Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths #7, “Dawn of DC” is out and concludes the Dark Crisis event with a promising outlook towards the future of DC Comics. It’s always hard to maintain a hope that this will be the last new beginning we’ll see for awhile during these Crisis events, but this one feels like it has some staying power.
Instead of getting grand, bold changes and new directions for beloved characters, we bear witness to a more foundational change. A change that revitalises the concepts of a true Infinite Earths model not limited to a number count. Perhaps as way to commemorate the birth of the new multiverse, there’s 13 variant covers to this issue alone. Although not the most variants I’ve seen a single issue get, it’s still an impressive amount of art to take a look at, so let’s get to it!
The standard cover is done by Daniel Sampere and Alejandro Sanchez and acts as a bookend to their Justice League #75 cover, which is the issue that started the event. An image of Nightwing shining bright in the middle of multiple earths can be seen through the giant “Dawn of the DCU” cover title amidst an all white background.
Sampere and Sanchez’s full art of this cover gets the foil treatment as one of the variants. Seen this way, Nightwing is a beacon of light in the center of the multiversal rebirth. It’s a very hopeful, almost spiritual, image as the fate of the multiverse rests on the outcome of Nightwing and Deathstroke’s conflict.
Clay Mann’s variant showcases Jon Kent channeling his father’s tenacity as he flies into action. The use of Clark’s cape in the background doubling as Jon’s is a great symbolic visual. This entire event really had Jon prove his legacy as Superman is well deserved.
The variant by Ian Churchill depicts Naomi, Firestorm, Shazam!, and Captain Atom against a supercharged Pariah. The Dark Crisis event did a decent job spotlighting the impressive roster of DC characters much like the original Crisis on Infinite Earths. Using characters often perceived as next generational or second tier, Churchill captures the effective scope of this final battle.
Kyle Hotz and Dan Brown gives us a dynamic cover of DC’s trinity in their ‘World’s Without a Justice League’ outfits. Gathered together on a smoking landscape, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are posed for battle. The green smoke and purple clouded background give a psychedelic feel to the cover and could possibly make for a cool black light poster.
Viktor Bogdanovic pays homage to Batman’s sacrifice in Final Crisis for his variant. A sullen Superman holds the desiccated body of Batman in a bust take on the La Pieta pose. The original J.G. Jones image was used for the trade cover of Final Crisis.
Tony S. Daniel’s variant is great summary of the final battle of Dark Crisis. The dark chains around Deathstroke make him the Dark Army representative and the new Dan Mora design for the Green Lantern fused Composite Superman makes for the Heroes of the DCU representative. These two are clashing so hard the environment around them are exploding which is obviously reshaping the DC world as we currently know it.
The variant by Felipe Massafera is an action capture of the new Green Lantern fused Composite Superman. The surging green energy from their ring creates a shimmer on the rest of the outfit for an otherworldly menacing look. Being on two variant books, yet not appearing in this issue makes me wonder if more appearances of this character are in store for the future.
Dan Mora does four of the variants in a connecting profile pic fashion. Core members of the Justice League are colored in their associated primary color. Batman in black, Superman in blue, Flash in red, Green Lantern in green, Wonder Woman in yellow, and Aquaman in orange. Finishing up the profile stylised covers is a black and white of Shazam! and the Titans.
Lastly we have a wraparound tribute cover to the late, legendary artist George Perez. With layouts by Dan Jurgens and colors by Hi-Fi, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Todd McFarlane, Alex Ross, Walter Simonson, Scott Kolins, Phil Jimenez, Colleen Doran, Scott Koblish, Dave Gibbons, Joelle Jones, Darryl Banks, Mike McKone, Klaus Janson, Bruno Redondo, Mikel Janin, Dan Mora, Francis Manapul, Jerry Ordway, Kevin Maguire, Ivan Reis, Gary Frank, Adam Hughes, Daniel Sampere, Nicola Scott, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, and Dan Jurgens all lend their talents to commemorate the characters George Perez had a hand in bringing to life on page. Using the classic Monitor’s satellite scene from the original Crisis on Infinite Earths as a backdrop, this cover seems to come full circle since Perez was pivotal in that event’s success. There’s also a foil incentive version that’s sure to look even more fantastic.
The interior art team of Daniel Sampere, Jack Herbert, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, and Rafa Sandoval deliver a visual stunning finale. Coloured by Alejandro Sanchez, Alex Guimaraes, Romulo Fajardo Jr., and Matt Herms, with letters by Tom Napolitano, Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 is nothing less than a sequential art masterpiece. Several key moments really stand out that include Dick Grayson’s character evolution, and a display of Black Adam’s true power. Not to mention a nice easter egg of Black Adam performing Dwayne Johnson’s signature eyebrow move.
Joshua Williamson definitively proves his writing chops by expertly handling this massive event. He surpasses all expectations by showing he truly understands the voices and motivations of so many DC characters. This issue focuses more on the inner struggles between Nightwing and Deathstroke that spans decades in a way that feels genuine and relevant. He never skips a beat slipping between them and the massive battle between the Deark Army and all of the heroes of the DCU. Real stakes feel on the line as both battles feel like a conflict over the very soul of DC Comics.
The outcome is one that changes the fabric of the DCU going forward in a way that very possibly wouldn’t need revisited. Although I doubt this is the last Crisis event we’ll ever see, the Infinite Earths story well could easily be put to bed this time around. With the future of the Justice League as an entity being the only fate in question, several loose story threads get tied up, including where during current runs of other major stories Dark Crisis takes place. Of course we’re treated to a sneak peek of the consequences that will be dished out over the course of next year as happy endings have trouble existing in superhero comics.
All in all, Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 delivered on the epic scope it set out back in Justice League #75. The Dawn of the DCU is off to a great start. Joshua Williamson’s knowledge of DC characters and continuity is incredible and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for his upcoming Superman title.