Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Final Crisis #2

Pg. 1:

None of these characters are anybody in particular, as far as I know, although most of them allude to various DC characters. I'm pretty amused by the Robin-logo bag slung over the jacket that reprises the cover of BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE. And I'm not sure what to make of the young woman in a variation on Mary Marvel's costume having exactly the same pose as the guy in the variation on Midnight's costume standing a few feet behind her.

Somebody with better Japanese than mine want to translate the signs? [ETA: See severefun's comment. Thank you!]

ETA: David Uzumeri points out--and, like him, I can't believe I didn't catch this--the allusion to the cover of 1966's FLASH #163. (See also 2004's DC COMICS PRESENTS: THE FLASH.)

Pp. 2-3:

Big Science Action was fleshed out a bit in the FC Sketchbook, but in the top panel, left to right, we're seeing Boss Bosozuko, Rising Sun (the only member of the BSA not created by Morrison: he first appeared in SUPER FRIENDS #8 in 1977, and was created by E. Nelson Bridwell and Ramona Fradon), Junior Waveman, Hammersuit Zero-X, Ultimon (flying), a monster I'm going to assume is Fushikuraje, Cosmo Racer, and Goraiko (who first appeared in JLA #26).

(I also note that the description of BSA in the FC Sketchbook mentions Sunfire. Whoops: wrong company!)

Note the rays-of-rising-sun motif of the page layout. The members of Super Young Team are identified in the Sketchbook too: in the lower left-hand panel, clockwise from lower left, we're seeing Shiny Happy Aquazon, Shy Crazy Lolita Canary, Most Excellent Super Bat, Big Atomic Lantern Boy and Well-Spoken Sonic Lightning Flash.

Pg. 4:

Sonny Sumo, created by Jack Kirby, first appeared in FOREVER PEOPLE #4 in 1971. (God, what great cover copy.) He was last seen a few issues later, when he was lost in time; apparently he got found again. [ETA: Or maybe he didn't. See this intriguing Morrison interview.] Interestingly, Sonny also contained part of the Anti-Life Equation. I don't know of any earlier references to Megayakuza, although obviously it's an allusion to the Yakuza, the Japanese organized crime group.

Pg. 7:

And, once again, fire is associated with contact with gods. This version of Mister Miracle is Shilo Norman, another Jack Kirby creation, who first appeared in MISTER MIRACLE #15 in 1973; he was the star of SEVEN SOLDIERS: MISTER MIRACLE.

Pg. 8:

Mother Box--or Motherboxxx, as SEVEN SOLDIERS: MISTER MIRACLE put it in a nod to OutKast--is a device that appeared throughout Kirby's Fourth World comics; they can heal the injured, and they make a "ping ping ping" sound. Sonny Sumo managed to get the Forever People's Mother Box back to them in Kirby's story.

Pg. 9:

Panel 1: Nix Uotan is reading through the dictionary, and some of the words he's reading have Kirbyverse resonance. "Bedazzle" could be a reference to Lightray; "bedlam" to Baron Bedlam; "cathexis" just has to do with the investment of emotional energy in a particular idea or thing (like... comics); "cathode" is an electrical term that might allude to Mother Box, although that's stretching it. ETA: Chris Harrison points out that The Cathexis are a sixth-dimensional race that turned up in JLA #52!

Panel 2: He's riding the L train between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Hey, ex-Monitor, what's on your iPod?

Panel 3: Big Belly Burger is a chain with a longstanding history at DC; it first appeared in ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #441 in 1988.

Panel 4: "Finding the magic word"--and systematically going through possibilities--suggests the Marvel Family, and specifically the business with Black Adam trying to find his magic word at the end of 52.

Panel 5: I'm guessing the Overman on the lower sheet is some kind of scary alternate-world Superman, with a lightning-bolt-as-S logo. (ETA: There's a similar creepy übermensch-type, also called Overman, who appeared in this Morrison-written ANIMAL MAN storyline from 1990. Look on the bottom of that cover, and you'll see FLASH #163 too... also: Overgirl! And the screaming face looks a bit like the J'onn-on-fire drawing from the FC SKETCHBOOK.) On the top sheet, the hydrogen-atom-on-forehead thing suggests Captain Atom by way of Dr. Manhattan. Not sure which Monitor young Nix is drawing. Of the possible magic words here, "criminal" is pretty broad, "crinkle" doesn't have a specific resonance I can think of, and "crimson" might allude to the Crimson Avenger, one of the very earliest DC superheroes, or just to the "red skies" effect of a Crisis--back to the "red and black" motif. (Thanks, Gary.) (ETA: squashua points out that he hasn't quite gotten to "crisis" yet.)

