Monday, January 12, 2009

Final Crisis #6

Only going from the Newsarama preview so far, but what the hell, there's a lot to chew over here. I'll update Wednesday or Thursday, after I have a chance to spend some time with the rest of the issue.

Pg. 1:

This is clearly happening after SUPERMAN BEYOND #2--not out until next week, but already previewed enticingly at Newsarama--but the relationship of this moment to Lo3W is unclear: in Lo3W #1, we saw Superman summoned to the 31st century via temporal ripcord from what looked like a nice sunny day, rather than like the end of SUPERMAN BEYOND.

2960 would've been around the time the Legion were still making scattered guest appearances, before their run as a feature in ADVENTURE COMICS. It's been established that the Guardians' tech is in a bad way in 3009, but will-to-reality machines are what their rings were. "The ultimate technological artifact": come to think of it, isn't all technology meant to turn will into reality?

Pg. 2:

Note that Superman's already turning transparent in the final panel.

Pg. 3:

Payoff time. The Miracle Machine first appeared in ADVENTURE COMICS #367, as a deus ex machina device presented by the grateful Controllers to the Legion some time earlier; it later popped up in SUPERBOY #213, and--David U. pointed this out--was never shown from the front in either issue. (And what does it look like from the front? ...Why, Metron's circuit, of course!)

Now, here's an interesting side note: the Miracle Machine has made a few other appearances. It turned up in ALL-NEW COLLECTOR'S EDITION #C-55--the 1978 tabloid in which Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl were married, and in which the Time Trapper was revealed to be a Controller (!). Then it reappeared a year later, in a story that was originally going to be a 64-page special but was re-edited into SUPERBOY & THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES #250 and #251, in which Brainiac 5 used it to create an unstoppable menace called, wait for it, Omega; the crisis was resolved when Matter-Eater Lad ate the Miracle Machine, and thereby went insane. (A story, I should note, that was written by Paul Levitz and Jim Starlin, the latter credited as "Steve Apollo." ETA: TIm notes in the comments that we never actually see the machine in the story as published) A 20th century prototype (with a much plainer, grille-type front) also appeared in DC COMICS PRESENTS #50; maybe that one was Crisis'ed away.

Up until this point, though, it's appeared that the Johnsverse Legion diverged from the L(I) Legion sometime during the five-year gap before LSHv4. But if the Miracle Machine remains un-nommed, then we may be dealing with yet another variation of the Legion. Or--you know, it's a device that can remake reality; continuity is as nothing to it, most likely.

"Just look": because the important part is the Metron sigil?

Pg. 5:

Korll is the home of the villainous Queen Bee, as seen in 1963's JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #23.

I can never see Ray and Dinah together without remembering that they had a very brief fling in THE RAY #11, but they've moved past it (...more than I have). Actually, I suspect it's one of those "let us never speak of it again" things.

I guess the Guardians' "nothing gets in or out" cordon is very permeable. Nice Star Wars-influenced ships, too.

Pp. 6-7:

"How you doing, honey?": This is the second Liberty Belle--Jesse Chambers, created by Len Strezewski and Mike Parobeck, who first appeared in 1992's JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #1. Formerly Jesse Quick, she became Liberty Belle after Infinite Crisis. The original Liberty Belle, created by Don Cameron and Chuck Winter, first appeared in BOY COMMANDOS #1 in 1942 (and what a Kirby Kover that is--go click).

Her husband is the second Hourman, Rick Tyler, created by Roy and Dann Thomas and Todd McFarlane; he first appeared in INFINITY INC. #20. The original Hourman, created by Ken Fitch and Bernard Baily, first appeared in 1940's ADVENTURE COMICS #48.

"What is this, Tyler...": the first Wildcat, created by Bill Finger and Irwin Hasen, who first appeared in 1942's SENSATION COMICS #1.

The Marvel Family throwing buses at each other is very MIRACLEMAN #15, don't you think? Not to mention the "I can never say the word again" bit later this issue.

Pg. 8:

"You? Calling me a slut?": I can't help but think of my least favorite moment on any DC convention panel of recent years, when somebody explained the changes coming up on Supergirl: "New creative team, the book won't suck, she won't be a slut."

I guess everyone was right about Mary hosting Desaad.

Pg. 10:

And Kalibak is a... what?

Pg. 13:

Iman's dialogue translates roughly as "Something coming... like the sound of horses..." Note the Four Dogswomen of the Apocalypse approaching in the background.

Pg. 14:

I really like the Uzumeri hypothesis about this scene.

