Wednesday, March 01, 2006

New Comics Day

Post #201: Egads! Crisis!

Books of Doom
Ultimates 2
Red Sonja
Strangers in Paradise
Y the Last Man
Green Lantern Corps
Infinite Crisis

Okay, I read Infinite Crisis already. Five issues in and... well... let's just say the issue starts with a prayer. Literally, it's a bunch of superheroes in a church presided over by Zauriel. Then Superman and Old Superman fight. Yawn. At this stage in the game there is no cliffhanger that's making me cringe in anticipation. The more I think about it, DC could have simply instituted the "One Year Later" event without the hoopla that is Crisis.

The more interesting things in Crisis, and there are actually some, are at best glossed over. Alex Luthor's universe construction kit has some legs, but it's ultimately just the vehicle for the chaos. The subtext spouted through dialogue about how the universe is "broken" and "corrupt" (with even less subtext as to who is responsible) is not appealing to me as a reader. But the concept of collapsing and reconstructing universes is potentially fascinating, it's too bad the writers have such a hard on for wanting to "fix" everything they think is wrong that they bypass the crafting of a truly science-fiction-infused epic.

By the way, Infinite Crisis as comic art looks bad. There were three very fine artists coupled with veteran inkers on the book and some top notch colorists-- but I have to say it looks bad. The artists are not to balme--- poor (or non existent) art direction is, for DC editorial to have such a supposed landmark event represented as such boggles the mind.

Over in The Ultimates, things are looking up, and it's proof that while I loathe to admit it, Marvel is on more of a hip swing than DC. Even though I derided last issue of being rote destruction for destruction's sake, this issue things get personal. The confrontation between Tony Stark and Natasha plays out really well, just when you thought an emasculated Iron Man had been dealt his last card, out comes the ace. Hawkeye's escape is also keen. The best bit is at the end, where a defeated Captain America makes ready for some major payback. Even though the event could be seen from miles away, the execution is still damn cool, and that's what makes a good book.

The difference between Crisis/Ultimates and DC/Marvel can be best described by two lines from the respective books. Somehow the big tag line of Earth 2 Superman's "You killed my wife!" pales when compared to a bloodied Captain America's warning, "Get the hell away from my girlfriend."

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