Thursday, May 29, 2008

Final Crisis #1

And away we go!

Pg. 1:

This is Anthro; he was created by Howie Post, and first appeared in SHOWCASE #74 in 1968. Morrison has said that FC will begin with the first boy on Earth and end with the last boy on Earth (Kamandi). The standard line on Anthro is that he's the first Cro-Magnon boy. (And Metron calls him "man"; I suspect that the distinction between boys and men may be thematically significant, as well as the distinctions between gods and men and between mortality and immortality.)

So what period are we seeing here? Cro-Magnons, specifically, seem to have first appeared about 45,000 years ago; modern humans date to something 130,000 years ago; the people Anthro attacks a little while later seem surprised by fire, although controlled fire predates modern humans by many hundreds of thousands of years; at the end of this issue, Anthro's got a bow and arrow, which were invented only around 10,000 years ago. In other words: this happened a long time ago, and Morrison is hand-waving on the details.

Pp. 2-3:

Metron, sitting in his "Möbius Chair" on the right, is the first of many, many characters we'll see in this series that were created by Jack Kirby. He first appeared in NEW GODS #1 in 1971, and apparently died in THE DEATH OF THE NEW GODS #7 a couple of months ago.

Metron is significant in connection with Morrison, who claims to have summoned him in a magical ritual. He's talked about it several times, notably in this Arthur interview: "So when Chaos Magic came along to say that instead of summoning up Hermes, you could just as easily summon up DC comics super-speedster The Flash and The Flash would appear, visibly, I was naturally excited. [laughs] So I’m going, Bullshit, and I summoned Metron from the “New Gods” comics…and I got Metron! Or I should say what I got was the distilled, descending power and magic of language, speed and information which was wearing Metron drag in order to talk to me."

It's also worth mentioning the connection to Morrison's SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY project here. SEVEN SOLDIERS #1 includes a scene drawn by J.H. Williams III in high-Kirby style, in which we learn about the origin of super-heroics on Earth: in 40,000 B.C., "the sky tribes bring structure to a savage world," the caption says, and we see Neanderthals running from Metron, Orion and Lightray of the New Gods. Aurakles, a Neanderthal warrior, becomes Earth's first superhero, and a civilization arises, until the world is harrowed, leaving just enough people for humanity to rebuild itself. (Call it the Sheeda catastrophe theory.) Presumably, that all happens before Anthro's time. Unless Anthro is actually Aurakles, which doesn't seem right: his hair is reddish here, but it's not Aurakles-style flaming red.

Pg. 4:

Panel 3: The fiery sign Metron is making with his finger appears to be the astrological symbol of Mars, the god of war. Is Metron playing Prometheus, giving fire-as-knowledge to mortals? Sure looks like it, and the caption on pg. 7 reinforces that idea.

Pg. 5:

The black-haired guy in the middle is the immortal Vandal Savage, who was created by Alfred Bester and Martin Nodell and first appeared in GREEN LANTERN #10 in 1943. (Man, that's a good cover.) He's been around since roughly 50,000 B.C.

Pg. 6:

The characters in the original Anthro stories could talk. Nobody's sure when spoken human language developed, but one guesstimate is around the time of Vandal Savage's birth.

Panel 4: Is there a more enduring cliché than the caveman dragging a woman by her hair?

Pg. 8:

Grant Morrison's script for this and the next four pages can be seen at Entertainment Weekly's preview here. My favorite detail: Morrison's description of Turpin as "Jack Kirby as drawn by Frank Miller."

We seem to be in Metropolis in this scene--note the "Star Liner" ship. (Metropolis has a little bit of a star/planet motif: in the early years, the Daily Planet newspaper was the Daily Star.)

Panel 2: Dan "Terrible" Turpin was created by Jack Kirby, and first appeared under that name in NEW GODS #5. (There's a retcon I'm not gonna get into here that would have made him appear earlier as Brooklyn of the Boy Commandos.)

