And speaking of Infinite's time to own up to my six predictions. Read on to be reminded of what I said we would discover in the miniseries...and where I was right.

Read more... )

So in the end, I give myself a score of 83%.
This week Infinite Crisis #7 was finally released, bringing to a conclusion a comic book story that had its seeds in a year-long miniseries published a little over twenty years ago. Ever since 1985, if DC Comics were to call something new a "Crisis," we knew it had to be an earth-shattering event. If you've been reading my posts on this new Crisis from the beginning, you know how excited I've been by these developments in one my favorite fictional universes.

So did the new Crisis live up to my expectations?

Read more... )

One final thought. Back when this all started, I pondered what we would call the new era, since we use the term pre-Crisis and post-Crisis to describe the DC universe. After having read all of Infinite Crisis, and the beginning of the One Year Later books, I'm guessing that in the end, Infinite Crisis is only going to be as significant in the big picture as Zero Hour was. Infinite Crisis appears to have been meant as a convenient and useful reboot to help clean up continuity. But it is not something so important as to require us to consider it a major branching point in the history of the DC universe.
This will probably be mostly of interest to comic book fans.

Back in October, when I was first speculating about Infinite Crisis, I posted a list of links about the first issue of that series. In that same post, I gave a bunch of links to essays by a fellow named Alan Kistler, who is one of the people blogging at Monitor Duty. Mr. Kistler had written a bunch of excellent essays about the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, which I recommended for people who needed to be brought up to speed.

Mr. Kistler has also written quite a few essays detailing the histories of various DC comics characters. I am delighted to see that thanks to my recommendation, he's created a webpage, Alan Kistler's List, which links to all of his essays. His essays include profiles of Aquaman, Braniac, Donna Troy, the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Martian Manhunter, Power Girl, Superman, and General Zod, and he plans to add other profiles soon.

The essays are great for people who want to be reminded about their favorite characters. They're also great for people who are less intense about comic books but whose husbands keep badgering them to learn more. Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything. :-)

I cannot recommend the essays highly enough. Go read.

(And nag him about getting that Firestorm essay done. I want to read it.)
[Spoilers for Infinite Crisis #1-4]

I didn't have time to post about Infinite Crisis #4 when it came out last month, partly because I was still processing how I felt about the story. On the one hand, I have a "fan boy" perspective on how cool it is that they brought back Alexander Luthor-3 and Superboy-Prime.

On the other hand, I really dislike the way those two characters have become villains.

Well, the moving finger writes on. Now that we've made it to the halfway point of the series, I think I have an idea of where the story is heading. So, it's the return of Infinite Crisis Speculation Day!

For those of you who have been reading, you know that by the end of issue #4, Earth-2 has been recreated, and the heroes of Earth-2 seemed to have been summoned back to their "native" universe. This has been the goal of Superman-2, to get his own universe back, so Lois will be cured of whatever ails her.

But it's not the goal of Luthor-3. In issue #4, Luthor-3 implied that recreating Earth-2 is only a step along the way. What could he possibly have in mind?

Here's my current theory.

Luthor-3 convinced Superman-2 and Superboy-Prime that they could recreate the entire Multiverse, or at least their own universes, so that they could all go back home. But I bet that Luthor knows that there's only enough "chronal energy" or whatever to support the existence of one universe. Because of the events of the original Crisis twenty years ago, the existence of two or more Earths has become inherently unstable. Luthor, Superboy, and Superman all want their own worlds back, but only Luthor knows that in the end, there can be only one.

Luthor-3 has chosen to recreate Earth-2 first, to get Superman-2 out of his hair. As far as he's concerned, Superman-2 is completely oblivious as to what is going on. Furthermore, I think he sent Superboy-Prime off to confront the current Superboy because he knew that would get Superboy-Prime out of his hair as well. Now that the two of them are out of the picture, he's going to allow the two current Earths to fall apart, using their energy to recreate Earth-3...and therefore allow himself to finally meet his parents and have a normal life.

So I think in the next few issues we're going to see some major conflict, as the current heroes try to keep their universe from being destroyed, while Superman-2 and Luthor-3 also come to blows over whose universe will get to survive. And in the end, I think after all is said and done, we're going to see Superman-2 sacrifice his life so that the current Earth will continue to exist, but possibly changed for the better.

