This was a great follow-up to a great first issue, with one of the coolest endings that you’re gonna see in a superhero comic this year!
Grant Morrison really does not make it easy on himself, does he? He could have gone for the traditional superheroics that was so popular in his JLA run (which WAS quite good), but instead, he has decided to do an extremely dark slow burn with Final Crisis, and while it might not be the type of story people had been expecting (it’s practically the polar opposite of the previous two Crisis mini-series), it is still quite well crafted.
The thorough degradation that the heroes are going through is striking, none more striking that the situation of Turpin, who has to deal with what is likely Darkseid inhabiting his body. How Turpin handles such a situation gives the book a deep-seated human reaction – Turpin acts like the POV character that crossovers like these rarely have – we are so used to the grand spectacle of these things, we rarely get the “everyman” view (everyman as in man of the people, not the hackneyed shapeshifter). Turpin’s slow descent into madness gives us that beautifully – and it allows Morrison to work in some meta-fiction references, too (as Turpin is Kirby, so he meets “his creations”).
I liked the Japanese heroes, and the bit with Shilo and Sonny Sumo worked nicely in the way Morrison gets across the point of the series in only a few lines, essentially saying “evil won, so now we have to come up with something.”
Speaking of evil winning – things don’t look good for Batman and Superman, but as we see earlier in the issue, superheroes are ever hopeful – even as they bury their friend, they pray for a resurrection – I love how freakin’ OPTIMISTIC that is, in the middle of this dark, dark story!!
This dark story also contains a few unresolved mysteries, and I have to say, I’m a bit disappointed when I read people who seem to want these mysteries explained, like, right now. Seems kinda strange. Like last issue’s cliffhanger – as though it is a failing that Morrison didn’t thoroughly explain who the fellow was at the end of last issue in that issue.
Oh, by the way – JG Jones’ artwork is amazing throughout the issue, but particularly that last page.
The last page features…
Barry Allen bursting out from the past (or future?) being chased by a time traveling god-killing bullet and the Black Racer!
How amazing is that?
And it follows a great line by Jay Garrick about the unfairness of time.
Great comic book – can’t wait ’til next month!