Pick of the Week

June 25, 2008 – Final Crisis #2

What did the
iFanboy
community think?

649
Pulls
Avg Rating: 4.2
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 56.4%
 
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Size: pages
Price: 3.99

This book had me from the very beginning. Starting with the cover and Barry Allen’s piercing blue eyes that looked deep into my soul, it had me.

With the first issue of Final Crisis, this summer’s DC Universe shaking event from Grant Morrison and — for now — J.G. Jones, I wasn’t sure what we were going to get. In typical Morrison fashion, there were a lot of seeds that were sown but none had really sprouted yet. It was too early — Morrison doesn’t usually show his hand in the first issue. He tends more towards to the slow build, with clues and plot slowly unfolding until you get to the end and you see what the scene in the first issue that at the time made no sense really meant and why it was important. That happens most of the time, anyway. Sometimes it never makes sense, but such is the risk with Grant Morrison. Either way, it’s always exciting.

Final Crisis #2, we’re starting to get more of an idea about what it is that is going on here. It is clear now that the New Gods have fallen. Darkseid won the war against the forces of good and as a result, all of the New Gods find themselves living on Earth in human form, some knowing, most not. As those who know that they are New Gods attempt to awaken those who don’t, Libra — the mysterious villain who murdered J’onn J’onzz in the last issue — continues to exert his influence over the super villains of the DCU by showing just how easily he can get to the members of the Justice League. We also get hints that Libra, for all his ability, is not the ultimate power behind all of this (is it Darkseid?), and that Darkseid’s influence extends into all corners of the universe, even into the Alpha Lanterns. By the end of this issue, one more Justice Leaguer has been hurt by Libra (though not directly and not physically), and two more have been taken out of the picture by one of Darkseid’s minions.

And all of that is before the big last page in which Barry Allen returns in a very dramatic way.

I really liked Final Crisis #1, but with this, the second issue, I’m absolutely loving it. The story feels big. It feels important. There is a definite sense of scope and danger here that I find palpable. I love the pace of the story so far — the creeping sense of dread knowing that bad shit is going down, but knowing where it is originating from and why. The villain could literally be anywhere and anyone and because of that I never feel comfortable or safe when I’m reading this book. Something bad could happen at any moment.

The funny thing about DC events is that they are always tagged with being too big and too cosmic and too “out there” for most people. Here we have a Crisis that is occurring — with the exception of a quick funeral on Mars — pretty much exclusively here on the ground on Earth. This is the most grounded a DC event has been in a long time. Literally. It feels big and important precisely because it’s small and focused. Now that I think about it, Final Crisis feels much more like Identity Crisis than Infinite Crisis.

There are so many great Morrison touches in this issue that it’s difficult to process them all. There was a lot happening in this book! The beginning of the issue takes place amongst the Japanese superhero culture which is very much like the one seen in Kingdom Come – new, young heroes who are bored with life and are heroes simply to appear cool. It’s a really fun sequence whose highlight was an almost throwaway line about Japanese superheroes being renowned for their monster fighting.

I wish J.G. Jones drew everything. And I mean everything – newspaper circulars, the doodles I make while I’m on the phone, graffiti. Everything. I love that the characters look like they have a weight to them and that they look like they are actually wearing their costumes, as opposed to having them just painted on their overly-muscled bodies. It’s a damn shame that he’s not going to be able to finish this project out because the visual look of this particular book and the world it creates is so purely J.G. Jones right now – I can’t imagine it feeling the same when Pacheco takes over. It’s something I’m trying not to think about right now.

Conor Kilpatrick
I’m running!
conor@ifanboy.com

Comments

  1. I’m reading Morrison and Jone’s Marvel Boy right now because I love Final Crisis so much.

    Jones’ artwork in this book is right up there with what Gibbons did on Watchmen. There’s simply not a single panel or detail that isn’t less quality than any other. His consistency as an artist is unparralelled today (maybe Lark) 

     

    Also, Pacheco isn’t taking over Conor! I’d die if that was the case! 😉 Hopefully we’ll get a pretty even split. 

  2. The artwork is fantastic.

    I enjoyed this issue but I didn’t totally love it.  I’m still relatively new to DC and was confused for a good part of the book.  Was it just me? 

