Funnybook Babylon

January 15, 2010

Final Crisis Annotations Epilogue: The Hardcover

Filed under: Annotations — Tags: , , — David Uzumeri @ 2:13 pm

Yeah, this is incredibly anal, but after the ridiculous amount of time I spent studying this book, I’d be remiss not to cap this off with a look at the collected edition.

But first, since I don’t think I’ve ever linked them at once like this: here are all of the original annotations/articles I wrote upon the book’s initial release.
Final Crisis #1
Final Crisis #2
Final Crisis #3
Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1
Final Crisis #4
Final Crisis #5
Final Crisis #6
Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #2
Final Crisis: Superman Beyond – On Mandrakk
Final Crisis #7

So: a catalogue of, as far as I can tell, every single change made to Final Crisis from single issue to collected edition. A lot of them are pretty interesting, and clear up stuff that I remember myself or other annotators pointing out. I’ve bolded the ones that are major, or of special interest (the one about the Anthro painting being in Gotham rather than NYC has rather interesting potential repercussions for the Return of Bruce Wayne storyline).
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January 28, 2009

Final Crisis #7 – “New Heaven, New Earth”

Final Crisis #7

Final Crisis #7

Not much preamble to make here – it’s the last issue, I enjoyed it a lot, a lot of people probably think it’s confusing drivel. Maybe I can help you out.
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January 21, 2009

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #2

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #2

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #2

When last we left our intrepid heroes back at the end of August(!), Superman and Captain Allen Adam were facing down Ultraman in Limbo as Ultraman hoisted the Infinite Book and Mandrakk’s Monitor nanomachinery cracked through the sky into Limbo. Meanwhile, Captain Marvel got knocked back to being Billy by the feedback of the end of the Infinite Book, but not before leaving a riddle: “Ultimate evil is ultimate good. The most despised will save the most beloved.” Zillo Valla, their Monitor guide, ends up getting all vampiric and sucking Overman’s blood to power the Ultima Thule, the ship.

So let’s take a look at pages 31-62 of the Final Crisis: Superman Beyond one-shot, which would have eliminated a lot of confusion about the FC timeline if it’d come out in one piece as planned.
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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!
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December 24, 2008

Batman #683 – “What the Butler Saw”

And thus, we end Grant Morrison’s first run on Batman. You’ll be missed. Lots to annotate this time around; lots of stuff referenced that’s more within our lifetimes. Let’s get to it.
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December 10, 2008

Final Crisis #5 – “Into Oblivion”

I think this is was my favorite issue of the series yet, although I can’t imagine the girl-wonder crowd is going to react very favorably to… certain developments with Mary Marvel. Despite the fact that the issue has three pencillers with the addition of Marco Rudy, also known as “the guy who filled in for Ryan Sook on Final Crisis: Resist, but it’s all shockingly contiguous.

Anyway, let’s get to it.
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December 4, 2008

Batman #682 – “The Butler Did It” (A Final Crisis Tie-In) (A Last Rites Tie-In)

Batman #682

Batman #682

Double crossover banners, bitches! THIS ISSUE IS IMPORTANT!

And the title of this post isn’t even a spoiler, I ain’t doin’ my victory dance just yet. Note time. Also, this issue? Less straightforward than the last two.

But first, a note.
If you’ve dug Grant Morrison’s run on this title, and the sort of philosophical psycho-thriller approach he’s taken, then I highly recommend you check out this week’s X-Men Noir #1 by Fred Van Lente and Dennis Calero. It’s a gorgeous book, and Van Lente’s script is incredibly smart and bursting with novel ideas in a way I haven’t seen on an X-title since, well, Grant Morrison. It’s astonishing how well he translates the X-Men’s core themes – and I don’t mean the Claremontian “wah wah we’re persecuted just like real world minority” themes, I mean the themes about evolution and natural selection and the generation gap – into a world without powers, but everything remains intact, and the manners in which this is accomplished are absolutely inspired. It’s a great book, totally worth both the admittedly high price of $3.99 and the considerable amount of hype Marvel’s given it, and may have actually been my favorite book I’ve read this week. (I haven’t hit up Jason Aaron’s Punisher X-Mas Special, though, which Tim Callahan seems to have adored, so that might change. But I doubt it.)

UPDATE: I just read the X-Mas Special. Tim’s right, it really is brilliant, so get that too.

Lo, there shall be… annotations!!
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October 22, 2008

Final Crisis #4 – “Darkseid Says”

Quick Comments before the rundown:

1. Grant Morrison absolutely needs to take over Green Arrow/Black Canary, as all of his scenes with both of these characters throughout this series have been fantastic, especially any time Ollie even approaches a rant.

2. Make sure, if you got it, to read Submit before, not after, this issue. It’s a great book (albeit very straightforward and not especially begging to be annotated), and I know my experience (at least) was sort of lessened by reading #4 first.

