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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Chris is on Infinite Earths -- 2 year anniversary

Chris Is On Infinite Earths -- a 'random DC comics discussion and reviews' blog written by Chris Sheehan -- has reached its second anniversary milestone today. I'm telling you this because if you're a fan of DC comics from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s and you don't know about his site, then you should.
Chris has been posting a comic review every day for the past 2 years. EVERY. DAY. Let's put that into context: Monday to Friday? Check. Weekends? Check. Civic Holidays? Check. Christmas? Check. His birthday? Check. He even finds the time to co-host the Cosmic Treadmill and Weird Comics History podcast with Reggie Reggie, and write an occasional review for the DC Weird Science blog.

Chris Is On Infinite Earths deals exclusively with single issue DC comic reviews. Sometimes he'll look back at issues I haven't given a second thought to since they were first published, often he'll spotlight really interesting comics that I'd completely overlooked the first time (and will make me want to research more about it), and frequently he'll review comics I remembered reading and enjoying many many years ago. Chris always goes above and beyond -- not only giving a synopsis of the issue, but also including important and noteworthy panels and providing a bit of historical insight via his own memories when he first picked up the issue. Enjoyable and informative to read -- he gives great care to list EVERY person who worked on the issue (i.e. letterer, colorist, assistant editor). Note: Chris' reviews contain spoilers, so if it's a comic you're thinking about reading and want to remain surprised, wait to read the actual issue before reading the review.

I wasn't sure if he'd let me post a pic of him, so here's a photo of his twitter profile pic. I'm going to assume that he owns this mug.

I enjoy perusing single issue reviews. Often, when I'm doing research on an article I'm writing, I'll need to go back and look deep into the web for a better summary of a back issue I don't seem to have on-hand. Finding a very in-depth synopsis on a particular 'key' issue you're seeking info on is a kin to striking gold in the amateur comics journalism world. Likewise, it's interesting to read a review about a comic I really enjoyed and seeing if other reviewers felt the same way I did -- or maybe reading about a new perspective I was previously unaware of.

In honor of Chris and his two-year blogaversary, here are our top 10 favorite reviews from Jan 31, 2017 to Jan 30, 2018 from the Chris is on Infinite Earths blog. [It was really difficult to narrow it down to ten, since there are 364 great reviews to chose from. Naturally we'll be biased towards the comics he reviewed from the '80s, because it's what we do.]

#1 - That time the Joker appeared in a Flash comic (Flash #33, 1989). I love it when villains cross-over to other books to fight the title's heroes -- especially when it's a Bat-villain that crosses over. Prior to Chris's review, I had no knowledge (or forgotten) of this issue's existence and am glad he featured it.

#2 - Ambush Bug featured in Action Comics (Action Comics #563, 1985). I'm a big fan of Keith Giffen's non-sequitur sense of humor in his Ambush Bug comics, and Giffen's art (which had an 'underground comix' vibe to it). Cheers to Chris for raising awareness about Giffen and his bug.

#3 - A Lonely Place of Dying story arc from Batman (Batman #440, New Titans #60, Batman #441, New Titans #61, Batman #442, 1989). As previously mentioned, sometimes Chris will cover comics that I haven't thought twice about since they were published -- this is a prime example. I had totally forgotten about the 'A Lonely Place of Dying' story arc which focused on Batman's relationship with Dick Grayson/Nightwing and crossed-over with the then-current Teen Titans series. Great to re-read again. Chris reviews all five issues in this story arc.

#4 - The 1988 Millennium cross-over event (Millennium #1 - 8, 1988). Earlier in 2017 the twitter-sphere was abuzz with everyone waxing nostalgic about 1988's Millennium cross-over event. The event itself lasted 2 months and crossed-over with just about every title DC was publishing at the time (45 issues in total). This was a really nice review of the core issues of the cross-over and some interesting commentary on how the cross-over was effecting the rest of the DC titles.

