Monday, February 23, 2015

Genesis #3

Event Horizon

Ron Wagner Penciller
Joe Rubinstein Inker
John Byrne Writer
Patricia Mulvihill Colorist
Clem Robins Letterer
Jason Hernandez-Rosenblatt Assistant Editor
Paul Kupperberg Editor

Our cover by Alan Davis and Mark Farmer shows all the heroes in the DC Universe slipping through Darkseid's fingers. It's a pretty nice representation of how powerful Darkseid can feel, although I have no idea why one of his eyes is flaming. I kind of always assumed he used both eyes for his omega beams — if that's what's supposed to be happening here. Anyway, if you look closely, you can see Impulse at the bottom in the middle, just below Superman.

Our story picks up with the drawing of straws at "a place which is not a place, a moment frozen in the unending flow of time" (can you see my confusion?). No mention is made of Superman's brief, yet urgent mission to the Source Wall, and the Man of Steel has apparently reversed his decision on the drawing, saying, "Done as fairly as it could be!" Anyway, the whole group heads out to the Source Wall, but not by boom tube. Instead, they teleport thanks to Kindred Marx of the Ravers.

Once at the wall, our heroes quickly encounter Darkseid, who is in some sort of ship that apparently is much too large for Ron Wagner to draw. Darkseid comes out to meet the heroes personally, and gives us our third explanation of the Godwave, which created gods in its first pass through the universe, then rebounded on itself and created demigods, or superheroes. Now, according to Darkseid, the Godwave has already passed through the Source Wall and is rapidly approaching the center of the Source. Once it does, it'll release a massive amount of energy to destroy the whole universe and create a new one. And Darkseid, naturally, wants to be there when that happens so he can harness all that power for himself.

So Darkseid retreats to his ship, leaving all his minions to fight all the heroes. As they battle, the new god Takion scoops up all the heroes who drew the short straw to enter the Source. This group includes the Flash, Donna Troy, Saturn Girl, Spark, the old god Arzaz and a few random others.

We then cut back to Gotham City, where Robin, Huntress and Catwoman have once again fallen into deep depression and have stopped fighting back the riots, even though they gave each other a beautiful encouragement speech in Genesis #2. But don't worry, they do the exact same thing here once again, resolving to keep fighting.

Back at the Source Wall, Jesse Quick complains about not knowing how to fight Darkseid's parademon troops, and Impulse makes fun of her, saying they fold pretty fast if you fight back. And Superman complains for the 3,000th time about having to adjust to his new powers. Meanwhile, the all-powerful Spectre visits Darkseid and warns him not to go into the Source. But Darkseid brushes him off, so the Spectre enters the Source himself.

And then something goes horribly wrong. Everyone feels incredible dread, and we see chaos breaking loose all across Earth, including the graphic image of a man blowing his own brains out with a shotgun. Darkseid then receives another visitor, one who declares himself as Arzaz's opposite. This nameless villain offers to help Darkseid just so long as he can keep the cosmos intact. Another terrible surge is felt from the Source and we're treated to a very strange page of a bunch of heads reacting.

Everyone starts screaming that the Source is dying, and the group of heroes who entered it are expelled just before the Source Wall collapses.

Ugh. Trying to understand this comic is exhausting. It feels like John Byrne is attempting the grandiose by being as vague and unspecific as possible. But the inability to explain or understand something does not make it more epic — it actually has the opposite effect. I'm also upset with the story's inability to keep things straight. I can forgive the main series for not matching up perfectly with the tie-ins, such as Superman, but why couldn't these creators remember they gave us the exact same scene in Gotham City in back-to-back issues? And when you factor in the lackluster art and shocking suicide scene, this rounds out to be one crappy comic.

There aren't any new ads, so I'll see you next time with another Genesis tie-in, Wonder Woman #126.

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