Crisis on Infinite Earths

It has been a very long time since I read through the 1985 DC Comics event, but last year Marv Wolfman decided to write a novelization of the comic. Crisis on Infinite Earths tells the same tale of the original comic, only this time largely from the point of view of Barry Allen, The Flash.

If you’ve read the original, or if you read the first chapter of this book, you know from the get-go that Barry Allen dies. If you have followed The Flash comics since the original Crisis series, you also know that Barry didn’t really die so much as join the Speed Force (well, first he skipped off into the future, had a couple kids with his wife, Iris, and then permanently joined with the Speed Force, but that’s not really important right now). So from the first pages you know Barry is dead, but somehow and for some reason, the Monitor and the Speed Force are keeping him around in some sort of super accellerated ghost state. Appearantly he has something important to do.

The story is fairly confusing as it leaps from Earth to Earth and through time all over the place telling you things out of order and upside-down. But the snippets are still interesting, and the end of the book ties everything together nicely, adding a new dimension to the old comic book without destroying it.

If you liked the original Crisis, then I recommend this book.

However, I do have one complaint. The original series was published in 1985. This book was published in 2005. Twenty years. Alot has changed in those twenty years, and Marv lets slip in a number of current and recent pop culture references that simply didn’t exist then. Then again, comics have always been a very weird art form since their characters tend not to age while their world usually stays fairly up to date with the times, so I can overlook it a bit but I strongly feel that every one of those references could have been removed form the book and it would have worked just fine. It didn’t need pop culture. Still, it was a good read.

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