These are the recommended comics and graphic novels, in chronological order, that will help you make sense of the FINAL CRISIS mini series. My comments are in bold.
Crisis on Multiple Earths: The Team-Ups TPB Vol. 1
The multiverse began here, with the classic FLASH OF TWO WORLDS story. In these eight stories from the pinnacle of the Silver Age of DC Comics, thrill to the exploits of Green Lantern, Flash, Dr. Fate, Hourman, Black Canary and Starman as they oppose the Shade, Captain Cold, Solomon Grundy, and more! This volume collects THE FLASH #123, 129, 137, 151; GREEN LANTERN #40; SHOWCASE #55-56; THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #61.
Crisis on Infinite Earths TPB
Here the Multiverse was destroyed, though like many things, it was no simple. And, while this is a great story to read, the necessity of eliminating the multiverse was questionable. Worlds lived. Worlds died. And the DC Universe was never the same. In 1985, DC Comics dramatically altered comics’ original universe with CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, a 12-issue series that rocked the comics community, tragically dooming some of DC’s most beloved characters and drastically altering others. An unforgettable and defining event in comics history, CRISIS was arguably the first companywide crossover to make good on its promise of lasting change. Written by Marv Wolfman and pencilled by George Prez, with inks by Dick Giordano, Jerry Ordway and Mike DeCarlo, CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS finds the alternate worlds that once were a hallmark of the DC Universe under siege by a mysterious force powerful enough to wipe out the lives of billions. Painstakingly restored and meticulously recolored, CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS is at last available as a handsome and affordable softcover collection.
Animal Man TPB Vol. 3: Deus Ex Machina
Grant Morrison was allowed to undo the Crisis to some extent, though I doubt this is considered canon at this point. It’s a hard thing to meet your maker… And Buddy Baker, the Man with Animal Powers, is about to learn just how hard it can be. With reality now in flux all around him, Buddy must track down the truth behind his increasingly malleable existence. But the cost of that truth will be more terrible than he could ever imagine – and what he discovers will be outside of imagination itself! This book collects: Animal Man #s 18-26
Zero Hour: Crisis in Time TPB
Zero Hour was the first story designed to fix the issues created by the Crisis. As you might expect, however, it only lead to other complications. Everything you know about the DC Universe is about to be affected. The Universe will be shaken to its very foundations. . . and then rebuilt. In 1985, DC Comics dramatically altered comics’ original universe with Crisis On Infinite Earths — an unforgettable, defining event in comics history that streamlined DCU continuity forever. Nine years later, the heroes of the DCU found the temporal fabric of their new reality unraveling, and the biggest threat since the Crisis was about to be revealed. Zero Hour: Crisis in Time chronicles the discovery by DC’s greatest heroes a tidal wave of termporal disruption, as they band together to combat chronal chaos. A thousand years in the future, other heroes face even greater havoc. Villainy is afoot, as criminal masterminds ten centuries apart try to take advantage of time’s shattered visage for their own purposes. But each of them, hero and villain alike, may be nothing more than a pawn in the schemes of the ultimate time villain, whose machinations are on a scale beyond imagining! This book collects Zero Hour: Crisis in Time #s 4, 3, 2, 1 and 0; Showcase ’94 #s 8-9
Here we learned the Golden Age Superman was not as gone and forgotten as we thought. You thought Superman was invulnerable, didn’t you? Ha! He’s not and Gog knows it. He’s on a mission to kill Superman… over and over and over. He started at the end of time and is working his way backwards. But how can this work, you ask? He kills an earlier Superman after he kills a later Superman. But if he kills the earlier one the later one shouldn’t have been alive to kill. I hate time travel. It gives me a headache. But I digress. Heroes from the future have banded together with heroes of the present to save the Man of Steel from being wiped from existence utterly!
Identity Crisis TPB
This doesn’t feature the galactic multiverse changing plots of the previous titles, but it still fits in with the overall theme. The best-selling, critically acclaimed comics event written written by New York Times best-selling author Brad Meltzer ( Green Arrow ) with art by Rags Morales & Michael Bair ( Wonder Woman ) is now available in a stunning softcover edition! This volume collects 2004’s evocative 7-issue miniseries that took an all-too-human look into the lives of super-heroes, and the terrible price they pay for doing good. When the spouse of a JLA member is brutally murdered, the entire super-hero community searches for the killer, fearing their own loved ones may be the next targets! But before the mystery is fully solved, a number of long-buried secrets rise to the surface, threatening to tear apart and divide the heroes before they can bring the mysterious killer to justice. Bonus features for this edition include extended commentary by Meltzer and Morales, the rest of the creative team talking about their favorite moments, a look at Morales’s sketchbook and more!
