Both DC and Marvel are determined to come up with the next “big event that changes everything.” It’s a great idea, but both companies are far too fond of their status quo to really let that much change. DC’s most recent attempt was Dark Crisis, which featured the Death of the Justice League. Again. As you might suspect, they all came back. But the story had a few good parts, and one issue in particular I really enjoyed. Well, more than one, but I’m focusing on one here.
Dark Crisis: Big Bang felt like an epilogue, which was an odd choice as it came out the week before the final issue of Dark Crisis. In this issue, the Flash (Barry Allen version) goes on a tour through the multiverse, visiting assorted familiar Earths, accompanied by Kid Flash Wally West (the second one, the African American one). The pair are going on a recon mission through the realities to try and find out about a missing, and very powerful and dangerous, foe.
As you might expect, things go badly, and scouting turns into all-out battle. But the trip through the multiverse hasn’t been wasted, and the speedsters get a lot of help from all sorts of places. It’s a very impressive army of sort of but not quite familiar faces. We get brief glimpses of all sorts of Earths, from ones we’ve seen in the comics to some from tv and movies (sadly, no Arrowverse)
What I really enjoyed was the last few pages. After the main story is over, there is a list of the different Earths, and what makes them each distinct. It’s an inventory story, I suppose, and sets up what’s where in the multiverse… until they decide to change it again. But it was a fun story, and I really enjoyed the way they described things at the end. For example, Earth-66, home of the old Adam West Batman tv show, is listed as “Batman and Robin face exceptionally benign villains.” I guess Barry missed Batgirl there.
It’s not a huge story with big ramifications, and nothing major changes, no one dies. But it lets long-time readers see characters that haven’t been around in a long time, and assigns a home to many different stories, including a lot of the Elsewords ones from years ago. I suspect this might appeal more to folks, like me, who have been reading prettily steadily since the 80’s or so, but I think anyone could enjoy it.
What I Liked: While I’ll admit Barry isn’t my favorite Flash (Wally West, original version, for me), he’s still a great hero. I liked seeing him pull out all the stops to take on a foe that he knew from before things started was way out of his league. They also made a decent attempt at explaining at least some of the many major retcons in DC history. And, of course, it was fun seeing glimpses of Earths that haven’t been seen in years, and characters I really didn’t think would ever turn up again. They also really got me with the last line: “This is the multiverse we- all of us- have a door to. A place without limits. Where there are no rules… just flying. Where anything and everything can happen whenever we step through that door… and just imagine.” Isn’t that what stories are all about?
What I Didn’t: The big bad in this issue is one that was, supposedly, defeated for good many years ago. While I know no one dies forever in the comics, I really would have been more than fine with not seeing this bad guy again. Ever.
I’ll give this a 4 out of 5, and also freely admit I might be biased for doing so. But it was a lot of fun, and I really like this kind of story. I’m not sorry to see Dark Crisis ending, and could do without another major event already being pushed in the next month or so, but this was a good piece of work. Well done, folks.