25 August 2014

Faster than a DC Bullet: Project Crisis!, Part XXVIII: Infinite Crisis Aftermath: The Battle for Blüdhaven

Comic trade paperback, 142 pages
Published 2007 (contents: 2006)
Borrowed from the library
Read July 2014
Infinite Crisis Aftermath: The Battle for Blüdhaven

Written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti
Layouts by Dan Jurgens and Gordon Purcell
Finishes by Jimmy Palmiotti
Colored by Javi Montes
Lettered by Pat Brosseau and Nick J. Napolitano

One of the weirdest parts of Infinite Crisis was the Society's dumping of Chemo (a walking pool of toxic waste) on Nightwing's home turf of Blüdhaven, a move that didn't really seem to have anything to do with the story being told, nor did it crop up in its various spin-offs. Its aftereffects, however, are told here, in a story set between weeks 12 and 13 of 52 according to the timeline I am using, so that is where I read it.

Well, if it was all done for this, it was not worth doing. The Battle for Blüdhaven kinda gestures toward having something to say about the way the government responds to a disaster-- perhaps a heavy-handed Katrina allegory-- but soon goes off the rails when the U.S. government starts experimenting on people for no readily apparent reason and the villain is just a crazy person. This story unites a ton of heroes with patriotic pedigrees, especially the old Freedom Fighters, so many that you never really get who any of them are or what they do, and you certainly don't care about any of them. The Teen Titans and Green Lantern also show up for some reason. There are just fights, fights, fights. Really, this is superhero comics at their worst, but it's hard to get worked up about it because it's not actively bad in the way that, say, Jeph Loeb is-- it's just sheer laziness.

The one thing I liked is that when the Society gathers up a group of obscure villains from other comics with nuclear abilities to enter Blüdhaven (it's radioactive, for the reason we eventually learn is the return of Captain Atom, last seen in our universe in Superman Batman: Public Enemies), one of them is called Nuclear Family: a group of androids looking like a stereotypical family, all with radioactive powers-- even the dog. Delightful, but the only thing about this that is.

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