- Writer: Marv Wolfman
- Penciller: George Pérez
- Inkers: Dick Giordano and Jerry Ordway
- Colorist: Tom Ziuko
- Letterer: John Costanza
- Cover Artist: George Pérez
- Editor: Marv Wolfman
Cover: Obviously we have Superman and Supergirl front and centre. Behind them are three rows of heroes and they’ll be noted left to right.
Top Row: On the left are Blackhawk; Blue Beetle; Elongated Man; Deadman; Green Lantern John Stewart (over Spectre’s shoulder); Spectre; Rocky Davis of the Challengers of the Unknown; Ragman; Amethyst (Princess of Gemworld). On the right are Phantom Stranger; Zatanna; Dolphin; Flash; Atomic Knight; Kole; Mister Miracle; Warlord; Invisible Kid; Cinnamon; and Plastic Man.
Middle Row: Big Bear; Shade the Changing Man; Lori Lemaris; Jemm, Son of Saturn; Changeling; Tarantula; OMAC; Robin; Brainiac 5; Creeper; Hawkman; Sgt. Rock; Proty; Huntress; Jonni Thunder; Question; Batgirl; Firestorm; Captain Marvel; Colossal Boy; Tomahawk; Kamandi; Power Girl; and Superman of Earth-2.
Bottom Row: Swamp Thing; Nightwing; Starfire; Broot; Star Boy; Solovar; Fury; possibly Night Girl (the shadowed leg); Cyborg; Vigilante; Gypsy; Metamorpho; Doll Man; Nuklon; Atom; Jonah Hex; Blue Devil; Martian Manhunter; Batman; Adam Strange; Wonder Woman; Gold of the Metal Men; and Doctor Fate.
The cover of this issue became something of a classic and DC (and other companies) would revisit it time and time again. I’ve compiled as many examples of these pastiches as I know of into a single page which you can find here.
Page 1 – Panel 1: Stuck on the rock are Alex Luthor and Lyla, formerly Harbinger. As I mentioned in the previous issue, if they’re sat above the five universes, where do all the stars in the background come from?
Page 1 – Panel 2: Pariah appears with no explanation of where he went in the previous issue.
Page 2 – Panel 1: On Earth-S we have Dr. Sivana and Ibac, two of Captain Marvel’s enemies.
Page 2 – Panel 4: Captain Marvel appears, free from the influence of the Psycho Pirate.
Page 2 – Panel 5: And yet more villains disappear before the eyes of the heroes.
Page 2 – Panel 6: In the top row are Captain Marvel Jr.; Changeling (as a bird); Wonder Woman; and Supergirl. Behind Captain Marvel is Mister Tawky-Tawny. Sivana’s attempt at being casual about his disappearance obviously didn’t work as both Wonder Woman and Supergirl noticed his surprise.
Page 2 – Panel 7: Unknown to Mister Tawky-Tawny, of course, is that Changeling is very often a talking animal himself.
Page 2 – Panel 9: Brainiac’s ship where the villains are greeted.
Page 3 – Panel 3: Flying in are Mary Marvel carrying Uncle Marvel; and Kole. On the wall is Black Canary.
Page 3 – Panel 7: Lyla wants “one representative of each Earth.” We’ll find out who they are in a moment.
Page 3 – Panel 9: On Earth-2 we have the new Wildcat watching Green Arrow, Liberty Belle and the Atom.
Page 4 – Panel 7: On Earth-4 Pariah addresses the assembled heroes.
Page 4 – Panel 8: Left to right are Katana; Martian Manhunter; Peacemaker; Blok; and Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt.
Page 4 – Panel 10: Blue Beetle and Nightshade.
Page 5 – Panel 2: On Earth-X we have the Human Bomb; Phantom Lady; Uncle Sam; Steel; Starfire; Doll Man; and Doctor Light. Note that Uncle Sam, in referring to Earth-2, says “it’s hard to forget the place you come from.“
Page 5 – Panel 5: Cinnamon and Firehair.
Page 5 – Panel 6: On the rock on the left is Lori Lemaris. In the water, left to right, are Aqualad; Dolphin; Dane Dorrance, Nicky Walton, Biff Bailey and Judy Walton (the Sea Devils); and Aquagirl.
Page 5 – Panel 7: Enemy Ace.
Page 5 – Panel 8: Lady Quark talking to a Fireman. In his notes on this issue, Jonathan Woodward suggests “The fireman might be Fireman Farrell. (Yes, DC used to do comics about firefighters.)” and this is confirmed in the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS compendium.
Page 5 – Panel 9: In silhouettes are Superman and Superman of Earth-2 along with Alex Luthor. Lady Quark’s words about not knowing the Supermen make no sense following the release of LEGENDS OF THE DCU: CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS where she met Superman.
