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Final Crisis #3 Final Crisis #3

Final Crisis #3

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 6, 2008

Cover date: September 2008

"Know Evil"

Writer: Grant Morrison
Penciller: JG Jones
Inker: Alex Sinclair
Cover Art: JG Jones

Reviewed by: Barry Freiman

Click to enlarge

SHADE operatives are surrounding the Dark Side Club. They burst in. The place is empty but SHADE and Frankenstein (from "Seven Soldiers of Victory") find the Question (Renee Montoya). The Question questions where Dan Turpin has disappeared to. They come upon a mummified body. Montoya escapes, changes back to a civilian and disappears. A lightning bolt comes down from the sky and hits a building.

Shilo Norman (Mister Miracle) is talking to someone named Taleb (in charge of the "Seven Soldiers" perhaps?) when he's told by the New York team - including Frankenstein - that letters have appeared and disappeared as if written by a ghost: "Know Evil." Taleb tells Shilo that Bludhaven is slipping out of their hands and that he needs 'expendable assets'. Taleb tells Shilo to recruit the Question and let her know what her role is in the future of "global law enforcement".

What appeared to be a lightning bolt was a person who has fallen to Earth and appears mostly dead. She is in a type of Supergirl costume and appears to be the Girl of Steel from the "Red Son" Universe. Montoya yells for someone to call an ambulance. She's approached from behind by SHADE operatives who take her with them.

Meanwhile, the exiled to Earth Monitor loses his job at the fast food joint. On the news, it's revealed that Cave Carson's team found cave art under the NY subway system - it's the Metron symbol.

The Golden Age Flash (Jay Garrick) is with Iris West Allen (widow - or not - of Silver Age Flash Barry Allen), Linda Park West (wife of current Flash Wally West), Joan Garrick (wife of Jay), and Wally's two super-powered, annoying children. Jay tells them what's happened - that Barry suddenly appeared screaming for them to run. The three of them - with the Black Racer in pursuit - chase the bullet back through time. They're too late. Orion's hit and killed.

Black Racer hovers over Dan Turpin and the dead Orion as was seen in "Final Crisis # 1". Then the Racer notices the Flashes still running through time and chases after them. Jay wasn't able to keep up for the entire return trip and he doesn't know where everyone else went. He does confirm Barry is back from the dead.

Libra appears to be presenting the Legion of Doom headquarters to Human Flame. He gives him a new costume. When he puts on the helmet, it begins chanting the anti-life equation to him turning him into a slave. Luthor shows up. He says he's impressed that Libra has appeared to neutralize Superman but that only makes Libra a threat to be neutralized by Lex. Libra tells Lex that free will is about to become a thing of the past so he can choose willingly or not. He tells Lex to renounce science, embrace the Crime Bible, and pledge his service to the Master of all evil.

At Metropolis Hospital, Jimmy and Clark sit with Lois. Other Daily Planet staff are injured including Perry White and Dirk Armstrong. Clark blames himself and refuses to leave her side. Jimmy goes to look for Superman.

Suddenly a shadowy figure enters Lois's hospital room (appears to be the female Monitor) and tells Clark she knows he's Superman and that he must come with her now or he'll never save Lois.

The Alpha Lanterns take away Hal Jordan in green flame chains. Alan Scott, Black Lightning, and Wonder Woman protest to no avail. Hal says he doesn't know why but he can't remember where he was when John was hurt or when Orion was killed. He offers to go willingly so he can talk to the Guardians. The heroes consider how over-matched they are to the New Gods without the assistance of the good New Gods of New Genesis. Alan Scott suggests they use "Article X", the super-hero draft that formed the All-Star Squadron to bring in everyone.

Heroes assemble.

In Japan, Shilo explains to Sonny Sumo how Milo died and rose from the dead (thus placing this adventure after Morrison's "Seven Soldiers" series). They are approaching Shilo's plane when Motherboxx pings, Sonny notices, and from behind, shots are fired and their plane blown to bits. Suddenly, the Super Young Team that wanted Sonny's autograph last issue, zoom into the scene with their super-vehicle which flies the heroes away.

Wonder Woman goes into Bludhaven with a handful of Atomic Knights. They come up super-villain Replika with tons of his replicas strewn dread everywhere. Then Mary Marvel appears - and she's changed again, darker, more goth, with purple hair. She kills one of the Atomic Knights' sisters. Diana is too trusting and believes something has been "done to" Mary to get her to act this way. Mary tells WW that it's too late, that the New Gods have been hiding in human bodies, and that WW has been chosen as the carrier of a disease that cracks open and immediately starts to affect WW.

Elsewhere, one of Darkseid's minions sends out an email. Oracle and Mr. Terrific realize first - that an email has been sent to every computer everywhere and is automatically opening. The heroes try to turn off the internet as the email virus uploads on Oracle's computer. Suddenly everything goes dark.

And then there is light. Wally and Barry stop running. They realize they've run several weeks into the future. As they look around, they realize Earth's been changed when they come face-to-face with a mutated Wonder Woman and two other female mutants, all riding mutated Hunger Dogs. It is truly hell on earth.

To be continued (in two months)...

4Story - 4: It's beginning to look a lot like "Crisis".

Finally, this story looks more like a conventional "Crisis" with an Earth in out-and-out jeopardy.

