Feb 4th, 2009, 12:56 PM
Max, I'm glad you reviewed this, because I could not have said it better myself. You've summed things up pretty much perfectly, and I largely agree with your interpretation here.
I can't really say I disliked the book. I very much want to like the book. But I cannot do so yet. Because I don't fucking get it, and that frustrates me. I've been told that to fully understand it, you have to read Superman Beyond, and this tie-in or that tie-in, because otherwise you won't know why the fuck this or that group of characters comes out of nowhere and does whatever it is they do.
Well, I didn't read any of the tie-ins. I've been burned too badly by crappy tie-ins before, so I made a conscious decision to avoid them with Final Crisis and Secret Skrull Orgy. With Marvel's event, it wasn't detrimental to my understanding of the rather simplistic story, but with DC's it seems to have left me in the dark on some very important details. I think to also fully understand a lot of Morrison's work you have to be intimately familiar with decades worth of the most obscure corners of DC Comics history, which sadly, I am not. So I know I'm missing little references here and there, because I simply don't have the historical background to pick up on them. Morrison's books need Cliff Notes where somebody else does the research and I can just read that and then understand who this or that seemingly minor character is and why he's important to the story (come to think of it, there's probably something like that online...I will have to look). I appreciate that Morisson puts all these little easter eggs and references in his stories but that makes them HUGELY inaccessible to a majority of readers.
Hopefully upon rereading the story it will make more sense, as it doesn't help when you have delays and you end up reading the last issue almost a year after reading the first. It's kind of easy to forget earlier details or story nuances over that kind of time frame.
Though I am frustrated by the fact that all the main narrative points required to understand it are not located in one book, I still found this event more interesting than Marvel's Skrull Mess, which basically involved nothing more than a bunch of suspicious heroes punching each other in the face a lot in the Savage Land, and then having those same heroes punching lots of Skrulls in the face in Central Park. Not exactly complex. I have to say that even when I was annoyed and driven to the brink of madness by Final Crisis, I still found it basically interesting and I wanted to know more. I think that in itself speaks volumes about why it was better than Marvel's boring event, but I myself would be hard pressed to give the series more than three pickles as it stands right now, and that's being slightly generous. I couldn't recommend this to anyone but the most hardcore comic geeks and even then only with reservations.