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Infinite Crisis #3

Infinite Crisis #3

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 21, 2005

Cover date: February 2006

Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Phil Jimenez
Inker: Andy Lanning

"Infinite Crisis: Divine Intervention"

Reviewed by: Nick Newman and Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Infinite Crisis #3 In San Diego, Aquaman fights to keep his city safe from an attack by the society and a huge storm. In Atlantis, Tempest tries to help San Diego, when suddenly a huge hand flattens the city. The Spectre has had his vengeance.

The battle for Paradise Island continues, as scores of OMACs assault the island and the newly-completed purple death ray begins to cut them down from the sky.

In his cave, Batman talks to Brother Eye, telling him to stop killing the Amazons. Brother Eye tells him that it will do as Batman programmed it to do. As the screen goes blank, Batman falls to his knees and wishes he could start all over. A voice from the shadows tells him that he can start over, as the Earth-2 Superman steps out.

Power Girl sits with E2 Lois, when Alex tells her that she needs some rest. Just returning, Superboy Prime asks Power Girl if she intends to let Lois die. She tells him that she needs to know what will happen to everyone on her Earth first. Superboy Prime becomes angry at this, stating that this world is bad. He gives Kara Lois' notes and she flies away.

In Texas, the Shadowpact arrives to collect debris from the explosion of the Rock of Eternity. Suddenly a building cracks in half and begins to fall. Superman soars in, grabs the building, and repairs it with his heat vision. He tells the Shadowpact that he needs to help in California. As he flies off, a guy named Jamie finds Blue Beetle's scarab lying on the ground.

Donna Troy's collection of heroes arrives at the rift, joining the fight. Firestorm is working to put out a fire when he suddenly hears the voice of Martin Stein in his head. He is even more confused when the fire elemental form of Firestorm goes streaking by.

Wally West sits at home with his wife, watching his newborn twins sleep, when news reports of tornados force him to put on the costume. The Flash speeds to help.

Back in the cave, E2 Superman explains Earth-2 to Batman, how it was a world of hope. In it, he was married to Selina and had a daughter. Superman tells him how the E2 Batman died, and that precipitated the end of his world. Superman tells Bruce that if he comes with him, he will always be at his side.

On Paradise Island, the battle continues as more OMACs arrive to replace the fallen. Diana suddenly realizes that Brother Eye is getting what it wants. It is showing the world that the Amazons are vicious warriors. She tells her people that they must leave this world. Hearing her words, the gods open up a portal for the island. When they realize that Diana isn't coming, they tell her that she will never be able to find them again. Her destiny is not on the island though. She embraces a few friends and flies away. She watches as her home disappears below her, leaving her all alone in the world.

Society Luthor receives a message from Black Adam's team, telling him that they can't find their target Mary Marvel. Luthor tells him that he still needs one of Shazam's 'children'. The other villains suddenly betray Adam, subduing him. The screen goes black and Luthor turns around to find battlesuit Luthor facing him. Battlesuit Luthor demands to know who the imposter is, but instead he collapses to the floor. Society Luthor tells him that its probably his brainwaves that are causing the problem. Battlesuit Luthor blasts the other, but when the smoke clears Society Luthor is still standing there. He blasts back with his own bolt of energy.

E2 Superman tells Batman that he's offering him the chance to start over; that none of this is his fault. Bruce disagrees. Batman asks about everyone on the current Earth, and Superman tells him that they'll be folded into the new world. Then Bruce asks about Dick Grayson, if he is a better man on Earth-2 than on Earth. Superman thinks for a moment, and then tells him no. Batman says he didn't think so as he confronts Superman with the Kryptonite ring. He can't let him wipe this planet out. Superman just tells him that the ring represents the paranoia of this world, before destroying it with his heat vision. Superman tells him that it would have been nice to have the world's finest heroes together again as he flies off.

The Luthors continue to fight, until Society Luthor's computers are finally destroyed. His disguise vanishes, and Luthor demands to know who he is as Alex Luthor stands before him. A tap on Luthor's head knocks him unconscious and his armor is taken apart at super-speed. Alex tells the attacker to kill Luthor, but Lex teleports away at the last moment.

Power Girl returns, saying that they all need to work together to find a way to save both Earths. Alone, she wanders further into the stronghold and finds a gigantic tower, with heroes imprisoned on it. She flies up to J'onn and asks who did this, when a blur suddenly knocks her to the ground. In the Batcave Bruce finally watches the repair video from the destruction of the watchtower. Batman sees Superboy Prime attacking J'onn, just as Alex Luthor and Superboy Prime stand above Power Girl.

5Nick: Story - 5: Infinite Crisis is the best thing that DC has out in a long, long time. It might screw up the DCU with One Year Later, and it might kill some heroes we don't want to die, but you can't argue with how enjoyable this book is.

