When INFINITE CRISIS #5 turned up in my random list of back issues to chat about, I almost threw it back and selected something else. After all, I annotated the damn thing as part of the very first series of annotations I did way back in the mists of time (actually probably about 2006 or so.) However, the gods of randomness, whoever they may be, have decided that we’re taking a lower level look at this so here we go.
The issue starts with a pause in the story, a sort of catch your breath moment as heroes gather in church before girding their loins and heading out to battle the bad guys again. Meanwhile on a reconstituted Earth-2, Superman and Lois of the original Earth-2 find time to celebrate a little.
You just know his words are going to come back to haunt him.
Elsewhere, Batman is introduced by Booster Gold to the new Blue Beetle and Lex Luthor gives some help to an injured Superboy. Wonder Woman, fresh from the televised spectacle of her murdering Max Lord, is shocked to find civilians shunning or actively attacking her, though she gets help from a surprising source:
Back on Earth-2, Lois has died, driving Kal-L almost mad with grief, so much so that when Superman arrives and tries to help, Kal-L attacks him, blaming him for the death of his wife.
Diana Prince takes Wonder Woman over to Earth-2 and she, with Superman, convinces Kal-L to stop in his attack. Poor old Kal-L realises he’s been duped by Alex Luthor Jr and that this simulacrum of Earth-2 was never really his world.
Alex meanwhile fires up his tuning fork engine, powered by the captured heroes and villains that originally came from different Earths, and reproduces a multiverse for the first time since the original Crisis. Heroes disappear from Earth-1 and are sent to their respective new homes, while the Flash returns from the Speed Force having been unable to imprison the series super-villain . . .
I still think INFINITE CRISIS holds up as a sequel to the original; the build up to it, the interweaving storylines, the hints and sub-plots that you missed until you looked back, all added up to a bombastic charge through the DCU of the time that, for me, worked a treat.