FInal Crisis 7. Grant Morrison has been pissing me off lately, with the messy art in Final Crisis 6, and the ambiguous (and I have argued not in a good way) chose-your-own-ending to Batman RIP. And as much as I love his earlier work, I do HATE fill in artists. People were always telling me that messy inconsistent artistic chaos was great because it matched the theme of the book -- intentionally in Invisibles, unintentionally in New X-Men. I don't deny that it matches thematically; I just deny that that particular way of expressing the theme leads to bad storytelling. People need to stop praising ambiguity and chaos as good things in and of themselves -- it is how it is handled by the writer that makes it work or fail, and I call FAIL on BATMAN RIP and the INVISIBLES. That said I LOVED Final Crisis 7 in all its ambiguous messy glory -- Morrison can stick hell of a landing, even on a messy book (New X-Men, Invisibles). Batman RIP promised a reveal of the Black Glove through a series of red herrings, then failed to deliver anything. Final Crisis 7 promised to celebrate the insanity of the multiverse and superhero comics generally and could not have delivered more thoroughly -- Supermen from the multiverse team up to use solar powers on a cosmic vampire, while the Green Lanterns show up to collectively stake the thing; the army of god arrives with them at the same time Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew show up -- and you realize this is what superhero comics do that nothing else can. I am amazed that Morrison was able to play with Obama joking that he was Superman by opening with the black president of the United States who was also the Superman of his world. Morrison will often talk about creating a new kind of storytelling mode, and sometimes this seems an empty boast, as it did when he described 52 as genuinely different. The most important thing about Final Crisis 7 is that is DOES seem like a new kind of way to tell a mainstream superhero story. I talked about Morrison's elliptical style in the first two issue of Final Crisis and said it was not fully figured out yet, but it seemed like a good idea -- he really figures it out here. The thing reads more like some crazy John Ashbery poem than anything else, and I absolutely love it. Every panel was fun even when I was not sure what was going on. (Did Hawkman die?)
LOST 5.3. I liked LOST this week, more than the first two episodes, though I am not sure how much I have to say about it. I really like the island skipping though time as a way to tell all those stories that have only been alluded to and I love how quickly we made it all the way back to 1954 to get a key detail -- Widmore was an Other in his youth. I am really excited to hear about the "Adam and Eve" bodies in the caves from season one (which, because of time travel could be characters we know), the Pirate Ship landing, Rousseau's crew, the Dharma people and the war between the Dharma people and the Others, and that four toed statue. I never saw Cane but I heard it was good -- in any case I am glad it got cancelled so that Richard can be in all the island flashbacks. And, at some point, will the end of in the future? Also that new girl Other is totally Faraday's Mom, who is totally Mrs Hawking -- check the hair and the first name and the timeframe.
BSG. Several people got upset because with only nine episodes to go they felt BSG should be going mythology episodes all the time, but BSG has always been about stories centered on people. Mary McDonnell owned the episode with here scene in the hallway arguing that her and Adama deserve a break. It was not perfect -- the opening scene with the Ultrasound had some nice camera work hanging on the image for a long time, but it was very strange to see Tigh and Six acting like a happy family so suddenly. Starbuck's cripple jokes were really lame and that scene lacked the acting chops it needed -- Starbuck needs something to DO. I am still on the fence about Gaeda as Ahab. The other complaint was Callie, who already morphed quickly into a shrew willing to kill her baby, now revealed as unfaithful as well. It had to happen. Clearly the writers decided on the final five late in the game -- and at no point during the first half of season 4 did anyone mention the fact that Callie's baby was a cylon human hybrid and thus as important as Hera. I figured that baby was going out the airlock with Callie, but this is how they wanted to keep Hera uniquely important. One detail that fails , however, is it made a lot more sense that Callie wanted to kill her baby when she planned to kill herself if she thought the baby was half cylon. Now she just seems really mean. A rare instance of poor plotting on the part of the writers gave her a very unfortunate -- and I am sure some will argue misogynistic -- character arc.
24. 24 was good and action packed this week -- better than it has been for a bit. But it is still pretty foolish. This show needs a new gimick.