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Comic Book / Final Crisis

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You turned your back and I wrecked your world. Deprived your people of their powers, their hopes, their future, themselves. What will you do when your friends, your enemies, your lover, are all Darkseid? When there is one body. One mind. One will. One life that is Darkseid. Will you be the enemy of all existence, then? What irony that will be, Son of Krypton.

Final Crisis was DC Comics' Crisis Crossover for the year 2008. Announced in 2006, writer Grant Morrison set out to accomplish the following goals with the event:

To help achieve the last goal, Morrison did two things:

  • They first used their Seven Soldiers series (particularly the Mister Miracle issues) to set up key plot points for Final Crisis.
  • They then asked DC to declare a moratorium on creators using the New Gods series, so that their return in the pages of Final Crisis would have the proper emotional impact. Whether it was done invokedintentionally or due to miscommunication, DC editorial ignored their request, and the New Gods ended up getting passed around like chlamydia at Burning Man, most prominently in the weekly Countdown to Final Crisis series. (DC also commissioned a Death of the New Gods miniseries to be published before Final Crisis. The Resulting Continuity Snarl led Morrison to Retcon away as much of these two series as they possibly could, while including a scenario that still allows for the events of these series to have happened.)

The story to Final Crisis begins with Darkseid having killed his son, Orion; he has also sent his minion Libra to Earth to gather Earth's villains under his control and arrange for the murder of the Martian Manhunter. In the meantime, Darkseid orders fellow god Granny Goodness to possess a Green Lantern, who is used to frame Hal Jordan for killing Orion, and capture Batman. As Barry Allen returns from the void of death in a (failed) attempt to save Orion, Darkseid unleashes the Anti-Life Equation upon Earth, enslaving billions of humans. This event forces the few remaining non-corrupted heroes and villains into hiding as Earth struggles to defeat Darkseid and prevent the coming of a greater threat... one that looms within the multiverse and seeks to finish what Darkseid started in bringing about — the end of everything.

The series featured several tie-in series:

Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge:

The Rogues, a group of the Flash's most frequent enemies, refuse to align with Libra and the Secret Society following Martian Manhunter's murder, which causes Libra to seek revenge. The Rogues also seek out Inertia, the boy who manipulated them into killing his hated rival, Bart Allen (Impulse/Kid Flash II/The Flash IV). Inertia himself has attracted the attention of Zoom.

Final Crisis: Revelations:

Crispus Allen and Renee Montoya meet in their secret identities as The Spectre and The Question for the first time since Allen's death. As the Spectre goes after the Secret Society, killing off those villains who were involved in the murder of Martian Manhunter, Libra seeks to use The Spear of Destiny to enslave Spectre and keep him from interfering with Darkseid's plans.

Final Crisis: Superman Beyond:

Superman travels across the multiverse and meets up with the various "Supermen of the Multiverse" (including an alternate Captain Marvel, an alternate Captain Atom who bears a passing resemblance to Dr. Manhattan, a Nazi Superman, and the insane Ultraman) in order to obtain the vial of Applied Phlebotinum that will save Lois Lane's life after a Secret Society bomb mortally wounds her. This causes Superman to meet the Monitors — who are recast by Morrison as Vampire Gods who must fight Mandrakk, the "first Monitor" — in a Mind Screw of a tie-in that is probably the most required reading of the tie-ins, and was actually included in the Final Crisis trade paperback's second edition. To add to the screwiness, the issues were printed in 3-D.

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds:

The "Crisis of the 31st Century" occurs as the Time Trapper brings Superboy-Prime to the future to kill people and ruin Superman's name in the process — with the help of the combined might of just about every single Legion villain alive. This forces Superman to unite all three incarnations of the Legion of Super-Heroes, along with resurrecting both Bart Allen and Conner Kent (Superboy, killed in Infinite Crisis), to stop both Superboy-Prime's murderous rampage and his benefactor, the Time Trapper. This miniseries has little to do with the main plot of Final Crisis, though Superman arrives in the final act of the main story just as he leaves the 31st century. Schedule Slip led to this book not getting an ending until midway through DC's next Crisis Crossover.

Final Crisis: Requiem:

The first part of this one-shot expands Martian Manhunter's death scene to show that he put up more of a fight than previously indicated. The rest of the book focuses on the reaction from his friends as his death triggered a telepathic event in their heads that compelled them to write down the history of the now-extinct Martian race.

Final Crisis: Submit:

Essentially Final Crisis #3.5, this one-shot shows Black Lightning responding to a rescue call to save the new Tattooed Man and his family from Darkseid's forces. The climax features Black Lightning giving Tattooed Man the symbol that can protect someone from being infected by the Anti-Life Equation — right before Lightning gets turned into an Anti-Life Slave.