Panel 3: Orion was also created by Jack Kirby, and also first appeared in NEW GODS #1. When we last saw him, in COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS #2, he had just ripped out the heart of his father, Darkseid, and was staggering off into the distance, badly injured. If Orion's Mother Box has been destroyed, though, you'd think his face would appear more bestial. [ETA: Per that infamous Morrison interview, we've... actually last seen Orion in DEATH OF THE NEW GODS #6, and COUNTDOWN #2 is more or less apocryphal.]

Panel 4: "Six missing kids": besides the obvious referent later this issue, this echoes the group of six Titans that Dark Side is trying to collect in this week's TEEN TITANS.

Pg. 9:

Panel 1: As we saw in the Metron/Anthro scene, knowledge-as-fire burns.

Panel 3: "They" are presumably the New Gods (killed off in, naturally, DEATH OF THE NEW GODS); "he" is presumably Darkseid.

Panel 4: That's the (newly redesigned) death avatar Black Racer in the background: created by Jack Kirby, who else, he first appeared in NEW GODS #3. Note that the sky has turned red over the course of the page: the Crisis is on now.

Pg. 10:

Panel 1: The script says this is the version of New York seen in SEVEN SOLDIERS--the "Cinderella city" between Metropolis and Gotham City--but commenter chad nevett points out that it's actually drawn as Detroit, which is what the script for the second panel asks for.

Panel 4: "2814.2": John Stewart is one of the two Green Lanterns assigned to Space Sector 2814, which includes Earth. [Thanks for the correction, doc_loki.]

Pg. 11:

Panel 1: "Metropolis Special Crimes Unit": a division of the police department devoted to superhuman-related affairs. Created by John Byrne, it was first referred to in SUPERMAN #4 in 1987.

Panel 4: 2814.1 would be Hal Jordan, who's based in Coast City (commenter pla points out that it's apparently somewhere in California).

Pg. 12:

Panel 2: The woman in the hat is Renee Montoya, a.k.a. the Question. In her civilian identity, she was created by Paul Dini and Mitch Brian, for Batman: The Animated Series, and first appeared in comics in BATMAN #475 in 1992. She became the Question over the course of 52.

Panel 3: The first Question, Charles Victor Szasz, a.k.a. Vic Sage, was created by Steve Ditko and first appeared in BLUE BEETLE #1 in 1967. He did indeed die of lung cancer in 52 #38. Which, as Turpin suggested earlier, sort of counts as another way of using fire to kill oneself.

Pg. 13:

Panel 2: "Danny boy": the previous Question sang "Danny Boy" at dramatically significant moments in THE QUESTION #2 and 52 #34.

Panel 4: The Dark Side Club first appeared in SEVEN SOLDIERS: MISTER MIRACLE, and has been turning up in various DC titles over the last couple of weeks.

Pg. 14:

Panel 1: The Mister Miracle poster on the wall is presumably for the Shilo Norman version of the character, as seen in SEVEN SOLDIERS: MISTER MIRACLE.

Hal's facial scar here is significant, the Director's Cut edition notes.

Pg. 15:

Panel 1: "Lagrangian point" (or Lagrange--not "LaGrange"--point) is defined here; there are actually five such points in the planet's orbit, I believe, but hey, the Guardians are guardians, not astrophysicists. And "dust for radiation prints"--I get what they're saying, but the metaphor's a little strained.

Panel 2: The Alpha Lanterns are essentially the Green Lanterns' internal-affairs investigation force.

Pg. 16:

Panel 1: Metron's Möbius Chair.

Panel 2: Sparx, created by Karl Kesel, Tom Grummett and Ed Hannigan, first appeared in ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN ANNUAL #5 in 1993. Empress, created by Peter David and Todd Nauck, first appeared in YOUNG JUSTICE #16 in 2000; David Uzumeri points out that she has a piece of the Anti-Life Equation in her brain. Mas y Menos, created by Sam Register, Glen Murakami, David Slack and Alex Soto for the Teen Titans animated series, first appeared on-panel in comics in TEEN TITANS #38 in 2006. This is the first we've seen of the League of Titans. And, most likely, the last we'll see. Is the New Gods' domain really "another reality"?

Panel 4: Dr. Light was established in IDENTITY CRISIS as a serial rapist.

