Blogging The Crisis #2

I really liked the first issue's cover but this one is confusing. It's hard to see what's going on and the perspective is weird. Still, it's got that cool Statue of Liberty way in the background and an ape in the foreground. "You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!"

On to the issue:

First off, we take a trip to "The Dawn of Man" to meet Anthro. I suppose his brothers "Psych" and "Poli-sci" are back at the village. The Dawn of Man bit is for real. Anthro's dawning all over the place. He gets three full pages all to himself which, given how much stuff Wolfman and Pérez had to cram into this issue, is a lot of real estate.

Anthro is the first Cro-Magnon and he's surrounded by Neanderthals. I know how he feels; I used to work for the government.

Anthro tries to stop a stampeding herd of wooly mammoths from squashing his village. Y'know like the anti-matter is doing to EVERYTHING ELSE! Man, where do I come up with these parallells? Genuis! Anyway, hijinks ensue. It's a regular prehistoric sitcom even after Anthro gets a vision of 30th-century Metropolis.

Which is where the mammoths end up. That's right, due to the multiversal freakout, a herd of raging proto-pachyderms goes tearing through the Legion of Super-Heroes HQ. This is all a setup for Brainiac-5 to use his enormous thinkin' powers to determine that everything's gonna go away real soon.

Cut to Batman interrupting one of The Joker's lamest schemes ever. Joker has killed this rich dude in order to get the rights to colorized silent movies. However, the caption just before this revelation states clearly that the dead dude has heirs. Maybe Joker's gonna kill them, too. He is totally batshit.

Anyway, Batman has enormous thinkin' powers along with enormous ass-kickin' powers. Before he can completely kick The Joker's ass, though, The Flash shows up and dies horribly. He just withers and turns to dust. "WTF?" says Batman. This scene is seriously creepy and Pérez really sells it.

Pérez is not just a good artist, he's one of the best visual storytellers in the business. This whole Joker-Batman-Flash sequence is a masterpiece of panel arrangement. Things are placed in an unconventional manner but it all works so well that I didn't notice any of it until my second readthrough. Pages 13 & 18 of this issue should be included in textbooks about sequential art.

The pace picks up at this point, which is saying something. The fifteen super-beings recruited by the Monitor in issue #1 are sent around the multiverse to protect these big-ass tuning forks which are supposed to mitigate the anti-matter energies. Man, I love comic-book physics!

The Guardians of the Galaxy get their collective ass handed to them by the still-unseen bad guy and Kal-El Baby Luthor (remember the one from Earth-3 in the first issue?) starts growing faster than a soap-opera baby. I don't have a good scan of the Luthorbaby so I'll substitue this image of Pip the Troll.

He looks just like that. Trust me. Cigar and everything.

Next Pariah shows up near the Atlantis tuning fork and proves that his only powers are super-uselessness and ultra-buzzkilling. Psycho Pirate nearly takes Pariah out by making him happy because joy is Pariah's kryptonite. Before Psycho Pirate can finish the job he is teleported into the presence of the Big Bad. It's really dark where the evil dude lives. Also, he can take people's faces away. Don't mess with him.

The issue wraps up with a stunning final page which contains voiceovers from both of Harbinger's controlling forces.

Another good issue. The story moved forward quickly and the art is some of the best I've seen in any comic. There was exactly the right amount of talking-ape content. There was even a sound effect that went "SKRAAAAAAAAA!" How cool is that?

See you in a week with Issue #3 and there better be apes!

Previous Installments: Introduction, Part 1

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