Final Crisis: Resist:

This tie-in covers the fall of humanity; Mr. Terrific and Snapper Carr form an alliance with the villainess Cheetah to try and stay alive while Checkmate, the black ops spy organization, is corrupted by Darkseid.

Batman #682-683:

The two-part "Last Rites" storyline involves more Mind Screw storytelling as henchmen of Darkseid attempt to find a way to suck Batman's mind out of his body and into clones of himself that they have created using him as a template. This tie-in is largely known for two things: setting up a major plot point as far as Batman carrying around the bullet used to kill Orion in his utility belt right before his capture by Granny Goodness, and for establishing that "Batman R.I.P." takes place immediately before Final Crisis, with Batman (upon crashing into Gotham River) swimming to shore, going straight to the Batcave, and promptly being summoned to help the JLA find Orion's killer.

The Dark Side Club:

This is the name given to several Final Crisis tie-ins throughout The DCUBirds of Prey #118, The Flash vol. 2 #240, Infinity, Inc. vol. 2 #11-12, The Teen Titans vol. 3 #59-60, and Terror Titans #1-6. Shortly before Final Crisis, Darkseid (in the mortal guise of Boss Dark Side) captures several adolescent superhumans and forces them to fight to the death for his amusement. Mostly notable for introducing Static to the DC Universe.

Final Crisis contains examples of:

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    A - H 
  • Aborted Arc: The series seemingly reintroduced the iconic, classic Aquaman, who had returned to save Atlantis in its hour of need. This was completely ignored in all subsequent books, save for a hand wave line mentioning that there had been false rumors of Aquaman's return during the crisis. Word of God ended up saying that this was a parallel-universe version who, like Overgirl and Kamandi, ended up in the main universe due to the breakdown of time and space.
  • Adaptation Species Change: Previous depictions of the Morticoccus pathogen identified it as a sentient virus, but Wonder Woman specifically calls it a "God-bacterium" in this series.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In Kamandi, Morticoccus was a massive semi-sentient virus that could kill any life form in a matter of seconds and even corrode metal. In this series, it's a bacterium that, according to Wonder Woman, was specifically designed to strip Earth's heroes of their powers. Although the infection manages to incapacitate a portion of the resistance, it's nowhere near as virulent as its original depiction.
  • Alliance of Alternates: Superman gathers the "Supermen of the Multiverse" to save Lois. He also brings together different incarnations of the Legion of Super-Heroes to fight Superboy-Prime and the Time Trapper.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • Final Crisis: Sketchbook gave more information on several characters than was actually provided in the series itself. Most of it wasn't terribly important (e.g. backgrounds for members of Super Young Team) but some of it, like the true identities of the New Gods in disguise, was a little more significant. (Let's just say, if you didn't read Sketchbook, it could get a little confusing reading reviews that referred to the New Gods in disguise with the names of characters they had yet to be revealed to be.)
    • The original hardcover release also got hit with this problem. While Superman Beyond and Submit were included, Last Rites was excluded in favor of being instead reprinted in the Batman R.I.P. collection. For readers who were only following Final Crisis, this caused some problems; Last Rites not only explores what Mokkari and Simyan were doing with Batman, but also sets up the plot point of Bruce having the Radion Bullet on him when Granny abducted him from the Hall of Justice. The Absolute and DC Essential Editions reprints have since corrected this.
  • Amazon Brigade: Darkseid's Female Furies are recreated in the form of possessed superheroines and villainesses.
  • And the Adventure Continues: In spite of serving as a Grand Finale for most of Jack Kirby's DC work, much of the event focuses on themes about never giving up the good fight for truth, justice, and the American way. Superman Beyond ends with Superman giving a giant retort to Mandrakk's threats of ending his story by etching an epitath on his gravestone that says "To Be Continued." Final Crisis itself ends revealing that Batman had survived being killed by Darkseid, now trapped in the past and also refusing to let his story end much like Superman did.
  • The Antichrist: Cain, the first human to commit murder, is said to slay The Spectre and herald the coming of Darkseid.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Libra last appeared in a grand total of two issues of Justice League. Here, he's a major part of Darkseid's plan for Earth.
    • Messrs. Mokkari and Simyan, Darkseid's geneticists, were never the most prominent members of his court in prior appearances, and were usually treated as ineffectual jokes. They play a large role in this storyline, having stepped into the inner-circle Evil Genius role now that Desaad's on the front lines in Mary Marvel's body. Mokkari's even the one who e-mails the Anti-Life Equation to the globe.
    • Before this event, the Human Flame had only ever appeared in one comic... all the way in The '50s, no less!
  • Assimilation Plot: Darkseid unleashes the Anti-Life Equation on Earth to deprive the majority of the population of their humanity. The victims all become an extension of his consciousness, as indicated when the new Female Furies claim to be Darkseid himself.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: The end of Dan Turpin and the return of Darkseid.
    "Give In."
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Barry Allen returns as The Flash for the first time in 23 years.
    • Superboy and a de-aged Bart Allen are revived in Legion of 3 Worlds.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Trope Namer. Batman breaks his rule about never using guns in a "once-in-a-lifetime exception" to fatally poison Darkseid with a special bullet. Subsequently, both Flashes and eventually Superman all break their No-Kill rules to ensure Darkseid stays gone.
  • Biblical Bad Guy: Revelations reveals that Vandal Savage is Cain.
  • Big Bad: Darkseid, fatally wounded in his battle with Orion, is killing the entire multiverse as he slowly dies. In the meantime, he and his followers possess humans on Earth and conquer the planet with the Anti-Life Equation, while his Dragon, Libra, takes over the Secret Society of Supervillains. Mandrakk the Dark Monitor is the Greater-Scope Villain, seeking to consume what remains of existence after Darkseid's fall.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: He might deliver the killing blow to the Martian Manhunter, but in the end the Human Flame is basically this, trying to make a name for himself as a villain and then going on the run, continually sacrificing his humanity for power until he turns himself into a living nuclear reactor that can't even move, leaving the heroes who had been hunting him free to dump him in the asteroid belt where he'll never bother anyone again.
  • Big Damn Heroes: This series is FULL of examples, such as Batman sacrificing himself to mortally wound Darkseid's host, Superman shattering Darkseid's essence with a multiversal musical note, actually killing Darkseid for good or the Green Lantern Corps staking Mandrakk, a technical 'vampire'.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The universe is saved, Darkseid and Mandrakk have been defeated for good, the world has been freed from the Anti-Life Equation, the Monitors all cease to exist, and Nix Uotan gets to live out his life happily as a human. All thanks to Superman using the Miracle Machine to wish for a happy ending. And yet despite this, the Miracle Machine didn't revive Martian Manhunter and all the other heroes, villains, and civilians killed by the Anti-Life Equation or Darkseid's followers, leaving the ending with a twinge of bitterness, as Superman could've stopped Darkseid sooner if he returned from the future faster. Meanwhile Batman is trapped in the distant past and will have to find his own way back due to everyone else thinking he's dead.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Mokkari and Simyan not even bothering to inspect the captured Batman's utility belt, let alone remove it whne they take custody of the prisoner. If they had, they'd have realized Bruce had the Radion Bullet on him when Granny abducted him from the Hall of Justice. Their mistake backfires spectacularly in the closing issues.
  • Bondage Is Bad: The new Female Furies were designed with bondage and S&M imagery in mind.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Anyone exposed to the Anti-Life Equation loses their free-will and becomes a part of Darkseid's Hive Mind.