Pg. 17:

Panel 1: [ETA: Commenter raphaeladidas points out that the guy in the yellow cape is Signalman, created by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff, who first appeared in BATMAN #112 in 1957.] (And shouldn't most of these folks be in jail anyway? Or is there something we don't know from SALVATION RUN? For that matter, what's Red Tornado doing with a body?) On the right: Black Canary, a version of a character created by Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino who first appeared in FLASH COMICS #86 in 1947. (This is actually that character's daughter, although explaining how and when the switchoff occurred is kind of a headache.)

Pg. 18:

Panel 1: The bald guy is Doctor Sivana, created by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck, who first appeared in WHIZ COMICS #2 in 1940.

Panel 4: Libra is now sitting in Metron's chair, and has a Crime Bible. [Thanks, alonso.]

Pg. 19:

Oh, Mike. Sigh.

Might be a red herring, but commenter michael suggests that Libra's staff might actually be the Spear of Destiny--the spear that pierced Christ's side, which is a very powerful mystical artifact in the DCU. The long explanation is here, but when last seen (in DAY OF JUDGMENT SECRET FILES #1 in 1999), it had been hurled into the sun and could only be retrieved by the Sentinels of Magic working collectively. [ETA: The solicitation for FC: REVELATIONS #2 mentions the Spear of Destiny being in Vandal Savage's hands...]

Pg. 20:

Yes, maybe fire was a bad idea. The guy with the flaming head here, as David Uzumeri points out, is Effigy, created by Ron Marz and Darryl Banks, who first appeared in GREEN LANTERN #113 in 1999.

Panel 3: M'yri'ah was the Martian Manhunter's late wife. I suspect that J'onn isn't really dead--not just because N.E.R.D. in superhero comics, but because we've seen in MARTIAN MANHUNTER #1,000,000 that he's alive many centuries in the future, and his history is bound up with Darkseid's.

Pg. 21:

Panel 2: Blüdhaven, located near Gotham City, was destroyed in INFINITE CRISIS #4. This is Rev. G. Godfrey Goode, a variation on Glorious Godfrey, a demagogue created by Jack Kirby who first appeared in FOREVER PEOPLE #3 in 1971. [Thanks for the correction, innerbrat.]

Panel 3: This is Mark Richards, the third Tattooed Man, who first appeared in GREEN LANTERN #9 in 2006; he's a variation on a character created by Gardner Fox and Gil Kane in GREEN LANTERN #23 in 1963.

Panel 5: We're in New York now--cf. the Statue of Liberty in the background. I guess Turpin doesn't have to worry about jurisdiction issues.

Pg. 22:

Dark Side is a sort of human projection of Darkseid, the evil god created by Jack Kirby who first appeared in SUPERMAN'S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN #134 in 1970; this version of him is the one seen in SEVEN SOLDIERS: MISTER MIRACLE.

Panel 3: The original versions of Kalibak and Kanto are also Kirby kreations, respectively first seen in NEW GODS #1 and MISTER MIRACLE #7, both in 1971.

Panel 5: "My father used to say the same thing": Turpin is being identified as, perhaps, the new Orion, since Darkseid was Orion's father. "Granny" would be Granny Goodness, created by Kirby for MISTER MIRACLE #2 in 1971. Her Dark Side Club incarnation was apparently killed (gruesomely) in last week's BIRDS OF PREY #118.

Pg. 23:

Panel 1: "There was a war in Heaven... and I won." Compare Metron's speech in SEVEN SOLDIERS: MISTER MIRACLE #1: "There was a war in Heaven. And the wrong side won. The dark side won."

Pg. 24:

You know, you'd think Superman would talk about the New Gods in a more familiar way, since he was on panel for most of DEATH OF THE NEW GODS. (The aforementioned Morrison interview notes that those stories were written after this one.)

Pg. 25:

Panel 1: Green Man, created by Mike W. Barr and Keith Pollard, first appeared in GREEN LANTERN #164 in 1983. Boodikka, created by Gerard Jones, Pat Broderick and Romeo Tanghal, first appeared in GREEN LANTERN #20 in 1992. Varix, created by Paul Kupperberg and Trevor von Eeden, first appeared in TALES OF THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS ANNUAL #2 in 1986.

