This gets DC’s main event series caught up in reviews. The other three comic reviews from this week’s releases (Final Crisis: Submit, Secret Invasion: Amazing Spider-Man #1-3 and Thunderbolts #122-125) will probably be postponed for a week or so. Hopefully my schedule will calm down some this November.

General Information

Title: Final Crisis #4

Author: Grant Morrison

Illustrator(s): J.G. Jones, Carlos Pacheco and Jesus Merino

Cover Date: November 2008

Cover Price: $3.99 US/Can

Premise

The Anti-Life Equation has hit every broadcast medium on the planet, turning people by the billions. The remaining human resistance amass against the tidal wave, but they are grossly outnumbered.

High Point

“An unknown force just reverse-engineered me to life out of a blizzard of faster-than-light particles. I’m sorry I seem a little abstract.”

Low Point

I appreciate a crossover event where the tie-ins complement and expand upon events in the main title, but I found this rather confusing until I’d read “Final Crisis: Submit.” Reading tie-in issues should be encouraged, not mandatory.

The Scores

The whole series is an original concept. Darkseid is back and in power, having won the war of the gods. DC’s big trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are all out of the picture. This is definitely a unique story. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is good, clean, clear, and consistent among multiple pencillers. The colours blend well. The confusion that I’m feeling trying to follow the story has nothing to do with the artistic side. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is starting to gel. I now believe that I will actually understand what’s been going on by the end of issue seven; I’m not sure I could have said that after issue 2. It still feels like details have been omitted, but there are enough included for me to follow the general course of the tale. I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization feels rushed, if anything. We go from complete distrust between Green Arrow and the Tattooed Man to bringing Tattooed Man into the heroes’ stronghold and resting their hopes upon him. I think this series would have read better in 12 issues than 7. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response is decent. I don’t like the defeatist attitudes from some of the heroes, leaving only the three or four pages about the Flashs as the shining light in the issue. I give it 4 out of 6.

The flow is improving. There’s less scene switching here, and that helps a lot. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a decent issue, but at this point, I’m not sure I’d recommend picking this up an issue at a time. Maybe it would mean more to me if I read more DC in general, but this story has taken most of the DC characters I’m interested in (Green Lantern, Superman, Batman, and Martian Manhunter) and moved them out of play, leaving only the Flash as a character I’d be tempted to follow in a solo series. The tone and response from the remaining heroes isn’t what I was hoping for in such a series. I’ll continue to collect and review the entire event, but at this point, I’d recommend those who haven’t started to hold off and decide whether or not they’ll pick up the collected edition instead of getting the individual issues. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Final Crisis #4 receives 30 out of 42.

Final Crisis Checklist