  • The Bus Came Back: Monitor Nix Uotan bolsters The Cavalry by bringing Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!, then trapped as ordinary animals, to him and restoring their humanoid forms, costumes and powers.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Rip Hunter's chalkboard says "don't worry about Countdown", lampshading how the poor reception towards Countdown to Final Crisis had rendered the series non-canon. However, Morrison did acknowledge Darkseid's death at the end of Countdown and Death of the New Gods with the later issues of Final Crisis: Orion "killed" Darkseid's body at the end of Countdown, but Darkseid's spirit was tossed backwards through time, destabilizing the multiverse and allowing him to possess a human host, Boss Dark Side. This allowed him to resurrect his loyalists, build up a power base on Earth, kill Orion (who could not sense his father still being alive since Darkseid was now possessing a human body) and stabilize the current timeline.
  • Canon Welding:
    • Morrison saw this series as their definitive statement about all of the themes that they had dealt with in their works, and ties up plot points left over from their runs on Seven Soldiers and Batman.
    • Some of Jack Kirby's personal creations (The New Gods, Kamandi, Dan Turpin) are brought together in order to give them all a Grand Finale.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • Superman Beyond introduces Captain Allen Atom, a Superman counterpart from another reality whose powers and appearance are deliberately based on Dr. Manhattan.
    • In Final Crisis #7, the entire army of Superman is made up of expies of Superman knock-offs from other companies.
  • Captain Ethnic: The Great Ten (a Chinese team that includes "Socialist Red Guardsman," "Shaolin Robot," "Mother of Champions" and more) and Super Young Team (a teenage Japanese team, all of whom are basically over-the-top superhero otaku cosplayers with Gratuitous English codenames - and are contrasted against "traditional" Japanese heroes like, say, Rising Sun and Sonny Sumo).
  • The Cavalry: A group of heroes from across the multiverse, all led by Nix Uotan, show up to aid Superman in the final battle against Mandrakk. They are comprised of:
    • The Supermen of the Multiverse
    • The entire Green Lantern Corps
    • The angels of the Pax Dei
    • Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew!
    • Mister Miracle, Sonny Sumo and the Super Young Team
    • The Forever People from the Fifth World
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Superman of Earth 23, President Calvin Ellis, briefly appears as part of The Cavalry. He will later get A Day in the Limelight in the New 52's Action Comics #9, and is a key character in The Multiversity.
  • Co-Dragons: Darkseid has his son Kalibak and his heralds Libra and Vandal Savage/Cain, though the last of these is dealt with in the Revelations miniseries.
  • Continuity Porn:
    • Grant Morrison intended this story to be the final chapter in two trilogies of Crisis events, as well as to continue plot threads left hanging by Seven Soldiers, 52, Batman RIP, and even his JLA run, which had concluded eight years prior to Final Crisis's publication. Not to mention the story's references to Cosmic Odyssey, a Jim Starlin story that was twenty years old at the time. So, naturally, Final Crisis pretty much made entirely of this trope.
    • Two of the heroes that join The Cavalry in issue 5 are Iman, the champion of Mexico City who had exactly one prior appearance, and the G.I. Robot, a largely forgotten character from DC's long-canceled military comics.
  • Covers Always Lie: The covers for Final Crisis featured Darkseid wearing a modified version of his classic get-up with an omega symbol decorating the torso of his tunic and on the back of each of his gloves. Outside of the covers and a game piece Libra was handling in the Secret Files story detailing his backstory, Darkseid doesn't actually wear most of it, only sporting the helmet, Turpin's pants and shoes, and braces on his legs. That said, he does don the outfit in the novelization right after Mokkari, Simyan, and Glorious Godfrey die.
  • Crisis Crossover: Hyped as "The Final Crisis of Man and the Multiverse". While this is certainly not the final Crisis Crossover that DC will put out, this is the last one to deal with the destruction/rebirth of the Multiverse... for now.
    • DC announced that Final Crisis was the third part of two "trilogies". Final Crisis is the final part of the Multiverse Trilogy (which, natch, is about the life, death, and resurrection of The Multiverse starting with Crisis on Infinite Earths) and the final part of the Hero Exploration Trilogy (which takes an intimate look on the heroes and villains of the DCU, starting with Identity Crisis). In both cases, Infinite Crisis is the second part.
  • Deal with the Devil: The story starts when Libra shows up on Earth promising supervillains their fondest wish at the low cost of their souls, promising an era when Good has lost its battle with Evil.
  • Death by Adaptation: In comics following this, Director Bones is depicted as having survived the first failed attempt to lay siege to Darkseid's fortress in Bludhaven and Count Vertigo's fate is unknown. In the novelization, they died with Negative Woman, the Atomic Knights, and several Checkmates agents.
  • Defiant to the End:
    • Green Arrow grants Black Canary and the Tattooed Man a chance to escape by making a last stand against the possessed minions of Darkseid, up until he's converted.
    • Requiem reveals that even after Libra stabbed him, J'onn still put up a hell of a fight, even telling Libra he'd lose before he died.
  • Demonic Possession: People are possessed by New Gods.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Darkseid had to break a strong-willed host's spirit in order to fully manifest.
  • Deus est Machina:
    • Superman uses one at the end to erase Darkseid's lingering presence and restore space/time. However, rather than being a god from a machine, the machine is the god, who can perform any one task.
    • The Thought-Robot from Superman Beyond is another example - it's a metafictional Humongous Mecha powered by the very concept of the heroic ideal, as embodied by Superman in particular.
  • Didn't Think This Through: At the end of Legion of Three Worlds, Superboy-Prime manages to break reality (again) and doom himself to being an unpowered kid in a world where everyone hates and fears him by punching out the Time Trapper who is his own future self.
    Brainiac: What an idiot.
  • Dirty Coward: Darkseid shows shades of this. Superman points out he could have used Batman as his host, but the god snarls he would have resisted for longer than he'd have liked, whereas Turpin just fought enough to nurture Darkseid before breaking. Given how he was in his death throes, this was probably more out of pragmatism than anything.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: The novelization sees Dan Turpin fall into a coma after Darkseid is purged from him, whereas the extended version (seen in the later collected editions) does show Turpin briefly dazed, but still conscious afterward.
