Blogging the Crisis #4

So, the cover seems to indicate that the Monitor is gonna die in this issue. Of course, the Monitor himself also told us that along with the ending of issue #3. Compositionally, this is a great cover. Cool setting, lots of circles and excellent use of space. I especially like the arrow pointing at the corpse just in case we'd forgotten which one the Monitor was.

The "Next Issue" tag at the end of issue #3 said:

"This is the BIG ONE! The End Of The Multiverse!"

Nuh, uh! This is only the 4th issue. If everything's over, we're gonna have the most boring eight-issue run since the Official Handbook of the Desks of the Marvel Universe. You can't fool me, Wolfman!

The issue begins with Supergirl (now with totally-awesome headband action!).

Supergirl pays a visit to Batgirl on the top of a skyscraper 'cause that's how superheroes roll. Batgirl gets all mopey about the end of the world and Supergirl darts off to pull a pilot from a plane that's breaking up in mid air.

We then get a few panels of John Constantine talking to Steve Dayton. Dayton became Mento just to impress a chick. And it worked! He also adopted Changeling, the green, shapeshifting dude from the Teen Titans. When you're the fifth richest man in the world you can get away with that crap.

Back to Constantine. Dude! What is with that suit? It's 3-M green! Roadsign green! I'm used to the chain-smoking, trenchcoat-wearing Vertigo version of Constantine. At least this one has a cigarette:

Both of those scene-lets are lead-ins to a shot of Pariah looking like Bea Arthur and moaning yet again about how much his life sucks. Turns out his life is also endless. He shows up on an Earth which was made up just for Crisis as far as I can tell. Um, as opposed to the other ones which are real or something. Sigh.

Anyway, Pariah not only gets to watch another world die around him, this time the three remaining superheroes on the planet try to kill him. Pariah can't be killed 'cause that'd end his suffering. The cosmic sad sack finally does something kinda useful when he saves Lady Quark just before her Earth (with her family on it) is obliterated. Man, there sure are a lot of "last sons and daughters" of various planets running around. Good thing they all have superpowers.

The next couple of pages are devoted to Kimiyo Hoshi, the meanest astronomer ever. The Monitor rewards her antisocial behavior by turning her into the new Dr. Light. Complete with a costume exactly like the previous Dr. Light's:

The Monitor's got bigger things to worry about than designing new outfits, man! He's got a multiverse to save. At least he uses the best sound effect I've ever seen:


That, my friends, is the sound of someone becoming Dr. Light.

Then a bunch of nearly comprehensible stuff happens:

  • The still-faceless bad guy kidnaps Red Tornado for some damn reason.

  • Firestorm and Killer Frost go back to Arthurian times, freak out Vandal Savage and are nearly decapitated by the Shining Knight. Oh, for fun!

  • All the tuning-fork things get attacked by the combined might of all the shadow demons.

  • The new Dr. Light hurls invective at everyone in sight. Katana gets my favorite line of the issue: "Has everyone forgotten I speak Japanese?" Man, Katana can't catch a break. First, her sword is useless against impending Armageddon now she's upstaged by Superman who can not only fly, he swoops in and finishes translating before she can say another word. I bet his accent's better than hers, too.

Next, the Monitor teleports Pariah to his swanky extradimensional pad. Pariah then tells us about his tragedy-magnet powers, like, three more times. We know! Let it go, dude!

Then there's a really nice two-page spread where no new information is imparted but it's really pretty and it gives us an idea of the scale of the crisis. Literally everything is getting messed up. No one is having a good day and we're all doomed.

Then BOOM! Harbinger whacks the Monitor. She zaps him with an energy bolt and he blows up and falls a million stories. Just like The Emperor when Darth Vader tossed him down that shaft (what the hell was that doing in his throne room, anyway?).

Pariah's all, "Damn! I did not need to see that!"

He freaks out just as everything goes white and the next three pages show us many, many images of the multiverse getting eaten by the antimatter.


Huh. I guess the tagline at the end of #3 wasn't kidding. The next eight issues will just be a couple of guys remembering how cool it was back where there were things like "time" and "width".

Issue #4 felt like it was trying to do too many things simultaneously. It was all over the place and, therefore, didn't have the impact that each of the previous issues did. It was fun to read but it loses several points for a complete lack of talking apes.

'Til next week, true believers, make mine Marv Wolfman!

Previous Installments: Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

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