Tag Archives: Final Crisis

Speed Reading for the New Year

Lots of year-in-review and coming-next-year posts this week.

Flash: Rebirth makes Newarama’s 9 Comics to Watch in 2009 list, along with two other Geoff Johns projects — Superman: Secret Origin and Green Lantern: Blackest Night. The speedster himself his a runner-up to the 9 Characters to Watch in 2009.

Comic Coverage’s 2008: The Good & The Bad counts Geoff Johns, writer of Flash: Rebirth and Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge, among the Good, and both Grant Morrison and Final Crisis among the Bad.

Comics Should Be Good jeers the final issue of The Flash as “out with a whimper.”

Jon’s Random Acts of Geekery is running a “By the Tens” series on covers from The Flash, starting with 10 covers from Flash Comics and continuing with 10 covers from The Flash vol.1.

Blog@Newsarama’s Corey Henson lists 5 Things I Don’t Want To See in 2009, including Barry Allen replacing Wally West as the primary Flash.

Comic Book Resources’ Top 100 Comics of 2008 features Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge at #39.

CBR News looks at new comics for 2009 and discusses, among other books, Flash: Rebirth.

Looking Back: The Flash in 2008

2008 was a busy, if tumultuous year for the Flash.

The Main Series

As 2008 opened, the Flash was just wrapping up the six-part story “The Wild Wests,” the relaunch featuring Wally West as head of the Flash family and introducing his super-powered twins, Iris and Jai. To put it mildly, it was not received well by fans, and former fan favorite writer Mark Waid quickly left the book.

Flash #243After a one-shot by Keith Champagne, Tom Peyer picked up the regular writing chores and Freddie Williams II stayed on for the 6-part “Fast Money,” which resolved the twins’ super-speed aging problem and gave us a glimpse of an adult Iris West II.

The series wrapped up with the year, as Alan Burnett, Paco Diaz, and Carlo Barberi brought us “This Was Your Life, Wally West.” The four-part story arc looked back at Wally West’s career as Kid Flash, then the Flash, and his relationship with his wife Linda and their children.

Rogues’ Revenge

Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge #1The Rogues’ Gallery were off-limits to start with, as they were off-planet for Salvation Run. Early in the year, DC released the news of Flash: Rogues’ Revenge, a miniseries that would spotlight them after they returned to Earth, going after Inertia for tricking them into killing the Flash. Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins would return to the speedster mythos for six issues.

By the time the series was launched, it had become Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge, and instead of six regular-sized issues it was three oversized issues.

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Trade Contents Confirmed: Mercury Falling and The Human Race

The newsletter DC Comics Direct Channel #914 identifies the contents of the upcoming Flash Presents: Mercury Falling and Flash: The Human Race trade paperbacks.

May 2009: Flash Presents: Mercury Falling (Todd Dezago, Ethan Van Sciver) will collect Impulse #62-67. That covers the 5-issue story arc itself as well as the one-issue epilogue guest-starring the Justice League, Justice Society and Young Justice.

June 2009: Flash: The Human Race (Grant Morrison, Mark Millar, Paul Ryan, Pop Mhan) will collect Flash v.2 #136-141 and a story from Secret Origins #50. The Flash issues cover both “The Human Race” and “The Black Flash.”

The Secret Origins story is undoubtedly the retelling of the classic “Flash of Two Worlds,” (Flash v.1 #123) in which Grant Morrison figured out how to incorporate the parallel-world story into a single-world setting. Unless I’ve forgotten something, this volume and Flash: Emergency Stop will cover all of Grant Morrison’s Flash solo work.

It also lists the Final Crisis hardcover coming out in June, along with the Final Crisis Companion trade paperback, which includes all the FC one-shots (including Superman: Beyond, which started as a one-shot that just got too long.) No word yet on when Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge will be collected, but there are supposed to be more summer 2009 announcements later this week.

Pushing Back the Lightning Rod

DC’s website lists several more Final Crisis–related delays.

  • Final Crisis #5 has been pushed back two more weeks to December 10.
  • Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #3 has been pushed another month to January 14. This one is particularly annoying since it’s supposed to finally answer the question of who the Legion resurrected in “The Lightning Saga” back in June 2007.
  • Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #4 — originally due in late December — has been rescheduled for February 25.

Unless the final issue Final Crisis itself gets pushed back even further (as rumored by this week’s Lying in the Gutters), it looks like Legion of Three Worlds will keep going several months beyond the main series.

Review: Final Crisis #4

After two and a half months, it’s finally here: the next chapter of DC’s major event for the year. The wait wouldn’t have been so bad if the tie-in one-shots, Submit, Superman: Beyond, Resist and Rage of the Red Lanterns had come out between issues #3 and #4, as originally described — or if Rogues Revenge and Legion of Three Worlds had stayed on schedule. As it is, there’s been a generally sense of frustration associated with the series.

So the question is: Is this issue worth the wait? Is it good enough to overshadow the real-world context?

I’d say the answer is yes.

All the threads being set up through the first three issues come together. We see what the villains have been planning. For the most part, they’ve already achieved what they set out to do: dominate the Earth. They only need to wipe out the few pockets of resistance, and achieve one more goal: the reincarnation of Darkseid himself.

In most stories where a villain tries to take over the world, the story we see is the one about preventing it from happening. What’s different here is that the heroes have lost. The invasion has succeeded, and it’s about trying to throw off the occupation. While the “watchtowers” are scattered around the globe, there’s a sense of the heroes’ forces as the French Resistance from World War II. (This is no doubt enhanced by having the resistance led by the original Green Lantern, who actually fought in World War II.)

Admittedly it covers some of the same ground as the “Rock of Ages” storyline from Grant Morrison’s run on JLA, but Final Crisis is emotionally more devastating than Rock of Ages. It takes place now, with characters and a world as we’re used to seeing them, not in some ten-years-distant future. (Though come to think of it, “Rock of Ages” came out about ten years ago, didn’t it?) And knowing how quickly the world was transformed makes it even worse.

There are a few things that don’t quite work. A lot of the dialogue, particularly the technobabble, the speechifying, and the scene in which two Flashes pause to catch their bearings, is stilted or doesn’t quite make sense. As with the first few issues, transitions between scenes are often abrupt. And some story elements just aren’t given enough space to develop. Much of the issue is devoted to characterization, which personally I don’t mind, but I know many readers are in it for the action and battles, and there’s only a few pages of actual fighting.

Spoilers after the cut: Continue reading

How I Would Open Final Crisis #4

After weeks of waiting, Final Crisis #4 is only two days away. I meant to post this last month, but pushed it off to look up some numbers, and never got around to it. So, before it gets Jossed, here’s how I would open the post-skip-month Final Crisis based on what we saw at the end of issue #3.

(Spoilers for Final Crisis #1-3. I haven’t read Final Crisis: Revelations, so this may contradict or retread a bit.) Continue reading