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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 #5
Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils by Phil Jiminez, Jerry Ordway, Ivan Reiss
Inks by Andy Lanning, Jerry Ordway, Art Thibert

RECAP:
At the beginning of "Infinite Crisis" I had hope that DC was getting ready to improve their universe in a big way. But five issues into this seven-issue series, it looks like the train is off the tracks... leaving me with no choice. I had to DIAL "E for EVIL" so EVIL Robby Reed could write it this review! Off we go...

Hi assholes! Evil Robby here. Infinite Crisis #5, featuring a story titled “Faith,” was a multi-universal epic on a level worthy of Shakespeare -- but only because Shakespeare once wrote a play called Much Ado About Nothing.

Maybe it’s unfair to compare this story to “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” but after all, “Infinite Crisis” IS a sequel to that series, so comparisons are inevitable. The most obvious one is this: The original was a well-told story that made history, the sequel is a poorly-told story full of histrionics.

This issue's story is titled “Faith.” Why? Because it begins with most of the superheroes gathered in a church. This entire scene is asinine in the extreme. At the end of last issue, the multiverse seemed to have returned, and the world was in chaos. As befitting the book’s title, there were crisis breaking out in almost infinite numbers. So what's a superhero to do? Well, one way to go would be to locate the source of the problem and solve it, thus saving the universe from destruction. Another way to go would be to sort of wander around aimlessly with your head stuck up your ass. Here, the heroes decide to go with the latter.

As the universe dissolves around them, they find the time to go to church -- en masse! -- to listen to Zauriel make a vapid and pointless prayer. The Church looks modeled after St. .Peter's in Manhattan (pictured left), but crosses are strangely absent, and there are no statues or paintings of Jesus. Also, there are no "civilians" present. What, were they pushed out into the street to make room for the "important" superheroes? Bizarre! And even though there are dozens of heroes in the church, all we get to see are two GL's, plus a few members of the new "Shadowpact" team.

Could this have anything to do with the fact that another GL -- Kyle Rayner -- and Shadowpact are getting their own new comic books when “Crisis” ends? Could it also have anything to do with the fact that this “Crisis” series often reads like a marketing tool rather than a comic book? Yes to both.

Anyway, back in the religion-free church for superheroes -- for four panels (shown below), Ragman and the new Mr. Terrific have a "deep" discussion about faith. Why? Well, this story is titled “Faith.” Never mind the fact that the opening sequence is the last we see of the theme. It gets worse -- the title isn’t given until the last page, and by then I had actually forgotten about the brief “faith” discussion, and wondered for a minute why the story would be called “Faith.”

Ragman does mention he's Jewish -- but strangely, that's one of the very few religions actually specified in the story. (It's also mentioned that Blue Devil is "Irish Catholic.") Quite a stunning omission for a story titled "Faith," is it not? Especially one that opens in a Christian (yet also somehow nondenominational) church. Why don't they show or even mention Jesus? It's safe! I mean, it's not as if they're drawing cartoons of Mohammed or anything. Now that's dangerous.

Anyway -- it seems Mr. Terrific, the self-proclaimed “world’s third-smartest man,” is an atheist. Whatever justification this position may have in the real world, within the DC Universe, it’s absolutely just SO mindlessly idiotic it's laughable. I mean, the Spectre has had dozens of conversations with God, just to name the most obvious example. Ragman brings this up, and...

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.... Mr. Terrific brushes Ragman aside by saying Spec was a JSA member “Before my time.” Oh, sure, Mr. “World’s Third-Smartest man.” Are you also the most fucking obtuse man who ever lived?

World War II was before your time also, so I guess you don't believe THAT happened either. Oh, and the creation of the universe was also before your time. I guess that didn’t happen either -- which, come to think of it, fits in perfectly with your atheistic view that the universe was created by no one. There was total nothingness, and then, one day... the universe and everything in it appeared. No cause -- it just happened!