Pg. 15:

I don't understand why Shilo keeps getting colored as white either.

Pp. 16-17:

This explains what's up with Sonny, the original of whom remained back in time in Kirby's FOREVER PEOPLE #7. Although the parodic "I can't tell him how I feel about him" manga-soap-opera routine grates a little in contrast to Canary's operatic emotional moment on the next page.

Pg. 18:

I love all the little advertising slogans for Anti-Life.

Pg. 20:

Ray Palmer/The Atom, created by Gardner Fox and Gil Kane, first appeared in 1961's SHOWCASE #34. He was one of the Monitor-monitors as of the end of COUNTDOWN; so much for that role. Ryan Choi was clearly based on that version, and created by Gail Simone, Grant Morrison and... does anybody know who designed his appearance?... He first appeared in 2006's DCU: BRAVE NEW WORLD.

The psychics in Room 90: Miss Martian and who else? It looks like she's having severe psychic nosebleed problems.

The mystics: that's obviously Zatanna in the middle, and the guy in the top hat could be Zachary Zatara (or Ali-Ka-Zoom!). Who's the one with the headdress?

Somebody's getting ready to do some very nasty things to Überfraulein's corpse, it looks like. Cue the great sad music.

Pg. 21:

As Uzumeri pointed out, the "Lord" has to be Maxwell Lord's brain-in-a-giant-globular-jar (with Omac-style eye speech balloons), and Renee's being set up as the head of the (faceless) Global Peace Agency from Kirby's OMAC. Perhaps this might be one resolution of FC: everyone who escapes ends up on an Earth that has never dealt with super-types before? (Wasn't that pretty much the premise of Morrison's abortive run on THE AUTHORITY? And what Earth would they be going to--the one within Qwewq, perhaps?)

Pg. 23:

"I know there's good in you, Luthor." I note also that he's cut the Calculator down.

Pg. 24:

The Black Flash: see the 1998 story that reached its climax in FLASH #141.

Pg. 25:

"Godspeed." What a line. And we're about to hear that starter's bullet from DCU 0 again!

Pg. 26:

A visual callback to SEVEN SOLDIERS #1.

Pg. 27:

Someone will know this--I recall a Batman story from sometime in the last couple of decades in which Batman uses his little-seen skills as a sharpshooter to do something involving... a ship in Gotham harbor? Anybody able to cite it? See also the apparently-now-out-of-continuity DETECTIVE COMICS #575, 576, 577 and 578, as well as #710.

This also echoes, rather strongly, the climax of THE INVISIBLES: "a bullet in the right place..."

"The Omega Sanction... the death that is life": as we saw in SEVEN SOLDIERS: MISTER MIRACLE, this consists of endlessly living all your possible lives. Or, in other words, something Batman already did on his way to see Turpinseid, over in BATMAN.

One last "Hh."

Pp. 28-29:

And that's a classic "We haven't heard the last of him!" if ever I saw one. (Two haven't-heard-the-last-of-him situations, actually.) I'm wearing my Batjew T-shirt out of mourning today anyway.

Pg. 30-31:

The layout of images around Nix's head echoes the final page of last issue, where he's in the middle of the TV-set sphere. Morrison to Wizard today: "Final Crisis #7 is almost inventing a new style. We had widescreen comics and decompression and super-compression. This is channel-zapping comics."

Lois seems to be just fine; I assume we'll find out how next week. Streaky looks good too.

Hawkman and Hawkgirl, created by Gardner Fox and Dennis Neville, first appeared in 1940's FLASH COMICS #1. The current incarnations are Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders, and the reincarnation/frustrated-love business has been a running thread of their appearances over the past few years.

Bulleteer puts in another one of her famous one-panel cameos.

Guess there wasn't room for much more of the Green Lantern business this issue.

"Germ-people": cf. Zillo Valla saying "you germs are truly worthy of our attention" in the SUPERMAN BEYOND #2 preview.

So is the fifth world Darkseid's world, or "the age of men as gods," or both?

Pieter Cross/Dr. Mid-Nite, created by Matt Wagner and John K. Snyder, first appeared in 1999's DOCTOR MID-NITE #1; he's strongly based on the version created by Charles Reizenstein and Stanley Josephs Aschmeier, who first appeared in 1941's ALL-AMERICAN COMICS #25.

"Billy" was the first Captain Marvel, Billy Batson, a different version of whom is showing up over in SUPERMAN BEYOND. Does it strike anyone else as odd that the Marvel Family gets so much space in this issue (including the Sivana and Tawky Tawny scenes)? Especially considering that Batman's big leavetaking is four pages?

