Funnybook Babylon

January 14, 2009

Final Crisis #6 – “How to Murder the Earth”

They used the title! Yay!

Final Crisis #6

Final Crisis #6

Reaction to this issue:
Oh Shit!

Page 1: I guess Brainy’s dialog indicates that Legion of Three Worlds takes place after Superman Beyond, and that Superman goes home from that in this issue. Which is confusing for a number of reasons, not least being that Superman was supposedly flying around Metropolis with clear blue skies before he was yanked into the future, but eh. As for the Final Machine, I guess Granny *was* right in #5 when she asked if the battery was the ultimate technology Metron pointed humanity towards.

Page 2: I guess Superman had some kind of selective mindwipe, since he was standing over the Inertron cube when the Miracle Machine was locked away back in Adventure Comics #367, but hey, whatever. Douglas Wolk has an extensive history of the machine in continuity over at his annotations.

Page 3: Of course, the ultimate technology looks like Metron’s sigil – I assume Superman only has to look to memorize that pattern? It’s never been called “Geh-Jedollah-The-Absolute” before, although an anonymous commenter at Wolk’s previously linked site came up with an interesting theory. Superman fading assumedly means he’s returning to the 21st century, unless this takes place between the pages of Superman Beyond or something. We’ll find out next week.

Page 4: Picking up from where we left them in #4, Black Canary and the remnants of the Justice League are hanging with Tattooed Man on the Satellite. T-Man’s personal epiphany is, of course, detailed back in Submit.

Page 5: Ray, Joan, Linda and the kids. Justifiers in TIE fighters, which is a great touch – since Darth Vader was so inspired by Darkseid and Justifiers are his stormtroopers… I wonder if the joke is on Rudy or Morrison’s part.

Pages 6-7: JG Jones drawing some great action, not much to comment on here. Nice to see Wildcat remarking on how obnoxious Liberty Belle and Hourman can get in battle, and Morrison is definitely a master of onomatopoeia. (“Yukk!” “GURRG!”)

Page 8: I wonder what’s going to happen to the Old Gods when this is all done? I guess “Desaad” was Mary’s blasphemous new name, and that was how he gained possession; I’ve enjoyed how all of the Evil Gods have come in these various and bizarre forms, like Granny as an Alpha Lantern and Desaad as a word of blasphemy. I guess we’ll never see those Evil Gods in the Sketchbook, either.

Page 9: “Kukk!” “Gtt!” Freddie begins to re-formulate the plan they used to take down Black Adam at the end of 52.

Page 12: Not much to comment here or on the last two pages other than that this is a pretty spectacular fight sequence.

Page 13: Well, at least Darkseid’s equitable about survival for the fittest. Mary seems pretty traumatized by the ordeal, which is understandable. Iman’s dialogue translates to “Something approaches. Like the sound of horses.”

Page 14: Man, is it just me or does Tawny remind anybody else of Cornelius Bear? I think I remarked earlier on how I wondered how the peaceful, honorable tiger civilization of Kamandi would evolve out of Kalibak’s tiger people, and now we know!

Page 15: First off, why the hell is Shilo Norman white? Is this a plot point by now? He’s standing right next to Mr. Terrific, a black dude who looks black. What the Hell is going on? Is it a side effect of the symbol? Does the colorist just think he’s Japanese? Morrison’s interest in “godly alphabets” goes all the way back to his Invisibles work. “Black Gambit” is a new concept which will be introduced shortly.

Pages 16-17: Top is the Justice Society fighting the Female Furies in what remains of Bludhaven. Sonny Sumo apparently jumped from a parallel world, explaining why the Sonny Sumo from the original Fourth World books was able to go back in time and spend the rest of his life there. After the surely deliberately soap opera-ey “I must tell her before we die!” moments, we finally discover Superbat’s true power, which, apparently, is the same as Batman’s.

Page 18: Luckily, Tattooed Man’s tattoo saves him from Anti-Life!

