First of all, I'd like to thank everyone for the support and debate that's been going on in the comment sections. With the debate, I especially welcome the opportunity to defend or, if necessary, revise my thoughts on this series. As long as it all stays civil.
Also, I want to thank everyone who participated in the song meme. That sure turned out to be a thing, didn't it?
By the way, I agree with New York Magazine's Vulture Blog, this one was my favorite. (And while you're there, check out the Registered Weapon web comic--it's hilarious.)
I'd like to point everyone to a couple of articles in Final Crisis that are worth checking out. Steven Grant in his Permanent Damage column at CBR makes some points about the series that dovetail with what I've been saying, though he comes down a bit more ambivalent on the series than I do. I especially like how he separates the (mostly failed) publicity for the series from the story itself.
Also, Andrew Hickey is doing a nice series of posts on Final Crisis, with the effect of kicking me in the ass to get my series done before he makes me redundant. He even does an insightful, extensive analysis of the song that Superman sings to kill Darkseid.
And, finally, Marc Singer provides some essential reading on Final Crisis (though our opinions on the series differ), while also (sadly) bringing his blog to a close. Marc does an amazing job breaking down the various climaxes in the final issue, and he makes a strong case for ignoring the external controversies (shipping delays, editorial statements) when evaluating the story itself. I've admired Marc's blog and his academic writing, and I look forward to his promise of more of the latter in the future.
As I promised, I want to talk about some of my favorite moments in Final Crisis. I'm going to consider just a few here, as I've already gone through some in the previous post.
Other than the death of Batman, one of the most talked about scenes in the series was Mr. Talky Tawny's defeat of Kalibak in issue 6. It was, in fact, a pretty awesome scene. After reading the story as a whole, though, I marvel at it even more. Morrison devotes several pages to Tawny, while giving the new Aquaman only three panels (two shots in issue 3 and one in 7). The Tawny story, though brief, is one of the few complete narratives in the series, going from him offering Freddie Freeman some Tiger Tea to Tawny using the strength of the Tiger Tea against Kalibak, and ending with him becoming leader of the tiger men.
I also really like the trial of Hal Jordan scene in issue 5, with this conclusion that gives a sense of urgency to this turning point in the series: the Guardians have realized their own fallibility, which also proves just how screwed up things are, and they unleash the whole power of the Green Lantern Corps despite the uncertainty of their success. This scene also forms a nicely contained narrative, and it makes me wish that DC had hired Carlos Pacheco to do the whole series. Nothing against J. G. Jones, who did a fine job, but if Pacheco could have done the whole series as well as he did this Green Lantern scene, that consistency could have gone a long way to overcome some of the series' flaws.
While I initially thought this shot was awesome, I'm starting to rethink my first impression after reading Marc Singer's commentary on it. I like the gathering Morrison has set up here--angels, Supermen from all the parallel universes, the Green Lantern Corps, the Super Young Team, and the Zoo Crew--but I agree with Singer that nothing much happens as a result of it. This is, almost literally, the A-to-Z of the DC Universe, symbolizing the range of stories that can be drawn from this universe (though to be really inclusive, it should contain Scooter, Prez, Date with Debbi, Sugar and Spike, and Cap's Hobby Hints, among others). And this really should have been a double-page spread, while the shot of all the Supermen in the previous spread (though awesome in itself) could have been reduced.
Next, I'll start covering the tie-ins, beginning with the Morrison-penned issues.