This review, like all my reviews, assumes you have READ the comic! It is FULL of spoilers!
In fact, there's practically a spoiler in every sentence. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! Proceed at your own risk as...
.Infinite Crisis #2
Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils by Phil Jiminez, Inks by Andy Lanning
Flashback sequence by George Perez and Jerry Ordway

I found the first issue of "Infinite Crisis" to be an interesting and mildly enjoyable starting-point, although the art was adequate at best, and the story read, at times, like it was an ad for the numerous mini-series which had preceded it.

Now comes the second issue of Infinite Crisis #2. The book had two variant covers, and I have to say that the Jim Lee cover is static, awful, and boring, but the George Perez cover is interesting, beautifully done, and wonderfully evocative. It seems the lesson here is clear: One should never even consider having a crisis without also having George Perez around to illustrate it!

On to the story. It opens with Animal Man, always a good place to start, particularly since A-Man's appearance here seems to indicate that the series will .somehow tie in to Grant Morrison's Animal Man run. Remember, it was in Morrison's brilliant A-Man stories that a "second crisis" was foretold, way back in 1989! Animal Man and a friend were on a Peyote-induced hallucinogenic experience -- a "trip" -- and were seeing some pretty weird and wild stuff. At one point, A-Man sees a bunch of drawings on a cave wall that speak of the first crisis. He then sees cryptically indications of "a second crisis." Is this "second crisis" the "Infinite Crisis"? Or did it just refer to the earlier "Zero Hour"? Time will tell!

.As "Infinite Crisis" #2 unfolds, we see lots of OMACs attacking Paradise Island. More OMACs? Yawn. Double-page spread of Wonder Woman fighting OMACs. Double yawn. The art is intricate and superbly colored, but to my eye not very attractive. Phil Jimenez' pencils feature pages that are either bursting with activity or boring with talking heads, but either way they are just not visually exciting to me. Andy Lanning's inking looks extremely heavy, and a delicate touch is nowhere to be found.

Take the rendition of the original Superman, shown at right meeting Power Girl for the first time, against a great real-clouds photograph background. I really loved Supes' role in this story (we'll get to that in a minute), but his appearance literally made me cringe. This is THE big event that DC has been building up to for years, and their flagship character looks like a joke. You think I'm being harsh? OK reader, you tell me.

I know Alex Ross uses real people as models for his paintings of Superman and the Justice League, but do you think it was a good idea for Jimenez and Lanning to use TONY DANZA as .a model for the original Superman's face? (See images left.) Even then, Supes' nose is just plain HUGE. Why. WHY?!?!? It's just sad. Does no one LOOK at this stuff before it goes to print?!?! It's as if the company dictate to imitate, or even try to outdo, original Crisis artist George Perez is choking both penciler and inker.

Speaking of Perez... halfway through the book, the art takes a marked turn for the better. The panels become clear, and the inking bears the mark of a seasoned master. It's almost like the gorgeous George Perez/ Jerry Ordway art from the original Crisis series.

And that's because a large chunk of this book is drawn by Perez and Ordway! Yay! It's a multi-page flashback sequence that explains the concept of the multiverse, and summarizes the major events of the first Crisis. And it is simply beautiful to behold! The panel below recreates the cover of Justice League of America #21 (inset, lower left), featuring the first JLA-JSA meeting! Behold:

The Perez/Ordway sequence dramatizes the original Superman's explanation of the multiverse and first Crisis to Power Girl, but the real meat of the story addresses the current sad state of the DC Universe, a place where there is a desperate shortage of fun! Or, as Superman puts it in the panel below -- a panel that echoes a sentiment which I, Robby Reed, have expressed dozens of times on DIAL B for BLOG:
The DCU has indeed become a place where lobotomies, murder and rape are all too commonplace. As I've said previously, the contrast between the modern DCU and the Silver Age DCU as seen here on DIAL B for BLOG is disturbing, but the core of the "Crisis" storyline seems to be the original Superman and company returning to finally set things right. So what does the character who virtually created the entire comic book industry intend to DO about the lack of joy in the current DCU? Well, apparently, he's going to fix it...
"So the right earth can return." So the right earth can return! And which earth is the "right earth"? Why, it's the original earth! The earth where superheroes were born. The earth where heroes act like heroes. The earth of truth, justice and the American way. The earth where having fun is not considered a crime, and where the sun always shines. That’s “the right earth”! We all used to live there once, long ago, when we were young.

"So the right earth can return." Just words on a page, but as I read them, I was transported to a place where I used to live, once, long ago, when I was young and carefree. And in that place, alone with only my comic book, I, Robby Reed, author of this review and creator of this blog, was moved to tears of joy. For real!

So, despite the criticisms I have made of this issue, I would have to rate it as one of the most moving and memorable comics I have ever read. I await the next issue with great anticipation. The first issue of Crisis hit a pleasing note, this second issue gets the music going nicely, and if current trends are any indication, DC is getting ready to really strike up the band.


Batman Power Record by Neal Adams -- PART TWO!