Blogging the Crisis #3

This is the cover I most associate with Crisis on Infinite Earths. It really sums up all the chaos that's going on throughout the multiverse.

We begin with the Luthor kid who has grown to adolescense in just a few days. Oh, and the Monitor is keeping him in a big glass sphere. Fortunately, Luthor Jr. has developed cognitively as well as physically so he can speak English (or whatever language they speak in Monitorland). Harbinger reminds us via internal monologue that she's working for the Monitor's adversary and then she goes off to report to said bad guy.

Harbinger meets Psycho Pirate who was obviously picked on a lot when he was in school. I love it whenever anyone calls Psycho Pirate by his villain name because it always sounds like a rude insult. "Nice going, Psycho Pirate!"

Unnamed bad guy shows himself to be as tired of Psycho Pirate as the rest of us are. He also shows himself to be a bit off the mark when he claims to know what the Monitor is up to "as he thinks it". Um, so, are you aware he knows about the Harbinger-bot who's been programmed to kill him? Huh? Huh?

Bad Guy apparently doesn't have access to comic books in the negaverse, either, because he says, "The dead can present no threat". Dude, the dead show up and threaten things all the time. Oh, well, your funeral.

Now I begin to show my ignorance of DC history. The Flash was exiled to the future? Fair enough. I was just unaware of that. Anyway, Flash is living in Central City in the future of Earth-1 and things are breaking up there, too. He relaxes his internal vibrations to return himself to his proper time. This is why I love the Flash. Hell, this is why I love comics. The Flash is living in the future because he has changed his vibrational patterns!!!! Damn. That is awesome. All he has to do is stop the "future vibrations" and he snaps back to the 20th century.

Flash shows up in the middle of The Teen Titans and The Outsiders who are trying to keep everything from being erased. Here's another scene which reminds me that I was not reading DC in '85. I don't recognize several of the combatants. I know Nightwing, Changeling and Metamorpho, of course but Katana, Kole and Captain Sideburns (Jericho) must not have stuck around much past the turn of the decade.

I'm serious about the sideburns:

I mean, dang! Look at those things. He's like Super-Lemmy Kilmister. Even the animated Teen Titans version has them:

The assembled heroes are trying to save people and keep the world from crumbling while explaining their powers and relationsips in as much detail as possible. Oh, and we meet another hero I'd never heard of, Halo, who seems to have stolen Lightspeed's schtick. Also, Black Lightning saves an elderly couple. Actually, he may have blown them up. The events of that last panel are kind of unclear.

Superman and Batman show up just in time to see the Flash die. Again. This time his component atoms are spread out until he disappears in a bolt of lightning. Sucks to be Flash.

Quick one-page interlude of Brainiac (the big robot one) observing the encroaching anti-matter. He speeds off to pick up Lex Luthor. Yeah, that's gonna end well.

Now we move into the meat of the story. This is the kind of stuff I was hoping to see! The crazy-quilt cover has not misled me. Wolfman has thrown every World War II comic together in order to dump Geo Force, Dr. Polaris and Blue Beetle into the middle of it. The Monitor has placed one of his ginormous tuning forks on a Markovian battlefield. So, there's Nazis and superheroes and soldiers and tanks and Eastern European peasants all over the place! Hijinks ensue.

I know my way around Sgt. Rock but The Losers and Haunted Tank are not in my active comics vocabulary. I learned most of what I needed to know about them from the clunky exposition, though. This scene is awesome. It's a veritable cliche gumbo what with the WWII-isms and the superhero declarations not to mention Dr. Polaris practically wringing his hands with maniacal glee. It all ends tragically when one of the squads gets eaten by the anti-matter. Guess which one:

"They were called The Losers. But they were winners to the end."

Um, no they weren't. They got eaten by anti-matter. Also, the War Office had obviously run out of tough-guy nicknames when The Losers joined up. Gunner, Sarge, Navajo Ace and Captain Storm are descriptions, not monikers.

The scene ends with another "SKRAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" sound effect (#2 so far) and we move on to the only talking-ape appearance of the issue. Not a good trend. Not only that, King Solovar dies! Damn you all to hell!!

Next a bunch of superheroes show up in the old west. Jonah Hex is there along with Bat Lash, Nighthawk, Scalphunter and Johnny Thunder. It's a shorter version of the WWII scene above with an even weirder collection of superheroes. The Monitor really should have done a little more research before sending John Stewart, Cyborg, Psimon and Firebrand to the Wild West. It ends the same as the previous timewarp, though, with nearly everyone getting eaten by anti-matter. #3 isn't the happiest of issues.

Continuing with the "not happy" vibe, the Legion of Super-Heroes gets its ass kicked by the anti-matter. Namely, Kid Psycho gets anti-matterized. Maybe "Kid Psycho" has different connotations in the 30th century but that doesn't seem like a particularly heroic name to me. But then, I liked Dazzler's '80s costume so who am I to talk?

We end the story with the Monitor watching everything get zapped out of existence only to have Harbinger tell him it's time to DIE! Uh, oh.

#3 is my favorite issue so far. Wolfman and Pérez outdo themselves by cramming an absurd number of characters into it. There's even room for the story to advance! The dialogue is pretty silly throughout but it does its job. Crossovers like this suffer from self-introduction syndrome worse than any other type of comic and this issue has it in spades. Still, it's a lot of fun and it ends on a classic cliffhanger. Although, we know Monitor won't get out of it, the ending doesn't lose its punch.

Previous Installments: Introduction, Part 1, Part 2

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