Page 19: The last panel appears to be the Bleed starting to break through. I find it interesting that it’s only around Earth; what does that mean for the rest of the universe? Especially after the events of this week’s Action Comics.

Page 20: As has been established in Justice Society of America, black holes are gateways between universes in the new DC Multiverse, and Morrison seems to be using gravitons as a stand-in for “gravity particles.” Overman won’t be very happy with Checkmate if he ever finds out they’re about to dissect the hell out of his cousin… also, Renee’s comment about the Spectre seems to imply that this takes place after the events of Final Crisis: Revelations.

Page 21: The Black Gambit, the Omega Offensive, was apparently all along to get the hell out of Dodge and resettle on a new universe – a universe run by Brother Eye with a Global Peace Agency, so basically the universe of Jack Kirby’s original OMAC, with an army of Questions as Global Peace Officers. The name “Lord Eye” is a clear reference to Maxwell Lord, villain of The OMAC Project and the guy who originally ganked Brother Eye from Batman. I can’t imagine that brain inside that Renee’s looking at belongs to anybody other than Lord himself.

Page 22: I guess this explains how Calculator supposedly survives for the Oracle miniseries after this; he’s presumably saved after being in this multiple-day state of perpetual dying.

Page 23: As Sivana says, that’s definitely not the last we’ve seen of him. Luthor running the army of Justifiers should be fairly amusing next issue.

Page 24: This confirms that Barry’s ‘death’ in Crisis on Infinite Earths was him just “crossing the superluminal barrier,” which is probably just another term for the Speed Force. Also, confirmation that Black Flash (From Flash #139-141 by Mark Millar and Pop Mhan), the avatar of death for speedsters, is the same as the Black Racer, which probably throws all the different DCU versions of Death into one entity.

Page 25: I guess the Black Racer circled back around after #3 and is about to hit them again, and Barry Allen’s time in the “superliminal” let him know where he’d come back? I’m sure there’ll be more about this in #7.

Page 26: The composition of this page, especially the pattern behind Darkseid, is reminiscent of Shilo Norman entering the Dark Side Club in Seven Soldiers #1. Of course, when Shilo walked in, he offered his life to Dark Side and got shot in the head; here, we see Batman use the Radion bullet as foreshadowed in Batman #683. Darkseid’s comments about his final battle with Orion being “splintered like light through a prism in an infinite number of deaths” not only clears up the insanity with Death of the New Gods and Countdown but also is a nice nod to the Mindless lads and the Prismatic Age.

Page 27: “DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?” Man, fuck you, Darkseid, Batman’s about to give you your “first and last lesson in cosmic realpolitik.” Back in Seven Soldiers: Mister Miracle, Morrison redefined the classic “Omega Effect” as the Omega Sanction, a sort of dimension where you live an endless number of lives, over and over again, reincarnating every time, never able to rejoin with the Source. Mister Miracle escaped from that, so it’s not impossible that Batman could either.

Pages 28-29: Batman R.I.P.

Pages 30-31: Man, Superman’s probably trying to prevent Mandrakk from sucking his dickcheese out or something and all he can hear is Jimmy’s fucking watch, he must want to kill that kid. I guess Lois gets out of the emergency ward okay, too. What’s up with Carter being such a douchebag, and why is this conversation included? Is one of the Hawks going to die this issue or next? I’m not sure what the “root” Alan Scott’s referring to is, unless it’s some generic root of the world tree/magic/whatever crap. Metron’s referring to Mandrakk; Wonder Woman’s metahuman virus from #3 is ravaging the people in the mid-right panel. The Black Gambit is in play, which probably means that Checkmate’s probe has breached the Bleed Wall, and then Wonder Woman gets the classic Superman-shows-up line.

In terms of references to Morrison’s past work, the whole simultaneous armageddon/starting a spacetime machine is similar to the confluence between the 2012 incident and the time machine in The Invisibles. And note all the panels are sort of built as monitors Nix Uotan’s seeing around him, which is pretty great design on Mahnke’s part.

Page 32: Superman’s really, really pissed about something.

