Infinite Crisis #4 (2006)

It’s funny, no matter how much grandeur and excitement there is in a story, it’s the personal moments everyone remembers. "Luke, I am you father" is more interesting than all the space battles (and part of why the Star Wars prequels basically failed). "Frankly, Scarlet, I don’t give a damn" is more memorable than the Civil War battles in Gone With the Wind. And in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, people remember the deaths of Barry and Kara, and the spooky last page with the Psycho Pirate, more than the battle between the Monitor and the Anti-Monitor.

It feels like Geoff Johns is striving for much the same thing here. The Earth-Prime Superboy goes Kid Miracleman and ravages a whole slew of heroes (though, conveniently, nobody that fans really care about), but the most memorable thing in the scene, at least from me, is his statement to the current Superboy: "You fooled everyone into believing you were actually Superboy. You don’t even have a cape!" That Superboy is so naive that he believes all the trappings of the superhero are what’s important, instead of the hero within. Like many kids, he believes that surface matters instead of what’s inside.

There are a lot of nice moments in this issue. The chats between Batman and Nightwing – "The early years, I’ve forgotten if… they were good for you, weren’t you?" "The best." Or Wally West, grabbing for his wife in a moment of stress. Or, for that matter, Barry Allen appearing in that same moment. Booster Gold being on a toothpaste box. On and on.

It’s a bit confusing around the edges, and I really do find it convenient that none of the big names were killed in the battle, but overall Johns does a nice job in this comic of combining the big with the small. And what an intriguing ending!

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