Panel 2: "New Earth" is the main DC Universe Earth, following the rejiggering of all creation in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, INFINITE CRISIS and 52.

Pg. 26:

The universe of Earth-51 was destroyed in COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS #13, then partly re-created and re-destroyed, as far as I can tell. (I'll get around to reading that series one of these days. Maybe.) If anyone can identify these Monitors by their hairstyles, please do. The original Monitor was created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, circa 1982, and appeared in a bunch of comics leading up to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, in which he was a major character.

Pg. 27:

Nix Uotan first appeared in COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS #21 (thanks, commenter amedeo turturro). I think this is the first named appearance of both Tahoteh and Weeja Dell.

Pp. 28-29:

Ditto for Zillo Valla and Ogama. The creepy Monitor in the last panel is Solomon, who was seen in COUNTDOWN.

Pg. 30:

Apparently Anthro has also invented both dreadlocks and cooking, and possibly also archery. Smart kid. And he's drawing Metron's costume design in the dirt.

Pg. 31:

Panel 1: One effect of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths was temporal anomalies like this. The blond kid is Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth, created by--ready for this?--Jack Kirby, and the sunken Statue of Liberty recalls the cover of his first appearance, 1972's KAMANDI #1, as well as the COUNTDOWN teaser image (and, of course, Planet of the Apes).

Panel 4: The Metron costume design has appeared on Anthro's face. My guess is that, through contact with the gods, people become those gods: we've earlier seen Turpin becoming Orion, and here, Anthro has mastered knowledge and fire, and is invoking Metron in himself, in a sort of ritual to access his ability to transcend time and space. But other theories are more than welcome here.

Pg. 32:

Panel 1: This appears to be Nix Uotan suddenly finding himself mortal and in an apartment full of human stuff, but I initially read it as the Tattooed Man waking up without his tattoos. And does his Mohawk hint to anybody else that he's got some connection to OMAC?

Panel 2: Nix's bookshelf appears to include a Super Bat title (as seen in the FC Sketchbook). Jog points out that "aww, man" echoes "Man" on pg. 1.

Panel 3: Mark Simmons points out that Nix's head is framed by the image of the sun here--some kind of sun-god thing going on, perhaps?

Panel 4: On the TV is Green Arrow, created by Mort Weisinger and George Papp, who first appeared in MORE FUN COMICS #73 in 1941. Timothy Callahan points out that Nix's wall has a postcard from Oolong Island, the vacation retreat for evil scientists from 52.

As for the title: Mars is the god of war, so the reference might be to Orion (who filled that role in the period of Morrison's JLA stories when the lineup was meant to be analogous to the Greek pantheon) or to the Martian Manhunter, or both.

****

Please post questions, corrections and emendations in the comments, and I'll try to incorporate them into these annotations. (And note that David Uzumeri has his own excellent annotations up here.)

A quick procedural question: when I link to individual issues at the Grand Comics Database Project, do you prefer links to the issue details or the big cover art?

Also, if these notes are helpful or interesting to you, please consider buying a book from the Amazon links you see on the right.

45 comments:

David Uzumeri said...

I was hoping for this! Thanks muchly for the Arthur excerpt, I hadn't seen that - it definitely fits in with his use in the comics. Great work.

I went into the Monitor stuff in my (I hope you don't take it as competing) analysis over at Funnybook Babylon, including some possible interpretations of the names, if you're interested. Solomon is largely the most "developed" (if you can call it that) of the characters, though, with Nix Uotan having appeared as sort of the single-crying-Indian Monitor in a few issues.

I admit I was hoping you could catch the identity of the fellow with the yellow cape in the (hilarious) protest scene, though. Did *anyone* figure that one out?

raphaeladidas said...

The guy in the yellow cape is Signalman.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signalman_(comics)

Doc_Loki said...

A couple of minor GL corrections:

There are four humans in the GLC, but only two are assigned to Earth, Jordan and Stewart. Gardner and Rayner are assigned to Oa. The xx.1 and xx.2 are standard referents in the GL titles, as there are now 2 GLs to each sector.

