Crisis on Infinite Earths #9 review – War Zone

After back to back issues spotlighting two of the most heroic acts seen in the DC Universe it’s time for the most selfish act we’ve seen in Crisis yet.

I love the complete on-brand nature of Brainiac and Lex Luthor’ strategy. Everyone’s had to rally to stop The Anti-Monitor while most of the villains chilled on the sidelines. With the heroes exhausted, emotionally drained and gathering at Earth-1’s United Nations now that the Anti-Monitor has presumably been defeated, now is the ideal time to strike.

Writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez had focused on the larger, multiverse shattering consequences of Crisis. This issue is on a “smaller-scale” featuring the greatest supervillain team-up of all time. And they’ve got a foolproof plan.

crisis on infinite earths #9 - villains assemble

This isn’t the standard goofy villains get taken down, but rather a strategic assault where they quickly attack Earth-5, Earth-S and Earth-X knowing the few remaining heroes can’t stop their onslaught.

crisis on infinite earths #9 - villains assault

Crisis has been laying the groundwork for the future of the DC Universe. We get a glimpse of that this issue as the resurgent Guardians officially bring in Guy Gardner as a Green Lantern just before all but one of them get killed. With Crisis winding down, Wolfman and Perez use this issue to set up major events in other titles.

crisis on infinite earths #9 - luthor arrives

The biggest comes when Jay Garrick and Lyla go to the retired Wally West asking for his help. With Barry Allen missing, Wally is the fastest man on Earth-1 and the only one capable of working Barry’s cosmic treadmill. This is the only measure the heroes have in traveling to the other Earths, whose heroes have already been defeated. It’s also the first major foreshadow of the next era of The Flash.

crisis on infinite earths #9 - heroes assemble

Perez is my favorite comic book artist and this issue is a prime example. In the wide shot of Wally and Jay on the treadmill, Perez takes the time to arrange the heroes with their team affiliations and friends. One platform has the Justice Society, another the Justice League while another has The Metal Men and so on. It’s one of those small details that makes Perez so special.

crisis on infinite earths #9 - heroes prepare

Wolfman kept the big battles to a limited amount of characters, but this is the issue he lets Perez loose for this major battle royal across the Multiverse. It’s every bit as spectacular as you might imagine with some major confrontations like Wonder Woman vs. Eclipso, Sinestro vs. Elongated Man, Zatanna vs. Validus. Given the circumstances it’s wild that Aquagirl is the only casualty. Steel gets warped away and it’s unclear of his fate as of yet.

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Psimon’s role this issue might be the one indulgence Wolfman and Perez have done this entire series as he was a key villain in their Teen Titans series. If so it’s a minor problem as he’s been involved since the start and his treacherous nature makes him a prime candidate to try and double cross Luthor and Brainiac.

War Zone keeps the intensity of Crisis up even in an issue where the main threat is busy licking his wounds. This is one of the best battle royal comic book issues ever and definitely doesn’t lose any of the series’ momentum.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: DC Comics

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