Pg. 10:

The guy Turpin is pounding to hell is the Mad Hatter, created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger (and obviously modeled on the Lewis Carroll character), who first appeared in BATMAN #49 in 1948.

Pg. 11:

Panel 1: "President Horne": Jonathan Horne first appeared, I think, in SUPERMAN SECRET FILES & ORIGINS 2004, and was created by Geoff and Jeremy Johns and Jim Fern. The recent history of the DCU Oval Office is sort of a mess: Lex Luthor was elected in 2000, but impeached in 2004, and replaced briefly by Pete Ross, who pulled out of that year's race and was replaced (successfully) by Horne. The next election--maybe the DCU has Presidential elections every two years?--was won by an evil robot called Gonzo posing as Senator Frank Knight, per UNCLE SAM AND THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS, but Horne seems to have ended up back in the office by some kind of "whoops we elected an evil robot by mistake" clause.

Panel 4: Note the combination of the broken mirror and Turpin's forehead. Remind you of anyone?

Pg. 12:

Panel 1: Booster Gold with Skeets, Mr. Terrific, Green Lantern/Hal Jordan, Zatanna, Vixen, Ion, Red Tornado, Stargirl, Wonder Woman.

Panel 2: Green Lantern/John Stewart (providing air for everyone, evidently, since this is happening on Mars), Wildcat, Black Lightning, Doctor Mid-Nite, Hourman, Superman, Green Lantern/Alan Scott, Geo-Force, Black Canary, Flash.

Panel 3: Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Green Arrow, Firestorm, Metamorpho, Batman, Red Arrow, and... Power Girl, maybe?

"Pray for a resurrection": no superhero seems to stay dead forever, of course, and as noted below, we've already seen J'onn alive in the distant future.

It's sort of an open question which Batman we're seeing in this issue, given recent events in his own title, but his little "Hh" on pg. 20 suggests that it's probably still Bruce Wayne.

Pg. 13:

The growling guy in panel 3 is Clayface--specifically the first Clayface, Basil Karlo, created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, who first appeared in DETECTIVE COMICS #40 in 1940.

Pg. 14:

The end of this page is a rather Alan Moore-like "dun dun daaaaah" moment, don't you think?

Pg. 15:

Panel 2: J'onn impersonated Blockbuster in SALVATION RUN.

Panel 3: Alpha Lantern Kraken first appeared in GREEN LANTERN #25 last year; she's one of the Green Lanterns of Space Sector 38. Relevant panels on her background appear here; the short version is that before becoming an Alpha Lantern, she rescued her partner, Raker Qarrigat, "from Darkseid's clutches," and is rumored to have been "targeted by the Female Furies of Apokolips." (Unrelatedly, it occurs to me that the Alpha Lanterns might have something to do with the Alpha Bullets from FOREVER PEOPLE #7--although it might just be alpha vs. omega symbolism at work in both places.)

Hal is responsible for Space Sector 2814, which does indeed include the city-in-space Heliopolis, seen in GREEN LANTERN #166 in 1983, as well as M'Brai, seen in GREEN LANTERN #153 in 1982, and Athmoora, seen in GREEN LANTERN #16 in 1962. [Thanks for the clarification, DRMOUSE2814.]

Pg. 16:

Panel 4: Commenter fcfanatic points out the Kirby krackle where Wonder Woman touches Kraken, as well as the panels on pages 18 and 21 where other characters touch her.

Pg. 17:

Opto309V first appeared in 2007's 52 #41. [Thanks for the clarification, t67443 and DRMOUSE2814.]

"Theotoxic" is quite a neologism! Per Kirby, "radion" is the substance New Gods are vulnerable to. You know, like "frostonite." Curiously, Radion is also the name of a DC villain who was most recently seen in Geoff Johns & Kurt Busiek's "Up, Up and Away!" storyline in SUPERMAN and ACTION COMICS, hired by (fellow Kirby-creation) Intergang to kill Clark Kent. I don't know if there's a connection, but there could be.

Pg. 18:

"Say goodbye to your eyes": I have no idea if this relates somehow to the business with Alan Scott's eyes, Adam Strange's eyes, and the Emerald Eye of Ekron in 52, but the scene's confusing enough that I'm grasping for anything. And it's very strange that we don't see the ring on John's right middle finger in panel 4--and that it's so mysterious about who's attacking John--given page 21.