Also the Green Man currently appearing in the GL titles (and here) is not the original Green Man. The original left the GLC, joined the Omega Men, and died in the Invasion crossover some years back. This new one first appeared in the GLC:Recharge series (not sure what issue).

innerbrat said...

Bludhaven was not a suburb, but a city in its own right, very near Gotham.

Scipio said...

Turpin isn't Orion. The guy who wakes up in bed and looks at his hands is Orion.

Tom said...

I'm pretty sure it's Nix Uotan waking up, since he's being exiled to Earth a few pages before (and the new guy seems to have goofy hair like his).

The Monitors in FC1 are both consistent and inconsistent with their Countdown appearances (I read the whole of Countdown in one horrible day). The consistency is that they gradually became more differentiated over the course of that series. The inconsistency is that here they are aloof overseers with a belief system/job centred on the Orrery and apparently little interest in multiversal life, whereas in Countdown they were enormously concerned with "the creatures that arise within the Orrery", except they never mentioned any kind of Orrery, and spent all their time arguing about whether they should kill 'world-jumpers' or not.

(Also, Earth-51 wasn't destroyed. Well, it was destroyed, but it grew back, and then was devastated by a plague designed to turn it - I assumed - into Kamandi's world, bringing the 70s Kamandi stories into the wider continuity. So I'm not exactly sure which destruction Nix Uotan is getting punished for. And did the Monitor in charge of the Earth that got punched to death by Superboy-Prime earlier in Countdown also face discipline? Effing Countdown. :( )

Tom said...

Oh, and if we're allowed to speculate, my guess is that Nix Uotan's role will be to point Superman in the direction of Monitorworld and the Orrery to set up Superman:Beyond.

Matt Singer said...

"You know, you'd think Superman would talk about the New Gods in a more familiar way, since he was on panel for most of DEATH OF THE NEW GODS."

Not to mention that Orion and Barda were in the Justice League during a good chunk of Morrison's JLA run which, given who's writing FINAL CRISIS, you'd think is still in continuity.

Rickey said...

I think I'd prefer links to the bigger cover images, man. When I click through to Comics.org, I just click on the "large" image link right away anyways.

Squashua said...

I cannot believe you missed the cameo of the "So easy a caveman can do it" GEICO Caveman.

He shares a panel with the Gene Simmons caveman.

Squashua said...

The Metron costume design has appeared on Anthro's face."

Looks more like Anthro used war paint (or blood) between panels to draw it in. It's not an exact drawing, to be sure.

Based on the Monitor discussion of Nix being forced to live out as a mere mortal, and his likeness, that is Nix waking up in the last portion of the book. I initially thought it was Shiloh Norman.

I also do not believe Turpin to be the "new" Orion.

Alonso said...

Great post. Nice blog in general as well. I just thought I'd point out a couple things I think might be pertinent.

1) As a big use of 'fire' has been established in this issue, I think it's of note to point out Martian Manhunter's vulnerability to fire and the fact that Libra's staff is doused in it when he stabs him . (Libra's role seems to be bringing information and knowledge to the villains)

2) Speaking of Libra, he's sitting on Metron's chair there in page 18, and he's got the crime bible as well.

3) Emphasising the theme one more time, on the last page Uotan wakes up with a poster of the sun in back of him, and in the third panel it forms a halo of sort around him, 'knowledge' of now being human.

Ian said...

As for the title: Mars is the god of war, so the reference might be to Orion (who filled that role in the period of Morrison's JLA stories when the lineup was meant to be analogous to the Greek pantheon) or to the Martian Manhunter, or both.

The title is the ticker headline from the news broadcast, so literally, the reference is Orion. The meaning, however, is what we see between the fingers: "D.O.A. God".

I think Morrison's going for a 'hidden reality' kind of idea.

Mark Simmons said...

Whoever that is waking up at the end, I note that the penultimate panel puts his head right on top of that poster of "THE SUN." If planetary symbolism is going to be a running theme here, maybe we should be thinking of Apollo analogues.

AL DiGriz said...

