Wednesday, 13 August 2008

[36] Final Crisis #1: Director's Cut

I wrote this piece last week, so the references to 'today' are a little inaccurate.


Today I went down to pick up the latest issue of Final Crisis. This issue, as well as the latest Batman, was delayed. This is a shame, as I was hoping to pick at least one of these comics up in New York when I was there in July, but nevermind. Final Crisis #3 is a great continuation, and Grant Morrison still surprises with his complex and intelligent approach to the 'epic crossover' event series. I don't feel too qualified to post individual issue reviews yet, so I will defer to Joey Esposito of CC2K, who thinks that Final Crisis is shaping up to be a 'destructive masterpiece'.

I also picked up a special 'Director's Cut' edition of Final Crisis #1. I initially thought this would be a reprint, with extra material. I was half-right. The original issue is reprinted, although in an early inked form (without colour or lettering). This is pretty cool, although by no means essential. More interesting is the extra material, which consists of Morrison's script and a 'Director's Commentary' by Morrison and artist JG Jones. If there ever was a series that begged for a commentary, Final Crisis is it. Morrison packs in so many references, allusions and foreshadowings that even hardened DC fanboys are often left puzzled. However, Morrison and Jones hold back from real depth in this commentary, and stick with basic reactions, and some anecdotes from the creative process. Equally, as the series is ongoing, and features new twists and revelations in each issue, Morrison can only hint or avoid, as opposed to truly reveal his little details.

This is the real failing of the product itself. The series is barely halfway released, so a Director's Cut is not only restricted in terms of its relevance, but seems presumptive. Not truly enlightening, there isn't much here to warrant a $4.99 (£3.60) price tag. Readers are much better served by community-led projects, such as Final Crisis Annotations, which works as both a resource for references, but also a hub for discussion and interpretation. Final Crisis #1: DC, sadly, offers little to inform, even spark, the readers' theories.

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