Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 9 (of 9)
Reviewing stories found in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12, Green Lantern #198, Infinity Inc #25, All-Star Squadron #57-60, and DC Comic Presents #94
Written by Marv Wolfman, Steve Englehart, Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, Robert Greenberger, and Barbara Kesel
Art by George Perez, Joe Staton, Todd McFarlane, Mike Clark, Rick Hoberg, Arvell Jones, Richard Howell, and Tom Mandrake
Throughout Crisis issue 11 and continuing into #12, there is a subplot where the Forgotten Heroes stumble across Brainiac’s ship. The Forgotten Heroes were a group of C-tier characters put together in the pages of Action Comics and DC Comics Presents. Their roster consisted of Animal Man, Atomic Knight, Dolphin, and more. When Brainiac wakes, it’s another sign of the effects of the Crisis, with the robot having no memory of the pre-Crisis timeline. However, he does detect that Earth is in the Antimatter Universe and rushes off to Apokalips to seek aid from Darkseid.
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Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 8 (of 9)
Reviewing stories found in Superman #423, Action Comics #583, Crisis on Infinite Earths #11, Amethyst #13, and Green Lantern #197
Written by Alan Moore, Marv Wolfman, Robert Loren Fleming, Keith Giffen, and Steve Englehart
Art by Curt Swan, Murphy Anderson, George Perez, Ernie Colon, and Joe Staton
One of the major conventions of the Superman comics during the Silver Age was “Imaginary Stories,” these were “what if?” style scenarios revolving around changing some essential aspect of Superman’s lore and seeing how it plays out. For example, a typical story might be about Superman getting married, having children, being killed by one of his enemies, or vice versa. To wrap up this era of Superman, writer Alan Moore penned a two-point narrative that brings the story of the Man of Steel to a clear finale. It doesn’t necessarily fit with the continuity of what was happening in the Crisis on Infinite Earths event, but it was written because of what Crisis was bringing to the DC Universe.
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Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 7 (of 9)
Reviewing stories found in Crisis on Infinite Earths #9-10, Green Lantern #196, Justice League of America #245, The Fury of Firestorm #42, and The Omega Men #33
Written by Marv Wolfman, Steve Englehart, Gerry Conway, Todd Klein
Art by George Perez, Joe Staton, Luke McDonnell, Rafael Kayanan, Shawn McManus
I recently read an interview from Comics Interview (issue 26) with Marv Wolfman & Bob Greenberger about Crisis on Infinite Earths after issue eight was published. It’s an incredibly insightful piece into the thinking behind the scenes, how Wolfman worked with DC’s writers to integrate elements of the event into ongoing titles. My biggest takeaway was that Wolfman was incredibly tired from the logistics of the event. There was so much coordination needed, but it also required a light touch to not feel like blatant editorial changes happening in books. There still needed to be stories and engaging character arcs, not just plot beats. What’s interesting is how neutral he is about killing off characters. From his point of view, he was given a list of changes to make, including deaths by writers and editors. Yet, he managed to make Barry Allen’s death such a beautifully heroic moment regardless of the mandate put on him.
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Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 6 (of 9)
Reviewing stories found in Crisis on Infinite Earths #8, DC Comics Presents #88, Justice League of America Annual #3, Green Lantern #195, and Superman #415
Written by Marv Wolfman, Steve Englehart, Dan Mishkin, Cary Bates
Art by George Perez, Keith Giffen, Rick Hoberg, Joe Staton, Curt Swan
Still reeling from the death of Supergirl, fans were hit with another significant death that would have some long-term effects on the DC Universe for decades. It must be noted that eight issues into these events and the heroes of the Multiverse have just really gotten their bearings on what is happening to all of reality. They even believe the Anti-Monitor was defeated at this point due to what happened in the previous issue. The surviving Earths are still a mess, and they are trying to sort that out while having no idea that the antagonist is still alive and recharging his batteries.
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Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 5 (of 9)
Reviewing stories found in Crisis on Infinite Earths #6-7, Blue Devil #17-18, Infinity Inc #23-24, Legion of Super-Heroes #16,18, DC Comics Presents #87, Superman #414, The Omega Men #31
Written by Marv Wolfman, Gary Cohn, Dan Mishkin, Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, Paul Levitz, Elliot S. Maggin, Todd Klein
Art by George Perez, Alan Kupperberg, Todd McFarlane, Ron Harris, Steve Lightle, Greg LaRocque, Curt Swan, Shawn McManus, Ernie Colon
The Anti-Monitor has been fully revealed and explains that the Multiverse will be his to destroy when the Monitor’s protective energy fades completely. His plan is to first draw Earth S (Shazam), Earth 4 (Charlton), and Earth X (The Freedom Fighters) to the anti-matter universe. Once consumed, they will give him enough power to wipe out Earths 1 and 2, the most powerful of all the worlds in the Multiverse. Harbinger has made the Multiverse heroes aware of what the stakes are, and now they are rushing to deal with the immediate catastrophes befalling their worlds and determine how to defeat the Anti-Monitor.
