Welcome to our capstone, dear readers. Just one year ago, we began with DC Comics a Countdown, which became a Countdown to Final Crisis, and now, we bridge the gap between that event and our next stops in both “Final Crisis” and “Trinity.”
For the sake of expediency, we’ll forego the usual recap and get right to our…
Brian Eason: 51 weeks of Countdown to Final Crisis and we wind up here. I hate to start off with huge praise without discussing the issue first, but -- damn. This was a great comic.
Justin Eger: It totally was. For 50 cents, this was by far the best comic I bought all week, and there were some hefty contenders out there from the competition. But for pure value, this beat everything, hands down.
BKE: Story by Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison, that's a first class writing crew as well, feels a bit like 52. George Perez, Doug Mahnke, Tony Daniel, Ivan Reis, Aaron Lopresti, Scott Koblish, Christian Alamy, Oclair Albert, Matt Ryan, Jeff de los Santos, Ed Benes, Jesus Merino and JG Jones. That's a hell of an art team.
JE: Who better, really? All that could have made it better was the inclusion of Greg Rucka and Gail Simone, since this book did give us a header right into all the big summer projects.
BKE: We start with a mysterious narrator giving a history of the Crises, from Crisis on Infinite Earths to Infinite Crisis.
JE: We were told this was going to be an introductory book for people who might have been away a while, though I never thought that such major events could be contained so easily. But it was a good starting gun.
BKE: And that's exactly what it was, the starter's pistol and if this is any indicator it will be a hell of a race.
JE: With one hell of a runner, but we'll get to that in a little bit.
BKE: Nice glimpse of the future with Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes. This has to be the follow up to the recent Action Comics by Geoff Johns and the precursor to Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds that has me so excited. Are those Shadow Demons from Crisis on Infinite Earths I see?
JE: Good eye, and yes, this is our lead in to Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds,” with art by original “Crisis on Infinite Earths’” George Perez. You'll also note at this point that each section of the book was followed by a house ad for the event in question, starting here.
BKE: Clever little advertising monkeys.
JE: Interestingly, I noticed each little segment could be read on its own as well as together.
BKE: Batman and Joker discussing Batman's future.
JE: Which leads directly into Batman: R.I.P. this summer.
BKE: I know we have speculated if they really will kill off Bruce Wayne, but I think Morrison could sell it and then what? Dick Grayson as Batman? I can't imagine Jason Todd or Tim Drake taking over, but I know that Morrison can see Damian in the role.
JE: Morrison has said that he thinks Tim deserves it the most, and that Dick has his own role in the DCU. Still, the beautiful glimpse into the future that was Batman #666 paints a pretty nice picture for Damian as Batman. And, while we're there, I'm putting my money on the horse that is Bruce Wayne being replaced as Batman. After all, it's Batman R.I.P., not Bruce Wayne R.I.P.
BKE: Interesting thought. We'll see.
Back in “DC Universe 0” -- I have never seen nor heard of Professor Ivo's new android, Red Volcano. I'm calling this the first appearance until I hear otherwise.
JE: Ditto, though I have to say it's quite creative. I fully expect a Red Earthquake and a Red Monsoon before it's all said and done.
BKE: This kind of Silver Age fun and games is very Morrison and I love it.
JE: A mystery villain is gaining allies to end the life of Wonder Woman and destroy the Amazons for good.
BKE: Doctor Poison, on the other hand, is an old Wonder Woman foe. This version is the granddaughter of the original Doctor Poison who appeared all the way back in Sensation Comics #2 (1942), the first appearance of Wonder Woman herself. I smell Morrison, he loves obscure villains and the Golden Age.
JE: Possibly, but let's not forget this is our preview to Gail Simone's Whom the Gods Forsake arc in Wonder Woman. She's got her own sort of class with turning lesser characters into new favorites, so don't count her out on this one.
BKE: Not a big surprise, but this looks like Final Crisis is intended to be what it claims. Batman targeted for death, Hal Jordan facing Blackest Night and Wonder Woman being forsaken by her gods. This sort of overwhelming odds scenario is exactly how you get from starter's pistol to the finish line with style. This is an incredible opportunity for DC.