  3. @leland222

    I get the feeling that this is a book that needs to read at a much more deliberate pace to really get it.

  4. As with most DC events — most DC books, for that matter — I have no desire to pick this up as it’s coming out, but I’ll likely go back and check it out after it’s done.  I’m glad to see people are enjoying it, anyway (and I guessed this would be Conor’s pick; no prizes for that guess, I suppose). 

    I’m still only about halfway through a very large stack, and am pleased so far.  Every week should be a Brubaker-Fraction-Ellis week, with some ‘First Class’ books thrown in.  And, hey, ‘Runaways’ exists!

  5. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Good answer, good answer!

    This book is really a great bang for your buck.  Incredibly thoughtful and substantial.  There’s a lot of material in here, but nothing feels rushed.  Just a solid, solid book.  And even if it has a steep learning curve, I think it makes you want to investigate all the threads and not just feel obligated to do so.  

    Superman and BPRD: The Ectoplasmic Man are my runners up.  

  6. this book is so much better than #1, but still isn’t very fun or enjoyable. 

    i just feel like im always confused by what’s going on. and i dont really get it until i read all the articles and interviews that get published the following week.

    dcu #0 totally made me feel nothing when i got to the last page.

    art is great, but the storytelling is very very confusing. 

  7. It sure was better than the first one. I’m enjoying Final Crisis a lot… But up until now, it feels more like a big-scope Justice League story than a Crisis.

    My POW would probably be Young Avengers Presents Hawkeye. I bought it solely for Alan Davis art, but was very surprised by how much I liked it.

    I was very disappointed in Superman, though. Had the highest expectations possible, but it just wasn’t exciting. I can’t believe Robinson’s first threat to Supes is a STRONG GUY. 🙁

  8. @alexferrer  That might be the best Young Avengers story I’ve read, and I’m not excluding the original series.  So nice to see Clint Barton, too.

  9. Definitely better than the first one but I’m still pretty confused being a DC noob. Who are the new gods and what happened to them? It seems like that’s pretty important in order to get this story and I’m clueless on it.

  10. Wow this weeks pick certainly didn’t take long!!!

     

    Jovian Lab

  11. Final Crisis got me reading Morrison’s Seven Soldiers. I think if I had read that series in issues I would have dropped it–due to being totally confused by the Morrison weirdness…but in a trade…it builds. So far Final Crisis is just more interesting to me than Secret Invasion, which at this point, has me really annoyed.

  12. I’m not even sure that I totally understand what is going on here but … they had me at Time Bullets. 

  13. I read this issue at lunch today. One sloppy sandwich in one hand and this issue being flipped by the other. Seeing and knowing that it was Barry on the cover, there was just no way that I was going to wait till the end of the day to find out.

    Wow! This issue took it up a few notches. No doubt about that. I don’t know about all of your copies, but the "a" word being fully used in an event issue is a pretty interesting in itself. Did editorial mean to "bleep" out most of it, but missed it? I don’t know. I don’t really care. Now that is how you use a toilet seat! Grant really nailed it with moments like this one. I’m really psyched for the next issue!

  14. Loved it. The last panel gave me goosebumps.

  15. I can geek out about Barry Allen as much as the next guy, and I hate to be overly negative, but for me, there’s still alot missing here that makes it seem much less than previous crisises(?). I think what is most lacking is the sense of depth or heart (due to the quick temporary dispatching of J’onn Jonzz)/extreme dread that should be present but BECAUSE it is so disconnected from the buildup we were told was happening, it just feels kind of empty. Carrying over from issue one where the League and the Corps seem to be discovering the New Gods for the first time. That’s just a disconnect too big to ignore (and I’m usually willing to give continuity a leeway you could drive a truck through). And then there’s what follows. It’s hard to believe Lois or J’onn or Hal or Batman or ANYONE is in actual peril, given what we know (or expect) is coming next in their respective books. Also, pound for pound, though Jones is an excellent artist, these pages feel kind of empty to me compared to Perez’s work. And as much as people like to dump on ID Crisis, at least things seemed to happen/evolve from issue to issue.

    Nice Flash cover though. I’m sure it’ll all come together with the eventual Libra revalation. Maybe.

     Grumpy.

