This one shot bridged the gap between “Countdown to Final Crisis” and “Final Crisis #1.”
Title: DC Universe #0
Authors: Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns
Pencils: George Perez, Doug Mahnke, Tony S. Daniel, Ivan Reis, Aaron Lopresti, Philip Tan, Ed Benes, Carlos Pacheco and J.G. Jones.
Inks: Scott Koblish, Christian Alamy, Tony S. Daniel, Oclair Albert, Matt Ryan, Jeff De Los Santos, Ed Benes, Jesus Merino and J.G. Jones
Colors: Alex Sinclair, Tom Smith, David Baron
Cover Date: June 2008
Cover Price: $0.50 US/Can
A semiomniscient narrator details the major players active in the current DC Universe, where they are, and what’s about to happen in Final Crisis, Batman: R.I.P. and Green Lantern: Blackest Night.
The final “reveal,” strongly hinting at the identity of this narrator. (The implied identity has since been confirmed in “Final Crisis #2.”)
This certainly sets up the current state of the DC Universe as it was intended to, but it doesn’t stand alone. If you’re not looking for a prologue to those major storylines, you likely won’t be satisfied by this entry.
This is not an original approach, as DC used it for the “Countdown to Infinite Crisis” one shot that set up those miniseries. In this case, most of the storylines had already been hinted at by the time this saw press. I give it 2 out of 6.
The artwork is great. That’s a huge list of artists, but they’ve split their labour effectively over scene changes, so it’s not as jarring as it usually is with this kind of creator list. I give it 5 out of 6.
The story is well told, in terms of its goal of introducing this story arcs. It’s a pretty coherent story from that perspective, tying all of this together quite smoothly. If you pick it up looking towards that goal, you’ll be very satisfied. I give it 5 out of 6.
The characterization is well done. These writers know the characters in this rather large universe, and tie them together quite nicely,
giving each of the players an archetypal moment that really allows them to shine. I give it 5 out of 6.
The emotional response is pretty good. This made me interested in “Batman R.I.P.” (though I couldn’t track down the issues that had already been published, so I’ll wait for the trade), and it also fired my interest for “Final Crisis” and “Blackest Night.” That last page really got me pumped, and I haven’t even been reading the title that would make me miss that character. I give it 6 out of 6.
The flow gets a little choppy, as there’s a lot to jam into a single issue if it’s introducing the entire DCU, but the narration pulls it together quite nicely. I give it 4 out of 6.
Overall, it hits its mark, but outside of that specific purpose, it doesn’t do a lot for readers. Fortunately, it does what it set out to do very well. I give it 4 out of 6.
In total, DC Universe #0 receives 31 out of 42.