The past three issues for Infinite Crisis had been a steady climb of improvement, taking interesting iterations of familiar characters and throwing them into a who’s-who battle royal. We saw heroes and villains from Earth-Prime, Arcane Earth, Nightmare Earth, Gaslight Earth, and Atomic Earth all battle for control of a super weapon. It was a short, fun arc, and I had figured that these first three issues would set a pattern for what was to come. Heroes show up, duke it out with villains, one side wins. It would make sense, given that that is that nature of the game: different heroes and villains team up to fight other heroes and villains for control of stuff.
This issue, however, tries too hard to be a comic book. That might seem counterintuitive, given the success of Injustice, but Injustice had a far more complex storyline and more relatable characters than Infinite Crisis. I was enjoying Infinite Crisis for the fact that it was a random collection of people just fighting, not some backstory that involves shadowy figures lurking pulling strings or muddled plots and backstory that I don’t need.
Like every issue of Infinite Crisis, the paper issue collects three digital issues, in this case #10-12. The story by Dan Abnett follows the other heroes from Earth-Prime – Cyborg, Flash, and Zatanna – who were last seen getting pulled through an interdimensional portal known as The Bleed. It’s that thing that connects all the different universes and so on and so forth. There’s a lot of talking about why they can’t go back because Cyborg messed up, but it’s all just to keep the heroes on their new planet. So welcome to Earth-44, better known as Mecha Earth. Our heroes arrive in Metropolis just in time to duke it out with none other than Arcane Doomsday (called The Doomsday). Also didn’t like how Cyborg was written. Way too apologetic and – I don’t read much Cyborg stuff so someone help me – he said “sir” a lot. To a robotic Superman. It was weird.
That’s when we meet the heroes of Mecha Earth, the Justice Consortium. Think Blade Runner meets Transformers, that’s the vibe I was getting. There’s a whole bunch of fighting between the Earth-Prime heroes, the Justice Consortium, and Arcane Doomsday, with some stupid sub-plot of Mecha Superman understanding human emotions or something. It felt rushed and unnecessary to build drama. But as soon as the action started heating up, we’re dragged from Mecha world to Arcane Earth, where we get a bunch of backstory that I didn’t need. Just show me the fight with Doomsday! That’s what I want, fighting, because that’s what this game is about, just fighting over stuff. I don’t need some backstory to stuff that doesn’t matter. Take a measure from Injustice: start the comic where the action of the game starts and run with it. Don’t try to create some in-depth backstory. People read Injustice for three things: good writing, unusual team-ups, and ass-kickery. This issue missed on two of those points.
The artwork by Tom Derenick did not appeal to me. There were a lot of close-up face shots, and the expressions on random civilians and especially Flash looked unnatural and awkward. Maybe I’ve been reading too much Earth 2, but I’m not feeling this version of Flash. Also, and probably most importantly, can we stop with the weird chin protector thing?? Every character that could possibly have it has it. I don’t get it. And you all know what I’m talking about, that piece of the cowl or headset or whatever that protects the chin. It’s stupid, and it looks stupid, and it’s on prominent display in this issue. Hell, even the Justice Consortium has them and they’re robots! Stop! Thank you.
The problem is, I don’t know who this comic is aimed at, what its target audience is. Is it people who play the game? Because this is nothing like the game in a lot of ways. Casual comic readers? Because they probably really don’t care. Multiverse fans? There are far better books out there. That’s this series biggest problem, and why I don’t think this will last much longer.
- Hero count for this week
- Earth Prime – Flash, Zatanna, Cyborg
- Mecha Earth – Superman, Shazam, Supergirl, Wonder Woman
- Arcane Earth – The Doomsday, Zod, Zatanna, Supergirl
- The Doomsday looked like Godzilla. I enjoyed it.
- That’s really it. There’s nothing to really spoil. Arcane Zatanna looked pretty beastly.
- Who’s the narrator?? I’m confused.
Favorite Quote: “I’m just a humble owl.” – That owl.
- You play the game? I stopped a while ago.
- You’ve been enjoying seeing other versions of heroes.
This month lost its luster, that’s for sure. There were still some fun moments, but the drop in artistic quality and uneven story threw me this issue.