Anybody else irritated with how easily the Martian Manhunter was "killed" (no, not totally convinced of that yet)? How was he captured? It's not that easy. He can turn intangible for Pete's sake! Same goes for running him through with a spear. I get the whole fire thing, but still. I hate it when writers take a cheap way out and just say it happened (the capture) without showing how such a powerful character could be taken down so easily.

Squashua said...

I'm not irritated with Manhunter's death. I highly suspect a set-up here with super-heroes being proactive.

As my evidence of such, I humbly point to the panel of Turpin and Tattooed Man at the bar... with the possible appearance of Clark Kent as an observing patron.

Michael said...

When Libra lifted up his staff to show a flaming pointed end, I thought, "how did he get the Spear of Destiny?"

Spencer said...

I'd prefer the actual art over a link.

Chad Nevett said...

Page 10, panel 1 is actually a shot of Detroit--despite what the script says. You can clearly see the GM building, and the post office. I live in Windsor, right across the river and it is clearly Detroit's skyline.

JOHNNY ZITO said...

So, Libra is holding Metron's chair because Metron has just not been 'reborn' yet?

Or is Libra going to become Metron.

I get that Morrison is creating a new myth for the new gods and having humans elevated to god hood to take on these 'roles' - BUT - I don't get if it's about moving established characters into those roles or creating them whole cloth.

And does the rebirth of the New Gods mean the dawn of the 5th world? Or just a continuation of the 4th.

It doesn't matter to my over all enjoyment. Just curious.

Very pleased with the subject matter that was tossed around. Hope to see it all explained as friendly as it was introduced.

Timothy Callahan said...

Don't forget about the "Visit Oolong Island" postcard/flyer on the wall in the final scene. Oolong Island has a strong Morrison connection, and was the setting of one of the best issues of "52."

Donnie said...

Yeah, but what's you think of it. Or are you posting that on The Savage Critic?

I vote for images, BTW.

David Uzumeri said...

Hey, it's worth mentioning Ian Sattler and J.G. Jones out-and-out confirmed that the bearded caveman in the beginning is, indeed, Vandal Savage. Maybe the differing eye colors are due to meteor exposure? I think it might be time for me to reread any Mozz Savage appearances, didn't he get an origin retelling in DC1M? I think we're headed towards retconville regarding that meteor...

Link to source: http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=158685

Rope and Pulley Records said...

I'll vote for direct to images too.

gorjus said...

I couldn't wait to read this!

My one point: “If Orion's Mother Box has been destroyed, though, you'd think his face would appear more bestial.” My understanding is that the script points out that it’s not necessarily destroyed, but fused with his body. Could have been a (rare) blown cue from the script on behalf of the artist. The initial “reveal” of the Question does nothing to show her “un-face,” as the script requires.

Link to larger cover images, please!

Mark Parsons said...

Could Uotan be pronounced "wotan," with all the 3rd World weight that this implies?

My take on Superman's scenes: he was giving an official breifing to the JLA and, I assume, several of them don't know the New Gods (Vixen? Hawkgirl?). As this is presumably "for the record" Kal is doing a summary and perhaps delving into some speculations about their essence and nature that are unanswered (by Orion and Big Barda during membership, as well as the now seemingly moot DoNG miniseries).

I loved the issue and thought its resonaces got cooler and deeper upon second reading (Anthro's superpower is fire usage).

I even liked the Monitor scenes. Surely, GM will find a way to fit them into new gods' mythos or at least the whole gods/superpowers tapestry that he is weaving?

Mark Simmons said...

Mark Parsons mentions the Uotan-Wotan connection, which reminds me of another possible connecting theme...

For Morrison's purposes, it seems that Metron is analogous to the Roman god Mercury, just as Orion is associated with Mars in this issue. Wotan (or Odin), the chief of the Norse pantheon, is also associated with Mercury. And like Mercury, he's a bearer of messages - in Odin's case, the magical runes he brought back from the underworld.

In the opening scene of Final Crisis, Metron seems more like Prometheus than Mercury. But the same could be said of Libra, who swipes Metron's chair and brings the gift of fire to the downtrodden supervillains. It might be a stretch to compare Libra's staff to Mercury's caduceus, or to the scale-like symbol on Metron's chest, but if we're looking for signs of the New Gods incarnating in new hosts then it's at least possible that Libra is attempting to play the role of Metron/Mercury.

