Thursday, December 11, 2008

Final Crisis #5

Well, jeez: now that Jog's done the very funny review and David's done his usual first-rate job with the notes, what's there left for me? Maybe a little bit of extra mop-up. Let's see.

Pg. 1:

Malet Dasim, created by Bob Toomey and Alex Saviuk, first appeared in GREEN LANTERN #130; he's a lawyerly type, and tends to switch off between prosecution and defense roles. (Athough it always strikes me as particularly odd that intergalactic justice is based on the Anglo-American trial system.) And you'd think that it'd have occurred to somebody to draw Hal's scar this issue.

Infallibility by decree: always a tricky thing.

Pg. 2:

Guy Gardner, created by John Broome and Gil Kane, first appeared in 1968's GREEN LANTERN #59.

Ion/Kyle Rayner, created by Ron Marz and Darryl Banks, first appeared in 1994's GREEN LANTERN #48.

Pg. 3:

Poor visual storytelling: what's happening in the third panel with the green armored dude & Guy? (David's explanation that they're ring-avatars to fight Kraken's caterpillars kinda makes sense, but why wouldn't they just fight them themselves?)

Pg. 4:

Krona hasn't been mentioned by name in FC until now, surprisingly enough, although he's a big part of the giant-hand-holding-a-galaxy creation-story imagery referred to in DC UNIVERSE 0 that goes back to 1965's GREEN LANTERN #40. (As David pointed out, the "Krona protocol" is to protect the battery against, say, being blown up the way Krona did in TALES OF THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS.) He's also a significant part of TRINITY, of course, which might be why he's offstage here.

The dialogue here skirts around an idea that's been a major subtext of Green Lantern stories for a while (and has been more so under Geoff Johns): the relationship of the Lanterns' power to will being made manifest in the world. If that's connected to the Krona origin-story business, it's essentially voluntarism in the philosophical sense. The "ultimate technology" that Metron gave Anthro in the first issue is fire, which is in some sense the very most primitive form of the Green Flame--"a deadly plasma that responds to the dictates of pure will," if not very conveniently...

Pg. 5:

A good left cross beats an evil god every time.

Pg. 6:

Crumpled spacetime provides a good explanation for all the timeline weirdness around the FC project; might as well throw that chronology out the window, huh? (Although I'll probably still try to update it at some point.)

Pg. 7:

The M in M-theory "could stand for master, mathematical, mother, mystery, membrane, magic, or matrix." Or... Morrison! "Science speculation" is a little closer than "science fact" here.

The nu-OMACs are conveniently packaged à la OMAC #1. Checkmate as "the last move in the human game"; interesting, if kind of pumping up its significance. (But it's worth noting that the original Checkmate started as The Agency, which was founded by Amanda Waller!)

Do they want Renee to be part of it because of her significance within the Crime Cult, per REVELATIONS? (Which appears to be happening some time earlier than this, crumpled spacetime aside?)

Pg. 8:

Those scars on Wonder Woman's back: cree-py.

Pg. 10:

Donna Troy finally gets a speaking line, so I might as well note that she was created (as Wonder Girl) by Bob Haney and Bruno Premiani, and first appeared in 1965 in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #60.

Pg. 18:

The Spanish-speaking guy is Iman, created by Oscar Pinto, F.G. Haghenbeck and Giovanni Barberi, who first appeared in 2000's SUPERMAN ANNUAL #12. His dialogue translates roughly as "What hit me? Ah, $&#*! My armor's useless. Weighs a ton... what would Superman do...?" (I might be wrong about that last bit.)

Frankenstein on a motorbike, sword in his right hand and gun in his right, quoting Milton's Satan. This is why I read superhero comics. (The Paradise Lost line is followed, a few lines later, by the more familiar "The mind is its own place, and in itself/Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heaven.")

"Wait for the lightning to strike": obviously this is the Marvel Family lightning, but the lightning business is also echoed by the Flash and Legion angles to FC. The solicitation for this issue included the line "Does the secret of humankind's salvation lie in a mysterious cave painting and a bolt of lightning?"

