Final Crisis # 7
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen, Drew Geraci, Christian Alamy, Norm Rapmund, Rodney Ramos, Walden Wong, Alex Sinclair, Tony Avina & Pete Pantazis
Published by DC Comics
You ever see Blades of Glory? What a piece of fucking shit that movie was. Poorly shot, terrible script, chump-y, lump-y, dump-y--just a real chunk of garbage, rubbed out by people who could care fucking less. The idea that there's solid intention there, ambition, ideology or artistic notions--nahh. "Ice skaters are faggy! Let's clash faggy with Will Ferrell's chest hair! Improvising fixes everything!" Of course, that doesn't mean that parts of it aren't funny. Fully screwing up, failing to produce a single grimacing chuckle, hell, that's the province of the straight-to-dvd Renee Zellweger market. Nah, there's funny shit. Not a whole lot of it, but yeah: you will probably find something you laugh at in that abysmal, terrible fucking movie. Of course, that's true of a great many things, Final Crisis 7 for one: you'll find shit in here that you'll like, and yes, you'll find shit in here that you fucking love, goddammit, if your panties aren't designed to allow for getting wet than guess what motherfucker? Get Some New Goddamn Panties. That's how Final Crisis worked, for the most part: cool shit sometimes, like every time Doug Mahnke drew Frankenstein, or every time Batman said something, or when the Green Lanterns said "Fuck this, we'll die just to get to the battlefield, whether we make it or not. Intent matters." And Hal Jordan's right, fucking INTENT MATTERS. Sure goddamn golly, matters a fucking lot.
But yeah, you know what? So does some execution. Get your art team on the page where they get their shit turned in, where you don't have to hire a bunch of replacements and twenty inkers, get your script team--one dude!--to turn his shit in on time, don't market it as the competition for the Iron Man kills Muslims Marvel comic because that's like saying "hey, what do you want for lunch? Stale turkey or fire-math? Fire-math takes longer!" Don't run shit in the first issue that says "remember the 80's? remember Geoff Johns? This is part three of that trilogy." Dude, you know it isn't that. Sure, you still have the old saw: tiger fight! Tiger fights can fix a lot. Frankenstein on a dog, Doug Mahnke drawing muscles, a big old fuck you-let's-have-some-fun-speedmetal style that says, that demands, some reader does the blank-filling (although that's not going to work out well when part of your audience is still buying comics they haven't enjoyed ever, and just because there's some hoary old pimps going read-what-you-like-only, get offa my lawn, i walked a mile in the snow, that doesn't change your audience, your audience never changes cuz oldies poke 'em in the eye, nobody likes being wrong, nobody likes being reminded that they're dumb, and yeah, when you sell shit to people, try not to say fuck you fuck you fuck you stupid FUCK while you're doing it) but all of those cool things all put together while Mama Cass is choking on a sandwich like a filthy cow, all these pretty pretties, they fix a lot.
Oh well, and but, or so: Maybe you are a fucking dumbass if you don't GET it, Or Maybe you are a fucking FAIRY PRICK if you do, but either way ya'll need to shut the fuck up and get back to worrying about where all your socks went, or what's going on with your hair, but hey, hey, hey: some people don't like the goddamn Ramones or Madonna, some people will never read Jim Woodring, and sometimes, who gives a fuck, what, people, do, right? Right? Righty-right-right? Just a comic book, it's art but it's also trash culture outside the 100,000 box, and just because everybody thinks it's for nerds, let's not fight, let's remember how you were gonna let that go? That nerd thing? Fucking A, don't let it go. It defines your t-shirt choice, right? The way you picked a job where you didn't have to wear a belt everyday, because your pants were picked out for you by a corporate office in Des Moines? Guess what sister: Final Crisis doesn't care if you like it, it doesn't care if you don't, if you got it or didn't, if you'll fight for it or not, it was never going to try to please you. And yes, that's totally excellent, and it should be a Model To Follow, despite the specific prototype being pretty fucked up, with a comic that was up and down and all over the place. Up and down and all over the place can be awesome, and it can also be boring as hell, and it can also be Aggressively Stupid, and yes, this thing was all of those, even a couple of those at the same goddamn time. Which? Cool, sure, I guess. Don't expect too many more of these though, because this ain't the route too many would be willing to take, and seriously: you think Grant is going to go through this again? You think Alan Moore is coming home to body condoms? Jack Kirby's still in his grave, Hunger Dogs never really finished the way he wanted it to be--what is the 4th World but a climax eater, a bringer of botched? This was it, we knew this was it in the first place, and what comes next--shit, that's going to be comic book AIDS, it's going to be hellaciously fucking awful, because this said "Let's seriously admit that it's time to push it a bit, even if we push it too far, because another Invasion or Zero Hour or Bloodlines or Millenium goes down and I'm going to kill myself and you" but they're following it up with a JSA designed to instill heroic values--whatever the fuck that means--they're sending Superman to moonbeam land to eat stars while Jimmy Olsen turtles up to keep the streets clean, Green Lanterns are fighting bulimiac women among the stars, yeah, it's going to suck ass and this is one of those times that you really need to take that to heart, because think about it: sucking? On ass? Not the tongue, that's nice and pleasant. Sucking. Like a straw. Comic books like that. Grossy.
