Welcome to day one of “Infinite Crisis Week” here at Holy Comics, Batman! What does that mean, you ask? Well, it means I read all of Infinite Crisis as well as all of its tie-ins, so this entire week is going to be dedicated to dissecting those stories. Needless to say, a lot is going to be talked about this coming week. First though, a little backstory/disclaimer:
These stories intersect with one another quite a bit. Mistah J, in his effort to make sure I read the story in the order intended without jumping back and forth in time, patiently went through the entire Infinite Crisis storyline and left notes and directions for me, creating a path for me to follow throughout the numerous trades. It was meticulously well-done, and felt as though I was unearthing new details at every turn, as I jumped back and forth between books and pieced together this massive story. It was the closest I could have come to experiencing the stories as people did when the individual issues were coming out, and for that I’m extremely grateful. It’s too good of a storyline to be separated out into single trades, and I’m so glad I was able to read everything woven together as it was.
That being said, it also means that I was finishing books at different points in time, so I was forced to decide how to order them. As I’m writing this post, I’ve already completed the entire Infinite Crisis storyline, so I’ll be writing my posts knowing how everything turns out. That being said, I’m still only going to focus on the events of each particular trade for my posts, in the effort of doing these stories as much justice as possible.
Now without further ado, onto the first trade. Superman: Ruin Revealed builds off of the most recent Superman story on “the shelf”, focusing on Ruin and his attempts to destroy everything Superman holds dear. As Superman tries to discern Ruin’s identity, an unlikely suspect is revealed: Pete Ross, Clark Kent’s best friend and former President of the United States. Of course, Clark has his reservations about the truth of Pete’s guilt.
Clark has known Pete a long time, and is sure of his innocence. Unfortunately, just about everyone else believes Ross is guilty (after all, the evidence is pretty damning). Determined to unearth the truth, Clark continues his search, all the while more and more people close to him are put in harm’s way.
After considering who has the knowledge and intel to attack Superman so personally, we finally learn who the mastermind is being Ruin’s mask.
Emil Hamilton, Superman’s longtime friend and ally. Emil seems to have jumped on the Brother Eye bandwagon, believing that Superman poses a threat to society and must be destroyed before he harms the world. Bizarrely, Hamilton doesn’t actually know Superman’s secret identity (as was assumed) and just happened to target people that Clark Kent knew as well. It was a bit odd, Hamilton being in the dark about so much when he seemed like such a formidable threat, but I suppose it was necessary for the story. Superman couldn’t send Emil to jail with him knowing the whole truth (and we wouldn’t want to see Zatanna use a mindwipe yet again). Still, Ruin felt like less of a threat when we realized he didn’t know Superman’s secret identity, and some of the immediate danger dissipated when his lack of knowledge was revealed.
Superman brings down Ruin despite Hamilton’s best attempts at destroying the people Supes holds dear (having kidnapped Pete Ross, Lana Lang, and their child). It’s an interesting trap, and I enjoyed reading Ruin’s skewed sense of justice (killing Superman is for the good of the world, but it’s okay for Ruin to kill innocent people to do so?). Although he lost some of his gravitas once his identity was revealed, Hamilton was an interesting choice for the villain, and I liked seeing a tangential tie-in to The OMAC Project. With more and more people seemingly scared of Superman’s power, it seems clear that change is unavoidable. If not, the entire world could turn on Superman and his kin, fearing the damage they could do, well-intentioned or not.