Archive for Crisis on Infinite Earths

Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance #2 (of 6)

Posted in Comics, DC, Final Crisis with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 22nd June, 2009 by Adam Redsell
She aint much to look at, but shes got it where it counts.

She ain't much to look at, but she's got it where it counts.

Author: Joe Casey
Artists: Andre Coelho & Eduardo Pansica
Inkers: Andre Coelho & Sandro Ribeiro
Colorist: Pete Pantazis
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
Cover Artist: Stanley “Art Germ” Lau
Editors: Ian Sattler, Rex Ogle & Will Moss

I have to admit, after such a stellar debut, I’m more than a little disappointed with the second issue of Dance.  This is largely due to the artwork, which not only suffers from the absence of previous artist ChrisCross, but also from the inconsistency that comes with having two artists on board (Coelho and Pansica).  This is unfortunate, because it lets down what is otherwise a well-written comic by Joe Casey.

The plot’s pretty interesting, and reminiscent of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men, perhaps to a fault.  Those who have read it will likely recognise one of the major plot points, perhaps with fondness.  The whole satellite headquarters thing didn’t work out so well for the Super Young Team, so they’ve been transferred to a suite in Las Vulgar (which is apparently Vegas in DC-Land).  Their ‘handlers’ try to get a reality TV show off the ground, accompanied by a bit of product placement and a hot-tub, in hopes that Shiny Happy Aquazon might get her Shiny Happy Gear-off.  Aquazon agrees to the product placement – much to the surprise of her teammates – but not the gear-off (much to the disappointment of lovesick Atomic Lantern Boy), and things get stranger from there with a product-launch-gone-wrong.  Meanwhile, the rest of the team get bored and go looking for a fight.  This results in a pretty interesting tea conversation with a supervillain.  It’s good to see that the flavour of their first outing hasn’t been lost altogether.

Cut to Tokyo, where a burnt out and bottle-broken Rising Sun decries Japan’s disrespect for its heroic traditions.  Tokyo has been quarantined, closed to everyone – especially superheroes – and no-one seems to want to say why.  All we know is exactly this: Japan has been in a very bad way since the Final Crisis; the powers-that-be don’t want anyone to know about it; and the Super Young Team is being groomed as a Grade-A distraction from it.  Never has Rising Sun been such an interesting character – not during the first Crisis, not ever – as he has been in this Drunken Also-ran incarnation.  He’s the Voice in the Desert, crying out for Japan to reclaim its honour, and I for one can’t wait to see what lies ahead for this super-prophet.

Superbat’s ‘tweeting’ reveals the conflict they all feel: they want to be heroes, but they want to be teenagers too.  Fame and fortune is nice, but it’s ultimately empty thrills for these eager youngsters (“but we saved the Multiverse!”, they exclaim).  The slick PR people do their darned best to distract them, but their restlessness is almost tangible.  The Super Young Team’s True Enemy brings all new meaning to “friends close, enemies closer”, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

As you can see, there’s a lot of story packed into these 22 pages (and a lot of pointed observations on commercialism, truth decay, and Reality TV); more, I dare say than most of the stuff on comic book shelves.  It’s certainly worth continuing with this one; it’s just such a pity about the art!  If either one of these artists penciled the full story, it would have been better for it.  And with colours as brilliant as the day-glo-rific Dance #1, anything less was doomed to be a disappointment.  Bring back the art team from the first issue, DC, and this could be the best book on the shelves.

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Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #4

Posted in Comics, DC, Final Crisis, Legion of 3 Worlds, Legion of Superheroes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 18th May, 2009 by Adam Redsell
A gold star for anyone who understands this story.

A gold star for anyone who understands this story.

Author: Geoff Johns
Artist: George Perez
Inker: Scott Koblish
Colorist: Hi-Fi
Letterer: Nick Napolitano
Assistant Editor: Adam Schlagman
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover Artists: George Perez & Tom Smith
Alternate Cover Artists: George Perez & Hi-Fi

Legion of 3 Worlds makes my head explode.

I read it aloud to my sister over wine and cheese (because I’m all sophisticated, like) just to make sure, and I can now safely guarantee that this story is perceiveable only by those well-steeped in DC history.  Sure, there are a few main threads that can be picked out by the uninitiated, but not without wading through a sea (or seas) of continuity and comic book logic.  In order to explain the events of this comic to my sibling, I had to provide short synopses on Superboy, Legion of Superheroes, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, The Flash, Green Lantern and the Justice Society.  Which I didn’t mind doing, despite making me feel like a nerd of mammoth proportions.  Even then, it was too much for one person to absorb in five minutes, so it only helped a little.  So Newcomers, Beware!  This book is not for you.

If you’re still reading, then good for you!  Either you’re a walking DC Encyclopaedia, or you’re thirsty for punishment.  Seriously, the DC faithful will find Legion of 3 Worlds deeply rewarding.  The more you know about the DC Universe and its characters, the more this book has to offer in terms of fan service.  Geoff Johns proves himself to be the Biggest DC Comics Fan on Earth, juggling the cast of not only three incarnations of the Legion of Superheroes (post-Infinite Crisis, post-Zero Hour, and “Threeboot”), but also Superboy-Prime’s Legion of Super-Villains.  All the while, George Perez proves himself to be the most capable artist of his time, rendering a ridiculously large cast of characters on the same page at the same time with confidence and clarity.

It’s more than appropriate that George Perez should draw this story, because in many ways, Legion of 3 Worlds is the spiritual successor to Crisis on Infinite Earths, moreso than the core Final Crisis series, or even Infinite Crisis.  Indeed, some of the most significant beats pick up story threads from the second crisis, but it makes me wonder: does Geoff Johns regret some of the decisions that were made during Infinite Crisis?  I can’t help but feel that each new crisis weakens the emotional impact, and often negates the literal impact of the crisis preceding it.  That being said, Legion of 3 Worlds feels like a multiverse-spanning epic, and manages to entertain along the way.  It may not claim to be a ‘crisis’ proper, but it serves as a fitting tribute to those stories that came before it.

Legion of 3 Worlds #4 – like its predecessors – is home to some genuinely shocking moments, which I won’t spoil for you here.  The hilariously deranged Starman once again proves to be my favourite in Geoff Johns’ stable of characters.  Superboy Prime once again proves to be the most annoying, though his dialogue is (purposely) so bad it’s good.  Remembering the character’s inherent purity from the original Crisis, Prime’s bratty transformation and motivation for evil has always been difficult for me to swallow, but I think Johns is going somewhere with this.  The rest of the dialogue is pitch-perfect – witty and entertaining – though not entirely free of confusing pseudo-scientific explanations, particularly from any of the three Brainiac 5s.  Nonetheless, the core story is essentially an action-packed battle between good and evil.  The cinematic presentation of Legion is reminiscent of Johns’ and Richard Donner’s “Last Son of Krypton” arc, lending the tale a sense of urgency, particularly in the final sequence.

Confusing though it may be, Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #4 presents a magical multiverse where anything is possible.  DC readers will have plenty to sink their teeth into.  To anyone else who is interested – I recommend you do your homework first.