JE: And, as we've said, if they can all come out with the quality of this single issue, we'll be very blessed with great stories this year.
BKE: Well, lets look at something for a moment, while Final Crisis is, indeed, a multiverse-spanning event, where is the focus? The focus is Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and so on. Who are the writers on those books? The top writing talent at DC: Johns, Morrison, Rucka, Simone. This is a full sign-on. This is not Crisis on Infinite Earths crossing over into ancillary books in the form of red skies and shadow demons. This is the exact opposite. This is the big titles running key stories that all result in the Final Crisis events. Its’ the exact way the big event should be done and it's a completely different way of doing it. Bravo.
JE: Right. There's not exactly a whole lot of bleed, like there usually is with a major event. There's the build up, the major event, then there's the fallout from the major event, and you don't have to read a gazillion books to keep it all straight. And, while we're there, even if you do decide to read the Final Crisis tie-ins, they look to be a lot more self-contained. Legion of Three Worlds, for instance, looks to wrap up all the multiple versions of the Legion and straighten out the continuity. It looks like a part of the Crisis, but it's got it's own tale to tell.
BKE: The Greek gods (presumably Zeus and Apollo) have decided that women can't save the world, so the Amazons are out and they called Frank Miller. Just kidding, these must be the Manazons that we've heard about.
JE: At the least, Frank Miller should be doing alternate covers for this arc, though I will admit, I'm intrigued.
BKE: Now, if you want to see me squeal and run around like a madman, you give me exactly what Johns and Reis gave me with the Green Lantern segment: gorgeous, and a bigger peek at the other Lantern corps. I love the storytelling on the incredible two page spread. The way it ends with Black Hand and the Black Lantern gave me chills. I think the Blue Lanterns (Hope) may be speaking of Kyle Rayner when they are speaking of the one who will spread hope.
JE: It was nice to see more of the color spectrum that Johns has hinted at ever since he began teasing Blackest Night and the other Corps. It served well to promote that storyline and provide just enough to drive giggling little schoolgirls like you insane and get skeptics like me interested.
BKE: Nice stuff with Spectre. I am glad they have decided to put Spectre back where he belongs, as God's enforcer, the guy that fought the Anti-Monitor in “Crisis On Infinite Earths.” This is the scale at which he needs to be used.
JE: But let's not forget Greg Rucka has a hand in this, as he returns to Crispus Allen / The Spectre with Final Crisis: Revelations. So while you might expect to see some overbearing power from God's Vengeance, I'd expect you'll also see some very human moments as Crispus struggles with the weight that's been place upon his shoulders. And maybe he’ll have some help from an old partner, too, namely the Question?
BKE: Libra, who we'll be seeing a lot more of in the near future, is bringing religion to Society of Super-Villains. Is this the Crime Bible?
JE: That was my first thought, as well, though we'll have to wait and see. For more on Libra, check out the upcoming appearance in Justice League of America, which will fill in the gaps of where Libra has been and what he's up to. Will we get more information on his new religion? I hope so.
BKE: And I'll be addressing where this guy came from as well as the Human Flame in my coverage of Final Crisis for CBR. Speaking of the Human Flame, I have this guy pegged to end the life and career of the Martian Manhunter. Remember, you heard it here first.
JE: No arguments, though I'm going to be sad to see the Manhunter go. And yes, I'll be reading your commentary with elation. You've come so far.
BKE: We end the story as we began, with our mysterious narrator. If you haven't read it and don't want to be spoiled, turn around right now. It's big, very big, and it will hit you like a ton of bricks. Don't spoil it for yourself, go out and spend the 50 cents and get your own copy. You'll be glad you did. Justin, spoil 'em.
JE: This is huge. Crazy huge. And, yeah, you've probably already had it spoiled thanks to the New York Daily News, but don't deny yourself the pleasure of reading how it comes about. It's too good not to, and that's coming from a pretty jaded comics fan. We said it was a great deal, and it is. If nothing else, trust us on this. So, seriously, turn back now if you haven't gotten your comics yet and want to read it. Otherwise, well...
Welcome back, Barry Allen. The race between good and evil has begun.
Panel of the Week
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