Hello, there, readers! Welcome back once again to Quintessential Comics! So, last issue we went ahead and covered a handful of Marvel’s most famous events. I thought it would be fun to do the same for DC Comics. So, here we are with another list of five events that have had a major impact on the DC universe! I don’t want to keep you all waiting, so here we go.
The Man of Steel. The Big Blue Boy Scout. The Man of Tomorrow. The Last Son of Krypton. Only a superhero as prolific as Superman could be so deserving as to have so many monikers. Since his debut in Action Comics in 1938, Kal-El has been and remains an ideal to strive towards for generations of readers. His unwavering sense of right and wrong inspires others. Plus, he’s got it all: Faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive. He’s even able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. What happens, though, when Superman comes face to face with a creature so powerful that even the combined efforts of the Justice League are not enough to thwart it? Quite the controversial story-line when it debuted in the 90’s, this graphic novel is now considered a landmark in Superman’s history as it’s not just about the hero’s strength or speed, but his ability to stand tall in the face of unbeatable odds.
Barry Allen is the fastest man alive. You may know him as The Flash. He’s been a staple on many teams such as the Justice League, Teen Titans, and Justice League International. When he’s not out there punching bad guys he’s working alongside Central City’s finest as a forensics expert. While the character has functioned as a beacon of hope over the years, his past is actually marred by tragedy. Allen was driven to become a forensic scientist as a result of the murder of his mother when he was only a child. Even worse, his father was imprisoned for the crime. Barry has spent his whole life working to exonerate his father and prevent other such tragedies from befalling others. However, as the years went by, Barry found that he could never truly live with what happened. So, he did the unthinkable. He ran fast enough to break the time barrier and traveled back to save his mother on that fateful night. What he wasn’t prepared for was the unforeseen consequences of living in a world where his mother was never meant to exist.
So, I’m going to be honest: “Final Crisis” is probably among the weakest of the many crises that DC Comics has given us over the years. The story has been criticized as being too convoluted, with enough plot holes to leave one wondering what Grant Morrison was thinking when he came up with it. However, there are a few things that I think make this graphic novel worthy of some recognition. Firstly, convoluted or not, the plot that Morrison develops is so wholly outrageous and grand in scope that I can’t help but respect how totally comic book-y it is. I mean, a literal god falling through the cosmos and tearing a hole in the fabric of spacetime? Incredible. Not to mention that I love anything related to the New Gods lore created by the great Jack Kirby in 1970 with his Fourth World concept. Lastly, I love how this graphic novel explores what heroes do when evil has already won, and what they’re willing to do do win back the day. So, if you’re looking for a story that’s a little out there with some pretty great art, go ahead and check this out.
Protecting the many galaxies spanning the universe under the supervision of the Guardians. Their Corps is powered by the emotion that is will. They do not submit to fear. However, their resolve will be tested when the Blackest Night falls upon them and the Black Lantern Corps arises under the leadership of Black Hand. Many heroes thought dead and gone are resurrected to be the servants of Nekron, the power that commands the Black Lanterns. Can the leaders of the various remaining Corps band together to prevent the will of Nekron from spreading across the universe? Will Hal Jordan, arguably the greatest of the Green Lanterns, be able to keep them from destroying one another?
Since we covered the death of Superman, why not round out this list with the fall of the Dark Knight? Batman is known for having one of the most colorful and menacing rogues’ galleries of any DC hero. Perhaps one of the most dangerous of all is Bane, a monstrous martial combatant that grew up in a prison. Bane utilizes a steroid known as Venom in order to augment his already staggering physical might. However, it’s his tactical genius that makes Bane a threat to the Caped Crusader. He is one of the very few who have ever deduced Batman’s secret identity. In this collection, Bane wages all out war on the Bat all across Gotham. What makes this story famous is that, SPOILER ALERT, Bane actually emerges victorious after brutally beating Batman and breaking his back. He leaves him broken and humiliated for all of the citizens to see. It’s truly a low point for the Dark Knight.