Remember in issue #1, when Batman told Superman that the last time he inspired people was when he died? I think the death of Superman-2 will become the inspiration to the current heroes to restore hope to their universe, and we'll finally move away from the grim and gritty direction that DC Comics has taken in the past few years.

This would actually go a long way toward explaining the cover for the upcoming Infinite Crisis #6 that appears to show the two Earths merging together and destroying each other....
[Spoilers for Infinite Crisis #3, of course; also for Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985-6) and Zero Hour (1994). If you're not reading DC Comics, this post will probably be meaningless to you.]

Yesterday, issue #3 of Infinite Crisis finally appeared, having been delayed for a week. During the day, people I spoke to who had read the issue said that everyone had either one of two reactions: "Oh, wow," or, "I'm never going to read DC Comics again."

I fall firmly into the "Oh, wow" category.

That's not to say that I have a lot of problems with this story. In particular, the plot seems to be almost exactly the same as Zero Hour, the first follow-up to Crisis on Infinite Earths that took place in 1994. In that five-issue story, a villain who turned out to be the once-and-future-hero Hal Jordan used the residual chronal energy from the Crisis to destroy the universe so he could rebuild it as a multiverse. Well, in the current miniseries, a pair of former heroes have been revealed to be doing something that looks like an attempt to recreate the multiverse. And just like Hal Jordan felt that the ends justified the means, they seem to have the same philosophy. In a way, it makes Zero Hour feel almost irrelevant, like a first draft of this current comic. I'm hoping that something happens in the current story to acknowledge that Zero Hour happened and to show why this event is different.

I'm also fascinated to see that some of my predictions are turning out to be almost true. I didn't call everything they're doing -- after all, I didn't expect certain characters to show up the way they did -- but I think I can take credit for figuring out a lot of what this current Crisis has ended up being all about.

Join me, if you want, for my thoughts on Infinite Crisis #3. And we'll start with the Jim Lee cover.

spoilers for issue #3 )

Anyway, to finish off my thoughts for today, I looked back at my predictions round-up post and my followup discussion on issue #2 . I'm not going into the details now, but it looks like my 6-point prediction score of YES-NO-UNRESOLVED now stands at about 4-2-0.

So what do you all think? And if you're visiting from another site, please remember my request for no profanity or obscenity in the discussion, no matter how emotionally wrapped up you are in this story. (I certainly know that I am.)

What a fantastic issue.

And even better, I was right.

Well, I think I was close enough to right.

Over the course of my speculations and predictions, I suggested that the villain behind the current Crisis might be forcing everything apart in order to restore the Multiverse. And back on September 30, I proposed that the "villain" who wanted to restore the original Multiverse was the Golden Age Superman of Earth-2.

Well, yesterday Infinite Crisis #2 came out. And here's one of the things that happened....

spoilers for issue #2 )

So looking back at my Infinite Crisis Predictions Round-Up #1, I think I can safely move some of the unresolved predictions into the YES column. My score of YES-NO-UNRESOLVED now stands at 2.5-1-2.5.
So last week, Infinite Crisis #1 finally came out. I picked up my copy just before Yom Kippur, and because of the holiday and work haven't had time to write up my thoughts until now.

The upshot is that I loved it. This new Crisis is definitely rooted in all the stories that have led into it. And the final page just blew me away. I've been obsessing over this comic, and can't wait to find out where it's going.

(I've also been blown away by the actual full cover for Infinite Crisis #2. Be advised, this cover contains spoilers for the end of issue #1...and I reference it later on.)

But, of course, the main question on my mind is: how well did my predictions pan out? So I went back to my Friday speculations and pulled out the six main predictions I made about the Infinite Crisis. Now, some of these predictions actually contradict each other, as I based each one on the new information from that week's comics. Despite that, I still think I can attempt to score myself via the following system: Right-Wrong-Unresolved.

Be advised -- there are spoilers for the first issue of Infinite Crisis here. If you haven't read it yet, you probably should stop now.

Then again, if you haven't read it yet, you're probably ignoring all these particular posts anyway.

Read more... )
Welcome to the final speculations before the Crisis hits.

As any fan of DC Comics knows, in just two days the first issue of Infinite Crisis will be released. Over the past six months (or more), there's been a lot of stories leading into this big event. In addition, a lot of clues have been sprinkled throughout the DC universe, letting us know that something big was coming down the pike.

