It’s not every day that someone gets to track down the being that killed them. But, then again, Barry Allen isn’t your average man on the street. Your Major Spoilers review of Dark Crisis: Big Bang #1 from DC Comics awaits!
DARK CRISIS: BIG BANG #1
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Federico Blee
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Editor: Paul Kaminski, Brittany Holzherr, and Dave Wielgosz
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: December 13, 2022
Previously in Dark Crisis: Big Bang: Pariah has successfully resurrected the infinite Multiverse… and all of reality is still reeling from the event. Join Doctor Multiverse on a haunting journey through these newly re-formed realities, from The Jurassic League to DC: Mech. From Dark Knights of Steel to Batman ’89 and back again…
IN SEARCH OF: THE ANTI-MONITOR
For some time now, Barry Allen has been charting the Multiverse, traveling from universe to universe and attempting to make some sort of map of the myriad worlds of the DCU. Pariah’s successful attempt to unlock the Infinite Earths has made that job even more complicated. But right now, with the assistance of Kid Flash “Ace” West, The Flash has the more pressing goal of finding the being known as The Anti-Monitor. Or, as he tells Kid Flash, “I’m looking for the man who MURDERED me.” The speedsters begin their recon mission with Barry telling his new young counterpart the story of the original Crisis, combining exposition with flashback in expert fashion. They travel across the new worlds together, those from Multiversity, those from 52, and even earlier ones, like the realities of Superman Red/Superman Blue and the 1977 Superman film. Once they encounter ol’ Anti-Monitor, though, things quickly go pear-shaped, and The Flash is forced to fight.
That means one solitary super-speedster is about to face a godlike being who killed him once already.
MY KIND OF ONE-SHOT
This issue’s story is relatively simple, but it’s the details that make it all fascinating. Waid takes what could have been a dry “handbook” and gives it personal stakes, making it clear that The Flash WILL die if he has to face the power of the antimatter villain alone. Fortunately, the Infinite Earths provide a lot of backup, including a Superboy from the world of Super Friends, BioMAC, and even Tesla Strong. The real star of this comic, though, are Barry’s personalized notes from the Multiverse, all cross-referenced with accounts from Earth-33, where all the heroes are as fictional as they are on our world. (He even made sure to pick up copies for his comic collection.) I’m not sure who did what on the art side, but Jurgens and Rapmund provide clear storytelling and details enough to easily identify which world is which without complicating matters. Best of all, their Barry Allen wears the uncomplicated Silver Age costume, making this all feel like a true sequel to Crisis on Infinite Earths, something lacking in the core miniseries.
BOTTOM LINE: WORTH IT FOR THE BACK MATTER ALONE
If you’re a back-issue boffin like me, you’ll love Dark Crisis: Big Bang #1 for the inclusion of the first DC alternate reality (Wonder Woman #59) and the various deep cuts referenced throughout, but anyone can enjoy the issue’s well-rendered art and clever story, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. If you’re hoping for more of the Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths story, you might be disappointed, but what you’ll get here is actually better.
Dear Spoilerite,At Major Spoilers, we strive to create original content that you find interesting and entertaining. Producing, writing, recording, editing, and researching requires significant resources. We pay writers, podcast hosts, and other staff members who work tirelessly to provide you with insights into the comic book, gaming, and pop culture industries. Help us keep MajorSpoilers.com strong. Become a Patron (and our superhero) today.
DARK CRISIS: BIG BANG #1
These days, every crossover worth its salt needs a guidebook and this one does the trick with a well-crafted story as well.