Final Crisis #1: DOA The God of War!

  • Writer: Grant Morrison
  • Artist: J.G. Jones
  • Colorist: Alex Sinclair
  • Letterer: Rob Leigh
  • Cover Artist: J.G. Jones
  • Editor: Eddie Berganza

Page 1: In many of the interviews in the run up to FINAL CRISIS, Morrison stated that it would start with Anthro, the cave-boy hero, and end with Kamandi, the last boy on Earth. True to his word, here we have Anthro who also played a smaller part in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. Anthro was meant to be a Cro-Magnon man, thus giving an indication of how long ago this meeting is taking place. The speaker of the word “Man,” is . . .

Pages 2-3: Metron, of the New Gods, sat on his Mobius Chair. The New Gods, created by Jack Kirby, are due to feature heavily in FINAL CRISIS , despite having recently been killed off in the mini-series DEATH OF THE NEW GODS, a series which did exactly what it said on the tin.

Page 4 – Panels 2-4: Metron appears to be gifting Anthro with the secret of fire, acting as Prometheus, helping man to illuminate his world.

Page 5: One tribe of cavemen attack another, the leader of the aggressors – the dark haired man with the stone axe raised above his head in the centre – is Vandar Adg who will become know to the modern day DCU as Vandal Savage.

Page 6 – Panels 1-3: In the original Anthro stories, the cavemen were able to speak – it probably wouldn’t have made for an entertaining story if all the readers had to go on was a series of punctuation marks. Here, however, we have just that.

Page 6 – Panel 4: The archetypal caveman/cavewoman image: man dragging woman by the hair.

Page 6 – Panel 5: Vandar Adg’s followers are surprised by the arrival of . . .

Page 7 – Panel 1: I bring you fire

Page 7 – Panel 1: . . . Anthro, clutching a blazing branch, using the gift of fire that Metron has given him.

Page 7 – Panel 4: Even Vandar Adg is bemused by the new weapon which sends him and his followers running.

Page 7 – Panel 5: The caption, written in English on a ring bound note-pad, obviously isn’t Anthro’s, though its thoughts tie-in with the scene we have just witnessed.

Page 8 – Panels 1-2: The caption belongs to Dan Turpin, late a member of the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit and a mainstay supporting character in the Superman books throughout the 1990s. He, like the New Gods, was created by Jack Kirby. Note the ship in Panel 2 is a Metropolis Star Liner, indicating that this is, indeed, Superman’s city.

Page 8 – Panel 3: While on the trail of six missing children who are described as “gifted” he discovers the body of Orion, another of the New Gods and the son of Darkseid. Orion had apparently died during DEATH OF THE NEW GODS but reappeared in the final issues and again in the last issues of COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS in order to battle his father, Darkseid. At the end of their battle, Orion literally tore out Darkseid’s heart and was last seen wandering off into the rain. At some point he obviously collapsed at Metropolis docks among a collection of boxes holding “Super Guns”. I’m unsure what, if any, relevance the Super Gun has. Turpin refers to Orion as a “super muk muk“, a slightly disparaging term that’s unusual from one who used to hang around with Superman.

Page 9 – Panel 1: The prevailing opinion (at the time of writing) seems to be that by touching Orion, Turpin has somehow inherited the New God’s powers and is likely to become the new Orion. Note that the sky behind Turpin is still mostly blue.

Page 9 – Panel 2: Orion is obviously not dead as he wakes at Turpin’s touch.

Page 9 – Panel 3: Orion’s dialogue of “They did not die! He is in you all…” presumably refers to the New Gods that were seemingly killed in DEATH OF THE NEW GODS; the “he” is likely to be Darkseid.

Page 9 – Panel 4: As Orion collapses and dies, the Black Racer appears in the sky beyond Turpin. The avatar of death for the New Gods, the Racer was another Jack Kirby creation who also appeared to have been killed in DEATH OF THE NEW GODS. Note that the sky is now completely red – red skies have long been a signal that the world is in the grip of a Crisis.

Page 10 – Panel 3: The “John” shown here is John Stewart, architect and one of the two Green Lanterns of Earth, alongside Hal Jordan. Outside his office building, the red sky is lit with lightning.