  • Disney Villain Death: Luthor blasts Libra at point-blank range... but there's no corpse left behind. An irritated Sivana outright calls it a classic "We haven't heard the last of him!" situation.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Simyan and Mokkari's contribution to Darkseid's plan, giving him three billion soldiers in the blink of an eye and effectively enslaving Earth.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: Requiem reveals that the Martian Manhunter did not, putting up much more of a fight than the series proper had let on before dying.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Thanks to being weakened by Dr. Light and Effigy using fire, Martian Manhunter, perhaps the most powerful member of the Justice League, lasts two pages against Libra —in the series proper. In the Requiem one-shot, however...
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Requiem reveals that J'onn didn't go down with Libra stabbing up in the back, but managed to make the Society actually fight to put him down, managing to get some of his friends to tell his life story as he went down.
  • Dying to Be Replaced: Zoom and Inertia are depowered and killed, respectively. This conveniently means there are no active Reverse-Flashes by the time Eobard Thawne returns in The Flash: Rebirth, which is in part a follow-up to Final Crisis.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Morrison's revamp of Darkseid and his minions reposition them as spirit-beings that can possess and destroy their hosts from within, though most of them (Glorious Godfrey and the scientists) were literally reborn as humans.
    • Mandrakk the Dark Monitor and the rest of the vampiric Monitors.
  • Enemy Mine: All over the place. Luthor and Sivana hate each other but come together to take out Libra, Luthor's villain army backs up Superman, Cheetah joins up with Checkmate, and Captain Marvel enlists the aid of Black Adam.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • When being told that Darkseid was the power behind Libra, the Rogues in Rogues' Revenge essentially tell Libra (who they have refused to work for) to go tell his master to get the hell off of their planet.
    • Luthor may be a miserable sociopath, but he loves life more than he does having to live in a evil-driven world run by Darkseid.
    • Dr. Sivana turns against Darkseid when he sees what the Anti-Life Equation does to his daughter.
  • "Everybody Helps Out" Denouement: At the end of the series, the surviving heroes are all seen working together to repair the damage done by Darkseid.
  • Evil Is Easy: When freed of the Justifier helmet, Green Arrow still remains under the control of Darkseid. When Black Canary confronts him, he can only wearily moan just how easy Anti-Life is.
  • Expy: Final Crisis: Superman Beyond 3D features Captain Adam, an alternate universe version of Captain Atom who's a clear Expy of Dr Manhattan, Watchmen's Captain Atom Expy.
  • Fan Disservice: Think Evil Mary Marvel is wickedly sexy? That's not Mary, it's Desaad driving her body.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Darkseid's Omega Sanction causes the victim's soul to tumble through an endless number of worse and worse realities until the victim's spirit breaks from the despair. As a later issue of Grant Morrison's run on Batman reveals, all his Omega Beams did to Batman was cause everything that had happened to him up until that point. Yes, even Darkseid's Omega Sanction couldn't make Batman's life worse than it already is.
  • Fix Fic:
    • Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds is essentially a fix fic by Geoff Johns, simultaneously clearing up the Legion of Super-Heroes continuity boggle and bringing back two unfairly dead characters, Kid Flash and Superboy, the latter of which Johns had to kill off in Infinite Crisis. (It was either Superboy or Nightwing, so all things considered...)
    • Johns and Scott Kolins' Rogues Revenge serves a similiar purpose for the Flash mythos. It recounciles the out-of-character depiction of the Rogues during the lead-up to Bart Allen's murder and fixes the damage in preperation for the then-impending Barry Allen relaunch.
  • Flat Character: The Monitors are a whole race of flat characters. But then they start developing backstories, and feelings and dreams and love triangles, and it's freaking them out.
  • Foreshadowing: Some towards Dan Turpin being revealed to have become a vessel for Darkseid. He admits to taking way too much pleasure in beating the shit out of the Mad Hatter much to his own disbelief and a panel focuses on his reflection in a cracked mirror, giving him Darkseid's signature cracked rocky visage.
  • Fully Absorbed Finale: Rogues Revenge is one for Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins' Wally West-era run on The Flash. While tying into Final Crisis (and clearing the deck for the Barry Allen relaunch), it also ties up the last loose ends Johns wasn't able to resolve during Rogue War 3 years earlier (ex. the fate of Captain Cold's abusive father. Weather Wizard's young son, etc.).
  • Future Self Reveal: In Legion of 3 Worlds, Superboy-Prime arrives in the future and is received and treated as a god by the Legion's villains who admired him for years and asked him to lead them to destroy the Legion. All of this was made by the Time Trapper, who brought Prime to this future. Later, it's discovered that this Time Trapper comes from Earth-Prime, and even more, it's revealed that his identity is a future version of Prime with long hair and beard but with the same Superman symbol scar, confirming they're the same person.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Mandrakk the Dark Monitor pretty much just wants to kill everything because he wanted to feed on the Bleed and the Multiverse that existed within it. It didn't help that he was also a Diabolus ex Nihilo, unless the reader had already read a particular tie-in.
  • God Is Evil: Black Adam mentions that with his new power, Darkseid has displaced all Earthly deities, effectively becoming a truly malevolent monotheistic God.
  • God of Evil: The Big Bad, Darkseid, is a malevolent God that personifies the concept of tyranny.
  • Godzilla Threshold: It takes Darkseid coming back and causing The End of the World as We Know It for Batman to finally use a gun. He even calls it his "once-in-a-lifetime exception." It also marks the point where even Superman, and both Wally West and Barry Allen decided "Thou Shalt Not Kill" has a limit and thus, it no longer applies to Darkseid.
  • The Good Guys Always Win: Libra intends to defy this:
    Your enemies fight and win again and again because they truly believe their actions are in accordance with a higher moral order. But what happens in a world where good has lost its perpetual struggle against evil?
  • Hijacking Cthulhu: Sivana, seriously ticked off at Libra after being forced to see his daughter be Anti-Life'd, reprograms his watch to override the Justifiers' command line, giving Luthor the army he needs to kill Libra and engage Darkseid.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Libra probably shouldn't have let Luthor power his suit up to maximum.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Darkseid's physical body is that of Dan Turpin, but he suffered a series of modifications to more closely resemble the God's original appearance, such as his prominent red eyes.
  • Hypno Trinket: The Justifier helmets are a particularly nasty version, coupling Mad Hatter's technology with a constant broadcast of the Anti-Life Equation, so even removing the helmet won't do anything to help the sap inside. This comes to bite Libra in the ass when it turns out Sivana can override Hatter's tech to transmit Luthor's voice as Darkseid's, instantly stealing Libra's army.

    I - N 
  • I Have Your Wife: Almost subverted in the comic miniseries Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge. The agents of the Big Bad Libra kidnap the father of Rogues leader Captain Cold. They threaten to kill him unless Cold and the Rogues surrender. But the bad guys don't understand that his father's sadistic abuse and terror was the main factor in shaping Cold's personality. So he tells them that he will hunt them down, kill them, and kill his father himself. The Rogues do kill the bad guys, but Cold does not kill his father. Instead he orders his teammate Heatwave to burn him to death.
  • Individuality Is Illegal: After Darkseid unleashes the Anti-Life Equation on Earth, the majority of humans become part of his Hive Mind. The few individuals who are immune (such as Nix Uotan and the man who is hosting Metron's spirit) are thrown into jail cells.
  • Internal Affairs: The Alpha Lanterns serve this role for the Green Lantern Corps. In the pages of the Green Lantern books, the Alpha Lanterns were specifically created to ensure they would be absolute, incorruptible Lanterns, specifically to ensure the Blackest Night would never happen. They weren't expecting Granny Goodness to possess one of them.
  • Last of His Kind: The ultimate fate for Nix Uotan. The Monitors cease to exist at the end of the story, but he nevertheless gets to experience life on Earth in his human body.
  • Louis Cypher: Darkseid's first human host body is a nightclub owner operating under the not-at-all-suspicious alias of "Boss Dark Side." Glorious Godfrey bodyjacks a televangelist and calls himself "Reverend G. Godfrey Good." (It's a Shout-Out to Legends and G. Gordon Godfrey.)
  • Madness Mantra: Those taken by the Anti-Life Equation tend to start ranting out things like "Anti-Life justifies my hate!"
  • Magical Computer: Mokkari's laptop, which he uses to simultaneously e-mail the Anti-Life Equation to every electronic device on the planet. Even super-genius Oracle isn't sure how he did it.
  • Metafiction: All over the place in Superman Beyond and anything having to do with the Monitors. Interestingly, Legion of 3 Worlds dabbles with this in the end as well. Superboy-Prime is whisked back to the restored Earth-Prime and sees the comics with him in them. The last couple pages of the final issue is Prime literally reading the very issue the actual reader is reading.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: The Anti-Life Equation makes your eyes turn red.
  • Multiversal Conqueror:
  • The Night That Never Ends: Darkseid's fall from the Fourth World has enough metaphysical momentum to drag Earth itself towards the pitch-black hole at the bottom of creation.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Glorious Godfrey as Reverend Good, looks like Don King (appearance-wise) with elements of Al Sharpton in his public persona (Godfrey poses as a minister and social activist).
  • No Fourth Wall: When inside the Thought-Robot, Superman is so powerful he can see the fourth wall. He hears breathing coming from "a direction that has no name" and senses a "presence" that he can almost touch.
  • No-Sell: The Morticoccus bacterium incapacitates some of the heroes by nullifying their powers, but cannot infect Frankenstein, since he is not technically alive. His arrival is what turns the tide in the heroes' favour during the battle against the Female Furies.

