By Grant Morrison, J.G. Jones, and Alex Sinclair

As someone who’s not well versed in the DC Universe, I gotta say, this issue will do nothing but confuse and detract new readers to the DC line. The problem is so much of this story is entrenched in DC lore that it’s impossible for new (or maybe even casual) readers to grasp what’s going on. Grant Morrison does his best to provide a semblance of expository dialogue, but issue servers as a rare case where there isn’t enough exposition. And because of this, new readers will suffer. If DC wants to attract new readers, they need to make their summer blockbuster event *much* more accessible.

My familiarity of the “Crisis” events is vague; I know what happened with “Inifinite Earths” and 52, and I read Identity Crisis. And yet, due to my lack of experience, the only thing I can really draw from this story is the (once again) banding of super villains to deliver a killing blow to the super heroes. I did recognize Doctor Light – and he’s still creepy.

There’s definitely a lot going on here and I was able to understand the overall gist of the story and the subplots, but many characters were unrecognizable to me. This lack of familiarity has forced me to just “go along for the ride”. Other than the death of a major character – which I felt was almost forced just to make a statement that “no one is safe” – I can’t honestly formulate an opinion on whether what’s going on is stunning or not

One thing that had me interested, the return of Barry Allen in DC Universe #0, isn’t even touched upon in this issue. Instead, the story races around, establishing the players and what’s at stake (which seems like a lot given the cosmic level of what’s shown). Despite the convolution, Morrison’s dialogue rolls of the tongue of the book’s characters and J.G. Jones’ art is wonderfully detailed and easy to follow.

I’m going to stick around and see if I can make sense of everything. Hell, maybe I’ll learn some stuff about the DC Universe. But judging from the tone of this first issue, I’m going to have to do a lot of homework to make sense of it all. Readers who’ve followed DC’s line of books for years will most likely enjoy this first issue, but for the rest of us, it’s unfriendly nature to neophytes may evoke a hostile response. (Grade: C)

– J. Montes