Book review

Crisis On Multiple Earths
Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky,
Bernard Sachs and Sid Greene

DC Comics / Titan Books

Crisis On Multiple EarthsDid I really go bananas over this kind of stuff as a kid? Yes, I think I did. How about yourself? Probably, or you wouldn't be reading this. However, like going to the dentist for the first time or losing your virginity, it's probably an experience you don't want to repeat.

Crisis On Multiple Earths is a sprawling mess of a story, whose plot is so wafer thin that watching it unfold is almost painful. That said, let's get this in perspective. It's a collected reprint of an original series that first ran in the early to mid 60s. Featuring such icons of spandex cool as Justice League America (Atom, Aquaman, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Superman, Wonder Woman and J'onn J'onzz) and Justice Society Of America (Atom, Black Canary, Doctor Fate, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman and Hourman) with a guest appearance by Batman, there are so many characters kicking around that all you can do is marvel (sorry) at those freaky costumes!
    Meanwhile, coming in from the dark side are Felix Faust, Chronos and Dr Alchemy, The Fiddler, The Icicle and The Wizard. Man, you had to read a lot of comic books back then to keep up! This is even a little bit before my time (quite a lot before to be honest). I seem to recall The Avengers et al being a little more subdued story wise when I was six - something you could read and follow. Later on there are even more pointless characters to bolster the plot - Absorbo Man! Like, God help us if they ever decide to resurrect some of these characters and put them into the mainstream!

Comics have moved on so much since the 60s (and 70s) that novels such as this serve as nothing more useful than a history lesson (for which it earns one of the stars given). There can be no other redeeming features for a book like this I'm afraid. We've just come too far. Maybe I'm being too hard, but what would you rather do with an evening - relive your first virginal fumbles or get it on with a sex bomb you just ran into?
    The other star earned by this swamp of ink and zany characters is for pulling in The Spectre for the finale. If you've never acquainted yourself with Spectre, then head off to your nearest comic mart and root some out. A fantastic character who saw a brief resurgence of popularity in the late 80s with his detective sidekick. It's about time DC spent their marketing efforts on something worthwhile, and if any of you guys are reading, can you get a move on with collecting together some the Question series?
    Like the inimitable Julie Burchill once said (I think): If history is so damn great, how come it's no longer here?

:: Sion Smith

Go to top of page
Latest articles

Alone in the dark: Buffy The Vampire Slayer bows out in style with the Season Seven DVD Collection.

Johnny Knoxville plays him in the movie Grand Theft Parsons, but counterculture speaks to the man himself: Phil Kaufman interviewed.