Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Reading Crisis, Part 6: 3 Earths! 3 Deaths!

Crisis on Infinite Earths -- Part 6: 3 Earths! 3 Deaths!

Well, my first thought is that Psycho-Pirate got what he asked for!  I don't know why he thought that having an entire world's emotions to control (let along three!) wouldn't basically fry his brain.  I do like Flash hanging around, biding his time as well.  Barry's a smart cookie after all.  Also interesting that Anti-Monitor echoes The Monitor in that he had other options besides Psycho-Pirate.

One little note here: The Anti-Monitor (or "Monitor" as he still is referred to here) has different word balloons.  Previously, he had the white letters on the black balloon, but now he has normal black-on-white balloons.  

In the meat of the issue, instead of temporal wonkiness as we previously had, now we have interdimensional wonkiness.  Which is fine, considering that Earth-X, Earth-S, and Earth-4 are the crux points this time out.  It also gives us a great opportunity to see Wolfman and Perez show off these alternate universe characters.  It's great to see classic Captain Atom, Peacemaker, and the other Charlton characters, the Marvels, and the Freedom Fighters.  Although, I have to say, Earth-2 Hawkman could take Black Condor, so I am chalking that up to Carter Hall being surprised by the attack.  Also, I really liked the sequence where the Marvel family shows off their power.  Really makes those characters look impressive.  Oh yeah, Dr. Light -- still a jerk.

I have to ask: Who is the guy with the wings?  I thought it was Dawnstar on the satellite but then it's a man on Earth-4.  So I am confused about that.

The Earth-4 scenes also give us Katana vs Judomaster! Heck yes!  I'd really like to see an all-out fight between these two.  I especially liked Judomaster calling Katana a member of the Axis.  Yeeouch!  

A very interesting  little scene had the villains disappearing from Earth-2 -- I can only assume that this has to do with Brainiac & Luthor?  Speaking of which, while I thought it was odd that Brainiac and Luthor have a conversation without us seeing either of them, I cannot complain too much since it meant that we got to see the awesome Perez shot of the Brain ship!  Between this subplot and the little off handed mention of Darkseid and the New Gods, there seems to be some stuff percolating under the surface here.  Not sure how all that is going to play out but clearly there is a lot of story left here.  

The new Wildcat looks a lot like a more muscular Catwoman, which I guess is kind of part and parcel with having a female in a full body cat suit with ears.  I am not familiar with this character at all since I did not read (and have not read) Infinity, Inc., but like Dr. Light, getting launched in the biggest DC Comics series of all time is a pretty good start!

This issue is essentially similar in purpose as the previous issue -- like Monitor with Earth-1 and Earth-2, here Harbinger has to save the other three Earths.  These Earths clearly are "special."  There's not much of a cliffhanger, but we do get a heck of a teaser for the next issue!

Interestingly, we are now at the halfway point of this story.  We've gotten plenty of cosmic carnage and world's being destroyed and merged together, but we have not gotten a lot of the wholesale death and destruction which (to me anyway) has always been the cliche about this series.  Perhaps that's coming in the back half?  I compare this to most modern superhero crossover epics which like to throw some character deaths up front to "grab" the audience.  I'd rather have a high concept to grab the audience like we do here rather than wiping out some B and C-Listers.  Of course, you can do it like Blackest Night, which has a high concept, and then wipes out a bunch of characters in the first issue anyway.  

In any event, I liked this issue.  It's a fairly straightforward comic, with the heroes split up once again to do battle with a bunch of guest stars while the (Anti-) Monitor does a lot of manipulation behind the scenes.  I dug this issue on the merits of the guests alone, but overall it was quite good.  Next issue promises to be a doozy.

Next: Beyond The Silent Night!

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