Hey! Why is Green Lantern flying out in the middle of Zauriel’s nondenominational prayer? No reason is given. Is he just rude? Is he disgusted with the fact that in church, while praying, Zauriel proudly proclaims the heroes all have faith in EACH OTHER, and makes no mention whatsoever of faith in God? Whatever. Who cares. They had a church scene! Now DC can get all the "red states" to buy this comic, and make them forget last issue, when Superboy-Prime punched someone's head off!
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"Lord, hear our prayer." But what if it's a totally obnoxious prayer? He basically asked God -- "above all" -- to protect them because they offer faith in -- not God -- but EACH OTHER! That's the way prayers work, right? You ask for stuff, and God gives it to you? What oblivious nonsense.

And I have to point out Mr. Terrific's Ebonic answer: "Got faith in my team." If Terrific was white, he would have said "I have faith in my team." But he's Black, so he said "GOT" instead of "I have." Why? Because he's Black, and that's the way Black people talk in comic books. You'd think this type of embarassing dialogue went out in the fifties, but no! It's very much alive today, in 2006.

Next sequence: Superman and Lois Lane tour "their" Earth, which was newly-reconstituted last issue. This section of the story contained a panel with art so incredibly bad it literally horrified me to look at it. Here is the thing below, see for yourself.
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Oh my God. Lois looks like the Joker’s sister. The stripes of gray in her hair look perfectly idiotic. And Superman’s face is SO totally fucked up I don’t even know where to begin. Wait, yes I do. THE CHIN. That fucking chin! And the teeth. The neck veins. That little cowlick. Also, the retarded gray hair. I mean, Jerry Ordway drew this, for God's sake! He's usually great. Have these people never seen anyone in real life with a chin? Or with gray hair? When they first meet such a person, they’re going to be SHOCKED to discover that their hair doesn't look like Reed Richards after all. Why is the art in this book so inconsistent, and, at times, so completely fucked up it's laughable?

According to DC's Dan Dildo on Newsarama, there's no problem with the art in this book at all. Listen to Dildo explain this artistic trainwreck with spin worthy of a politician. "The plan," Dildo says, "was always to bring in Jerry Ordway to do the Earth 2 sequences and George Perez to do scenes that paid tribute to the original Crisis. Phil is a huge fan of the original series and wanted to make sure they were involved in the sequel. Phil is also a perfectionist and realist, and he has always put the project first. As the schedule got tighter and tighter, he saw that Eddie Berganza needed to move heaven and multiple earths to keep this book on schedule, Phil volunteered to give up pages so that we keep the series on track. Eddie brought in Ivan Reis to help on the middle issues, that way Phil .could focus on the final two. There has been a lot of crazy planning and juggling on these books, but everyone involved, from George to Jerry to Phil to Ivan to Geoff to Eddie and all our inkers, have been consummate professionals in their handling of this series."

Oh, I see! The art is fucked up because... "the schedule got tighter and tighter." Wow, they planned this for like two years, then realized that a monthly book actually comes out every month! That must have been a shocking discovery. (I wouldn't care about this at all if the art on the book was good, but it's not. Thank you, Mr. Dildo.)

Next, we go back in the Batcave (shown right) for some absolute dreck with Batman, Booster Gold and "the new Blue Beetle." Booster seems just a bit too enthusiastic about the kid replacing the Beetle, his former partner. Err... the Beetle got shot in the head a while back. Remember, Booster? Guess not. So what. He’s "the NEW Blue Beetle,” as Booster announces so foolishly.

Moving right along... Lois dies, and the Earth Two Superman goes fucking berserk for absolutely no reason. This is supposed to be the pre-crisis Superman... the original Superman -- a superman among supermen -- the hero who created the entire comic book industry in 1938 with Action comics #1.