There's really too much going on in this issue for me to comment on everything, so I'll just hit a few points.

I LOVED what was done with Wonder Woman. She's an incredibly difficult character to write, and I give credit to anyone who attempts her solo book. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who will disagree with me, but I really think removing Paradise Island is the best thing that could happen to Diana. I hope this frees her up to be a superhero again. I also felt Johns did a very good job with the whole scene. If you read Wonder Woman, you know that the most recent issue was pretty much the exact same plot, and I enjoyed it a lot more here (sorry Greg).

Batman's confrontation with E2 Superman was another high point. Right when we see Bruce finally starting to crumble, he's offered a chance to reverse it all. But even with everything falling down around him, he still has the strength to refuse Superman's offer. That's great stuff.

I do feel the need to mention the one appearance of our Superman in this book. There's nothing like welding the exterior glass on a skyscraper to hold a building together. Sometimes, you've just got to love the logic of comics.

And look, its the new Blue Beetle. He looks like some punk kid. I'd complain about that, but the last time I remember a punk kid becoming a hero, it was Jack Knight, and that certainly worked out well.

Finally, there's the true meat of the issue. The reveal. We finally find out who the extra Luthor is (although I really wish society Luthor had been the real one), and we learn who toasted J'onn back in JLA. I have to say, I'm very pleased with the villains. I didn't want E2 Superman to be evil, just slightly misguided, but Luthor evil I am definitely ok with.

Johns has done a wonderful job throughout the series at fitting a huge amount of material into a single issue, and I'm really glad DC is going with a 'denser' book. Crisis could easily have been twelve issues if they stretched events out more, but this gives it a much more chaotic and urgent feel to the whole thing.

Hands down, this series is the best mainstream DC in a very long time.

4Neal: Story - 4: First off, let me apologize for being late on this review because of Christmas. Thank you all for your patience.

This issue was, to put it mildly, just as incredible as the other two in all respects in terms of the plot. I've taken off a point for a few of the inconsistencies involved, but let me just stress, if this story continues in this vein, this well, this inconsistency will mean nothing in the long run. I have to review without knowing the whole story, and that always means I have to make assumptions that may later be proven false. And I do, all the time. Drives me nuts, but what can you do?

I went through the issue in order, so here's my impressions from the top to the bottom...

The beginning was pretty slow, and hard to get into. Aquaman's at war with the Society, I got that much, but then the first thing we see is Aquaman declaring war and stabbing a guy through the chest and killing him. Now, I'm not sure, because I'm REALLY not that much of an Aquaman fan, like, at all, but isn't he bound by the heroes-do-not-kill credo? If so, this was kind of an odd moment of characterization.

There was also a grammatical error, not that big a deal, but on a major event like this, you'd probably want to catch that...

"They need soldiers not spells" needs a comma. I'm the first guy who would, to interpretation, eliminate a comma in my prose (my reviews, as you may know, are another story entirely), but in this case, it was necessary.

I was also a bit confused by what exactly the Spectre was doing, crushing Tempest's place, or Atlantis itself? This was not entirely clear.

Wonder Woman and the Amazons, from the beginning to the end, was top-notch. In character, the warrior people fighting against an unassailable horde. Even the cheese of the blue death ray made me cheer. Good stuff.

So too, was the scene with Batman wishing he could start over. Granted, he's been through much worse, and never once questioned himself, but now he's responsible for DEATHS, a number of deaths, from the OMACs, and how that must weigh on a soul even more than having your back broken or having someone irresponsibly kill someone you love, and this because of your own failings as a man. Imagine that. It makes the Superman of Earth-2 a rather good Machiavelli.

The whole playing of Power Girl went over half good and half bad for me. I'm a bit confused as to the motivations of the characters involved after reading this issue. I'll explain.

Alexi ploys at Power Girl with guilt, along with Superboy, trying to get her to help them eliminate the current Earth to save Lois, and then, by the end of the issue, we realize that Power Girl is supposed to be one of the cogs in the Anti-Monitor machine, which is why she was brought there in the first place. At least, that's how I'm interpreting it. As Alexi puts it, willingly or unwillingly, she will be part of their plans, as will Superman of Earth-2, and for what? Do you think they'll use Power Girl and Supes to take on the entire DCU? No. That doesn't make sense. So they must be some essential cog in the Anti-Monitor machine.

But get this: Alexi and Superboy were powerful enough to escape their prison. They had to be, because they went and blew up the Watchtower, and Alexi, for quite a time, set up the Society to do what it's doing now. Superboy, with a few blasts, took Power Girl down, and took Luthor's battle armor, designed to fight Superman, apart. So if they need Power Girl and Superman, why not just knock them out and pop them in the toy? That's what's baffling me about their motivation. Why the debate...why the attempt to convince them that it's right instead of just forcing them to help, if that's the end-result plan anyway? Because it would be easier, perhaps. This is what I was talking about, the motivations that aren't clear now but likely will be by issue seven.

