You’re reading The Complete Infinite Crisis, a Comprehensive and Encyclopedic look through the universe-changing superhero event published by DC from 2005 to 2006. Shelfdust are proud to provide a complete overview of the story, and everything that happens in it. Over the last year we’ve had seventy people come in to give us an explanation of the various bits and pieces of DC continuity which have made Infinite Crisis into the story it is today: a not very good one which is barely remembered by modern readers.
Why did we spend so long trying to put together the pieces of a comic which had no interest in bringing in or attracting new readers? What was the point of this whole exercise, and why did we actually even want to follow so much obscure continuity simply for the point of trying to make a comic by noted problem Geoff Johns into something readable? Today we’re scraping the critical barrel as Steve Morris talks to us about Infinite Crisis!
Steve! What’s the deal with The Infinite Guide to Infinite Crisis?
Steve Morris: Great question! a Comprehensive and Encyclopedic look through the universe-changing superhero event published by DC from 2005 to 2006. Shelfdust are-
No no, I mean – why did you do it?
Morris: Oh, right Well I don’t know, seemed like a good idea at the time. You know how comic book publishers say that their big event comics are meant to be this huge and exciting chance for anybody to jump into their universe and have a fun, accessible way into their stories? Well most of the events I’ve read are borderline unreadable for anybody who hasn’t spent a week reading Wikipedia beforehand. Infinite Crisis isn’t a comic that people say is good – but they do say that it’s BIG, and when I first read it i thought it’d be at least an interesting insight into the mindset of DC at the time they made it.
Instead I got this incoherent mess of a beautifully-drawn comic where everybody is already halfway through their storyline and nothing is explained for readers. Basic things like: who’s the guy with the “S” on his suit? Why is the sky red? What are these villains swarming across the world? Infinite Crisis is a comic event which starts with it’s final issue, and then races forwards from there. Characters are introduced with pomp and circumstance only to vanish and never return. Random teenagers get murdered every eight pages or so and we have no idea who they are. It’s a complete mess!
So you thought we needed to get the backstory on what is happening?
Morris: I thought we needed to see just how much Infinite Crisis’ creative team expected you to know about DC before you picked up the first issue. One rabbithole leads to another, where you get to the point that you apparently need to have picked up thirty years of continuity in order to really get something out of even the first issue of the main event series. It became really apparent that Geoff Johns’ ideal audience demographic was Geoff Johns, and he was writing for a readership who were, ideally, him.
Thing is, Infinite Crisis set a tone which DC lived inside for years. This broadly nihilistic vision of superheroes was the prevailing wind across their company line for several universal reboots over the years, with the main constants being gloom, darkness, “realism”, misery, daddy issues and hands getting cut off at random. It bled over to DC’s other properties, where their video games, films, cartoon series and TV shows all seemed to aspire to the level of bleak sadness that comics like Infinite Crisis brought to readers.
Everyone was sad! So I wanted to take a bit of a look back at what was happening there, and the roots for every single bit of torture porn or character betrayal which cropped up in the event.
Didn’t get far though, did you?
Morris: Nope! After around 70 editions of this column, we got around seven pages into the first issue of the series? It really does start with a million characters and only grow from there. It’s thoroughly inaccessible stuff.
So you’re giving up now?
Morris: The best time to give up on something is two months after your audience already stopped caring, in my experience. But what a legacy we leave behind! If anybody really wants to know what was going on with Ratcatcher fifteen years ago, Shelfdust is now THE go-to resource for them. We had some of the finest writers in comics come to talk to us about shite like the Rann/Thanagar War and Imperiex, and that’s a phenomenal commitment to wasting people’s time that I don’t know we’ll ever see the like of again.
We somehow kept this whole thing going for months and people weren’t outwardly complaining for most of that time, which is truly the definition of a well achieved Shelfdust project.
That Frasier month was weird though
Morris: Yeah, that was weird.
Steve Morris is the Editor of Shelfdust and he is very sorry about everything. You can find him, uh, here on Shelfdust. And on Twitter here.
RIP the Infinite Guide to Infinite Crisis.
We never even got to find out who Alexander Luthor or Superboy Prime were