Overview

Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1

Review

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Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1

Credits

  • Words: Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Judd Winick
  • Art: Rags Morales, Ed Benes, Jesus Saiz, et al.
  • Inks: Michael Bair, Ed Benes, Jim Palmiotti, et al.
  • Colors: Moose Baumann, Hi-Fi, Paul Mounts, et al.
  • Story Title: Countdown To Infinite Crisis
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $1.00
  • Release Date: Mar 30, 2005

All it takes is just one dollar to buy the best superhero comic of 2005. The countdown begins and it will blow you away.

I have purposely stayed away from all articles, interviews and rumors pertaining to DC’s Countdown event. However, I’m sure by now, even though this is an early review, all the impatient internet fanatics already know the shocking event of this series and I can only feel it is their loss. Reading this comic knowing absolutely nothing about it going in, as I finally got to the last page I was simply floored by what a superhero masterpiece I had just read, amplified by the fact that this is a chunky eighty pages of glorious old-fashioned comic booky goodness for only one dollar. For those like me, who actually like to see the events unfold as they read the comic I will be vague with the plot. The countdown begins as a non-linear story, where the Blue Beetle has discovered that someone or something has accumulated a database of everything there is to know about every known superhero on earth. From their friends and family to their secret identities and their weaknesses, it’s all there. In continuing chapters, each by a different creative team, the story then flashes back and forth to unfold the events that led to Ted Kord making this shocking discovery.

The best thing I can say about this book is that it embodies and reminds me of everything I loved about comics as a kid and the reason why, stray as I may, there is still nothing in any medium like a good well-done superhero tale. The story is told so seamlessly that you can’t help but think that it was written with all three in the same room at the same time just chatting like glutinous geeks about the cool things they would like to see in a comic. Rucka, one of the best in the business, and Winick, one of the most overrated, seem to both follow Johns’ lead, with the overall tone and great characterization feeling like a Johns book throughout. Even Winick, a writer whom I feel has no voice of his own or flare, here is like a Horace Grant on the ’92 Bulls. He is a player elevated by the talent around him. Even in eighty pages there is a lot to cover here and the writers make sure that they emphasize and show the reader exactly what four events in this comic lead to triggering the four separate mini-series that will continue the story. But what is truly captivating and makes this comic so incredible is the ability of the writers to make these larger than life characters so vulnerable and humane while also making the reader care about the lesser-known characters especially two of my all-time favorite DC characters, the Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. The only fault this entire issue contains, and by no means the fault of the creative team and without giving too much away, there are clearly some issues of Rebirth that should have shipped before Countdown dropped.

It is not only the writing that makes this book nearly perfect but the tremendous collaboration of artists as well. Due to space constrictions I can’t get into each chapter specifically but I will say that the highlight of this comic is the work of Ed Benes. I first became a fan of the guy on the grossly overlooked series Codename: Knockout and have felt he may be the most underrated talent in the business. Seeing him outshine the likes of Rags Morales and Phil Jimenez here is the platform he needs to get everyone’s attention.

DC and all the talent involved deserve a ton of praise for putting out a comic of such fine quality, a whopping eighty pages, and an ending and story that is worthy of the hype and actually better in my opinion than Identity Crisis. For just one dollar there is no excuse why every comic book fan should not pick this baby up come this Wednesday.

-Glen Siegal

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