I couldn’t hold back this time. There are spoilers for both this series and “Superman Beyond” below. Consider yourself warned.

General Information

Title: Final Crisis #7

Author: Grant Morrison

Pencils: Doug Mahnke

Inks: Tom Nguyen, Drew Geraci, Christian Alamy, Norm Rapmund, Rodney Ramos, Doug Mahnke and Walden Wong
Colours: Alex Sinclair with Tony Avina and Pete Pantazis
Cover Date: March 2009

Cover Price: $3.99

Premise

In this, issue 7 of 7, we finally see the conclusion to the Final Crisis.

Most Ironic Dialogue

Supergirl: I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything so strange… Like it’s all broken up from one minute to the next.

High Point

Wally and Barry have a chance to shine.

Low Point

The solution to the problem that we’ve been “building” to for the past six issues wasn’t a part of those six issues. No, the characters, the approach, the deus ex machina machine used, and the actual villain behind the whole escapade have not been seen in this series before, and instead were all introduced in Final Crisis: Superman Beyond. Yes, it’s true: if you followed the series from the start but ignored the crossovers, you’d have no way to know what was going on here.

The Scores

This is an original manner of storytelling. As a well known Superman fan once said, “sometimes the road less travelled is less travelled for a reason.” I give it 3 out of 6.

The artwork is erratic. There’s only one penciller this issue (who, previously, has only done the “Superman Beyond” crossover and a few pages of issue 6 for Final Crisis.) There is, however, a small army of inkers working on it to get it to ship on schedule. As a result, there are more inconsistencies than the title really needed to have. A couple of combinations worked well, but other combinations did not. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is related to that of the first six issues only in the loosest sense of the word. It literally picks up where the “Superman Beyond” crossover miniseries left off, using a “Final Fantasy”-esque ploy in the “here’s the real villain we’ve never mentioned but you’ve actually been fighting against this whole time” sense. (Yes, it’s true: Darkseid was subconsciously working for somebody else through the whole thing.) Given how unrelated the solution is to the rest of the series, I really find myself questioning the importance of all those extras pages in each issue. Everything of consequence happened in that other series. You know, the one with art gimmicks that give the reader headaches. I give it 3 out of 6.

The characterization of the Superman we know is pretty good. The others aren’t as clearly defined, likely because you’re already expected to know who this army of multiversal Supermen is. I give it 3 out of 6.

The emotional response is terrible. This should have been the vindicating chapter, glowing as the shining beacon of hope in the face of doom. Instead, we learn that Batman sacrificed himself1 to defeat someone who wasn’t even the real threat, and that all the plot threads running throughout all these series and miniseries were even more pointless than they originally appeared. I give it 2 out of 6.

The flow is as choppy from this reader’s perspective as it is from Supergirl’s perspective. I give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, it’s as rushed, disjointed, and erratic as the previous issues have been. At some point in the next week or two, I’ll reread all seven issues from the start and review the set as they’ll come across in trade paperback form. My recommendation at this point? If you collected “Final Crisis: Superman Beyond,” consider this issue #3 and pick it up to get the rest of that story. If you didn’t get that series, then stop with issue 6, where a hero gives up his life to beat the bad guy and just call it a day. It’ll make more sense. I give it 3 out of 6.

1Technically, Batman was hit by the Omega Sanction, and not killed per se. If you read Kirby’s original Fourth World series, you’ll find the original interpretation is consistent with this issue’s final image: rather than killing you, it transposes your soul into a progressively worsening series of personal Hells. As such, the body of Bruce Wayne may be gone, but the spirit of the Batman is likely still out there.

In total, Final Crisis #7 receives 21 out of 42.

Final Crisis Checklist