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Final Crisis by Grant Morrison

1/12/2010. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts

Buy Final Crisis in the USA - or Buy Final Crisis in the UK

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Final Crisis by Grant Morrison and assorted artists. pub: DC Comics. 352 page softcover graphic novel. Price: $19.99 (US), $23.99 (CAN). ISBN: 0978-1-4012-2282-6.

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Before you start reading this graphic novel, ‘Final Crisis’, I would recommend you either have at least three hours to spare or, as in my case, the winter clocks going back as hour and not feeling particularly sleepy five o’clock in the morning. This is a big book with a lot going on with no scorecard, other than what’s in your head, as to what’s going on and to who.

I still have some gaps in my background as to the fall of the New Gods but a more rock-solid Darkseid has finally got his hands on the anti-life equation and is reeking havoc not only on Earth-1 but also on the other fifty-one Earth realities as well although we only see a sampling of these. All sorts of favours are pulled in and if the occasional super-hero isn’t killed then with a mask put over their heads, they are suddenly under his employ. Things are getting rough with no hint as to what happened to the civilian population as the world falls apart around them.

How much to say beyond that without giving spoilers. Come to that, how much can I say where I’m also being critical as well. I do think presenting the 30th century’s hidden Miracle Machine, first introduced originally in the 1960s, as the deux ex machina to sort out some of the mess a bit of a cheat. It’s also a strong reminder that you need to know something about the history of the DC Universe to make sense of everything and it isn’t for the faint-hearted. Everyone gets accused of something or chucked into the middle of the action at some point and definitely, no one is safe. This is also the story that brings back the Barry Allen Flash and loses the Dark Knight, although his whereabouts and resurrection is pretty much public record now.

Writer Grant Morrison and his eight artists produced a magnificent tour de force here and with it produced last year, everything is still current.

There are a couple touches I love. The arrival of the Alpha Lantern detective force with its leader, Kraken, putting the Justice League Of America in their place by calling them ‘the local crimefighting club’ and putting Hal Jordan in his place by querying why he doesn’t spend more time on other planets in his sector which is actually a very valid point. It isn’t like he hasn’t got a back-up team. At the Martian Manhunter’s funeral, the eulogy ending with a prayer for his resurrection takes a whole new different meaning. The appearance of Merryman from the Inferior Five – remember them back in the mid-60s – although it’s a shame Dumb Bunny or the Blimp, to slow things down, didn’t turn up.

I should point out that this volume also contains the two cross-overs to ‘Superman Beyond’ and ‘Submit’ in chronological order.

As to whether this will be the ‘Final Crisis’, that I would leave up to the anti-monitors to decide.

GF Willmetts
October 2010

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