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Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 4 (of 9)
Reviewing stories found in Legends of the DC Universe: Crisis Special, Crisis on Infinite Earths #5, All-Star Squadron #53-56, Infinity Inc. #22, Superman #413, and DC Comics Presents #95
Written by Marv Wolfman, Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, Cary Bates, Tony
Isabella, and Alan Gold
Art by Paul Ryan, George Perez, Mike Clark, Arvell Jones, Mike Harris, Todd McFarlane, Curt Swan, and Richard Howell
The Multiverse is on the verge of extinction. The antimatter waves sweep across realities destroying universes en masse. Barry Allen, the Flash, has retired and lives in the future with his wife Iris, but the Crisis is pulling him back into action. He tries to use the antimatter destroying his own point in time to go back but finds himself transferred to Earth-D. Here the superheroes are much more diverse than on Earth-1. Tanaka Rei is the Flash of this world, and he teams up with Barry carrying on a tradition of the Flashes of the Multiverse helping each other out. Pariah and Lady Quark are transported here following their escape from Earth-6 in the pages of Crisis. Pariah realizes what has pulled him to this world; it is about to be destroyed. This leads to a team-up between Earth-D’s Justice Alliance and the Justice League for a fight that is destined to be lost.
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Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 3 (of 9)
Reviewing stories found in Crisis on Infinite Earths #4, DC Comics Presents #86, Infinity Inc. #20-21, Infinity Inc. Annual #1, New Teen Titans #13-14, Swamp Thing #46, Wonder Woman #328-329
Written by Marv Wolfman, Paul Kupperberg, Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, Alan Moore, and Mindy Newell
Art by George Perez, Rick Hoberg, Todd McFarlane, Michael Bair, Ron Harris, Eduardo Barreto, Steve Bissette, Don Heck, and Pablo Marcos
One of the things I’ve noted during this full reading of the Crisis event is that it was clearly broken into acts and that for most of the story, the majority of Earth’s heroes don’t really know what’s going on. It’s a handful of characters in the inner circle of the Monitor at this point, and everyone else on the various Earths is left wondering why the skies are red and time is breaking all around them. Crisis #4 opens with Supergirl swooping in for a short visit with Batgirl. It’s also a reminder that these two have rarely been paired together in their lengthy histories. With Superman & Batman being partnered so often and now their sons, you have to wonder why we didn’t see more of a Supergirl/Batgirl ongoing team-up. It seems like a natural fit.
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Crisis on Infinite Earths Part 2 (of 9)
Reviewing stories found in Crisis on Infinite Earths #2-3, Infinity Inc #19, Justice League of America #244, Detective Comics #558, The Losers Special, and Wonder Woman #327
Written by Marv Wolfman, Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, Gerry Conway, Doug Moench, Robert Kanigher, and Mindy Newell
Art by George Perez, Todd McFarlane, Joe Staton, Gene Colan, Judith Hunt, Sam Glanzman, and Don Heck
The first phase of Crisis was well underway by issue two with Harbinger dispatching her assembled heroes & villains to help activate unique towers The Monitor has posted through space and time to hold back the wave of antimatter. This leads to Superman of Earth-2, King Solovar, and Dawnstar being sent to Earth-AD, where they help Kamandi the Last Boy battle the Demon Shadows. Arion, Obsidian, and Psycho-Pirate show up in ancient Atlantis, which quickly goes awry when Psycho-Pirate uses his emotional manipulation powers on his allies. The Pirate is taken away and ends up in the presence of a large shadowy being.
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Crisis On Infinite Earths Part 1 (of 9)
Reviewing stories found in DC Comics Presents #78, Crisis on Infinite Earths #1, All-Star Squadron #50-52, Fury of Firestorm #41, Infinity Inc. #18, and Green Lantern #194
Written by Marv Wolfman, Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Dann Thomas, and Steve Englehart
Art by Curt Swan, George Perez, Mike Clark, Arvell Jones, Rafael Kayanan, Todd McFarlane, and Joe Staton
Worlds lived. Worlds died. And nothing was ever the same again. It began with The Flash #123 (Sept. 1961) when Barry Allen discovered another Earth vibrating at a slightly different frequency than his own. This was labeled Earth-2, and here he met Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash. Garrick had become the Flash in the 1940s; historically, he was the first to bear the name. However, Garrick was a fictional comic book character in Allen’s world, the character he took his name from. This team-up would lead to an annual event in the pages of Justice League of America where the team would cross worlds and help out their allies in the Justice Society combatting their mutual villains.
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