Pg. 33:

Well, at least Rick got back to his wife in the space of two pages. The person saying "Dad?" is Tom Bronson, the fourth (or fifth) Wildcat and Ted Grant's son; he first appeared in 2007's JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #2.

See you next week for SUPERMAN BEYOND, although I might go ahead and put up some notes for the preview if some spare time falls into my hands unexpectedly.


Anonymous said...

Does Brainiac5's name for the machine "geh-jedollah" sound like "gadget-ullah" to you?
"-ullah" suffix means "of god" in Arabic languages.
gadget-ullah -> gadget of god
Maybe it is Morrison's way of naming the machine in a quasi-meaningful way by not making it too anglo-saxon oriented but rather more multicultural and enigmatic.

signed: kolleksiyoncu

David Uzumeri said...

That makes a bunch of sense, actually - playing with words like that is something Morrison loves to do, and that makes more sense than anything else I've tried to come up with. (I mean, I assume the name came from SOMEWHERE, like all of his weird Monitor names.)

Mark said...

Maybe in this reality, Matter-Eater Lad barfed it back up again to regain his sanity. Goofy bastard.

rwe1138 said...

The only character I'm having trouble identifying is the dude with the lightning bolt on his chest in the room full of psychics. Did Brainwave change his costume?

Anonymous said...

I think the guy with the lightning bolt may be the Mind Grabber from Morrison's Seven Soldiers arc (a bit player in the Bulleteer mini).

Tim said...

"can anyone confirm whether or not we got a full view of the Machine?"

It never actually appears in the story.

David Uzumeri said...

Great job as always; I hadn't put together Morrison's quote about channel-zapping comics with Uotan's new gear, so that makes a BUNCH of sense. It's also nice to know his "break from superheroes" turned out to be crap since he's apparently got more DCU stuff coming later in 2009.

By the way, the Atom's appearance was designed by Trevor Scott, although his initial appearances were drawn by John Byrne and inked by Scott. (I remember Didio remarking on this in an interview for some reason when Brave New World hit.)

raphaeladidas said...

p.20 The one in the headdress I believe is Houngan.

Chris Miller said...

As to page 20, I can confirm that that's voodoo master Houngan behind Zee. Which is odd, since he's a villain... but OTOH, pretty much the entire rest of the Brotherhood of Evil was iced during Salvation Run, so maybe he's turned over a new leaf or something.

I suspect the guy in a hat behind her on the other side is Doctor Occult.

The others, I don't know.

Squashua said...

Haven't read anywhere else yet, but calling it now.

That was one of the myriad of Apokalyptian test-tube Batman clones, controlled remotely via The Lump & Batman.

Squashua said...

And Page 10? I think the next panel cray, starting with "g", meant he was going to say, "God".

rwe1138 said...

I believe that's the Flash Rogue Magenta blasting Robotman in the bottom-middle panel of pages 6 & 7.

Kiel Phegley said...

I am 90% certain that Trevor Scott, who inked the All-New Atom ongoing series, also designed the costume, but I can't find the interview I kind of remember reading with him about it at some point in the past.

Cahse Garland said...

The lightning bolt guy in Room 90 is Mind Grabber Man from Bulleteer.

Kalibak was going to say "I am a God" before Mr. Tawky Tawny bites him.

The Hourman asking for his wife at the end is Rex Tyler, the original. Check out the wrist band things. He's miscolored. Although this is an understandable error.

This takes place after Revalations given Montoya's remark about "up to date dossiers" in pertinance to her and the Spetre.

Aaron Strange said...

Great work on these notes. I haven't enjoyed a comic so much in years.

I presumed that the Guardians lifted the quarantine when they sent the Corps in. Alternatively, a global quarantine might well enclose any orbiting satellites (man-made or natural).

rjt said...

In FC #4, Tattooed Man turns white when he activates Metron's circuit. I assume that is why Shilo was colored white this issue; it is not a coloring mistake, but rather an indication that he has Metron's circuit protecting him from Anti-life.

Chris said...

I strongly agree about the level of enjoyment reached when reading FC #6. It was only recently that I truly delved into DC's rich continuity, and to be honest, this story isn't as confusing as everyone makes it out to be. I was confused after the first issue, but more so intrigued. Besides, it's easy to familiarize oneself with any unknown characters or concepts via the internet.
Some seem to see Batman's "death" (really only a sanction) as "disgusting" and as cheap way to try and sell comics. I think that it was pulled off really well in that it adds to the impact of this story on the reader and now fits in with RIP. Kind of. I also see it as a gift that Morrison has left to whichever writer gets to come up with the story of how he comes back.

