Wednesday, January 14, 2009

In which I review Final Crisis

Why do I read Grant Morrison comics?

...That's why.

That's Batman shooting the physical embodiment of evil with a magical bullet that travels backwards in time. Also, Batman is dodging life-seeking laser beams. And that's not even the craziest part of a book that also features a fight between anamorphic tiger people, Superman being shown a doomsday thought-weapon 1,000 years in the future, and a plan to teleport the earth into a parallel universe. I mean, this is pretty tame stuff for a Grant Morrison comic, but it still pretty out there.

The best part is that this all somehow makes sense. Obviously we aren't dealing with the most realistic of subject matter here, but the characters are defined well and the story proceeds in a logical manner (considering that it involves the world being enslaved by an alien computer virus). In terms of basic storytelling, Final Crisis is probably one of the better storylines to come out of a major comic book company in a few years. There are plenty of big action scenes to be sure, but they do not take precedence over the (admittedly epic) story being told. Furthermore, there is quite a bit of depth here, as large swaths of the book can be interpreted as a comment on what it means to be a superhero or even the current state of superhero comics.

Supposedly Marvel is releasing a Spiderman comic featuring Barack Obama today, but I'm thinking Final Crisis will turn out to be the best mainstream comic to come out this month. Good storytelling is frustratingly difficult to come by in mainstream comics right now. Lots of stories empathize cool visuals or callbacks to obscure comics from the '70s and 80's. Final Crisis has both of these things plus the insanity that is inherent in a Grant Morrison comic. However, underneath all of that is solid storytelling.

The story doesn't finish until next month, but the the climax of the story comes in this issue, with the next issue appearing to be an epilogue. If you don't normally read comics, I'd wait until the collected edition comes out in a few months, but this storyline is definitely worth checking out.

Oh... and Batman dies!~

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