DC’s current main event gets the first proper review of the series.

General Information

Title: Final Crisis #1-2

Author: Grant Morrison

Illustrator(s): J. G. Jones (pencils and inks), Alex Sinclair (colors)

Cover Dates: July and August 2008

Cover Price: $3.99 US/Can each

Premise

When Jack Kirby created the New Gods, it was clear that the story was building to the final confrontation between good, personified by Orion, and evil, personified by Darkseid. Well, that final battle has happened, and the war is over. Evil won. Now, Dark Seid’s group are in charge and the New Gods are finding themselves reincarnated among other denizens of this multiverse. The forces of good are in serious trouble, and two of thier most powerful members are dead.

High Point

I don’t remember voting them in.

Low Point

One of the death scenes felt really, really rushed. Yes, we have since received “Final Crisis: Requiem” to spend time on that, but it still feels like more time should have been spent on that moment in issue 1.

The Scores

This is an original premise. It’s hard to judge the originality of the story, because it’s founded on a very large number of unresolved threads. I originally hesitated to review the first issue because I assumed my confusion was a result of my lack of familiarity with the DCU. Then I spoke to others who have been reading the DCU lately, and I learned that they were often more confused than I was, so I realized that it’s deliberately written with so few answers to obvious questions at this time. It’s definitely a different approach in that respect, and it’s a different premise that we generally see, so it starts out with high points, but it may also fluctuate wildly as we approach the final resolution of the series. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is very good in almost all cases. (I dislike the inking in a major fight scene, as the unusually thick lines make the characters look exceedingly heavy and sluggish, but that’s a complaint about one panel in two issues.) I give it 5 out of 6.

The story has had several plot threads clearly laid out, but there’s so much going on, we’ve had little more than setup for most of them at this point. I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization is good. A lot of what we see is brief, shining moments for each player, but the voices sound right. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is better on a second read. Many of the questions I had the first time through had already been answered, but the answers came before I even knew to ask the questions, so I missed them. Now that I have a better feel for what I am and am not supposed to know, I find it a lot more enjoyable, and it’s easier to immerse myself within. It would have been nice to get that feeling the first time through, but at least it was there the second time. I give it 4 out of 6.

The flow can get choppy. There are numerous and frequent scene changes, between scenes so short revealing so little information individually that it feels a bit disjointed. Granted, there’s a lot going on here, but I’m starting to wonder if the series would have read better with more than seven issues. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a decent start, with a clear style in place. There are a large number of significant events here so far, so it’s definitely recommended to those following the DCU, as it’s going to be impossible to ignore the fallout from this one. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Final Crisis #1-2 receive 32 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

I’ll keep reviewing the entire event, with a Final Crisis: Requiem review tomorrow. I’m still not sure how to review the “Sightings” issues, as the two we’ve seen so far don’t have obvious ties to the main event. Anything with the “Final Crisis” label will get reviewed, though, with the main series reviewed in individual issues from #3 on, and the spin-off and tie-in issues getting reviewed in story arcs.