Writer: Joshua Williamson
Art: Daniel Sampere, Alejandro Sánchez, and Tom Napolitano
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: November 8th, 2022
War erupts as more heroes are taken at the hands of Pariah in this week’s all-new Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #6 by Joshua Williamson! The fate of the Multiverse depends on the young heroes of the DCU as they clash with Deathstroke and the Dark Army! Can the resurrected Justice League race home to Earth-Zero in time to join the fight…even if it could mean that not everyone gets to return?! And what dark powerhouse rises on the battlefield?
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #6 Review.
Where do I begin? Well, let’s start at the beginning. The way to get the Justice League back to Earth-Zero was a bit too much like some mystical, sleight-of-hand, Mario warp whistle nonsense that Williamson is just using to get them back quickly without any connection to any story beat or narrative plot device. I suppose somehow the Green Lantern ring’s power mixed with the Speed Force is enough to get the Justice League home. And that may be all well and good, however, I need the setup and explanation to believe it. I need elements of the story leading up to this point to make it true. I need substance to hold that premise in place. And it baffles me why Williamson, as well as dozens of other comic book writers today, continue to push forth more drama and wicked cliffhangers but never provide a clean-cut, ironed-out, thoughtful solution that makes sense.
Additionally, why was Jace Fox the one to put the finishing touches on the anti-matter machine and not Mr. Terrific? And the only explanation as to how he did that was “my dad taught me”. Really? Mr. Terrific started to build the machine, came up with the idea, and aligned everything. Why did he magically need the new Batman to come in to help at the last minute? Here’s something else to think about… why was Jon Kent trying to take on Doomsday, Darkseid, Eclipso, and who knows how many other omega-level villains, all by himself? What was DC Comics/ Williamson trying to prove? Superman would barely be able to do that let alone a half-Kryptonian teenager. And how was he capable of holding his own against them all for so long? It just felt way too over the top. It felt like a movement in which Williamson wants readers to buy in on this “future” of DC Comics. Buy in on this new Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and all the rest.
This “forced” sensation just provoked the same water cooler conversations that all comic book nerds love to ponder and hypothesize over. These continual discussions like “who will take over for Batman?”. And can I tell you, NO ONE ever will? NO ONE will become the new Batman or Wonder Woman. Some of these heroes have been around for almost 80 years still pumping out stories. And that’s the point, we don’t NEED to replace them because they’re fictional characters. They don’t get old nor do they need to ever get old unless the writer puts it into continuity. But guess what? They can always take it right back out of continuity too! Comics are malleable. They’ve all died and have come back so many times that it won’t matter even if they did die. My point is, we don’t need a new group of Justice League heroes. We don’t need someone else to stop a crisis event. We don’t need the characters to be updated with the times. And, we don’t need what appears to be an idea pushed on us either.
I think Jace Fox is an amazing character. Moreover, the current run isn’t too bad either. Additionally, I loved Jon Kent’s character as a boy. After he went on that trip with his Grandpa and came back a “young adult”, he just hasn’t been the same character. The sped-up growth of the character was, in my opinion, unnecessary. We got tons of cute stories and have now missed watching him mature into a hero, just like his father. It’s sadly a bit disappointing. But my point is we don’t need another Batman or Superman. They can both be themselves. They can both be strong characters with different characteristics, different beliefs, different mentalities, and different Superhero names. However, what has and continues to hold readers at DC Comics is the O.G.s, which was again proven simply by them all returning.
I don’t need Jon Kent and Jace Fox as the ones who save the multiverse and stop Pariah. How about Nightwing? How about the Titans who have been established as mainstays for YEARS?!? It just felt like the young, rookie coach who lucks into a good team and wins a Super Bowl. Jon Kent entered DC Comics in 2015 and was aged up in 2019. He’s only been around for 7-8 years with 3 of them being a big-time “super”. Sure, Jace has been around since Batman #313 in the 70s. However, he only became Batman at the beginning of 2021. These two versions of characters are way too new to take down a crisis event, create/ fix technology on the spot invoking an anti-matter weapon, and stand toe-to-toe with Darkseid and Doomsday at the same time. Williamson, this is a stretch. Give me the Titans all day and twice on Sunday to take this threat down instead. Give me the Titans to find a way to save the day. I think they’ve earned it.
Furthermore, the ending wasn’t a cliffhanger at all nor was it jaw-dropping or thrilling. However, it felt like that’s what Williamson wanted it to be. Super Saiyan 3 Deathstroke isn’t solid storytelling nor does it make sense with the plot. Pariah is gone but the Great Darkness remains. So, show me the actual manifestation of said Great Darkness. Granted, the one plot thread where Williamson finally gelled and put the pieces together was with Pariah. Finally, readers get the true reason as to why he’s doing all of this… as he fades away. The grief of the worlds destroyed by him and having the ability to resurrect them seems like a legitimate driving force behind his actions. However, why did it take so long to practically spell that out to the readers? As someone who reads these event books for epic and suspenseful thrills as well as an escape, I want a large portion of the event to hold my hand. Give me the reason, the purpose, and the direction. Throw in a few twists, sprinkle in some insane action, and tie it up with the big bad getting destroyed in a logical way that’s been ironed out by the heroes and well explained to the readers. That’s not what we get in Dark Crisis on Infinite Earth. Instead, we get ambiguity, vagueness, underdeveloped plot threads, and pushed story beats as Dark Crisis on Infinite Earth #6 comes to a close.
The absolute, 100%, saving grace of this issue was the art team. My goodness, the cover alone is remarkable. Additionally, the half-page opener with the heroes and villains fighting one another was outstanding. There were so many classic heroes and villains duking it out with the monologuing in the background which was so strong. I can’t think of a more fantastic way to open the issue. And as much as I wasn’t a fan of the cliffhanger, you can’t help but stare at the awesome look of Deathstroke. Or how about the parallel images between the Crisis on Infinite Earths and the Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths?
The heroes deteriorate away just like the Flash did all those years ago. Or how about the reveal as our heroes coming back right in the thick of the action? There is no doubt in my mind that this art team single-handedly saves this issue and series. Plus, they do it in a busy fashion which is hard to do. There are a ton of characters to juggle for airtime and this creative team does it well. They weave through the chaos of this crisis and put an amazing bow on the composition that’s almost breathtaking in certain moments. Hats off to them!
Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #6 has some killer action, outstanding renderings, and illustrations of scenarios that could become posters on your wall, however, it lacks substance, depth, and story. Pariah’s motif established earlier could have helped the readers feel for him and connect with him more. Well, at least we finally get that in Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #6. Nevertheless, we also get what appears to be agendas of new heroes being forced down our throats. It’s almost as if we are being given a gift that we never asked for or wanted. I didn’t need Jon Kent to create a new Justice League nor did he need to prove himself by standing toe-to-toe with Doomsday and Darkseid at the same time.
Jon Kent didn’t need to prove himself to the readers or his dad. And frankly, he’s not Superman nor will he ever be. But, he CAN be an outstanding hero of his own. The same goes for Jace Fox as Batman and Yara as Wonder Woman/ Wonder Girl. Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #6 felt like someone passive-aggressively telling me what I should like and why. And because I simply can’t shake that feeling, on top of the other items mentioned earlier, I’m going to go with a strong pass on Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #6 this week. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!