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This review, like all my reviews, assumes you have READ the comic! It's FULL of spoilers!
In fact, there's practically a spoiler in every sentence. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! Proceed at your own risk as...
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.Infinite Crisis #3
Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils by Phil Jiminez (a few pages by George Perez)
Inks by Andy Lanning with Norm Rapmund and Wayne Faucher


RECAP:
I found the first issue of "Infinite Crisis" to be an interesting and mildly enjoyable starting-point. The second issue was one of the most moving and memorable comics I have ever read. It gave me hope that DC was getting ready to improve their universe in a big way.

BUT NOW: This third issue has me wondering if this book has an editor, or if it just goes to press sight unseen. That's right reader, you're about to read a review so negative, I had to DIAL "E for EVIL" so EVIL Robby Reed could write it!

Here are my two main problems with this comic book: (1) The art is so bad it's fucking ugly, and the panels are so poorly laid out it almost makes the "story" incomprehensible. (2) The "story" is so heavily padded that the comic was hardly damaged at all when I threw it out of the highest window in stately Reed manor after reading it.

Oh and by the way reader, I bought TWO copies of this aqueous-coated parakeet cage liner with my own money. That's two cents short of eight bucks! I tell you this because I feel that paying full admission price out of my own pocket gives me the right to say whatever the fuck I want to about this comic book. Including BLASTING it to kingdom come! If you do not agree with this theory, please remember that I am EVIL Robby Reed, and I really don't give two shits WHAT you think! On with my review.

PAGE ONE: The caption says "San Diego." But the scene looks like it takes place underwater. Yes, I know all about "SUB-.Diego," the part of San Diego that was supposedly submerged. So what. Does the existence of an underwater city mean that the art no longer has to distinguish between sea and land? The coloring is so bad, and the art so incomprehensible, that I actually can't tell which panels are underwater and which are above.

In the two panels at the bottom of page one (pictured right), I think Aquaman kills Black Manta, but in the next panel the speared Manta is still alive, and Aquaman is now suddenly punching something gigantic looking that came from nowhere. Or maybe this is just a failed attempt at drawing in perspective?

I don't know. I can't tell what's going on, and I don't have my microscope handy to study this page like a bug in biology class. I do plan to dissect the issue in a similar fashion, though. God, what a fucking hideous mess of a way to .begin an issue of a supposedly big-deal showpiece series like "Infinite Crisis."

PAGES 2 - 3: I think the point of this spread is that the Spectre just squashed Sub-Diego with his big green slipper. You might think this would be a dramatic scene, but as depicted here, the scene's lack of drama is truly staggering. Again, it's hard for a scene to have any impact when the reader can't figure out exactly what the fuck is going on in it. The panel's pictured right. You tell me. Chooomf.

Question: Why is the squashing of an entire city relegated to just one small panel in a two-page spread (panel pictured right)? It's so small, it looks at first glance like the Spectre's foot is crushing a dirt pile with a bunch of mushrooms in it. Then, in the next panel, huge Spec gloats over... Niagara Falls? Did he just crush a city? Then why does it look like he's holding a handful of dirt? Was it evil dirt? Or magic dirt? Evil magic dirt?

PAGES 4 - 5: Activate the padding machine! Last issue, the OMACs attacked Paradise Island. The point of these two pages: they're still doing it. Waste of two pages.

PAGES 6 - 8: Oh, look! They're actually advancing the story for a minute! Don't worry, it won't last. The pages show Batman talking to someone. He claims to be Superman. There's the panel below, reader. You tell me. Does that look like any Superman you have ever seen? Or does merely looking at it evoke derisive laughter?
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You know, if I was DC, I wouldn't want people looking at the star of my big epic saga and laughing. And wondering how come DC couldn't get a decent artist to draw their big event. Then I start wondering... well, maybe they think this IS good! If that's the case, then my high hopes for this series just turned to dread of the havoc it will wreck on the DC Universe.

PAGES 9-11: A bunch of super-ugly talking heads recite turgid dialogue so the story can move ahead at the speed of a snail with no action whatsoever -- followed by a commercial for new super-team "Shadowpact" that has no bearing on the "story" at all. But make sure to buy the new Shadowpact monthly series! Vomit. If they have to do this shit, it would be better to just stop the story completely and put in a full page AD for the new comic. That's what this is anyway. Waste of three pages.

PAGES 12-13: Superman fixes a collapsed skyscraper by welding it with his heat vision. Isn't this the kind of thing we stopped believing years ago? Is this supposed to be a charming homage to those bygone days? It made me wonder if this book even HAD an editor. Oh, and then -- a lucky Hispanic kid finds a glowing blue thing. What "suspense"! It will obviously make him the new Blue Beetle.
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."Jamie" will be getting his own book as the Blue Beetle. It's part of DC's "Guaranteed Failure" program. Every once in a while, DC likes to kill white second-banannas, reincarnate them as women or minorities, give them a title, then discover that no one gives a crap about that title. It NEVER works, but they just keep on doing it. Just ask the new Black Green Lantern, or the new female Johnni Thunder (pictured right). But don't ask the new Chinese Dr. Light. She was canceled before she even got a title.

PAGE 14: Everyone's flying around, but doing nothing. More super-ugly talking heads reciting more turgid dialogue so the story can move ahead at the speed of a snail with no action whatsoever, again. Waste of a page.

