Current Reviews

subheader

Infinite Crisis #7

Posted: Friday, May 5, 2006
By: Ray Tate



Writer: Geoff Johns
Artists: Lots
Publisher: DC

This finale of Infinite Crisis equivocates to a Tribute to Kevin Federline as arranged by Michael Bolton and sung by Cher. This is without a doubt one of the stupidest things I have read in two decades, yet because it's written without a scintilla of feeling, I cannot muster any anger over the conclusion; just wide-eyed, mouth agape disbelief at the grand stupidity that almost but not quite reaches the level of a Mystery Science Theater experiment. There's just not enough unwitting comedy to really inspire cajolery. The story just kind of lies there with somebody occasionally poking it with a pointy stick so it can remember to yawn.

With the earth currently in disarray--I suppose--the villains somehow have managed to get their acts together and form a group mind that's completely without a single gray cell. Their belief is that if they attack Metropolis now and take over the city, they can ... um ... You know, I'm not absolutely sure what their rationales are. Red Curls Luthor seems to be organizing the whole Tupperware party of doom, but every one of these villains should differ in motive and modus operandi. Johns does not give a good enough reason--or really any reason--to explain why they're all in on this absolutely fruitless scheme.

"The Society has broken open every metahuman prison on the planet. They're declaring war on us. They say if Superman's city falls--the others will follow."

Man, I would just love to have been a fly on the wall at that meeting.

"Okay. So everybody has the plan? We declare war on the earth and earth's heroes. We attack Metropolis. If Metropolis falls, the other cities will follow. Questions? Yes? Evil Hamster Man?"

"Um, isn't that Superman's city?"

"Yes. Your point?"

"The point's in the question. Won't Superman just sort of kick our asses?"

"No, no. Superman will be occupied. Wallaby Girl?"

"Yeah, but like if he even gets wind of this. The dude's Superman."

"Yes. Your point?"

"He can break the sound barrier."

"Yes. Your point?"

"Um, well. Won't he just break the sound barrier, arrive at the nick of time and kick our asses?"

"No, no that's not going to happen. A great man once said 'Trust me.'"

"Dude, that was Bush."

"Yes. Your point? Another question? Yes, Ultrabeak?"

"Well, it just seems kind of risky. I mean if we're all in one place, Superman could cream us pretty easily, and we'd just be helping him."

"Clearly, Ultrabeak. The nuances of the plan are lost to you."

"I'm just saying. He's Superman."

"Moving on. Any questions? Yes. Mighty Dugong?"

"Right. Did you base this scheme on a Leonard Cohen song?"

"No! I mean. Whatever gave you that idea?"

"This sounds like 'First, we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin.'"

"No, no, this is entirely different. We're attacking Metropolis not Manhattan or Berlin."

Needless to say the super-heroes do indeed kick the villains' asses, but the execution sets new levels in dull because the heroes don't outwit the villains nor use their powers in inventive ways. They just beat them. Like I said, there's no real spark of neuron-fire involved in this exercise. Truly it lives up to the Big Stupid Event moniker I originally bestowed upon it. There seems to be a glimmer of the beginning of thought involved in the way the various incarnations of Superman team up to take down Superboy Snotty, who sadly lived after Metrosexual Superboy sacrificed his life to destroy Alex's Cosmic Shish Kebob, but that's about it.

Snotty being alive is kind of annoying but not in the way you may think. Casting Superboy Snotty as the main villain in this story is woefully unsatisfying. He's such a nothing and could have been stopped--as Johns shows here with Red Sun radiation and kryptonite. So instead of this bloated, gassy affair, all you really needed is say Batman, The Chief, Mr. Terrific or Doc Magnus to replicate Red Sun radiation or Kryptonite to off the little bastard. Why go through all this trouble when the answers are right here on earth in DC super-science land? To part fools from their money. That's why.

Mechanically the story is pretty piss poor. I've been accused of bad grammar in my reviews, but I've got something like three days to get these reviews done and posted. So I'm not really all that concerned with a few sentence-splices and run-ons. Johns and DC have a helluva lot longer time to prepare stories and fix what needs to be fixed. Some of the gems I noticed include:

"...Wonder Woman helped found the Justice League."

I didn't know it was lost. Try this instead. "...Wonder Woman helped establish the Justice League."