Page 33: You wanted a Crisis? HERE’S a Crisis! HERE’S your Red Skies!

Page 34: Yay! They used my favorite title!

32 Comments »

  1. Bloody hell you move fast, David. Expect ours sometime later this week

    Comment by Zom — January 14, 2009 @ 3:21 pm

  2. Nice job!

    Would love to see more specific art credits, but maybe that’ll come in the Absolute Edition. Or not.

    Comment by Richard Pachter — January 14, 2009 @ 4:03 pm

  3. Batman vs Darkseid = King Mob vs King of All Tears at the end of The Invisibles

    Comment by david brothers — January 14, 2009 @ 4:33 pm

  4. oh SHIT how did I miss that

    Comment by David Uzumeri — January 14, 2009 @ 4:52 pm

  5. I love how just like the final crisis title, your annotations begin to break down into basic emotions. Got swept up with the comic there, buddy?

    Comment by Pedro Tejeda — January 14, 2009 @ 6:01 pm

  6. […] FunnyBook babylon critique of final crisis 6 […]

    Pingback by Batman Dead | — January 14, 2009 @ 6:35 pm

  7. I’d love to think the Batman line was inspired by my fair typehand, gosh it flushes me — merely the suggestion, but I posted that after (although most was written before) the DCU#0 comic which has a same-ish line about the Rainbow Lantern Corps, and the post is obviously influenced, illustrated even by that original Mil/Moz Flash run. Thanks though!

    This ish was great, I can’t believe Batman is really dead, amazing last page.

    Comment by Duncan — January 14, 2009 @ 6:48 pm

  8. Good critique. I guess this was the TRUE ending of Batman RIP

    Comment by Eric Garrison — January 14, 2009 @ 7:37 pm

  9. Rethinking the whole Flash sequence – Barry says, “I was sent back from beyond the barrier KNOWING things. I know what I have to do to stop Darkseid this time. And I need your help.” Then he says, “To get to him, we’ll have to run faster than we ever have before.”

    The next page is Batman vs. Darkseid. Batman shoots Darkseid just before the Omega sanction – a purplish-white beam that is just about to hit Batman With a smile, Batman (or so we think) says, “Gotcha” with a smile. We assume he meant – I gotcha, and then he dies. But notice what actually hits Batman – two bright yellow beams of light.

    Did Barry and Wally just pull Batman into the speed force? Was it Barry or Wally that said, “Gotcha.” Is Batman’s absence going to be similar to Wally’s disappearance and return from the speed force? Was Barry brought back to save Batman?

    I know, I know, the body at the end. But we all saw Booster’s body – maybe it’s the black racer.

    I’m not saying this is what happened, but just a few thoughts I had on second reading.

    Comment by waderpants — January 15, 2009 @ 12:16 am

  10. A few more notes up over at http://finalcrisisannotations.blogspot.com/2009/01/final-crisis-6.html now.

    Comment by Douglas — January 15, 2009 @ 1:44 am

  11. […] so that he’s chosen to shoehorn it into this story despite the fact (already pointed out by two out of the three commentators I’ve found who have so far blogged about this issue) that the […]

    Pingback by SmartRemarks » Final Crisis #6: more of the same — January 15, 2009 @ 2:28 am

  12. was this an important bit?

    in the Fifth World Monitor double-spread, Nix Uotan gives us a hint for the Fifth World New Gods.

    it’s not actually New GODS… it’s New HUMANS!

    Comment by Manolis — January 15, 2009 @ 6:57 am

  13. Page 20, last panel: it appears that they were trying to dissect overgirl, but notice the instruments are all bent. Looks like they couldn’t penetrate her skin.