#5 - John Byrne's Many Deaths of the Batman story arc (Batman #433 - 435, 1989). This is a bit of a rarity -- a John Byrne Batman story in which he wrote and didn't touch the art... and the whole premise of the story sounds intriguing, too. I didn't read all three issue reviews, because after reading about half of the Batman #433 review I went out and tracked down these comics. Thanks to Chris.

#6 - All-Star Squadron's 1927 Metropolis easter egg (All-Star Squadron #60, 1986Roy Thomas' All-Star Squadron was a series I grew up reading, and I will always check out any review about any issue of All-Star Squadron simply based on principle. Imagine my surprise when Chris actually caught an easter egg I had completely missed the first time. On top of that, this is the issue when those pesky Crisis On Infinite Earths changes take place and completely alter the All-Star Squadron team photo. Great issue, great review.

#7 - Potshots at Terry Long (Teen Titans Spotlight #12, 1987) Okay, so by now Terry Long is a bit of a running joke among Teen Titans fans -- a divorced middle-aged college professor who ends up dating and marrying one of his students (i.e. Donna Troy/Wonder Girl) and becomes the 'creepy older guy' hanging our with a bunch of teens. While a lot of this may have gotten lost over time, Chris remembers. Vividly. I love his little digs at 'The Life and Times of Terry Long' and a lot of these reviews leave me laughing out loud.

#8 - The Riddler appears in The Question (The Question #26, 1989) Another instance of a Bat-villain appearing in someone else's title, I always dig these types of issue reviews. I do recall reading this issue when I reviewed 1987's The Question v1 for the DC in the 80 tumblr account several years ago [wow, that takes me back], so this was a nice trip down memory lane.

#9 - The pulse-pounding debut of Danny Chase! (New Teen Titans v2 #47, 1988) The only character Chris rags on harder that Terry Long is Danny Chase (rightfully so, in my opinion). Chris once told me that his initial idea was to create a Teen Titans review and discussion blog before deciding to expand it to cover all of DC comics as a whole (and I'm glad he did). Reading Chris' review, coming from a real Titans fan, makes it even more enjoyable to read because he feels just as passionate about the title as I do. Very entertaining insights.

#10 - The Death of Supergirl (Crisis on Infinite Earths #7, 1985) On a more somber note, Chris covers the death of Supergirl in the pages of Crisis On Infinite Earths. His review also encapsulates the origin of the Crisis in a very easy to read and concise breakdown. This is a great review with lots of interesting observations about the Crisis you may have missed the first time around.

Honorable mention:

The Zero Hour review (Zero Hour #4 - 0, 1994)

In 1994, when DC first announced the Zero Hour comics event, I knew this was going to be the BIG event I had been waiting for. It was going to shake up the DCU -- every character would be affected in some drastic way.  It was going to be like Crisis On Infinite Earths -- but WAY better. I was going to be on the ground floor for this event; I had a sub at my local comic shop, and I was being notified as soon as the issues arrived.  I spent most of my free time re-reading the issues and trying to pick up on clues of how characters were going to change. I collected as many 'zero issues' as I could -- even if it wasn't a title I was following -- because these were all going to be worth big bucks someday, after all. [I was only thirteen years old, cut me some slack.]

And then... well... here we are today. While Zero Hour's bold continuity changes don't really matter in today's DCU and all of my Zero Hour issues are barely worth the paper they're printed on, it was still a great memory and an exciting ride in DC fandom (at the time). Chris and Reggie really dove deep into this event and provided issue reviews and podcasts. This was really a fun memory and I'm glad I'm not the only one who got suckered into believing that nothing would ever be the same again.

This is just the tip of the iceberg -- he's got 2 years worth of great reviews on his site. Go check out Chris Is On Infinite Earths when you're done reading this page.

So this concludes our salute to Chris Sheehan. I also want to mention that not only is he a great writer, interesting speaker and hilarious guy to chat with -- he's also one of our first contributors to this site. Congrats on the two years, Chris. Looking forward to many more years to come.


1 comment:

  1. Woohoo, two years. That's amazing. It is such a great site, I love going there (almost daily)