Thursday, January 17, 2013

No Hope for Atomic Knights

"No Hope for Atomic Knights" from Final Crisis #4 (DC, 2008) by Grant Morrison, JG Jones, Carlos Pacheco and Jesus Merino
What can I say about Final Crisis that's never been said? Probably nothing. It was a disappointment, with great big images that worked on their own, but unlike previous Crises, wasn't really a game changer for the DCU. It should have restored the Multiverse, but 52 had already done that a year before and not done anything with it (until the crass Search for Ray Palmer specials). It should have been the death and possible rebirth of the Fourth World, but DC undercut and confused all that with lead-up mini-series that told the same story and made even less sense. It was meant as a more intimate story (the Monitor stuff), but hype wouldn't let it (the word "Crisis" itself has unavoidable hype all its own). And it should have been a "Final" end to a the series of crossovers of the previous 5 years, and the last reshuffling of DC's continuity, but Flashpoint wasn't long in coming. Some of its failures can be left at Morrison's feet, but DC Editorial seemed to lack faith in the project, and undermined it wherever they could.

Like most crossover events, it did launch a bunch of other things. Barry Allen came back. Batman was sent into the past. That kind of thing. Spin-offs didn't actually continue after their initial mini, like Japan's own brand of Justice League the Super Young Team, or nipple arsonist the Human Flame. Even the wonderful moment when Aquaman was seen alive and well was ignored and Geoff Johns resurrected him on his own terms in Blackest Night. What a mess.


  1. Morrison was always an odd choice to head a crossover event, given his propensity to not play well with others, to show little interest in company-wide continuity.

    And Final Crisis showcased what I think is latter-day Morrison's greatest weakness: an emphasis on (admittedly exciting) big ideas and name-dropping, but nearly zero interest in characterization, beyond basic iconography. His work just has a cold remoteness these days, that often fails to engage me like it should. Final Crisis was really the epitome of that trend.

  2. "Morrison was always an odd choice to head a crossover event..."

    On the other hand, he headed up DC One Million, which I think is one of the best crossover events DC ever did.

  3. I'm with you Snell. I like the ideas, but it basically left the personal stories to be told in other books, and many of those other books were lacking.