Book of Doom: Final Crisis #3

Man, Final Crisis just isn’t going to get any better, is it? We’re about halfway through now, and the third issue was just as poorly paced and written as the first one. As you may have been able to tell from the past few days of posts, the other guys here have similar feelings.

Final Crisis 3So what are my biggest complaints?

“You. No longer. As in, employed at this outlet.”

Excuse me, Mr. Morrison, but absolutely no one on the face of the Earth talks like that. No, Buffy the Vampire Slayer doesn’t count as a person. Is all this “Monitor living as a mortal” stuff even necessary? I’m not a moron. I’m going to remember what’s happened four issues from now when the Mortal Monitor stuff starts to come into play. Don’t just throw a page of wasted space into every issue to remind me about the guy.

“It’s a little known fact that death can’t travel faster than the speed of light.”

Boy, that just doesn’t make any sense at all. So maybe that black skier guy can’t travel faster than the speed of light, but as far as I’m aware he’s only the grim reaper for the New Gods. But didn’t Barry Allen waste away into nothing during Crisis on Infinite Earths? Didn’t several people have visions of that happening? You can’t just say, “Barry Allen never died,” because he did. And I’ve got the sneaking suspicion that this isn’t going to turn out to be Barry anyway.

“I guess Superman has problems of his own, Jim. I have to stay with my wife.”

I never remember Superman being quite this selfish before. Superman’s not the kind of guy to choose his wife over millions of innocents. And can someone please explain to me how Superman’s heat vision could possibly be keeping Lois’ heart beating? Last time I checked, your nervous system doesn’t work by sending intense heat to your muscles to tell them what to do.

“Article X? The draft for superheroes?”

Ooh! A superhero draft! No one’s ever thought about doing that! It’s not like Marvel’s big crossover from 2007 wasn’t based on that same concept or anything. But aside from the unoriginality, the idea is ridiculous on its face.

If the world is being threatened by some cosmic supervillain, is there any superhero on the face of the Earth that wouldn’t automatically drop what they’re doing and organize to take down the bigger threat? No, there isn’t. All they’d have to do is ask and guys like Green Arrow, who’s obviously a little perturbed by this draft thing, would willingly line up to take on the big bad. These guys are heroes, they don’t need to be talked into doing the right thing.

“In the end, I couldn’t stand being wholesome and plain and boring one second longer.”

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but thank god for Countdown. Without that craphole of a series, Wonder Woman’s tussle with Mary Marvel would have made absolutely no sense. Why is Mary suddenly clad in black leather with two pink pigtails and nothing else on the top of her head? Why is she working for Darkseid? Wasn’t she in a coma last time we saw her? That’s what we’d be thinking if it wasn’t for Countdown.

Man, you know you’ve hit rock bottom when Countdown was a sign of when comics were good. Let’s see what the rest of the legion has to say:

Jim Doom: “One thing’s for sure — I’m definitely getting my money’s worth out of Final Crisis.

I mean that from a money spent to time spent ratio. With a lot of comics, you read them once and then you’re done. But with Final Crisis, I’ve read each of these issues several times, trying to figure out — am I missing something? Or is this really as awful as it seems?

We open with an investigation by S.H.A.D.E., which I had never heard of. According to wikipedia, it’s a parody of S.H.I.E.L.D. Oh neat, Final Crisis is starring a parody creation apparently led by Frankenstein, one of Morrison’s Seven Soldiers. Frankenstein sees a pixelated hand writing in the air. He concludes it’s “a prophecy” even though it says “Know evil.” I realize prophecies are often vague, and maybe Morrison’s Frankenstein is a stupid monster too, but if “Know evil” is a prophecy, really, what isn’t?

Then some German lady falls out of the sky, and then the fast food serving Monitor gets fired.

Cut to a Flash’s living room, and Jay Garrick has apparently assembled all Flash family members, past and present, so he can explain what just happened. Even though he hasn’t told anyone what happened yet, Barry’s wife made sure to be there, you know, maybe just in case Jay saw Barry. (I bet she’s over there a lot.)

So Jay explains the situation as follows — he and Wally saw a window in time open up, heard the command to “Run,” and so they immediately started running alongside Barry. Barry was apparently chasing the bullet that went backwards through time, trying to stop it, but it was too late. The Black Racer was also following the bullet, but it looks like he was just there to claim Orion when Orion bought it (in the revised Final Crisis version of Orion’s death — not the Death of the New Gods version or the Countdown version, both of which also happened in 2008).

Upon failing to catch that magic bullet, the three Flashes decided to turn around and run back to the future, and that’s when Jay pooped out. He made it back to the present in order to tell his story, but for some reason completely beyond my understanding, Wally and Barry decided to keep running until 3 weeks from now.

Meanwhile, Libra was apparently given the keys to the stupid Super Friends hideout that the bad guys all use now. He slams a new anti-life helmet on the Human Flame’s head, apparently revealing that this slow-motion charade to gradually woo the Flame into Libra’s command was really only just to get that helmet on his head. Considering Libra was able to get the Martian Manhunter there in the boardroom for an assassination and wipe out the top floors of the Daily Planet, one wonders why he did the slow-burn wine-and-dine song-and-dance with The Human Flame if he just needed the loser to put on a new hat.

Now I realize Lex Luthor is in a tough spot, but really, if a guy walked up to me after concluding his weeks-long project to get the Human Flame to try on a new hat and then said “Renounce science, swear an oath on the Bible of Crime and pledge your service to the Master of All Evil,” I think I might be tempted to laugh.

