01/02/2011. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: DC Comics. 200 page graphic novel softcover. Price: $19.99 (US), $22.99 (CAN). ISBN: 978-1-4012-2274-1).
check out website: www.dccomics.com
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from a ‘Final Crisis Companion’. Would it tell me some great secrets about the entire ‘Final Crisis’ series? Would it point out details that I might have missed? Would it even put things in chronological order, especially as I have a batch of ‘Final Crisis Aftermath’ graphic novels to read whom I’m putting in order based solely on their ISBN number at the moment. The answers to all of these questions are actually no.
What we have here is a dissection of the last ‘Final Crisis’ story in terms of black and white art sans word balloons, the script so you can put it in yourself and dialogue from its creators, Grant Morrison and JG Jones, as to what they intended to do. It might have helped had they started off explaining that from the beginning but will no doubt help you budding comicbook artists and writers as to the process in creating a comicbook story.
The rest of the book is divided into three stories. The first, ‘Balancing Act’ written by Len Wein and illustrated by Tony Shasteen, is actually the origin of Libra and how he became an associate of that nice chap, Darkseid. This was followed by ‘Requiem: Caretaker Of Mars’ by writer Peter J. Tomasi and drawn by Doug Mahnke, showing events up to and after the death of the Martian Manhunter. ‘Resist’ is written by Greg Rucka and Eric Trauntmann and illustrated by Ryan Sook and Marco Rudy which peers into the Checkmate Facility and a reminder that the Omac situation isn’t quite dead.
Summing the three stories up, you have past, present and future events spread between them, each showing the effects on the characters’ lives. It goes without saying that they are beautifully illustrated with a lot of depth. In some respects, I was surprised that I read them so quickly but I put that down to the pace each was given so that might fall under the page-turner category.
I should point out at the back of the book there is a piece by Grant Morrison about the anti-life equation and sketches of various new characters.
Did I learn anything from them? Certainly. Choose gang members who aren’t as smart as yourself and don’t go to Apokolips without a calling card invitation. Martians eyes stay open after death. Make sure I’m not anywhere around the anti-life equation. Any puzzles? I’m still trying to figure out how Hawkgirl can sit on a backed chair and still have her wings either side of it. Check the book out and hope you come to the same solution that I did that she flew down rather than flick someone’s eyes out flapping her wings.
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