The Martian Manhunter seems to be trying out haiku but misses the seasonal allusion necessary for such poetry:

"This is the Martian Manhunter. I have read this Superboy's mind. So now you have too."

If you were going to mangle the English language this would have sufficed. "You have too." If you wish to speak proper English, you might want to try something like this. "This is J'onn J'onz. I have read our foe's mind. Now, so have you."

Regardless however you phrase J'onn's dialogue no words are necessary. On the previous page, Superboy announced his intentions. The recap is redundant, especially since it occurs on the very next page.

Given the time that everybody involved with Infinite Crisis had to make a halfway decent product, everything about the book should have been better. I expect very little from titles that have multiple artists--the overall excellence of The Planetary Brigade, which also used multiple artists, shocked the hell out of me. Infinite Crisis lived down to those low expectations.

In the second scene the double-page spread only shows completely finished heroes and villains in the foreground. The colorist attempts to hide the sketchiness of the villains and heroes in the backdrop by "painting" the scene all red. Either that or the colorist had an epileptic fit, and his nose hit the red button on his computer. The change in artists often arrives at the expense of panel transition. After beating Doomsday, Superman appears to suddenly be among the heroes . There's no denotion of motion to show how he got there.

The best thing about Infinite Crisis is the George Perez cover. Just look at that cover. You need no words. It's just a big sloppy kiss to the fans of super-heroes and creates the illusion that the Justice League and their associates will be back at full strength. Perez also has no hubris. He created Deathstroke, and he shows his character getting clocked by Hour Man's fist. Sweet. Hour Man, not even the original Hour Man, punches out big bad Deathstroke. Batman blacks out Black Manta. Aquaman smacks Bane. The Star-Spangled Kid blasts Sinestro. Wonder Girl strangles Dr. Regulus. Wonder Woman hoists Gorilla Grodd over her head. Black Canary kicks Poison Ivy off the Daily Planet's globe. The cover ripples with all the imagination the book's insides lack.

As always I have more questions about Infinite Craptastic and not the kind of questions that generate thought.

What happened to the bars sticking out of Superboy? Why is Hal Jordan in the spotlight during the scene? He never knew Superboy, or did they meet in a Snotty-punches-time-moment? What is Mr. Zsazz doing among the super-villains? He's a serial killer, and he doesn't wear a mask. What the hell is Sivana doing in the crowd? What does he believe he can do when he doesn't have any kind of death machine at hand? Sivana's no fighter. Is he going to blind somebody with his baldness?

How long do you think it will take for Judo Master to get over his back being broken by Bane? Remember. He's not a woman, and Sondra Kinsolving isn't doing anything at the moment. Who does Prometheus kill? Some dude in a uniform and armor that bears Iron Man's colors is all I can discern. No, it's not the Amazing Spideypus. When did Crimson Avenger get so tall? Snotty again? Why would the Riddler take part in this folly? Psychologically he could not. He is compelled to leave a clue to his crimes, and this crime spree has absolutely no element of chance, which would make clues irrelevant.

How did Snotty get to Metropolis? Did he dig under the rubble of the Cosmic Shish Kebob? Teleport? Watusi?

Red Curls Luthor states:

"Batman still fights for Gotham, even though his parents' killer was caught."

What does that mean? So, Joe Chill was captured. Okay. In the post-Crisis, the Reaper killed him. Difference to Batman?

Why does it take no less than two super-heroes to best one super-villain per panel? Three heroes, the heroic Dr. Light, Black Canary and the Ray, are needed to take down the evil Dr. Light? Dr. Light! Of course, this battle technique is only true if you are not Hal Jordan because Hal Jordan makes fanboys dream wetly. Poor John Stewart just hangs back like the token he was, and yes, like the token he will be again. Hal Jordan's whiteness is just blinding.

"Flash-phobia?"

Even if I accept that Snotty would gain infinite mass at the speed of light--and I don't, how would smashing through Oa result in another Big Bang? It shouldn't result in even a Baby Bang nor a Glimmer in Nightwing's Eye Bang.

Why doesn't magic affect Snotty? What happened to Looker's costume, and for the cosmos' sake, why! So Breach is going to the Wildstorm universe? Good riddance to bad rubbish. Will they also take the generic Huntress and generic Batgirl if we ask them nicely?

