It’s official: JG Jones won’t be drawing the final issue of FINAL CRISIS. Instead, Doug Mahnke, the third artist on the series (after Jones and Carlos Pacheco), will draw the whole thing. Jones answered an email at CBR with a typically classy response:

Via an email reply, Jones told CBR News that it was his preference not to comment “on any of this.”

Jones did however offer, “Any problems completing the series are my own. I love Doug Mahnke’s art, and he would have probably been a better choice to draw this series in the first place.”

Jones will not be redrawing the issue for the collected edition, either.


  1. I love JG’s work, but honestly, I wish Doug Mahnke had drawn the whole series too.
    It would have looked incredible without looking overly photo-referenced and it would have been on time… which DC swore JG had had enough lead time that every issue would ship on time.

  2. Hahahaha. This whole thing was pathetic. DC drops the ball yet again. Tell them to hire competent artists who can actually meet a deadline, they used to in ye olden days. These guys need two days per page. One to look for photos they can trace and the next to redraw the thing. Mahnke can at least burn this thing out…since he can really draw.

  3. “which DC swore JG had had enough lead time that every issue would ship on time. ”

    We hear this a lot from DC and yet the comics ship late or with sub-standard artwork (remember infinite crisis).

    I don’t buy singles only trades and it’s really off-putting to read, what is intended as a single story, leap from artist to artist. I find it completely jarring and it pulls me right out of the story (regardless of the quality of the artwork). I tend to flip through those Trades in the story and put them right back.

  4. But, remember, suggest that DC Editorial might need a shake-up and you’re an unwashed prole who shouldn’t dare question his betters.

  5. J.G. Jones is a fantastic artist and it’s mean spirited and thoughtless to be so cutting.
    Maybe he uses photo reference and maybe he don’t.
    No other artist uses photo reference?
    Some of the greatest cartoonists and illustrators in the world use references. Heck! Some of the greatest fine artists use photo references.
    Let’s see your comics pages.

  6. Jones will not be redrawing the issue foe the collected edition either.


    Will DC have Mahnke re-draw the Jones issues for the collected edition?

    (And, no. I don’t really care. Do you hear that DC? I don’t care! Look at me! Over here! Not caring!)

  7. This is pretty disappointing. I’m not going to pile on JG or any of the other artists, who all do good/great work; I just wish the series wasn’t a lynchpin of the publisher’s plan, so they could take as long as they want to complete it. If they did, I might come back for the trade. As it stands, I think I might just drop it. It was the only DCU book I was buying anyway, and my entusiasm has been waning due to delays and the previous artistic shakeup.

  8. jeff is all pro and cares so much that his process moves at the only speed it can…and if we only get a few issues out of him, its better than none in my eyes. I will be buying whatever he does next in a heartbeat.

  9. J.G did stellar work on this series. It’s a pity that the schedule did not allow him to complete the project solo. Why DC stayed with the schedule even after the writing was on the wall mystifies me. Why not push the book back a few months and keep J.G. as the sole artist? Not a dis on either Mahnke or Pacheco, but a consistent art team on a book gives a more consistent reading experience, period.

  10. “Why not push the book back a few months and keep J.G. as the sole artist?”

    Uh…they already did delay the book by a couple of months. I really can’t see what else DC could have done to make things better for Jones. I don’t wish the guy any harm, but it’s amazing that someone would sign on to such a high profile “lynch pin” project if you know you don’t work at a monthly pace. After getting so badly burned by the art problems of “Infinite Crisis” a few years back, you’d think DC would’ve made sure they wouldn’t be repeating the same mistake.

  11. “jeff is all pro and cares so much that his process moves at the only speed it can…and if we only get a few issues out of him, its better than none in my eyes. I will be buying whatever he does next in a heartbeat.”

    I don’t think the issue here is that Jones doesn’t turn out quality work, it’s that DC doesn’t turn out a quality product because of the lack of consistency between issues. That’s not me saying that one artist is better than the other but that for a lot of us, it’s an issue*. Maybe it’s just perception but DC seems to have a lot more big projects where the wheels just come off and we end up with a free for all to get it finished.

    (having said that – didn’t Civil War have some fill-in art or did I dream it?)

    * and yes, I know it’s not for lots of other people. Your mileage will vary.

  12. Jeremy Holstein:
    “Why DC stayed with the schedule even after the writing was on the wall mystifies me. Why not push the book back a few months and keep J.G. as the sole artist?”

    My guess would be because they spent an entire year publishing a weekly book that was a “countdown” to Final Crisis, and therefore did not want to kill their momentum by instead counting down to a several month wait. Not to mention then they would have had nothing on the shelves to compete with Secret Invasion.

  13. Whatevs. This story has been melting my face so far, so I’m not really bothered much by the fact that another really good superhero artist will draw the final issue. Would it have been nice if things would have worked out with JG? Sure, but this is hardly something worth getting worked up over.

  14. While there are handful of people who will drop the book because of this, the reason DC and Marvel keep putting out these mega-series, and keep letting the torrential waters of fandom’s righteous indignation roll off their back is the numbers. 164K on SI #6 to name the most recent. Plus the scaled future returns on the trades. Run the algorithm and that’s what they call a cash-cow, in places where folk trade on terms like that.

    DC and Marvel don’t place stock on the future acclaim a book of quality and consistency might garner, they place stock on getting people all hot and bothered on Wednesday. In the meantime JG suffers for looking all unhussle (but Mans up to it like a champ!) and in five years the FC time gets about the same reaction as an OMAC Project trade (does such a thing exist).

