“You know what?  Whatever…”

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As I’ve mentioned before, Final Crisis is not the best crisis DC has ever put out.  As issue three hits the stands, some questions are answered, but the overall feeling of the entire series is still something that doesn’t quite seem to fit with the rest of the DCU.

crisis03cover.jpgI think that feeling is because of the “we don’t have to worry about continuity – these are comics” statement made by Morrison so many months ago.  I wonder if he would feel the same if someone took his well thought out and beloved stories and threw them out the window in the name of No More Continuity?

That being said, this issue is as promised; the story becomes a lot more clear, and the overall plot starts to make more sense, it’s just too bad it took us until the half way point for it to happen.  Did I like the story?  In a way, yes.

Instead of revealing all the plot points and details that appear in the issue, I thought I’d create a running commentary for this issue page by page.  It’s something a little different from what we’ve done before.

Page 1
SHADE and Young Frankenstein.  Once again this issue kicks off with Morrison telling the reader, “You should have read my Seven Soldiers series!”, otherwise the Mary Shelley character looks more like a deformed Jason Todd, and SHADE comes off as a Marvel rip-off.

I’m not sure if it is a coloring error or what, but the shell of the body that housed Darkseid’s essence is now white instead of black.

I also wasn’t aware that the rest of the world knew that Renee was the Question.  Perhaps SHADE is all knowing.

page 2
That mysterious voice talking with SHADE is Father Time, who looks quite a bit different than he did in his previous two appearances in Morrison’s Frankenstein and in Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters series.

Even though this is all “New Earth” I’m still getting the feeling this series is taking place somewhere else.  And maybe that is how DC should spin this series; make it an Elseworld’s series, or place it on Earth-53 and suddenly all the bitching I amd others are doing would go away.

Page 3
Looks like the writing is literally on the wall, but I wonder why the source wall hand is now a digital hand instead of that cool flaming hand seen during Countdown?  Oh yeah…right…

SHADE also seems to be in tight with Checkmate as the Black King makes an appearance.

Page 4
Jacket’s on, jacket’s on, oops, it’s off.

That thing that rocketed through the sky and crashed?  That would be the Nazi Supergirl from Earth-10 (or Earth-X for you old school peeps who still remember the old Multiverse).

She obviously didn’t use The Bleed to get through, as the skies aren’t red, and it is also interesting that she got through when the Green Lanterns have sealed the planet preventing any entrance or egress.

Again, SHADE knowing who the Question is, is a bit odd.

Page 5
Poor Nix, things just aren’t going right for the Monitor who lost his entire universe.  There’s a panel that makes Nix look like he has moobs.

That cave drawing is the same one Anthro was drawing in issue #1 following his encounter with Metron.  The spelunkers are Cave Carson and his team from The Brave and the Bold #31.

Again if the planet has been sealed, how did Zillo Valla (one of the other Monitors) slip through?

Page 6 and 7
Final Crisis must take place before Flash 241 and 242 as the Dark Side club tried to kidnap the West kids in 240 and Iris is much much older/dead in 242.

Three generations of the Flash trying to outrun death and stop a time traveling bullet is pretty damn cool, even if the bullet now looks like a bullet instead of capsule with a virus on the inside as seen in issue #2.

Page 8 and 9
I guess you can cheat death if you just run fast enough.  Someone should have told Jim Fixx that.  Yes, I am a cruel bastard.

I do like the coloring of this issue.

Page 10
Yea Legion of Doom Headquaters!  Boo no more stripper club!

Who the hell is Libra? He kind of goes all nutsoid here, making him one scary muther.  If the Anti-Life equation is in that helmet, then is Libra housing one of the Old New Gods?

Nice Justifiers of Apokolips outfit there Human Flame.  Justifiers are Darksied’s shock troops.  Where do the Parademons fit in in all of this?

I no longer believe Libra and Barry Allen are one and the same (pretty obvious after issue #2).

Page 11
It is evident that Libra is now one of the New Gods (Glorious Godfrey, or perhaps he’s Metron?) as the major plan is finally revealed.  Finally!  Three freakin’ issues and it is finally revealed…to the reader.

I find it interesting that Libra tells Luthor to give up his religion (science) and pledge to Libra’s religion (the crime bible) in order to survive.

