Best Shots Extra: Final Crisis #7
Dan DiDio: 20 Answers, 1 Question
Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Doug Mahnke, Pencils; Tom Nguyen, Drew Geraci, Christian Alamy, Norm Rapmund, Rodney Ramos, Doug Mahnke, Walden Wong, Inks; Alex Sinclair w Tony Avina and Pete Pantazis, Colors
Lettering: Travis Lanham
From the start of this epic from the mind of Morrison, I’ve been many things. Skeptical. Confused. Elated. Confused. Frustrated. Confused. Excited. And, of course, occasionally a bit confused. Well, the final issue had moments of every one of these emotions. While I have yet to sit and read the entire 7 issues in a sitting, which I am willing to bet will tell a very different story, I got exactly what I expected out of the finalé: a mind-bender, some over-the-top action, and one final WTF moment at the end.
CUE SPOILER PUPPIES
The start of the issue was somewhat baffling, leaving me skeptical as to whether it could all neatly be tied up. The confusing part of this issue was primarily that it took place everywhere at once. All fronts of the war being fought simultaneously. Superman is at once fighting Darkseid in mourning of the loss of his friend, building a new “God Machine” from memory, and joining a corps of Supermen and Angels from across the multiverse. Wonder Woman gets her moment in the sun, but that’s all it is, a single panel moment of freedom after being enslaved for the bulk of the series. That’s the frustrating part. Heck, Captain Carrot got three panels of looking like a badass. Elation upon seeing virtually every Superman published by DC amongst the representatives of many worlds, including Majestic, Apollo, and old school Billy Batson Captain Marvel was felt. And while the jumping back and forth was somewhat confusing, it did lead to an overall excitement about events that individually weren’t all that exciting.
The two big final showdowns, Superman vs. Darkseid and Nix Uotan and his Super-Army vs. Mandrakk the rebel vampire Monitor were both virtually non-existent. Superman got upstaged by the Flashes in a sequence conveniently setting up both Flash: Rebirth and issue #1, and the big showdown that all these Supermen were gathered together for was ended by a single bolt of Green Light.
The story of the Monitors was put nicely to bed, somewhat literally. Perhaps the best line of the entire series came in describing Superman’s wish at the God Machine: “He’s Superman. He wished only the best for all of us.” Once again, Morrison shows his ability to distill Superman to his truest essence. The final page answers that two-week old question everyone was asking about Batman quite definitively, and does offer up some questions of its own, leaving me wondering what happens next. Ultimately, that’s exactly what a publisher wants from a comic book.
Adding somewhat to the disjointed feeling of the book, unfortunately, was the legion of inkers. If ever you questioned the importance of a good inker, it can be seen here. While Mahnke’s art is more than competent throughout the issue, there are scenes that hold such a stop-motion quality rather than showing any real action, sometimes right next to a beautiful sequence. Even the same character came out looking drastically different at multiple points in the book, an obvious product of the book being pushed to completion a little faster than any art team would’ve liked. Luckily, the focus was placed on the moments that can be called “iconic” leaving the best pictures for the best events in the issue.
As an individual issue, this held up to and even surpassed much of what the rest of the series had yet achieved. It will not drastically change the view of anyone; it clearly belonged right alongside issues 1-6. While some was anti-climactic, there were some great moments and just enough setup for the future to prove while this was the Final Crisis, it’s far from the Final battle the heroes of the DCU will face.