Final Crisis #5

As a concept, this is a powerful story -- the New Gods have become incarnate and as such are rending all of creation down the seams and across the threads. The tangible end result, however, is soiled and soured by mismanagement, delays, and overblown hype. To me, this is like being on the receiving end of a tirade from a drunk, paranoid schizophrenic with a compulsion for name-dropping.

Morrison has long had a mystique clouding his writing, a hazy mist of genius that permeates his fiber and oozes onto type pages from his fingertips. His "Animal Man" still stands as one of my all-time favorite books. His "JLA" was brilliant and inspired. His "Doom Patrol" was quirky and challenging. This book seems to be a deposit of all the loose ideas and leftovers he couldn't quite squeeze in anywhere else. It just doesn't feel like it's set in the DC Universe, despite the fact that there are sightings of several DC properties.

Add in the fact that, clearly, some action occurred off-panel (or at least in other titles I chose not to purchase) and this book is even more of a split brain soup.

The art, divided by two extremely talented modern masters is a different story altogether. Pacheco's sequences are packed with drama and energy. Jones' segments carry a realism that is darn near tangible. His figures, however, also feel darn near static, holding poses they are beginning to grow weary of.

The coloring is journeyman's work from Sinclair, aiding and abetting the artwork to shine in its strengths while helping place a solid, unifying layer over the entire issue. Lanham's lettering, however, is uninspired, as every character in this book carries the same tone and pitch, at least as far as their speech balloons are concerned. Come on, this is a book with talking tiger-men and fallen gods. Surely some of them would sound different and not simply louder.

That said, overall, I think this book is well below the bar of expectation that has been set for it and this series. I know what the story is supposed to be about, I know the names, but I just don't see the characters. I don't feel the energy. I don't care. I might give this a shot in collected form, but for now, I'm done with "Final Crisis."

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