  16. It’s great news to see that, after the piling on that the last issue got, this one is bringing the heat and bringing smiles to the faces.

    If I had to pick my top three of the week, I couldn’t do it. Embarrassment of riches. I will say that our own Paul Montgomery recommended BPRD, which I would not have otherwise bought, and that was the pleasant surprise of the week.

  17. As the Ifanboy page loaded I crossed my fingers and said…Please let Final Crisis be the pick… seconds later:

    Yeah!!!!

    I certainly felt worried about Wally and Jay all alone on that clubhouse…Like Conor wrote…there’s a sense of threat all over that only batman knows about.

     The best line…. WE PRAY FOR A RESURRECTION!!!

     

  18. This series is obviously a love tribute, and a semi-ressurection of the New Gods. I know we had an event with the New Gods, but it just seems like Morrison wants to bring them back into the light in a big way,

    This issue was much more coherent and had greater moments then the last issue. But that doesnt mean I didnt like the first issue, I liked it. But this issue had more ‘holy shit’ moment and less brain puzzlers then the last. My only question is; how the hell is Khamandi with Granny Goodness?

  19. @ThomasKaters – Batman bitched about voting in Final Crisis. I think you might be right about him…

     Also, I would absolutely wear a "Robin" messenger bag as was shown in the first panel.

  20. Conor, I don’t envy you having to the pick this week. I’m not sure I could choose. There were so many great books this week. Cap, Green Lantern, Fantastic Four, Thor, Marvel 1985, Superman, hell even all the Secret Invasion tie-ins. Final Crisis kicked ass, but so much ass was kicked this week, it’s hard to keep track. Can’t wait for the show. I hope it’s extra long.

  21. Hm. Yeah, FC#2 might be my POW. Very dense and thoughtful. Morrison asks a lot of his readers. Even though I enjoy the dark & creepy vibe of the book and its sense of velocity (oh man, think on that for a moment)- I’m still not sure I get it all. But such is the joy of a Morrison penned book. Unraveling the mystery is part of the fun. I want to understand it all.

    The duality of the first and last page is genius. I wonder if all the FC books will open and close with scene that mirror each other thematically. High minded superhero comics.

  22. FC#2 was very good, but only about the 8th best book I read this week.  All three Fraction books were GREAT– Iron Fist (best last page I read this week), Thor, and especially Young Avengers Presents Hawkeye, which would probably have been my POW.  Then, both New and Mighty Avengers were terrific, as was Captain America and Green Lantern.  Shoot, Fantastic Four (great scene with Valeria) and Daredevil (suddenly a fun book to read!) were also amazing.  

    I’d say FC #2 made my top 10 this week— but with 10 books that good, that’s actually a high compliment.

    Meanwhile, my stack also featured issues from three of the worst ongoings that I’m aware of right now– Ultimates 3 (awful, awful, awful), Hulk (is this really supposed to be taking place in the same universe as World War Hulk?) and Trinity (just… not good).

    And, Superman was a bit disappointing, I must say.  That just didn’t sound like Supes at all.

     But overall, this was the strongest week of books I can remember in a long time.

  23. Barry Allen as the Flash chasing a Time Bullet with some menacing looking figure with huge sharp blades right behind him as Jay and Wally – also in their respective Flash costumes – look on stunned, drawn by JG Jones.

    I had to change my underwear. 

  24. I’m very confused…

    I guess my opinion is that long term dc fans will love this book, but casual/newer dc fans like me will be a bit lost.  i only know barry allen from crisis on infinite earths, so just seeing him didn’t make me excited.  There are sooooo many plot lines going on in this book, it is hard to follow at times.  i am not sure why in a 7 issue mini morrison feels the need to bring in so many different things.  i mean why did he feel this need to bring in all of the heros from japan?  

    i thought the detective (turpin?) met darkseid in human form last issue – i get that he lost his memory somehow because he is still looking for the children, but then the guy he met in bludhaven said the had a new body for kalibak – his son?  isn’t that darseid’s son?  

    i will have to read it a couple more times i guess – i have read it 2xs already and still very confused… 

  25. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @Jimski – Glad you liked BPRD!  There’s more of that kind of fun to be had in the regular series.  Highly recomemnded. 

