Author: Greg Cox
Publisher: Ace Books
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
After reading the DC Comics trade paperback by Marv Wolfman entitled Crisis on Infinite Earths, I was more than a little confused. The comic book series was created in an attempt to cull some of the many characters and trim down the storylines of the multitude of superheroes in the DC Universe. The idea was to remove the multiverse – a multiple series of Earths and have one Earth remain. Marv Wolfman did this in a manner that was a tad bit confusing, but effective in my point of view. But perhaps not effectively enough in the view of the powers that be at DC Comics. In 2006, another culling session was in order and another series of writers brought this into being through the Infiinte Crisis series of comic books. One man was chosen to combine this incredible series of comics into novelization form and thus the 371-paged novel entitled Infinite Crisis was born.
Infinite Crisis combines the seven issues of the Infinite Crisis series as well as Aquaman #37, Day of Vengeance: Infinite Crisis Special #1, Gotham Central #38, JLA #119, JSA Classified #4, Rann/Thanagar War: Infinite Crisis Special #1, Teen Titans #32 and Wonder Woman (Second Series) #223 and 224. Greg Cox was endowed with the responsibility of retelling this story in novelization format without the aide of visuals that have made comic books so special. Could he pull it off without confusing readers further?
Infinite Crisis begins with a fractured Justice League. A series of events have put the leaders of the Justice League at odds with one another. Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman no longer trust one another and can no longer work effectively with each other. And while these leaders struggle with their lack of faith, the Earth as they know it is about to change. A series of events are about to unfold that will change the world they live in forever. The Spectre has left its human host and has now made it his mission to destroy all magic. The Secret Society of Super-Villains is growing in number and attacking at will in a variety of locations. OMAC’s, human hosts in robotic shells controlled by implanted nanobots from Batman’s rogue Brother Eye satellite, are targeting superheroes all over the globe. Two planets are now engaged in a galactic war while a huge cosmic storm rages nearby. And in the midst of all the chaos, the Justice League Headquarters is destroyed by an unknown enemy and J’onn J’onzz is missing. If the celebrated leaders of the Justice League cannot look past their differences, will they ever be able to unite against a common enemy – one that threatens to destroy the very fabric of the galaxy?
I had heard that the Infinite Crisis comic book series was even more confusing than the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Had I not found the Infinite Crisis novel at a reduced price, I may never have read the series. I knew some of the events that would take place in the series thanks to the information supplied in the DC Comics Encyclopedia and those seemed confusing enough. Thus, I didn’t have much faith in the novelization of the comic book series. I’m happy to say that I was wrong.
Greg Cox is such an excellent storyteller that he enables the reader to actually visualize the events taking place throughout the novel. He is able to offer up more details than the comics and thus there is less confusion as to what is taking place. As characters are introduced, the reader is immediately made aware of their affiliations, powers and a brief bit of their history. Everything is tied together in this novel with the luxury of detail. Had I read the Infinite Crisis trade paperback, I would probably be confused as all hell, but reading the Infinite Crisis novelization, I was hooked in to every facet of the adventure and understood every turn of events.
Reading the Infinite Crisis novelization, I now understand the various changes that have taken place in my favorite comic books. The turn of events that expanded the Birds of Prey are no longer a mystery to me. The changed histories of some of my favorite heroes has now been explained in detail. I can honestly say that the Infiinte Crisis novelization has actually cleared things up for me rather than confusing me and I urge those who found the Infinite Crisis comic book series confusing to read the novelization instead. The storyline is laid out in such an interesting and informative way that there is no way you can be confused. Infinite Crisis by Greg Cox is one novelization that every fan of DC Comics should have proudly situated on his/her collector’s shelf.