Final Crisis Submit. This bored me to no end. There were some New X-Men stories that struck me as shockingly bog-standard superhero fare, and this is going to join that group. It is what Victorian art critic John Ruskin would call "furniture pictures" -- not good enough to deserve praise, but not bad enough to deserve complaint. This criminal guy doesn't like superheroes, which you can tell because he says it over and over. He meets Black Lightning and he and his family bicker. Then the drive a bus away from monsters. The criminal guy -- he has the same powers as the bad guy from the Elektra movie. Then, ironically, he gets a superhero's powers and responsibility. The last page makes it clear that we are supposed to be devastated by the fact that the hero has become one of the bad guys, but I did not know this guy before, and was not in the course of this issue made to care about him. The whole cast of this issue is black -- is that significant in some way? This cannot be the first all-black superhero comic book (Milestone comics was a whole line like this), but I got the feeling that it was important for some reason. It seemed notable, but did not really add anything significant to the comic as far as I could see.
Final Crisis 4. As you all know, nothing bothers me more than fill in artists. I have no patience for them, unless they are isolated, as in Fraction's Iron Fist, to some kind of flash-back or something. I meet a lot of people who just do not care about things like aesthetic unity, or enjoy the artistic chaos -- a mode Morrison played with in the second to last issue of the Invisibles, and which I thought was a total storytelling failure, especially compared to the picture perfect Quitely Invisibles finale. Final Crisis 4 brings in a fill in artist and worse -- the final issue will be drawn entirely by a fill in for the fill in. While I will see this through to the end, it now has no hope for me of cracking into the top tier of Morrison stuff (We3, All Star Superman, etc.). At this point it seems like a throwaway idea for an issue of his 1996 JLA run. At the end of issue 3, it seemed like the whole world was taken over by the anti-life equation, but here it turns out there are a surprising number of survivors -- I guess since they all have stuff to do in their own books and the Final Crisis spin offs you can hardly make them all into evil Justifiers, though that would at least have had the virtue of thinking the thought all the way out to the end. The Ray is delivering underground Daily Planet papers like Black Lightning was, and this is boring -- I think maybe Morrison likes the bit of Americana here, but it is not working for me. The Dark Gods as animal hybrids is also just not as visually interesting as the Kirby Cosmic Insanity, although they do have there really creepy moments -- the final page is a thing of beauty, especially that weird mise-en-scene. Barbara says "They've wounded our people, our minds, or planet in ways we can barely imagine" and in ways I think Morrison and his guys are incapable of showing, because I have not seen enough to believe her. I will also say that I hate the anti-life equation thing: it seems like looking for a moment will turn you into a zombie, but then Barbara saw it "for a moment" and was able to shake it off -- why everyone can't do this I do not know, and I really do not see how all these Superheroes are fine -- did they just never check their email? And the language if it is boring: Work; Consume; Die; Judge Others; Condemn the Different; Exploit the Weak; Anti-Life Makes it One; All is One; Darkseid = Self; Justifiers. BORING: I get it, they are like mean people we all know. I know the spread of superhero faces is supposed be grim, but a lot of them seem to be fine, according to the screen, a fact confirmed by the pages that follow. The Black Canary Green Arrow scene was boring, but I Oliver vs the Justifiers was fun, because of how much the typify everything he hates. What was going on with Mr. Miracle I do not know. This is the first time I have seen him since he died pretty much the exact same way at the hand of the exact same guy at end of Seven Soldiers -- is this some kind of weird commentary on the double contradictory deaths of Orion in Final Crisis 1 and Death of the New Gods? I do not know. But the final page was great. I wish the whole issue was a great as that final page.
If the world was just, Morrison would make tons of money off of prestige products like All Star Superman and would not have to spread himself thing on a host of weaker books like Final Crisis Submit, and Superman Beyond 3D.