So over the past six weeks or so, I've been making predictions as to what's going to happen in the Infinite Crisis based solely on what I've read in the comics. It's entirely possible that I will fall flat on my face with some or all of my theories, but I don't care. I've enjoyed trying to second-guess the people behind the DC universe. So if my guesses turn out to be right, I can claim bragging rights. And if my guesses are all wrong, it's still been fun for me, and I hope it was for you.

Read more... )
For those looking for my next Infinite Crisis speculation post, I'm afraid that you're going to have to wait until Sunday or Monday. A combination of Rosh Hashana and the Ig Nobel Award Ceremony made it difficult for me to read through all the tie-in comics deeply enough to make further speculations. (Although I am amazed at the revelation of Donna Troy's status as the Anti-Harbinger.) So to give everyone something to think about while waiting for my final speculation before Infinite Crisis #1 hits the stores next week, I thought I'd open up a discussion about the recent choice made by Wonder Woman.

To recap, as part of the events surrounding The OMAC Project, Maxwell Lord took control of Superman's mind, fooling him into almost killing Batman by making him think Batman was one of many villains threatening Lois's life. When Wonder Woman finally confronted Lord, he told her that the only way to make him give up control of Superman would be by killing him.

And so she killed him.

The repurcussions are being felt throughout the other comics. In Wonder Woman #221, released this week, the world finds out what she did before she has a chance to turn herself in to an international tribunal, and people's loss of trust in her becomes evident. Although both Superman and Batman benefited from her actions, they have distanced themselves from her. Diana has become that one thing a superhero never should become: a killer.

But is she a murderer?

Wonder Woman has often viewed herself as a soldier in a war. Soldiers in war kill without committing murder; it's entirely possible that one could justify her actions under that perspective. Even Superman seemed intent on killing Doomsday when there appeared to be no other choice.

On the other hand...she did have other options. She could have brought Lord to Zatanna for a magical lobotomy. Or she could have found a way to keep him unconscious until they had a chance to figure out a form of safe incarceration. From that perspective, her actions might be considered morally repugnant, saved only by the defense that she killed him in the heat of the moment, without really having a chance to ponder her other options.

So...was Wonder Woman justified? Were her actions moral?

What do you think?
I think I figured out who's really behind the entirety of Infinite Crisis. And if so, it's going to blow everyone's minds.

Take a seat. This is going to take a while...

Read more... )

When Batman was trying to solve the identity crisis, he kept asking the question, "Who benefits?" That's the same question I'm asking now. Who benefits if the current universe is destroyed, replaced by the late, lamented Multiverse?

The answer is: anyone who remembers the old Multiverse, and wants it back, so they can have their old lives back again. And given the clues that DC has planted in The Kingdom, in the Superman books, in Zero Hour, the answer becomes clear.

The Adversary, the villain who is attempting to destroy the universe and restore the none other than hidden for those who choose to read all my reasoning first... ).

And if I have somehow managed to figure it out, and if I'm (heaven forbid) actually correct in my reasoning...then let the howls of outrage from the fans commence.
Look! Up in the Internet! It's a blog! It's a post! It's Infinite Crisis Speculation Friday!

And what a Friday we have for you today. In our last installment, we posited that the mysterious Mockingbird might be Lena Luthor. I have nothing to add to that speculation, save that I had a few replies from people with other suggestions, and I will cheerfully admit that anyone is a possibility. But whoever it is, it had better be good. I think we'll all be upset if it turns out to be Merryman or Captain Carrot. (Well, except perhaps for those die-hard fans of the Inferior Five or the Zoo Crew.)

However, this week a few books relating to the upcoming Crisis were released, including Day of Vengeance #6, Supergirl #2, Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #1, Teen Titans/Outsiders Secret Files and Origins 2005 and JSA Classified #3 -- which seems to confirm my very first speculation.

Let's go right to it, shall we?

Read more... )
Welcome to another edition of Infinite Crisis Speculation Friday!

To recap, in the first issue I suggested that Power Girl might be a chronal anomaly, who doesn't belong in the DC universe, and that the Psycho-Pirate was using that fact to bring back the Multiverse. In the second issue, I proposed that perhaps the Anti-Monitor is pulling the Psycho-Pirate's strings, and I suggested that maybe the Pirate is playing a large role in the Villains United miniseries. My thought was that perhaps the Pirate was also the mysterious Mockingbird.

