Tales From The Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis #1
In a world where Ted Kord kills Max Lord before the Infinite Crisis can occur, Blue Beetle takes a dark turn down a dangerous path when he takes control of Brother One and the O.M.A.C. project.
So far within the realm of DC’s Dark Multiverse event, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the quality of storytelling. This does not necessarily change with Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis #1; however, I certainly have issues with the book that will be brought up later.
The writing on it is generally strong, and at a level I expect from a well-known, oft-celebrated writer such as James Tynion IV. The story itself follows the seeming formula for Dark Multiverse tales: change one key aspect, lure the reader in with the idea that everything might still be okay, and then twist it near the end for maximum heartbreak. I’m not complaining about the formulaic nature of these stories; rather, I’m quite a fan of the Twilight Zone-esque story-telling. With this Infinite Crisis alternate take, I also get the satisfaction of seeing Maxwell Lord getting shot by Blue Beetle, something that I’ve honestly wanted for a long time. There was plenty of emotional pay-off, both good and bad, in this book for me, as a long time fan of the Blue and Gold.
The artistic merit of the book was decent. Despite some grotesque images that stood out in their uniqueness, however, it very much blended in to me as a typical DC book. There seems to be a particular house style guide for artists in DC over the past decade or so, with few artists bucking the trends. This does not take away from the talent of the artists, of course; this is just a personal gripe from me.
As for personal gripes with the story itself, I only have one: accessibility. I have found that with the other Dark Multiverse books I have reviewed, that you need very little backstory going in. For the Knightfall variant, you needed to know about Bane’s breaking of Batman and the succession of Jean-Paul Valley. For Death of Superman, all you needed to know was in the title. For a variant on a huge event like Infinite Crisis? There is so much lore to unpack that the issue becomes incredibly dense and partially inaccessible to anyone who is not a longtime, incredibly dedicated DC fan. Even as someone who had read Infinite Crisis multiple times (but not for a long while), this book had me pausing and struggling to line up certain parts.
Overall, however, the story told in Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis #1 was compelling. It was difficult for me going in to imagine the corruption of such a morally good character as Ted Kord, but Tynion pulled it off with great emotional capability. While not as resonant with me personally as other issues of Tales from the Dark Multiverse, Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis #1 is a valiant effort to concisely tell a story that probably should have been broken up into multiple issues.
Equal parts compelling and circuitous, Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis #1 (Tynion, Lopresti, Ryan, Fajardo, Leigh) is a compelling story that requires a deep knowledge of comic lore to be fully accessible to the reader.
Tales From The Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis #1: A Tale of Almosts
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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