Dark Crisis: Big Bang #1 – Mark Waid, Writer; Dan Jurgens/Norm Rapmund, Artists; Federico Blee, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: Amid the chaos of Dark Crisis, with all the other spinoffs taking us to dark worlds for secret missions, Mark Waid and Dan Jurgens decide to do something very different. These two have been DC mainstays since the 1990s—Jurgens writing fairly continuously, while Waid took a long break only to return in style. And the two of them have a massive task here—reinventing the DC multiverse, while also doing a very personal tale for Barry Allen. Because while most of the major villains of the past events have been enslaved by Pariah, one is unaccounted for—the Anti-Monitor. This cosmic threat was the one who killed Barry in Crisis on Infinite Earths, and he’s not willing to let that happen to anyone else. So begins with greatest forensic hunt of all time, through the DC multiverse. With young Wallace West by his side, Barry travels from one world to another, seeing unique visions of the DCU, until he finds his target.
Part of the challenge of this book is that it intends to be both a stand-alone story and a sourcebook, letting us see which worlds are now part of the multiverse—and the answer seems to be “all of them.” Ongoing and recent series like DCeased, DC Mech, and Dark Knights of Steel are all present, and the Anti-Monitor is ripping through them one by one. As Barry prepares for one last sacrifice, Wallace may have another trick up his sleeve—and it’s one that involves heroes from across the Multiverse. The story here is a little thin, with frequent pit stops to gaze at unique worlds they visit, but part of the joy here is watching Jurgens—one of DC’s most iconic artists—bring these worlds to life. The issue feels like a tribute to the past few decades of stories, and to Barry Allen in particular as he faces his greatest demon one last time and turns the page towards a new future.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.