  15. @Charles Knight
    …there were no fill-ins, that was part of the “big” controversy at the time as it was delaying other peripheral titles; Joe Q said it was important to have one artist on the mini, as it was honorable to the fans (in meeting their assumptions when buying into the series), and would help the book to exist forever on shelves that much more complete as a story. It’s funny, everyone always brings up Civil War as the example, but I remember Infinite Crisis being at least as bad as shipping, but with the added bonus of really rushed artwork and multiple artists on its issues (another slap in the face to the buyers of the floppies, was that the rushed art was “corrected” in the trade!).

    SO…should JG not have done Final Crisis? I think JG Jones design work on the costumes and settings were pitch perfect, and don’t feel that many others could put that much strength and nuance to Morrison’s ideas, in such a grounded tale (very different from a Quitely story). An event should have a caliber of artist you don’t get to see on the monthlies.

    It would have been nice if they went with the Van Sciver Sinestro Corp model…an initial (and contained) one shot establishing the event’s art direction, followed by another artist[s] on the actual story…maybe JG should have drawn a “5 dollar king size” Final Crisis one-shot (in place of that terrible DC universe issue)…maybe even having him work with the series artist on the final issue of the event proper…maybe future event books should consider having 2 artists on the series, then the consistency problems are thrown out the proverbial window when there’s two working in tandem from the beginning.

    I adore JG, but honestly probably favor his designs and compositions over his actual rendering. In my mind, he could have given a great base from which another artist could have launched a great visual look for the series…I mean, animation does this to great success, Pixar being such an example.

    Doug Mahnke: he could easily be the most underrated “name artist” in mainstream comics. He’s grown leaps since his Superman run, and am happy he’ll have a huge showcase here…I like him even more than JG, and with JG being the stronger designer of the two, I’m actually really happy with how issue 7 will look; put the Superman Beyond issues with the FInal Crisis singles in one trade and it’ll look that much more “flowly.”

    Still, not having one “SIMILAR” visual look for this series is somewhat unforgivable…I just don’t see JG, DM, and Pacheo flowing together that well.

    See? I’m a bit confused, lol.

  16. This beggars the question, just HOW MUCH time does a guy like J.G. need to stay ahead of the eight-ball? This thing has been in production for at least year and a half.

  17. It makes you admire George Perez that much more that the man could do 12 issues of Crisis On Infinite Earths and then follow it up the History of the DC Universe and be on time.

  18. Was Crisis on time? It’s been too long ago to remember.

    But even Perez’s art suffered here and there on Crisis. It wasn’t until Ordway was picked as sole inker that the book found its look. Take a gander at issues 1-4. There are some rough passages here and there where it’s clear that Perez is doing looser layouts for the inkers to finish.

  19. I think it’s important to remember here that the question is NOT “How quick is the artist?”; the question is “Was he given enough lead-in time?” The slowest artist in the world can still ship a series on time, as long as he starts far enough in advance. The fastest will still fail if you send him the scripts at the last moment.

  20. The next time potential comic artists portfolios are reviewed, the first question from DC should be: “How fast can you draw and still make it look good?” Comics by deadline.

  21. The slowest artist in the world can still ship a series on time, as long as he starts far enough in advance.

    You mean like Adam Hughes and All-Star Wonder Woman?

    Since that hasn’t been released yet (two years on?) I have to ask what you are holding forth as an example of “on-time with enough lead time” and, given what we actually know about this situation, whether it’s relevant to this situation?

  22. Correct if I’m wrong but can’t artists scale their style to meet deadlines? I mean if their current drawing style requires too much time can’t they adopt a style that is expressive and can be done to meet deadlines? I for one like the pared down stuff and find the highly detailed intricate work doesn’t move me anymore than someone who adopts a simpler style.

    All in all it’s just funny books but this should be a concern at DC as they have dropped the ball several times with this. Changing artists mid-story is visually jarring. The trade is the final product and if that doesn’t look consistent then it’s all down the tubes.

  23. If you really want to hire an artist as slow as Adam Hughes then you should put him on projects that can be solicited once they’re ready to come out.

    The schedule should be dictated by when the book can be reasonably expected to ship, which includes the known speed of the creators assigned to it. And if the book simply MUST come out by date X (for example, because it’s a lynchpin of a line-wide crossover) then you hire creators who can achieve that schedule.

    The number of high-profile titles that ship horribly late (from both Marvel and DC) tends to suggest that a lot of titles are being solicited more in hope than expectation, which seems to be culturally accepted within the industry. But whoever heard of a TV series showing its final episode four months late because “the director needed more time?” The fact that comics publishers regard this sort of thing as acceptable only makes them look amateurish.

  24. Whoever said Crisis on Infinite Earths wasn’t delayed is wrong. I was buying comics then and I remember it being delayed by at least a month. Also, the last issue of Watchmen was delayed as well.

    Can you really imagine either of those series being finished by another artist? I certainly can’t.

    DC really dropped the ball on this one. I know Marvel got a ton of crap over Civil War being delayed and delaying much of their primary line as a result, but the finished product looked a lot better as a result. I honestly don’t see why DC didn’t delay the final issue of Final Crisis since all of their books are not directly tied into the story as most of Marvel’s were with Civil War. Unless it’s because of that whole Faces of Evil thing.

  25. You want a Crisis, you get yourself a George Perez. None of these rehashes have been able to capture the magnitude and beauty of the original. I love Grant Morrison, but comics are a largely visual experience and rely on such to be truly relevant.
    I’m all for old school, non-widescreen, hand drawn comics. This whole light board photo-referenced stuff is just…not comics to me. The look like stills from a TV show or something.
    Could you imagine is George Perez crapped out halfway through Crisis and DC brought in Jim Aparo (who I love, just happened to be the first name that popped into my mind) for the last issue?
    Let’s get back to making comics that aren’t afraid to look and feel like comics.
    [To that point, check out Iron Man-The End to see some deliciously old school funny book rendering. Awesome. ]