A Slice of Fried Gold

That's it? Seriously?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Batman and Darkseid plotting each other's demise

Grant Morrison, what is your status?

If you care to read Final Crisis, DC's current mega event, at some point in the future, you probably shouldn't read this. However, you should read this part here: don't read the damn thing.

I think I keep trying to convince myself that I really like it. It is entertaining, and conceptually, it's pretty spectacular. Darkseid and his fellow "new" New Gods take over the Earth as part of the transition into the fifth world, using the anti-life equation which has been spread throughout the Earth submitting the human race to Darkseid's will. Most heroes goes down in the first salvo, Batman is taken out after Batman R.I.P., Superman is in the future, and Wonder Woman has been brainwashed by the anti-life. What are the heroes to do? How can they save New Earth?

Yet, this is not the sum of all of its parts. It's Morrison at his most byzantine, it's rushed JG Jones art (plus middling Carlos Pacheco work over the rest of it), and the 2 page plot beats for seemingly massively important sections. When he does give a topic more than that, it's on the most random things, like two people sized cats fighting each other (okay, oversimplifying an actually pretty sweet fight between Tawky Tawny and Kalibak, but still).

Then, after not appearing for four issues, Batman shows up randomly, all of a sudden free after being captured by Darkseid's confederates. Of course, much posturing proceeds, Batman takes out a gun (even Morrison references the fact that he never uses guns) with a bullet that was used to kill Orion in the first issue (it can do that because it's full of radion...you know those New Gods, they're so silly), points it at Darkseid (who responds by Omega Sanctioning all up in Bats business), and then they kill each other by radion bullet and bendy eye beams respectively.

This all takes place over three pages.

So a fight between cat people gets two more pages than the death of the main villain of the story (possibly) and the most popular character in the DC universe. Of course due to the fact the Omega Sanction is actually something that puts the person into an endless loop of alternative realities that continuously suck worse than the previous one, it probably means Batman will get out (especially considering Mister Miracle did in another Morrison written book).

No less, the point isn't that Batman died. It's that he died in a 3 page section of an issue that cycled through plot elements as fast as I jump through channels while nothing is on (which makes sense as Morrison himself calls this "channel zapping comics."), it's that the entire series is disjointed, frantic, and all over the place, it's that the art is mediocre (besides Doug Mahnke's stellar final five pages - thank god he's drawing issue seven!), it's really a combination of everything.

While I really dug issue 4 and have overall found the series entertaining, it's just too much of the side of Morrison that people do not like. People applaud him for "challenging" the way comic book publishers write these vents, but come on now. Being different isn't always great. This issue is the perfect example of why it isn't.

Check here at the Daily Skew for a nice breakdown of issue #6. I'm glad to see public opinion is turning against Morrison in this regard. It's about damn time!


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