Perhaps I'm overthinking this. I guess we'll have to wait and see. :-)

Amedeo Turturro said...

I believe Nix first appears in Countdown 21 when he confronts the Challengers on Earth-12.

Squashua said...

Since Metron (IIRC) is really supposed to be the neutral go-between New God (not messed with by either Darkseid or Highfather), but slightly on the side of the "benevolent" New Gods, then Libra being his successor, a neutral balancing his scales by being on the side of the villains, would make sense.

abc said...

The New Gods continuity stuff gives me a headache. I never really cared for the New Gods, but it nags my ability to enjoy Final Crisis without having a clearer explanation. So I'd be happy for an actual or speculative answer to what just looks like editorial laziness. Although it might have been better if there had been a bit of a gap between the end of the Death of the New Gods series and the appearance of the Dark Side Club versions, I assume the latter are reborn versions of the original. And the reactions of Superman and the Guardians to Orion's death in FC#1 aren't necessarily inconsistent with the events of Countdown and DotNG (but they do seem that way). But then, the Seven Soldiers Mister Miracle series featured the Dark Side Club versions back before Infinite Crisis. So they coexisted? Time travel? Different earth? Superboy punches?

Douglas Wolk said...

I gather that Boss Dark Side, like all the Kirby versions of the New Gods, is just a "projection" of the real thing. From this Wizard interview: "The DC superheroes see the New Gods as other superheroes in the way that Orion or Barda can join the Justice League. They’ve never understood that what they really are are f---ing gods. This story’s about the first time Darkseid actually manifests on the planet. Everything we’ve ever seen before has been kind of projections from the world of the New Gods and for the first time we’re seeing them in their full power."

For extra fun, imagine that in a Glasgow accent.

So yes, my guess is that all the different versions coexist, but we haven't yet actually seen the real thing.

Bucky Sinister said...

I really don't think Turpin is supposed to have become Orion, though I can certainly see an argument for it. I actually thought the red-haired bum watching Turpin stumble away from the scene was Orion. Not sure why, except that he put me in mind of the New Gods' appearance as homeless people in the Seven Soldiers Mr. Miracle mini.

Ragtime said...

Panel 2: The Alpha Lanterns are essentially the Green Lanterns' internal-affairs investigation force.

But can anyone figure out why the Green Lanterns' internal-affairs investigation force is being sent to investigate a non-internal affair? I mean, the murder of Orion by a non-Green Lantern seems pretty far out of their job description -- especially since they were only created a few months ago.

Doc_Loki said...

Ragtime,

The Guardians have been playing it close to the vest lately - there's that whole ten new laws thing of which we've so far heard only one or two. I can easily believe that they have a hidden agenda behind (or perhaps in addition to) the stated purpose of the Alpha Lanterns.

David Uzumeri said...

ragtime, given Hal's upcoming trial being mentioned in solicitations, I think the "internal affairs" aspect of the Alpha Lanterns will come into play pretty strongly. And while IA is a large part of their mandate, I don't think it's the whole thing.

Biggie said...

And does the rebirth of the New Gods mean the dawn of the 5th world? Or just a continuation of the 4th.


I've been wondering that myself and I've a couple of things that would support that idea.

In Morrison's JLA he has Metron come out a couple of times and say that Earth was eventually going to become the "Godworld"(or whatever) for the Fifth World.

From Rock Of Ages:

The Old Gods died and gave birth to the New. These New Gods, even such as I, must also pass, in our turn.

Our search was long and our war continues, but we found the planetary cradle of the Gods to come[...]You are only forerunners.


From World War III (the GOOD one):

Regard this organism; this prodigy among the stars...this Earth. Its expressive diversity of creation. Its self-evolving perfection. And soil fertile enough to grow Gods[...]

As New Genesis is the the Fourth World, Earth shall be to the Fifth that is to come.


So at the very least we know that Earth will not only still exist in the Fifth World, but it will also be a very important place.