It sure was nice to have a mirror though, a mirror that said "put in here what you like, and here's the ways the furniture looks." Otherwise, it's all you baby boy, it's Choose Your Own Adventure, and that's a take it or leave it proposition for most. It's been a while since a comic said "I love you" so fucking loud. That's pretty great. (But nothing wilts erections like desperate, pleading eyes.)
You want a review? Write it yourself. This motherfucker wasn't designed that way. It was designed to initiate conversation, and while the writer might not have liked the conversation it initiated, at least it lasted longer than when you talk about Secret Invasion, which lasts about as long as it takes to say "Huh, so this was about killing people who are different, right? And Wolverine is in it, correct? My mush tastes mushy." We will say this though: Would it have been more awesome if Darkseid's last words had been a Buddy Baker I-see-you page where he said "This is what it feels like...when doves cry." Oh yeah, that would have been better. That would have fucking nailed it to the wall. If you're gonna stop evil with a song--shit man. I gotta know what song evil sings as well.
While Bendis has ended up in the same place that his main Marvel universe machinations put so many other writers over the last few years, he actually pulls something off that's relatively effective here in this tie-in to the by all accounts horrible Ultimatum story Jeph Loeb is currently vomiting out. Stuck in a flooded New York seconds after some sort of tidal wave attack, Peter Parker spends the majority of the comics running time freaking the fuck out, saving whoever he runs into--in all likelihood, so they can die later if Marvel's FEMA is anything like the real world, considering how Marvel views politics, it's probably worse--and relegating the entire "here's why this is a cross-over" shit to a couple of pages that consist of an unseen Professor X droning on and on about something-something Magneto lives in the sky and has Thor's hammer, blah blah whofuckingcares. Apparently they're going to cancel this series or something along with the rest of this imprint, which is too bad. This is the first time in a while that Peter Parker has actually seemed like somebody you could feel sorry for because his life is fucked up, as opposed to his normal personality, a guy spends all his time trying to get you to feel sorry for him when his life seems totally fine.
Finally, the moment everyone has been waiting for: both Detective Comics and Batman are no longer about fucking fey-ass douche Batman, who nobody cares about anyway, as Paul Dini's "jesus christ, I really dig this Hush guy let's make sure he never goes away despite no one liking him" train hits two stops on the road to whatever you call this comic book, which is about how Catwoman likes to travel around the world and free monkeys from cages. Hey, there's nothing sexist, racist, violent, or offensive in this comic, and it's drawn well! Let's give it to kids! Wait, what's that you say? Even illiterate children don't find the prospect of a moody bitch letting monkeys and cats out of cages interesting while a couple other moody bitches lock king moody up in Moody castle, otherwise known as that plastic room from the X-Men movie? Surely you jest. Did you not hear me when I said that nothing sexist, racist, violent, or offensive happens in this comic? It's also drawn well. I'm sorry? ... Oh god no. No, it's not any fun at all. Would you like me to kick you in the mouth while I'm here? I'm blessed with a free schedule.