Pg. 20:

Mary Marvel is of course possessed by Sakker-Masokk, one of the lesser-known Kirby-created Darkseid henchmen. (And of course her dirty new power word would be an acronym for a different group of new gods, right?)

Pg. 21:

"You're not facing Freddie this..." --well, he's drawn like Freddie! Is someone else possessing him?

Pg. 22:

The mute cube-solver seems to be the version of Metron from SEVEN SOLDIERS: MISTER MIRACLE. Points to David for noting the "different... unforeseen" bit as a reference to Metron's self-description in NEW GODS #7.

"Nobody ever did it in less than 18": well, that's a mighty poor explanation of God's number. It's not the minimum number of moves to solve a Rubik's Cube (that would be 0), it's the minimum number of moves to solve a maximally scrambled Rubik's Cube.

Pg. 23:

"If it don't exist, think it up. Then make it real": this is as good an explanation of magic as any--you have to have a will, and inscribe it in some symbolic way, before you can turn it into reality. "Rings only work if you can think!"

The cube image also echoes the cubes and dice that turn up all over SEVEN SOLDIERS: a two-dimensional act of imagination (like Nix's drawings, or a comic book) that becomes a three-dimensional thing (entering the world).

Pg. 24:

Not Mokkari, but part of the Mokkari-cult he was boasting about earlier in the issue.

Pg. 25:

The Calculator, created by Bob Rozakis and Mike Grell, first appeared in 1976 in DETECTIVE COMICS #463; he was obsessed with Oracle in BIRDS OF PREY. And yes, it sure looks like Luthor was the one who betrayed the villains (he wasn't too keen on knuckling under in #3). Treason to Darkseid is loyalty to humanity, and if there's one thing Luthor thinks he stands for, it's humanity--that's why he hates Superman. Although he looks uncharacteristically remorseful about having thrown the Calculator under a bus.

"If you show willing": it's odd that a panel as closely analyzed as this one includes this grammatical error. But there's the idea of "will" again.

Pg. 26:

Now we know what happens in the next issue of Batman! Darkseid's crew had been begging him not to kill them earlier in the issue: BZZT all around.

"The idea of a god is a god"--Alan Moore

Pg. 27:

"Dropt from the Zenith like a falling Star": Paradise Lost I, 745. (The dropt one was Mulciber/Hephaestus.) I love how compassionate Supergirl is.

Pg. 29:

The President would have to be Jonathan Horne, per #2.

The current population of Earth is about 6.7 billion, so what are the other 3.7 billion up to? Or have they already died for Darkseid?

Pg. 32:

Nix Uotan as Vykin the Black from FOREVER PEOPLE, sort of, except with Rubik's Cube surveillance headgear (the transparent images I can make out seem to be panels from this issue)--the person who's able to step outside the narrative and see it all at once.

OK--what'd I miss?


Mario Di Giacomo said...

Mary is almost certainly possessed by DeSaad. :)

Pedro said...

Who is Sakker-Masokk? Google gives me nothing.

Matthew Perpetua said...

Vykin the Black, eh? I guess the "helmet" design matches up. Going on the style of font, I assumed he had become Metron!

Also, I was thinking that Libra was most likely DeSaad...

Anonymous said...

I thought Mary was possessed by DeSaad also, and that Nix was Highfather, with Weeja being his late wife from Issue 7 of New Gods (who says that she has never heard him sing, if I remember correctly).

Lou Wysocki said...

Sorry, did not have an account yet--previous comment by me, not anonymous.

Brad B said...

I took M-theory to have to do with the Multiverse, since that is what they are discussing at the time.

Brad B said...

Also, the vehicles in the battle scene are some of the Metal Men, as evidenced by the eyebrows on the Hummer, and the "L" symbol on Liberty Belle's bike. (as found by "Green Flame" on

Jer said...

Who is Sakker-Masokk? Google gives me nothing.