PAGE 15: HEY! What happened?!?! All of a sudden, the art got good! You can actually tell what's going on. There's a shot of Flash running that's actually... really good! Why? How? Oh, that's right... George Perez is doing some pages in this story. But somehow, the clarity of Perez' masterful layouts only makes the surrounding pages look even more hideous and confusing.
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PAGE 16: For example, Jiminez' head shot of Superman (pictured below) is just perfectly atrocious. It's worse than bad -- it's embarrassing. It's totally fucked up. This is the kind of thing that makes me think the book had no editor. Because this blank-eyed, leather-faced grandpa with strange black marks all over his lips is just not Superman. Not even the .older Superman of Earth Two. Or ANY man. It's not even a well-drawn human being!

And if you're not all that talented as an artist, it's probably not a good idea to try recreating a cover originally done by the late, .great Jim Aparo. Most artists are just not going to come off well in comparison. Why? Well, let's just say the work of George Perez clones doesn't look so good next to that of Jim Aparo, a true original. (Aparo's memorable cover for Adventure #462 pictured left.)

As for the rest of the "action" on page 16 -- well, there really isn't any. Just more talking heads, more ugly faces. You get the idea: Another waste of a page.


PAGES 17-20:
Did I mention that the OMACs were attacking Paradise Island? Well, they're still doing it. Still. So the Amazons make the island vanish. It takes an entire page. It will obviously return at some point in the very near future, so who cares. A waste of four pages.

PAGES 21-22: Another commercial, this one for Villains United (another upcoming series?), followed by one Luthor blasting another Luthor. This is just DC's way of saying to new readers, "If you don't know the two decades of DC back-story it takes to understand all this, fuck you. We could care less!"

PAGES 23-24: Superman and Batman "talk." Or should I say, "90 year old looking Superman and whiny dipshit who deserves to be killed Batman engage in expository conversation to (you guessed it!) move the story ahead at the speed of a snail with no action whatsoever. It seems Batman doesn't want any part of the plan to revive .Earth Two. In my beloved Silver Age, this plot point would have been covered and resolved in a single page. In this heavily-padded series, it's taken almost ten times that amount of space -- so far! Who knows WHAT the page-count will be by the time this is all over.

PAGES 25-26: Somebody blasts Luthor some more. Mystery. Who could it be. Hmmmm, who has blue sleeves and ungloved hands and is super and is young, .like a boy? Who -- WHO could that be?????

PAGE 27: The Powergirl panel pictured left is probably the single worst panel in the whole book. Just LOOK at that dog-faced she-bitch. I'm not sure if penciler Phil Jiminez and inker Andy Lanning are aware of this, but the male face and the female face are actually different! It's true!

And also: Women are not just men with basketball- sized bazongas scotch-taped to their barrel chests. Here's a picture of movie star Charlize Theron (left), just for reference. See? Women's bodies are actually built differently than men's are! Imagine that. Someone should tell the artists. Normally it would be the editor, but...

PAGES 28-29: The inclusion of this spread is obviously a mistake, because it's INTERESTING, and it (Gasp! NO!) advances the plot! Powergirl sees a bunch of superheroes, all unconscious, fastened to a giant tuning fork that looks like it was built from the remains of the Anti-Monitor, the bad guy from the original "Crisis" series. The trapped heroes include Breech, Martian Manhunter, Black Adam and the Ray.
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Anyway, it seems like finally the story is getting interesting. But don't worry. They get it over with quickly -- one panel -- and revert with all due haste to talking heads, with no action. You may not believe this, but Powergirl is so totally and completely stupid, she actually flies up and asks Manhunter, "Are you okay?!" Hey moron -- MM is unconscious and wired to a giant cosmic tuning fork. This may not be the best time to interview him. But don't forget to ask what his favorite color is, and if he still loves Oreo cookies.
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PAGE 30: The "big reveal." So, Alex Luthor and the Superboy of Earth Prime are behind it all. And now Batman knows they are behind it all. But so what. The plot to restore Earth Two seems to be turning evil, and as it does, my hopes for a positive outcome from this series diminish accordingly. And here's something even MORE .shocking: According to the last page, there WAS an editor! Someone named Eddie Berganza edited this book.

I think that means Berganza was the one who couldn't find a great artist to draw one of DC's most important series ever, thought Jiminez' wretched and incomprehensible pencils looked just fine and dandy, considered Power Girl asking the tied and tortured Manhunter if he was "okay" to be completely acceptable, and was himself "okay" with wasting more than a dozen pages of precious comic book real estate. Or maybe "the suits" just forced everything on Berganza, and left him to deal with the mess as best he could. Either way.

All this makes me very afraid for DC's future. Not financially, because these books may all be successful, just afraid as far my own personal interest in the company is .concerned. The company has announced a slew of new titles and mini-series that will follow "Infinite Crisis" -- including Blue Beetle (by Cully Hamner, pictured right); Supergirl and the Legion; Nightwing in Battle for Bludhaven, Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis (pictured left); and a weekly comic tentatively titled "52." I don't have the slightest interest in a single one of these books, except perhaps "52."

These books are all as dark and depressing as ever, if not more so. The new Blue Beetle is like a scary bug-shaped Iron Man. And Aquaman as Conan? Give me a fucking break. WHY??? Talk about last-ditch revamp efforts doomed to failure! You say, "It will be written by Kurt Busiek, so I should give it a chance." Again -- why? I know what I like, and this definitely ain't it. If I wanted Conan (which I don't), I'd buy Conan.

Oh well, I can always forget about DC's current books, and go back to rereading and blogging about their old Silver Age comics. I'll be perfectly happy -- but I bet this was not the reaction DC was looking for when they sent this issue of "Infinite Crisis" to the printer, with or without an editor. Evil Robby out!

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