If you’re new to comics and want to read about the justice league, this is as close as you’ll get to a suitable comic book.
Infinite Crisis is a pretty damn old comic book, so you may wonder why we’d bother reviewing it. Because it relates to the upcoming DC movie universe? Nope. To fill out our content while the site is still new? Probably. For the uninitiated, Infinite Crisis is a DC comic book released in 2006 that features pretty much every hero you’d want to see from them, past and present.
Simply put, Infinite Crisis is the story of what happens when you throw the classic 60s versions of Superman and friends against their grittier modern counterparts. It’s a high-concept fairly cohesive story that can be bought as one collected edition and read as a straightforward graphic novel.
60s Superman (who we’ll refer to as “Groovyman”) has been trapped in a weird bubble of non-existence since his universe ended some time ago. He’s not alone, though, he’s accompanied by classic Lois Lane, Superboy, and a young ginger version of Lex Luthor from a parallel Earth where he’s apparently a good guy. You can always trust DC to make what should be a straightforward premise as confusing as possible.
The gang punch their way out of the bubble, and end up in the modern DC universe, witnessing it in all its gritty, conflicted splendour. Modern Wonder Woman has recently killed someone in a scene not too dissimilar to the one where Superman kills Zod in the recent Man of Steel movie, and as a result she has a falling out with her Justice League team-mates.
Groovyman and friends take a dim view to this modern universe; in their day things were brighter, simpler, and more moral. So they hatch a plan to bring back their old universe – a plan which would by definition destroy the modern DC universe.
Fastforward through many confusing fight scenes and cameos from DC characters you may or may not care about, and you arrive at a final showdown between classic Superboy and Modern Superman that spreads out satisfyingly across several pages, and (unusually for DC) wraps the whole story up quite neatly.
Before we go on to analyse the book, it’s worth noting a few things about infinite Crisis. it’s written by Geoff Johns, arguably the closest thing DC have to a recognizable writer like Stan Lee. Johns has written a lot of DCs best work on the page and screen; Smallville, Arrow, Justice League Unlimited and Green Lantern (Ok, let’s forget about that last one). He’s also signed on to help steer Batman vs Superman in the right direction.
His writing is underpinned by some great artwork, it’s the kind of drawing that comic novices will appreciate -detailed without being overly artsy. Every major character makes a satisfying appearance, and the book is littered with iconic panels like the one below.
It’s held back though, by the thing that often plagues DC’s comics: convolution. Because the book uses two different versions of the same characters, and within those characters there are sub-versions of that character (eg Superman and Superboy both dressed the same), it can get confusing easily.
It’s a good idea to read infinite crisis in a place where you have free access to Wikipedia so that when, for example, they young ginger one says “I’m Alexander Luthor from Earth-2”, you can spend a few minutes learning enough about his background for that piece of information to make as much sense to you as it apparently did for the characters he said it to.
Infinite Crisis is not DCs best work, but it’s definitely up there. If you hold up the Knightfall trilogy or Killing Joke as a comparator, this falls short of the mark, even if only by a small margin. Hence, we award infinite Crisis a score of 74%. A number we aggressively plucked from our collective arseholes. Thank you for reading.