Infinite Crisis #7 by Geoff Johns and a horde of artists
This book was the main reason I went to my local comics shop at lunch instead of waiting until after work — I had to know what was going to happen to the DC Universe, what kind of major changes I were occuring to the underpinnings of the DCU. After six months of buildup, two months of One Year Later stories that cannily didn’t give away so many of the big changes that were coming, hint upon hint that the very history of the DCU itself would change… I couldn’t wait to find out what all of these portents meant.
Sadly, I’m still waiting.
(Slight spoilers below, maybe, but none of the good stuff. Still, proceed at your own risk.)
I think the fault was mine, though, for expecting too much. Infinite Crisis #7 wraps up the series with a satisfactory level of finality, but it doesn’t do much to indicate what’s going to happen next, which I suppose make sense: that’s what 52 will be for, after all. There are hints and teases, and still plenty of questions to be answered. (One question I’m now more interested in than I was previously: who the hell is Batwoman? The “Batman Beyond”-inspired outfit intrigued me.)
The only references we get to the fact that history has changed were Alex Luthor explicitly stating what most readers had figured out from #6: Wonder Woman has now been around long enough that she helped form the JLA once again (instead of being retroactively replaced with Black Canary), the killer of Batman’s parents was identified and caught (after Zero Hour, it was established the Batman didn’t know who killed his parents, which was supposedly part of his motivation for continuing to be Batman) and rumors of a super-powered boy in the heartland of America were around long before Superman debuted in Metropolis (meaning, essentially, that the “Smallville”/Birthright origin for Superman can probably now be considered canon). And he says that there’s much, much more… but of course, doesn’t indicate what.
The story itself had the same highs and lows as the six preceding chapters: some really nice personal moments that shows Geoff Johns truly understands these characters, some nice action sequences, a slew of relatively meaningless deaths for fourth-tier heroes and villains, and a whole lot of rushed art. I know they upped the page count on this issue, but it sure seems like they chose to do so at the last minute: the art on some pages is absolutely atrocious (and on others, of course, exquisite). The final two-page spread of the heroes of the reborn DCU looked as if it were thrown together the morning the issue was due at the printers. It’s unfortunate that a series ultimately this important to the DCU will always have such shoddy artwork mixed in with the high-quality work Phil Jimenez and company were able to put together for the first issue. The original Crisis on Infinite Earth benefitted from the consistently exceptional artwork of George Perez and Jerry Ordway throughout the series, and while I’m glad both Perez and Ordway could pitch in and help with IC, I’d rather have had the series ship late and have had the level of work Jimenez put into issue one all the way through.
Anyway, it’s over, and I’m excited to see just where the DC Universe goes from here. I’ll be looking forward to 52 and Dan Jurgens’ “History of the DCU” backup feature to see more of the changes to the DCU’s past, both subtle and major.
Civil War #1 by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven
This first issue has had most of the surprise taken out of it by the fact that the opening pages have been printed everywhere over the last couple of months to try to build up interest in the series. For me, all the buildup I needed was the words “Millar” and “McNiven.”
Most of this issue plays out about as expected; I think most of the big surprises will be coming in later issues. This one was about drawing the lines in the sand… and about a fantastic Captain America action sequence. Millar has already created a nice amount of tension between the heroes, though only Cap so far seems to see just what’s going to happen; I’m really curious to see just how far this tension will take the heroes, to what extremes they’ll go in fighting against their (former?) friends.
The artwork by McNiven and colorist Morry Hollowell in this issue is absolutely spectacular, probably some of the nicest work I’ve ever seen in any mainstream superhero comic. I hope they can keep it up, because I felt much the same about the first issue of Infinite Crisis, and we’ve already discussed how that ended up…