Crisis on Infinite Earths #9: War Zone

  • Writer: Marv Wolfman
  • Penciller: George Pérez
  • Inker: Jerry Ordway
  • Colorist: Anthony Tollin
  • Letterer: John Costanza
  • Cover Artist: George Pérez
  • Editor: Marv Wolfman

Cover: Working from the top of the cover to the bottom in rows; left to right we have:

Row 1: Dr Polaris; Gizmo; Shrike; Psimon; Penguin; Brainiac; Ghost; Dr. Double X; Chemo

Row 2: Killer Frost; Star Sapphire; Starro; Bolt; Trickster; Black Adam; Silver Swan; Lightning Lord; Punch; Queen Bee

Row 3: Shadow Thief; Validus; Lady Lunar; Captain Nazi; Shakedown; Circe; Blockbuster; Scarecrow; Weasel; Black Manta; Black Mass

Row 4: Blackstarr; Per Degaton; Kobra; Poison Ivy; Solomon Grundy; Plasmus; Jewelee; Eclipso; Captain Cold

Row 5: Predator; Mirror Master; Tsunami

Row 6: Gorilla Grodd; Clock King; Deathstroke; Lex Luthor; Joker; Silver Ghost

Row 7: Sivana; Cheetah I; Copperhead; Sinestro

Page 1 – Panel 1: We start on Oa, home to the Guardians of the Universe and the Green Lantern Corps.

Page 1 – Panel 2: Guy Gardner, long a reserve for Hal Jordan, is finally about to become a Green Lantern (GL) in his own right.

Page 2 – Panel 1: This “swirling of blood-red flame” is evidence of the Anti-Monitor’s journey to the dawn of time.

Page 2 – Panel 3: It’s also dangerous as the Guardians discover: five out of six are killed by it.

Page 2 – Panel 8: Guy Gardner flies off into the pages of GREEN LANTERN.

Page 3 – Panel 1: Brainiac’s ship flying above the (very) poor credits.

Page 3 – Panel 2: Villains united

Page 3 – Panel 2: Aboard the ship are all the villains that have been mysteriously disappearing throughout CRISIS.

Those in the air: Star Sapphire; Queen Bee; Punch; Trickster; Cosmic King; Sinestro; Silver Swan; Black Adam; Warp; Psimon; and Count Vertigo.

Behind them is Chemo.

Those on the floor from left to right are: Cheshire on the ledge facing off against Validus; Eclipso; Copperhead; Quakemaster; Image; Black Manta; Cat-Man; Felix Faust; Penguin; Plasmus; Floronic Man; Mirror Master; T.O. Morrow; Black Mass; Overmaster (the big guy behind him); Kobra; Captain Cold; Killer Frost; Starro; Bulldozer; Solomon Grundy; Dr. Psycho; Shaggy Man; Cheetah; Fiddler; Joker; Chronos; Shakedown; Heatstroke; Sivana; and Gizmo.

Page 3 – Panel 3: Morrow has just this moment been teleported from the JLA satellite as seen in the previous issue. Dr. Polaris is presumably just being an egocentric fool: he’s forgetting that Killer Frost (who’s stood nearby) also knows what’s going on.

Page 3 – Panel 4: And Psimon is guilty of the same thing. He’s referring to the incident in issue #3, Page 22 – Panel 5 where he appeared to have been killed by the shadow demons.

Page 4 – Panel 1: Brainiac and Lex Luthor, the real saviours of Psimon and all the other villains.

Page 4 – Panel 2: As impressive as Brainiac’s sensors are, they obviously cannot scan the past.

Page 4 – Panel 6: Working top to bottom and left to right are: Image; Monsieur Mallah; Lord of Time; Vandal Savage; Kung; Ghost; Cheetah; Joker; Brain; Mammoth; Weather Wizard; Silver Ghost; and Shimmer.

Page 4 – Panel 7: Left to right are Deathstroke; Punch; Killer Moth; Huntress; Matter Master; Plasmus; with Starro in the background.

Page 4 – Panel 10: Left to right are: Lex Luthor of Earth-2; Kanjar Ro; Chemo; and Dr. Spectro. Luthor is obviously not happy at being passed over for his Earth-1 counterpart.

