Dark Crisis: Big Bang may not be the new dawn for the universe the title suggests; instead, it’s more of a fireworks show put on by writer Mark Waid and artists Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund as a love letter to DC’s multiverse.
Waid’s run on Batman/Superman: World’s Finest has been evocative of Silver-Age superhero stories. There’s a lighthearted tone, but still over-the-top world-ending villains to fight. There’s also a sense of hope brimming from that book’s pages. The same can be said of Dark Crisis: Big Bang, the final tie-in before the event wraps up this month.
In Big Bang, The Flash (Barry Allen) and Kid Flash (Wallace West) attempt to take down the Anti-Monitor, who suspiciously has not been seen since Pariah’s return. Really, all of that is a convenient way to take a journey through the multiverse the way only Flash can. And while we don’t spend too much time on any one world on our tour of the multiverse, Jurgens and Rapmund’s classically heroic art styles make it a joy to see who will pop up next.
I do wish we got more time with each of the Earths, something to show us what makes them unique. But that’s sort of the antithesis of what the book itself is about. Through Barry’s narration we know that even though there are so many things that make the worlds different, they also have the central throughline of hope and humanity. It’s a sincere message, but it is a bit at odds with what makes multiverse stories so fun.
There isn’t much room to add on more Earths anyway. At 24 pages, Big Bang is about half the length of the other Dark Crisis tie-ins. And when we get to the end of the book we see a glossary, a list of the Earths with a one-sentence descriptor and what comic you can read about them in. It really just left me wanting to see more.
Big Bang also takes the alternate universes published during the past two years (DC Mech, Dark Knights of Steel, and The Jurassic League) and puts them on a pedestal right next to Elseworlds classics. It’s a really heartening thing to see this juxtaposition. It feels like a doubling down on DC’s part to ensure readers that what they spend their time with isn’t throwaway. That it’s just important to the publisher to make interesting characters and worlds as it is for the readers to invest themselves in.
Dark Crisis: Big Bang offers readers a quick tour through the multiverse that serves as a tribute to Elseworlds old and new.
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