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FINAL CRISIS Q&A

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  • Joel Cerio
    Grant Morrison, and J.G. Jones explain how Slayer, Kirby Dots and the DCU s destruction are going to shake up comics in 2008 By Todd Casey Posted 02/29/08 For
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2008
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      Grant Morrison, and J.G. Jones explain how Slayer, Kirby Dots and the
      DCU's destruction are going to shake up comics in 2008

      By Todd Casey
      Posted 02/29/08


      For a Scotsman known for his writing as much as his hyperbole, Grant
      Morrison swears Final Crisis will live up to its title.

      This despite the fact that rarely does anything stay "final" in
      comics: Superman dies! Spider-Man unmasks! Alan Moore retires! So
      when DC announced Final Crisis with teaser posters
      proclaiming "Heroes Die" with images of its biggest icons, fans
      remained cynical.

      "There's no bullsh-- to this at all," says Morrison of the eight-
      issue miniseries launching in May, "It's quite straight up: This is
      the end of the world."

      Along with artist J.G. Jones, who worked with Morrison previously on
      2000's Marvel Boy and last year's weekly 52 series, Morrison shoots
      for a decidedly darker tone than in his recent All-Star Superman.
      He's providing the DCU's version of the "Twilight of the Gods"—its
      Revelations, Ragnarok and any other "r" word that means total
      destruction.

      Considering that 2005-06's Infinite Crisis neatly explained DC's
      convergent timelines and the Stephen Hawking of it all, many wondered
      what more could be added to this continuing "crisis." But rather than
      a continuation of its eponymous predecessors, Final Crisis is less of
      a continuity clean sweep and more of an epic thrashing of the DCU. If
      Infinite Crisis writer Geoff Johns put all the toys in their proper
      places, Morrison knocks them over, fracturing every one with single-
      minded precision.

      In an exclusive joint phone interview with Wizard, the two architects
      of this "final" installment of the Crisis brand brace us for what is
      in store for fans and DC's finest.


      WIZARD: Is this a fanboy dream project—to play with all the DC
      characters—or a frightening all-or-nothing, pressure-filled endeavor?
      GRANT MORRISON: It's not a fanboy dream. It's kind of like writing
      the Bible for DC. I wanted to do a huge epic and when we sat and
      talked about it, we wanted to create something that hadn't been seen
      before on this scale. So I'm not nervous, but it's a big, big
      undertaking and I'm dealing with some big, heavy stuff in there. This
      is the apocalypse for the DC Universe.
      J.G. JONES: It's a little bit of both. The scope is so huge on this
      and it's so epic and there is so much that I have to do, I'm always
      on edge that I'm going to let something slip through my fingers and
      miss an opportunity. So most of the pressure is just what I put on
      myself.
      MORRISON: All the pressure is on Jeff. [Laughs]
      JONES: It's easy to write "The whole universe explodes"—but I have to
      draw that!
      MORRISON: The first issue opens 40,000 years ago with Garn the Cave
      Boy; the second issue has Harajuku kids [in Japan] standing outside a
      nightclub—so we're kind of forcing him to go from one extreme to the
      other.

      How did this epic steamroller get started?
      MORRISON: Initially [DC VP-Editorial] Dan DiDio came to me in 2006
      and said, "We want you to do the Final Crisis story and we'd like to
      base it around the New Gods." It was definitely Dan's idea, but I had
      this big story in mind and I wanted to bring the New Gods back and
      make them really scary. You know, like what would happen if gods came
      to your planet? It's the apocalypse, it's Ragnarok, it's doomsday,
      it's really serious—it rains blood.
      JONES: The only reason I signed on to do this was because Grant was
      writing it. Marvel Boy was so much fun for me and doing the covers
      for 52, I got a little bit better handle on where Grant was coming
      from. Dan came to me with two things, one in each hand. He said New
      Gods and Grant Morrison. And sucker I was, I swallowed the bait.
      [Laughs]
      MORRISON: With guys like Jeff who can draw anything you start trying
      to come up with sh-- that no one's ever done before. [Laughs]
      JONES: Sure, break the donkey's back just because he can haul it up
      the hill.
      MORRISON: Why have a back if you can't break it? [Laughs]
      Getting back to the New Gods, most fans aren't too familiar with the
      New Gods—are they going to be thrown off?
      MORRISON: The New Gods aren't so big in it that you have to know
      anything about them. They represent more like things everyone
      understands. Darkseid is basically the ultimate embodiment of evil;
      he's a Satan figure. I think everyone can understand that. We're
      trying to keep them in a position where it makes sense it's all
      basically what they represent without having to know anything about
      the history of them.

      The teaser posters show Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman and it also
      seems like there is a big role going to the gods—who are the real
      stars of this series?
      MORRISON: The stars are actually the new kids. Superman, Batman and
      Wonder Woman play roles in it—they're almost mythical characters.
      It's about how superheroes of New Earth deal with actual evil on the
      planet, so it's quite big.

      ======================================================================

      FINAL CRISIS Q&A (part 2)


      Rumors are flying that Batman is going to die and you've got this
      poster hinting that heroes are dying—do you worry about spoilers? How
      do you respond to these rumors?
      MORRISON: I read a great quote the other day which said, "In the
      Internet, everything is bigger than it actually is in the real
      world." Yeah, something big is about to happen to Batman—something
      irreversible—but it's not what you think it is. The idea that Batman
      is going to die is simple compared to what is going to happen to him.
      [Laughs] Death is the least of it.

