If you thought the Countdown to Infinite Crisis series might just be concerning earthly superhero matters, you’d be mistaken – this shakedown of the DC Comics universe is set to impact on distant planets too. Rann and Thanagar are two such examples – Thanagar the home of Hawkman’s people, and Rann the world that Adam Strange was Zeta-beamed to. If we’ve already lost you, you might as well call it a day – this whole episode is likely to leave you floundering in DC characters you don’t know.
The crux of the story is that the planet Rann is teleported into the planet Thanagar’s solar system. With peace between the two planets already balanced on a knife edge, it doesn’t take much to tip the two worlds into a bitter war, with numerous third parties also sticking their noses in for their own political power gain.
It’s left to Strange, Hawkman and their cronies – with a little help from a couple of Green Lanterns – to sort the chaotic mess out. But first they have to get rid of a soul-eating demon called Onimar, who has been busy munching on the lost souls of the planets’ dead.
Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons does a fair job of scripting the piece but it’s necessarily littered with references to planets, races and other people that can be difficult to keep up with. The action is fierce though, and as long as you’re prepared to keep solid mental notes of who’s fighting for who, the epic nature of the piece shouldn’t disappoint.
The artwork is equally hard-working, with Reis and Campos barely batting an artistic eyelid at drawing worlds in flames, vast space armadas and souls being absorbed by giant undead villains. It’s colourful too, like intergalactic space war ought to be.
Despite all this it’s still lacking in a bit of life though. The heroes seem to be going through the motions with little dimension to their characters, and while the deaths of allies and friends might result in a bit of serious fist-clenching, the enormity of the story is tempered by its otherworldliness. Keep reading, of course, and you’ll eventually arrive at something that will draw all this Crisis malarky together, but unless you’re a particular fan of Hawkman or Adam Strange, there isn’t a lot here to make this essential reading.
Other titles in the Infinite Crisis series: