Monday, December 19, 2022

Bullet Review: Dark Crisis Big Bang #1

Last week, Dark Crisis Big Bang #1 came out, a fun little piece of fluff barely attached to Dark Crisis in any meaningful way. But when I read the solicit, a tour of the DCU written by Mark Waid with art by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund, I knew I would be in. 

Then I saw this cover by Nathan Szerdy mixing a Joker henchman from the 1989 Batman movie with the Wonder Woman from the Laurn Faust Super Hero Girls cartoon. Now I knew I was really in. 

This will be a super brief review.

Dark Crisis itself is sort of a crossover that is barely holding itself together. There are a lot of crazy ideas thrown together. It is very meta about the other DC events. But it feels a bit jumbled. I know Pariah is trying to recreate a multiverse. But I just don't 'feel' the threat. I don't sense the characters' peril. It just isn't gelled to me. 

This one-shot has the Dark Crisis trade dress but is just a one-shot of Waid giving us a snippets of all the known universes Barry Allen has visited while on a mission. It is very fun to re-visit some of the 52 Earths created by Grant Morrison in their Multiversity event. But Waid adds more, telling us we are in true infinite multiverse. It even includes a text page of these known worlds, including a bit in the back that really ... and I mean REALLY ... caught my eye. 

As for the art, I have nothing but love for Jurgens and Rapmund who bring their classic style to all the odd worlds we get a glimpse of. I also am very impressed with Jurgens' handle on the Flash. I wouldn't mind seeing Jurgens on a Barry mini-series.

If you love the old DC multiverse, you should get this if only to see all the classics that are brought back into existence. I mean Earth-4, the Charleston Earth? I am thrilled to see that again.

On to the book!

The premise of the book is that Barry Allen remember being 'killed' by the Anti-Monitor in the original Crisis on Infinite Earths.

He is afraid that while everyone is concentrating on the Pariah threat that the Anti-Monitor is out there, destroying worlds and accruing power. 

But wait, isn't the Anti-Monitor in dark chains and working for Pariah? 
See ... it's just not gelled.

That said, I love this Jurgens homage to George Perez's classic COIE #8.

Barry does indeed find the Anti-Monitor, freed from Pariah apparently, and about to destroy a universe. Luckily, we learn from a Flash Fact that Barry can actually punch the Anti-Monitor and do some damage, shoving him from one universe to the next. 

Some of them are outright silly. Like Earth-66, listed as a world where Batman and Robin face exceptionally benign villains, a la the Adam West show.

And then there is Earth-789 with the Burton Batman universe. When I read it, I was a bit surprised it wasn't Earth-89, or Earth -1989. But more on that in a second. 

Barry ends up needing help. Wallace, who is with him, gathers an army from the multiverse, and they send the Anti-Monitor packing. All is well. On top of that we get to see many Earths worth visiting. 

You know Waid will showcase some cool stuff. I was very happy.

But then I read the text page, notes from Barry as he explores the Multiverse. 

Well, I guess it is called Earth-789 because it includes the 1978 Superman movie universe and the 1989 Batman movie universe. 

But that write-up says that world includes a Supergirl. I presume this is the Supergirl from the 1984 Supergirl movie.

I can only hope we one day see that Kara in a comic. And how about we get Waid or Sterling Gates to write it! Maybe Robert Venditti?

Supergirl 1984 exists.


The rest of the list is just as fun with a Bombshells world listed, a Batman/Superman Jr. world listed, and these two at the end. 

First off, I am old enough to have read Superman #354 off the rack. Fun to see Superman 2020 listed as something semi-official. 

And then Earth 1996,the Amalgam universe requiring 'further investigation'. Marvelous. 

This was a fun book, a cotton candy treat.

Overall grade: A


H said...

If Superman 2020 is there, does that mean the Superman of 2966 (probably be 3022 by now, considering how the naming worked) is there too? I know he was there when Mark Waid did the Hypertime stuff in the 90's. Also wonder how many (if any) of the animated universes are there- DCAU's likely, but Super Friends or maybe even the Filmation shows could be there too. I know they did Spider-Man's 60's animated universe for Spider-Verse.

Anonymous said...

Well on the one hand I am glad there is a place for the Chris Reeve/Helen Slater continuity in the DC Multiverse, on the other hand We all know DC would rather self immolate rather than make any good true use of Supergirl in her varied incarnations.
Just sayin’ thass all.


Martin Gray said...

A very fun book but, yes, confusing on the Anti-Monitor front.

Pedro Vallefin said...

On one hand, the exploration of this expanded multiverse is fun and possibly the only worthwhile aspect of this event. On the other hand, much like the event itself that only exists to celebrate legacy heroes with hadrly anything relevant going on in it, the story of the one shot is just an empty excuse to showcase said expanded multiverse. It shows how much of a mess the whole event has been that this sort of epilogue to it, since it seems to happen after the event and deals with the only consequence of it (the return of an infinite multiverse), came out before the actual end of the event. Its like DC itself its adknowledging how irrelevant the whole thing is. Its a bit of a shame, one would have thought that the event where such a monumental moment like the restoration of the multiverse to what it was before the first crisis would be something less forgetable than this. But well, at least we have this one shot. The plot may feel rushed and kinda blank, but theres a good sort of silliness to it. I mean, where else we would see the Flash punch the Anti-Monitor like that?Its dumb fun but fun nether the less.