    O - Z 
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: As mentioned under "Batman Grabs a Gun", "Godzilla Threshold", and "Thou Shalt Not Kill", four members of the Justice League decide Darkseid needs to die and actively takes steps to kill him.
  • Oh, Crap!: Even at the cusp of his grand plan, Darkseid is still scared shitless when the Black Racer suddenly appears in front of him.
  • Omnicidal Maniac:
    • Darkseid is dying, so he decides to take the whole freaking multiverse to his black hole of a grave.
    • Mandrakk, an Eldritch Abomination and cosmic parasite who hungers for the multiverse.
  • Orwellian Retcon: For some reason, the ball-gag on Batwoman's Female Fury outfit was taken out in the collected editions.
  • Papa Wolf: Dr. Sivana, of all characters, turns on Libra after watching his kids get Anti-Life'd.
  • Possession Burnout: Possession by an Apokalyptian causes the host body to burn out.
  • Precision F-Strike: In the digital version, Nix Uotan says "Don’t push your luck with the judge of all evil" after Mandrakk is impaled by the Green Lanterns. However, the original text had him say "No one *** with the judge of all evil."
  • Pretender Diss: Sivana thinks Hatter's technology is medieval junk.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Checkmate employs a whole room of telepaths who attempt to purge the planet of Anti-Life. Every one of them is either bleeding out of cranial orifices or unconscious.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Rogues Revenge has this on multiple levels. It brought Geoff Johns back to the Flash-corner of the DCU after having left back in 2005. It also brought back Scott Kolins, who had been Johns' main artist from 2001-2003.
  • Rasputinian Death: Darkseid is mortally wounded by Orion in the backstory, but his essence lingers long enough to possess Dan Turpin. Batman shoots his physical body with a bullet made of Radion, which lethally poisons him, but still isn't enough to kill. The Flashes then trick the Black Racer, the embodiment of death, into reaping Darkseid's soul, but all that accomplishes is to exorcise the villain from Turpin's body. Dying from all these injuries, Darkseid's spirit makes one last attempt on Superman's life, but the hero counters by singing a note in the precise frequency to destabilize Darkseid's, finally killing the evil god for real..
  • Reality-Breaking Paradox: The superintelligent New God Metron, forced into a paraplegic human body by Darkseid, restores both his own powers and Nix Uotan's by solving a Rubik's Cube in seventeen moves, one less than the lowest number possible by humans.
  • Re-Cut: Subsequent releases added more pages, recoloured existing pages and even had pages redrawn. For instance, there's now a prologue (composed of excerpts from DC Universe 0, the intended final issue of Countdown to Final Crisis) where Libra assembles the Secret Society of Supervillains intercut with images of Darkseid falling through space. Then the final chapter features more padded scenes such as Darkseid briefly taking on Wonder Woman as a host when he's expelled from Turpin's body, confirmation that Turpin survived in the end, and an extended fight between Mandrakk and vampire Ultraman against the combined forces of the Supermen, the Green Lantern Corp and Nix Uotan.
  • Retirony: In Rogues' Revenge, Captain Cold and the other Flash villains intend to hang up the costumes once they've gotten revenge on Inertia for tricking them into killing Kid Flash. Once they succeed, however, Libra informs them that Barry Allen's back from the dead. They quickly realize they're not going to have any choice but to stay in the game.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The entire story can perhaps be summed up as "DC does Revelation," with Superman and Nix Uotan both playing Jesus, Mandrakk as Satan, Darkseid as The Beast, Libra as the False Prophet, the Female Furies as the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the superheroes as the 144,000 chosen spared from the Antichrist's wrath by God, and the Anti-Life Equation as the Number of the Beast. The medieval Christian concept of the "Music of the Spheres" also gets a mention, which Superman takes advantage of at the climax to render Darkseid Deader than Dead.
  • Sanity Slippage: Ultraman goes insane after finding out about the Monitors'existence.
    Ultraman: There is a god. And he hates us all.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Most Excellent Superbat's screws all the rules of time, space and money by employing a suit of armor powered by the energy of infinite money.
  • Sex Slave: In issue 5, Libra insinuates that Supergirl will be used as this once she's brainwashed.
    Libra: If you show willing, I might even let you be first in line with Supergirl...
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Batman says he is willing to break his no killing rule by shooting Darkseid with the Radion bullet. The villain tries to protest, but Batman immediately cuts him off by yelling "Do I make myself clear?"
  • Sinister Minister: Reverend G. Godfrey Good, who is actually Glorious Godfrey, Darkseid's propaganda minister, having hijacked the body of a preacher.
  • Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: Darkseid's had his heart ripped out by Orion and is falling backwards through time, leaving a black hole in his wake. He knows he's a dead man either way, so he's decided to park himself on Earth-0, the cornerstone of The Multiverse, to drag everything and everyone that ever lived into Hell with him.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: During the Legion of 3 Worlds storyline, when Superman suggests that they try to redeem Superboy-Prime, his Legion of Super-Heroes teammates think he is crazy for even suggesting it. And there was a problem with his idea, because one, Superboy-Prime was psychotic, and two, he was trying to be a villain. All the other times Superboy-Prime was trying to get back home. By this story he accepts his world is gone, and is trying to be a villain because he found out he is regarded as merely a footnote in Superman's history and ultimately has no impact on history, so resolved to be a villain with more of an impact than any other enemy of Superman. Superman trying to redeem him goes as well as you might expect it to.