Then there's a scene in last week's Justice Society of America that may offer a clue. When Gog refuses to pick a side in the war of the Old Gods in the Third World he is cast out and falls to Earth. In DC Universe 0 we saw another God (Darkseid) falling, and eventually ending up on Earth (albeit in an altered form)

What I found really interesting is that when Gog of the Third World fell, he landed on Earth of the Fourth World . Could that mean that when Darkseid of the Fourth World fell he landed on Fifth World Earth?

I might be way-off base because there are quite a few things that don't neatly fit into the theory that we've seen the dawn of the Fifth World in the DCU. Still, I have to think it's not a complete coincidence that we've seen the "falling God" motif twice in such short order.

jim2323s said...

when did martian manhunter start wearing a purple suit? I didn't even realize that was supposed to be him first time through.

pla said...

Very glad to have you doing annotations again. And I don't want to be a total nerd, but I'm pretty sure Coast City's been pretty explicitly stated to be in California, not the Pacific Northwest.

Dan said...

re: Detroit/New York, not only is that the Detroit skyline (including the building I used to work in - squee!) but you can make out the words "General Motors" in the second-panel shot of the Renaissance Center entryway. I don't know what the script said, but this all fits perfect in the DCU. John Stewart is a native of Detroit, and the GM Renaissance Center is a reasonable place to house an architectural firm (which I presume is what John is doing in his civilian identity these days).

Joel said...

"Looks more like Anthro used war paint (or blood) between panels to draw it in. It's not an exact drawing, to be sure."

Agreed, you can still see his finger finishing the pattern in the bottom left corner of the panel. It's not just a nitpick, either, I think. The pattern just appearing versus Anthro being inspired and ennobled by the god such that he chooses to adopt its symbology for himself is not a trivial distinction.

Billy said...

Here's the obvious one.

Fire means baptism and rebirth.

Martian Manhunter's death by fire and The Spear of Destiny could symbolize that he's going to be a Christ figure in this story and be reborn. Jesus was killed stabbed by the Spear of Destiny before he died, as it seems J'onn has been.

I don't have the issue in front of me, but I think when he's stabbed J'onn also screams out the name of his late wife M'yri'ah, which should probably be pronounced Maria, which is the Latin form of Mary, which is both the name of Jesus's Mother and his supposed wife. I might be stretching here with this one.

Fire appears a number of times in this issue. Metron giving Anthro fire could of course be seen as the true birth of man, or rather, birth of superman (or possibly birth of god). The fact that the Human Flame has returned after years of absence, to get a second chance at his enemy could also be seen as a rebirth.

I just realized Libra is acting as a prophet to the Crime Bible and the coming or Darkseid, and has just killed the man who upon his voyage to Earth for the first time was baptized in fire, J'onn the Baptist.

And according to the last issue of Salvation Run, he was baptized in fire again there right before being killed.

Kyle said...

An obvious reference for Uotan is Marvel's Uatu, the Watcher, a member of a race which is supposed to observe but not interfere.

Anthony said...

metron's design doesn't appear on his face, he's drawing it with the dirt.

Ricardo said...

Billy is right, fire is one of the keys to the series. There is another very recurrent theme going on, which is the Triad. Grant mentioned there would be clear hints at the first page, and that's the thing that screamed at me there.

Notice that on the first page, there are 3 gazelles running away. Then on the next page, 3 birds flying away. Both are considered symbols of innocence. All flying away.

Other trios of appearances:
3 Heroes (2GL and Orion)
3 Guardians show up only.
Dr Light and 2 images of Mirror Master
Dr. Light also kills 2 heroes by forming a triangle
3 Alpha Guardians
3 characters are involved in Jonzz death scene.
Obviously Superman, Batman and WW are the central characters.
Again, 3 characters involved on Wotan scene.

The whole visual concept of the series is around 3 - the cover is divided in 3. The series also stops in the 3rd issue. I bet FC7 is a wrap-up, and a magical number at that.

The triad also represents Heaven (Father, Holy Spirit and the Son), the beginning, the middle and the end. Final Crisis is also the 3rd part of the Crisis saga.

Ricardo said...

Oh, and i forgot one OBVIOUS link to the triad: The gurdian code is 1011 (adding them up: 3)