FINAL CRISIS Q&A
- 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
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
"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
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-
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 projectto play with all the DC
charactersor 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
MORRISON: All the pressure is on Jeff. [Laughs]
JONES: It's easy to write "The whole universe explodes"but I have to
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
nightclubso we're kind of forcing him to go from one extreme to the
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 seriousit 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.
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
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 Godsare 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 godswho are the real
stars of this series?
MORRISON: The stars are actually the new kids. Superman, Batman and
Wonder Woman play roles in itthey'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 dyingdo 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 Batmansomething
irreversiblebut 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 wasdid 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 KryptoI wanted to bring
back the super-animals and make them really scary. Supergirl has got
a great role in thisshe 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 senseare the New Gods the DCU's answer to that in this
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 themthat'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
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 dotsare 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.
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 eventSecret Invasionlaunches 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.