Petter Malmberg said...

Also: Kid Marvelman was the stand-in for Mary Marvel in the original Marvelman-stories.
The publisher didn't think boys would wanna read about a girl so they changed her gender.

Will Staples said...

One thing I liked about this issue was how instrumental the Marvel Family was in defeating the New Gods - their Golden Age values triumphed over Desaad's obscenity and Kalibak's brutality. Even Doctor Sivana did his part!

evisruc said...

>"Someone will know this--I recall a Batman story from sometime in the last couple of decades in which Batman uses his little-seen skills as a sharpshooter to do something involving... a ship in Gotham harbor? Anybody able to cite it?"

I think I saw what you're talking about on scans_daily. I can't cite it, but I know that it was Batman versus Deathstroke. After beating Deathstroke, he uses Deathstroke's sniper rifle to shoot the gun out of the hands of a criminal on a boat far from the harbor where they were fighting, much to Slade's surprise.

IanJN said...

Does it strike anyone else as odd that the Marvel Family gets so much space in this issue (including the Sivana and Tawky Tawny scenes)?

Ah, but it's not just the Marvel Family. Intertwined are Supergirl and Luthor--the "Super Family"--and overtones of Miracleman. That squares nicely with Superman Beyond, I think.

From a plot perspective, Desaad is defeated, Kalibak is defeated, and Libra is overthrown. A lot of heavy lifting there.

Michael said...

Page 2, Superman and Brainy walk past a row of Time Bubbles. The double-thing in between the Bubbles, seen on the left behind Superman in panel 2, is The Concentrator. It concentrates all of the power in the universe for an instant (as seen in Adventure 321, here on Paul and John Review).

Not sure, but that looks like the right shade of green to be a GL Power Battery at the far left of panel 1. The rest of the artifacts here don't really ring a bell.

Finally, the Controller who posed as the Time Trapper was imprisoned by the Science Police, and later drained of his powers by Darkseid at the beginning of the Great Darkness Saga. It was later revealed that this was a renegade Controller working with the Time Trapper, later killed by the real Trapper.

bobsy said...

P15: Ref. to The Last Redoubt is a clear nod to The Night Land by W.H. Hodgson (, the greatest bad novel or worst great novel in the English language. The Night Land's apocalyptic future also features giants and 'dogs as large as horses', so this has no doubt been in the Moz-mind for a while.

P31: Doc Man-of-Bats doing his thing - yusss!

Tom Galloway said...

Couple of small additions. Mind Grabber Man first appeared way back in Justice League of America v1 #70, where the main thrust of the issue is the JLA meeting the Creeper for the first time. Went by Mind Grabber Kid at the time, and I believe made one other cameo appearance between that and 7 Soldiers as a (joke) applicant for JLA membership.

The Miracle Machine was referenced one other time in the Legion's run in Adventure #378. Five Legionnaires have been poisoned, and after 24 hours, as the poison is kicking in, it finally occurs to Brainiac 5 that the Miracle Machine could cure them. Alas, he doesn't have anything that can break open the Inertron cube and collapses over it. The poisoning had to be resolved by a completely different deus ex machina. : -)

May also be worth noting that this issue effectively makes Final Crisis: Resist non-canonical. Not only is there no pick up on Mr. Terrific having an army of Omacs, but the meta-power removing virus that keeps Snapper Carr in a containment suit while he's snapping around the world isn't affecting any of the non-suited up heroes in this issue.

X-Himy said...

Not necessarily Tom Galloway, though I might just be angling for a No-Prize. I don't have the issue in front of me, but a number of the people I saw fighting were non-metagene powered. Hourman has drug-induced powers, The Flashes have the Speed Force, Liberty Belle has both the Speed Force and some mystical sort of America powers. Wildcat is largely a non-powered human, and so on.

Retro315 said...

"Quantum Bruce" ... I wonder if that'll be what Morrison means by "coming back to Batman" next year.

Anyway, Batman is a master escape artist. He's dealt with death-traps, poisons (everything referenced by the Club of Villains' specialties).

The heroes in the Bludhaven assault, the Checkmate stronghold, and in the "watchtowers" seen in the last few issues, seem selected primarily because they're not Metagene.