Page 10 – Panel 4: Talk to me

Page 10 – Panel 4: The green, oddly shaped dialogue boxes are Stewart’s power ring talking to him; he’s referred to as “Lantern Stewart 2814.2” as he is the second Lantern assigned to Sector 2814.

Page 10 – Panel 4: Stewart is about to find out what a 1011 code refers to.

Page 11 – Panels 1-3: As the Black Racer looks on, Turpin decides to leave the scene, despite his background with the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit. The apparently homeless man in Panel 3 may just be a throwaway detail but I wouldn’t put it past Morrison to instil his presence with some meaning.

Page 11 – Panel 4: Stewart’s ring refers to Lantern Jordan 2814.1, his fellow Green Lantern, Hal Jordan.

Page 12 – Panels 2-3: Turpin meets up with The Question. During the events of 52, Renee Montoya, a former Gotham City police detective, took up the mantle of The Question when the original, Vic Sage, died as she says here of lung cancer.

Page 13 – Panel 1: The Question refers to the six children Turpin is looking for, wondering if there is any link between them.

Page 13 – Panel 2: The Question mentions that “Somebody’s been targeting meta kids.” In issue #59 of TEEN TITANS (cover dated July 2008 and out the same week as FINAL CRISIS #1) the heroes are attacked and captured by the Terror Titans who are working for Dark Side, a gangster and club owner who is looking for six metahumans. While not an official tie-in with FINAL CRISIS, there’s an obvious connection.

Page 13 – Panel 4: That connection is made clear as The Question hands Turpin a card for the Dark Side club.

Page 13 – Panel 5: Turpin refers to The Question as a “Super muk muk” as he had Orion. While The Question has no super powers, Turpin is obviously using the phrase as a catch-all for his displeasure towards costumed heroes.

Page 14 – Panel 1: GL Stewart stands near Orion’s body and has sealed off the area with his power ring as GL Jordan arrives. Stewart refers to him as “Flyboy” as Jordan has long been an aircraft pilot. The “blonde or redhead” jibe refers to Jordan’s reputation as a ladies man. On the side of the warehouse is a poster advertising Mister Miracle which looks reminiscent of the MISTER MIRACLE series (also written by Morrison) and which formed part of his epic SEVEN SOLDIERS story. The role of Mister Miracle has been filled by several men, most notably by Scott Free, one of the New Gods who, again, died during DEATH OF THE NEW GODS. In SEVEN SOLDIERS, Mister Miracle was Free’s protege Shilo Norman who went up against a club owner known as Dark Side.

Page 14 – Panel 3: Orion down

Page 14 – Panels 3-4: The 1011 code is revealed to be deicide, the murder of a god. GL Jordan recognises Orion and calls him the “soldier god of New Genesis.” While the son of Darkseid of Apokolips, Orion was raised by Scott Free’s father, Highfather, as part of a deal between the two worlds. In return, Darkseid was to raise Scott Free though in reality he was imprisoned throughout his childhood by Darkseid’s follower, Granny Goodness.

Page 14 – Panel 5: GL Jordan reports to the Green Lantern Corps’s creators and bosses, the Guardians of the Universe who are stationed on the planet Oa.

Page 15 – Panel 1: The Guardians arrange for the entire planet Earth to be sealed off as a crime scene and command Jordan and Stewart to interrogate suspects and find the weapon. In DEATH OF THE NEW GODS, Orion had been killed battling the manifestation of the Source which did not need a weapon.

Page 15 – Panel 2: Following the Sinestro Corps War, the Guardians instigated a special group of Lanterns called Alpha Lanterns who were hand picked for their loyalty to the Guardians. These Alpha Lanterns have become the officers who police the Lanterns themselves.

Page 16 – Panel 1: Sat on a landfill/refuse dump amidst a collection of mirrors is Metron’s Mobius Chair.

Page 16 – Panel 2: This is the first appearance of the League of Titans and it’s hardly the most impressive. From left to right are Empress, Sparx and the twins Mas y Menos. Empress appears much lighter skinned here than when she appeared in the pages of YOUNG JUSTICE but that may be a simple error in the colouring.

Page 16 – Panel 3: Appearing at the top of the landfill is Dr Light, a long time foe of the Titans.

