|Final Crisis" #1 on sale May 2|
"Final Crisis is the end of the official trilogy of DC Comics," DiDio said, listing Crisis On Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, and Final Crisis. "The death of the Multiverse, the rebirth of the Multiverse, and now the ultumate story of the multiverse."
For DiDio, it's the unofficial trilogy. "I hear consistently from everybody about how heroic the DC heroes are. Even when Morrison describes Final Crisis, the darkness that surrounds the heroes makes them shine that much brighter."
In Identity Crisis, "We showed personal threat. We put them in positions where their own lives and own families were at risks, and some dropped out.
"When we did Infintie Crisis, we looked at putting the greatest odds against the heroes, coming at them from so many directions. The heroes had to pick and choose what mattered most," because literally everything was going to hell. "The heroes found they couldn't cope because they'd fallen apart"
There is a tragic event that takes place in the very first issue. Because of that, there is a special called Final Crisis: Requiem by Peter Tomasi and Doug Mankhe, and it explores the life and times of that character, who DiDio said was a staple of the DCU.
Another one-shot is Final Crisis: Rogues Revenge by Geoff Johns and Scott Kollins, and it follows the threads from Salvation Run and the new Secret Society of villains and the baddies who try to rebel against it.
Other tie-ins include Superman Beyond, Rage of the Red Lanterns, Legion of Three Worlds, and a Final Crisis sketchbook.
"Imagine the 52 covers on every page, on every panel," Berganza said of JG Jones' art in Final Crisis.
The panel was turned over to fans for questions.
What characters should we be looking out for? "Everyone needs looking," said Morrison, who added that Mary Marvel may deserve particular attention. The series will follow Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman primarily.
Are you culminating previous series like Aztek and Seven Soliders? "Yes. Everything I've been doing at DC -- especially since JLA -- is coming together in Final Crisis. There's a lot of Seven Soldiers characters in this book. Threads I started ten years ago are finally coming to an end."
"I can vouch for this," said JG Jones, who said a lot of Morrison's previous work truly falls into place in Final Crisis.
Will we see Gleak? "Who's Gleak?" said Morrison.
"He's the Wonder Twins' monkey," said a fan.
"NO!" said JG Jones, emphatically.
What drew you to the character of Libra? "He came from an old Justice LEague story by Len Wein. He did this run that was just phenomenal. I've been stealing bits of it ever since. I talked to him the other ngiht and he said I owe him 20% of all my work and I probably do. Libra steals powers from the JLA but can't handle it and eventually blows up across the sky and across the universe. He attained this state of disappated godhood, so it seemed a good time to bring this guy back."
"And give him a new costume," JG jones said.
"Yeah, Len's a little bit disappointed!" Morrison said.
Could you not kill the Martian Manhunter? "Oops," Morrison said.
Kamandi appears in the first and second issues.
Regarding "Event Burnout," Eddie Berganza said Final Crisis isn't crossing over into other titles, they're creating new specials instead.
"You have to be discriminating with crossovers anyway," Morrison said of tie-in issues in existing series. "Most of them are crap!" He also added that every comic book should be an event comic. "Buy comics by people you like. Final Crisis is good because it's me and Geoff and Greg, but there's other stuff you shouldn't be bothering with [at other companies]."
How does drawing a sequential story differ from doing the 52 covers? "With the 52 covers, it was trying to distill the storytelling down to one moment. This is big cinematography on a film. I get to block scenes out and do more 'acting.' It's nice to shift gears back and forth. And it keeps your brain fresh. I get to draw EVERY character except Glick."
How do you reconcile streetlevel characters like Batman into a cosmic story? "We start on a groundlevel, 50,000 pages in the past with Anthro the cave boy. The whole idea was to start from the ground and build up to the cosmic. Because Darkseid's evil touches everyone. There's evil happening on the streets, in the skies and in space. We have to tackle it from every level."
Who takes an A-list role in Final Crisis, a la Wally West in Crisis 1 and Nightwing in iCrisis. 'We're really trying to get EVERYONE involved in a major way," Morrison said.
Does Final Crisis throw out the multiverse from 52? "What we do with that is the big meat of Final Crisis. We're definitely developing that stuff, but not in a way you'd expect."