With that out of the way, let’s get into the fourth issue of Final Crisis. Which is shockingly different from the original solicitation, now that I look at it, and I am really sad they did not actually go with the title “How to Murder the Earth,” because that rules.
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August 28, 2008

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1Hh. Spoilers within. This is actually the first thirty pages of a sixty-page script; I imagine Morrison still did a bit of work to modify it, though, since it ends on a pretty satisfying cliffhanger (if that makes any sense). I assume the second issue won’t hit until at least December, either along with or in place of Final Crisis #7.

The 3-D “gimmick” isn’t really used for any particular narrative purpose just yet, it just looks cool (or distracting/annoying, depending on your outlook). Still, it does distinguish the extradimensional elements from the mundane ones.

After these annotations, I’ll include a few observations regarding FC: Rogues’ Revenge #2. In the absence of Granddaddy Wolk I don’t know if anyone will be covering this issue, but I really haven’t read Johns’s Flash run recently enough to do a full annotation. Last Will and Testament is out too, but it pretty much totally fails to match up in any way with Final Crisis and is really just a vehicle for Brad Meltzer to do his Meltzer Thing. Something else regarding that might be in the works, though…

Anyway.
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August 7, 2008

Final Crisis #3 – “Know Evil”

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , , — David Uzumeri @ 12:41 am

Before I launch into the annotations for this issue, a few corrections regarding my previous stuff and other interesting things from the Director’s Cut:

  1. The evil Monitor isn’t Solomon from Countdown, it’s “Rox Ogama.” The Monitor we first see in FC #1 is “Zip Hermuz”.
  2. The Monitors’ world was supposed to seem largely like a dying civilization, and the number of worlds wasn’t specific in the script. It’s also mentioned that New Earth is suspended in a mercurial substance reminiscent of the supercontext from The Invisibles.
  3. Hal’s scar is a clue – it’s specifically mentioned in the script.
  4. Morrison mentions that the Tattooed Man will play a major role nearing the end; I can’t help but wonder what would happen if you tattooed Metron’s sigil on him…

So. Yeah. Forward! Douglas Wolk has the annotation/”Who is this?” part of this pretty damn down pat, so I’m gonna focus largely on analysis and speculation here.

Page 1 – Frankenstein, from Seven Soldiers, raids the Dark Side Club with a group of SHADE (Super Human Advanced Defense Execute – originally SADE but modified by DC, so I wonder if that played any significance regarding Desaad) agents. Inside, they find the mummified shell of the human Darkseid resided in as Boss Dark Side, and left back in #1.

Page 2 – I love the panel layout here, with the Dark Side Club scenes taking place inside the building on the street in the greater picture, both within the story and on the page. The fissure in the sky is Overgirl entering the New Earth universe.
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May 29, 2008

Final Crisis #1 – “D.O.A.: The God of War”

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , , — David Uzumeri @ 5:06 pm

Well, it’s finally here. This took a bit longer than I expected to get up, frankly because there was just a Hell of a lot more to digest in this issue than I expected. I’ve gone through this page by page trying to bring up all the stuff I’m seeing below the surface, and hopefully clarify a lot of the more confusing points for newer readers/people not masochistic enough to read Countdown.

Without further ado.

NOTE: For an alternate take, Douglas Wolk has his annotations up – you probably know him from Reading Comics and the 52 Pick-Up blog, so check it out; he catches stuff I didn’t.

Pg. 1 – Establishing shot, as Anthro faces the reader from Metron’s perspective. While Anthro is holding his weapon in a defensive stance, clearly confused, he distinguishes himself in doing so from the animals, lesser beings fleeing this harbinger of knowledge.

Pgs. 2 and 3 – That first shot of Anthro and Metron from the original Christmas 2007 Didio interview, now colorized by Alex Sinclair. Metron, in what I presume is his new look due to the color scheme change, is wearing the same pattern on his outfit (this circuit pattern is important) and riding a slightly modified Mobius chair from Kirby’s original design. And, of course, he’s a smooth silver and enamel white – which implies that this is Metron in his Fifth World form, traveling back in time. Or maybe it isn’t, since the examples in the Sketchbook had Metron with the New Gods symbol on his chest – which seems odd, since the other pattern plays a part later. We’ll see.

Pg. 4 – On this page, Metron does the Prometheus routine. This is interesting, because in the Sketchbook, Morrison equated him to Mercury, even asking for the new design to have wingtips on the feet. Still, this kind of meddling is definitely in character for him, especially considering Turpin’s later statements and what this meddling causes. Either way, this page starts the issue’s longrunning fire motif, something we’ll get back to later.

Pg. 5 – Aw shit, Powers, eat your heart out. There’s really not much to say about this page other than “cavemen beating the shit out of each other.” That said, something I’m not sure about – I suspect the caveman in the center of this page might be Vandal Savage, but his eye color is blue, which seems to conflict with Savage’s orange eye color later on in the issue. (more…)

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