Pg. 19:

"No Lantern escapes the Alpha Lanterns": a riff on "no man escapes the Manhunters," the slogan of the robot crimefighters created by the Guardians before the Green Lanterns--see JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #140, as well as the about-to-be-reprinted MILLENNIUM miniseries, for details.

Pg. 20:

Panel 2: The Purple Ray is Amazon healing technology, invented by Wonder Woman in her very first appearance, ALL STAR COMICS #8. Its cousin, the Purple Death Ray, introduced in INFINITE CRISIS #3, was subsequently redacted from the collected edition of that series...

Panel 5: Hal Jordan's possession by Parallax happened in GREEN LANTERN #50 in 1994.

Pg. 21:

Panel 1: I believe this is what one of Barbelith's commenters referred to as a "NUH MUH BRAIN!!!!!!" moment. Kraken's got John's ring imprinted in her hand (apparently he does have a hell of a right hook), although his ring seemed to have disappeared immediately before he hit his assailant? What?

Pg. 22:

Kraken's "a new plaything for Granny" echoes Superbat's "Spirit into toy!" on pg. 3.

Pg. 23:

In the background of the first panel: the Atomic Knights, riding their Dalmatians. The Knights were created by John Broome and Murphy Anderson, and first appeared in STRANGE ADVENTURES #117 in 1960. I love them, and wish DC would just reprint all of their stories already. (There was supposed to be a SHOWCASE PRESENTS THE GREAT DISASTER FEATURING THE ATOMIC KNIGHTS volume published last year, with all of their stories--which centered on the aftermath of a nuclear war in 1986--plus HERCULES UNBOUND in its entirety, various "The Day After Doomsday" shorts from horror and war titles, etc.; it was yanked from the schedule for unexplained reasons.) This incarnation of the Knights first appeared in THE BATTLE FOR BLÜDHAVEN in 2006.

[ETA: The Morrison Newsarama interview notes that the giant dogs also imply "an immediate connection to the Dog Cavalry of Apokolips."]

Pg. 24:

"The air out there": maybe Blüdhaven still smells like the remnants of Chemo. Has Turpin's son been mentioned before? What matters here, actually, is that Kalibak is Darkseid's son... which means that Turpin is now a host for Darkseid. (Note his face.) And the place where all this is happening is Command D.

In Jack Kirby's original KAMANDI #1 in 1972, "Command D" was the bunker where Kamandi was found, giving him his name. As of the end of THE BATTLE FOR BLÜDHAVEN, there was a Command D located under the ruins of Blüdhaven. There's also a bunch of Kamandi stuff in COUNTDOWN, but I have no idea if that's even relevant to FC, so until I see otherwise, the heck with it.

Pg. 25:

Simyan and Mokkari, created by Jack Kirby, first appeared in SUPERMAN'S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN #135 in 1971--the original "Evil Factory" story. Who's the tiger on the table? Morrison's said that Tawky Tawny is involved in FC, but this looks more like one of the Tiger-Men from KAMANDI; we know from 52 that Intergang is in the business of making beast-men. [ETA: The Morrison interview at Newsarama confirms that this isn't Tawky Tawny; it's Kalibak's new body.]

Pg. 26:

Perry White, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, made his first comics appearance in SUPERMAN #7 in 1940 (he'd appeared on the radio show The Adventures of Superman first). Siegel and Shuster also created Jimmy Olsen (who was also on radio first, then in SUPERMAN #13 in 1941) and Lois Lane (who goes all the way back to 1938's ACTION COMICS #1).

"Hamburger Hegemony." Ha!

Pg. 27:

Sundoller Coffee was first mentioned in 52 #2, I believe. You'd think that somebody who was faster than a speeding bullet could catch on to what was happening with an explosion like this before it did much damage...

Pg. 28:

Panel 1: The Flash on the left is Wally West, created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, who first appeared in THE FLASH #110 in 1959 and became the Flash in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #12 in 1986. The one on the right is Jay Garrick, created by Gardner Fox and Harry Lampert, who first appeared in FLASH COMICS #1 in 1940. Wouldn't the relevant delay here be load time?

Panel 3: Looks like I was right about Twisters (or Duele Dlite? Perhaps it's got both names!) being the former Central City Community Center, not that it was that tough a deduction--see DC Universe 0 notes.

Panel 5: "I hate anything to do with time in all its forms": well, Jay is artificially youthful thanks to an encounter with Ian Karkull in ALL-STAR SQUADRON ANNUAL #3, but he's still a fairly old man. (And maybe this is to set up an opposition to Barry, who did rather a lot of time traveling.)

