Friday, January 16, 2009

Final Crisis #6:'How to Murder the Earth'

I’ve been re-reading The Invisibles over the past few weeks, as part of getting the book ready, and I’m in the heart of Volume III right now. That makes it unfortunate timing for the release of Final Crisis #6, an issue that’s solid Morrison, but pales next to the brilliance and progressive feel of late period Invisibles. I love almost all of Morrison’s work, but I do think he’s been trapped in this kind of turned to 11 insane superhero storytelling for a while now, and it could be time to go back to something more introspective, along the lines of “Karmageddon.”

FC #6 is as strong an issue as most of Final Crisis to date, and I’m sure read under normal circumstances I would have been more into it. There are some absolutely fantastic moments, most of them involving the use of the Metron symbol to tie the resistance together and cut holes in Darkseid’s power. I love the moment where the Tatooed Man ignites his symbol and throws chaos into the onslaught of justifiers. Also awesome is the two page spread at the end where Metron tells Nix Uotan about the oncoming fifth world.

The issue is also notable for the ‘death’ of Batman. Again, people say that he’s dead, but even Morrison is making it clear that this is just part of Bruce Wayne’s ongoing evolution. The Omega Sanction is just another version of Thogal, a series of deaths and rebirths that will culminate in Batman eventually being reborn again. Morrison just wrote a lengthy story that made it clear that Batman is always prepared for anything, surely he can overcome the worst that Darkseid has to offer. What I hope is that we’ll get the rumored Bruce Wayne as god of the fifth world story, at least for a little bit before everything eventually resets to the status quo.

But, I’m hoping that after Final Crisis is over, Morrison takes some time off from big superhero comics and does some more restrained comics. I love the intensity and scope of this book, but when I read the incredibly precise ‘Karmageddon,’ or even look at the very specific emotional moments of “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” I want to see more stories like that. During The Invisibles, he balanced the heights of JLA with the more grounded Invisibles, we need that counter now. I’d love to see him do another long form creator owned project, or at least a couple of minis. I’m sure there’s a lot of stories still to tell in the DCU, and I do want to see those, but I want to see something closer to Seven Soldiers or The Invisibles as well.