Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #5 is an event comic published by DC, written by Joshua Williamson, art by Daniel Sampere, colours by Alejandro Sánchez, and letters by Tom Napolitano. Flash and Green Lantern are trying to save the Justice League, the Titans, JSA, and remainders of Earth’s heroes are trying to save the world from Deathstroke and his dark army.
Williamson has brilliantly told multiple stories at the same time in this gigantic event, which is repeated in this issue. These different locations bring entirely different circumstances. Hal and Barry are exploring a false metaverse, which has an adventurous feel. The tone is positive for much of this thread as heroes are gathered. Then on Earth-Zero, the Titans have this wave of oppressive energy heading for them, leaving them as the last line of defense. There is a beautiful, powerful build-up to something huge, collecting broken pieces and characters from past issues.
An earlier battle in this issue sets a benchmark that is then blown out of the water by the fight that is unleashed. And if that wasn’t cataclysmic enough, Pariah is still implementing his plans. Switching between the two parts of the story keeps stoking the flames and building pressure, but it also saps some of the energy from that battle. Williamson also constantly finds a way to add something even bigger to the story, breaking the ceiling on what I thought was possible.
But again, there is time given to the characters and the relationships that are paramount to this universe. Characters that were believed out of the fight, or worse, make appearances. The dialogue has been stunning for both the melodrama and the emotional moments. One of the main characters that deserve mention in Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #5 is Pariah, the main villain of the book. Personally, he has been the least interesting part of the series so far, away from the main action. The multiversal nature of his machinations may have huge ramifications on DC Comics going forwards. But nothing has grounded him, and he has been too isolated from the heroes. Likewise, his dark army of extremely powerful villains has been parked. But his childlike tantrums as the resistance against him builds makes him more dangerous, and that unpredictability is crucial for the story.
Other characters in this issue that are brilliantly written include Nightwing and Black Adam, two extremes of personality types. Grayson is trying to corral the troops, becoming the true leader with calmness and bravery even in the face is annihilation. Adam, instead, is traumatised and panicking, a consequence of all he has witnessed. The contrast raises that palpable tension in the scene before the heroes go to battle, fraying nerves even further.
The art is mind-boggling. As the stakes get bigger, Sampere’s job gets more difficult, yet that would never be visible on the page. There is so much going on, yet the details are stunning. The hordes of both heroes and villains, many of which have been taken over by the darkness, are brilliantly designed and altered when needed. Changes in design, especially for the League, are all brilliant new looks that seem like upgrades. Even with so many bodies involved in the battles, their placements have been considered. And when things get really chaotic and cosmic, that is captured perfectly. The Infinite Earths are imposing. The barometer of facial expressions is sublime. Whether it be a subtle smirk or an infuriated meltdown, the intentions are clear and intense.
The colours are also superb. The shades implemented by Sánchez are rich and emotive, brimming with depth. There is often this overpowering tone, like a burning orange at the start of the battle. But there are glimpses of colours that help identify figures in the bedlam. Many of the most awesome moments are magnified by mesmerising colours and effects. The letters are incredibly dramatic and stylish whilst always being easy to read.
Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #5 releases what has been building the entire event. There have been confrontations, battles, and showdowns before, with huge amounts of damage done to the heroes and their community. But there was always a sense that a battle that dwarfed those skirmishes was coming. And here it is with the fate of a universe in the balance. Williamson balances that scale with some poignant and genuine exploration of the characters that are at the forefront of the book. That is matched by a superstar lineup of artist and colourist, with pages that are simply remarkable. But with the nature of this comic, there is possibly something even bigger around the corner.
Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #5 is available where comics are sold.
Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #5
Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #5 releases what has been building the entire event. There have been confrontations, battles, and showdowns before, with huge amounts of damage done to the heroes and their community. But there was always a sense that a battle that dwarfed those skirmishes was coming. And here it is with the fate of a universe in the balance… with the nature of this comic, there is possibly something even bigger around the corner.