Tales From The Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis Review - What if Blue Beetle was a Badass?
• James Tynion IV (Writer) • Aaron Lopresti (Pencils)
• Romulo Fajardo Jr. (Colorist) • Lee Weeks & Brad Anderson (Cover Artists)
• DC Comics (Publisher)
Infinite Crisis is one of the few DC events read before I started reading DC comics regularly. Tales from The Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis covers the timeline of the same event but is radically different from what you remember.
This is essentially a What If? comic in the classic sense. It takes an event from the original series and flips the outcome. This creates a cascading effect that keeps the timeline of events in place but changes characters and situational outcomes.
In the original series, Ted Kord A.K.A. Blue Beetle discovers Maxwell Lords' plot but is killed prior to getting the word out to others better suited to deal with the crisis. In this take, Kord flips the script on Lord and kills him. Kord then takes over the Checkmate organization and also gains control of the Brother Eye/O.M.A.C technology.
The change is a huge reversal of events but still feels like a natural progression of the original storyline. Blue Beetle is typically seen as a competent hero but never portrayed as A list. Tales from The Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis turns Blue Beetle into the most powerful man on earth.
The story begins in an interesting place but becomes exceptional as the events of Infinite Crisis begin weaving into the revised scenario. We still see Alexander Luthor and Superboy-Prime but we also see a totally different set of outcomes stemming from Ted Kord being tasked shaping the DC Universe.
James Tynion IV kicks ass in this reimagining and deserves major praise for condensing the sprawling event into this one-shot. I've never read a Blue Beetle Comic but after reading this one-shot I plan to read more of his adventures.
The issue gets pretty dark. It's not quite as grim as some of the other Tales from the Dark Multiverse stories but it knocks on the door. This comic shares the common "What if" trope of things going pretty bad for the heroes we know and love.
Aaron Lopresti draws the comic in a pretty standard DC house style but he runs the gamut of settings granting the one-shat a ton of variety and also conveying a wide range of events, atmospheres and intensity. Everything fits perfectly and is a credit to the script, art direction as well as editorial direction.
So far Tales from The Dark Multiverse has been a great throwback to my favorite classic Marvel series. It also improves on the concept by extending the stories beyond the standard 22-page format. I'd love to see this format used every few years to give creators room to explore DC lore for possible shatter points. At this point, I feel that trust has been earned. These are simply awesome stories.