Another week, another INFINITE CRISIS. This week is a continuation of last week’s story, where our entire group of heroes (so far) finally got to meet face to face with The Two Faced. Following a successful ruse by Batman to trick the Lobster Bane into being terrified of Arcane Green Lantern, we’re finally arriving to the tipping point at the beginning of this series. At this point, the events to INFINITE CRISIS seem to be lining up with the introduction to the video game. I’m wondering what we can expect to happen beyond the pages of INFINITE CRISIS #9?
Past the initial point in INFINITE CRISIS: THE VIDEOGAME, there’s really no plot to be thought of. Training missions have a rudimentary narrative arc to them, but it’s never quite ‘felt’ in the game itself. Of course, most comic book/video game cross-pollinations hardly ever factor in a story, which seems like a weird deal! Like the comic company draws the shortest part of the bargain. I know it’s been said many times before that people were expecting something more than a comic-book style introduction in MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 3, only to be disappointed that’s all they got – which is very much the same deal here. INFINITE CRISIS works as a tie-in, but it doesn’t tell you anything new about the game.
What I enjoy most about INFINITE CRISIS is that we’ve gotten a different artist every few issues. I think, stylistically, there’s no better way to render the adventures of a group of people from different realities. In this issue, the artist known as ACO takes over, and the new style fits quite well. I’m used to the “cinematic” style art that almost looks like 3D renders from a lot of Marvel books, so it’s interesting to see DC employ that type of artist. It is sometimes hit or miss – these artists tend to focus big, wide shots with little implied movement, but for this issue it works.
The action in this issue builds appropriately, too. Just by the time you think The Two Faced completely has it in for Batman and Nightmare Robin, they’re able to serve him his just desserts. It’s cool to see this group finally working as a team. It’s a little silly, too, because I’m pretty sure it took the actual Justice League more issues to cooperate.
INFINITE CRISIS is going to kill me with all of these cliffhangers. Cool! We got through the battle, now it’s the Monitor. This isn’t going to be a series with a lot of downtime, I know – gotta keep pumpin’ out exciting events every week, but it wouldn’t hurt. On the topic of “exciting events” I find it twice as hilarious now as I did last week that Lobster Bane went from proud warrior-crustacean thing to mewling coward the second he was convinced Green Lantern could kill him. I guess that serves the plot of escalating us to TWO FACE.
INFINITE CRISIS #9 tells us a lot about what kind of series this is. It’s one where the heroes spend eight issues chasing a deus-ex-machina and then defeat the villain with it. In many ways it could be considered pure comic book, but not handled as well as something like NEXTWAVE: AGENTS OF H.A.T.E. It’s not as well crafted because it doesn’t have as lofty of a goal. INFINITE CRISIS is pure comic book because that’s the only type of story it has tried to tell so far. One where the heroes beat the villains, and maybe disagree with each other on small things along the way.
INFINITE CRISIS #9 continues to be a tie-in and not a lot else. As an artistic anthology, it doesn’t hold up because none of the art is of consistent quality across the board. As a consistent adventure, it’s largely paint-by-numbers. Maybe it will become an obsessively grand in scope paint-by-numbers story, but we’ll see.