      You've got the big heroes and huge villains and then you've got Libra—
      what's the story with him?
      MORRISON: The whole thing is about balance and the main villain is
      Libra, who was a Len Wein villain from the '70s Justice League of
      America [1974's issue #111]. The whole series is about the balance
      between good and evil and we're really playing up the dark and the
      light. I really like the way Civil War was about politics and the
      idea of giving up liberty in order to have security. Final Crisis is
      actually about the soul of the DC Universe. And it's about how we
      feel in the Western world right now under fire and terrorists and
      everyone wants to blow us up and kill us. It's kind of about that and
      it's about the way we all feel with the underlying fear of the world
      and what that is and how do we fight back.

      I've got a decent working knowledge of the DCU and I had no idea who
      Libra was—did you know anything about him prior to this, Jeff?
      JONES: No, my brother. [Laughs]

      Are they're any of characters along the C-list lines of Libra who are
      going to come out of here as A-listers? Heroes like Blue Beetle or
      Renee Montoya who got big boosts in recent times?
      MORRISON: Yeah. Renee Montoya has great role in this. So do the DC
      super-animals. One of the most ridiculous things is that by the end
      of this book, everyone is going to want to write a book on these
      things. It's really hardcore versions of Krypto—I wanted to bring
      back the super-animals and make them really scary. Supergirl has got
      a great role in this—she fights Mary Marvel. It's really hardcore.

      DC has its own mythology with the the Marvel Family or New Gods, but
      neither DC nor Marvel makes much reference to Gods in a modern
      religious sense—are the New Gods the DCU's answer to that in this
      take?
      MORRISON: The idea for the New Gods is that they are the gods of the
      current reality. So yeah, part of what we're doing is trying to
      explore what they represent to the day-to-day reality of the DC
      Universe. In a world where we don't have one single god, we have
      multiple. The New Gods have got The Source, which is a single god in
      a sense. But what we have is science gods and evil science gods, so
      it's about what they represent and how that affects us.

      ======================================================================

      FINAL CRISIS Q&A (part 3)


      Are the regular folks in the DCU aware of the New Gods? Does a Renee
      Montoya know about Metron or Big Barda?
      MORRISON: They don't. They can feel the influence of them, but they
      don't know about them. Superman, Batman and the Justice League know
      about the New Gods because they've met them, but we've never really
      seen the New Gods in their full power before. We've seen their
      actions. The DC superheroes see the New Gods as other superheroes in
      the way that Orion or Barda can join the Justice League. They've
      never understood that what they really are are f---ing gods. This
      story's about the first time Darkseid actually manifests on the
      planet. Everything we've ever seen before has been kind of
      projections from the world of the New Gods and for the first time
      we're seeing them in their full power. And it's like what would
      happen if a god appeared on the planet. Galactus is one god. This is
      a whole bunch of them—that's how bad it is.

      What's the catalyst for this sudden appearance of the gods?
      MORRISON: The story starts with the notion that Darkseid has won the
      war of the gods and evil now rules the universe. That's what the DC
      guys have to deal with.

      Is there a ripple effect across the DCU that affects all the other
      books?
      MORRISON: Every superhero is going to go the darkest place they can
      go, which is going to be really cool. The DC Universe is now about to
      face its darkest, darkest, darkest moment and every book has to
      reflect that. It's going to be the superheroes in places we haven't
      seen them before.

      I always loved the Kirby energy dots—are you drawing those in?
      JONES: We are going to use them but they are going to be used in a
      very specific way. When you see them it's going to be a signal of a
      very specific presence.
      MORRISON: When you see the Kirby dots you'll basically know the gods
      are in the room.

      So, what's the hard sell for Final Crisis?
      MORRISON: It's also what the DCU stands for. It's the apocalypse.
      It's Revelations. It's the hard-edged, death metal version of the
      DCU. It's cooler than anything Marvel's doing for the next year. If
      you like superheroes, this is the ultimate superhero story. That's
      what I would say. We wanted something that's really like the cover of
      a Slayer album.
      JONES: That's good, 'cause I listen to a lot of metal when I draw.
      [Laughs]
      MORRISON: Batman crucified. Superman crushed under the boot of
      Darkseid. This is serious stuff. This is the end.

      Is it though? Is this the "Final" Crisis?
      MORRISON: It all depends on how much money they make. [Laughs]
      JONES: It'll last for as many adjectives as they can think of to put
      in front of "crisis." [Laughs]

      Marvel's big event—Secret Invasion—launches the month before you. How
      do you think this event will compete with that?
      MORRISON: We're going to kick their ass so hard. [Laughs] Marvel had
      its big year last year with Civil War, which was an amazing event and
      really changed the Marvel landscape. With Secret Invasion, we've seen
      the Skrull thing before. We've seen it in the Kree-Skrull War, again
      in series like the Fantastic Four. They're kind of resting this year.
      [Laughs] So if you're a Marvel fan, come over here. There's only one
      book to read this summer. It's simple.
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