Page 12 and 13
Wait, doesn’t Jimmy know Clark Kent is Superman?  After all, it was in Countdown…oh, yeah, right.  We aren’t supposed to mention that series are we?

Guess Lois isn’t dead after all, although it is weird Clark has to heat Lois’ heart to keep it going.  And why does her wristband say Louis?

When times are dark, you better call in your greatest heroes to help defeat the big bad.  Looks like Valla is gathering her troop.  For whatever reason that costume looks a lot like Morgaine le Fey – also a Jack Kirby creation from the pages of The Demon.  Speaking of the Demon, I think I just might get that Jack Kirby Demon Ombnibus hitting stores soon.

Page 14
Still with the Alpha Lanterns?

Uh Hal, you might want to flip back a few pages and check out the falling Nazi from the sky thing.

Is there anyone out there that actually thinks we’ll see this Green Lantern storyline play out in the pages of Green Lantern or the GL Corps?  Only if it is forced, dear reader, only if it is forced, and we’ve seen how that has caused more than a few to voice their concern, with at least two people walking away.

Page 15
I like how a true separation is made between Alan Scott Green Lantern and that military force from Oa.

I also find it interesting that Wonder Woman is so sure that Darkseid and the “Evil Gods” are involved that it is enough to convince Black Lightning and Green Lantern to form a league of heroes to fight against this still unknown entity.  It’s kind of like the war on terror, “We know those Evil Gods are behind this, we don’t know where they are, but by god, we’re going to form an army and invade somebody!”

I had never heard of Article X before this issue, either.  And isn’t the whole point of the JSA and JLA to be a group of heroes that band together in times of great crisis?

Page 16
Apparently Article X doesn’t require the approval of Dubya, as Alan Scott goes about recruiting Oracle, Aquaman (the new one, not the old one, but who is riding a giant sea horse ala the silver age), and the new Shazam, who used to be the old Captain Marvel Jr., but not to be confused with Billy Batson’s Captain Marvel who is the new Wizard Shazam.  You didn’t read Trials of Shazam! did you?  That’s okay, you are not alone.

Page 17
So they are printing invitations now, huh?  Time is either really in flux, or the Superfriends have a super fast copying and delivery service who can whip this stuff up in a matter of minutes.

Streaky the Supercat…can I get a Bwahaha?  No?  Moving on then…

Good gravy, from one cat to another.  I didn’t like Tawky Tawny from the silver age, I didn’t like him in 52, so I’m sure as heck not gonna like him in Final Crisis.  Although a walking talking tiger dressed in a suit at my beck and call would be pretty cool.  I just hope he doesn’t pee in my laundry basket.

Oo! Red bra!

Page 18
Apparently, Final Crisis #3 takes place BEFORE the final issue of the Atom, Teen Titans #40, and JSA #17, but AFTER the events of Countdown and Shadowpact, as Ryan Choi, a not yet depowered and revealed to be evil Bombshell, the new old Blue Devil, a not yet zapped to Earth-2 Powergirl, and Donna Troy are all present.

CONTINUITY BE DAMNED!

Oh hell with it… I give up…

Page 19
Probably the most interesting part of the entire issue kicks off on this page as Mister Miracle (not THAT Mister Miracle) and the Japanese heroes from issue #2 are attacked.

Did you see what I did there? I made a reference to the Major Spoilers reviews that featured Holly Robinson.  Of course you would have had to have read those reviews to get my meaning… Hey, I’m just like Grant Morrison now!  Whoop-de-freakin-doo!

Is Morrison saying Shilo Norman is Jesus Christ here?

Page 20
Are the Japanese heroes holding the souls of the Newsboy Legion?  That car sure makes me think of the Wiz Wagon.   Too bad the Newboy Army already appeared in Seven Soldiers of Victory.

Page 21
They are not the Newsboy Legion, they are the Super Young Team.  Same diff, right?  Who gets to be Flippa-dippa?

Page 22
The first panel could really be Wonder Woman in New Orleans following Katrina, couldn’t it?