I find Superboy and Alexi very sympathetic, actually. Imagine if you did right, your whole life, and saved the world, and did everything you could to make a better world, and your reward was to have your history erased, be put in a temporal prison, and have all of your friends and family gone. I'd want it back too. It's hard to hate these guys even though, you know, they're trying to kill the universe that I know and love.

I think that showing Superman saving that building was not a fluff scene. I think it was very intentional, a way to show that Superman is not a bad hero, a failed hero. He's still the man that everyone in the DCU looks to to save the day when things go bad. AND, very pointedly, this entire issue shows that all of the heroes involved are truly in the height of their goodness. Flash and his wife. Wonder Woman and her sacrifice. Superman and his example. Batman's temptation, and his response to it, doing what he knows to be right, no matter how hard.

I didn't like the Blue Beetle being found by some no-name named Jaime. I was hoping that Booster Gold would take up the Beetle mantle. That would be fitting. But hey, we'll see.

Seeing Flash say goodbye to his wife was gut-wrenching. Might just be a ploy to make us think he's going to die, but oy...still, gut-wrenching.

I loved the scene of Superman offering to stand by Batman's side, especially after the true Superman kind of refused on the moon. It puts a real test before him.

And no more Kryptonite ring! Ouch! But hey, you know Batman's got eight spare he made from the first. He just didn't want Luthor to have one on principle.

Wonder Woman's decision to make Paradise Island leave was a bit rushed, and almost too pat. That doesn't make it any less gut wrenching, or less of a sensible story move. It opens up quite a lot for Diana's character, assuming she survives the crisis.

Luthor vs. Luthor? What can I say. So awesome. The only thing cooler than that would have been Luthor vs. Luthor vs. Luthor with monkeys, which I'm sure they'll do twenty years from now in the third crisis.

I giggled, no kidding, out loud, when I saw Luthor's old classic green and purple clothes beneath his suit. And then teleporting out...oh, man. You don't understand. I paid thirty dollars in college when I was dirt poor for that Lex Luthor figure, just because he was in that outfit. A lot of people hate it, to me, it epitomizes the fightin' Luthor. Which, you know, is why I like him so much. Brains, brawn, and all human. He's the bad guy Batman.

The Anti-Monitor Let's just say wow to that. Very cool. Using the shell of the Anti-Monitor, coupled with the Anti-Monitor's tower, coupled with a bunch of heroes as power batteries, that there is a machine that can bring worlds together, and destroy we've seen before. This could end in a very cool or very horrible way. I'm excited.

All in all, from beginning to end, still screaming event. A clunky start, maybe, but that's understandable, given the ground to cover. If you read the original Crisis, there are a ton of points where you roll your eyes and say, "Yeah, okay, we know Jonah Hex exists in the DCU, but GET ON WITH THE STORY." If that only happens this once in this Crisis, it won't hurt anything.

5Nick: Art - 5: Jimenez continues to shine with this issue. His detail is just astonishing on some of these shots. The underwater scenes as Spectre destroyed Atlantis were spectacular, and the war on Paradise Island was beautifully done. Batman too, looks just great. Basically, just about everybody looks perfect, with the exception of Power Girl, who Jimenez really misses the mark on.

And how about that splash of Superman holding the building up? Sure he's ridiculously wide, but he looks fantastic. Anytime you want to work on Superman, you've got my vote.

With the exception of that Superman page, the best image in this book has to be the vanishing of Paradise Island. He pulls the shot slowly back to show just how alone Wonder Woman is now. Absolutely brilliant.

Everything about this art is just gorgeous.

5Neal: Art - 5: Top to bottom, one of the best pieces of art in comics I've seen. This series, as a whole, there is SO much to do, and yet every page pops, every detail is strong. There's just so much on each page, and it's all so detailed, it feels a lot like The Ultimates, where you say to yourself, where the heck has this guy been?

5Nick: Cover Art - 5: In a reversal from my past reviews, I actually like the Lee cover more than the Perez cover this time, a first for the IC series. Sure Wonder Woman looks cool battling OMACs, but the annoying background really detracted from the cover, and I didn't feel like that was really the most important part of the issue. Lee's cover, on the other hand, is just great. Lee has always been one of the best at Batman, and this shot shows why. I also really like the image of Superman offering Batman a happier life. The departure of Paradise Island may have a bigger impact on the DCU, but the conversation between Batman and Superman was the best part of this issue. Perez's work is still great, so he gets a four, but Lee gets the five this time around.

5Neal: Cover Art - 5: I got the Themyscera war cover, not because I didn't want the nostalgic one, but because I just grab the first cover I see, usually. Covers hardly ever sell a book for me.

I think they took all of the missing backgrounds from all of the Superman books in 2003, and put them all in this one. Incredible.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2006

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