Well ... that was a mighty big, jam-packed finale. From the villains in Metropolis to the two Superman fighting Doomsday, Bart Allen's return, the Green Lantern Corps, Batman holding a gun to Alexander Luthor's head, the Supermen crash-landing on Mogo, the death of the Earth-2 Superman, the Joker's revenge and more, this issue was twice as gripping as the six before--and they were pretty powerful, too. I wouldn't say that all my questions are answered, but certainly the story drew a clear line between what was resolved thematically, and what is still to come in 52. I might not agree with the way everything came out (a new Wonder Woman history? Really?), but I'm definitely eager to see what the new DCU is like post-Infinite Crisis.
From the beginning of this issue, Superman puts words to what we've known all along: in as well as Superboy, Wonder Girl, and Nightwing get along, it should've been the Big Three. And by the end, they have shown their renewed trust in one another--on one hand, I'm not sure that the issues that split them apart have really been resolved, or at least talked over; on the other, in this issue along we saw a Wonder Woman who understands killing isn't worth it, a Batman open to those around him, and a Superman ... when he and the Earth-2 Superman smashed into Doomsday, they had inspiration in spades. For this more than anything, I'm looking forward to the new Justice League of America--a chance to see Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman working together as different individuals, but as allies.
Superman delivers perhaps the other thematic line in this issue, when he reminds Superboy-Prime that it's what you do that makes a difference, that "it's about action." Aside from being a nice tribute to Action Comics, this and Superman's comment from issue six--"they have faith in us"--speaks to Superboy-Prime and Alex Luthor's argument that the modern heroes are, essentially, just too bad to be good. Instead, Superman tells us, as long as the heroes ultimately save the day in the end, everything else takes care of itself. Which ... doesn't entirely hold up if you really think about it, any more than the Big Three's promise that no matter what happens, they'll always be there for one another (unless, of course, Wonder Woman kills someone again), but if you don't think about it with anything more than comic book logic ... it's kind of sweet. And again, if nothing else, it was a nice shout-out to Action Comics.
It was something of a strange note to let Lex Luthor and the Joker, ultimately, be the arbiters of Alexander Luthor's fate. At the same time, I'd like to hope that this, too, is a symbol of the new DCU--not just heroes anymore, but also villains with stories and personalities as gripping as those of the heroes. And though Lex more or less stood back and watched, Infinite Crisis did succeed in reminding us that the Joker is, once and for all, the Clown Prince of Crime. I'll be on the look out for the Joker's next apperance, and I hope the writers make the most of it.
52 advertises itself as a world without Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman--but they forgot to mention it's also a world without Hawkgirl, Supergirl, Firestorm, Starfire, and others. But we also know that many of those characters are back as of One Year Later. In that these characters didn't return at the end of Infinite Crisis, we get more of a sense of what 52 will be about--Hawkman's search for Hawkgirl, perhaps, and so on--and also that 52 will contain a gallant scene where these heroes return from being lost (not unlike, really, Legion: Lost). The question of where they've gone is an interesting one; perhaps they'll return with certain knowledge of the DCU that will tie in to the new DC continuity as a whole.
The art of Infinite Crisis #7 was in my opinion some of the best, and most disappointing, yet. Best, in Phil Jimenez's moody, gripping Batman/Alex Luthor and Jerry Ordway's cosmic Superman/Superboy scenes; disappointing, in that some of the most pivotal group shots were handled by DC artist Joe Bennett--a talent in his own right, but the change from Jimenez's art to Bennett's is painfully obvious. At the same time, that group shot was nearly suitable for framing, and there's so much there that I almost didn't know where to look first (the new Captain Marvels! No, Batwoman! No, the Starman! Head ... exploding ...).
And it's this, despite the slight snafu's in Infinite Crisis, that's left me energized and ready for more. There's just so much there to be excited about, and it's obvious that whether we agree with some of Geoff Johns and Dan Didio's decisions (Linda Danvers never existed? Really? Then who helped out at Coast City during "Reign of the Supermen?), these people love DC Comics. I say it again--even if Infinite Crisis wasn't picture perfect, one thing it's shown is that the new team at DC love these characters. And maybe that's enough.
Now someone just explain to me how Nightwing made it out alive ... (and the "ten things I'm still not clear about" at that link made me laugh out loud).
Back soon with more news, reviews, and wait-for-trade goodness. If there's one thing Infinite Crisis taught me, it's that monthlies sure do have a lot of really distracting advertisements. Not so in trades ...