Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Crisis Time! - Batman #682-683 and Final Crisis #6

Well, I’ve gotten to the penultimate issue of Final Crisis. It’s been an interesting ride, I’ll give it that. I’ll be also briefly looking at Batman #682-#683. Both issues tied into what Batman was doing or not doing in this case. Remember that he was kidnapped in Final Crisis #2 and he’s been off the board since then. The creative team for Final Crisis is the same but more people have been added. Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy have come in to do some pages. We also got another colorist along with Alex Sinclair this time around. Morrison also wrote the Batman issues. The art for those was done by Lee Garbett, Trevor Scott, and Guy Major.

The main covers for the Batman issues were drawn by the always awesome Alex Ross. The covers for #6 are cool as usual. The main one features Batman and the variant features Darkseid holding a disheveled Superman. While the Batman cover is fine, I have to say that the variant is the more interesting one this time around. What’s weird (and kind of sad) is that scene NEVER happens in the event. This is actually the last time we see that new suit of Darkseid’s. I’m a little disappointed by that. Oh well… Let's see what the Dark Knight was up to!

Batman #682 and #683
Writer: Grant Morrison
Pencils: Lee Garbett
Inks: Trevor Scott
Colors: Guy Major
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher

“The Butler Did It”/”The Butler Did It Again”
During Batman’s captivity, Dr. Mokkari and Dr. Simyan were basically trying to clone an army of Batmen for Darkseid. At the end of Final Crisis #2, he was locked into some sort of machine. It turns out that the machine as designed to sift through Batman’s memories in order to basically get what makes Bruce Batman. All of the thoughts and memories were then uploaded into a being called “The Lump” and it feeds the experiences to the shapeless clones. Throughout the process, we follow Bruce through his career as Batman. We see the good times as well as the bad times.
So Bruce could have either become the good Killer Moth or the Green Ranger? Now I'm wondering how Tommy would have done as Batman.

When Bruce begins to piece together that his mind is being sifted through, the Lump creates false memories where he never became Batman. This move ended up failing, of course. When the Lump started to sift through the really bad memories aka “Late 80’s-The mid-2000’s,” the information makes the clones kill themselves. Batman is able to convince the Lump to fight back in order to help him. In order to stop the madness, Mokkari and Simyan kill the Lump. The issue pretty much ends with us finding out what happened to Batman after the events of “Batman: R.I.P.” It turned out that he basically swam to the Batcave after the helicopter exploded. Before he got to do anything else, he was warned about Orion’s death.
So, you just swam? That's okay, I guess.

These issues were okay as a whole. The overall story was interesting. We basically get a rundown of Batman’s history as told by Grant Morrison. To Morrison, everything from Batman’s past counted even the weird times in the Silver Age. I thought it was cool how Batman used his tortured memories in order to win. I see why Darkseid wanted to clone an army of Batmen. The artwork itself is fine. There’s not a lot that’s noteworthy about it, but it is good. I liked the various callbacks to Batman’s history.

While I like the issues, they feel a little bland at times. It’s essentially a comic book version of a clip show and those can be a little “bleh” at times. While the revelation of what Batman did after “R.I.P” was needed, it was pretty lackluster. It also got a little confusing. Since we had fake memories as well as real memories, it did get weird. Overall, these were some okay issues that showed what Batman was up to during his captivity. It would have been nice if most of this was actually included in the main series itself.

Final Crisis #6
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artists: J.G. Jones, Carlos Pacheco, Doug Mahnke, Marco Rudy, Christian Alamy, and Jesus Merino
Colors: Alex Sinclair and Pete Pantazis
Letters: Rob Clark Jr.

“How To Murder The Earth”
We start out in the 31st century with Brainiac 5 leading Superman to the Legion’s hidden arsenal vault. I’m guessing this has to be after the events of Legion of Three Worlds, which is something I’ll get to one day. It would have been nice if the main series had actually said something about this, but it can’t be all perfect. Anyway, Superman only has minutes before he is transported back to his own time, but Brainiac isn’t able to get him back to the time before all hell broke loose on Earth. Brainiac 5 shows him a weapon called Gen-Jedollah-the Absolute aka ‘The Miracle Machine.’ Superman only gets moments to look at it before he’s sent back in time.

Back in the 21st century, we finally catch back up with Black Canary and the rest of the survivors on the JLA Watchtower. They try to get their bearings and look for any weapons. Unfortunately, their rest can’t last as the Justifiers have ships of their own and are waiting outside. They eventually break in and take everyone hostage. Tattooed Man is able to fight them off with the Circuit and Black Canary turns off the gravity so they can make the playground even.

