I admit that this issue is an incredible let down from #4 and, in many ways, it’s totally unnecessary. When I thought back on this series I actually forgot this issue entirely — I went from the events of #4 to the events of #6 in my head. There’s really not a ton of value in this issue…
…aside from getting to see George Perez do what he does again. And, honestly, no matter how bad the story is, isn’t the Perez art worth it? Of course it is.
Here’s the thing that people who aren’t as old as dirt sometimes don’t realize: The pre-Crisis DCU was bat shit insane. They don’t realize that up until the dawn of the Marvel Age, DC produced a ton of superhero comics, none of which featured any real characterization at all. So they were completely dependent upon plot and that well is only so deep, at least if it’s confined to stories that, you know, make sense. DC spent years publishing stories that were absolutely insane, truly beyond anything Morrison or Hickman put out today. And the two dimensional characters introduced in these stories were equally nuts.
So when I see Warlord, Amethyst, 80’s Catwoman, 80’s Black Canary (SO 80’s), B’wana Beast, The Creeper, Spectre, Phantom Stranger, Swamp Thing, and Sgt. Rock having a conversation about the end of the world, I say thee “fuck yeah!” Because that is the superhero drug right there. That is pure, unadulterated stupid ass, illogical, large than life, not bound by your mortal rules superhero comics, and even at its most superfluous, it brings a smile to my face.
It reminds me that “making sense” is something that adults worry about, and that kids seem so much happier without it.
Somewhat randomly, Red Tornado is turned by the mystery villain and unleashed on our heroes, who have recently banned together at the behest of Alexander Luthor, Harbinger, and Pariah.
And speaking of the mystery villain, he finally reveals himself. He refers to himself as the Monitor, but we know him better as the Anti-Monitor. He’s appropriately scary looking.
For what it’s worth, the series will pick up the pace going forward. But when you’re creating a series that’s supposed to encapsulate what was, at that point, nearly 50 years of history, you’re bound to be dragged down by the weight of all that history.
The lack of tie-ins this month would seem to suggest that DC knew not much was going to happen in Crisis #5.