Atomic Knights are supposed to be on Earth-17.  I guess they’ve been recruited to guard Bludhaven after the disaster.  Sgt. Grayle looks to be one of the original Atomic Knights, but they lived in the post-apocalyptic future of 1992, which may explain why they are on New Earth… or maybe not.

Page 23
Finding dead bodies is never a good thing, trust me.

Page 24
Mary Marvel is back, but she has a shaved head, pink pigtails (I think Bill Cosby referred to that as a reverse mohawk), and is back to wearing bondage leather.  Granny Goodness must have got her mitts on her after all and turned her into a new Female Fury.

Boy, by the time all this mess is over, Mary Marvel is going to have a more screwed up hero history than Powergirl/Matrix/Kara Zor-El/Linda Danvers.  Oh, why can’t we just have a dominatrix Mary Marvel from the I Can’t Believe It’s Not the Justice League series?  A) Because that alternate Earth is not one of the 52, and B) Grant Morrison didn’t write it.

Page 25
FIGHT!
Mary Marvel sure makes a mess of those Atomic Knights, doesn’t she?

Page 27
WTF is up with Wonder Woman, did she not forget Mary Marvel actually did kill people in the pages of Countdown?  Oh, right…

Page 28
The plot is revealed.  Now would be a good time for the heroes to enact Article X, makes more sense that way.

So what virus is this?  The anti-life, Mortococci, or something else?  Considering what happens to Wonder Woman on the final pages, I’m going to say Mortococcus.

Page 29
The world shall end via an e-mail virus attachment.   That’s some good stuff, I tell you what.  Makes me wonder if Morrison is a technophobe, or if he just hasn’t installed the latest version of Norton?

Page 30
Barry admits he was dead and is now back.  Kind of different from the running faster than the speed of light to outrun death statement a few pages back.

Page 31
Red Sky!  Red Sky!

Looks like Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Catwoman, and Giganta are the new Furries, which makes me wonder which fury is inside the Alpha Lantern?
Is that Krypto and Ace the Bathound they are riding?

Yes, you too can become a Justifier of Apokolips if you call today. Very. Nice. Touch.

Final Thoughts
Yes, I’m having a bit of a go at Morrison on this series. I do get what Morrison is doing, and can respect that.  However, if he’s going to slap people around with this series, he should expect a little slapping back.  I’m glad this issue finally revealed some of the information we’ve been waiting for, but at the end, I can still only give Final Crisis #3 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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You know what will make reading Final Crisis and all the other Final Crisis Tie-ins more fun?  The collected trade containing all the issues in order with the tie-ins.

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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24 Comments

  1. Ricco
    August 10, 2008 at 12:47 pm — Reply

    Don’t forget Mister Miracle telling sumo dude about comming back from the dead, which happened at the end of Seven Soldiers, putting Final Crisis either before Infinite Crisis or Seven Soldiers after Countdown.
    Neither makes sense.

    The atomic knights have been in Bludhaven ever since Father Time and SHADE have been doing test in Bludhaven after the Chemo strike(they put Captain Atom in the Monarch armor). They worked in secret thou and SHADE tortured and killed several Knights in the Uncle Sam comics, why would they be working together?

    God I hope this in not gonna become cannon…

  2. hermit
    August 10, 2008 at 1:57 pm — Reply

    i thought seven soldiers was ‘out’ of continuity. anyway i enjoyed that series, too bad the trades are all screwed up.

  3. DrStrangeCubicle
    August 10, 2008 at 2:22 pm — Reply

    “WTF is up with Wonder Woman, did she not forget Mary Marvel actually did kill people in the pages of Countdown? Oh, right…”

    Or the fact that Mary just killed an Atomic Knight, the Knight’s dog and that SHADE agent (Replika?)? Heh.

    I liked this better than you, probably 3-3.5 stars or so, but it’s not really grabbing me like a big story should, at least in my opinion. Also, I’ve found Jones’ art to be a real disappointment.

  4. Rowan
    August 10, 2008 at 3:49 pm — Reply

    I have just been curious of what is going on with Wonder Womans face ? is it a mask or did the virus mutate her or did she shove two like boar tusks through her face and then pierce her lips shut with big ol rings and let the blood just flow all over her

  5. August 10, 2008 at 5:20 pm — Reply

    This series is a train wreck. I have yet to find one single person who likes it. They promise it will get better. Fat chance.