In Bludhaven, the battle rages on. Supergirl and Evil Mary Marvel tear up the place. We find out that the New God, Desaad, is the one controlling Mary. Try matching this up to Countdown to Final Crisis now. Anyway, Captain Marvel grabs her and uses the last of his magic to change Mary Marvel back into Mary Batson where she’s not under Desaad’s control for some reason. Tawny the Tiger takes on Kalibak with Tawny winning the battle. This makes the Tiger men somehow respect Tawny. Unfortunately, the two small victories are nothing when the New Furies show up.
Okay, Morrison.  You win. You got me to care about this guy. 

At Castle Checkmate, the shields end up failing.  We finally learn more on whom the Super Young Team and what powers they have. Mr. Terrific tells Miracle and the Super Young Team about a final plan if all hope was lost. We then learn of the plan through Amanda Waller’s long tour for Renee Montoya. The Atoms (Ray Palmer and Ryan Choi) are preparing them all to be taken to another Earth. Lord Eye tells Montoya they’re going to send survivors to a New Earth and that she is going to help lead it. Montoya gives Eye the best remark.
Renee's comments at the end perfectly represent Final Crisis.

At Libra’s place (it’s not actually mentioned), Lex Luthor and Sivana are seeing the Calculator being hanged for treason. It’s revealed that Lex was actually the one who committed the act. Libra and the Justifiers realize it but Sivana was ready. Sivana uses a device to knock out the Justifiers and Lex kills Libra a little too easily. In Central City, Jay meets with Barry, Wally, and Iris. Barry came out of the Speed Force knowing how to stop Darkseid. In order to stop him, Barry and Wally will head back into the Speed Force to attract the Black Racer. When the Racer shows up, they head in.
So, did these characters really amount to anything???

In Command D, Batman (who somehow escaped from that machine), confronts Darkseid in his throne room. To fanboys’ disgust (except for me), he’s brandishing a gun that has the god-killer bullet. Knowing the bullet will stop Darkseid, Batman shoots him with the gun. Unfortunately, Darkseid’s Omega Beams (or Sanction in this case) hit Batman. Outside, the heroes are reeling from Darkseid’s forces as reality begins to crash. Metron tells Nix Uotan that Earth will have a worst threat than Darkseid if they breach the Bleed wall. Suddenly, Superman in “Full Wrath of God” mode comes out of the sky, attacks Darkseid’s forces, and goes into Command D. The issue ends with Superman holding Batman’s dead body.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. "Batman doesn't use guns!"  Whatever. I actually don't have a problem with this.


This one was okay as well. It’s not by all means horrible, but it’s not really great either. So much stuff is thrown at us in the issue. You can tell that Morrison is trying to get things wrapped up for the final issue. We’re in the future, Bludhaven, Central City, Castle Checkmate, and space. Superman gets thankfully pulled back into the main series. Batman has one of his defining moments (not the dying part). I also liked the Bludhaven battle especially Tawny’s scene. I don’t know anything about the character, but that was pretty cool.

The meeting of the three Flashes and the scene on the Watchtower was also nice. We even learn a couple of things about the Super Young Team who are still pretty lackluster in my opinion. We even learn those other dudes’ names! The artwork was okay this time around. Since Mahnke was also drawing, that consistency wasn’t as good as it was in the previous two issues. Still, it wasn’t all bad. Batman’s scene and Superman’s return were really good art-wise. The battles in Bludhaven were well drawn too.
Oh Crap... Darkseid's gonna get it.

 Unfortunately, I did have some qualms about the issue. I still don’t care about the Super Young Team. Even though we finally learn a little about them, they really aren't all that interesting. Libra’s plot ended in a lame way. We got all of this buildup to the character early on, and his plot really goes nowhere after the third issue. We also got too much stuff thrown at us in this one issue. We get Barry’s plan, Brainiac 5’s weapon, Checkmate’s final plan to ship the survivors to another universe, and the universe ending. It’s just so much. One last thing is that some of the art in the issue was a little poor. While I liked Flash’s scene and the Watchtower scene, something just felt off with that art. 

Overall, this issue was fine but not really good. Well, I have one issue to go and it should be an easy thing to write up… (Reads last issue)…

Uh… Well, I might have a tougher time with that. Peace and God Bless.


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