Sometimes, the unfortunate duty falls to one who must play the child and state that the emporer has no clothes. Thus I cry, “Grant Morrison can’t write!” Sure, once upon a time he wrote some magnificant stuff but here, in Final Crisis, we see just how badly some writers need editors. Allow me to demonstrate.
“Blue oranges should avoid jumping paradoxes by monkeys upon laughter.”
Tell someone that Shakesphere wrote that and you’ll get an overanalyzed dissertation.
Tell someone that I (a lowly blog writer) wrote it and you’ll get the proper reaction.
IT’S MEANINGLESS GIBBERISH.
A challenge to any fanboys who decide they want a piece of me. Take off “by Grant Morrison” and would you still find anything redeemable in Final Crisis?
For the next week (exculding Thursdays when new Supernaturals finally show again), we’re going to go over the EPIC FAIL of each Final Crisis issue I have. But for starters, let’s go over some general faults with this whole ordeal.
- Let… Kirby… die! I acknowledge that Jack Kirby has a magnificant role in the history of comics. But look at the man’s work and how it overflowed with creativity. I can almost hear him screaming “come up with your own shit!”
- The New Gods suck. Oh not in general but in fitting with the whole of the DCU. Pretend for a moment that Watchmenwas suddenly introduced as DC canon and Dr Manhattan was the major threat of Crisis XLIV. It wouldn’t work would it? So we get these usually sci-fi genre beings suddenly invading the magic realm of DC, the gritty realism realm, etc. Let’s break it down.
- The new gods are magical? Since when? Superman has gone toe-to-toe with them (good and evil) several times and proven to be an equal or better. Magic is the only thing more dangerous to Supes than kyrptomite. Also if they were magical, why didn’t the Spectre take them out in Day of Vengence? How come none tried to stop him in Day of Vengence? Are they equal of the Spectre? (the incarnation of the wrath of the God of gods) If so, where were Orion or Darkseid during Crisis on Infinite Earth when the Spectre was putting the mega-sized beatdown on the anti-Monitor?
- What about other sci-fi elements like the Green Lantern Crop? Seems as powerful as the guardians are, they could all show up and crush Darkseid like they did the anti-Monitor in the Sinestro Corp war. Morrison once said that with Orion gone, the heroes were losing the will to fight (elevating even more power to the new gods) so where is just the generic will power new god? Is he inside the power battery? Why isn’t he/she Ion? Why isn’t Darkseid or one of his minions Parallax and/or recruiting the Sinestro Crop? Or any of the other “negative” lantern corps we know are coming (red & orange).
- Why do the new gods care about Earth at all? In many DC books we see other worlds where ordinary citizens can arm wrestle Superman. Why not go to them? Why not grab all the other “big villains” of the DCU and bring them in an unstopable army onto earth? (you know… like Sinestro did) Where’s Mongul, Doomsday, Gog, etc etc? Does Darkseid need the Joker that badly?
- Show, don’t tell! This is the first rule of any visual medium especially. Some say that Morrison is trying to give the “ground view” of epic events, but he’s failing. The practice of showing world altering events through a narrowed perception (making the audience feel like they are there) only works if you have limited focus narration. Harry Potter pulled it off because we only saw anything through his eyes. Morrison has a bit of this with the stupid Japanese kids but the problem is that there are other parts of the story, parts that jump around all over the world with no rhyme or reason. Thus, we the audience know that we can view events through ANY character’s eyes so showing us happenings through the most limited viewpoints doesn’t feel like putting us in the action, but jerking the audience around. We KNOW the narrator can show us what’s happening. Not doing so is either lazy or insulting.
- F’ continuity! Expect for that. And that. Or that…
The above is reference to an infamous quote from Morrison when readers asked how this all “fit” in the DCU. But Grant Morrison doesn’t want to F’ ALL continuity, just the parts he doesn’t like as we’ve repeatedly come across the most obscure fragments of the DCU. BUT HE GIVES US NO CLUE WHAT THIS CONTINUITY IS. Not a single caption box saying “For more on ___’s adventures, check out.” No bibliography on the last page. NOTHING! I’m fine with reader’s doing research, but you’ve got to give them SOME starting point. Hell, Morrison’s hypocrasy wouldn’t even be that bad for an elseworlds title, but this is supposed to be a company wide event.
Except it doesn’t apply company wide.
It doesn’t acknowledge anything else happening within the company.
If Final Crisis was done with just new characters (again, like Watchmen)… well the writing would still suck but at least we wouldn’t feel so violated.
- Mood wiplash! Do you remember watching Star Wars 3 (Revenge of the Sith – though I can’t blame you if you repressed it)? Remember the scene where Obi-wan is talking with Padme? The scene is supposed to be emotional, the two of them betrayed by someone they trusted and loved. Remember how the whole thing fell apart the moment Obi-wan gasped “younglings”? There’s a reason why in a dramatic scene you want to use the word “children/child” rather than something like “kiddies”. Words shape your writing just as paint brushes shape a painting. Over the top phrases and silly words like “evil factory” or “anti-life” work in something like… Dr McNinja (where our suspension of disbelief has been blown up, frozen, burned, then shredded). Final Crisis, however, is supposed to be a dramatic, somber work. Whatever emotions we may have toward the narrative, are shattered and turned to laughter by reading “evil factory”.
This is just the tip of the iceberg (watch this post expand or deepen as I reread some things and remember a lot of the pain I supressed). The real challenge is to figure out which event was worse: Zero Hour or this.