Worlds will live. Worlds will die. And the DC Universe will never be the same!
CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS proved that some stories can live up to the over the top advertising copy as quoted above. The massive mid-80s event was one of the biggest series in comic history and redefined the DC Universe for decades to come.
CRISIS #7: The Death of Supergirl Cover
The cover of issue #7 featuring the death of Supergirl became a classic.
Various DC series (and those of other companies) would come back to this design – the fallen hero being held in the arms of a grieving hero – time and time again, usually on the cover but sometimes in the interior art.
I’ve scanned those examples that I own as well as trawling the net to compile a page showcasing as many as I can find.
If you know of any that I’m missing, get in touch.
The Collected Edition
Some quick notes added about the Collected Edition of CRISIS which you can find here.
Nothing major or in depth but it does contain a couple of examples of how the colouring / restoration of the artwork really makes a difference compared with the original series.
The Crisis post-Crisis
By the end of CRISIS, time had been re-set and there had never been a multiverse. With that in mind, there could never have been a Crisis on Infinite Earths, but post-Crisis, the heroes would still refer to something called “the Crisis.”
You can find a handful of issues/scenes/editorial pieces that deal with this here.
CRISIS OF THE SOUL
The first event following CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS was going to be a direct sequel which never came to be and some of which sort of ended up being used in LEGENDS.
Back Issue magazine ran an article on this proposed sequel and you can find more information on this page.
LEGENDS OF THE DC UNIVERSE
LEGENDS OF THE DC UNIVERSE: CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS was a one shot special telling the story of Earth-D, a world that was more innocent than others in the Multiverse as well as being more racially diverse. The events in it take place mostly at the same time as those of issue #4 of the main series but it does feature events from both issues #3 and #5.
If read chronologically (Jonathan Woodward treats it as issue #4½) it actually spoils the reveal of the Anti-Monitor; in the main series, he is not shown until the very end of issue #5 but in this one-off, he appears on the very first page!
Still, it’s a fair bet anyone reading this in 1999 when it was released would have already read the main series. You can find my notes on it here.
In 2011, DC published a series of one-shots under the Retroactive banner, bringing back creators from the 70s, 80s and 90s to create new stories focusing on the characters they had been associated with during those decades. Marv Wolfman wrote the SUPERMAN issue for the 80s and tied it into the Crisis.
In 2015, DC’s big summer event was CONVERGENCE, a weekly series running over two months that detailed how Brainiac had captured various cities not only from the current DCU but from previous timelines and universes, including those pre-Crisis.
By the end of the series, Brainiac has had a change of heart and attempts to send all the cities and their inhabitants back to their home worlds/universes but is prevented by the effects of Crisis.
Brief notes on how he overcomes this – and the influence it has on the original Crisis – can be found here.
The Letter That Caused The Crisis
The introduction to the Collected Edition (see above) by Marv Wolfman makes reference to a letter he received while he was writing GREEN LANTERN which, basically, got him thinking about tidying up DC continuity, a train of thought that would ultimately lead to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS.
You can read the original letter and Marv’s reply here.
As with every other event, CRISIS was advertised throughout DC’s other titles in the run-up to it and during.
Here’s a page with the house ads I’ve found.
CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS Summary
Back before I annotated CRISIS, I wrote a summary of it as background to my INFINITE CRISIS annotations.
In 2018, the CW’s DC based TV shows – Arrow, Flash, Legends of the DC Universe, and Supergirl – had their annual crossover, in that year called Elseworlds. The story involved the Monitor and, at the end of it, teased that 2019’s crossover would be called Crisis On Infinite Earths.
Following that reveal, the number of people finding this site looking for a summary of CRISIS skyrocketed, even though the actual page (accidentally) wasn’t linked from the INFINITE CRISIS pages any more.
So for those of you interested in CRISIS and wanting a quick summary or plot breakdown of the comics, you can find it here.
The CW’s CRISIS Adaptation
As mentioned above, the CW adapted CRISIS – you can find summaries for each of the episodes from this page.