I thought I was going to really dislike this issue when I had to read the first few pages over and over to figure out what was going on. SHADE is after Frankie or working with Frankie? The Question is working with SHADE and Frankie or she's who they're hunting. Questions, questions.

The appearance of another-Earth's Supergirl is certainly a nice reminder that this book is a Multiverse-spanning "Crisis". But, beyond Russian Kara, give us some more Multiverse-spanning already DC. That's what I want from a "Crisis".

While the book looks more like a "Crisis", there's a lot of imperfection too. DC Didio†idolizes Grant Morrison to the point that I'd bet his work is edited very little and that's how we end up with a full page of the exiled Monitor getting fired. If our exiled Monitor really realizes who he is - and he does appear to - why does he care about a job when the world's in trouble? If it didn't take a whole page for his firing (and a TV announcement relevant to the story), there'd be a whole lot more room for more relevant information.

The Flash family scene is a fun revelation and a moment that just screams "Crisis".

This is as good a place to note as any, by the way, that I'm not going to freak out about the fact that we've now seen Orion die three different ways. "Countdown" and "Death of the New Gods" were mistakes and really badly executed ones at that. They have largely interfered with many readers's enjoyment of "Final Crisis". I don't blame anyone who feels this way. Comics aren't cheap anymore. "Countdown" and "Death of the New Gods" were $150 (or so) investments into the "Final Crisis" - that is how it was sold to us readers anyway. It is important to those readers who are peeved to know I'm with you and if I were grading this book on how it fits in with "Countdown" and "Death of the New Gods", the grade would be "F". But had those two series never happened, "Final Crisis" on its own is a well-written - if not at times confusing - story. And it's each individual issue of "Final Crisis" I review (though I'll comment in the last review on the story as a whole).

Another issue worth noting because gay comic readers will debate this (and I'm a gay comic reader). The Human Flame telling Libra all his attention is "kinda gay" was funny to me. I can see how it could be un-funny to other gay people. I could see how it could be said to be encouraging school age kids to continue using that word as a generic insult on school-grounds. But these are villains - we don't expect them to be politically correct and it makes them more villainous when they're not PC. So, if the comment bothered you at all, don't hate DC, hate the Human Flame. And, speaking for the gay community, as I often do, non-homophobic heterosexuals do indeed have the right to laugh at that line.

I'm of two minds on poor Clark Kent. Superman should be lending his muscle to the ongoing "Crisis". Clark should be with his wife. This, to me, is why it's incongruous for the Man of Steel to have a wife at all. He shouldn't ever have to make this choice. Didn't he ever watch "Star Trek"?

I'd really like to see what happens when Freddy Freeman finds the new and devolved Mary Marvel. I am a big Captain Marvel fan and maybe I'm just too old to remember details but since when did Tawky Tawny have or need a jet pack? And is it true that tigers talk to themselves?

I'm beginning to see the role of the Super Young Team as the new Forever People.

The real fun of this issue starts nine pages before the last page. Wonder Woman holding a child. What could be more reassuring than that? Right before the world goes to hell in a hand-basket.

We finally get to see why DC screwed around with Mary Marvel so much in "Countdown". I hope she stays a villainess - Goth Marvel.

Finally, where we feel "Crisis" all at once - a modern Crisis initiated by modern technology. Oracle and Mr. Terrific, two characters who never panic especially when it comes to computers and technology, are panicked. As a reader, I feel the danger and the big change coming on.

And then there's the Flashes on New Earth gone mad. Just a few weeks into the future. What happened after that email opened? Does Wonder Woman have the same disease that Karate Kid was carrying in "Countdown"? Madness prevails and Earth appears a lost cause.

5Art - 5: A world gone mad has never looked so beautiful. There's so much darkness. But those still unaffected by the "Crisis" are in brightness - like Kara and Freddy (how does a newspaper salesman afford such a nice apartment or convince a talking tiger to play butler for him). Then there's that ending which is not just a great cliffhanger but a scary-looking one too. It certainly captures the idea that the Flashes are well-past the end of the Earth.

While I love any mention of the All-Star Squadron, the Article X Draft for Superheroes would carry a lot more weight if the artist were a George Perez who would draw scores of heroes. Instead we get predominantly all heroes belonging to a team. So Green Arrow is right - why not call in each team with a priority alarm? Or get a better artist who wouldn't leave out ANYBODY (off the top of my head, Plastic Man, Speedy, Spoiler, Steel, Booster Gold, Vigilante, Aquagirl, Tempest, Flamebird, Obsidian and Misfit - and I'm sure there are tons of others)? In the first "Crisis", the Monitor assembles all the heroes on his satellite - and it's a LOT of heroes on a two-page spread.

Finally, if Barry Allen and Wally West both survive this Crisis, one of them is going to need a new costume. Different belts isn't enough to tell which character is which.

3Cover Art (Wonder Woman) - 3: I'm really not getting a kick out of any of these covers - either the main covers or the alternate covers. One cover details one thing that happens in the issue - this time Diana's transformation. And the alternate cover features a seemingly random set of heroes. This is not "Identity Crisis" where the story is about people and talking heads more than action. This is a true "Crisis" that deserves earth-shattering, crowd-filled covers.

1Cover Art (Supergirl) - 1: Supergirl say "D'uh."

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

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