So anyway, at Metropolis Memorial Hospital, Superman is sitting at Lois Lane’s bedside. I realize I stopped reading Countdown, but in that book, Jimmy Olson knew Clark Kent was Superman. I realize Grant Morrison didn’t write Countdown (or the issues of Superman that crossed over with it), so I’m not sure if that is just among the vast collection of Continuity That Doesn’t Matter To Morrison or if they explained that away as Countdown wrapped up. Either way, I thought Jimmy knew who Clark really was. In this book, he doesn’t.

What was funny though was that Clark says his heat vision is the only thing keeping Lois’s heart beating. He doesn’t even look at Jimmy while Jimmy talks to him and leaves. But then that lady monitor shows up in her fancy tight outfit, and Superman’s all “Huh?” and turns away from Lois. Ha ha, made you look! Oops, I guess Lois is dead!

Hal Jordan gets escorted away by Alpha Lanterns. He assures his friends, “Don’t worry about Earth: only Green Lanterns in or out now.” He was probably down the hall, out of earshot, when he remembered to add “Oh yeah, except for giant German-speaking ladies. They will still fall out of the sky.”

Other heroes start talking about the Article X draft. Oracle gets put in charge of that, and she utters a sentence that I have read about 30 times and still can’t understand (“They also serve who have a huge network of friends,” she says). Freddie the Marvel kid sits and mopes about how he’s all self-doubting and stuff, and ponders what seems to be a no-brainer —

“I was thinking I should just say my magic word and change to somebody stronger than me … and never come back. My other self never has the doubts I feel. He won’t stop until he’s brought Mary home and made everything okay.” Yes, I think that’s obvious. Is there something we are unaware of that makes this seem like a tough decision, as opposed to Freddie just being an idiot?

All these other heroes are answering the call — which apparently gets sent by snail-mail, since it’s so urgent, as they’re all holding a piece of paper. (Green Arrow acknowledges he does have a convenient JLA signal device, which they didn’t bother to use.)

I don’t read Supergirl, but it looks as if her hobby is to draw pictures of herself. Green Arrow and Black Canary are half undressed, since they’re liberals and liberals just have sleazy sex all the time.

And then poof — in what was probably supposed to be a great, dramatic moment, all the heroes have united to … figure out who killed Orion? Rescue the peacefully imprisoned Hal Jordan? Fight the evil gods that aren’t attacking? Hmm.

Meanwhile, the few people who actually seem to get to do things and be involved in action (a.k.a. “Characters Grant Morrison created”) are back in Japan in a runway battle with people wearing Anti-Life helmets. They fly away in the Super Young Team’s flying car and I don’t even want to think about this subplot anymore.

Wonder Woman, who apparently agreed to summon all of those superheroes so she could leave them and go out alone, goes to Blüdhaven accompanied by people inexplicably wearing medieval armor and riding giant Dalmatians. True, the “pony dogs” are explained to be “a direct result of Command-D research,” but give me a freaking break. They’re just giant dogs because people in medieval armor riding giant dogs are CRAZY and SO IMAGINATIVE. Save your tax dollars and either get a real pony or a bicycle.

A stupid fight between Wonder Woman and the now leather-clad / head-shaven Mary Marvel ensues, so that Wonder Woman could become ” a disease carrier,” the significance of which escapes me, because then a page later we learn that Mokkari has “sent an email to every single address on the planet earth.”

Apparently, this is a really bad email, because it opens itself! And it has a dangerous attachment! I hope to God that all the geeks who have ragged on Secret Invasion for Bendis’ supposed lack of understanding of how technology works will be equally as vicious with this idea that one person is going to have an email address list called “Everyone,” and that by sending this email to everyone, something bad will automatically happen.

I mean seriously, this is just so stupid. Let’s say I have the resources to engineer an auto-opening email that will do something super bad. Would I probably not have the intelligence to realize 1) not everyone uses email, 2) there are spam filters, and 3) with these types of resources and intelligence, surely I could do something far less convoluted and far more efficient.

So anyway, Jay and Wally decide to put on the brakes three weeks into the future. Considering it took them all that time to run about a day into the past, one would think that they would have a pretty good idea that they went too far the other way.

But the world is all messed up! And Final Crisis is taking a break so that other writers can do the job that Grant Morrison apparently didn’t want to do — fleshing out the story and making some effort to try to get it to fit in with the DC universe.

There’s no way around it — Final Crisis is really bad. I can’t believe how bad it is. On one hand, it’s written cryptically enough and with enough intertwining plot points that it begs you to think, but then it’s so riddled with logic holes and nonsense that it punishes you for thinking. I keep re-reading it, struggling to accept that it’s really as bad as it seems, but then I just keep hating it more and more each time.”

Doom DeLuise: “What more can I say that hasn’t already been said? It’s fairly obvious from the past few posts I’ve made that I can’t stand Final Crisis. Its brazen disregard for other continuity baffles me, and, yet, at the same time, I’m over it. I mean, this guy can’t even keep continuity together in two books he’s writing at the same time! What makes us think he’d pay attention to stuff other people write?

In Batman RIP, Batman’s currently trippin’ balls and being hunted down by the Black Glove. In Final Crisis, he’s being held captive at the Evil Factory. Oh, for the love of God, why didn’t somebody edit that shit out? The Evil Factory? Seriously? This is 2008. We’re adults. For crying out loud. Somebody should make a poll. What’s more patently ridiculous: The Evil Factory or the Super Young Team?

I’m not really talking about this issue, though, am I? I’m complaining about the entire series so far. So let’s talk about this issue. Fine, whatever, I’ll bite.

None of it makes any sense. And I’m not saying that because I’m too stupid to understand Grant Morrison’s “visionary” writing. I’m saying that because it’s nothing more than a bunch of freaked out gobbledygook. Half of it makes no sense and the other half makes perfect sense but is absolutely pointless.

I give up. This just isn’t any fun. It’s just so freakin’ bad that I don’t even want to review it anymore.