05 August 2013

Faster than a DC Bullet: Project Crisis!, Part VII: Crisis on Multiple Earths, Volume 5

Comic trade paperback, 173 pages
Published 2010 (contents: 1978-80)
Borrowed from the library
Read July 2013
Crisis on Multiple Earths, Volume 5

Writer: Gerry Conway
Pencillers: Dick Dillin, George Pérez
Inker: Frank McLaughlin
Letterers: Ben Oda, Todd Klein

I had been burning out on these collections, but volume 5 turned out to be the most successful one in a while. The first story here ("Crisis from Yesterday!"/"Crisis from Tomorrow!") is maybe not great-- more heroes fighting each other under mind control (seriously this is the dullest thing ever, stop writing it), but any story that gives a principal role to the Elongated Man is a story that gains my appreciation to some extent. The Huntress, too, which makes this some of my first real experience of the Earth-2 Huntress.

I did quite like "The Murderer Among Us: Crisis above Earth-One!"/"I Accuse...", which forgoes the usual throwdowns for a murder mystery aboard the JLA satellite during the joint JLA/JSA meeting. It's a fun idea, and it lets the personalities of the characters come to the fore more than they're usually able to in these stories.

The best story here, though, is "Crisis on New Genesis, or Where Have All the New Gods Gone?"/"Crisis between Two Earths, or Apokolips Now!"/"Crisis on Apokolips, or Darkseid Rising!" (yeah, really). It maybe is your standard throwdown, but with three issues, the story actually breathes a bit, and the characters' personalities actually do come through. Of course, it involves Darkseid and the New Gods, who are awesome, and I enjoy almost anything that plays with those concepts by default. It's perhaps a standard superhero story, but it's one well told; there's some great stuff in particular with the children in the underground resistance on Apokolips.

Conway gets Darkseid, too.  He's resurrected in this story, having apparently been dead, and he observes: "My brief 'death' has given me a new perspective on life, gentlemen. As I floated in the spiritual limbo where Desaad's uni-cannon blast propelled me, I came to treasure the memory of living things... the soft glow of the sun at dawn, the gentle waft of a breeze across one's brow, even the scent of a flower in bloom. Yes, even a god may be affected by his own 'death.'" Darkseid then pauses for a moment, and smells a flower in his hand. "I shall never forgive myself for such weakness! Never!" he shouts, crushing the flower. Perfect.

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