Marvel family power comes from ancient magic. Red Arrow has no powers. Metal Men are robots. There's "seemingly" out of place armor-suit heroes. Etc ... Superman and Supergirl aren't human. How many Metagene heroes are there even existing in DCU?

I hadn't drawn the Lord Eye connection to Max Lord but it seems obvious to me now. I thought it might be an artificially grown brain, but salvaging Lord's super-psychic brain is genius.

Just what lightning does Kalibak think Darkseid owns? And is there a link between the lightning of the Marvels, the lightning of the Speed Force, and the lightning of "inspiration" - which plays into Metron's role and that lightning zag on Nix's jacket.

Theory on my part ... and this isn't so much referencing FC#6 as it is Batman RIP ...

Science is the 3rd Dimension (the XYZ axis, within the laws of Physics a lot is possible, but not anything).

Magic is the 4th Dimension (You can do even more with magic, but there are still limits and laws that it follows).

Imagination is the 5th Dimension (Home of Bat-Mites, Myxzlptk's, and within it, anything is possible).

Fifth World is coming, and with giving man fire, he theoretically gave the primitive man the means to go from 3rd Dimension, to 4th (learning magic) and last of all the 5th (imagination + willpower = infinite possibilities).

That could play into the Metron > Science > Green Lanterns and the emotion spectrum as the "peak of technology".

When are we going to get a wink about how it's "Mister" Terrific and "Mister" Miracle teaming?

What's Superbat's helmet?

The Black Racer and Black Flash connection is something I pondered as soon as the Flashes started outrunning death back in FC#3. I love when fanciful speculation is rewarded.

Man ... "Godspeed" ... how freaking appropriate. Is it possible that the Flashes ARE in fact borrowing their Speed Force powers from the Third World God, Hermes/Mercury, who had wings on his feet?

A lot of the old Earth pantheon might not love the Fourth World. Poseidon, for instance (I've been having flashbacks to Aquaman v5, when the Deep Six tried turning Aquaman's ex-eskimo lover Kako into a demon, but Greek water spirit Naiad intervened and turned Kako into a fire elemental, Corona. Heck, maybe primal Earth gods are battling New God invasion with human champions (and maybe some old gods are trying to get in favor of the New Gods, perhaps the Poseidon, who's damn jealous of Aquaman).

Batman seeing with godvision is interesting, and a pretty obvious shout-out at a link between him and fellow super-escape-artist Miracle.

Batman's corpse reminds me of Black Flash ...

As for the Revelations Timeline, Revelations only seems to take place over three days, literally the day before Evil Won, the day Evil Won, and the day after Evil Won.

Seems easy enough that Montoya didn't let SHADE take her in FC#3 when Uberfraulein crash-landed, and continued following her lead on the Crime Bible (which criss-crossed with Turpin's lead on the Dark Side Club).

How, a month later she managed to stay alive and get picked up by Checkmate? Total mystery. Maybe Revelations # 5 will explain it.

If not? Maybe Mister Terrific picked her up when he cut a path to Checkmate Castle with that army of OMAC's that disappeared.

Anonymous said...

p. 14: Tawny refers to "Tiger Tea". This beverage, from Krazy Kat, conferred ferocity:

Rev Sully said...

Pg. 21:

As Uzumeri pointed out... everyone who escapes ends up on an Earth that has never dealt with super-types before? (Wasn't that pretty much the premise of Morrison's abortive run on THE AUTHORITY? And what Earth would they be going to--the one within Qwewq, perhaps?)

Wow...I thought I was the ONLY person in the world to pick up on that.

So thrilled right now...

So mebbe you're also saying Batman killed Orion by shooting Darkseid? Bludhaven is how far away from Metropolis? A Radion bullet fired "now" with a Cosmic Gun ends up when/where in Space/Time? 50 years in the past all the way over in a Metropolis dockside?...a
Paradox, I know...Time-Travel gives me a headache...some Flash said that.

Crappy said...

I don't know about Mind Grabber Man, the lightning bolt is all wrong. It's Mento from the Doom Patrol of course.

Also, that's Traci 13 with the mystics, she wore that "0" t-shirt in a bunch of her Blue Beetle appearances.

How about Enchantress for the mystic with her back to us? She has the elbow high gloves and the cape. Colored wrong, but we know the colorist was asleep at the wheel on this issue.

Crappy said...

Also, there's definitely a band on the "top hat" mystic... meaning it's more likely Zatara's tuxedo than Dr. Occult's fedora. BUT, look closely, and there seems to be a design of some sort on the band... which calls to mind Papa Midnight from Hellblazer.