Pg. 30:

And, as the issue began with "Stop!," it ends with "RUN!" The guy hotfooting it away from the Black Racer is the second Flash, Barry Allen, whose return has been teased since DCU 0. This is also the fulfillment of the prophecy in Johns' FLASH comics that Wally would see Barry again three more times, on the three worst days of his life; the second was FLASH #225, and evidently this is the third. Not to mention the payoff for the "starter's bullet" line in DCU 0, and maybe for its red-and-black imagery, as well.

Comments, corrections, etc. are welcome. Those who are as trainspottery as I am may enjoy looking at J.G. Jones' original black-and-white art for #1, at this site.

47 comments:

Squashua said...

It's probably going to be "monitor", but how about "Crisis" as a magic word, considering he didn't get there yet?

davextreme said...

"Finding the magic word" also strongly relates back to Morrison's Flex Mentallo, though it's not in DC continuity.

Squashua said...

Also note in the panel with Libra and Human Torch, the "For Sale" sign. Maybe that's what you meant with the Alan Moore comment. :D

Regarding John Stewart's "eyes", I think you're reading too much into it. Either that, or it was to read John Stewart's "i"s, removing them from his original name, "Jiohn Stiewarti", a very powerful ability which obviously has already hit him retroactively through time and continuity.

Maybe. Still think you're reading too much into it.

rap said...

If the third issue is where the shit REALLY hits the fan, this one is a close... second!

Nice.

(Guess DiDio can keep his gig.)

Austin ISO said...

Nix is doodling Overman -- and his cousin Overgirl. Overman was the super-sick alternate-universe Superman from Morrison's Animal Man. That was in the issue where the Psycho Pirate briefly brings back the Multiverse. IIRC, Overman was such a sicko that even Ultraman (the evil Earth-3 Superman) turns against him.

I believe that Overman had a bomb symbol in place of the Superman 'S' on his chest shield, while the one in Nix's doodle has a lightning bolt. GM said Overman is going to be one of the Superman Argonauts in "Superman Beyond." He's the Nazi Superman from Earth-10. I don't know if over the last year we've seen much of the Earth-10 Nazi superheros from the new Multiverse.

About the new Multiverse: that Captain Atom / Dr. Manhattan mash-up is a trip. It's funny how the Charlton/Watchmen thing comes full circle here.

Ragtime said...

On the final page, is Barry Allen chasing a vial of the Mortococci virus that destroyed the Kamandi-verse in Countdown?

David Uzumeri said...

I'm honestly surprised you didn't pick up on the Flash #163 reference on the first page; honestly, it was the kind of metatextual stuff that I adore since it makes for a great line in-universe, a greater line as a fourth-wall-breaker, and an even BETTER line if you get the fact that Morrison's referencing his all-time favorite Barry Allen issue. I also totally blanked on radion being the New Gods' kryptonite, but that makes total sense. (Did radion play any special role in Kirby's Kamandi?)

As for trying to reconcile it with Countdown, well, that way lies madness, that's for damn sure... although I wouldn't be surprised if Johns managed to tie it together in LO3W.

Jack said...

I'm reminded a lot of the sort of storytelling that Morrison did in Flex Mentallo as well-the whole night club scene felt like it came out of that comic, and the scenes with Nix trying to remember a magic word do as well (though I also am reminded of Mike Moran trying to remember "kimota" from Miracleman, but that's a bit off the DC ranch.)

Morrison is really piling on the references, the meta-text (you could read the first and last pages as being addressed to the reader as much as being part of the story) and, of course, the deeper implications of a world where evil has won are starting to come to the fore. In this world, Superman can be hurt by someone else's villain, the master planner Batman falls easily, and even the vaunted Green Lantern Corps are helpless.

Darkseid being in Turpin is kind of sad, but fitting; Turpin was the man who stood up against the gods themselves in the original New Gods series ("The Death Wish of Terrible Turpin") so it makes thematic sense for, when evil wins, that Darkseid would possess him and use him. The man who stood up to a god, now serving to host the evil god and bring him to this world.

There's just so much going on in FC; I'm loving it.

Evan said...

It's painfully obvious but not mentioned here:

New Gods in New Forms either able to posess people or were in this form all along. Keep in mind they're beings of energy. Who's to say that energy can't be conducted to more than one place...

Kraken-granny Goodness, could've been her the whole time. Maybe all the stuff about saving her partner from apokolips and being tailed by the furies is nothing but training for the furies since that was one of granny's responsibilities.