  26. Boooo. Boo this man. I put this down last night and said, with all of the Secret Invasion stuff coming out this week, which I haven’t yet read, there has got to be a better book than this. Hell, Hulk #4 was better than this… hell, the one-kiddie comic in the back of Hulk #4 was better than this. I read Huntress #2 which is a couple months old after I killed off Final Crisis last night and was more fulfilled. Conor, I’m inclined to believe you made this pick only because Barry Allen reappears for his…what?…ninth or tenth stunning reappearance in the twenty years since he’s been "dead"? That one page didn’t do it for me. 

     I am usually exclusively DC, but I feel like this book leaves people who aren’t fourth world fanatics out in the cold. And let’s face it, there’s not really that much of a draw to the fourth world. It’s rooted in, what, Jimmy Olsen adventures? Come on. Can anyone explain the "bullet backwards through time" riff? 

     I like what they’re doing with Libra, but the pacing, and the scenes selected in which he is featured are getting redundant. Since Justice League 20-something when he showed up, he’s been standing in front of a board room. Let’s get this guy some action. 

     What disappoints me most about this maxi-mini-whatever, is that I think Grant Morrison is taking advantage of his prominence in this project to sell more of his past stuff. The Mr. Miracle mini was two years ago, and I bought that, and I could hardly get through it! Did people read that? Would anyone remember it? Did people read 7 Soldiers? I think they’re still sitting on my store’s old/new rack, never to even be reviewed by potential purchasers. It’s like assuming people are reading Birds of Prey…and who reads Birds of Prey?! I’m sorry, but I liked Infinite Crisis better. I’d take Geoff John’s innovative and straight-forward writing style over Morrison’s self-indulgent, drug-addled, existentialist nonsense any day. 

  27. I loved this, as well. Yes, it’s pretty dense and it’s unclear what exactly is going on, but that’s why I love it! As Conor mentions, a sense of dread and doom hangs over the whole thing and makes me genuinely concerned about the characters. Like #1, I plan on re-reading this to let it soak in some more…some people will be turned off by how multi-layered this story is, but for me it’s exactly why I love it. When it comes down to it, if you like Grant Morrison’s style (like me), you’ll like it, if you hate everything he’s ever written, you probably won’t like it.

  28. I really dug this book a lot.  I think Bendis needs to take note:  this is how event books should move!  There’s a definite velocity to this story and an impending sense of dread.  As I read it, I felt uncomfortable because Morrison is penning this much like Bru has with Captain America.  You just want to grab the heroes and tell them what’s going on because you know that they’re about to get fucked.  Captain America is the same way.  You just want to spoil it for the heroes. 

    And that panel with Superman as Lois hand protrudes from the rubble…I thought about this week’s issue of Superman, and suddenly felt so bad for him.  Libra is a stone cold mofo.

    Nice pick this week Conor.  It’s an awesome ride.

  29. This was a good issue, but it still felt like set up. Hopefully next issue will be all action.

    and the first thing I thought of when I saw the front page "Time Bullets!" thing was: "How bout the power to kill a Yak, from 200 yards away, WITH MIND BULLETS" 

  30. @Titanesque – Nah, I liked the last page a lot, but even without it this book blew everything else away this week.  And I read every issue of SEVEN SOLDIERS,  And I read BIRDS OF PREY.

  31. @ titanesque – one man’s "self-indulgent, drug-addled, existentialist nonsense" is another man’s genius writing. i LOVE that morrison makes me work, doesn’t write down to me, doesn’t treat me like a child reading my books. the demand is on ME to make connections, to discern meanings, and to put the pieces together – he doesn’t do it for me. and it makes for an extremely stimulating, challenging, and ultimately enjoyable reading experience. i had it in 7 soldiers, and it looks as grant is leaning towards it again.

    i’m terribly thankful that there is at least ONE writer in mainstream superhero books who does this. don’t get me wrong, i love johns and bendis and the rest too, but nobody pushes superhero books to new levels like grant does.

  32. This was a big mistake as book of the week. Final Crisis # 2 didn’t even belong on the same shelf as Iron Fist # 16. The clear story telling of Fraction over Morrison and the incredible page layout of Aja over Jones. Add to that a great climax and charcter development. Iron Fist was light years ahead of any book put out by DC this week the only book that even came close from marvel was Mythos Captain America. Iron Fist # 16 was a book you could take down and give to anyone and they would say that was a great read whereas Final Crisis requires a four year degree in DCU with a minor in confusing story telling. You missed the mark this week Conor!

