Supergirl 5.9 – Crisis on Infinite Earths (part one)

Many years ago, an acquaintance was telling a pal of mine about the great folly that was the comic book Crisis on Infinite Earths. DC Comics dotted every I and crossed every T and believed that every possible continuity “problem” within their funnybooks had been resolved by this great big cosmic reset. The whole editorial office relaxed and stretched and closed their eyes and suddenly realized, as one, that they had wiped out Superboy from their backstory and forgot about his quarter-century of appearances with the Legion of Super-Heroes. So two years later, they had to fix that. And then they were fixing something else. The fans seem to love it all, but I’ve always felt the cures are worse than the disease.

But the Crisis has been a fan favorite for decades, and its television adaptation was promised six years ago in the first episode of The Flash, so expectations for this five-part story have been pretty high. I’ve got mixed feelings about it so far. This time out, not a lot happens while pieces are put into place, but – if I counted right – eight heroes are tasked with defending a “Quantum Tower” in National City from shadow demons while the planet is evacuated. It’s Superman, Supergirl, the Flash, Green Arrow and his daughter, Batwoman, the Atom, and White Canary, and before the hour is finished, one of these heroes will be dead.

Granted, this is an episode of Supergirl, set on hers and Superman’s Earth – not the same dimension as the other Arrowverse programs – but I really wasn’t interested in all the material with the DEO and Lena Luthor from this series. On the other hand, there’s a great opening montage, which checked in on Robert Wuhl, from the 1989 Batman movie, and Burt Ward, from the 1966-68 Batman TV series, and Hawk and Robin from what I guess was the current Titans streaming series.

Several more of these winks, apparently with much more substance, are coming in the next few episodes. Other than these, the most interesting scene featured Superman and Lois, living without super powers on a distant planet, having to launch their infant son to Earth in a pod. It all turned out okay – the tyke got detoured to the year 2046 on Earth-16 and one of the cosmic gamesmasters moved our heroes before the planet blew up – but I liked how our son could spot the deliberate reminder of baby Kal-El being sent here from Krypton. A lot more of this playful levity, and a lot less of the Monitor and the Pariah and the Harbinger being portentous and melodramatic, will improve this story.

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