One way (perhaps the only way) I've felt that Infinite Crisis hasn't lived up to its hype is in that I haven't seen as many significant deaths as I expected. But there's no question that I felt a gallon of dread as I read through Infinite Crisis #6, worrying that Nightwing would die, concerned for Black Lightning and Mr. Terrific, but ultimately, sad but true, Superboy didn't make it.
The parallels, of course, are obvious--just as Supergirl died in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Superboy sacrifices himself in Infinite Crisis. And the sacrifice, I think, is just as real; Supergirl kepts the Anti-Monitor from killing Superman, while Superboy defeated Superboy-Prime and kept Alexander Luthor from destroying more worlds. Given that the Superman of Earth-1 lived through the original Crisis, I would hope that he would make mention of the similarity next issue--just as he saw Supergirl die once before, now he watches a Superboy sacrifice himself, too. I wouldn't say Superboy was widely beloved--personally, I read every issue of his series, plus Superboy and the Ravers, though I know the Kid wasn't everyone's favorite--but in his death, at least, I hope he earned himself a place in history. And even as I hold out hope that, you know, after all, he's a clone, so maybe there's another one where that came from, I also see the wisdom in Dan Didio's edict that it cheapens things to have a revolving door on the DCU's heaven. So we'll see. But Superboy's death, reminiscent of Blue Beetle's ... yeah, that got me. That was pivotal.
"New Earth." The words sent proverbial chills up my spine. The image fragments, purely speculative, made it seem as though the classic Superboy does exist, Superman never kills the Kryptonian villains, Joe Chill is the murderer of Bruce Wayne's parents, and Wonder Woman exists such that she joined the JLA. None of which, really, do I think are postive changes in the DCU. And I have my doubts that those changes are really going to be made--the Superboy and Wonder Woman elements, in particular, would very greatly confuse things (not to mention undercutting Superman: Birthright). And both Didio and Geoff Johns have stated that Infinite Crisis is not about revamping continuity. So whither the New Earth? I'll be interested to see.
With as much emotional resonance as Infinite Crisis #6 had, however, there were some parts of it that I just flat didn't understand. For one, apparently Hawkgirl disappeared--I have no idea who else disappeared to, or where they went, due to what I felt was some unclear storytelling, though I imagine it'll be explained next issue. The Spectre returned, when I thought his story--as far as Infinite Crisis was concerned--was over, just in time to kill Star Sapphire (who is/is not Carol Ferris?); if there isn't at least a slight resolution with the Spectre in issue 7, I'll wonder mightly about that scene. And for all the build-up we've seen with Donna Troy, I was very surprised to see that her pivotal moment was essentially sending in other heroes to save Superman and Wonder Woman; Donna, too, I hope we see more of next issue.
I thought it was telling that Black Adam killed the Psycho Pirate in this issue--after all, Psycho Pirate is essentially the only post-Crisis DCU denizen who knows the full Crisis on Infinite Earths history. A symbolic wiping the slate clean, perhaps? I vacillate between whether it's strange that, even this far into Infinite Crisis, we're still not sure what the story is about, thematically, or whether the story is so well-crafted that even after six issues, the seventh issue still has us guessing. Check back here at Collected Editions tomorrow night, where (hopefully) all our questions will have been answered. See you then!