Wednesday, January 28, 2009

This week's comic book expectations

It's Finally Finally Finally Here! CLICK HERE for the full list of comic book releases, including a book DC fans have been waiting for for years...

Ever since the beginning of "Countdown," with that scene featuring Darkseid and the chess board, it was obvious an enormous event was on the horizon for the DC Universe. Flash forward 21 months or so, and here we are: Final Crisis #7. For better or for worse, the end is finally here. And if ever there was a time when "for better or for worse" had such a subjective and divisive meaning, I don't know when it was. Grant Morrison's tale has been a bit of a trainwreck, with pieces flying in every direction, the only question is whethere you feel like that trainwreck has been fun to look at or tragic to watch.

This final issue looks to be no exception. Have you seen the preview for this thing? Get a load of it HERE. Are those really the opening pages of the book? When did any of that happen?!? This issue is going to have to go a VERY long way before the majority of readers are happy, and frankly, I don't think Grant Morrison has any interest in doing it, and I don't think DC has any ability to get Morrison to do it. What are we going to need out of this issue? Well, Supposedly the Dark Monitor Mandraak is the biggest big bad. We're going to need a good reason for that. We're also going to need to check in with Darkseid and make sure Bruce Wayne's handywork is working like it should. Speaking of Bruce, I have a feeling we'll learn more of his fate here. Oh, and did I realize we're actually going to need a Resolution to this thing?!? My prediction is this book will be very light on giving a damn and just goes full speed toward the ending, whether readers are along for the ride or not.

Believe it or not, I am actually more enthusiastic over Final Crisis: Revelations #5. Greg Rucka's tie-in has been the best part of "Final Crisis" overall, as far as I'm concerned, placing Renee Montoya in the middle of a theological arguement with God's Spirit of Vengenance and Spirit of Mercy. At this point, the Spirit of Vengenance is killed, if such a thing can be done, and he is at the mercy of Vandal "Cain" Savage. The Spirit of Mercy, meanwhile, has lost faith in God. And it has all been handled beautifully. Again here, we're just looking for what can possibly bring a resolution to the situation. What will restore God into this hopeless situation? I have a feeling it has a big thing to do with the Spectre not only rising from "death" but also rising to the occasion.

Also from DC this week, I'm looking for Justice Society of America #23 to be a return to the good stuff many fans missed during the Superman 22/Magog epic storyline. Jerry Ordway is helping Geoff Johns on this arc, which features Black Adam and the Marvel family. Given that it occurs on the week "Final Crisis" ends and the Marvels had a big part to play in the story, I am thinking we're going to learn something about their post-"Crisis" future here. Also, as I understand it, a good deal of the story will center on Adam and the formerly missing Isis, who when we last saw her was stuck as Faustus' slave. Should be a fun ride, folks.

Over at the "House of Ideas," Captain America #46 begins a three-issue arc which I'm pretty excited about, a story of Bucky reuniting with his former Invaders teammates, namely (in this issue) Namor. Say what you will about James Barnes, I'm more interested in this Captain America than I was in Steve Rogers for a number of years, if only for stories like these, in which Bucky finds himself struggling to reunite with a life he used to know. Something about Ed Brubaker's handling of the character, and his relationship with the Black Widow, really strikes a cord for me.

That's about it for me for now. Be careful on the roads while heading to the comic shop!

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