Page 16 – Panel 4: Stepping out of the mirrors that give him his name is the Mirror Master; while he appears twice in the same panel, he is actually the same man. Dr Light’s mention that “They’re asking for it in these outfits!” is likely a reference to his being a rapist as revealed in IDENTITY CRISIS. Mirror Master, a Scotsman, refers to a “big rammy” or fight with the Justice League.

Page 17 – Panel 1: The big rammy

Page 17 – Panel 1: That “big rammy” with the League turns out to be a protest march by the villains against “vigilante brutality” which has quickly been broken up by the arrival of the League and the Metropolis (the Daily Planet globe is in the background) police department. From left to right are: Red Arrow in the foreground; Poison Ivy; Cheetah; Killer Moth; Black Lightning; an unknown pink/purple skinned woman kneeling behind him in a blue leotard – if her skin were pale I’d be tempted to say Killer Frost; Captain Cold; Hawkgirl; Red Tornado; Signalman; Black Canary; and Vixen. Red Tornado’s appearance here is confusing as in the current issues of Justice League Of America, he is literally bodiless.

Page 17 – Panel 2: Back at the refuse tip, Dr Light reveals that the Mobius Chair is wanted by Libra, the mysterious villain who, in DC UNIVERSE 0, gathered together a new Secret Society.

Page 18 – Panel 1: A meeting of the new Society that has been convened by Libra. From left to right are the hands (holding a cell phone) of The Human Flame; Ocean Master; Vandal Savage; Lex Luthor; Talia Al Ghul; Dr Sivana; and Gorilla Grodd. It’s worth mentioning that Vandal Savage was shown in VILLAINS UNITED as wanting no part of the Secret Society that was being set up by Alex Luthor, but something has brought him to this meeting. Also, Gorilla Grodd was shown to have probably fallen to his death in SALVATION RUN #4 but, due to the late publication of the last issue, #7, this scene is revealing his survival before the same reveal is shown in SALVATION RUN.

Page 18 – Panel 2: Savage refers to an “abandoned theater right in the heart of Flash territory” which is likely to be the Twisters club shown in DC UNIVERSE 0 where Libra first held a meeting with the “rank and file” villains that Luthor referred to in the previous panel.

Page 18 – Panel 3: Libra is shown here ridiculing Savage’s repeated defeats.

Page 18 – Panel 5: Shown in more detail, we can now see that Libra sits in Metron’s Mobius Chair. Tucked away at his side is the Crime Bible.

Page 20 – Panel 1: Showing the massed villains how serious he is, Libra reveals he has captured the Martian Manhunter. The Manhunter is dragged in on his knees by Dr Light and, on the left of the panel, Effigy, a Green Lantern foe.

Page 20 – Panel 3: The death of the Martian Manhunter

Page 20 – Panel 3: Libra kills the Martian Manhunter who calls out “M’yri’ah!“, the name of his long dead wife.

Page 21 – Panel 1: Bludhaven was destroyed during INFINITE CRISIS and again at the end of THE BATTLE FOR BLUDHAVEN; as at the present, it has still not been reclaimed.

Page 21 – Panel 2: The preacher is the Reverend G. Godfrey Goode, a reinvention of another New God named Glorious Godfrey who played a large part in Legends, the sequel to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS.

Page 21 – Panel 3: The tattooed man talking to Turpin is the third criminal to go by the name of the Tattooed Man. I may be being picky but as the second Tattooed Man only appeared in a Vertigo series (at least to my knowledge), a case could be made for this one, Mark Richards, to be the second.

Page 21 – Panel 5: Turpin has traveled to New York (the Statue of Liberty’s in the background) to track down the Dark Side club that The Question told him about.

Page 22 – Panel 1: As with Reverend G. Godfrey Goode, the character we meet here is another reinvention of a New God: this is Boss Dark Side, once the ruler of Apokolips known as Darkseid. He appears as an older version of the character from MISTER MIRACLE, part of Morrison’s SEVEN SOLDIERS story.

Page 22 – Panel 2: The two bouncers are named Kanto and Kalibak – again, versions of New Gods that died during DEATH OF THE NEW GODS. Kanto was originally Darkseid’s chief assassin while Kalibak was one of Darkseid’s illegitimate sons.

