Crisis On Infinite Earths is a legendary story and 1985 was a banner year for comics. Works like Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, and Maus had brought maturity to the medium. DC was about to make the biggest change to its line since kicking off the Silver Age with Showcase #4, and they were going to do it with a story that would spell the end of the DC Multiverse: Crisis On Infinite Earths.
Crisis on Infinite Earths, by Marv Wolfman, George P?rez, Jerry Ordway, Dick Giordano, Anthony Tolin, and John Constanza, created the blueprint for what an event comic could be. The twelve-issue series has long been counted among DC Comics‘ best events, but there are multiple reasons why it should be called the best, period. Crisis On Infinite Earths is a brilliant comic that does everything right.
10 Crisis Visits Every Era Of DC History
Crisis On Infinite Earths is a must-read for DC fans for a multitude of reasons. However, a very important reason for this is that it’s a travelogue through DC history. DC created an amazing multiverse in the Silver and Bronze Age, and much of it hasn’t been truly carried to the present day. There are Anthro’s stories, which stretch back to the caveman days, the Arthurian times on Earth-2 starring the Shining Knight, and Kamandi’s blasted future. All of these make an appearance in Crisis.
Crisis On Infinite Earths does things that no other DC event does. It takes readers on a journey through the DC Multiverse of its day. For younger fans, these tantalizing glimpses may cause them to hunt down these brilliant older books. Regardless, Crisis does an amazing job of taking readers to every part of DC’s Multiverse.
9 The Covers Are Excellent
Back when Crisis On Infinite Earths was coming out, comics could be bought anywhere magazines were sold. There was a lot of competition for the eyes and money of customers, so comics had to stand out. Luckily, Crisis On Infinite Earths has amazing covers. From the first issue, with a string of Earths in space and heroes from across the Multiverse thrown around in disarray, to the last issue, as the heroes of the Multiverse attacked a massive Anti-Monitor, the covers of Crisis On Infinite Earths demanded attention.
A great cover can pull a reader in, even if they haven’t read an issue before. This was extremely common in the newsstand/spinner rack days, and Crisis grabbed many a young reader’s eye. These are some of the best comic covers ever. They say not to judge a book by its cover, but that advice can be ignored with Crisis.
8 The Anti-Monitor Is A Perfect Event Villain
Crisis On Infinite Earths revolves around the ancient war between the Monitor and the Anti-Monitor. The Anti-Monitor isn’t a terribly complex villain. The Anti-Monitor’s scheme to destroy the Multiverse is as generic as can be, but that doesn’t matter at all. Crisis On Infinite Earths understands what kind of story it is and how to use its villain. Readers don’t even get to see him right away; instead, he’s a malevolent presence whose evil threatens all existence, and his eventual reveal is a piece of perfection that only comics can supply.
Anti-Monitor’s first appearance is the stuff of legends, and it only gets bigger from there. Anti-Monitor was made specifically for Crisis, and he does a phenomenal job as an all-powerful force of bottomless evil. Anti-Monitor delivers in exactly the way an event villain should and has become a legendary evil.
7 Crisis On Infinite Earths Killed Off The Embodiments Of The Silver Age
Supergirl and Barry Allen were both killed in Crisis On Infinite Earths, in issues seven and eight respectively. Crisis set the bar for events killing off heroes. However, it was bigger than just killing two major characters for shock value, merely to bring them back in a year or two, which is what would happen now. Instead, these two deaths were thematically a huge part of what Crisis On Infinite Earths was meant to do.
Crisis On Infinite Earths was destroying not only the Multiverse but also the legacy of the Silver Age, those corny but fun comics that were being phased out in favor of books like Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns. Barry Allen’s first appearance kicked off the Silver Age, and the boring science dad comics he starred in set the trend, and Supergirl was defined by the stranger excesses of the Superman comics of the day (look up Comet the Super-Horse and thank us later). Killing these two off was the symbolic death of the Silver Age, as well as starting an event book trope.
6 Crisis Was The First Large Scale Multiverse-Altering Event
DC and Marvel love multiverse-altering events. These are the biggest events ever, and they all owe a debt of gratitude to Crisis On Infinite Earths. It wasn’t the first event book; that was Marvel Comics Presents The Contest Of Champions. And it wasn’t the first twelve-issue event maxi-series–that was Secret Wars over at Marvel. However, it was the biggest event of the day and set the stage for multiple stories from DC and Marvel.