Infinite Crisis TPB
As it says, a purposeful sequel to the original Crisis. And the DC Universe was never the same. Again. The 7-issue miniseries event that rocked the entire DC Universe in 2005-2006 – a sequel to the epic Crisis On Infinite Earths – is now available in an amazing softcover collection! OMAC robots are rampaging, magic is dying, villains are uniting, and a war is raging in space. And in the middle of it all, a critical moment has divided Earth’s three greatest heroes: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. It’s the DCU’s darkest day, and long-lost heroes from the past have returned to make things right in the universe…at any cost. Heroes will live, heroes will die, and the DCU will never be the same again! This exhaustive volume contains every cover and variant produced for the project, annotations, character designs, excerpts from scripts, unused scenes, and much more!
Countdown To Final Crisis TPB Vol. 1
All three Countdowns currently available are here as they lead, of course, to Final Crisis. The first of a series of four volumes, COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS VOL. ONE collects issues #51-39 of the incredible tale starring Jimmy Olsen, Mary Marvel, Donna Troy and all the major characters of the DC Universe! COUNTDOWN follows up the events of bestsellers INFINITE CRISIS and 52 and leads into DC’s next major event, FINAL CRISIS. When a surprising character dies in chapter one, it sets off an unexpected ripple that will touch virtually every character in the DC Universe and change the status quo forever. Written by Paul Dini, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, Adam Beechen, Tony Bedard and Sean McKeever Breakdowns by Keith Giffen Art by Jesus Saiz, Jim Calafiore, Carlos Magno, David Lopez, Tom Derenick, Dennis Calero, Manuel Garcia and others Cover by Andy Kubert
Countdown To Final Crisis TPB Vol. 2
Written by Paul Dini, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, Adam Beechen, Tony Bedard and Sean McKeever Breakdowns by Keith Giffen Art by various Cover by Ed Benes The second of four volumes collecting DC’s explosive weekly series! In this volume, featuring COUNTDOWN #38-26, Karate Kid ventures to Oracle for answers, Jimmy Olsen attempts to join two exclusive clubs, and more! Advance-solicited; on sale July 16 ï 296 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Countdown To Final Crisis TPB Vol. 3
Written by Paul Dini, Adam Beechen, Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, Tony Bedard and Sean McKeever Art by Scott Kolins, Tom Derenick, Jamal Igle, Howard Porter, Jesus Saiz and others Cover by Stefane Roux In this third COUNTDOWN collection, featuring stories from issues #25-13, Jimmy Olsen’s unpredictable super-powers bring him to the attention of Darkseid! Advance-solicited; on sale September 24 • 296 pg, FC, $19.99 US
Final Crisis #1 (of 7) (Cover A)
Supposedly the final Crisis. We shall see. Witness the historic start of the final chapter in the Crisis trilogy that could only spring from the mind of Grant Morrison – Final Crisis, featuring stunning art by J.G. Jones (52 Covers)! Worlds will live and heroes will die in this epic tale spanning the beginning and end of the DC Universe! The entire Multiverse is threatened as the mysterious Libra assembles an army of the DCU’s most terrifying super villains. But what is the ultimate plan, and who will live to find out?
Final Crisis #2 (of 7)
Written by Grant Morrison Art and covers by J.G. Jones Meet Japan’s number one pop culture heroes, the Super Young Team and their languid leader, Most Excellent Superbat! Join legendary wrestler Sonny Sumo and super escape artist Mister Miracle as they team to face the offspring of the Anti-Life Equation! See Earth’s superheroes mourn one of their oldest allies! Witness costumed criminals sinking to new depths of cowardice and depravity as Libra takes things too far! Uncover the doomsday secrets of the poisoned city of Blüdhaven! Learn the shocking identity of the prime suspect in the murder of a god! And read on if you dare as Batman becomes the first of Earth’s champions to face the Fallen of Apokolips. All this and a spectacular return from the dead… Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones’ multiverse-spanning epic continues with bombshell after bombshell in FINAL CRISIS #2 – ‘Ticket to Blüdhaven’! Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers by J.G. Jones that will ship in approximately 50/50 ratio. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information. On sale June 25 ï 2 of 7 ï 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US
Final Crisis #3 (of 7)
Written by Grant Morrison Art and covers by J.G. Jones Batman missing in action! Superman immobilized! Green Lantern on trial for his life! A shadow is falling across Earth’s super heroes – and now it’s Wonder Woman’s turn to face the Evil Gods! What bizarre warning from beyond awaits Frankenstein, The Question and the agents of S.H.A.D.E. in the shadows of the Dark Side Club? What grim fate lies in store for The Human Flame? What happens when the Anti-Life Equation hits the internet? Can the Fastest Men Alive outrun The Black Racer – Death himself? And who are the Justifiers? The answers are all here as the unstoppable rise of evil continues in FINAL CRISIS #3 by Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones. Retailers please note: This issue will ship with two covers by J.G. Jones that will ship in approximately 50/50 ratio. Please see the Previews Order Form for more information. On sale July 30 • 3 of 7 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US”