Monday, October 27, 2008
Final Crisis: Submit
Grant Morrison is great. I mean, I don't have to tell you. Everybody loves Grant Morrison, and it's almost a cliche to do so. But I still love him. I think he's got such an incredible talent for dialogue, for plot, for ideas, for themes, for everything. He's madcap and crazy, the opposite of the cold and calculating Alan Moore, but still just as talented. While Final Crisis slowly leaks out into shops, Morrison offers us a one-shot starring the Tattooed Man and Black Lightning in an issue called Final Crisis: Submit.
This story takes place in the moments before Final Crisis 4, in which the Justifiers and evil has won. Black Lightning races to a signal from the Tattooed Man, who is holed up in his house with his entire family, a family taught to despise the costumed superheroes. So when Black Lightning arrives and demands to bring them to safety, the conflict arises between the costumed-haters and the costumed. Black Lightning has the Tattooed Man memorized a pattern to emulate on his body, which is a circuit, and this plot point is picked up later in Final Crisis 4. At the end, Black Lightning helps the family get away, helps the Tattooed Man come to realize his foolishness, and gets the Anti-Life helmet thrown on his head. He has come to submit.
This is a great character study that doesn't waste time in the main title, and doesn't disappoint. So far, the spin-offs from Final Crisis have been of great quality. I haven't read Final Crisis: Revelations, if only because my wallet can only handle so much, but so far I'm impressed. With this issue, my theory of hyperlink cinema, which I outlined here, is justified. A scene in the fourth issue of the main title corresponds to another story in between the moments. Considering that this is done by the same author (not the same art team though, unfortunately), the continuity and flow and style is the same, and there's no jarring moments.
If this is how hyperlink comics, or event comics, will continue to go, I'm happy, even if it's hard on the wallet. I'd rather the event be self-contained within the main title and its few spin-offs, rather than crossing over into every possible title. When the event crosses over, the story can be mixed up and confused, ie too many cooks in one kitchen. The style and tone can vary wildly between authors such as Peter David and Dan Slott and Greg Pak. I'm thinking of World War Hulk, which had terrible crossovers and a great main title. The decent crossovers were the ones written by Pak.
However, there is a problem with hyperlink comics that I complained about in my editorial, aforementioned and linked above. Why is Superman in the future with the Legion and traipsing around the Multiverse with alterna-Supermen? This is just poor editing. This can be improved with tighter control on the continuity and chronology of the event itself.
Well, back to the issue at hand... the story's great and the art's lower than average, but I really liked it. Final Crisis: Submit stands up as an individual one-shot and as a tie-in to the main comic itself.