Sunday, June 01, 2008

Some fan-ish comments and concerns pertaining to Final Crisis #1

—I don’t like the redesigned Black Racer. I think the New Gods are more awesome (literal definition; not colloquial) with a certain degree of goofiness to them. A dude in the sky with skis gripping ski poles just looks more wrong and out of place in a this-guy-might-be-some-kinda-new-god-like-entity to me then one without ‘em. Looking at the “new” Black Racer in the couple longshots J.G. Jones gives us of him, I wouldn’t even know those were skis if I wasn’t familiar with the Kirby design; I would just assume he’s a guy with really long feet, which looks more completely stupid than goofy.

—It was cool to see John Stewart in his civilian clothes, at his day job, changing into Green Lantern in a supply closet all Clark Kent-style. We always hear about Stewart being an architect—any time a new structure is built for a superhero in a DC comic, they always seem to mention John Stewart designing it—but that’s the extent of his professional life.

I was kinda surprised to see him changing in a closet though. He has a secret identity? I wonder how he keeps it, considering he doesn’t wear a mask of any kind and never has, was married to an alien for a while, and was in a wheelchair for a while and then suddenly not?

—Like everyone else, I was really perplexed by Stewart, Hal Jordan, The Guardians and then the JLA talking about how rare a “deicide” or the death of a New God is. Wasn’t Orion like, the last New God to die? I didn’t even read Death of the New Gods (guest-starring Superman, Green Lantern and the JLA) or Countdown (ditto), but I saw a couple of ‘em die in my regular reads. You couldn’t walk around the DCU this past year without tripping over a New God corpse.

—Also, it was unclear to me if Stewart and Jordan had never seen Orion before, or if they didn’t know that the other had, or…what. But the whole, “Recognize him?” scene seemed off. It even ended with Stewart telling Jordan that these New Gods came with bad gods.

—I love Signal Man’s cape.

—Libra’s dis on Vandal Savage was pretty cool. He does seem pretty pathetic for a supervillian with a goal of world domination, give the fact that he had a 50,000-year head start over the Ra’s al Ghuls and Lex Luthors of the world.

—J’onn J’onnz’s “death” was so abrupt and presented in such a way that I didn’t even really care, despite really digging the Martian Manhunter. Actually, I don’t really see any reason to believe he is dead at this point; all I have to go on is a TV news report. But if Barry Allen’s coming back in this story, and I have to assume most of the New Gods will as well, I see no reason to worry about J’onn dying.

Or be emotionally invested in the scene at all, actually.

—Note that Superman leads the four-panel JLA meeting, and the engraved gavel is in front of his seat. So much for being chairperson, Black Canary.

—Shouldn’t Red Tornado be a holographic head floating around, and not a physical body sitting at a seat? Isn’t that what’s going on in JLoA these days?

—I wish Jones woulda drew symbols on the back of the Justice Leaguers’ chairs.

—I’m afraid I just can’t make sense of the timing of Seven Soldiers in the context of this story. Seven Soldiers had to have occurred before Countdown, and this seems to be occurring after Countdown.

Even if we allow for the appearance of some of the Seven Soldiers in Infinite Crisis as either their pre-Seven Soldiers selves (Frankenstein would have been hero-ing before his miniseries for example; which Mister Miracle that was who cameoed was ambiguous, etc.) or mistakes (Klarion II and Shining Knight II both appeared briefly in IC; Bulletteer in 52), there’s just too many chronological problems to excuse.

Shiloh Norman is Mister Miracle in Firestorm, which occurs before the events of Countdown, since Countdown continues a story thread from Firestorm. Klarion II appeared both in Robin and Countdown, and hadn’t been to the surface world before his own Seven Soldiers mini.

All of the New Gods appeared in Countdown and/or Death of the New Gods, which occurred over a year after Infinite Crisis. Does that mean there was a war in heaven in which Darkseid triumphed, the New Gods were all cast down, reborn as mortals (in the pages of Seven Soldiers), then resumed their familiar shapes, only to lead to another “war in heaven” in which Darkseid triumphed and the New Gods were all cast down, reborn as mortals (in the pages of Countdown, Death of the New Gods and Final Crisis)?

