FINAL CRISIS Issue #2 Page 12 and FINAL CRISIS Issue #4 Page 30


Final Crisis #2
© 2008 DC Comics. All Rights Reserved.

(ABOVE) FINAL CRISIS (2008)
by Grant Morrison & J.G. Jones
Issue #2, Page 12: Martian Manhunter's Funeral
Entire DC Universe on one Splash Page
Graphite and ink on board
Signed by Grant Morrison
11" x 17"
Sold


Final Crisis #4
© 2008 DC Comics. All Rights Reserved.

(ABOVE) FINAL CRISIS (2008)
by Grant Morrison & J.G. Jones
Issue #4, Page 30: Darkseid Revealed
Splash Page
Graphite and ink on board
Signed by Grant Morrison
11" x 17"
NFS

The vast multiverses which comprise the DC stable of heroes, involving multiple time dimensions and comlex continuities require reigning-in every few decades. Final Crisis required a year-long weekly series just to set it up, and by the end, Heroes Died.

Grant Morrison devised the idea when he first returned to DC in 2003. That original pitch, called Hypercrisis, partially surfaced in Morrison’s own Seven Soldiers, All-Star Superman, and 52, but may have also planted the seeds for Geoff John’s Infinite Crisis, released on the twentieth anniversary of Marv Wolfman and Geoerge Perez’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, which attempted to simplify 50 years of convoluted continuity by killing off major characters and destroying whole realities. When Grant began writing Final Crisis #1 in 2006, he intended it to be a thematic and literal sequel to his own previous two mega-series, but the scope of his ideas and DC’s embrace of them required a year-long set-up of weekly crossovers called Countdown, which was changed halfway to Countdown to Final Crisis. Allusions in Infinite Crisis that it was the “middle crisis” foreshadowed at least one more major event and soon afterwards teaser ads appeared for Batman R.I.P. and Blackest Night, which became major series of their own, but which were directly resultant from events in Final Crisis.

If it all sounds rather confusing, that’s because it is, and few people are as good at weaving intricate, massive plots as Grant Morrison. With Final Crisis, he literally had total control over every character in the DC Universe, and he utilized them all. And some of them didn’t make it. Not just insignificant sidekicks, either. Even though people had been warned by an ad campaign advertising the results, the shock that came with the death of Bruce Wayne was resonant. It was a full scale media event that brought the public at large into the comic book hobby for a bit, until the next real-life crisis would bump it out of the spotlight And when you consider that this death was being set up in not one, but two series (Morrison was also writing Batman on a monthly basis), the richness of his multiple narratives is beyond commendable. It’s difficult to express the scope of a battle that involves all the characters on all the worlds in every dimension of a pantheon from a publisher that has printed millions of comic books for more than 75 years. But not for Grant Morrison –and certainly not under the sure pencils of J.G. Jones, who illustrated Mark Millar’s Wanted. Jones is the go-to guy for “awesome.”

The first page displayed above is a full page splash featuring the funeral of the Martian Manhunter, J’onn J’onzz, who was the first major casualty of the events of Final Crisis. The entire pantheon of DC heroes appears on this one page, which has almost never happened before or since. If this had been from a random issue of Justice League, this would have been a key page, but coming from one of the most important collaborations of the age, representing one of the most all-affecting stories in history, and depicting such a key, momentous event, this is a rare page without equal. This is a page from one of the best artists in the business, as written by the best writer in mainstream comics.

The second page displayed above is a full page splash featuring the villain behind the events of Final Crisis. This is the actual moment of revelation; the moment that the entire previous year of DC comics was leading up to. Darkseid is made flesh again. This is the first glimpse of the God of Evil in the context of the events of Final Crisis. His thumb, symbolically turned down, gives a hint of his plans for the Universe. And this event has been captured by one of the best artists in the business as a splash page. As a mere illustration, it is phenomenal, but when weighing the importance of the event depicted, it represents an integral piece of comic book history, as scripted by one of the all-time greats.

 

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