Final Crisis #6Final Crisis #6
Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: JG Jones, Carlos Pacheco, Doug Mahnke, Marco Rudy, Christian Alamy and Jesus Merino
Color: Alex Sinclair and Pete Panatazis
Lettering: Rob Clark
As regular readers know, I was kind of underwhelmed with the start of Final Crisis. As it’s moved along, and I’ve gone back through previous issues, I’ve gotten more of an appreciation of what Grant Morrison (and company) have been trying to do. By the previous issue, not to mention the Superman Beyond branching plot, I started to see the whole thing as Morrison doing his own Greatest Hits album, exploring all of the big ideas that he’s ever had about the DCU and shaking them down to one big universe shaking fight. And in this issue, that fight reaches a pretty stunning climax.
Final Crisis #6 is exactly the kind of mad-idea-fest that you want from Grant Morrison, and he’s grafted it on to a series of fight scenes that are simultaneously cathartic and smartly built on everything that he’d been doing all along. A number of the bits were already right in front of us, but Morrison kept our focus off the middle with what seemed like indulgences. Really, he’s been piling everything and the kitchen sink in here because he just thinks that "big."
The irony, of course, is that all of his ideas are filtered through one bad mother of a fight issue. This thing is, on one level, almost entirely about ass-kicking. Some of those moments are fan-targeted on an almost bizarre level. Talky Tawny versus Kalibak? I never knew that I wanted to see that until I saw that. Checkmate’s master plan? Freddy versus Mary? Luthor and Sivana teaming up? It’s all exactly the kind of stuff that should be in a book like this.
And yes, the bit that everyone will talk about: Batman versus Darkseid. You know what? I don’t care what certain people are going to say: my inner twelve-year old thought that was just, well, awesome. And, again, yes, Batman will probably return from certain death (after all, he’s Batman), but the sheer scope that Morrison is after made this all feel like a Final Battle. That’s what was important, after all; that the creators gave some weight to this thing. (It also addresses the question of where “Legion of 3 Worlds” falls as well.)
Speaking of the other creators, I thought that for the most part the various artists hung together well. I wish that Jones had gotten to do the whole thing for the sake of it, but everyone did come together for a good-looking book. The color (with the maddening exception of white Shilo Norman) is strong throughout, particularly on the last five pages.
I happen to think that the collection of this series will raise the favorable estimations of the book considerably. Yes, it does assume a lot of DCU foreknowledge. However, there’s a kind of ambition here to stretch the super-hero form that makes it completely admirable. In terms of pure imagination, this one is a winner.