While it's called part one of something something, this is just a continuation of the previous short arc, and while that arc wasn't altogether impressive compared against the estimable run of quality that Brubaker and his art compatriots have previously brought, this issue has a pretty effective little team-up thing going with Namor that brings something nice while still treading water. There's something very old school charming about this series, and how it seeks to work against it's serialized nature by telling very long stories in division, but as time wears on, it's starting to become more desirable for Marvel to just experiment with publishing these stories in larger volumes at a higher price point on some kind of intermittent, quarterly schedule. They do, of course, with the trade paperbacks, but in this case, they might want to seek something different than keeping Brubaker chained to the one-issue length delivery system, just to see what he could do with it.
Now, Captain America may have had a pretty consistent ride of quality, but Daredevil has, by rights, not. It's an up and down series that has been a little too respectful of the well-liked Bendis run that came before, as it's been a month to month study in how Matt Murdock, the whining little bitch who serves as the host for this really super badass fucking ninja dude who calls himself Daredevil, is really fucked up because his penis is covered in an infectious disease called "if you fuck me, the world will fuck you back." Now, it's all well and good to want to sit around at an oak table and nod quietly at your fellow comic book writers at Marvel headquarters, no matter that Bendis can at times seem like the funny guy who won't shut up as well as being the cloven hoofed retard beast farting on the rug and squealing "mama makey Iron Man pee pee snargle snargle", like we're all real goddamn proud that Michael Lark and Ed Brubaker have so much class, that they still wear hats and shake hands, but okay, we got it, Daredevil was sad, it's been like 6 years or however long 6 trade paperbacks is in comics time, let's move on to a day where Matt Murdock can climb up into bed with Dakota North and not cry while he eats her out.
Well, no surprise here, other than the surprise of being right, right, right: this piece of crap got nominated for a GLAAD award. Because if we can't award comics featuring homosexual characters doing nothing but wandering around in the sort of philosophy of religion world-building nonsense impossible to make compelling, a offhand construction of faith that would even embarrass crazy old William Blake, than who can we award? It's not about winning, it's about being nominated: nominated for doing nothing more than saying "hey, you do know that this ugly, poorly drawn comic features homosexual versions of personality-shorn characters, right? That's called progress, bitches." That's right! What's that GLAAD motto again? "Ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people." Oh yeah. This does exactly that, especially the part where...oh wait. There's absolutely nothing in here whatsoever to explain it, unless GLAAD is way more cynical than anybody has ever guessed, and they're nominating this as a joke, there way of saying "Look everybody. This is what comics thinks of us--as boring and as ugly as can be imagined." Great fucking job, all around. The future is now.
No bullshit, full stop: it's not even up for debate, this Billy Tan guy's art just doesn't fucking work. Whether it's something gross that happens in the inking process, it's just awful, awful stuff to look at. Page after page of overly lined faces, confusing, hideous characters, fluctuating set pieces that make the walls look like somebody built a house out of the tv screen in Videodrome, action sequences where people who are flying look like a drawing of them standing has been tilted to the side--terrible, terrible stuff. It's just...bleagh. Who wants crabcakes? Made 'em out of your vagina.
You know, there's nothing much to say about this, other than it's nice to see Garth putting some effort at being funny in something he could have probably written in his sleep. The climax of the whole "Frank fights mobsters with that lesbian cop who is sort of crazy" was over the top, the guy who had been dosed with hallucinogens fucked a super-pumpkin that is never not ripe, always hard and fleshy, and the end of the comic was pretty fucking classic pre-Max Punisher, with a dopey bad guy getting a death that was clearly the coolest thing that have ever happened in his life. It's an interesting tactic that Garth goes back to here, where he leaves the Punisher MAX style writing where most of the villainous character is endowed with something kind of interesting, a studious type of writing where people that get shot by Frank are still people, however degenerate, people who had lives with things in them, whereas this version is a Frank Castle who lives in a world where he really is the only thing that matters. It's like how a small child takes a while to learn that the world doesn't end and people have lives outside of their own existence, that their mom was doing something in the kitchen before they came in with shit running down their legs--in Punisher War Zone, you don't exist until Frank shows up, and he usually shows up so he can shoot you in your lousy fucking mouth.
-Tucker Stone, 2009