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  • gilwilson 10:22 PM on March 10, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , final crisis, , , , , , new gods, , , ,   

    “Final Crisis” by Greg Cox 

    “Final Crisis”
    by Greg Cox
    Multi-cast performance
    Produced 2010, by GraphicAudio
    Approx. 8 Hours

    “Final Crisis” was a crossover storyline that appeared in DC comics published throughout 2008, primarily the seven-issue miniseries of the same name was written by Grant Morrison.  This was the last of the multiverse type series from DC and sort of closed up some gaps left in the previous titles; “Crisis on Infinite Earths”,  “Infinite Crisis”, “52”, and “Countdown.”  However I think this created more questions than answers and served no other purpose but to confuse the reader.  While having some great confrontations and interesting twists on science and gods the story just didn’t do it for me.  I was so glad I listened to the audio book format of this title.

    As usual GraphicAudio delivers this audiobook with a punch, and I’m talking one of those full-graphic-with-exploding-colors-as-only-seen-in-comic-books punches.  When GraphicAudio promises a “Movie in your Mind” they aren’t exaggerating.  First off the voice actors are superb and voice each character with precision accuracy, Superman sounds like Superman, Batman sounds like Batman and so on.  There is no denying the excellence in the talent pool here.  The sound effects will blast you out of your seat.  With planets exploding or crumbling, a black hole sucking in the multiverse and even Green Lantern’s ring fizzling out, the sound effects are perfect. And the music, well pretty much all I can say here is “WOW!”  The music moves the story, mood and action perfectly.  All in all these GraphicAudio productions are perfect.  For me it was the only saving grace in this title.

    The gist of this story is that one of the new gods, Orion, is murdered and another new god, Darkseid, sees this as his chance to take over Earth.  Also one of Earth’s multiverse monitors is stripped of his powers for letting Earth 51 be destroyed.  While some of my favorite heroes play major parts in this, The Flashes (yes 3 generations of The Flash) open a time portal allowing things to begin and end, and The Green Lantern Corps try to stop Darkseid, I think the story relied too heavily on Superman.

    There was one saving grace for the story and that was the creation of a young Japanese group of superheroes.  Mixing superheroes with Japanese pop-culture, the characters are: Most Excellent Superbat, Big Atomic Lantern Boy, Shy Crazy Lolita Canary, Shiny Happy Aquazon and Well-Spoken Sonic Lightning Flash.  I first had some good laughs with their names but sheesh the way they interacted was fun.  At one point all the characters had revealed their powers, except one, and when asked what his was Most Excellent Superbat responded, “Mine is the best of all, I can buy anything.”

    Throughout the story I was confused as to what caused what and with The Flashes and Superman doing a little time traveling that just made it even more hard to follow.  But thanks to GraphicAudio, I had a great time listening.

  • gilwilson 8:59 PM on October 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , countdown, , , , final crisis, , , , jimmy olsen, mary marvel, robin, ,   

    “Countdown” by Greg Cox 

    by Greg Cox
    Multi-cast Performance
    Produced by GraphicAudio, 2010
    Approx 6 hours

    DC comics had/has a great configuration of crossover comics with their multi-verse “Crisis” series.
    Crisis on Infinite Earths
    Countdown to Infinite Crisis
    Infinite Crisis
    Countdown to Final Crisis (novel form titled “Countdown,” this book)
    Final Crisis
    The series told a tale of 52 alternate realities otherwise known as multiverses.  The problem consisting of multiple realities coming together could destroy all realities.  In this  book, “Countdown,” The aftermath of “Infinite Crisis” led to the series “52” which consisted of the Primary Earth dealing with the aftermath.  This book, as the title suggests, is a countdown to events that lead to yet another multiverse crisis which will be the “Final Crisis.”  The original “Countdown to Final Crisis” comics were published in 51 issues, Greg Cox has created the novelization of the series into this book.

    So once again the comic books are converted to a novel.  What happened to the awesome graphics that make a comic so much of an experience?  Well,  Greg Cox uses words to convey the images and any fan of good fiction would appreciate this.  But what happens if the comic fan wants those images?  I suggest picking up the audio book created by GraphicAudio.  GraphicAudio has a slogan, “A Movie in your Mind,” and let me tell you, they deliver.  From the moment I heard my first GraphicAudio audiobook, I’ve been hooked.  They use a cast of very talented voice actors that can creat every subtlety of a superhero through voice only.  For Example, when you hear someone acting the role of Batman in a GraphicAudio audiobook, you hear Bruce Wayne’s loss of his parents, his calculating the next 30 moves in defeating a foe, and more, just through superb voice acting.

    The acting is not the only thing that keeps these audiobooks interesting there is also incidental music that rises and falls with and enhances all the emotions and action in the story.  And even more fun are the sound effects.  So how do you give sound to the Green Lantern’s ring creating a boxing glove and punching his foe?  You can’t just simply punch something and record it, because the power behind the ring is what is creating the glove.  GraphicAudio create some superb effects that you can see in the mind’s eye all aspects of just such an action.  These guys really know what they are doing.

    So with all that said let’s talk about this audiobook.  The excitement abounds, the story twists and turns and ultimate good is pitted up against ultimate evil.  Exactly what you’d expect from a comic book, but in this series all this takes place without the big name superheroes.  The Justice League members do make their appearance near the end to help wrap up the final battle and outcome, but for the most part what were normally minor characters now take the lead.

    First off we’ve got Superman’s pal, Jimmy Olsen, suddenly endowed with superpowers.  Not sure where they come from, Jimmy’s not one to ask, being the epitomical good guy, Jimmy immediately takes on the guise of Action Man and tries to right wrongs.  The problem with these newfound powers is that they only occur when his life is threatened.  But when his life is threatened the powers are doozies.  Powers such as, porcupine like quills suddenly erupting from his skin and shooting at foes, his body turning to ooze and more weirdness.  Even not being able to control his powers Jimmy tries to fight crime.

    Next we have Mary Marvel.  After the events in 52, Mary is now just simply Mary Batson, sister to Billy Batson (Captain Marvel/Shazam).  Her powers were mysteriously taken away and she awakens in a hospital scared and powerless.  To find her brother and eventually her powers Mary seeks out Madame Xanadu,  warns Mary not to go to Gotham City.  Ignoring her, Mary is chased by thugs through the Gotham subway, and finds the former Kahndaqi Embassy, where Black Adam has been hiding. Adam appears, saves Mary, and transfers his powers to Mary.  Mary acquires the powers of Black Adam, Isis, and Osiris as a result.  These dark powers change Mary’s psyche and she seems to be one of the bad guys.

    Holly Robinson, former Catwoman (the good Catwoman not the criminal one) meets up with Harley Quinn (Joker’s former girlfriend) at a women’s shelter in Metropolis where a woman claiming to be Athena is recruiting Amazons to go to Paradise Island, which was vacated by the real Amazons (Wonder Woman’s family).

    Jason Todd (former Robin that should have died), and Donna Troy (former Wonder Girl, who also should have died) meet up with a Monitor who recruits them to find The Atom. It seems The Atom, Ray Palmer, is the key to fighting the New Gods who are waging war against each other and could destroy the Universe.

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