Page 22 – Panel 4: Dark Side refers to a fall; the body of Darkseid was shown falling through reality in DC UNIVERSE 0.

Page 22 – Panel 5: Dark Side has given the children Turpin is looking for to Granny; once more, this refers to a new versions of one of the New Gods, in this case Granny Goodness.

Page 23 – Panel 1: Dark Side claims he has won a war in heaven; the same thing was said in DC UNIVERSE 0.

Page 23 – Panel 3: Dark Side refers to “the equation“. This is the Anti-Life Equation that for most of his existence Darkseid was pursuing.

Pages 24-25 – Panel 1: Superman, of course.

Pages 24-25 – Panel 2: With Superman are Batman and Wonder Woman. The discussion they’re having is taking place in the Justice League’s Hall of Justice.

Pages 24-25 – Panel 3: Firestorm can be seen between Wonder Woman and Superman.

Pages 24-25 – Panel 4: Clockwise around the table starting with Superman are: Wonder Woman; Red Arrow; Black Canary; Red Tornado; Firestorm; Vixen; Green Lantern John Stewart; Hawkgirl; and Batman.

Pages 24-25 – Panel 5: A shot from outside of the League’s Hall of Justice.

Pages 24-25 – Panel 6: The main picture shows three Alpha Lanterns securing Earth as per the Guardian’ orders. From the top down are Green Man, Boodikka and Varix.

Pages 24-25 – Panel 7: A Monitor points out New Earth which is what the main DCU Earth was named at the end of INFINITE CRISIS.

Page 26: New Earth appears at the bottom of an inverted pyramid of Earths. The Monitor on the left refers to the “Bleed Drains” – the space between the universes is called the Bleed. The loss of Universe 51 refers to the incidents in COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS when the universe of Earth-51 was destroyed during the battle between Monarch and Superman-Prime. Though that universe’s Monitor – the “young Uotan” the other Monitor mentions – had rebuilt the universe, it was lost once more when the Morticoccus virus was released upon it.

Page 27 – Panel 1: Trial of the Monitors

Page 27 – Panel 1: Nix Uotan, Earth-51’s Monitor, faces a court of his peers.

Page 27 – Panel 2: Uotan is sentenced to become mortal by Prime Monitor Tahoteh. It’s the first time that this Monitor has been named and his title is interesting as, throughout COUNTDOWN, the Monitors all appeared to be equal in status with each other and there was no hint of a Prime Monitor. Between the other speaker and the Monitor with the vaguely Kryptonian (at least John Byrne era Kryptonian) headdress is Weeja Dell.

Page 27 – Panel 3: The reason for Dell’s outburst is explained in a moment.

Page 27 – Panel 4: Uotan is banished from the Monitors, proclaiming to return to Dell.

Pages 28-29 – Panel 2: Dell and Uotan, it appears, were lovers.

Pages 28-29 – Panel 3: The Monitor in the headdress is named as Zillo Valla.

Pages 28-29 – Panel 5: The Monitor rejoicing in the removal of Uotan is Solomon, the Monitor of Earth-8 who played a large part in COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS. With the way he has been drawn, he’s either hamming it up dreadfully, using his hand to speak aside to someone, or he has some form of wrist communicator and is reporting to someone else. This is more likely due to his use of the term “We’re on…

Page 30 – Panel 2: Back with Anthro, we find him drawing Metron’s chest design in the sand.

Page 31 – Panel 1: The blonde haired boy is Kamandi, the last boy on Earth. Following the events of COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS, there’s a possibility that this is taking place on Earth-51 several years after the release of the Morticoccus virus, though that’s not certain. Kamandi wants a weapon Metron gave to Anthro – this may be knowledge itself.

Page 31 – Panel 4: Metron’s costume design now appears on Anthro’s face. Douglas Wolk over at the Final Crisis Annotations blog has a theory about what that may mean; as Turpin may be the new Orion, so Anthro may be the new Metron.

Page 32 – Panels 1-3: Nix Uotan wakes up for his first day as a mortal.

Page 32 – Panel 4: On the TV, Green Arrow expresses his anger over the death of the Martian Manhunter.

Deaths in this Issue:

  • Martian Manhunter – killed by Libra