The penultimate chapter of Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths is here. Pariah is completely over the heroes continuing to ruin his plans to bring the Infinite Earths back in his vision. Now Pariah has gone directly to Earth-0 to take out all of the heroes left and has brought the entire Dark Army with him to ensure the Infinite Earths return. With the Justice League stuck in the dead Multiverse now all that is left standing between Pariah and his plan from working are the Titans, JSA, and other heroes left. Can the DC Universe be saved? Let’s find out with Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #6.
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artists: Daniel Sampere and Rafa Sandoval
Colorist: Alejandro Sanchez
In Sector-666 after a message from Mr. Terrific is distorted the Green Lantern Corps is attacked by a swarm of the Dark Army coming out of the Black Lantern.
On Earth-0, while the Titans and other heroes fight the Dark Army, Deathstroke becomes pissed when Pariah rants about wanting to erase his original sin but is now doubting himself. Deathstroke decides to kill the heroes himself starting with Beast Boy, who is looking for revenge after being shot in the face by Slade Wilson.
Over at the dead Multiverse, both Hal Jordan and Barry Allen plan to use Hal’s connection to the Green Lantern Corps and Barry’s connection to the Multiverse to return to their Earth.
Green Arrow comments that’s always the risk the Justice League takes. Dinah Lance knows that Oliver means that he likely can’t return (this is due to being killed by Doomsday during Justice League #75). Oliver says they need to go through with it as he trusts Hal and Barry more than anyone.
Hal and Barry then unite their powers to transport the Justice League back to Earth-0.
Back on Earth-0, as the heroes struggle against the Dark Army Batman (Jace Fox) suddenly appears along with heroes who didn’t initially join the battle.
As the battle intensifies Booster Gold, Steel (John Henry Irons), Firestorm, Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), and Connor Hawke all charge at Pariah. They are all easily wiped out by Pariah.
While Batman helps Mr. Terrific with the Anti-Matter Cannon Superman (Jon Kent) charges at Darkseid and the Dark Army while Wonder Girl goes after Pariah. Both Superman and Wonder Girl are quickly overpowered by Pariah and the Dark Army.
Batman and Mr. Terrific finally get the Anti-Matter Cannon to work and immediately fire a blast that annihilates Pariah.
Even with Pariah gone the Dark Army is still active. Just as Doomsday is about to kill Superman his dad appears. Both Supermen then knock out Doomsday together.
The rest of the Justice League and Green Lantern Corp all show up to back up Earth’s heroes.
With the Dark Army showing no signs of disappearing Alan Scott, Barry, and Wally West mention that the Great Darkness energy must have gone to another conduit.
A hulked-out Deathstroke appears channeling Great Darkness’ energy. While holding Nightwing and Ravager, Deathstroke proclaims “A contract is a contract….And I’m not done until all of you are dead.” End of issue.
Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #6 has just about everything you want from the penultimate chapter of a big event. With all of that the feeling that there is something missing is most prominently felt in Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #6.
Before getting to that point I do have to give Joshua Williamson for giving Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #6 a controlled chaos feel. Everything is done with a purpose as things continuously get out of control. There is never a feeling that the heroes or villains are fully in control of what is going on. That’s where Daniel Sampere and Rafa Sandoval’s artwork shines the most. The artwork is so crucial in getting over how the scope of this event just grows as things get even more chaotic. And most importantly you never feel lost in the action as Sampere and Sandoval, along with Alejandro Sanchez’s coloring, make it easy to follow everything that is going.
On that note, Williamson, Sampere, and Sandoval’s strength in this issue is getting over how it feels like at any moment we could get a major hero’s fall. Even when the heroes get reinforcements from Jace Fox’s Batman and other heroes who were previously scared or just didn’t want to get involved things still felt desperate. This made all the moments such as Jon Kent’s Superman stepping up without fear against all of the heavy hitters on the villain side that much more powerful. Everyone was doing their part to save the world from what Pariah and the Dark Army were planning.