Page 6 – Panel 1: Left to right are Lady Quark; Superman; Uncle Sam; Alex Luthor; Captain Marvel; Superman of Earth-2; Blue Beetle; Lyla; and Pariah. Luthor is presumably only addressing the heroes they have gathered as there are more than six universes represented here:
- Lady Quark of Earth-6
- Superman of Earth-1
- Uncle Sam of Earth-X
- Alex Luthor of Earth-3
- Captain Marvel of Earth-S
- Superman of Earth-2
- Blue Beetle of Earth-4
- Harbinger of either Earth-1 or 2 (there’s some doubt)
- Pariah of Earth-Number Unknown.
Technically Uncle Sam (as he mentioned on Page 5 – Panel 2) is from Earth-2 as well but we’ll let Marv have that one. The Collected Edition, by the way, restores Lady Quark’s red nuclear power dots which are missing here.
Page 6 – Panel 7: As much as I like the character, when it comes to Blue Beetle in 1985, I have to agree with Woodward when he says “You have to wonder what [Alex Luthor] was going to say about Beetle that could compare to his other introductions.” Note the reference to WHO’S WHO: THE DEFINITIVE DIRECTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE that was being published at the same time as CRISIS.
Page 7 – Panel 3: Lady Quark makes the mistake of assuming Superman can’t empathise with her.
Page 7 – Panel 5: Uncle Sam’s speech balloon is credited to Pariah which makes no sense. This is corrected in the Collected Edition.
Page 7 – Panel 7: Oa, home to the Guardians of the Universe.
Page 8 – Panel 3: The Oan in purple is Krona who’s about to make a big mistake.
Page 9 – Panels 1 to 9: Krona’s experiment creates not only the anti-matter universe but the positive matter Multiverse as well. The double of the planet Oa was created in the anti-matter universe and was called Qward.
Page 9 – Panel 10: Despite the punishment of the Oans, Krona did return on more than one occasion.
Page 10 – Panel 7: A prototype Manhunter robot, the forerunners of the Green Lantern Corps. Note that at this point, the future Guardians were all individuals in terms of appearance.
Page 10 – Panel 12: Those Oans who disagreed with the Corps became the Controllers who, years later (post-Crisis) would create their own versions of the Corps, first the Darkstars, then Effigy, who became an enemy of Green Lantern.
Page 11 – Panels 1 to 6: On the moons of Oa and Qward, the Monitor and Anti-Monitor are born.
Page 11 – Panel 9: The Thunderers or Weaponers of Qward. These have been long time foes of the Green Lanterns but this is the first we hear of their origin.
Page 11 – Panel 12: The Shadow Demons from earlier issues are revealed as transformed Thunderers.
Page 12 – Panels 6 to 10: The Monitor and Anti-Monitor battle each other until they are both rendered unconscious.
Page 12 – Panel 12: Pariah reveals he is responsible for the Anti-Monitor being freed.
Page 14 – Panels 1 to 4: Pariah conducts the same experiment as Krona having first created a chamber to protect himself.
Page 15 – Panel 2: Pariah’s experiment awakens the Anti-Monitor.
Page 15 – Panel 7: Lyla reveals that Pariah also woke the Monitor.
Page 16 – Panel 6: The screens behind the Monitor show, from left to right, Crimson Avenger; Negative Man; and the Batman of Earth-2 all of whom, at the time of CRISIS, are dead.
Page 16 – Panels 9 and 10: There’s no point in us listening to Alex Luthor’s origin because we already know it, hence Lady Quark interrupting proceedings.
Page 17 – Panel 2: On Earth-1 are the Spectre, Phantom Stranger and Deadman.
Page 17 – Panel 3: This explains why no magical characters go to the anti-matter universe.
Page 17 – Panel 5: Huntress and Power Girl on Earth-2.
Page 17 – Panel 8: On Earth-X are Firebrand, Human Bomb and Doll Man. This Firebrand is the brother of the Firebrand we met in earlier issues.
Page 17 – Panel 11: On Earth-4 are Nightshade, Blue Beetle and Peacemaker. With Beetle’s appearance here it becomes clear this takes place some time after the meeting we’ve just witnessed.
Page 17 – Panel 14: On Earth-S are Uncle Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr. and Mary Marvel.
Page 18 – Panel 1: While the colouring isn’t brilliant in this panel (and not a whole lot better in the Collected Edition) it is possible to work out who is who. Left to right are: Mon-El; Lady Quark; Captain Atom; Jade; GL Alan Scott; Doctor Light; Martian Manhunter; the Ray; Earth-2 Superman; Wonder Woman; Earth-1 Superman; Supergirl; Wildfire; Pariah; Captain Marvel; Firestorm; and, off to the side, Alex Luthor.
