It was a busy week for DC readers trying to keep up with the countdown to INFINITE CRISIS. Not only did issues of both THE OMAC PROJECT and DAY OF VENGEANCE come out (which we will get to in due time), but pretty much everything else on the shelf tied in in one form or another. Thankfully, we were spared any official tie-ins. Rather, the feeling that ‘a crisis is coming’ is permeating the whole universe and can be found throughout the DCU titles.
FLASH #222: The Rogue War is still on and Wally West is caught in the middle as the ‘reformed’ rogues battle the not-so-reformed rogues. Then, the Top shows up and throws everything into a tizzy, as it were. In case you missed the Flash IDENTITY CRISIS tie in, it was revealed then that the Top, who possesses mental powers on top of his whirling super-speed, followed in the footsteps of Barry Allen and the rest of the JLA -- and Barry has the Top rewired like other villains -- and started forcibly reforming rogues. So, all those rogues that have gone legit and teamed up with the Flash? Yup. No more. Soon, though, it became less about reformed rogues versus not, but generation versus generation as the old school rogues go head to head against the new school like Tar Pit and Girder. While nothing was revealed ina big way about INFINITE CRISIS, a couple things of note did happen. 1) The top gets himself killed by Captain Cold, and 2) Zoom -- the Reverse Flash -- has entered the fray. Remember, if the past is any indication, as goes the Flash, so goes the CRISIS.
OUTSIDERS #24: Following fast on the events of both the previous issue of the outsiders and Teen Titans #24, this issue is best described as a Villains United tie-in. Really, what that means is it shows us more of the very angry, very powerful villains at the top tier of the Society, and the titular heroes can only suffer for it. Why exactly the Titans and Outsiders are such targets in the coming CRISIS remains an open question, but you can’t argue with the results: Outsiders team member Indigo, a cyborg from the future, reveals herself as Brainiac8 and attacks the team and proves herself to be pretty much unstoppable. Indigo appeared way back in GRADUATION DAY, the Titans/Young justice mini-series that paved the way for both the Outsiders and new Teen Titans books, as well as ended the life and heroeing career of Donna Troy (more on that in a minute). Indigo ‘accidentally’ activated one of Superman’s android replacements -- from back when he decided to be everywhere at once -- which went on a rampage. It turns out, that wasn’t an accident at all. As Brainiac8, Indigo is a cyborg from the future on a mission to destroy Sarah Connor -- er, all the heroes. In any case, it is revealed that she is working with Luthor and her ‘grandfather’, another Brainiac. I am not sure whether this is the current DCU version of Brainiac, or another one from the future (‘grandfather’ would indicated Brainiac6). What is really important here is that the biggest of the big guns are interested in taking down even the second tier teams like Outsiders and Titans.
DC SPECIAL: THE RETURN OF DONNA TROY #1: Wow. This book, just so you know, reads like a missing issue of RANN/THANAGAR WAR written by Homer, and not the Simpson One. Donna Tray -- aka Wonder Girl, aka Troia -- was a member of Teen Titans (and later just plain old Titans) that died at the hands of a rogue Superman Android (see above). Her continuity has always been confusing, as she is the Wonder Woman equivalent of Power Girl. As we have seen in JSA and from press about the upcoming JSA CLASSIFIED, Power Girl is about to get retconned *into* continuity and it looks like the same may be hppening to Donna Troy here. The short of it is that Donna Troy was taken from the field of battle where she fell and transported to New Cronos, the world-ship where the titans of Greek mythology -- who, at least in Donna Troy’s most recent origin, raised her along with other ‘adopted children’ throughout the cosmos -- command a war over a planet called Minosyss. It seems that the Titans have garnered armies of Tamaraneans, Khunds, and others in order to prevent the Rann-Thanagar war from consuming all of the cosmos. However, Minosyss has a secret that the other Titans don’t want Donna Troy to discover, but eventually -- unable to accept the slaughter of those who serve her and the Titans any longer -- she defies the Titans and goes to the surface, where she watches one of her ‘sisters’ die and must battle a ‘brother’. The story isn’t bad, but it is a little dense and while Jiminez must be commended for trying to bring a casual/new reader up to speed in the first issue -- something lacking in other tie-in mini-series -- it slows down the pacing of the story. By the end, though, we have a solid handle on who Donna Troy is -- or, at least, who she thinks she is -- and an idea of how all this ties into the larger universal conflict. This will be an interesting mini-series to follow, as I imagine it will serve as something of a lynchpin for the countdown to the upcoming CRISIS.
JLA #114: The last issue for the ‘official’ INFINITE CRISIS tie-in story arc finishes up the battle with the Qwardians and the Crime Syndicate of Amerika from Earth-2. It has been a good story, though somewhat out of place feeling in the ‘new’ DCU, much like Busiek’s other epic, cosmic story recently: JLA/AVENGERS 9which this arc has been a sort of sequel to). While not expressly tied to INFINITE CRISIS, the end of this arc does offer a tantalizing clue as to how it might all pan out: at the very end of the story, we see Metron in care of an “cosmic egg”, going so far as to send false information to the JLA monitoring the egg to make them think it is stable. Instead, it looks like it is about to hatch. And what will it hatch? Who knows, but a new multiverse seems like a reasonable guess. This is especially true since the name of Krona -- the architect of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS as well as JLA/AVENGERS -- is invoked. If INFINITE CRISIS truly is an event of the scale of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS -- a fact of which we cannot yet be certain -- then this is a likely candidate for the seed of that event.
GREEN LANTERN #1: Actually, the new GL #1 doesn’t seem to tie into INFINITE CRISIS at all. I just wanted to point out that it looks a like a solid start to a new series, with Johns’ signature style of writing and great art by Pacheco and van Sciver. Pick it up, if it isn’t already sold out. For the various Gls and how they fit into the upcoming CRISIS, follow RANN/THANAGAR WAR and the “Crisis of Conscience” arc in JLA, since Johns has said his new GL will remain CRISIS-lite for its first arc or two.
That’s the rundown. Upcoming will be spoiler reviews of both THE OMAC PROJECT #2 and DAY OF VENGEANCE #2, as well as a look at what goodies have appeared in news, press releases, and Wizard Magazine.