Okay, so let's get down to the nitty gritty. Final Crisis, the comic book story written by Grant Morrison before this bullshit new 52 stuff kicked in in DC comics was actually good. Really, really good. Only we didn't know it at the time because it was so confusing to follow.
But Final Crisis culminated in the clarion call of "It's time to stop walking in Alan Moore's footprints and do something new, and there are many reasons for this. Not least of which being that without some examples of originality the industry would eventually wither and die. It's just that nobody fucking heard it because at that point the general consensus had formed and hardened that Final Crisis made no fucking sense and shouldn't be paid attention to. Which was strange because Final Crisis #7 is just about the least subtle comic ever written.
What you have is a situation where Grim and Gritty is depicted as a literal vampire feeding on the lifeblood of stories and his lieutenant is a Superman turned evil whose sole contribution is to display Supergirl in peril and menace her. He's defeated by Comics should be fun, who starts things off by hitting him with 52 different versions of Superman and keeps on bringing in increasingly ridiculous and awesome things from all across comics until Grim and Gritty can't take it anymore and then explodes.
That's got to be the most clear example of "STOP IT, STOP USING ALAN MOORE'S INFLUENCES RIGHT THE FUCK NOW!" message ever written. it's just a pity nobody was actually listening. In fact, most people stopped reading Final Crisis after issue 2 or 3 because they had no idea what the fuck was going on even though that subtext was practically text.
Darkseid: I AM EVERYTHING THAT'S WRONG WITH COMICS. I HAVE INFECTED THE DCU SO BADLY THAT IT IS FATALLY WOUNDED. EVERYTHING IS NOW ME. AN ETERNITY OF MY BULLSHIT. DEAL WITH IT.It couldn't be any more clear than that. But I'll be honest, the reason Final Crisis made no sense was because every one of those 7 issues had characters/events/themes that were moving so massively fast between issues. You had no idea what was going on because unless you read all 80+ of those books that surrounded those 7 issues, you were missing out on a lot of stuff.
Superman: I am Everything That's Right About Comics. We're still gonna beat you.
Darkseid: REALLY DON'T SEE HOW THAT'S POSSIBLE.
Superman: That's because you're predictable as fuck. This is comic books. We can always do a reboot.
SUPERMAN ENDS THE UNIVERSE.
Superman: See? After we literally packed up everything that was worth saving, I just literally destroyed the DCU. Not even remotely being subtle here. Now, in the featureless void, we can build a better DCU.
Mandrakk: Not so fast! I, the personification of Grim and Gritty, have been draining the lifeblood of comic books! I feed on it! I will attack you and kill you here, and then the DCU that is rebuilt in the ashes of this event will be just as saturated with my horribleness as the old one!
Ultraman: I'm a vampire now and here's Supergirl, who is helpless and who I'll menace in a vaguely sexual manner. Just in case it wasn't totally clear that the baddies are stand-ins for Bad Comic Writing.
Nix Uotan: I am the personification of Comics Should Be Fun! You wanna have this fight, Grim and Gritty? Let's fucking have it. You've got some boring-ass vampire. You know what I've got? I've got 52 different versions of Superman, and Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew, and warrior angels, and an army of increasingly bizarre aliens all armed with magic wishing rings, and five Japanese teenagers too wrapped up in their own interpersonal bullshit to realize they're the new versions of some very old gods, and oh wait you just exploded.
Superman: Grim and Gritty has been defeated! Forces of Comics Should Be Fun, let's now literally rebuild the universe, free of his taint!
THEY DO SO. THE END.
Such as where Batman was and why he had the backwards time gun. Why whole cities were leveled and why Wonder Woman became a feral villain. It was very confusing. It's an understatement to say that Grant Morrison's work fails when he's forced to work with others. It happened with Final Crisis and it happened with R.I.P. Both of those should have been stand alone works just like All-Star Superman or his entire Batman run.
I guess the lesson in Final Crisis is that you can't control how people will react to your writing. If they'll take it to heart or just shrug it off and continue to regurgitate Watchmen on autopilot. I mean, shit. There's a Before Watchmen series going on. How much more can you suck at the tit of this franchise?
I liked Final Crisis, but that's cause I gave it a few re-reads to figure out what Grant was saying, and even then it's not my favorite work of his. My favorite work by him will always be All-Star Superman. It showed the value of optimism over nihilism in a way that is entirely in - world and not winky metafiction. It's entirely consistent with the portrayal of the character, and shows Superman at his most inspirational.
I really hope that in a few years, it will be the de facto Bible for Superman - already, much of its take on the character seeped into Chris Roberson's brief run of the title.