Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Final Crisis: Secret Files #1

So this is the guy who killed my favorite DCU hero. Libra's origin is re-told by Len Wein, who I believe created the character back in an old issue of JLA. I've never read it, but in this version, Glorious Godfrey and Darkseid take an early interest in Libra, helping him to develop into the powerful villain he eventually becomes. Most of the flashbacks dealing with Libra's childhood are a pretty generic comic book origin, but I did like that he idolized Starman as a kid, that's a nice idea. I also question the appearance of the "classic" New Gods. We get Darkseid, Glorious Godfrey, Metron, and Desaad all appearing in their old looks. All that accomplished was make me miss the Kirby-designs and wish we were getting that in the main Final Crisis title. Tony Shasteen draws the story, and he really nails Libra. The other characters look a little "off" (like Darkseid's chubby cheeks) but at least the lead character looks great. There is really nothing new or noteworthy here.

Another part of the special actually reads like a summary/pitch for Final Crisis. It was the clearest explanation of what's going on in the main title that I've seen. Essentially, it recaps the fall of the New Gods, the Mister Miracle limited, and the set up for the Final Crisis limited series. I knew all of it already, but it was nice reading it condensed so nicely.

JG Jones' sketches at the end are pretty neat, with glimpses of characters from Superman Beyond and the core series. I'm not sure where Doc Fate or Super Demon are going to be used though. What's clear is how well thought out and creative Morrison is with even the background characters. The man has a ton of ideas. I actually wonder if his sometimes disjointed work is because of a surplus of thoughts trying to scramble onto the page. I'm ready to see most of these folks show up in a DCU book. Heck, it's time to start offering books featuring other, less-depressing DCUs.

The book is fine, but not essential reading. For me, I would classify it as perfect for picking up out of a discount bin at a con.


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