergirl? Is that a thought that has crossed Luthor’s mind? This is a dark crazy world.

Page 26: Jordan’s ring isn’t working right? Everything is going wrong. Darkseid’s loyal servants are dying. “All flesh will be Darkseid’s body.”Whoa!

Page 27-28: “It’s like a brain sending signals to a gigantic nervous system”, whoa again! “Dropp’d from the zenith like a falling star”, more Paradise Lost. Supergirl and Mary fight in one panel. Maybe we’ll get more next issue? The Green Lanterns are coming thank God.

Pages 29-31: Ok, did anyone else read Darkseid’s words here out loud? I hope so. This is some crazy stuff! I’m one of the guys who think Darkseid can give Luthor a run for his money in the “Best Superman Villain” category, but even I can’t think of a time when Darkseid has seemed this startling. When has he been scarier? When has he seemed this powerful? “The Fifth World of Darkseid has begun!”

Page 32: The lost Monitor is the Metron of the Fifth World. “Something new is born.” He doesn’t have a chair, but has that blue thingy around his head instead. Well, the guy is a dreamer so it makes sense that he’s more visual.

Review: Final Crisis #4 – Spoilers!

(*****)

I love this book so much and it’s hell that I have to wait so damn long to get it. Which is what I’m going to talk about before I get to the review. I’m sure most of you know about this, but I just have to talk about J.G. Jones. I’m a fan of his work. He’s an expert at larger than life cinematic art. His work on the first three issues of Final Crisis was phenomenal. Then the delays came. It’s been about three months since the last issue. He even had Carlos Pacheco helping out, who sadly did a lot more panels in here than I thought. It’s not that I dislike Mr. Pacheco, it’s just that because I love Jones’ art and because I love this book, I’d like it if Jones could finish what he started. And then the bomb dropped. Both Pacheco and Jones are absent on Final Crisis #7. The Superman Beyond team (Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy) will provide the art instead. Though I like Mahnke, this really did make me a sad panda. Oh well, at least Mahnke is a good replacement. And hey, Superman Beyond #2 comes out right before FC #7. So the art should fit well together. Anyway, I just had to address the artistic situation. Without further ado, I now present Bruce Castle’s Final Crisis #4 Super Awesome Analysis 2000!

Pages 1-2: Anti-Life spreads! This also continues the technology theme in Final Crisis.

Pages 3-4: We get to see what happened to Tattooed Man after Final Crisis: Submit. We’re also introduced to Ray and he talks about how he positively uses mirrors. The negative usage of mirrors was seen in Final Crisis #1.

Pages 5-7: Besides the beautiful 2 page spread, we also get to see how DC’s lesser known heroes are dealing with the crisis. We even get to see the kid heroes! This is so cool! Too often we just see how the big guys deal with things. Why do we have to focus on the C-listers? Because all the major players have been taken out of the game which totally makes sense!

Pages 8-9: More things are explained. Glorious Godfrey talking about how “My night-missionaries spread the gospel of Anti-Life to every living soul!” Is this Morrison commenting on religion? That’s a safe bet especially after Final Crisis: Submit. Oh, and Kalibak has a Green Lantern arm in his mouth and it appears to belong to the GL (Opto) who turned against John Stewart (Final Crisis #2-Smilin’ Bruce). Wow! First they make the guy betray his bud and then they bite his arm off? How evil!

Pages 10-11: “How can I fight if there’s nothing to fight for?” I haven’t mentioned it yet, but Turpin’s narrative is so creepy in this issue. It’s a brilliantly used element that gives such a sense of dread. It’s also Turpin’s descent into Darkseid which is quite intriguing. “Well, I’ll be a mindless slave of the corporate machine…” Not only is it nice to have some humor in here, but you’ll also notice how well Green Arrow is written in this issue. I know it’s not hard, but this puts Winick to shame.

Pages 12-13: We get to see the heroes keeping track of each other. If someone is unavailable, there will be an X over their face and their status, M.I.A., injured, offworld, etc. The most interesting one of course is the “corrupted” under Uncle Sam.

Pages 14-15: Again we see the extent of the crisis. Warmaker One and the Great Ten, this really is Morrison’s greatest hits. Black Adam (who doesn’t like him?), while sitting on his “throne of skulls” says “We’re at our weakest. Outnumbered, doomed. Hmh! Sounds like my kind of battle.” Final Crisis is epic!

Page 16: Tattooed Man gets some much needed markings on his skin. This is the “circuit” from Final Crisis: Submit (I feel so bad for the people that read FC before Submit. Boo DC!). TM’s markings and color look very similar to Metron’s don’t you think?

Pages 17-19: The new Furies (Ha! Gigantrix)! Barry and Wally hug (awww). The speedsters take down Gigantrix like Luke against an AT-AT!

Pages 20-24: How can you not love this? “Black Canary: Don’t do this. I can’t lose you. Green Arrow: I worked out the angles. They won’t get me–I’ll use the Anti-Anti-Life arrow. Pretty bird. Black Canary: Ollie. My beautiful Robin Hood.” I love Green Arrow! I love Black Canary! I love heroic sacrifice!

Pages 25-26: “I tried to show them what humanity’s made of. But wrestling with Darkseid, well… It’s like trying to beat the ocean unconscious.” Again with that Turpin narrative, it’s so dark! We won’t survive! “To die on the job is to die for Darkseid! Increase production! Work! Consume! Die! Judge others! Condemn the different! Exploit the weak. Anti-Life makes it right.” Surely there’s no message in that right?

Page 27: Barry saves Iris! Another emotional moment! “The speedsters are the keys to this crisis as they have been to all others!” Libra (Hey! He’s not in this issue is he? I wonder why?) said that in Rogue’s Revenge #2 and it looks like he might be right.

Pages 28-29: “Incoming from nowhere!” Who is it? It’s Mister Miracle (Shilo Norman), Sonny Sumo and the Super Young Team! Did you notice those markings on their faces? It’s the same design that Anthro had in Final Crisis #1. I believe this is protection from Anti-Life and maybe more. After all, that’s the same scene when Kamandi talked about “a weapon against the Gods”. Oh no! Shilo gets shot! Is S.H.A.D.E. corrupt too?!

Page 30: “Thumbs up for the triumph of the human spirit! Or thumbs down to summon a day of holocaust that will never end!” What does Turpin choose? THUMBS DOWN!!! Nooo!!!

So there you go. If you had half as much fun reading it as I had writing it we’ll be all good. Final Crisis #4 was definitely more straightforward than the previous issues. “This issue is filled with tons of exposition, so much in fact that anyone still complaining that they don’t understand what’s going on with FC is either illiterate or mentally deficient. No jokes. If you’re dying to know shit, this is the issue for you.” I guess I agree with Billy (I suddenly feel so dirty). I’ll be happy if this is the issue that helps people love Final Crisis, but I do miss the fun of piecing things together. There’s still a little of that, but not nearly as much. Anyway, I believe I’ve written enough (See! This is what happens when Final Crisis is delayed!). As always, please comment! Am I awesome? Am I stupid? Am I insane?! Did I miss something? Please let me know. Thanks for reading!