    Comment by Josh Bishop — January 15, 2009 @ 8:33 am

  14. Theory: There was a lot of talk in this issue about abandoning this universe (still nicknamed “New Earth,” I suppose) for another. Morrison is apparently setting up for one or more Kirby worlds: Tawny is about to rule a race of tiger-men, the faceless Montoya has her OMAC team, Kamandi is in the dungeon, the Morticoccus virus (I think) is ravaging the superhero population, and the Fourth World has descended to New Earth (a name that will perhaps reflect “New Genesis”?). My suspicion is that these threads will either all come together in a particular universe, or split off into various universes. Or — and this is my favorite idea — they will all come together on New Earth, and the surviving fraction of New Earth’s population will move to another universe (maybe the empty Earth-51 [per “Superman Beyond” rather than “Countdown”]) to continue the adventures of the DCU. Darkseid has sucked the New Earth universe too far into his gravitational sinkhole, so the heroes abandon it for another universe.

    Alternate Theory: The DCU version of Grant Morrison, freshly resurrected from his death by bestial humanoid during “War of the Gods,” walks on stage to defeat Mandrakk and explain everything. The rest of the issue is a flashback episode where he sentimentally remembers all the DC stories he’s ever written. The last panel shows Morrison giving a wink to the reader.

    Comment by St. Gimp — January 15, 2009 @ 10:41 am

  15. @Josh Bishop: Good point, I haven’t seen anyone really clarify that yet.

    Comment by Brad Bice — January 15, 2009 @ 11:12 am

  16. re: the Shilo Norman coloring on page 15…

    Yes, I’d say that was a side-effect of the symbol. Remember in Final Crisis 4 when Tattooed Man shows off his circuit protection against the Anti-Life Equation, he too becomes ‘white.’

    Comment by Garrie — January 15, 2009 @ 11:37 am

  17. @Garrie: I’m glad you addressed this, though I’m more inclined to say (and not because it’s somewhat less controversial, but rather the coloring cues) that Shilo’s turning Japanese.

    Comment by 理り — January 15, 2009 @ 11:51 am

  18. It’s been forever since I read Miracleman, but does anyone think the scene with Freddie and Mary on page 13 seems reminiscent of the end of the Miracleman/Kid Miracleman showdown? (Minus neck snapping, of course.)

    Comment by Somefool — January 15, 2009 @ 11:55 am

  19. Wasn’t there one line in there that implied the Black Gambit would attract Mandrakk’s attention and fuck things up even worse?

    Comment by HitTheTargets — January 15, 2009 @ 5:21 pm

  20. Wasn’t there one line in there that implied the Black Gambit would attract Mandrakk’s attention and fuck things up even worse?

    Check the bit on P30/31: “Metron’s referring to Mandrakk…”

    Comment by Syrg — January 15, 2009 @ 5:34 pm

  21. About pages 30-31: ”mandrake” is a root famously associated with (european) witchcraft and such. I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

    Comment by pedro — January 15, 2009 @ 7:05 pm

  22. And it seems fairly obvious to me that the Black Gambit (having been already initiated) is what causing the Bleed to breach by the end of the comic? It’s probably part of Mandrakk’s plan. He’s been playing everything from behind the curtains, including the whole New Gods ordeal.

    Comment by pedro — January 15, 2009 @ 7:06 pm

  23. They killed Batman. I can’t handle it. Bruce Wayne is the reason I’m reading D.C. I knew it was coming but it’s still hard to swallow. How can you kill Batman? It’s like killing Spiderman. Not right!

    Comment by dave fernandes — January 15, 2009 @ 7:26 pm

  24. The Atoms here, of course, are most redolent of Nanoman and Minimiss’ braiding a path into The Absolute in Flex Mentallo.

    I have a lot of speculation about Batman’s ‘final’ fate here, really; I like to think, partly because I just bought Holy Terror, the first Elseworld (£2.50 off Amazon.co.uk, chums! deal!), by proper writer of books w/o pictures Alan Brennert & legend Norm Breyfogle – I like to think when Morrison claims to be activating all Batman continuity, that this is the endgame, to have his fictional history an enactment of the Life Trap, the Omega Sanction, ‘each new existence more degraded than the last’… I am recently stricken with the desire to read basically all Batman things, it’s a good place to start. I think your speculation makes sense here, David; RIP & Last Rites seem very much to me to have been the training wheels for just such [an] experience(s).