  33. @MrGlass – But you’re a villain, what you say cannot be trusted!

  34. I think enjoyed this… Not quite sure what happened…Will need to read it again…

  35. "you could give it to anyone and they’d get it" is not inherently good or bad. it’s nice, but just because something’s not for everyone or not simple doesn’t mean it isn’t also great.

  36. After Rereading both issue 1 and 2 of Final Crisis and Flash Vol.1 #123 . Something occurred  to me, In Flash #123 pop up boxes that depicted events that took places in other issue’s or title’s. So if you didn’t understand what what referenced in a panel it would point you in the right direction. I even remember seeing them in Superman in the 90’s. It made me ask the question. Has Wikipedia made creators stop caring about putting these details in book’s anymore?

  37. Maybe it’s the Marvel Zombie in me rearing it’s ugly head, but I’d probably go with A New Avengers/Mighty Avengers "Co-pick of the week" personally.  I mean halfway through New Avengers I said to myself "I’ve read these panels before" and it didn’t make me angry, a) because it saved me the trouble of digging the issues out and b) because it showed how Bendis really HAS been planning this whole thing for a while.  I mean making House of M meaningful again?  I suppose I should have expected it.  Anyhow, just the connections finally being made was very satisfying.

    That said, I can understand Final Crisis as the pick, the image of Batman shouting before having a helmet with needles in it slammed over his head was so arresting ( I’m surprised noones mentioned it.) but, too me, it feels so much like the Filth in tone, like I’ve read it before…but I haven’t, weird eh?

  38. Fantastic issue – after reading the Kirby Omnibus I was glad to see Sunny Sumo show up.  And does anyone else but me remember Rising Sun from the first appearance of the Global Guardians way back in the original SuperFriends comic?

  39. NJ–loved the Global Guardians in Super Friends–Green Flame/Fire shooing fire out of her noce was awesome .

    I really liked this issue–definitely my pick of the week. Is that Black Racer chasing Barry?

    And, like Conor, I read Birds (really strong book, I think) and loved all of 7 Soldiers!

  40. nose–not noce–sorry, that’s the beer typing….

  41. I often think of barry’s piecring blue eyes also…sigh

  42. I’m right there with you on this one Conor. I take it that this issue silenced all the naysayers because, damn, did things happen in this comic. I hear some people are still confused by it but I can’t imagine why. It was nicely dense but I think the events were all pretty well laid out in this issue.

  43. This issue was well written (as was issue #1) and the art was amazing.  With that said, it wasn’t a fun read, and I find it hard to think of this as being the final installment in the DC "Crisis" franchise.  This story has NOTHING in common with CoIE and IC.  It’s heavy, and totally obscure in the story that’s being delivered.  I can’t imagine it hooking very many new readers, and it isn’t igniting my interest in the broader DC Universe because it’s so different in tone (and in many cases continuity) from the other DC comics being published monthly.  If it were an isolated mini-series it might "feel" better to me, because I’m really struggling to imagine this as the latest reset to the DCU.  More specifically, I have little to no interest in reading about these concepts beyond this limited-issue-series, so the idea that some of these concepts may pervade ongoing DC continuity is a real turn off for me.  So while this is a great job by Morrison and Jones in telling a story, I think it’s a lousy job by Didio and the editorial staff in delivering a welcoming and fun-to-read event, and in ultimately advancng the overall DC comic line.

  44. Morrisson has some balls. He’s not kidding when he says he puts all his ideas out there. There are enough ideas in this book to fill 3 or 4 titles and you’d think jamming them all into 1 story would be a disaster and yet it works. Batman muttering "Superman, Superman"? THat’s a line that only Morrison could pull off that well. SO much there in those two words. I’m starting to realize that Morrisson was the missing piece from COuntdown, the big idea guy that made 52 so ridiculously fun to watch. Like a stunt show where it seems certain that something is going to go horribly wrong because it’s al too outlandish to work, but Morrison has pulled it off before, and I’m starting to believe he’ll do it again.

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