The Green Lantern Corps play a huge role in the beginning of Final Crisis. There's an intergalactic murder mystery, with the Corps sealing off Earth like a crime scene "with green tape."
Final Crisis came about because Morrison wanted to do something with the NEw Gods, and to make a statement about comics since 1911 and good versus evil. Everyone is feeling uneasy and depressed in today's world, so putting DC's heroes against an ultimate evil is Morrison's way of dealing with the state of Western civilization today.
Everyone makes a choice in the series, even villains. "Do we want to submit to evil?"
Will Grant Morrison be in Final Crisis? "Not yet! I'd like to be abused by Desaad!"
Can we have a crossover where All Star Superman beats the crap out of All Star Batman? "Don't expect Frank Miller to write it!"
In Final Crisis, many heroes will "step up to the plate," such as Captain Marvel, Jr. and Talky Tony the tiger with his bow tie.
Does Batman RIP tie-in Final Crisis or does it run parallel? "It directly leads into Final Crisis." Morrison also confirmed he is staying on BATMAN after FC.
In the second issue, Terrible Turpin "beats the shit out of the Mad Hatter with a toilet seat. The walls are covered with blood, like something out of Martin Scorsese."
Morrison believes there is a lot of shame and guilt and darkness in our world, and Final Crisis is a "holistic" approach to writing, by bringing as much darkness as possible into the story so as to make the heroes even more heroic.
Zatanna's role in Final Crisis? "She's one of my favorite characters but I believe Paul Dini's possibly doing something. She's in the REIGN IN HELL miniseries and might appear in FC, but no, I won't be doing anything with her."
Are you going to bring back Black Adam? "Black Adam hasn't turned out yet, but I'd like to see Mary Marvel wipe the floor with Black Adam. So he might be in."
Any plans to work with the DC animated universe? "Yeah, they were interested in doing an adaptation of All Star Superman. It's just talk and big ideas, nothing's really happened. It's vague, VAGUE at the moment. But obviously they're interested in the big DC books and All Star Superman came up in discussion."
To JG Jones: has Morrison's writing disturbed you yet? "He's disturbing me right now," said the artist.
Death toll in Final Crisis? "I don't like killing characters, but I like to mess with them. It's a fate worse than death. If you do something unusual or unexpected with them, so they're still around to come back in some form. Death is easy, what happens in Final Crisis can be much worse and much stranger."
Final Crisis is about the fear of Darkseid figuratively stepping on anybody at any moment or any time. "It's kind of shocking because you don't see it coming," Jones said.
Morrison got very into Supergirl while writing Final Crisis. He was inspired by a Supergirl story in one of the BIZARRO'S WORLD anthologies. "She's just really nice, she's the best teenage girl you could ever meet. She paints and she designs clothes and she has a pet cat. We've built her up to be this kind of shining star."
Any characters that had to be redesigned? Jones and Morrison redesigned some characters together, based on what happens to them in the story. As to whether the design and character changes after Final Crisis? "It's up to the rest of the DCU to do what they want," Jones said.
Regarding the Alpha Lanterns, Morrison said "We wanted an FBI for the Green Lanterns, It became clear we needed an internal affairs for the GLC. Geoff took it and ran with it and made it this really creepy thing, it's great."
What other entertainment mediums do you think are suited to your writing? "To me, it's just comic books. Having written plays and screenplays and songs, there never really is such a thing as a cinematic comic. In All Star Superman for instance, I can use one panel to sum up an entire story."
Berganza characterized Jones' art on Final Crisis as more of a handheld camera style. "New Wave French comics!" Jones said.
One issue begins with a nine-panel grid, as it features the Question, and the team wanted to invoke the work of Steve Ditko.
How do you conceive of the New Gods and how they are quite godly? How do you work that into the story and how do you represent what they actually look like? "Grant wanted me to find a way to make the new gods embody light and darkness. The evil gods almost suck the light out o the room so you can barely see them," Jones explained.
A god can't manifest in its real form in our plane, because it is a physical plane. The New Gods exist on a higher plane, a symbolic plane where they fight an eternal war. But something's happened and evil has won that war, and they are breaking into our reality, and that's what we see in Final Crisis.
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