Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Multiverse of Narratives: Grant Morrison's Final Crisis of Humanity
& What Lies Beyond the Edge of the Page Bleed

This is a companion post to my "Vengeance, Mortality & the Multiverse" on Grant Morrison's currently running Batman story of the past couple years. That narrative intersecting in no small way with the Sturm und Drang of his simultaneously published Parallel Universe riff on the Jack Kirby created Cosmic celestial realms of his New Gods stories of the the 70's in combination with the DC Universe 'event' book of the 80's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" which I'm currently reading now for the first time since High School. As Morrison's own mutant hybrid of those two works, "Final Crisis" reads as a brilliant, mesmerizing, surrealist, meta-cosmological fusion of Superhero Comic Book Mythology, Cabalistic Magick, and Quantum Cosmology. One that is his own culmination, condensation of Jack Kirby's 4th World New Gods mythos and the 75 year of stories told in the 52 Parallel Universes of the DC Comics publishing legacy, as a channel-surfing, innumerable characters, many Earths, history of the cosmos and man's introduction in the Paleolithic Era to the nature of storytelling (thank you Werner Herzog's "Cave of Forgotten Dreams"). Spanning from the time of our introduction to narrative (thanks here according to Morrison as contact with higher beings; ie Metron) to the present day where all of the Multiverse is being dragged down onto our Earth, by the fall of these same-said higher beings and the aftermath of their (unseen by us mere mortals) Ragnarok. And yes, the 'bad guys' show up on Earth first.

Link to DC Comics "Final Crisis" - Deluxe Edition

Link to DC Comics "Crisis on Infinite Earths" - Absolute Edition

Link to Wired 'Grant Morrison Talks Brainy Comics, Sexy Apocalypse'

Better said by far in Jay Babcock's intro in (the now sadly defunct) Arthur Magazine: "Final Crisis is a major achievement of 21st century imagination and craft in mainstream media, works on countless levels, far too many for me to enumerate here. Final Crisis is so good that although it’s part of a continuing, decades-in-the-telling saga involving countless characters, you can follow the plot and dig on the ideas and the dialogue and the sheer spectacle of the events that spiral from the trash up into the transcendent, even if you’re not familiar with all the backstory. (Rest assured that there are detailed annotations available online regarding previous references to Darkseid’s hatred of music, which parallel earth Nubia and where her Wonder Horn comes from, and so on…) Of course, that’s the way it’s always been with DC Universe comic books: you don’t always know everything about everyone, and sometimes you miss stuff, and sometimes you only suss out later what something was really all about. (Same is true for life in the real world, actually…) Final Crisis continues in that tradition, but as you’ll see, it’s at a higher dose - a different pitch, a denser signal - than usual, one that mirrors the world we are living in, when too many things really are going terribly wrong all at the same time, when headlines really do scream about catastrophe, turmoil, doom, collapse and apocalypse. And maybe that’s this audacious work’s genius, even more than its elegant architecture, its overwhelming dazzle, its virtuoso artwork by J. G. Jones and Doug Mahnke: the way that it shows us a path beyond the current situation, out of economic cataclysm and endless horrible wars and ecological peril and unchanging red lights."

Link to DC Comics "Jack Kirby's 4th World Omnibus" - Vol.1

Link to DC Comics "Jack Kirby's 4th World Omnibus" - Vol.2

Link to DC Comics "Jack Kirby's 4th World Omnibus" - Vol.3

Link to DC Comics "Jack Kirby's 4th World Omnibus" - Vol.4