  6. August 10, 2008 at 7:30 pm — Reply

    This whole issue felt like an Elseworlds. Seriously… It’s as though there were no editors at all at DC for the last five years, with events tying into the Seven Soldiers series but ignoring the fact that some of these loose ends were tied up by other authors in the ensuing months.

    Libra was suitably creepy, but making Mary Marvel into a leather-clad pervy loon and having her rip a person in half didn’t work for me. Either this was an alternate Mary (ala the Nazi Supergirl) or DC is underestimating how hard it will be to rehabiliatate her from something like this.

  7. Albert
    August 10, 2008 at 7:44 pm — Reply

    Wow, look at the naysayers! Robby Reed probably made the biggest blanket statement I heard all day. This series has been kickass since issue one, and people do not seem to get it. Even if I have not followed Countdown religiously (I mourn the loss for the hard-earned cash from the people who actually committed to that weekly), the story will escalate to cosmic proportions soon and deliver with all DC’s hype. Keep the faith, brothers!

  8. August 10, 2008 at 8:00 pm — Reply

    No, I think it is bloody simple. Consider Morrison as a magician – an Ipsissimus even. He used SEVEN SOLDIERS to get the DCU to come alive, as a smiotic magickal entity. FINAL CRISIS is his major Ritual to invoke/construct a New Golden Age/Aeon for DC/DCU. That’s why Martian Manhunter had to die… First Superheroe of the Silver Age had to die as a blood sacrifice to consecrate the fundaments of the new (Platinum) Age of DC Comics. The Divine Reality of the (Kirby) Fourth World becomes real in the Unreality of the (Morrison) Fifth World. Morrison is trying to do nothing else than to create New Continuity while preserving the best and worst (whatever the most powerful) ideas of the Golden and Silver Age of Comics. He just doesn’t givea F*** about the Bronze and Spastic Plastic.

  9. DrStrangeCubicle
    August 10, 2008 at 8:14 pm — Reply

    “This series has been kickass since issue one, and people do not seem to get it. ”

    Or there’s people who get it and don’t think it’s kickass or as great as you do. I think it’s been good to very good (storywise, I only didn’t really like #1, but I really enjoyed #2, thought #3 was pretty good), but I find the hyperbolic praise as out of place as some of the extreme doom-and-gloom, personally.

  10. kwaku
    August 10, 2008 at 8:28 pm — Reply

    Some like it, some don’t like it. Simple as that.

    BTW I don’t see why anyone would need to read Seven Soldiers to know Frankenstein, all you need is the name and the book gives you that. Still, Mr. Miracles coming back to life comment requires at least a passing knowledge of SS.

  11. Ricco
    August 10, 2008 at 9:04 pm — Reply

    This FINAL Crisis feels like someone opened a DC universe guide and started to pick characters more or less at random and portrayed them in whatever way they feel like.

    I mean, the Lanterns didn’t do a thing when Lightray got murdered so why did the Alpha Lanterns show up to quarantine Earth when Orion was killed? Right I forgot the series called “Countdown to Final Crisis” is, for some insane reason, not related in anyway to Final Crisis…

    They’ll have to do a major universe reset a the end of the series to makes the continuity train wreck that is Final Crisis cannon.

  12. Randallw
    August 10, 2008 at 10:07 pm — Reply

    I have no idea what the hell is happening half the time. Having never read Seven Soldiers I didn’t know who Frankenstein or Father Time were (apart from FT turning up in ww3 where he loses face). From what I do know of the DC universe (quite a bit, but not everything) it seems to be all over the place. I stand by my opinion that it is some alternate Earth and at the end we discover it’s Earth 53 or something.

    I’d be interested in some of the tie ins, I believe some are called Submit, and Resist, but I don’t know which ones will be worth choosing. I am interested in some backstory to the Apokolips occupation.

    Libra isn’t Glorious Godfrey, I think Reverend Good is. I thought Rev Good was Granny Goodness at first but I read an argument it was GG. If they’re aren’t even staying in gender perhaps Libra is Granny Goodness. Heck anyone could be anyone.

  13. August 10, 2008 at 10:34 pm — Reply

    Well, technically all Robby said was that he hadn’t found anyone who liked it.

