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Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 Hardcover – Illustrated, November 13, 2018
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- Item Weight : 2.45 pounds
- Hardcover : 512 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1401274595
- ISBN-13 : 978-1401274597
- Product Dimensions : 7.48 x 1.17 x 11.18 inches
- Publisher : DC Comics; Illustrated Edition (November 13, 2018)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #723,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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This hardcover collects 19 issues across four different series, grouped by title. The original description (still showing as of now) seemed to be more chronological (by cover date) in nature featuring one or two issues from 11 different titles. I'm actually glad that DC changed its approach on this because this method allows the reader to focus on all the Crisis-related issues series-by-series instead of spreading them across multiple volumes. That, IMO, makes for better reading since the story lines were still very much self-contained despite their connections to the larger event.
The actual issues contained in this collection are:
DC COMICS PRESENTS #78 (This does not have a "Crisis Crossover" banner on the cover and actually came out two months prior to COIE #1. The Monitor and Lyla make an appearance on a few panels on the last page, but they did in over three dozen other issues prior to COIE #1 as well. I'm not totally sure why this particular one was included.)
ALL-STAR SQUADRON #50-60
THE FURY OF FIRESTORM #41-42
GREEN LANTERN (Vol. 2) #194-198
It also contains several nice essays: an introduction by Marv Wolfman, one on All-Star Squadron by Roy Thomas, and one each on The Fury of Firestorm and Green Lantern both by Robert Greenberger. There is also an excellent "Crisis Timeline" (by Greenberger) which shows all the Crisis crossover issues (as well as the main series) in chronological order. This is hopefully indicative of the contents of the remaining volumes. I'm very much looking forward to them.
the not-so-great stuff: the dust jacket is lovely artwork in full color, but the actual hardcover is matte black with blind debossed logo and type. meaning, if you're the kind of person who finds dust jackets an annoyance (and i'm not the only one), then this book will sit on your shelf looking as nondescript and forbidding as the monolith from 2001. and once volume 2 and 3 come out, provided they are designed the same way, you'll have three such onyx slabs with no way to tell the difference between them. DC, c'mon, you're artists and designers! it's your business. if you're going to go all black, give us some white type, at least on the spine, ok?
the reason it only gets a four star review stuff: oh my DC. why can you not collect issues in their proper reading order? i mean, you even hired bob to provide one in the freakin' book! and DC, you're guilty of this before... many of the earlier john byrne man of steel TPB collections don't even follow the logical order established in the issues themselves. i had to google around to find someone who'd obsessively listed the correct issue order, then flip back and forth as i read each trade volume.
which, sadly, i now have to do for crisis. but thanks, DC, this time i don't have to google. i only have to follow the timeline YOU YOURSELVES PROVIDED in the back of the collection. oh, and wait for volumes 2 and 3 to come out. and then do the ol' flip-back-and-forth DC reading order shuffle. you would think the company which provided the infamous "triangle numbers" across four (then five) superman titles for just over a decade could at least collect issues in omnibus format in the right order. sigh.
Turns out there's another Flash. In fact, the Flashes are mounting up almost as fast the Green Lanterns - the boy enters so late really Wally West will be his Flash - with some jazz-age dude named Alan Scott the latest Lantern he’s learned about.
The way-Pre-Crisis, Old School Flash, Jay Garrick, debuted circa 1940 . He had a yen for tin helmets that the boy’s future eldest son, now nine, that age of scraped knees and elbows, (flash forward) will one day refer to as a pasta strainer, one that makes Jay a callback to Mercury, or Hermes, from the lovely layered encyclopedia illustration of the Greek pantheon, who ALL look like super-heroes.
The super-heroes, like Egyptian, Roman, and Greek gods, borrow from each other. They appear, vanish, reconfigure, and reappear. Their universe is malleable, like the one in Halloween, or like yours when you remember something wrong, because your memory has tied in movie scenes with it.
The new variants are often able to speak to new generations with subtlety and nuance, forever changing in there perilous multiple iterations.
And, No, no one laughs because anyone wears trunks outside of his pants. Fine, some do. The world outside the boy's world will, in fact, laugh, but that's okay.
For the most part, the world around the boy is bright and vibrant with autumn leaves, red, yellow, and bronze, always whipping in gyres at Roosevelt Park with its tire swing, its chopped, soft wooden chips in the play area, and the massive crisscross wooden pyramid with a slide, atop which he and his buddy will trade Hot Wheels, discuss their new curiosities about the fairer sex, and go over the latest upheavals in the DC Universe, most of them available, wisely, Seven-Eleven spinner racks - for mere change.
For example, this new being - one day he will be the Monitor - is watching the spandex set.
The multiverse is gearing up to collapse into itself in what will be sole version of these cross-title event books that will ever matter.
The boy—he laughs a lot with his friends. He loves John Candy, Red Tornado, and Hostess snack-cakes, all before he joins the wrestling team, and all the sugar-induced comas soon enter the forbidden zone, which is almost as bad as the Negative Zone, well … really nothing is as bad as the Negative Zone, not even the Phantom Zone—except perhaps LIMBO, where characters go to die—as much as character can EVER die—and we stop seeing the most inventive characters, all at once … hey, where is the original Vigilante in the western duds? And they vanish at the pace of a needle being whipped off a stereo, with all the meanness inherent to a Mediterranean deity out hunting swans. Life is cruel that way. Only now - in 1985 is the idea of the DC Universe as a vital, ever-changing organism filled with the greatest, most colorful, most imaginative characters ever created ….
If you have a child who, say, watches JUSTICE LEAGUE ACTION, or BATMAN: BRAVE and BOLD, the best look at DC’s pantheon available, pick this up for your son or daughter, so their eyes can go wild on every page, absorbing and memorizing the many absurd characters—Firebrand is a personal favorite. This book is the first of a two-volume set—I believe—of all the crossovers CRISIS on INFINITE EARTHS had, which may get odd, when you get to the one with Alan Moore’s SWAMP THING, then still awesome before it ventured into Suggested for Mature Readers, later “Vertigo” territory.
But this collection simply ROCKS. Do I think you need a background in DC for it? My controversial answer: NO. When you were a child, you tolerated cognitive irresolution; you were used to not knowing all the pieces in the puzzle. Heck, to quote, young Captain Marvel, or Shazam, if you must—the Captain Marvel I first met was an African-American woman on the Avengers. It’s good, even fun, to see all these unique beings at once—to hang out with Uncle Sam and the Phantom Lady, all available here, and at not too shabby a price.
The Forgotten Villain story opening the books blew my mind then. Dolphin, Cave Carson—Animal-man prior to the moment Grant Morrison made that character a legend. There are ample servings of ALL STAR SQUADRON on display.
Be well, true believers.