We are eight weeks into INFINITE CRISIS now and they still haven’t included Supergirl. I mention this, as I want to try and time the releases of characters before how long they appear in the book. As we’re eight issues involved in the story of INFINITE CRISIS, I can see plainly that DC isn’t really playing it as a cross promotion.
INFINITE CRISIS #8 (people) opens where we left off in the middle of a ruined wasteland – right as Batman and the rest of our Just-Us (so far) league starts to lay down some hardcore violence on a group of Mad Max extras. Before I really “get into” this I want to say, INFINITE CRISIS #8 is the most fun issue out of this series so far, and I’m a little ambivalent about letting that alone decide how good it is, but it’s an important point to make for this issue.
There’s a strange type of energy in the panels of this book that makes it read like the “POW” and “KRRUNCH” that punctuates every blow is completely and entirely necessary. In a way it’s the exact opposite type of comic booking going on over at that other company in the pages of a character’s book that’s suspiciously similar to Batman, only white. Declan Shalvey, in the page of Moon Knight, is giving us a kinetic and raw series of fights that bring to mind movies like THE RAID or the old IRON FIST series from Brubaker. INFINITE CRISIS operates on the opposite end of the paradigm, giving action that *feels* like it has weight, but has that weight in a different way.
Both of the way these experiences are delivered are valid, and for a book that’s got such a madcap premise like INFINITE CRISIS, the Declan Shalvey way of doing things just wouldn’t fit. There’s actually a moment I really like in this issue. Crustacean Bane and his defeated army of desert-punks head to where Two Face is hold up – The Big House. That actually kind of foreshadows something that’s been announced recently in the world of DC, and it gives Batman a chance to think about the multiverse. Those are the moments that abso lutely make a book like INFINITE CRISIS. There hasn’t been enough of them so far, but maybe as we go deeper in this Rabbit Hole we’ll find out?
Last week I predicted that our heroes would soundly defeat Bane – in here he goes down after one punch from Wonder Woman. I don’t mind the predictability because a series like this is going to run through villains to ratchet up our heroes, so it can knock them back down again when the real villain shows up. I feel like using Bane – even Atomic Bane, to be that villain is kind of a disservice. We’ve already got The Two Faced and Crab Bane – I would have liked to see an atomic version of maybe SINESTRO: maybe they chose Crab Bane because people wouldn’t expect him to show up in the videogame, though.
Or maybe I should be complaining that Batman is at the focus of another facet of the DC universe? He’s sort of the poster boy right now. A dark and brooding poster boy, to be sure, but so is everybody in the New 52. INFINITE CRISIS is alright so far, but sticking to a lead everybody knows is the most boring way to do things. If this series wants to be anything but fun, It’s going to need to shine the spotlight…bat signal, whatever, on a different character.
INFINITE CRISIS #8 is as much fun as cotton candy, or funnel cake at a fair. It’s delicious and sweet, but you can’t survive off of it alone. Yes, there’s problems with INFINITE CRISIS. It might have weight in the fight scenes but it certainly lacks it in the narrative. Placing it on a review scale is hard though, because every comic doesn’t need to be a MOON KNIGHT or THE SANDMAN. A fun book can just simply exist.
Maybe as a palette cleanser.