Crisis? What Crisis? Propaganda is underwhelmed by Final Crisis #1

Published On July 18, 2008 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Reviews

Final Crisis #1

by Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones.

Final Crisis 1.jpg

The problem with these huge crossover events, aside from them effectively being bloody awful and spoiling any hope of a continuing series being in any way entertaining or interesting for anything other than short bursts before the next reboot or crossover special event (Ooops, that’s given the game away – not a big fan of the whole mega crossover thing then Richard?).

Okay, start again…. Like I was saying, the problem with these huge crossover events is that every year we have this stupid competition between Marvel and DC as to who has the bigger series. And each year it seems that the actual story seems less and less important and the ideas less and less accessible to the audience.

Which brings me to Final Crisis #1. (You can see where I’m going with this one I’m sure).

A while ago I read the first issue of Marvel’s big summer blockbuster thingy; Secret Invasion #1 and although it was by no means the greatest comic I’ll ever read, at least I had some basic understanding of the story. This is down to a really, really simple concept: Shape-shifting alien Skrulls infiltrate Marvel Universe and a big investigation / soap opera / fight breaks out.

But try saying that when describing Final Crisis.

Luckily, from a lifetime in comics and doing a little reading around the subject with a couple of Final Crisis annotation blogs I found, I know that the caveman at the start talking to Metron of the New Gods is Anthro, the other early caveman with the black hair is Vandall Savage (Immortal Flash villain). Then across the following pages there’s a dead New God, Green Lanterns, the Question, a completely throwaway death of the Martian Manhunter, Darkseid & something to do with the Monitors and the Multiverse.

But by this stage I was just past caring.

Because although this comic looks absolutely lovely thanks to the ever dependable J.G.Jones on art and those lovely covers, I think Grant Morrison has lost the ability to do that first issue thing where it should be all about teasing a little and giving a lot? Sadly Final Crisis is all complicated setup and little else. Tease, tease and more tease. I can remember his first New X-Men issue where, with just 22 pages he managed to completely and utterly rewrite the rules of the book and hook old and new readers alike.

Now I have to temper it slightly by saying that a second and third reading just whilst writing this does yield a lot more, especially when reading the annotations at the same time. But surely the very existence of annotations blogs for a summer blockbuster superhero event crossover thing should tell us everything we need to know?

I suppose that in the end, me not wanting to read it isn’t necessarily a problem. But making it so impenetrable that anyone not totally up to speed with the goings on in the DC Universe would just reject it out of hand – surely that’s a problem? Because right now DC needs to get some new readers for their comics. And sadly there’s no way Final Crisis is anything other than a comic for those of you writing the annotations blogs rather than those of us reading them.

Richard Bruton wants to really love a Grant Morrison comic again with the passion (and near obsessional behaviour) he exhibited over The Invisibles. Until that happens he’ll be sat in a dark corner clutching his copies of Zenith, Doom Patrol and Animal Man to his chest whilst rocking back and forth, back and forth, back and forth…..

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About The Author

Richard Bruton

– Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he’s written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard’s day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children’s graphic novel library in the country.

2 Responses to Crisis? What Crisis? Propaganda is underwhelmed by Final Crisis #1

  1. Lew Stringer says:

    I agree. I gave up on DC comics a couple years ago because of their increasing navel gazing. (I thought the previous Crisis series was supposed to simplify the universe, but if anything it became more convoluted.) I bought Final Crisis 1 because I thought this would be accessible to the general audience but issue one left me confused and underwhelmed. Will pass on future issues and the numerous spin-offs.

  2. Matt Badham says:

    When comics are like homework something has gone wrong.