And how do Scott Free and Shiloh Norman relate at this point? Is the latter the former reborn? Or are they two distinct people as they were prior to Morrison’s Seven Soldiers, or…what?

I still enjoyed Final Crisis, but this bugs me a bit, as it seems to be an indication that this isn’t going to be the panacea for all of the DCU’s woes that the company seems to be hoping it will be.


Patrick C said...

I totally agree with everything you said. A lot of the Seven Soldiers inconsistencies don't make sense, but I think the New Gods timing issue is easily solved. Shilo Norman experienced all of those New Gods interactions while trapped in the Black Hole. It's not really clear if he was in the present during that arc, or if it even happened at all. It could have occurred on another plane of existence, or an alternate future, or any sort of divergent timeline, not the present DCU.

I have no explanation how Death of the New Gods or anything that happened in Countdown syncs up, however. I thought Klarion was in the future ruling the Sheeda, not messing with Mary Marvel.

A question for you though. There were two characters I didn't recognize, one you pointed out was Signal Man. The other was the guy with his head on fire dragging J'Onn into Libra's hideout with Dr. Light. I usually pride myself on recognizing obscure characters, but that guy and Signalman both escaped me.

Caleb said...

I just stuck the issue in a stack of other comics, but I thought that guy was Effigy, the Kyle Rayner villain who was kinda like a GL, but with fire powers.

Patrick C said...

I just googled it and I'm pretty sure you're right. Thanks!

John Foley said...

I'm about as big of a Martian Manhunter fan as there is, but I just didn't care at all when he was "killed." I highly doubt that MM's death is going to last for very long at all. He has complete control over every molecule in his body, so how exactly do you kill him with a stab through the chest?
I just hope that one of these days a comic book death is going to actually have some meaning to it.

Jacob T. Levy said...

Agreed about Hal/ John/ Orion, and about J'onn.

I trust that Morrison has a plan for the chronology. 7SOV is his baby, and he must have given marching orders about the new gods dying off between the end of 52 and the beginning of FC. Even at the new, continuity-free DC, I just don't think this particular piece has been screwed up as badly as it first appears. Boss Dark Side has been operating for 'months,' and Darkseid's battle with Orion just happened, so the inconsistency's right out there on the surface in books being published right now. Maybe foolishly, I believe that that means TPTB are aware of it.

David page said...

klarion II isn't klarion II...

Klarion from 7S is a younger klarion from before his first appearance in jack kirbys original version of the demon. What you saw at the end of the 7S was Klarion travelling back in time to before his first run in with the demon.

As for miracle?

The whole experience with the human new gods was a hint of the future as he was stuck in the black hole. The whole story pretty much added up to a dream sequence.

Caleb said...

The Mister Miracle explanations you guys offer sounds sound to me. David, I'm less sure about the Klarion one, but it's been a while since I read it (like, since it came out). I remember Morrison saying Klarion was the only character that was really being rebooted and he didn't think anyone would mind because no one used him in so long, but there was time travel involved at the end, so I could see your explanation working too.

Thanks, guys!

Regault said...

Grant Morrison has explicitly said he's ignoring all New Gods appearances after 2006 because "I asked DC not to use them and they ignored me."

Personally, I think he's finally gone off the rails ala Frank Miller, Chris Claremont, and John Byrne. Yes, Countdown was extremely shitty, but you don't get to ignore continuity of less than two months prior just because of an ego trip.

Personally, the "let's kill them off because they're minor characters and no one cares" that happens in these crossovers pisses me off more than the big shock deaths. Mostly because I know there's a much higher chance of Captain America or Martian Manhunter being brought back than an Omen or a Major Disaster. To add insult to injury, Jones decided to reference Day of Vengeance and drew Empress as white.