[UPDATE: Apparently Amazon has the Infinite Crisis novel at the discount price of $4.99 right now. Get 'em while they're hot.]
I've been raving for a little while now about Greg Cox's Infinite Crisis novelization. In short, it's far better than I expected, and frankly stands up as a pretty good book in its own right.
Part of my hesitation, I'm sure, stems from Marv Wolfman's Crisis on Infinite Earths novel. Certainly of anyone, Marv Wolfman has the right to mess around with the events of Crisis, but a lot of that novel just didn't make sense to me. Cox, on the other hand, hews very close to Infinite Crisis's actual storyline, pretty solid in and of itself. He does a masterful job introducing a hero in one sentence, and then explaining the hero's powers in just a few words in the next sense (Rampage, for instance, is simply "an orange-skinned woman of giant proportions"), and at the same time, he seems unafraid of letting the book's multiple dangling plotlines dangle, from the disappearance of Blue Beetle to the Spectre's unexplained plight.
It's Cox's additions to Infinite Crisis, however, that really sold me here. Cox fleshed out a bunch of the alternate Earths shown in Infinite Crisis, including a scene set on the Tangent Earth that's a lot of fun. He takes nearly a whole chapter on the destruction of Atlantis, giving Aquaman a well-deserved scene. Cox crafts a book that's designed, like the Infinite Crisis series, for both new and long-time DC Comics fans--characters like the Blood Pack get an (ill-fated) shot in the spotlight, giving the novel a true crossover feel.
Cox's novel succeeds in part because of the emotional impact he adds to Infinite Crisis's crucial scenes. Batman's breakdown early in Infinite Crisis is an touching moment here, and Donna Troy's role makes much more sense spelled out in prose. Cox goes into great detail showing the destruction wrought on Metropolis in the end, making the battle between the heroes and the villains that much grander. This was a novel I was hesitant to buy, but I'm all the more eager now for Cox's upcoming take on 52.