Mild Mannered Reviews – Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #4

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Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #4

Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 6, 2021
Cover date: October 2022

“Chapter Four: Crossovers”

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Daniel Sampere
Cover: Daniel Sampere and Alejandro Sanchez
Variant Covers: Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson, Brett Booth & Jonathon Glapion, Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapamund, Nathan Szeroy, Viktor Bogdanovic, David Nakayama

Reviewed by: Craig Boehmer

Hal is confronting the fake Green Lantern Corp. Barry races through and rescues him. Barry tells him each Justice League member is in a world they created (which, based on that Tom King “World Without the Justice League” one shot about Superman, means Clark created a world where he and his wife are verbally abusive parents who allow galactic genocides… that’s not what I would have chosen). We then see how much good work the JSA are doing in combatting Deathstroke’s evil forces. Mr. Terrific tells those gathered that there is a Dark Energy gathering which could be dangerous, but they can’t do anything about it. Meanwhile, in a hospital room, Dick is mourning Gar because the injury he sustained was so traumatic that his brain thinks he is dead, even though his body is alive… Alan Scott provides a weird speech about the world needing Dick to step up and be a leader. At the Legion of Doom headquarters Black Adam is being interrogated by the Legion of Doom. Before matters are settled Deathstroke and his army attack.

The GLC are fighting Pariah, who reveals that Hal and Barry are actually helping him by travelling from world to world (which made zero sense to me because he is only travelling to the fake worlds that Pariah made for the JL). Meanwhile Barry and Hal stop in Batman’s world, where they face off against him. Jon, Dick, and Yara are led by Alan to meet John Constantine and Swamp Thing. There’s no context for this, and we are not told why they are there, they just are for an exposition dump from Swamp Thing. The Legion of Doom are taken by the Darkness and a new Multiverse is born.

3Story – 3: I was torn on rating this one. There are a lot of things that I absolutely loved about this issue, but I hate Crises about the multiverse, and I hate the character of Pariah. No offense to Wolfman and Perez, I love many other examples of their work.

Hooray! Another multiverse is born… I am so bored of this Infinite Frontier Era. Multiverses and Omniverses, Earth Prime, Earth 1, Earth 3, I’m done! The last few years of DC have been so obsessed with these ideas, and I have never found them compelling. I do enjoy seeing variants of our superheroes, but that novelty wore off years ago. This is in stark contrast to the phenomenal “Action Comics” War World Saga that just wrapped up. There we got to see lesser heroes that aren’t in the spotlight work with Superman to over throw Mongul that is. It was fantastic! It was a variation on a major past Superman story, and it worked. This “Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths” is another variation of an event that has been revisited so many times it drives me crazy! And I can’t understand why anyone thought it was a good idea to change the name of the story halfway through its publication! What kind of boneheaded brand management planning is that?

It’s too bad too. Because underneath all of this “Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths” trite, are a number of fantastic interactions and character moments. Lots of them, but every time characters start spouting gobbledygook about multiverse, it tears me out of the story. For example, Black Adam enlisting the Legion of Doom was amazing. Their interactions were spot on, and then they get attacked by Deathstroke’s army. I loved that stuff! Why don’t villains fight each other as often as heroes fight each other? And then Lex pounding away and prepping to kill Deathstroke, those were fantastic panels. And then the blackness comes and takes them all, wow so good. This event would have been so good, if it had just been about this darkness possessing people, and getting rid of the whole multiverse, or omniverse, or infiniteverse stuff and focused on our universe and our world. I also loved the interactions between Barry and Hal, those two should really have an ongoing series together, just them. Kind of like Green Arrow/Green Lantern, but much more humor.

5Art – 5: Phenomenal art as always, Sampere is among the top five best artists working on monthlies today. He is the major draw for buying this comic.

5Cover Art – 5: The more I look at this cover, the more I like it. I don’t like Pariah as a character, but in this image he looks cool. I love the agony on Barry’s and Hal’s faces, and the floating emblems against the dark background are awesome.

4Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson Variant Cover Art – 4: This is a fantastic depiction of Diana and Yara. The art is warm and well laid out. But why not have them facing one of Diana’s villains?

3Brett Booth & Jonathon Glapion Variant Cover Art – 3: This cover has a fun layout, but it’s too busy. Plus some of the faces look wonky.

5Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapamund Variant Cover Art – 5: Great cover that gets at the major conflict that Barry is confronted with.

5Nathan Szeroy Variant Cover Art – 5: I love this image of Deathstroke slowly becoming infected with the darkness.

4Viktor Bogdanovic Variant Cover Art – 4: The layout of this cover works, but I’m not a big fan of the muted colours in the background. I get it from a plot perspective, but this is a cover, it needs to be eye catching.

3David Nakayama Variant Cover Art – 3: The art is good, if you’re into the cheesecake art you’ll like this.

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