Sunday, August 10, 2008

Final Crisis #3 Review

Written by: Grant Morrison
Art by: J.G. Jones

I find that a fundamental problem with reviewing Final Crisis is that there are unknown unknowns as well known unknowns. Morrison's writing style requires the reader to read the entire story to make a proper judgment thus no single issue can make or break as other speculate. It is all part of the larger picture because Morrison keeps things pretty close to the vest. That being said, I did not enjoy this issue as much as I enjoyed the first two. Morrison succeeded in crafting a lot of tension and anticipation for the moment when the Anti-Life equation is released upon the world and it seems anti-climatic as it was only the last couple of pages within the issue. The first two issues did a great job of providing a sense that whatever bad thing happened to any of the heroes, the Anti-Life equation was still to come. This issue almost devalues all that sense of anticipation and foreboding as the execution of the equation seems anti-climatic [a is that it kind of moment]. I understand that you don't need to show the villains prepping and painstakingly/continually point out to the reader that is how we do it [or show the process of the Skrulls replacing everybody including minor characters that people may or not care about even though I am perfectly willing to accept both Electra and Pyme as Skrulls without any backstory] and I also understand that the villain releasing the equation would not strike hard and fast because it is the most effective way. I can accept all logistical issues presented by such a method of execution [such as the fact the E-mail most likely came with an audio attachment that automatically downloaded onto your computer and opened up your default media player and played itself because such an evil plan requires such things as that. I can come to terms with the fact that the equation will somehow take over all of Earth even though it should primarily only affect the US/Europe while such countries like the Democratic Republic of the Kongo is fine because let's face it, when you look at the world map in the Halo 3 matchmaking lobby there are no dots in Africa but everyone in Tasmania has an X-Box 360 with Halo]. All those logistical problems are summed up by the simple fact a month will elapse since the equation has been unleashed and I assume that major networks will broadcast it because they are now controlled by Darkseid so that is no longer an issue. I sense that Morrison is trying to go for subtlety here because you don't need to see every character falling victim to the equation but it didn't stick. That moment the equation is unleashed should be the moment you see the world stop. This is where you get a different kind of broken hero where they no longer can inspire people to be their best and every symbol of hope and justice dies along with free will. Those are the implications of the release of this equation, this is what it means "the day evil wins." We don't see that. I believe this to be a very important theme and this scene at the end should be that but it isn't. Aside from that point, it is all good to demand the reader to think and not spell everything out but German? That is like challenging a handicap person to twister, just plain mean. I enjoyed seeing the old Legion of Doom headquarters which takes me back to the Super Friends days. Another key point is the Mary Marvel heel turn and based on what I know from Countdown, an educated guess is that Darkseid offered her a chance to be powerful again after waking up from her coma and being weak for a bit. I imagine there is a logical explanation there so it doesn't bug me too much. Morrison is a master storyteller and no matter what happens in the issue there is a thought process behind it. In my experience he just doesn't do stuff on a whim and there is something we don't know going on. I am really enjoying Final Crisis and after venting I think four will be a monster issue that will blow the lid off everything. J.G. Jones art is amazing and while it may not look as good as issue one did that just means it's still amazing.

Overall: OWN IT

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