Opto-deSaad. sadistic. One of the new gods with a bad enough rep and evil enough personality to where John would suddenly realize it was desaad. Once again, posessed? Or was he also opto the whole time? Energy split between more than one source.

Rev good-Godfrey, the name even seems referential. glory of the lord+godfrey. Maybe a play on words maybe not. It seems to be a charachter grant loves to write, or that I just love reading when he does. Go back to the JLA rock of ages to see what I mean

Turpin-Orion, downloaded into turpin at the moment of orion's death. Orion and darkseid are similar enough to where godfrey has them confused maybe? another possibility is that grant is going with the Kingdom come future where Orion has basiclly become darkseid 2.0.

I also think hypertime is involved in all this.

hypertime is a common theme throughout grant's work. Go back to animal man. thats where it starts. animal man is the one guy who know's grant is behind all this. and as he's one of the main proponents of hypertime i think it makes sense. I alos see no reason why "infinite universes" are not compatible with hypertime. Infinity is infinity and tangents are tangents. What I think we'll be looking at in the end is simply a tangent where evil wins.

Cannonical? Nope.

A good story? hopefully

Hypertime also explains:
-This version of mr miracle
-Libra
-dr Manhattan
-the killing joke reference
-Kammandi in an era that he's not supposed to be in. Just last issue he was still in the planet of the apes like version of existence that he's used to. what gives yeah?

as they said back in the day, "Time's getting badly bruised around here"

Tangents are overlapping. 2 people in more than one place at the same time.

So whats the trigger for this damage?

DC 1 million-punching through time

IC-Superboy wailing on the crystal, shards of realities flying off from it

its a way to tie up loose ends. hypertime is still here, the way the multiverse is still here.

I could be wrong but right now it makes the most sense

Evan said...

oh b tw...more proof of final crisis being non-cannonoical

the newsarama interview where grant explains how orion dying twice is apocrypha. http://www.newsarama.com/comics/080609-MorrisonFC01.html

wouldnt it make sense that the whole series should be considered as such?

Evan said...

one last comment:

multiple convergences are a theme throught the invisibles

two sides of the same coin and all.
looking from the outside in with the blind chessman and seeing our selves in "centipede form". Explaining the tangents graphically.

here's an idea. since grant has incoporated animal man back into DCU proper, who's to say that the barbelith or Dane won't make an appearance eventually?

except in this case it's not two sides of the same coin. it's everything happening at once. it's dreamtime.

As we've seen in 52 and batman over the past 2 years one statement was spoken in both: All things of this world are impermanent (spoken by the sensei in batman and accomplished perfect physician in 52)

Was that meant as a clue to what's happening? APP elaborates saying that love will outlast "things"

one could take this to mean that many comic book fans are missing the point. Cannon vs. a good story.

A fan will enjoy it if it's good, regardless of canon, regardless of which variant cover it has, regardless of resale value,regardless of whether it's Dc,elseworlds, wildstorm, watchmen or even marvel.

I'm a UGA football fan. They can go 0-10 this year and Ill still love them. Thats what a fan does. it's a form of unconditional love

The things in the DC universe are impermanent. They can change at anytime. But it is our love of the stories that will outlast all changes.

If anyone thinks I'm talking out of my butt please feel free to email me (hazmatbulldog@yahoo.com). i'd love to have a dialogue with you. I especially like it when people tell me I'm wrong and make a convincing case for it.

renophaston said...

Regarding pg14: Martian Manhunter was impaled by Libra's staff in #1--I don't see him getting impaled with a sword, and Savage has definitely got a sword here. Am I missing something?

Also: On the top-left of page 23, we have a "word tail" with no balloon. Omission or addition? Hmm. There are a lot of things about this issue that make me wish I had the script.

severefun said...

Regarding the Japanese on page 1... The green vertical sign is the logo for fast-food chain Lotteria, and the yellow horizontal one under it looks to be a sign for electronics store Bic Camera. The katakana for both contain some errors; I'm guessing Jones just used reference for a Japanese storefront or two (also note the partial HMV sign in blue) and then approximated the type. As such, I'm not going to bother trying to tell what the more intricate kanji on this page are meant to be-- probably just other stores.

Douglas Wolk said...

renophaston: You're very right--I somehow confused their hilt designs. Thanks for the correction.

squashua: That's a good thought!

Matthew Perpetua said...

I was hoping you'd mention what that thing in the glass hovering through the air on the final page is -- is that the god bullet? Am I being somewhat dense?

Caleb said...