How in the hell did Nightwing survive after being blasted by Red Curls Luthor? The blast actually knocked out Power Girl. Let me guess, his testosterone saved him. Looks like Nightwhiner upon landing ends up with a fractured skull and at least one cracked rib leading to a punctured lung, but somehow he's fresh as a daisy by the end of the book. The newspeople say that the epilogue takes place "...days later." Oh, wait. Now, I remember. He's not Babs Gordon. Somebody probably magicked him to health.

Why did the Lanterns stop at three hundred miles of Green Plasma Wall? Why not just keep pouring it on? Was there a committee to decide exactly how much wall they should make? And why on earth would you put Guy Gardner in charge of anything?

Why do two Lanterns succumb to the cold of Snotty's breath? There's nothing colder than the absence of heat--such as the vacuum of space. The Green Lantern Shields protect the Lanterns from the cold of space. Maybe Snotty has super-halitosis as well as some severe mental problems? Is a "Code Fifty-Four" understood as little bastard with superpowers attacking, or does "Code Fifty-Four" stand for "Excessive Force Approved?" If so, why not save time and shout, "Lanterns, kill the Snot!"

You know the scene where Power Girl shouts "Kal!" as he's about to make the ultimate sacrifice with Kal-El against Snotty-El just might have been dramatic had her boobs not been falling out her "leetle window." Okay. That's not a question. Just a comment.

Where did the contrived .45 caliber automatic pistol come from? On a scale of one to a googolplex how convenient is it that it lands right next to Batman's feet? I'm going with googolplex. How can Batman pick up a gun? He loathes guns and is psychologically incapable of using a weapon. Damn you, Snotty! Stop punching time! Why would Batman even bother to pick up a gun when beating the living crap out of Red Curls Luthor would be far more satisfying? Beating the crap out of criminals is Batman's signature. Even if it wasn't more satisfying than shooting the gold-plated dickweed, wouldn't Batman's natural response be to beat the crap out of him anyway? I mean he would have had to see the gun. Noted where the gun was. Pick up the gun and use the gun. That's a lot of thought. Batman really just would have wailed on the gilded goose egg until he was all broken.

Has anybody ever noticed that Wonder Woman's sword appears only when she needs to symbolize something by using the sword? Wonder Woman with sword, warrior. Wonder Woman breaking sword, pacifist. The number of times Wonder Woman pounded the living daylights out of something without a sword outweighs the number of times she sliced and diced something with the sword. She's really not Xena. She's a super-hero. The more people recognize that the less she'll suck. Cases in point, Diana in the always-excellent Cartoon Network Justice League and the Linda Carter Wonder Woman. I hope Joss Whedon doesn't give her a sword.

Did anybody not predict that Superman Earth-Two would die at the end of this cacophonous crap? Why did the special guest Lantern allow his person to be littered with kryptonite, which would weaken Superman? Seems like a strategic blunder to me.

Why does Batman/Bruce Wayne look like Burt Convy in the final scene? Why did J'onn get rid of his collar? That and the Cone-head imitation is going to cost him some readers in his new series. Why are Cat Man, a Loser Villain, and an OMAC among the super-heroes in the supposedly awe-inspiring double page spread that's supposed to make me lust for 52? What happened to Aquaman? He was fine four pages ago. Now he's gone and replaced by Thundarr the Atlantean? Le what! Where's Donna Troy! Suffering Sappho! But she's so pivotal to Infinite Crisis and the DC Universe in general. I resent strongly that the generic Huntress now sports a bat winged cape.

Oh look. It's the new Batwoman. Hussah. It looks like she's wearing Babs' costume with some goldish gloves, boots and the Batman Beyond bat-symbol. Her mask appears to be a fusion of Batgirl's cowl and Kathy Kane's tapered domino mask. Let's see she appears to be a brunette, and her legs look very muscular. Yeah. Definitely not Cripple Girl. Hmmn. Who had brunette in the pool? Sigh. It looks like Batwoman's secret identity will be the popular nobody we know.

Well, congratulate yourself, DC. You've finally done it. You've worn out every shred of optimism I had for your future. I'm now officially as detached from the DCU as I am Marvel. No offense to Marvel. I just never had the kind of affinity I had with the DC heroes.



What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!