Blogging The Crisis #5

Here we go! This is crossover mania! This is a filet of crossover on a bed of crossover with a crossover salad on the side!

The cover with its split-screen faces down the center is indicative of the events and theme of this issue. This one contains all the wacky stuff a crossover can do and then some. Let's go:

Issue #4 ended with a multiverse-encompassing darkness and issue #5 begins with the same thing. Big Bad Mystery Guy is talking to Psycho Pirate. Well, he's actually telling Psycho Pirate to shut up for, like, the millionth time. Red Tornado is there, too but we still have no clue why.

Next up we have a scene with no fewer than three "I'm surprised by your arrival" takes. Pariah kneels over the recently corpsified Monitor. Lyla-who-is-no-longer-Harbinger surprises Pariah and freaks out because she killed the Monitor. Then they are both surprised to hear the Monitor's voice but (oh, Snap!) it's just a recorded message on a (small "m") monitor.

Monitor-on-the-monitor says, "Lyla, I totally knew you were gonna kill me and I worked it out so it actually helps the multiverse. So, good on ya". Monitor signs off and Lyla has a Who Can Cry More? contest with Pariah. The bawling doesn't last long, though, because the new, improved, fully-grown Luthor baby appears to provide the remaining exposition.

There's some more stuff concerning Big Bad Guy in the darkness with Psycho Pirate and The Flash which doesn't do much to further the story but that's OK because the next three pages are what other comic pages want to be when they grow up.

Earth-1 has been merged with Earth-2 and everything's gone completely crackerdog! In a single page Pérez and Wolfman show us a couple of dinosaurs, aircraft from every era they could think of (past and future), cavemen, native americans (complete with teepee) and some Mayflower pilgrims on the roof of an apartment building. Also, any panel with Sinestro, Sgt. Rock, and Nuklon in it makes it onto my top-ten list.

But wait! There's more!

The next two pages contain the image most people think of when "Pérez" and "Crisis" are talked about: (click to embiggen)

That's a whole mess o' superheroes. Others have spent entire websites listing said heroes. I'll just say that it looks like the weirdest cocktail party ever. Pérez excels at this stuff. I mean, dang! Look at that! Everybody's distinct and doing something to set them apart from their fellow heroes. The stretchy types are stretching and at least a few of the ground-based ones are probably thinking "Man, I hope that horse doesn't crap on me!"

I want to bring your attention to one detail:

Sorry for the terrible reproduction. It's a shot of old, fat Superman holding Dawnstar. Um, what's going on, there? What were they up to when they got teleported to the Monitor's ship? I'm not pointing any fingers but the last time we saw Superman he was talking about how he probably wouldn't see his wife ever again. Damn, Supes! The bed ain't even cold.

Next we see a few more images of Earths Gone Wild followed by Katana once again relegated to the role of translator for the new, mean Dr. Light.

I've decided that Sgt. Rock improves anything he shows up in. There's a panel at the end of page 10 with Rock and Swamp Thing which makes me very giggly. Rock! Swamp Thing! Oh, man! That is exactly the kind of stuff I was hoping to see.

A bunch of other crap happens to show how screwed up things are including the Green Lantern Corps getting obliterated and Superman punching out a saber-toothed tiger. The tiger fight didn't make it into this post from Chris Sims but the ones that are there will thrill and amaze you.

Anthro's annoying family shows up in Stately Wayne Manor, a dinosaur (or something) gets its ass kicked in Russia and then we finally see what Bad Guy is doing with (or, more to the point to) the Red Tornado. Sort of. He's unleashing all his tornado-ness at once and letting it loose on the combined Earths.

The heroes assemble and stop the storm at which point everyone says, "OK. We're in. We'll help save the worlds". As if all the shit that happened up to that point wasn't enough to convince them.

Finally, the Bad Guy shows up:

Buh? I thought the good guy was the Monitor. OK, Wolfman, I'll roll with it. Whatevs.

That would have made an excellent final page wouldn't it? Yes, yes, it would.

Instead we get the Freedom Fighters on the last page. I hate these guys! I just can't take Doll Man and Uncle Sam seriously. And Phantom Lady's costume is obviously held on by sheer force of will.

That's her superpower, right?

This issue's dialogue and captions were often overlapping and redundant but that was more than made up for by the awesomeness of the space & time-warp effects. The reveal of the (anti?) Monitor was a bit anti-climactic but that's probably because I knew it was coming. Man, that dude sure is ugly.

No talking apes in this issue but there were plenty of cavemen gaping at biplanes so that's a mitigating factor. This was a fun issue which moved the story along nicely and left us with a good setup for whatever is to come next.

Previous Installments: Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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