Review – The Final Night
Writers: Karl Kesel & Ron Mars
Colours: Marcelo Maiolo
This 1994 Trade Paperback is a collection of stories detailing major events in the DC Universe such as the arrival of the Sun-Eater, Superman depowered and the return of Hal Jordon as a Hero (after the fall of his grace to the Parralax Fear Entity.) The story packs in way too much and tries to give almost every hero at least one page of action. As a result, I was exhausted reading this and grateful to reach the Emerald Night collection that drew the story forward. The story is classic 90s DC fare, major baddie tries to destroy the planet, heroes and villains join forces and out of nowhere, a figure comes from left field to save the day.
I feel this is a bit of a mess. There is nothing new here and the redemption arc could have easily been tidied up over a few key issues focussing solely on Hal Jordan. His fall from Grace following the destruction of Coast City by Mongul and Cyborg Superman was a traumatic wound for DC losing one of their big hitters to bring in Kyle Rayner as a fresh Lantern that never really achieved what they wanted. Compared to more recent events like Flashpoint or Blackest Night this is a quick read with little to digest.
Kesel packs everything in here including the kitchen sick (Vandal Savage shooting Batman!) with no time to absorb. A new hero Ferro randomly turns up and is used as a sacrificial lamb within a few issues. This is DC at its darkest (pun intended.) DC still strays into this territory (see Dark Metal..) and they need to learn less is more sometimes.
With a title like Final Night, the art and visuals could only be dark and DC seem to relish with splash pages of solid black and finishing each issue with a full-page shot of the dying sun.
I mean, look at this ugly rendition of Superman, this should not have passed the final edit!
It all just feels rushed, lazy and you can feel the deadline to get to print with something throughout the book. The Parallax ark looks better with strong visuals, punchy images and as a reader, I finally got something to get me through the darkness and into the light. I’d love to think this was planned but I think it is a happy coincidence
This is everything wrong with crossover events in comics. Random heroes are dropped in to force readers to buy extra issues for a few pages of crossover action with their favourite title or hero. Every new writer at DC or Marvel should be forced to read all the terrible crossover events from the 80s and 90s to be shown how it doesn’t work. Rushed artwork, poor plot devices, classic hero funerals (which have been parodied by Robot Chicken to show the joke) and the reader left with a bad taste in his mouth.
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