Friday, October 14, 2005

Infinite Crisis is here!

Okay, folks, if you haven't read this week's DC comics, you will find some spoilers below. You have been warned, and this will be your only warning. Read on at your own peril.

DC started their latest big crossover story this week - Infinite Crisis and I was... somewhat impressed.

Also out this week was Villains United #6. Villains United was one of 4 mini-series that were essentially countdowns to the big event. Villains United borrowed an old (OLD) DC schtick of "the Secret Six." A group led by a mysterious figure known only as Mockingbird. In that story, the Six worked for the US, and were "good guys." In this one, they are Villains who refused to join Lex Luthor and company's new Society of villains. The writing has been good.

Gail Simone took a second (or even third) string villain in Catman and made you believe he could stand up to some of the baddest bad asses on the planet. She took two new characters - Parademon and Rag Doll and made you care about them. I think she had a little bit of a misfire on Vandal Savage's daugher, known as Scandal (Scandal Savage? Really? But I guess the name was a bit of a tip off, given the similar natures) And she took a couple of the coolest villains in DC, Deadshot and Cheshire, and kept them as cool as ever. The Deadshot/Deathstroke showdown was something I've wanted to see for a while.

Where the series failed for me was the ending. In the original series, Mockingbird was one of the Six who had faked his own death in the first issue. They threw us a bone in this series - The Fiddler died in the first issue. It was a red herring, though. The real Mockingbird was really - an alternate version of Lex Luthor.

I found this disappointing. I was waiting for it to be someone who was bad ass enough to go against the Society, and was willing to stand up to the worst the world had to offer. A copy of the leader (essentially) of the Society doesn't cut it for me.

Similarly, Infinite Crisis #1 is a not-bad read - it isn't great for those of us who have read all the stuff leading up to it, but it isn't terrible. Until the end. Here was a character who was allowed to retire as he should have: Saving the Universe, and finally ready to settle down. The original, Earth-2 Superman, and the Superboy from Earth-Prime, who I think matches up Power Level-wise with Superman from the Pre-crisis era, and who is significantly more powerful than current Superman. They went, and retired. They were done. We weren't even thinking about them any more.

And now they are back. All I know is this: They had better not give Kal-L (the Kryptonian name of Earth-2's Superman) a punk's death at this point. He is the man. The classic ending of Crisis on Infinite Earths proved that. It's bad enough that DC apparently has brought Jason Todd back from the dead, but to haul Kal-L and Superboy out of retirement too?

This series had better blow my socks off.