According to DC’s Dan Dildo, Infinite Crisis "has one of the greatest pedigrees in comics to live up to. Everyone involved in this production understands that and will settle for being nothing less than the very best.” Great. So can I ask why DC feels the need to depict the original Superman as a raving lunatic? A psychotic with major issues? A fucking pitiful asshole who throws cars at people just to have homage number ten zillion to the cover of Action #1?
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Page from Infinite Crisis #5, 2006 Action Comics #1, 1938
Last issue, we were lead to believe that the multiverse had returned. But now it seems that only another Earth was recreated. This issue, we do it all over again, and as the multiverse is recreated -- maybe -- Superman splits apart into different versions the character has had over the years. Here's the splitting headache...
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.... and here are a few of the first appearances of the various Supermen seen above -- from World's Finest #178, Superman #162, and Superman: Red Son #1, a more recent Elseworlds book imagining what Superman would have been like had his rocket landed in Russia during the Cold War.
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Next, we come to Superboy-Prime. Who is Superboy-Prime? I'd tell you, but it's so convoluted, we'd both grow old before I got to the end. Suffice to say he's like an alternate version of "our" Superboy, gone bad. He was imprisoned at the end of the original "Crisis," but he broke out. When he broke out, he unleashed a “Continuity Wave” that will have continuing ramifications throughout the DC Universe.

What a great concept! So now there's NO continuity. Nothing means anything anymore. If everything isn't consistent, they can just blame the “Continuity Wave.” Maybe it's what made Superboy rip people's arms out of their bloody sockets, and turned the original Superman into a psychotic douche bag.

Long ago, DC decided they did not WANT any new readers. They embarked on an ambitious plan to make their books so laden with back .story that no new reader could ever hope to understand them. The plan worked! Over the years, comic readership has been reduced from millions to a small, insular community numbering about 200,000 people at most. But now, even this amount is no longer acceptable.

Yes, having successfully chased away new readers, DC's next goal is to alienate existing readers! It's part of their grand marketing scheme. Eventually, the half-dozen or so creators of each book hope to achieve the ultimate goal of producing comics for an audience that consists entirely of themselves.

Here's a great way to do just that: Since current readers love continuity, DC seems to have decided to destroy it altogether with the “Continuity Wave” created by Superboy's breakout. And as a special bonus, DC didn't even put the big "Superboy breakout" scene in Infinite Crisis -- they decided to run it in a Batman Annual (cover pictured right), with NO "Infinite Crisis Tie-In" banner on the cover! Perfect! Here's the big breakout scene, a two-page spread...
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In the beginning of this increasingly stupid story, it seemed the original Superman might become the new Parallax. Now, it looks like Superboy-Prime is the new Anti-Monitor. .This installment of the story ends with an enraged Superboy-Prime returning to attack the heroes. He's even wearing some of old Anti-Monitor's mechanisms (on the page pictured right).

What?!?! I though the Flashes gave their lives and exploded the Speed Force to stop him last issue? Didn't they? They did! But so what, now he's back again. For vengeance. And this time it's personal. Look out. Oh no. Etc, etc.

The story is followed by several pages of ads touting the "Infinite Crisis" aftermath. and how it will affect the DCU in the months to come. As of now, all DC Universe books are leaping ahead "One Year Later." After years of planning, you'd think the "Crisis" storyline would naturally lead into this development, but it doesn't. At all.

No reason whatsoever is given as to WHY the DCU is moving ahead one year -- it just IS. Shown below is the ad section's lead-off page, and by the way... if "Infinite Crisis" did NOT shock you, then you WILL believe what happens next.
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NEW CREATORS! None of whom you've ever heard of, because no big names want to be tied down to regular monthly books anymore, so we're trying to promote second-stringers as if they were superstars! NEW STORYLINES! That are dark, violent, depressing, and -- contrary to months of hype -- very remarkably like the OLD storylines! THE FUTURE IS NOW! God help you (and your wallet) if you want to understand it, and bring your Prozac! EVIL Robby Reed out!
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END OF REVIEW!
AND NOW...
If this issue of DIAL B for BLOG shocked you,
you won't believe what happens next!

The DC Universe is leaping into THE FUTURE...
and so is DIAL B for BLOG!


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