The Lord hates a quitter. That’s most of what I think when I see this book pop up in my monthly queue, and I face the inevitable task of reviewing it. Now, if there’s one thing this book has proven to be, without purpose would be a good way of describing it. The story is bland and otherwise formulaic, with comparatively little real action and far more standing around and talking when compared to other team-up and video game-inspired titles. Inconsistent would be kind to say of the artwork, and the characterization of heroes such as Batman and Superman leave something to be desired. Granted, if you have a dollar to burn and nothing better to do with twenty minutes of your life, there are worse things you could pick up. I think back to the fantastic Dr. Fate issue and the reveal of Gaslight Hawkgirl as prime moments in this series, but when the death of character you introduced twenty pages earlier is the “feels” moment of your book, you’ve messed up somewhere.
Chapter Thirty-One: Contradictory to most of what I said in the beginning of this review, this chapter opens up with a potentially exciting fight between Nightmare Batman and Prime Batman, Nightmare Robin, and Gaslight Hawkgirl. For some reason, Prime Batman tells the other two that he’s going to fight his vampiric counterpart alone. He even gets mad when the others try to help, saying dumb things like “Then no one’s ever tried hard enough” when Robin tells him that no one has beaten Nightmare Batman. Then on top of that decides that the whole thing was just a recon mission and they teleport out. Like why did you have to fight in the first place? And why were you such a jerk about it? Back on Gaslight Earth, the big reveal is that the Earth Engines are set to cause mass hysteria across the planet, which would result in insanity and a riot on a worldwide scale. SCORE: 4/10
Chapter Thirty-Two: Stylistically this might be the best chapter in five or six issues. Eduardo Francisco and Alejandro Sanchez again deliver excellent work with their strong coloring and solid, consistent pencils. The character models are creative yet hold the essence of the original form – see Atomic Wonder Woman and Gaslight Hawkgirl – and even Batman doesn’t look horrible, which is a huge plus from this series. The Monitor has shown himself on Gaslight Earth to inspect the Earth Engine, which results in a lot of bad dialogue between Gaslight Luthor, the Monitor, and Superman Prime. It was as if Dan Abnett was like “how can I put in as many obvious references to Infinite Crisis as possible?” Well the Monitor decides to mess with the Earth Engine even after the heroes tell him not to, and he releases the insanity energy across the planet. Then we get two pages of a lot of “Nyyaahhh”s and “Agghhh”s as the heroes fight off the insanity. The unlucky recipient of the energy, however, is the Monitor himself, who flies into a rage against the heroes. SCORE: 7/10
Chapter Thirty-Three: It’s the Monitor vs. the Multiverse Heroes as Gaslight Earth falls into complete chaos around them. There is a really impressive splash page as Luthor looks out over his city as he stands on a precarious ledge. Every building is on fire and there are riots breaking out everywhere. It’s so impressive that I actually thought for a second that Luthor might actually jump. Prime Batman sends off Gaslight Hawkgirl to find her people and the Atlanteans in order to bring the chaos under control, and the rest of the heroes square off against the Monitor. Meanwhile, down in Luthor’s office, we find out that there is indeed a new combatant who has evaded the eye of the heroes and is pulling the strings of the Earth Engines. SCORE: 5/10
- It’s Gaslight Vandal Savage. Didn’t see that coming, huh? He’s been using Luthor’s mind control device to…mind control Luthor. I thought Lex would be stronger mentally than to fall for that, but whatever.
Favorite Quote: “We will be…new Harbingers.” – Atomic Wonder Woman
- You’ve got three dollars to spare.
- You want great work by Eduardo Francisco and Alejandro Sanchez for one-third of an issue.
Overall: One more issue. I won’t lament the passing of this series, merely marvel at the unused potential with a few brilliant moments that was buried under a pile of blasé storytelling trying to claw its way out. While I don’t think this could have ever rivaled Injustice or the new Mortal Kombat digital firsts, it never felt like Infinite Crisis was even trying. But the Lord hates a quitter.