Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths has reached its halfway point. So far DC Comics latest Crisis event has been a lot of set up of all the forces at play while the Justice League are thought to be dead. In the previous issue we got a glimpse of how things will completely turn for the second half of Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths when Hal Jordan led the Green Lantern Corps in a direct attack against Pariah. If that wasn’t enough we had Black Adam seek out Lex Luthor and the Legion Of Doom to fill the void the Justice League left behind. How will things go next? Let’s find out with Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #4.
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Daniel Sampere
Colorist: Alejandro Sanchez
Inside the John Stewarts Green Lantern Universe, Flash (Barry Allen) saves Hal Jordan from being taken out by the Green Lantern Corp. After catching up Barry tells Hal they have to snap the one person who can help them investigate Pariah’s plans.
On Earth-Zero, while heroes around the world are doing their best to protect people Mister Terrific is leading a discussion on everything going on with the Multiverse and the Dark Energy.
Green Lantern Alan Scott finds Nightwing sitting by Beast Boy’s hospital bed. Alan calls out Nightwing that the heroes need him because he represents what Jon Kent and the other heroes are trying to do without the Justice League as the first legacy hero.
Over at the Legion Of Doom’s headquarters, Lex Luthor reveals that the Totality uncovered that the Omniverse was a false concept to create an imbalance in the Multiverse. Before they can discuss what to do about what is going on Deathstroke and the Secret Society bomb the Legion Of Doom’s headquarters.
In the ruins of the dead Multiverse, while his Dark Army battles the Green Lantern Corps, Pariah senses Barry and Hal search for the Justice League but knows they are already out of time.
Barry and Hal finally make it to Batman’s Universe where they are confronted by a steampunk version of Batman that immediately starts fighting Barry.
Back on Earth-Zero, Alan Scott leads Nightwing, Superman (Jon Kent), and Wonder Girl (Yara Flor) underground to investigate something wrong with magic that Alan’s Lantern is detecting. Once they reach the bottom they enter a realm where all the magic users are in. John Constantine reveals that before Deathstroke’s attack various magic users detected the Great Darkness was involve in what was going on.
Constantine takes the four heroes to meet with Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing reveals that the Great Darkness has never been a force for good or evil. Swamp Thing goes on to say that during the Anti-Monitor Crisis he met Alexander Luthor who told him to stop the Great Darkness. Swamp Thing says while attempting to instead convince the Great Darkness to rest he found out that something else has corrupted the Great Darkness.
Meanwhile the Secret Society and Legion Of Doom battle all over the swamp area. Lex Luthor goes to fight and quickly defeats Deathstroke, revealing he already knows about who is controlling Slade. Before Lex can kill Deathstroke Prometheus starts infecting everyone on the Legion Of Doom with the Great Darkness energy. Black Adam is then the only one left not infected and forced to fight both the Secret Society and Legion Of Doom.
As all that is happening Pariah finally completes the process of creates his new worlds that gives birth to a new Multiverse. End of issue.
As we’ve are now beyond the midway point for Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths it is time for this event to get into its next gear. We’ve gotten a lot of repetitive dialogue and action sequences thus far, with what happens in for the majority of Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #4 not changing that pacing. That is where the momentum created by the final pages of Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #4 has to act as the key that moves us forward without stopping for a detour for the rest of this event.
If there is one thing that Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths has shown is that Joshua Williamson has a clear understanding of how to write the entire DC Universe. Williamson is at his best when capturing the voice of every character that has appeared in Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths. Which is not an easy feat when you are basically writing the entire DC Universe roster. Every character from Alan Scott to Lex Luthor says and take action the way you expect them to. Which is the magic of this event thus far.
A great example of this is the conversation between Alan Scott and Dick Grayson. This is one of the more important scenes of this event as it acts as a summary of one of the major story beats the first half of Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths has been about. And that is how we are seeing all of the legacy characters stepping up in the absences of the iconic heroes that made up the Justice League. The absence of the Justice League can’t be simply filled by one hero or a superhero team.
At the same time, as Alan Scott points out, it would be a mistake marching forward with the idea that a new Justice League is needed to fill the hole left behind by Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the other iconic heroes. Alan Scott going to Dick Grayson to point out how he is a key to help our heroes push forward was a great way to get over the idea that legacy isn’t about following in the footsteps of the previous iconic generation. Rather it’s about honoring that legacy while being your own hero, which Dick Grayson has shown as Nightwing.
Though I will say it was odd pacing that we go from this scene to the next time we see Alan Scott and Nightwing it is with Superman and Wonder Girl heading underground. It felt like there was a major scene cut between the hospital scene and the heroes going underground. It would’ve helped the importance the talk about legacy be followed up with a scene of Nightwing talking to the other heroes and recruiting Superman and Wonder Girl to follow Alan Scott in investigating what’s going with magic. The transition was just off here.
The talk about legacy did work well in contrast to how we see Lex Luthor and Legion Of Doom act throughout this issue after Black Adam came to them for help. It is almost funny seeing how Black Adam gets it thrown in his face how he made such a big error in judgement as this decision quickly is shown to be worse by the passing minute. Even though the villains have been able to assemble under the Legion Of Doom banner they still have to big of an ego to truly work on a cohesive plan like Black Adam wanted. Which we see with how Lex goes in for himself in the battle against Deathstroke’s Secret Society.
But even with how much I am enjoying the way Williamson is writing all these characters I can’t help but feel we’ve been spinning our wheels. A lot of the discussions had on the heroes side of the story in particular all sounds like what was being said in every issue of Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths. The heroes are just constantly stuck repeating themselves almost as if they are waiting for the Crisis to blow up even more before taking action.
It all makes the way Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps responded by going to confront Pariah the most reasonable response thus far. At least the Green Lantern Corps are taking steps to take the fight against Pariah. Meanwhile all the other heroes are just left to discuss theories based on previous Crisis events rather than showing they’ve progressed to the point they are finding solutions. It makes the ending with Pariah giving birth to a new Multiverse not hit as hard as it should. Because really, what other result should we have expected when all our heroes are just talking about theories.
The element of the story that helps lift the birth of the new Multiverse by Pariah is the revelation being made by Swamp Thing. Going back to the original Crisis On Infinite Earths by Swamp Thing revealing what Alexander Luthor once told him about the Great Darkness was a cool twist. While the name would say otherwise, learning that the Great Darkness is not actually a force for good or evil adds to what we are seeing Pariah do. Because now we can see that it is Pariah who has twisted the Great Darkness and not the other way around as we’ve been led to believe. This adds a lot more layers to Pariah’s presentation as the big bad of Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths that was very much needed.
When it comes to the artwork in Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #4 Daniel Sampere continues to knock it out of the park with a beautiful comic. Even with the massive amount of characters he is tasked to draw Sampere nails all of the designs for each character. Sampere helps elevate even scenes we’ve seen before like the heroes continuing to save people around the world be a great showcase for each hero spotlighted in the double page spread. The battle between the Secret Society and Legion Of Doom was as chaotic as you would expect. Even for how quick it was we got a lot of great action in the time give. Which all led to the epic shot that ended Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #4 with the birth of a new Multiverse looking absolutely stunning.
Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #4 doesn’t hit as hard as I was hoping given that this is the midway point of this event. The end results with what Pariah accomplishes at the end of this issue definitely changes things for this event. But as big as Pariah’s plans are the pacing is just off when it comes to what we see our heroes do throughout this issue. At least we get a lot of great artwork that helps do a lot of heavily lifting, with the Legion of Doom vs Secret Society sure to be the standout for a lot of fans.
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10