We’ve got a very small month of tie-ins for Crisis #10, which is a good thing, mostly because it keeps the average quality higher than we’ve seen.
All-Star Squardon #53
Roy Thomas writes this book (with plot assistant from Dann Thomas), with pencils by Mike Clark and Arvell Jones and inks by the overpowering duo of Colletta and DeZuniga.
This is exactly the kind of comic that I think DC had in mind when they came up with Crisis.
Not only does it feature a lot of generic white people running around hitting each other, but the stakes never seem very high because it’s regularly campy. I’m a big fan of these characters, but is the All-Star Squadron vs. the Monster Society of Evil big on anyone’s list? Particularly with Captain Marvel no where to be found?
We do get the return of The Dummy, though, which is kind of great if only because he was last seen in 1941, and I love when comics pull out ridiculous old characters or events (this is why I love so much of Grant Morrison’s superhero work). And the fact that Mr. Mind traveled to this earth specifically to find The Dummy after having traveled to other earths only to find actual dummies, and not one that talks on his own.
The last third of the book is actually Crisis related and jumps the gun a bit as far as that series is concerned. While not stated, you can figure out what’s to come in the final two issues if you piece together what’s going on in the remainder of this comic.
It should be noted that Thomas seemed to be squeezing Superman in as much as you could in the last few pre-Crisis months of All-Star, which makes sense, as the Trinity were going to be off limits to him very soon.
And this issue comes even closer to give Crisis away over the course of the first 3rd of the book. It’s nice to see the assembled heroes of Earths 1 and 2 together, though. I’ve said on many occasions that I’m a big Earth-2 fan. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the other earths, it’s that two was enough for me.
The rest of this issue, which is drawn by Todd McFarlane (the first 13 pages were drawn by Mike Clark, and the whole thing was inked by Tony DeZuniga), covers the first adventure of the new Hourman and Doctor Midnight as they battle the various time disturbances happening all over the world due to Crisis. It’s standard superhero fare, although the African American Doctor Midnight not taking great exception to the Confederate soldiers she faces feels like a cop out.
Also, Roy Thomas, have you ever actually heard someone say “in blazes?” And who was the first comic book writer to use that phrase? Because I would like to punish him.
Funny enough, the best Crisis tie-ins have been in the book that arguably featured the least repercussions, at least during Crisis (I’ll write a post-Crisis column that will cover one of the greatest stories in Legion histories and believe me when I tell you that you need to read it).
Scientist Rond Vidar (who ends up being an excellent character, for what it’s worth) realizes that a slew of things have happened in the universe recently, yet no one can seem to remember how those things happened. Time and space are being mucked with! He gets the grieving Brainiac 5 involved (see last issue) and in an attempt to fix whatever is going on, they inadvertently resurrect the Infinite Man! A big battle ensues and the Infinite Man loses his powers, ostensibly curing Jaxon Rugarth of his crazy evil god condition.
It may not sound like much, but the fact that the Legion addresses some of the overlooked points of Crisis (wouldn’t massive changes to reality alter not just events, but people?) and yet doesn’t actually answer anything, which is a nifty trick. And by not answering anything, it sets up the forthcoming fantastic story.
Hm. I don’t think any of that made any sense.
Anyway, this was written by Legion writer extraordinaire, Paul Levitz, with art by the criminally underrated Greg Larocque and Larry Mahlstedt.
Comic book readers tend to get upset about retcons and they also tend to act like such things are a recent development. Granted, they do seem to be more prevalent than ever, as I think every hero published by Marvel and DC has some hidden secret we never knew about. But while perhaps not quite as common, retcons have been around for ever.
Case in point: Supergirl’s secret marriage.
Apparently, two years ago Supergirl was somehow knocked unconscious while out in space. She’s found by an alien named Salkor, who takes her back to his home world in hopes to save her. He does, but when she wakes up, she has no memory of who she is. She’s still Supergirl, though, so she helps Salkor defend his planet from all sorts of problems, because the hero that she was on Earth, and falls in love with Salkor. So they get married.
Eventually, as you probably guessed, Supergirl remembers who she is. But then she pulls a total dick move and just leaves while Salkor is sleeping (in the bed they share, I should probably add). No note, no nothing. It’s like their marriage was an extended one night stand.
Salkor eventually tracks her down, but not before she dies in the Crisis. So he breaks into the Fortress of Solitude and steals a memory device that she’d taken with her that is full of their thoughts and feelings from their time together. Of course, Superman doesn’t know any of this, so they fight for a bit before Salkor explains his deal.
Eventually, the two team up to fight another alien with a mad on for Supergirl. In the end, Salkor takes the memory device with him.
Kind of sad, right? But also kind of strange. Salkor claims they fell in love over the course of a few days — did no one notice that Supergirl was missing? And did she wake up in the middle of the night with her memories? She didn’t talk to anyone about that, like, holy shit, I woke up next to some dude that I married when I had amnesia!
Anyway, as retcons go, not a particularly offensive one.
This issue was written by Cary Bates with art by Curt Swan and Al Williamson, who I still think are an odd pairing, but their growing on me.
Next: Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld! And the first volume of Wonder Woman comes to its stunning conclusion!