But now, I have a different idea.

Read more... )
You know what today is, of course -- Infinite Crisis Speculation Friday!

When we last visited the question, the topic on my mind was the appearance of the Psycho-Pirate in JSA Classified #2. As you may recall, the Psycho-Pirate was one of the pivotal characters in the original Crisis on Infinite Earths. The discovery that he's behind what's currently happening to Power Girl led me to believe that he might be behind the upcoming Infinite Crisis.

Well, DC Comics has just upped the ante.

Read more... )
Once again, this is an article that will probably interest comic book readers only. In particular, those who follow the DC Comics universe.

As many of us already know, starting next month DC will begin publishing a series called Infinite Crisis, in which the DC Universe will be shaken up once again. We've had two shakeups already. Back in 1985, DC published Crisis on Infinite Earths, which destroyed the multiverse and left behind one supposedly consistent universe. Then, in 1994, Zero Hour recreated the universe again, supposedly resolving all the inconsistencies left by the Crisis.

(For more information, feel free to check out the references listed at the end of this article.)

There are four miniseries currently being published now that lead into the Infinite Crisis, and in each one major events are happening that presumably will have great import. But there have also been hints of the Infinite Crisis planted in many other books. In particular, the new book JSA Classified was rumored to have a story that was vitally important to the new Crisis. What is that story?

The revelation of Power Girl's secret origin.

Read more... )
This post will probably mostly interest people who, like me, are avid followers of the DC Universe.

Later this year, DC's big event will be something called Infinite Crisis, which supposedly will be a universe-altering event, similar to the Crisis on Infinite Earths that they did back in 1985. For those who don't know much about Crisis, a little detail follows.

In the 1950s, DC Comics began to introduce new versions of their Golden Age characters, starting with the Flash. Eventually, it was decided that these new versions of their characters lived in an entirely different universe, which they named Earth-1. The original superheroes lived on Earth-2, where time moved more slowly. Having two different universes was a good way to avoid continuity problems between characters.

It was also a good way to accomodate other characters. For example, when DC bought Fawcett Comics and the Marvel family of heroes (the ones who shout "Shazam!"), they placed them in their own universe, Earth-S. When World War II ended but Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters still wanted to fight the Nazis, they could do so on Earth-X. When DC wanted a set of evil villains who were analogs to the superheroes, they created Earth-3 for them. And so on.

Eventually it was established that this "Multiverse" consisted of an infinite number of universes, and in 1985 DC decided to do a little housecleaning. (I'm skipping a LOT of history here.) In a year-long event, the Crisis on Infinite Earths, a villain from an antimatter universe named the Anti-Monitor decided to destroy all the other universes. The final result of this universes-shattering event was that the Multiverse was destroyed, to be replaced by one universe with, they hoped, one continuity, supposedly making it easier for new readers to dive in.

Of course, problems ensued. The housecleaning wasn't perfect, so in 1994 DC was forced to revisit their reconstruction of the universe with Zero Hour. However, that event only lasted for a month and wasn't nearly as universe-altering as Crisis. Then, a few years later, they created the concept of Hypertime which seemed to imply that other universes were still "out there" but not as easy to reach. Now, the powers that be at DC Comics are building up to a new event, called Infinite Crisis, which is supposedly going to be just as universe-shattering as the Crisis on Infinite Earths that took place in 1985.

But here's the problem I see. Since 1985, comic book fans, writers, artists, etc. have referred to events as being either part of "pre-Crisis" or "post-Crisis" continuity. If this brand new event is just as calamatous, what happens to these terms? Will we have to deal with the unwieldy construction of "post-Crisis, but pre-Infinite Crisis?" And if someone says "post-Crisis" from 2005 onwards, what will that mean, exactly? To which crisis will the speaker be referring?

I have a solution, but it only works if the fan community decides in the end that Infinite Crisis wasn't that good. If that turns out to be the case, we can abbreviate it as "IC" and pronounce it "Ick." Then we'll have four designations of continuity:

Pre-Crisis (Before 1985)
Post-Crisis (1985-2005)
Pre-Ick (1985-2005...hey, wait a minute...)
Post-Ick (2005-whenever they screw around with the universe again)

Anyone who cares about this minutae is welcome to discuss it more here.

For more information, here are links to the Wikipedia entries on:
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Zero Hour
Infinite Crisis

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