Crisis on Infinite Earths -- Part 3: Oblivion Upon Us
The opening scenes with The Monitor and young Luthor didn't do much for me while reading this. I think that is because it is part of the larger story when really I wanted to get back to the matter at hand! I did like Lex Jr.'s question of "What if I can't help?" and Monitor's lack of response. That was a nice beat.
I have spoken about this before but I am loving the use of black space in this series, seen here when Harbinger and Psycho-Pirate talk to their shadowy master (still assuming to be the Anti-Monitor). Perez, along with his inkers Mike DeCarlo and Dick Giordano (...really?) have done an amazing job with the blacks. Harbinger is become a much more interesting character as we go, since she serves her master but also seems to do the will of the Monitor at the same time. Plus her look is growing on me; like Pariah she looks like a character Jack Kirby would have designed.
It seems that the Outsiders and Teen Titans will always be inexorably linked. Maybe it's the Batman/Robin thing? In any event it's great to see two of the most popular teams of the 1980's working together, especially considering that they are all drawn by George Perez. Wolfman makes sure that everyone has a role to play and that those roles make sense (such as Halo rescuing the little girl from the building). I have to ask, though, what was Jericho's deal with stopping Batman? Did he know that Bats would be in trouble if he tried to get Flash out of the field? It's hard to say because obviously Jericho's not talking. (Yes, I went for the pun.)
Similarly, Brainiac and Lex Luthor also seem to be tied together. Not sure what it is about those two but they always seem to be teaming up in some way. Didn't they debut their "new looks" (showcased here with Brainiac's robot body) in the same comic? And right around this time we're getting "Whatever Happened to the Man Of Tomorrow?," with it's Braniac-Luthor "team-up" as well.
I totally marked out for seeing all of the War characters together as well as all of the Western characters together. I am a big fan of DC's genre books and characters, and this sort of attention being paid to them makes me smile. A lot of time in modern crossovers, if a genre character shows up it's for a throwaway gag or an extended cameo. Here they are all front and center and sound reasonably accurate to their regular personas. Bat Lash getting thrown out of the saloon, for example, could have been cut and pasted out of a Lash comic. (Jonah Hex referring to Jon Stewart as a "colored man" make laugh as well.) I loved seeing the Losers, even if they met their fate, along with Sgt. Rock, Easy and the Haunted Tank to boot. Just having all of the genre characters given a chance to shine alone makes me very happy.
Geo-Force is much more on point personality wise this issue. Of course, putting him in Markovia when it is under siege by the Third Reich will showcase Brion's personality very well! It's worth noting (for me anyway) that Geo-Force uses his powers like Terra at one point -- at this stage, his powers always seemed to include the earth manipulation in addition to the gravity and lava blasts. (He does get to use the gravity as well.) The way that Dr. Polaris responds to Geo-Force's anger was a nice touch.
Watching The Monitor pulling Blue Beetle and Solivar out of their respective time periods makes it abundantly clear here that he is really playing chess with the multiverse.
I really liked this issue's focus on genre characters mixed in with the superheroes. Definitely can't wait to read the next installment. (I really like the copy hyping the next issue: "This is the Big One!" Because clearly we have been only small potatoes so far! *ulp!*)
Next: And Thus The World Shall Die!
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Stuff like the genre mixing is why I enjoy flipping through COIE, but not actually reading it. "Hey, here's some World War II characters creators and fans invested years in, but we can't sell in the '80s. Let's toss them into the entropic meat grinder to sell the scale of this shindig!"
Dick Giordano's inks were solid enough, but I felt like the book really kicked into gear after Jerry Ordway took over. That guy nailed the mood perfectly.
Eh, I think of Marv Wolfman in this case like Roy Thomas used to be back at Marvel in the day -- he'd throw everyone in there because he could find a way to make it work and it was a hat tip as well as a wink.
No matter the intention, I appreciate the genre characters getting a chance to have the spotlight shine on them, especially since the genre books were nearly dead before the Crisis and pretty much buried afterwards. Sort a last hurrah if you will.
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