    Either that or the Flashes save him, somehow.

    Because… “Gotcha”… “Hh”… he can’t just be deaded, right?

    Comment by Duncan — January 15, 2009 @ 8:00 pm

  25. I like to think the Miracle Machine is powered by, natch, the Worlogog also.

    Comment by Duncan — January 15, 2009 @ 8:02 pm

  26. I think Morrison has already given all the clues as to Batman’s fate in his recent work. It’s definitely possible to escape the Life Trap. There’s also a nice little parallel between the Life Trap [an endless cycle of life/death/rebirth] and buddhist concepts of reincarnation. Mr. Miracle escapes the Life Trap (i.e. escapes the cycle of karma and attains Nirvana) and during his initiation into higher consciousness, he develops God vision. Batman sees Darkseid with god vision, just before he shoots him. This same sort of shamanic sight was demonstrated by Batman in the last few chapters of RIP.

    I wrote a comment on one of the RIP annotations here about how Morrison was setting Batman up as a superhero shaman. Obviously this was building up to his encounter with an evil god. Batman has also gone through so many initiations/death-rebirth cycles in his life that the Life Trap will probably be nothing to him. Batman of Zur-En-Arrh and his encounter with the Lump demonstrate this incredible strength of will/life.

    Given that he also avenged Orion and carried out his role in the prophecied fall of Darkseid, Batman seems a likely candidate to become the Fifth World’s Orion once he escapes the cycle of death and rebirth, and emerges stronger than ever.

    Comment by Jum — January 16, 2009 @ 1:43 am

  27. […] other comic book in question is of course Final Crisis #6, actually the penultimate issue of the series. Batman dies in the book, something that’s […]

    Pingback by Funnybook Babylon · Archives · Obamamania Update! — January 16, 2009 @ 5:16 am

  28. Totally agree with the Batman as shaman argument. From the perspective of this issue Batman RIP and Last Rites reads as the groundwork for his escape from the Life Trap. It’s all very well for Miracleman to escape, he’s got the motherboxx, but Batman? What kind of man could escape an infinite number of lives, each one more crushing and hopeless as before? Bruce f**king Wayne, that’s who.

    I’d nix (pardon the pun) the double laser effect as the Flashes – there’s three of them for starters, and someone over at Barbelith suggested they’ll show up after Darkseid has been purged from Turpin by the bullet and is floating about as a bodyless entity (a la Anti Monitor in the original crisis) and then set the Black Racer on him. Which sound more likely and fun.

    I’m a little narked (it’s not a big thing, but…) I can’t reconcile the appearances of Hourman, Liberty Belle and the Widcats in this issue. It’s probably miscommunication between art teams, but I like these little background details to match up, particularly on a story like this, where you’re asked to fill in so many narrative gaps with your imagination.

    Comment by Andy G — January 16, 2009 @ 10:45 am

  29. Superboy not only saw the Miracle Machine sealed up, but he was there to help open the box (which at the time was much smaller) in Superboy 213, and saw it again when it was eaten by Matter-Eater Lad in Superboy & the LSH 251. But hey, it’s been a while, maybe he forgot.

    Comment by Michael Grabois — January 17, 2009 @ 7:33 pm

  30. […] I think the FBBers have covered whose brain it be, that of – a presumably reprogrammed – Maxwell Lord; there are […]

    Pingback by Finally Crisis #6: so that’s how The Dark Knight returns… « Mindless Ones — January 19, 2009 @ 7:16 pm

  31. […] events of last Shipment Week…first up was FINAL CRISIS #6 – an excellent breakdown of which can be found here – where, after defeating the Black Glove and escaping captivity from the evil New Gods […]

    Pingback by I’m Just Sayin’…#44 | Comics Nexus — January 22, 2009 @ 2:06 pm

  32. I just realized that Batman’s “death” is the same as in “Rock of Ages.”

    Comment by Phillip — July 18, 2009 @ 10:43 pm

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