10 July 2013

Faster than a DC Bullet: Project Crisis!, Part V: Crisis on Multiple Earths, Volume 3

Comic trade paperback, 191 pages
Published 2004 (contents: 1971-74)
Borrowed from the library
Read June 2013
Crisis on Multiple Earths, Volume 3

Writers: Mike Friedrich, Len Wein
Penciller: Dick Dillin
Inkers: Joe Giella, Dick Giordano
Letterers: John Costanza, Ben Oda

Dennis O'Neil's run on Justice League is sadly brief, as Volume 3 of Crisis on Multiple Earths sees him replaced by Mike Friedrich for one story and Len Wein for three. Friedrich's "Earth-- The Monster Maker!" / "Solomon Grundy-- The One and Only" tries to use the parallel Earths to advantage by telling the story of an alien and his symbiotic pet stranded between the two Earths, but it turns out to be boring fight scene after boring fight scene until the heroes figure out the kid is lost, not evil. Of vague interest is some interaction between the Robins of both Earths, but vague is as far as the characterization goes. The Robin of Earth-One borrows a costume unused by the Earth-Two Robin-- I can see why, because it's godawful, even if Neal Adams (acknowledged in dialogue!) did design it.

I found both of Len Wein's big event stories ("The Unknown Soldier of Victory!"/"The Hand That Shook the World"/"And One of Us Must Die!" and "Crisis on Earth-X!"/"Thirteen against the Earth!") very uninspired. They're old-school team-ups, where the Justice League/Justice Society/whatever team split up into groups and each fight mini-battle before uniting for the finale. Depressingly formulaic. Wein pulls in more and more obscure heroes, but does nothing to make you care about them. "The Creature in the Velvet Cage" is decent, but it explains something that didn't really need an explanation: why did the Sandman change his costume back to his gas mask one (um, because it's awesome and the purple one sucked?) and what happened to Sandy Hawkins?

Dick Dillin is still pretty awesome, though. Keep rocking it out on art, man.

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