“Crises” were a venerable part of the DC’s multiversal crossovers, and Crisis On Infinite Earth was the biggest ever. It crossed over every DC Earth that readers had seen, every time period, and contained nearly every DC hero and villain. It was a massive undertaking and the fact that it succeeded so well at everything it set out to do says it all about the book.
Crisis On Infinite Earths challenged DC’s heroes like no other story ever. The Anti-Monitor’s quest was kicked off in epic fashion with the Crime Syndicate of Earth-3, who were known for fighting the Justice League and Justice Society to a standstill, trying to save their world from an inexorable wall of anti-matter. They died in moments, showing readers just how dangerous the coming Crisis was. From there, readers were thrown across time and space, seeing the breadth of the Anti-Monitor’s plan.
Crisis kept upping the stakes on the readers, to the point where a multiverse worth of bad guys attacking the Earths isn’t even the worst thing to happen in the story. Crisis On Infinite Earth’s stakes were massive in a way that was unprecedented at the time. Very few modern events can match the stakes of Crisis On Infinite Earths.
4 Crisis On Infinite Earths Stars The Greatest Heroes Of Every Age Of Comics
DC’s most popular heroes changed comics forever, making superhero books into the dominant comic paradigm. By the time Crisis came out, DC has been publishing comics for fifty years, since the company was called National Publications. Crisis On Infinite Earths was the culmination of all of that and it starred every great hero from every age of DC Comics up to the point of its publication.
Crisis gave readers Earth-2 Superman and the Justice Society, Earth-1 Superman and the Justice League, the Legion Of Superheroes, the Freedom Fighters, Infinity Inc., the New Teen Titans, Swamp Thing, the Doom Patrol, John Constantine, Batman and the Outsiders, and so many more. It paid homage to the eras that came before and allowed Earth-2 Superman to get the final blow against Anti-Monitor, the first superhero destroying the multiverse’s greatest threat. It’s a love story for DC fans.
3 Crisis Created A Legacy Like No Other
Nostalgia is an important part of superhero comics. Nostalgia is basically the reason Crisis On Infinite Earths is called “Crisis” to begin with, playing off the titles of the old multiversal crossover stories. Marvel and DC have increasingly depended on reminding readers of the old glory days throughout the 21st century, and Crisis On Infinite Earths is the book that DC always comes back to.
Crisis On Infinite Earths is such rich ground to mine for sequel ideas because of just how good it is. It’s widely considered the ultimate DC crossover event, if not the ultimate superhero crossover event. It’s an amazing mix of spectacle, DC history, and timeless circumstances. It created a legacy of excellence unlike any other event book.
2 Crisis On Infinite Earths Has A Strong Emotional Core
Crisis On Infinite Earths brings the sadness. It has to, honestly. A story that ends the DC Multiverse and says goodbye to the DC of the Silver Age and Bronze Age is definitely going to play on emotion, and Crisis does it without seeming cheap, which is important. Again, the perfect example is the beginning of the book, with the Crime Syndicate. These long-time villains and their deaths were treated with just the right amount of pathos.
The book sold those deaths brilliantly, something it would do with every death after that, from the destruction of Lady Quark’s family, characters readers didn’t know, to the deaths of major heroes like Supergirl and Barry Allen. The story used emotional moments wonderfully. It all felt organic, something that modern comics don’t often pull off.
1 Marv Wolfman And George P?rez Are The Greatest Creative Team Of The 1980s
Marv Wolfman and George P?rez are a brilliant team. Two creators who were great before they got together, they teamed up on The New Teen Titans, the bestselling DC book of the early ’80s and the only competition for Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men. There was no other team that DC would have trusted with a story this important. Wolfman and P?rez spent years planning out the story and perfecting its plots.
Their encyclopedic knowledge and love of the DC Multiverse come through on every page. They are a potent writing team. And, of course, P?rez’s art is amazing. P?rez destroys every page he draws, and working with legendary artists like Dick Giordano and Jerry Ordway on inks makes it all the better. Crisis On Infinite Earths only works so well because it has the best creative team of the 1980s onboard.
DC’s Crisis of Infinite Earths was amazing when it was first released and it continues to be one of DC’s best events even decades later. Read More