Everything I know about DC comics, I learned from itsjustsomerandomguy. Well, that’s not entirely true – growing up, I watched the superman movies, laughed at reruns of Adam West’s Batman, collected playing cards from Keaton’s Batman movie, and watched the ill-fated Flash TV show. I was mainly a Marvel reader growing up, collecting Wolverine and X-men comics, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the Batman cartoons of the 90’s or even the Justice League cartoons after that.
The point is I never really got into the DC comics. So when Jackie received Final Crisis by Greg Cox and asked if I was interested, I was concerned that my knowledge of DC comics would prevent me from enjoying the book. The first chapter’s introduction of Metron wasn’t exactly reassuring; it wasn’t a name I was familiar with, despite him being fairly important in the DC universe. Things quickly turned around when the justice league showed up. Within pages, I felt right at home with the characters.
Victorious at long last against his enemies on the world of New Genesis, Darkseid has unleashed the forces of Apokolips on Earth. With the secret of the Anti- Life Equation at his command, Darkseid now possesses the ability to eradicate all free will from humanity-and usher in an end to the age of super heroes. Facing an ever growing army of mindless slaves and corrupted heroes, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the remnants of the Justice League of America find themselves consumed by the ever spreading darkness. They remain humanity’s only hope-the only light that will not be extinguished in the world’s darkest hour.
One thing I truly appreciated about the book was the author’s effort towards explaining the back-story of the characters – there’s literally decades of back-story for each character. For example, there are three characters that hold the title of “The Flash“; the book easily explains the relationship between them. This made the book approachable for someone without an in-depth knowledge of the comics.
Final Crisis covered the standard fair of comic books – time travel, circular storylines, parallel worlds, observers from outside the universe, overwhelming odds, etc. Through it all, the story still managed to be unique and engaging. It turned out better than I could have expected, and I stayed up late more than one night because it was so compelling (which is rare for me).
There is one thing that caught me off guard – I’ve known that there have been several Green Lanterns, I’m most familiar with Hal Jordan, (the guy with the mask and brown hair), yet the Justice League Cartoon had a black guy who didn’t wear a mask. Despite catching episodes every now and then, I never caught his name, John Stewart, not to be confused with the host of The Daily show, Jon Stewart. For the first 100 pages or so, I kept imagining the 5’6″ host standing next to Superman and Batman. What can I say, I’m easily amused.
I would gladly recommend Final Crisis to anyone, especially non-comic readers. With comic movies being the craze these days, it gives welcome context to the DC universe.