Having such strong artwork gets over the importance of everything that Williamson is targeting to do when the heroes are in action. Specifically when it comes to the sense of desperation in stopping Pariah. There is a clear goal made that Pariah is the one that needs to be stopped that elevates him as a big event villain.
This makes Pariah’s own turn to having how he is still being ruled by his emotions of being the cause of the original Crisis On Infinite Earths that much stronger. He is not the traditional villain in the way Deathstroke is. Everything goes back to what Pariah feels is his original sin. The way he acts makes me wish Williamson would’ve tapped into this part of Pariah’s character much earlier in Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths. Because as good as it is here there are parts of it that do feel a little too late.
I did like how even as Williamson was building towards the Justice League returning that defeating Pariah wasn’t just a waiting game for the DC Universe icons to return. We already saw the Justice League try and fail against Pariah. If they were the ones to take down Pariah it would’ve likely been another case of just heroes punching harder. It came down to Mr. Terrific, who has been developed throughout this event as a leader, and Jace Fox’s Batman fixing the Anti-Matter Cannon was a great payoff. It started paying off the promise of how there are more heroes than just the Justice League who can save the day against the big bad.
This in turn made the Justice League return much more impactful. In the lead up it was smart to have Hal Jordan and Barry Allen be the ones to bring the Justice League back ultimately. These two are tied to the Multiverse in a way the others aren’t and I’m glad Williamson understood this with his plan to bring the Justice League back.
Adding some drama to this return by revealing that Oliver Queen likely won’t be able to return was well done. This works off how in Justice League #75 that Oliver was technically the only one to actually die as he got a fatal blow from Doomsday before Pariah used his Great Darkness energy to put all of the Justice League members in their own universes. I actually hope that Williamson goes through with Oliver’s death as a major death on the heroes’ side that is permanent is needed for a Crisis. This could also set things up for whatever the next Green Arrow series is to explore the legacy Oliver leaves behind with Roy Harper, Connor Hawke, Mia Dearden, and Emiko Queen.
The decision to have it so that eliminating Pariah does not result at the end of the Dark Crisis was well done. Given how much the Great Darkness was built up as an unstoppable force having it go away simply because Pariah was defeated wouldn’t make sense. The Great Darkness finding another primary wielder of its power in Deathstroke plays back to Slade Wilson being the biggest instigator of everything. Now the true final battle does feel like it is highlighting how Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths is a battle for the legacy of the DC Universe.
With all that said, there are a lot of things that happen in Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #6 that do appear this series should’ve been one issue longer. That is because there are things referenced, such as Jon Kent mentioning the Great Darkness growing out of control within Pariah, that happen off-screen. This is not something new to Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths as just about every event suffers from having to rely on tie-in comics to tell the full story. But no matter how common that is for comic book events it is a terrible trend as the creative team is making the consumer feel like they need to spend more money than the seven issues they committed to.
The other thing that makes Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths feel like it needed to be one issue longer is the hero reinforcements that appear. Williamson didn’t do a good job of addressing why certain heroes like Jaime Reyes, who originally was in Jon Kent’s short-lived Justice League, wouldn’t already participate in the battle. Throughout this event, we really only ever got to see this type of character arc from Dick Grayson and Jon Kent. It would’ve made the hero reinforcement moment much stronger if Williamson had spent a little bit more time with the emotional impact this latest Crisis event has on different heroes.
Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #6 has everything that you look for in a big event. There are massive-scale action sequences that get over the scope of this event. There is a race against the clock as things grow more desperate on both sides. All of that makes for a great comic book. But even then, there are things missing that make Dark Crisis #6 miss the mark of being a complete reading experience. This missing element causes certain plot developments of this story to be rushed as we head into the ending. I’m still excited to find out how Williamson and company will end Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths but this is definitely not a perfect event.
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10