The fourth issue of Dark Crisis brings with it a lot of change, including the official name change from Dark Crisis to Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths. Now, if you’re a collector and want consistent titles or a completest who wants both, be on the lookout for reprints of issues one, two, and three featuring the name change and newer logos. This issue lives up to that name, with a hell of a cliffhanger ending. Joshua Williamson, Daniel Sampere, Alejandro Sanchez, and the rest of the creative team are making DC Comics history in this issue. Lots to see on Earth One with fights, team-ups of heroes on Elseworlds, and heroes shining through the darkness. Let’s take a look inside!
SPOILERS AHEAD for Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #4!
I entered the wonderful world of comics during what they consider the Bronze Age, but read plenty from the Silver Age as well. So when I opened this issue up and saw that incredible Brave and the Bold team-up, I was ecstatic! I know those two heroes have a vast legacy before and after them, but it was a joy to see them tackle this Crisis head-on. I also enjoyed seeing more of John Stewart’s New Earth from his World Without a Justice League tie-in issue and some sneak peeks of the other Leaguer’s worlds. I laughed with Hal and Barry’s banter about these dream worlds, and Williamson found a great way to give Jeremy Adams and the crew a shoutout for the world they gave Barry over in The Flash. Luckily, you don’t need to read these tie-in issues, but it does expand the story if you want to dive in deep.
Shifting scenes to other heroes, we get a great moment between Nightwing and Green Lantern, Alan Scott. Williamson does a fantastic job here by having a defeated Dick Grayson who is ready to quit before getting hope from Alan Scott, who reminds Dick of all he has accomplished. The biggest accomplishment is being the first to carry on the legacy, which connects to real-world comic book history and comic continuity. This scene is also where Williamson gives Daniel Sampere and the art team a break, but the art team still amps it up to 11.
The character interactions are still massive in this issue, especially when we see the Legion of Doom go up against the Secret Society. I enjoyed the ribbing the classic members gave the newer members, as it was great to see these generations’ realistic interactions. We also visit the magical side of heroics, so Daniel Sampere gets to draw even more of the DCU, which is beautiful! This scene will lay the groundwork for the upcoming Deadly Green tie-in but also references a Crisis on Infinite Earths moment. It is delightfully homaged in a panel recreation from Swamp Thing (Vol. 2) #46. I recommend reading that issue and issue #50 from that same volume to give you more background on the Great Darkness and why Swamp Thing thinks there is more to this Crisis.
The issue advances the story and gives you spectacular moments and fights. There is a build-up for Pariah’s actions; here, we see his master plan advance, which is quite the scene for us. Williamson gives us a new significant moment in the history of DC Comics. This issue flowed so nicely with the creative team in such sync that you would think they have been working together for years. I know this makes waiting for the next issue much harder, but this story’s potential excites me! Please don’t wait on this one; pick it up as soon as possible!
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