"Ion" is back to just being "Green Lantern Kyel Rayner" now, and the Ion-force-space-seal-angel-thing is in the Daxamite Lantern whatshisface now, isn't it?

Also, how do you tell the Clayfaces apart? They totally lost me. Clayface II--Matthew Somethingorother--was the shape-changing one. But then he had a kid named Cassius (get it? ha ha! Very funny, Alan Grant!) with the She-Clayface that had their powers. And then I think Clayface I might have eaten them all and sank into the earth? And then everyone just ignored all of that and started using the guy form the cartoon...?

Anyway, thanks; this was fun to read, as was David's. I'm terribly disappointed with FC, but it's definitely a fun comic to talk about afterwards.

kushboy said...

The batman in the comic is bruce imo... just look at what he says to superman:
"I was never Jordan's biggest supporter." That sure sounds like Bruce and not, say, Dick.

Tom said...

The Japanese scenes also touch on one of the series' themes so far - dissension and disharmony among organised groups at every level: the Lanterns' internal politics (and Kraken's questioning of the JLA's authority), the supervillains forming into factions, the monitors' internal strife, and now the generational divide between heroes in Japan. In his Newsarama i-view Morrison mentioned that the multiversal orrery will be slipping into disharmony, so I think this all ties up: obviously the locus of real authority has already shifted, to Darkseid, and it's just that the heroes (and villains!) aren't aware yet. I think the first Anthro scene in #1 is about the creation of law in a lawless world as much as it is about the birth of superheroes.

Interesting coincidence: in Judge Dredd continuity (a major plot around the time Morrison worked for 2000AD) there was also a Kraken who was bred as a supercop and succumbed to possession by evil spirits.

(Probably most readers are aware of this, but Morrison's work in Zenith, for 2000AD is well worth reading as another take by him on a. multiversal crises and b. evil winning.)

Squashua said...

Matthew Perpetua - The "thing in the glass" looks to be the bullet, and contained within it is probably the Morticoccus virus. It looks like it's been sent from a future time (possibly from before Barry Allen "left" to die in the original Crisis) into the past.

I say "possibly" because the exposition in DCU #0 is probably from Barry Allen, but it's calmly stated; if Barry was running to catch this bullet from the future, he wouldn't be chatting to us about time.

Or maybe he would; his mind does work quite fast and he does have a lot of time to exposition between steps, even if they are steps through time and space.

Meanwhile, I don't have FC#1 on me and I need someone to check something. Regarding the single-panel appearances of Kamandi in both issues; IS HE IN THE SAME POSE BOTH TIMES?

fcfanatic said...

Kirby Dots !!!

See them on page 14/panel 4, page 18/panel 5, and page 21/panel 3.

In an interview, GM said the Kirby Dots would be used for a specific effect or purpose. They appear here when one of our Earthly heroes comes into physical contact with Kraken.

About page 18, I think John Stewart's assailant is *about* to spike his eyes before he pulls himself from the fence and punches back.

I'm afraid that might be Tawky Tawny getting vivisected there on page 25. I vaguely recall GM saying he was going to be in FC, possibly this issue in particular.

Finally -- and this is kind of a stretch --

In the pop-iest part of the comic, a multi-dimensional pop-culture reference on page 4? "We're not worthy" when said by Wayne and Garth seemed to me to reference a kind of stereotypical "oriental toadying."

fcfanatic said...

Sorry one more...

The Mad Hatter has a cameo in the Animal Man storyline referenced above. He's in Arkham with the Psycho Pirate, and seems to be vaguely aware of the metatextual goings-on.

Douglas Wolk said...

Squashua--no, different poses, just the same outfit.

Matthew--yes, I'm guessing it's the god-bullet (alpha bullet?!); no idea if it's Morticoccus or not (is there any visual reference for the virus elsewhere?)

fcfanatic--good call on the Kirby Krackle! I don't know if that's Tawky Tawny or not; I suspect it has more to do with the Tiger-Men from KAMANDI.

Gabe said...

On page one, the lady in the Wonder Woman costume ... well, the pose (and the body paint) are lifted from here.

I'm really embarrassed to be the one to identify that.

Dom Sutton said...

On page 26 panel 3, Jimmy Olsen has the cover to Superman 204 as his screensaver.

http://www.dynamicforces.com/images/superman204.jpg

fcfanatic said...

I'm getting more of this vibe from the Wonder Woman on page 1.

Here's a (giant sized) Morticoccus from Countdown.

Don MacPherson said...