    He has now… Go, Spoilerites!

  14. August 10, 2008 at 10:36 pm — Reply

    Wow, for once Robby Reed and I agree on something… THE END IS NIGH! RED SKY! RED SKY! ;)

  15. Josh P.
    August 11, 2008 at 7:36 am — Reply

    All I have to say is “Meh.”

    Also, I weep for the DC Universe.

  16. August 11, 2008 at 8:31 am — Reply

    SO glad I’m not buying this series. But the Jim Fixx reference??? Brilliant! (even if I feel like it’s gonna soar over a lotta heads unless they’re oldsters like me or like Denis Leary…)

  17. Matt Woodside
    August 11, 2008 at 9:24 am — Reply

    @Ricco: To be fair, regarding characterizations: Grant Morrison created the Alpha Lanterns and gave them to Geoff Johns to play with, so to say that Paul Dini and the writers of Countdown know how to portray them better than Morrison is bit off, IMO. Other characterizations have also been spot on too – detective Batman, a John Stewart GL using a back-hoe energy construct, anti-fascist Green Arrow, a Wonder Woman who can handily put Mary Marvel into an arm lock, I can’t find much to complain about in that department. That being said, Final Crisis isn’t blowing me away, but I’ll give Morrison and Jones a chance to wrap it up before making a final judgment. Morrison most definitely writes in complete stories, and you often need to read the end to really appreciate the beginning.

  18. Salieri
    August 11, 2008 at 11:30 am — Reply

    1. I love it. LOVE it! Best Crisis I ever saw.

    2. I could give a toss about anyone else.

    3. “I think that feeling is because of the “we don’t have to worry about continuity – these are comics” statement made by Morrison so many months ago. I wonder if he would feel the same if someone took his well thought out and beloved stories and threw them out the window in the name of No More Continuity?”

    Aheh. See “New X-Men”.

  19. Salieri
    August 11, 2008 at 11:33 am — Reply

    ALSO: It might be less confusing when you remember that as this is a Crisis series, the Multiversal worlds get mixed in; thanks to Darkseid, Morrison has said, the Multiversal walls are so damaged that characters are just able to move in and out of New Earth.

  20. Cory
    August 11, 2008 at 2:53 pm — Reply

    I agree. THIS SERIES IS A TRAINWRECK. Grant Morrison HAS COMPLETELY LOST HIS BEARINGS. It’s time to stop with all these damn BIG SUMMER SPECTACULAR EVENTS from both DC and Marvel.

    ENOUGH!!

    I can’t wait until Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Volume 3: Century comes out in 2009. It will be a relief to read something that’s actually well written.

  21. Brother129
    August 12, 2008 at 11:04 am — Reply

    Thanks for another awesome review. It’s really sad that I had to use your review as reading guide to make sense of this issue. Gotta admit, I’m only reading because it’s the “final” crisis and Jones’ pretty pictures. Other than that, I have no clue what’s going on. Don’t get me started on the Batman R.I.P. storyline, don’t know what’s happening there either.

  22. Sith Lord Jesus
    August 12, 2008 at 2:04 pm — Reply

    Me, I love it all – the whole of DC & Marvel’s Civil War/Infinite Crisis/World War Hulk/World War III/Seekrit Invasion/Final Crisis Delirium tremens that they’ve been going through. I wonder if they would ever consider doing a huge summer continuity-f**king “Event” series together for once? Think of the mayhem potential (not to mention the sales!) from all the crossovers. Cha-*ching*, baybee!!

  23. Brad Barbarino
    August 16, 2008 at 9:51 am — Reply

    You know, Final Crisis isn’t an episodic story but ONE story that G MO had to break up into 7 pieces and a few others in the tie-ins, because when it’s finally finished, it will all make sense and it’s a bit all over the place but it has to be to get all of it in. And is that mask real on Wonder Woman or wtf? Somebody answer Rowan and myself! I agree with Albert and Axel, you started off great but you got out of control at the end with the talk about sacrifise!

  24. August 24, 2008 at 12:35 pm — Reply

    Anyone notice Supergirl in her appt surfing the web with printouts of costume concepts? Could this be a shout-out to Project Rooftop? Must be!

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