Page 18 – Panel 2: Lady Quark; Mon-El; Captain Atom; and Jade.
Page 18 – Panel 3: Earth-2 Superman; Wonder Woman; Earth-1 Superman; Supergirl; the Ray; and Pariah. Pariah has shown the ability to transport other people – most notably Lady Quark – so maybe he means he can’t take everyone at once?
Page 18 – Panel 4: Firestorm and, in the distance, Alex Luthor.
Page 18 – Panel 7: Martian Manhunter and Wildfire.
Page 18 – Panel 9: Dr. Light and GL Alan Scott.
Page 19 – Panel 1: Alex Luthor opens the portal between the universes.
Page 20 – Panel 1: The heroes leave the Netherverse and head to the anti-matter universe.
Page 24 – Panel 2: The Anti-Monitor watches the heroes approach and seems to have an idea. Instead of killing them . . .
Page 24 – Panel 3: . . . he’ll get the Psycho Pirate to control them.
Page 24 – Panel 6: One minute it’s a brand new idea, the next he tries to make out that it was part of his plan all along.
Page 25 – Panel 4: While not shown, the Ray presumably overheard Firestorm talking with Professor Martin Stein who, along with Ronnie Raymond, makes up Firestorm.
Page 26 – Panel 3: Lady Quark refers to her late husband, Lord Karak, who died along with Earth-6 in issue #4.
Page 26 – Panel 7: Superman discovers he can bleed in the anti-matter universe.
Page 29 – Panel 7: And here’s a glimpse of Professor Stein.
Page 30 – Panel 1: Superman’s faith in Wonder Woman and Mon-El can be explained by them being two of his oldest friends.
Page 30 – Panel 3: When exactly did Pariah say that, Dr. Light?
Page 31 – Panel 4: Dr. Light was about to ask why the Monitor created her. We will find the answer to that later in the series. In the meantime, Pariah is crushed.
Page 32 – Panel 4: Dr. Light discovers the machine that the Anti-Monitor is using to send the five remaining Earths crashing into one another.
Page 33 – Panel 4: Supergirl hears the cry of her cousin Kal-El.
Page 33 – Panel 8: Dr. Light assumes she knows why the Monitor created her.
Page 34 – Panel 5: Pariah proves that, despite the effect the anti-matter universe has had on the other heroes, he’s still indestructible.
Page 35 – Panel 3: Supergirl momentarily rescues her cousin by attacking the Anti-Monitor.
Page 36 – Panel 5: Dr. Light’s transformation from reluctant hero to the real deal is brought a step closer as she draws inspiration from Supergirl’s selfless battle.
Page 37 – Panel 5: Supergirl sacrifices herself so that Dr. Light can get Superman out of the battlefield.
Page 37 – Panel 6: The solar collector that the Anti-Monitor was using to destroy the Earths is destroyed in turn.
Page 38 – Panels 1 to 3: Dr. Light wants to help Supergirl in her battle against the Anti-Monitor.
Page 38 – Panels 4 and 5: Supergirl turns to respond to Dr. Light, allowing the Anti-Monitor to take advantage of her distraction. The Anti-Monitor’s dialogue is referenced many years later in WONDER WOMAN #53 from 2018 and can be seen here.
Page 38 – Panel 8: Supergirl receives a huge blow from the Anti-Monitor.
Page 38 – Panel 11: The Anti-Monitor escapes, announcing his intentions . . . which he doesn’t actually act upon for some time.
Page 39 – Panel 5: Superman holds Supergirl in his arms as she succumbs to her wounds.
Page 39 – Panel 10: Supergirl dies.
Page 41 – Panel 2: The offices of the Daily Planet; seated at the desk is Perry White; stood to his left is Jimmy Olsen.
Page 41 – Panel 3: Lana Lang reporting.
Page 41 – Panel 5: Left to right are Metamorpho; Superman of Earth-2; Power Girl; GL John Stewart; Uncle Sam; and the Human Bomb.
Page 41 – Panel 6: Lois Lane reporting.
Page 41 – Panel 7: Batgirl, Supergirl’s friend.
Page 41 – Panel 10: Batman; Wonder Woman; Star-Spangled Kid; and Cyborg.
Page 41 – Panel 11: Saturn Girl comforting Brainiac 5 who was the lover of Supergirl; Captain Atom; Blue Beetle; and Captain Marvel. Batgirl says that Supergirl “will not be forgotten.” One of the effects of CRISIS, however, was that Supergirl was removed from DC continuity; she was forgotten.
Deaths in this issue:
- Supergirl – killed by the Anti-Monitor.