May
7

Crisis Deconstruction Alpha: Code 1011

Posted by on Wednesday, May 7th, 2008 at 12:56:25 PM

The first lettered preview of Final Crisis is up at Entertainment Weekly, which clearly has had a new editor promoted who’s a comics nerd, considering the recent coverage of Secret Invasion, Spider-Man: New Ways to Die and now this.

It’s five pages, from the middle of the comic – it’s known the book starts off with Anthro, for one thing, and Morrison’s script for the first page describes a transition at the beginning. EW says the title of the first issue is “DOA: The God of War”, which certainly fits with the events of this preview.

PAGE ONE:

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“Terrible” Dan Turpin Don’t Got No Time For Super-Yahoos

The narrator here is “Terrible” Dan Turpin, a Metropolis police detective used in the the original Fourth World Saga by Jack Kirby who later had a long run as a supporting police character in the Superman books in the late ’80s and ’90s. In the original Kirby books, the war between the Gods was reflected in the war between men on the streets of Metropolis, especially that of the police (represented at that point by Turpin) and Darkseid’s Earthly crime syndicate Intergang, led by 52 antagonist Bruno “Ugly” Mannheim (named so because he is pretty goddamn ugly).

Turpin’s narration in the first panel is mysterious; it may make more sense in the context of the larger book, exactly what the “good idea” is that humans have used to kill themselves. Either way, this is a sentiment that will surely play a larger role in the book, and perhaps be an argument in favor of Anti-Life and man submitting his will to the Evil Gods.

Second panel, he opens up a shipping crate filled with cheap Chinese (this is mentioned in the script; I assume their point of origin is important) toy alien rayguns, strewn around the collapsed body of Orion, heir to Darkseid, presumably fresh off the nailbiting “ending” of Countdown to Final Crisis where he committed some old-school divine patricide in downtown Metropolis and then fucked off with nobody stopping him. It was weird. This panel is especially good symbolism, with a god dying surrounded by the commonality of the human attempts to emulate him. Turpin remarks he’s been searching for three weeks for six bright, gifted kids who have gone missing, which can’t be throwaway – perhaps they’re the Young Gods of New Genesis, or the Forever People? Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle, and a line from Orion later on, clearly implicate that the ‘dead’ New Gods reside in humans.

The third panel is classic Turpin – the guy who’d stand in the middle of Kalibak and Orion beating the shit out of each other and tell those super-yahoos to knock it off, staring at the dead body of Orion and calling him a “super muk muk in the garbage.”

PAGE TWO:
Turpin reaches out to touch Orion, but his hand is burned. Orion rises, smoke trailing off his back – from what? He was out cold two panels ago. Did the fight that left him this way occur in China, and Orion’s body has gone this far? Or is it more recent, and he’s still burning? Or did Turpin’s touch awaken him in some way?

Orion Fights For Earth!

Orion Fights For Earth!

Orion’s first words, that Heaven is cracked and broken, refer to the events, of course, of Jim Starlin’s Death of the New Gods miniseries. I’m starting to have a feeling that the exact circumstances of that series are going to be kept very vague during this story, though; Morrison mentioned in a Comics Foundry interview that he wanted the New Gods off the table until Final Crisis, and that they were instead passed around the DC offices “like Hepatitis B.” I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that we were just supposed to get the Fourth World stuff teased for a while (like what we saw in 52 with Devilance and Intergang) until FC starts with Orion down for the count in a shocking manner reminiscent of Juggernaut’s trip at the beginning of Onslaught. Except, you know, Grant probably knows who fucked up Orion.

Orion grabs Turpin by the collar and says “THEY DID NOT DIE! He is in you ALL…”, referring, of course, to the “dead” New Gods and the fact that they, as well as Darkseid, now lie within humanity – a fact teased in 2005 in Morrison’s Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle series. This is probably the one book to go back and read to get this story, as its protagonist, Shilo Norman, was being “prepared” for evil winning the war in Heaven and entreatied at the end by Metron to free the Gods when the time came (which is clearly now).

The final panel, where he dies, contains his last plea (and the only word balloon that isn’t hugely oversized), “Fight” – a plea to humanity to fight the Evil Gods when they come. He’s still smoking as Turpin turns away, and the camera turns to show the Black Racer – significantly redesigned, unlike Orion, suggesting he’s part of the Fifth World – looming in the background as Orion dies, as well as red skies on the horizon. The Black Racer’s soul was taken by Infinity-Man in Death of the New Gods #1, but he seems to have gotten better, whether it be by natural hands or Darkseid’s.

The red skies that come in the next few pages were shown over the course of Countdown to be dimensional barriers breaking down and the Bleed seeping through – how does this relate to Orion’s death? With the Fourth World’s fall, does the Source Wall go too, or whatever else was keeping the Bleed from invading the DC Universe considering the Source Wall blew up in DONG #7?

PAGE THREE:
The focus shifts, as the script shows, to Manhattan – which Morrison’s script points out is in the DC Universe’s New York that Morrison fleshed out in Seven Soldiers, complete with planned but (in our world) unfinished architectural projects – to Detroit (a fact I hope is made clearer in the final lettered copy), showing that Crisis weather is in effect all across the eastern seaboard. John Stewart, Earth and Sector 2814’s second Green Lantern and partner to Green Lantern star Hal Jordan, is an architect who lives in Detroit. Naturally, he gets the message about Orion’s death and, like a good space cop, goes to investigate. The death is mentioned as a “Code 1011”, which could be either an extraterrestrial murder or a special case for good old-fashioned deicide. Jordan uses his ring’s light, as shown, to suit up.

PAGE FOUR:
The red skies have hit Metropolis now, and the Black Racer is still looming over both Turpin and the prone corpse of Orion. Turpin, usually the face of human irreverence in any cosmic situation, starts to feel overwhelmed and hands the scene over to “the space cops”, represented by Green Lantern John Stewart – even Turpin is recognizing the gravity of this event. Stewart takes over the crime scene and asks his ring for Hal Jordan, who is apparently indisposed; it’s unclear if this is due to events in his own series or, more likely, he’s being occupied elsewhere in Final Crisis considering his picture adorns the first issue’s cover.

PAGE FIVE:

Answer the Question

Answer the Question

Crisis weather is still in full effect; I’m willing to bet WGBS has a special meteorological classification for this (“crazy divine shit will go down for the next week; do not be surprised if it starts raining bunnies”). Turpin meets with the Question, Renee Montoya, on a bridge, in classic private-eye clandestine-meeting style. Montoya’s last in-continuity appearance was in Greg Rucka’s Crime Bible: The Five Lessons of Blood, where she was manipulated into becoming the leader of the Dark Faith/Religion of Crime, an organization that worships Darkseid – and whose word is being spread by Libra to the supervillains of the DC Universe, as shown in DC Universe #0.

It seems that Renee has been the person feeding Turpin leads and working with him; it’s as yet unclear how she went from running the Dark Faith to using Turpin to try to track down six missing children – the two roles are certainly related. Turpin obviously hasn’t been working with her for too long, or isn’t too familiar with her; he’s not aware of the circumstances of Vic Sage’s death or her ascension into the role (detailed in 52).

This preview still has a lot of continuity references, but in the end, it’s a HELL of a lot more accessible than DC Universe #0 was, and gives me a lot more hope that this event will live up to its promise.

So, what did y’all think? Any corrections?

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