  • Taking You with Me: The real reason Darkseid is doing all this? He's dying and as a final "fuck you" to everybody, he's decided to destroy the entire multiverse.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Notably Averted. During the course of the story, the severity of the events and Darkseid's actions were enough that Batman, both the Wally West and just-returned Barry Allen Flashes, and even Superman decide that Darkseid needs to die, with Bruce grabbing a gun (the one weapon he swore to never use), loading it with the bullet used to kill Orion, and shooting Darkseid; Barry and Wally leading the Black Death, who's hot on their trail, to Darkseid in the hopes he'd kill him; and Superman actually being the one to deliver the actual death blow to the mad god.
  • Time Skip: The series skips about a month (or more due to time distortion messing up the passage of time) forward in time at the end of the third issue, between the release of the Anti-Life Equation and the Flashes Wally West and Barry Allen's failed attempt to intercept the bullet that killed Orion. This was reflected with the Final Crisis mini-series skipping a month between #3 and #4, a move that was done mainly to give the book's artist a chance to catch up with deadlines. Which he couldn't do, leading to issues #4-6 being delayed and delayed again and again, forcing DC into the position to having to bring in fill-in artists to draw large portions of Final Crisis #5-6 and ultimately Final Crisis #7, due to the company refusing to delay 70-80% of their line of comics while the book was finished. Interestingly, this was mostly done on just the planet Earth, the rest of the universe went on as normal with only a few days passing everywhere else while Earth was skipping time.
  • Title: Requiem: A tie-in one-shot, Final Crisis: Requiem, which elaborates more on the Martian Manhunter's death.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The bottom of a metafictional black hole on the brink of swallowing the very idea of The DCU.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Ultraman for the Supermen team; he even ends up becoming Mandrakk's Dragon. He was only recruited as a tool for Superman's ascension to the Monitors' plane of existence.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: Batman's life is so hardcore that he is able to weaponize his memories in order to ruin Mokkari and Simyan's plan of using him as a template for an army of evil clones.
  • True Final Boss: The entire series is about the heroes of Earth defeating Darkseid. Once he's beaten, the final battle turns out to be against Mandrakk.
  • Very Punchable Man: Human Flame. A loud-mouthed, two-bit thug that thought losing once to Martian Manhunter made him Lex Luthor's better, he was the first one in line to sign up with Libra. At his behest, Libra brutally killed J'onn, and in exchange, he forced an Apokoliptian helmet on the fool's head, turning him into the first Justifier. He was further kicked around in the folllow-up series, mostly due to his own idiotic greed, and when he finally got enough power to make the waves he wanted, he was defeated by using so much of it he became a gigantic, immobile statue.
  • The War to End All Wars: It's in the title. Much like the original source of the phrase, it wasn't.
  • Wham Shot: Batman getting hit by Darkseid's Omega Beams, which seemingly reduces him into a smoking skeleton and temporary takes him out of the DC comics — though it was quickly revealed in the end that Bruce was sent to the past and during the events of Blackest Night, it's revealed the corpse was only a clone of Bruce
  • Worshipped for Great Deeds: After going to the 31th century and shockingly seeing his name as barely mentioned in Superman Museum, Superboy-Prime found some villains of the Legion of Super-Heroes, who admired him since decades and treated Prime as a god, since his past appearances were taken as feats for them, begging him to lead them as a League of Super-Villains against the Legion and even recruiting more villains from other two Earths.
  • Writing for the Trade: Reading it in its original form was confusing at best, incomprehensible at worst. In the trade, where most of the important tie-ins were included, it becomes a tour-de-force, especially if you have the R.I.P. trade handy as well (as that has the Batman tie-ins by Morrison). Reading Morrison's own Seven Soldiers is important, too. Whilst the various series got lost in the build-up to Infinite Crisis and was branded as 'on the eve of Infinite Crisis, this is what Character X was doing before that!', it actually proves to be very important in the setup for Final Crisis. It explains a variety of questions - Which DC Editorial then went and trampled over by having Countdown try to explain everything and try to line up the dots, only to fail miserably.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside:
    • Time is implied to pass this way for the Monitors. The Thought-Robot, for instance, was only created after the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, which thanks to Comic-Book Time can't have been more than a decade ago for the characters involved, yet to the Monitors it's so unspeakably ancient that not even they have any idea what its purpose is, despite their supposed omniscience. In Superman Beyond, their realm has long since gone to ruin due to Darkseid's fall, even before the Anti-Life Equation hits Earth.
    • An inversion happens as Darkseid gains power and his very presence warps space and time around Earth. Outside of Sector 2814, only a day has passed since Hal Jordan's arrest. For anyone at ground zero, however, a relative month has passed since the Anti-Life Equation's activation.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: As soon as Godfrey, Simyan, and Mokkari are finished helping Darkseid arrive on Earth, he lets their human bodies rot away without transferring their souls into new ones, which seemingly kills them permanently.