Friday, January 13, 2012

Reading Crisis, Part 8: A Flash Of The Lightning!

Crisis on Infinite Earths -- Part 8: A Flash Of The Lightning!

Well, first off I have to say that the Anti-Monitor looks much more familiar in his new duds. I liked the monstrous form he had earlier, but this is his classic appearance.

The stuff with Apokalips, the Legion, Blue Devil, and the Omega Men seem to be introducing new subplots to help the story move in a new direction. I have to say that this series has had a lot of twists and turns in there. It's not as straightforward as I had thought it would be from everything I had read about it. This really is several major threads as part of one epic overall plotline. I dig it. It would be hard to 12 issues (in this writing style anyway) without some variation in there. And as I have said several times in this blog series, the Monitor and the Anti-Monitor are playing chess, and in chess you don't concede after your first gambit is defeated. So I am on board with this choice.

That having been said I don't have much interest in the Legion or the Omega Men at this point of the story. I did appreciate the extended cameo from the Challengers of the Unknown. I was wondering when they would pop up (after who we have seen so far, I assumed that they would at some point).

The Atom exploring the inside of Red Tornado of course reminded this Silver Age Avengers fan of Ant-Man exploring the inside of the Vision. I mean, that's just a classic comic book trope, and one I like to boot. The scenes on the Satellite are well rendered and interesting, but I still don't understand what the heck is going on with the Tornado and that is frustrating. One little bit I liked: Firestorm generating water to pour on Manhunter after the explosion and fire.

The Anti-Monitor is building a cannon? Apparently he is a school of the super villain school of thought which says "When in doubt, build a giant cannon."

Of course it all becomes very clear that the cannon, at least in this issue, is immaterial. It really is just a plot device; it could have been any sort of machine, really.

Now then, the Flash. From start to finish I loved this sequence. Now, unlike the Supergirl sequence last time, I am a big Flash fan, including the Barry Allen version. So seeing the Scarlet Speedster leap into action is familiar for me. And the way he is characterized here -- quick-thinking, decisive, clever, brave, determined -- that's the Barry Allen I know from all of those Pre-Crisis issues of The Flash I have in my longboxes upstairs.

As a Flash fan who began reading during the Waid/Augustyn era, this scene is often referenced. And so while I knew what the scene was and what happened, I am very, very glad to have read it for myself and see how Wolfman and Perez had Barry go out. Looking back on it, of course this death was "going out like a champ." How else would Flash go out?

The entire Flash sequence had me rivetted. As a Flash fan, this is where it's at. It's stuff like this why I will always dig Barry Allen and his classic adventures.

And now I have to ask: what's up with Spectre all of a sudden? He was fine a few issues back.

This issue was fairly two-faced (not Two-Face'd). On the one hand, a lot of the short scenes were fairly uninteresting to me (I mean, the bit with Darkseid and Desaad was cool because I like Darkseid and Desaad, but it didn't add much to the narrative here), but the major scene of Flash sticking it to the Anti-Monitor and sacrificing his life to save the multiverse was one of the best superhero bits I have read in a long time (right up there, ironically, with the Supergirl stuff from last issue). So at first I was a little down on the issue, but now I am impressed.

Next: War Zone!

1 comment:

Diabolu Frank said...

"I still don't understand what the heck is going on with the Tornado and that is frustrating."

I've felt the same way for decades. This specific instance might be clarified here, though.