Infinite Crisis

by Alan Rapp on June 4, 2008

in Comics

“We’ve given them a gift they’ve thrown away.  We sacrificed everything for them.”

If Crisis on Infinite Earths streamlined and simplified the DCU, Infinite Crisis did just the opposite. 20 years after Crisis on Infinite Earths (read that review) had restructured the DCU and set a new standard for both limited series and rebooting and entire company’s comic line, DC set out to something to commemorate the event.  The result was Infinite Crisis which returns the characters seen at the end of the original leaving the newly created Earth – the Earth-2 Superman, Superboy-Prime, and Alexander Luthor.

The heroes from lost worlds return from their confinement to change the current Earth which has grown into a dark and dangerous place.  The threesome have their own plans to replace the current world with one from the now defunct vast Multiverse.  Although Kal-L’s motives are pure, the other two have their own agenda.

As an epic event Infinite Crisis pales into comparison to Crisis, how could it not?  Still there is an interesting idea here as the new darker version of comics is viewed by characters outside it as an abnormality which needs to be fixed.

It also returns Superboy-Prime who makes a powerful, unstable, and misguided villain.  His descent into madness is a bit quick for me, but for someone who believes himself to be the greatest hero alive and to usurped by others and forced on the sidelines his infuriation and growing frustration is understandable.

We get the reflections with the “loss” of another Flash and the possibility of his side-kick taking over the role, the death of more than one Superman (Earth-2 Superman and the current Superboy), the instability of the Multiverse, and appearances by every character which can be fit on a page.  However none of these have the same impact as the events of the original series.

Although the story worked well, the fall-out was problematic.  Infinite Crisis jumped the entire DCU a year ahead with One Year Later and created a new year-long title 52 to fill in the gap of the DCU left on their own with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman leaving Earth to the other heroes.  As bad ideas go it ranks up there with the resurrection of Jason Todd, doing the opposite of Crisis by convoluting the continuity of the DCU simply to create a new title and a year-long “event.”

A sequel is rarely as good as the original, and that’s the case here.  The deaths of Superboy and the disappearance of Wally West don’t have the same impact of the loss of Supergirl and Barry Allen from Crisis.  And although the story itself works, how the events used here were incorporated across the DCU was shaky at best.  However the event did lead to the resurrection of the Multiverse, and for that I can forgive quite a bit.

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