Page 1:
The Stormtrooper dude standing behind the Japanese Mary Marvel has something adorning his armor. I believe it's the wing-like gear that adorned the Black Canary's long-forgotten costume of the late '80s (non-fishnets, with headband).

I'm surprised you didn't make note of the Bam-Pow shirt in the foreground, a clear nod to the campy Batman TV show of the 1960s.

Pages 2 & 3:
Rising Sun was once a member of the Global Guardians.

The divide between the old-school heroes (represented by Rising Sun) and the new, cool, young heroes mirrors a central theme in Alex Ross and Mark Waid's Kingdom Come.

Page 5:
Megayakuza's armor seems to boast qualities reminiscent of Marvel heroes, such as Iron Man's repulsors and Wolverine's claws.

Page 6:
Note the men's room symbol has a cape on it.

Page 12:
The character you guess might be Power Girl could also be the recently resurrection Ice. Her hair does seem to be white, and she was a Justice League member under J'Onn.

Page 14:
Panel 5 -- The "for sale" sign on the abandoned strip club would seem to foreshadow that the Human Flame is about to pay a steeper price than he expected.

Page 17:
John Stewart's use of miniature construction equipment to examine the crime scene no doubt stems from his profession as an architect and his experience on construction sites.

Page 24:
Panel 4 -- The kid pleading to Turpin looks exactly like Kamandi.

Page 25: Simyan & Mokkari seem to be crafting beast-men, half animals, half men. Walking, talking animal men were the dominant species in Kamandi's post-apocalyptic future.

Page 26:
Panel 3 - Jimmy's screensaver/desktop image is a Jim Lee image from his run on on Superman with Brian Azzarello.

ocraM said...

hey please

somebody can explain to me WTF with that Mr. Miracle?

I just don't get it. That Super Soldier mini series is in continuity?

greetins from Peru

Douglas Wolk said...

Dom: Good catch!

Don: Thanks for the notes! The kid is definitely Kamandi--he's wearing the same outfit as he was last issue, even.

ocraM: yes, SEVEN SOLDIERS: MISTER MIRACLE is totally in continuity, as far as I can tell--why wouldn't it be? Be more specific about what you don't get, and I can try to explain as well as I understand it.

fcfanatic said...

I noticed something cool about the covers. I have the "red columns" covers. If you do too, compare issues 1 & 2. On #2, the font/lettering is slightly distressed, and the hue of the red columns is slightly darker. I'm thinking those columns will be black by the time this is all over.

I'm kind of hoping that Morticoccus isn't in this story (the Earth seems to have enough problems). On the other hand, there probably was some point in Countdown to Karate Kid bringing it to the present from the Legion's time. God knows that point was unclear in Countdown. So I'm thinking we'll see more about this in LO3W.

Speaking of Karate Kid, check out Rising Sun's outfit.

About SS:Mister Miracle... some interesting notes here. I wasn't crazy about it at the time (seemed to have the least to do with the Sheeda story), but it's a fun re-read in light of what's going on now.

smurph said...

Re: John Stewarts ring, it might be possible to read the scene as showing John using enough will power to override the Alpha Lantern's shutdown of his ring in between the last two panels.

t67443 said...

Opto309V's sector is 2260 Mogo's is 2261

Gary said...

Page 9, Panel 5 and "crimson" might allude to the Crimson Avenger, one of the very earliest DC superheroes . . . or maybe the red skies that seem to come along with every Crisis?

Garrie Burr said...

Who could add any answers at this late date? Keep up the great work!

I still have -questions-, but I'm sure most will be answered by the end.

1) If the Apokolips gods come back with their spirits inhabiting the living on Earth, how do the New Genesis gods come back? Have we already seen a similar possession, but just not known it? Will possession be their point of re-entry or will they use some other 'door'? Is it possible they would instead, being the other-side of Darkseid and Company, possess bodies of the -dead-?

2) How does the Caped Crusader escape Granny's gi-normous clutches?! Will this be the end of the Dark Knight, or will he get out in time to R.I.P. in his own book? Stay tuned, same you-know-when...

Cesar said...

Hi, first time commenter.

Little question: Is it common for Superman to say "superhuman" as in "superhuman community" instead of Metahuman? Especially since Morrison should be quite familiar with this term thanks to his White Martian saga...

lexiconjane said...

On Megayakuza and regarding Don Macpherson's comment above:

It occurred to me that if I was reading FC without being a comic fan but having access to pop culture, I’d definitely think that Megayakuza was a sly reference to Marvel’s Iron Man, especially looking at the second panel on page 5 and the method of his death on page 6.

