"Final Crisis is a clusterfuck, a mediocre failure. I don't know what went wrong, Editorial mismanagement*(which still keeps going on), rewrites, bad decisions, someone sleeping with someone's wife. Whatever it is, this has pretty much been a lackluster event, even when things seemed to 'kick off' at Issue #4 it still didn't have the oomph that other events had. The whole fact that it was billed as the most epic thing ever since Ninjas were invented, yet turned out to be a rush job just adds another nail to the coffin that is being built for DC."
"There's fundamental problems with Final Crisis #6. Mainly, it's sort of boring and the art isn't very good."
In desperation, they showed the corpse of their most popular character -- that would at least be some shiny tin-foil to wow a segment of the comic book reading public easily impressed by mediocrity and an enduring loyalty to characters who have been kneaded, reconfigured, and degraded almost past recognition.
"How do we beat Marvel in sales?" DC asked. They answered themselves: "We put more violence in our comics." And this is not even a rhetorical conversation. This dialogue, though paraphrased here, actually took place. And this, apparently, is the grand culmination of the Dream.
So their books became more violent, and they still couldn't beat Marvel in sales. But at least they gained a small core readership that is so accommodating, and so forgiving. Even if other readers fell away, and new readers were alienated, this strong core would buy *anything*.
Yes, Batman died for the sins of Final Crisis, because it would take nothing more than the graphic demise of their core superhero to distract the readers from the clusterfuck they created. And it worked, at least for the core. And at this point, it's only the core that matters, because they are, at least, guaranteed revenue. And in these troubled economic times, at least that's something.
"Batman dead! Batman dead! It so amazing! They killed him! They killed him! That was fantastic! Do again! Do again!"
Cynical? Maybe. Enough to put DC at the top of comic sales? No. But at least nobody is "laughing" at DC anymore, saying their comic books are hokey, saying that their comics are for kids. They successfully rebranded themselves. As what?
But really, I find such iconography, such branding, apropos for DC. They've advertised for a while now a "Final Crisis" and a death of one of their icons. For the last 5 years, they've focused on death, destruction, and corruption as the "spine" of their events, their publishing plan. Why this constant focus on negativity? I think it's a slow, steady exorcism, the tangible display of an ugliness that was just under the surface.
In the end, I'm relieved to hear that indeed this is the final Crisis. Because after your "Final" crisis, surely there will be no more?