Best Shots Extra: Final Crisis #5

Best Shots Extra: Final Crisis #5

Final Crisis #5

Final Crisis #5

From: DC Comics

Writer: Grant Morrison

Art: J.G. Jones, Carlos Pacheco, and Jesus Merino

I’ll admit it. From the outset, I’ve been pretty skeptical about Final Crisis. I was equally skeptical about Batman R.I.P. as well. By my review of Final Crisis #4, I’d come to the conclusion that Grant Morrison was partially chasing the idea of doing “Grant Morrison’s Greatest Hits”; he was bringing together all of the concepts that he used before and trying to tie them up. The funny thing, stepping back now and looking at his Batman run as a whole, and looking at Morrison’s parts of Final Crisis to this point, it actually all makes sense. Morrison has known what he’s doing all along: Final Crisis isn’t just Grant Morrison’s Greatest Hits, it’s DC’s Greatest Hits, and he’s trying to synthesize the various movements, style changes, divergences and solo projects into one cohesive boxed set.

Part of that revealed itself with story elements from R.I.P.. Morrison made an effort to make all of the stories (even those no longer considered to be in-continuity) count. Here, he’s making an effort to acknowledge decades of previous material, and, using that as a starting point, reinvigorate it with some new concepts and approaches. The metatextual flashpoint of that is the moment when Morrison’s repurposed Frankenstein appears, leading a cavalry of super-heroes. Morrison is willing to take anything, any idea, from any point in the DC continuum and build it into the larger structure. It’s like Morrison wants to build a hyper-realized Silver Age, taking the “anything can happen” energy and elevating it from goofy to epic using modern readings of science, philosophy, and awareness.

But if you’re here to super-heroes punch villains, there’s plenty of that, too. From Black Adam and Supergirl brawling with Mary Marvel to the possessed heroes squared off against the forces aligned by Alan Scott, this was an action-heavy issue. It was also paced very well, with lots of things happening and lingering questions getting addressed on the run. Darkseid’s fall broke the multiverse? Check. The Fifth World is about to land on top of the Fourth World and wipe it out? Check. Mr. Miracle and the Super Young Team are using the weapon against the gods referred to in the first issue? And so on. The artists are doing good work; actually, they’re flowing into each other so readily that I kind of had to stop and look to notice much in the way of changes. The transition to Mahnke might be a little jarring, but Jones and Pacheco have held it down well.

By this point in the series, most of the confusing elements should make sense. We also see Morrison acknowledging moments from other points in DC history; when Darkseid invokes the power of his three billion servants, it echoes the three billion Daxamites that he similarly enslaved during “The Great Darkness Saga”. There are still some lingering questions (the Titans ambush in issue #1, why Libra has been less present that his build-up presaged), but perhaps that will fill out some of the next two issues.

Has this been your typical Publishing Event? Well, no. And I can understand the charges of inaccessibility (some made by me) and questions about particular elements. Nevertheless, I think that it’s easy to see now that Morrison really is in control, and is trying to shape something different out of that type of approach.

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