So maybe it is a dig at DC's competitor and their flagship summer film, but then again, there’s a lot of people in robot suits in comics. No matter when this was written/drawn, Morrison and Jones would have been well aware that FC #2 would come out around Iron Man's release.

Will Staples said...

I also note that the description of BSA in the FC Sketchbook mentions Sunfire. Whoops: wrong company!

Good catch; I assume Morrison meant Sunburst, who appeared in an issue of his Doom Patrol.

DRMOUSE2814 said...

Pg. 15: Panel 3:
Hal is responsible for Space Sector 2814, which does indeed include the city-in-space Heliopolis, according to this page--can somebody give me an issue reference, please?--as well as M'Brai, seen in GREEN LANTERN #153 in 1982, and Athmoora, seen in GREEN LANTERN #16 in 1962.


Heliopolis appeared in GREEN LANTERN 2nd series # 166 August 1983.
For more up-to-date GL sector info try: http://glcorps.dcuguide.com/_sector.php

(Granted, I didn't update the Helipolis info on the GLCWP - yet)

For the most recent version of the GLC Web Page go here: http://glcorps.dcuguide.com/index.php

Pg. 17:
Opto309V first appeared in 2007's 52 #41, which implied that he's the other Green Lantern besides Mogo assigned to Sector 2261... although GREEN LANTERN CORPS #12, also published in 2007, suggested that Mogo's partner is Bzzd. Anyone want to clear this up?


Bzzd is Mogo's partner... Opto never was. Confirmed in GL/SINESTRO CORPS SECRET FILES

I said...

The astrological sign for Libra appears to be the same symbol appearing on Darkseid in J.G. Jones' new design.

Perhaps another indication that Darkseid is, in fact, in everyone as Orion said. Darkseid's evil influence being as ubiquitous as the doctrine of sin in Christian Theology.

Perhaps not.

As always, thanks for the annotations.

Douglas Wolk said...

I, that's a great catch--thank you!

drmouse and t, thanks for the Green Lantern corrections, and thank you too, gary, for pointing out the "crimson" thing.

universaladdress said...

The Earth-10 Nazi Superman appeared in Countdown to Adventure #2, although I seem to remember a swastika on his chest.

Squashua said...

Page 21.

I don't think it's been addressed, but I believe that after fighting John (which happened off-panel), Kraken (Granny)'s right arm was removed. She replaced it with a GL construct, which is what Batman notices when he asks what's wrong.

I noticed this on a re-read after wondering how Batman figured out that Kraken is having trouble.

fcfanatic said...

I was trying to figure out why so many people were having trouble with the sequence where John Stewart is attacked and the aftermath. It seems pretty straightforward, and yet... there are so many odd things about those parts.

Then it hit me: John's *real* assailant...

A character with a strong visual representation at the start of our story... one who was oddly not responding to the call of duty while a deicide was in progress... late because he was in a deep and dreamless sleep (like he was after John was attacked)... and had a weird scar on his face???

What could have got into him? Not Parallax...

Maybe a certain evil god? A prominent one we haven't seen yet? A sadist who would get off on spiking out someone's eyes?

Huh? Huh?

(I think someone else already made a joke about this actually being the more secretive and invasive summer event.)

fcfanatic said...

Now you might say that Hal has already been identified as the attacker. Of course we think he's being framed... but what if John really did see the true face of his assailant?

David Uzumeri said...

A note on tie-in scheduling: The August Final Crisis checklist in this week's books lists "Final Crisis: Superman Beyond 3-D" without an issue number (unlike the others there), which makes me think Morrison's original wishes were honored and it's now one issue. Which is good, because honestly, I'm looking forward to it possibly more than any other part of this series.

David Uzumeri said...

And now DC's site says Final Crisis #3 won't hit until August 6. While their site's been wrong before, this must be the result of an explicit change, so I'm tempted to believe it.

So, whoever said #3, congrats?

Rick said...

I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree with all these "Overman" references from Animal Man. The chest symbol is different... why would you think it's Overman?

Obviously, it's a "dark side" Superman, as seen in Superman: The Dark Side, in which "Metron deflects Superman's rocket to Apokolips, where Darkseid raises the child as his son."

This miniseries hasn't been assigned to one of the 52 Earths, like many of the other Elseworlds, as far as I know. Now yet, at least.

jack said...

Someone may have already noted this, but the S on Overman's shirt on page 9 panel 5 is very reminiscent of the s in the nazi special forces, known as the 'ss' logo. Not being a huge DC fan I could be wrong, but doesn't overman come from a nazi dominated world?