Douglas is having some fun - "Sakker-Masokk" is a slightly roundabout play on the name Desaad. I was assuming that Libra was Desaad myself, but given what Black Adam says this issue now I'm wondering who Libra might be.

Cahse Garland said...

That is the Freddie Freeman Marvel. In issue 3, he talked about wanting to become Marvel permentantly and leave his human side behind. That's what he meant.

raphaeladidas said...

Do we know that Libra is supposed to be anybody but Libra? He is a pre-existing character after all. The only reference I can find that would be the basis for speculating he's due for a reveal of some sort is Morrison saying "What's really going on under the hood will be revealed later in the series." But that could mean any number of things.
There's lots of crazy speculation out there about who Libra might be, but the only "big reveal" I can think of that would have resonance with the larger story is for him to be Izaya.

Mario Di Giacomo said...

Another observation:

Some of the vehicles the heroes are riding in the big splash are the Metal Men

Garrie Burr said...

Page 23 carried my favorite bit of my favorite issue of the series, but has anyone figured the identity of the hooded ape-ish figure who speaks here? Given Funnybook Babylon's notation of the Highfather line is this possibly the new almost-born leader of the new New Genesians?

Can anyone come up with the evil god acronym for Mary? Darkseid and pals all appear to have names beginning in consonants, so I'm having problems with that one. Another reason to bring on some new bad guys...

Perhaps it's too obvious to bring up the Mary vs. Supergirl battle as being the feminine version of the Captain Marvel vs. Superman, but I mention it here because of this issue's cover which brings up a matter of possible negligence.

Superman has his Final Crisis two-part special, while Batman has his RIP and two-part Final Crisis epilogue. Here we've got their female counterparts battling in the centerpiece. Wonder Woman though, really has not had much to do in this series other than being the masked leader of the female Hunger Dogs.

There's probably already been some commentary about the female "half" of the DC universe in general, but it does speak bound-volumes that in this issue, other than Wonder Woman, Vixen and Liberty Belle are probably the only female super-characters in action not mirroring an existing male hero.

Hoping our Princess Diana gets more to do here than just "turn good" again...

Crusader said...

The most cogent guess I've seen for the hooded figure is Himon.

Andrew White said...

Could the hooded hairy figure be Big Bear? I don't think he's appeared yet. Though my News Gods knowledge is pretty poor as I never found any of them save Darkseid or Desaad all that interesting.

rwe1138 said...

"Poor visual storytelling: what's happening in the third panel with the green armored dude & Guy? (David's explanation that they're ring-avatars to fight Kraken's caterpillars kinda makes sense, but why wouldn't they just fight them themselves?)"

I think that while Guy's using a construct, Kyle actually wrapped himself in one and is fighting hand-to-hand.

Also, Kyle's not Ion anymore. The Daxamite Sodam Yat is currently Ion. Kyle's just goes by Green Lantern.

jcs said...

"Pg. 32:Nix Uotan as Vykin the Black from FOREVER PEOPLE"

I assumed he had become Infinity Man as that ties in with the plot line about his forgotten magic words and phrases .

md said...

"His dialogue translates roughly as "What hit me? Ah, $&#*! My armor's useless. Weighs a ton... what would Superman do...?" (I might be wrong about that last bit.)"

Nope. You're right. I should know; I am Puerto Rican and Spanish is my first language. I am also doing my MA in English... :-)

Brushwood said...

I think before Freddy could only leech off a portion of Captain Marvel's power, but now he's earned the whole caboodle, including the build and red tights.

Libra's speech patterns and motivations remind me of Prometheus, who's been noticeably absent from the villain society.

Anonymous said...

You know, I'm actually surprised no-one has pointed this out yet, so here goes: on page 29, does that hole in the sky remind us of anything? Three words - "KIRBY CRACKLE, MOTHERF$%^&*S!"

(It was going to be said...)

David Alexander McDonald said...

M-Theory is a superset of String Theory (see Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe for an introduction to the concepts) and allows for multidimensionality.

Anonymous said...

thank you for the deep insight.