I didn't have time to post about Infinite Crisis #4 when it came out last month, partly because I was still processing how I felt about the story. On the one hand, I have a "fan boy" perspective on how cool it is that they brought back Alexander Luthor-3 and Superboy-Prime.
On the other hand, I really dislike the way those two characters have become villains.
Well, the moving finger writes on. Now that we've made it to the halfway point of the series, I think I have an idea of where the story is heading. So, it's the return of Infinite Crisis Speculation Day!
For those of you who have been reading, you know that by the end of issue #4, Earth-2 has been recreated, and the heroes of Earth-2 seemed to have been summoned back to their "native" universe. This has been the goal of Superman-2, to get his own universe back, so Lois will be cured of whatever ails her.
But it's not the goal of Luthor-3. In issue #4, Luthor-3 implied that recreating Earth-2 is only a step along the way. What could he possibly have in mind?
Here's my current theory.
Luthor-3 convinced Superman-2 and Superboy-Prime that they could recreate the entire Multiverse, or at least their own universes, so that they could all go back home. But I bet that Luthor knows that there's only enough "chronal energy" or whatever to support the existence of one universe. Because of the events of the original Crisis twenty years ago, the existence of two or more Earths has become inherently unstable. Luthor, Superboy, and Superman all want their own worlds back, but only Luthor knows that in the end, there can be only one.
Luthor-3 has chosen to recreate Earth-2 first, to get Superman-2 out of his hair. As far as he's concerned, Superman-2 is completely oblivious as to what is going on. Furthermore, I think he sent Superboy-Prime off to confront the current Superboy because he knew that would get Superboy-Prime out of his hair as well. Now that the two of them are out of the picture, he's going to allow the two current Earths to fall apart, using their energy to recreate Earth-3...and therefore allow himself to finally meet his parents and have a normal life.
So I think in the next few issues we're going to see some major conflict, as the current heroes try to keep their universe from being destroyed, while Superman-2 and Luthor-3 also come to blows over whose universe will get to survive. And in the end, I think after all is said and done, we're going to see Superman-2 sacrifice his life so that the current Earth will continue to exist, but possibly changed for the better.
Remember in issue #1, when Batman told Superman that the last time he inspired people was when he died? I think the death of Superman-2 will become the inspiration to the current heroes to restore hope to their universe, and we'll finally move away from the grim and gritty direction that DC Comics has taken in the past few years.
This would actually go a long way toward explaining the cover for the upcoming Infinite Crisis #6 that appears to show the two Earths merging together and destroying each other....