Random Retrospective #16 – Infinite Crisis #5

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.

Sunday Reviews

Aw, Hell. This is about to get real cosmic isn’t it?

Green Arrow comments on the state of the DCU in JUSTICE LEAGUE #35


The Green Lanterns are no more – as in, they never existed at all! Hal Jordan was forced to wish the entire universe away and replace it with one from the mind of Controller Mu, a reality ruled by the Blackstars where peace is enforced by brutal, fatal means. And Hal Jordan is in the thick of it, about to prepare Earth for the arrival of the Blackstars.

While the rest of the DCU wanders around in the Year of the Villains, the Green Lantern section carries on oblivious to it all, doing its own thing. It’s not a bad issue but we know it’s a three issue miniseries and are expecting things to get back to normal soon enough.


Justin gets the low down on Dangerfield, Arizona, while the other kids wander around getting in to trouble. Oh, and Tasmanian Devil is revealed as a captive of the Dominators (a throwback to the fact he was the first hero to be captured in the original INVASION!) and that he’s the father of one of the missing children.

News arrives with this issue that it’s now a six issue mini-series rather than twelve which is a shame as I like Giffen’s little pet projects.


The League have lost the war against the Legion of Doom and are now regrouping, trying to work out what to do. Around the world and the Multiverse, heroes and villains alike react to the appearance of the sigil of Doom that’s shown up in pretty much every issue of every series. Perpetua travels to the universe of Earth-19 – the GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT universe – which stands against her, and destroys the entire thing. She then sets Lex Luthor to kill the League.

Well, this is all very grim, isn’t it? Justice is done, Doom has won, and billions of lives have been snuffed out by Perpetua. Where do we go now?

Sunday Reviews


“My queen?”

“How’s my hair?”

“… wet?”

Mera seeks some advice in AQUAMAN #53


Tristram Maurer, the sea captain from two hundred years ago, has been summoned to Amnesty Bay, telling Aquaman that hell will follow with him. Before Aquaman can get to the bottom of that, Black Manta attacks, having drawn Mera and the Atlantean forces along with him, to face off against Aquaman.

I get the distinct impressions DeConnick would be happier writing more about Maurer and his mysterious imaginary monsters but has had the whole Black Manta/Year of the Villain thing foisted upon her. Either way, best issue in some time.


Having been kidnapped by human traffickers, Chastity wakes on a ship and promptly escapes, freeing all the other captives along the way, as well as killing as many of the guards as she can. The last guard turns out to be a CIA undercover operative and offers to show her to the armoury.

There wasn’t much happening in this issue – it was basically one big escape story, though the page layouts of the breakout worked well.


Justin, Lisa and Helen survive an attack from the Billy creature before it’s called back in to the Dominators’ headquarters. Lisa’s revealed to be a Durlan, as suspected, and Justin’s mom is being experimented upon to turn her in to a sleeper agent. In the back-up Peacemaker story, we get a glimpse of how messed up he is.

In typical Giffen fashion, next to nothing is explained here – he’s never been a fan of exposition, preferring dialogue to fill in the blanks which makes you work to get the good stuff… and it is good. Oh, and there’s a lovely little WATCHMEN homage in the Peacemaker back-up.


Throughout the various time periods, the various Justice League teams, along with their friends, fight against the Legion of Doom in order to bring together the pieces of the Totality to once more imprison Perpetua. Just as they’re about to win, Hawkgirl’s need for vengeance against Luthor spoils the plan, and the League falls throughout time, allowing Perpetua to rise.

Finally! After months and months of “Something big is going to happen!” something actually happens – the League loses and Perpetua stands ready to reshape the Multiverse. Is this going to lead in to the big changes/crisis that’s coming next year? Who knows!