Aug 29, 2008

[Comics] The Final Night

The Final NightIn DC Comics' history, the comic book company has often needed to resort to massive comic book crossover stories to clean up loose ends, realign continuities and pretty much address a lot of the messes that naturally come up when you have so many writers working on so many different superhero titles independently.

Unfortunately, the quality of these crossovers tend to be highly inconsistent given the greater priority is often the need to clean things up as opposed to making the story strong enough and solid enough to stand on its own and really be something worthwhile.

In my opinion, The Final Night was one of those sadly weaker stories whose only function in life was to correct an error in writing that resulted in many disgruntled fans.

The Final Night has a very simple story when you get down to it. A massive alien entity only known as the Sun-Eater has arrived in our solar system and threatens to consume our sun, Sol. I know, that sentence was overly obvious, huh? Threatened by the loss of Earth's primary power source, the heroes of the world start to work together to defeat this menace but their initial efforts fail. Ultimately, it takes the powers of Hal Jordan as the villain Parallax to defeat the alien in an act of noble (and supposedly redeeming) self-sacrifice.

Hal JordanImage via Wikipedia In the the back stories and reviews about the mini-series, it seems the writers had several goals in mind when creating this story. One, the wanted to introduce the new Justice League of America (JLA) as they had a new book being released as well around this time. In addition, it was a way to redeem Hal Jordan as a potential hero although he still technically "dies" as a villain. The third item was the largely unnoticed resurrection of Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) given the involvement of Parallax at the time.

The main story about the star-consuming alien and that whole but was just hokey. I mean really, couldn't we have come up with a much better villain than that? While I give credit for their effort to explore the impact of the loss of the sun on the more common population, it was just a somewhat silly notion overall.

Plus the decision to "bring back" Hal Jordan from the realm of villainy was clearly the writers caving into public demand in the form of outraged Hal Jordan fans. While I personally didn't necessary 100% support the initial decision to turn Hal Jordan into Parallax, I hate it more when comic book writers cop out on their own decisions and resort to big events like this to sort of make up for the perceived "mistakes" if prior editorial decisions. It take a few more epic-scale stories before they fully bring some sense of order to the Green Lantern side of the universe.

For the most part, I don't consider this story to be essential to any collection. It's maybe worth reading at least once in order to get updated on what happened to Hal and stuff but once you're done, it's not crucial to keep the book (if you just borrowed it) or have to buy one at all. Don't even re-read it. That's it. It's over.

Time to move on.

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