Page 4 – Panel 11: The death of Lex Luthor

Page 4 – Panel 11: Brainiac solves that issue by killing the Earth-2 Luthor.

Page 4 – Panel 12: The stunned villains who look on are (starting in the bottom left and working round to the right): Mister Mind; Ocean Master; Kanjar Ro; Dr. Regulus; Pied Piper; Dr. Spectro; Ace of the Royal Flush Gang; Harlequin; Crime Doctor; Per Degaton; Mist; and Icicle.

Page 5 – Panel 2: Captain Karras and Taryia, both of Tamaran, the home planet of Starfire whom they’ve come to pick up.

Page 5 – Panel 5: Nightwing, Starfire and Jericho are teleported aboard the ship. Their story continues in the NEW TEEN TITANS.

Page 6 – Panel 4: Cyborg and Firehawk head across the rooftops. I have to wonder what damage Cyborg makes as he “leaps from one building top to another.” The guy’s mostly metal – that’s a hell of a lot of weight thumping down on those buildings.

Page 6 – Panel 8: Left to right are Kole, Wonder Girl and Changeling.

Page 6 – Panel 11: Tawny Young was a reporter who for a while was sort-of romantically linked with GL John Stewart before he became involved with Katma Tui.

Page 7 – Panel 3: You know if characters continue introducing themselves I’m going to be out of a job! Rip Hunter on the left, Lois Lane on the right.

Page 7 – Panel 4: Dr. Klyburn works for STAR Labs and is being interviewed by Jack Ryder, alter ego of The Creeper.

Page 7 – Panel 5: Dr. Will Magnus being interviewed by Bethany Snow, a reporter who used her TV show to attack the Teen Titans.

Page 7 – Panel 6: Dr. Darwin Jones being interviewed by Megan O’Dell, a reporter from the pages of Blue Devil.

Page 7 – Panel 7: Wonder Girl mentions Terry who is, of course, her husband.

Page 7 – Panel 9: It’s always made me chuckle how little persuasion Wonder Girl needs to have Firehawk accompany her! Their story continues in FIRESTORM.

Page 8 – Panel 4: Superman, as Clark Kent, reporting.

Page 8 – Panel 5: Morgan Edge and Lana Lang comment on Kent’s frostiness since Supergirl’s death.

Page 8 – Panel 6: Couch potato

Page 8 – Panel 6: The boy sat in the chair is Bernie the Brain; on the dresser are photographs of Sugar and Spike.

Page 8 – Panel 8: Back in World War II we have the Haunted Tank and Sgt Rock and his Easy Company.

Page 8 – Panel 9: Wildman on the left, Sgt Rock on the right. “Nothing’s ever easy in Easy.” Does he say that in every appearance?

Page 8 – Panel 11: Jeb Stuart in the Haunted Tank. Above him we see evidence of the Anti-Monitor’s journey back through time.

Page 8 – Panel 12: In front of the tank is Gus Gray, one of the crew.

Page 9 – Panels 1 and 2: The wave of energy is seen across the other surviving Earths as well.

Page 9 – Panel 3: Black Adam’s foot.

Page 9 – Panel 5: In his notes on this issue, Jonathan Woodward identifies the silhouettes as “Cheetah on the left, Trickster or Weather Wizard in the middle, and Blockbuster on the right.” I’ve no reason to doubt him.

Page 9 – Panel 6: Nightshade held by a silhouetted assailant.

Page 9 – Panel 7: Captain Atom being hauled away by Dr. Regulus on the left of the panel and Kobra on the right.

Page 9 – Panel 8: Bug down

Page 9 – Panel 8: Chemo stands in the background on the left while Blue Beetle’s Bug craft burns off Liberty Island.

Page 9 – Panel 9: How exactly does a “flat, emotionless mechanical voice” manage to “fairly explode with gleeful anticipation“? Either way, the ruined United Nations building of Earth-4 changes to . . .

Page 10 – Panel 1: . . . the undamaged UN building on Earth-1.

Page 10 – Panel 2: Throughout the series, various characters such as Pariah or the Anti-Monitor have spoken of hundreds or thousands of Earths (and their attending universes) being destroyed. Here we discover it’s the press who have called it the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Page 10 – Panel 4: Alex Luthor in a shirt and tie for once.

Page 10 – Panel 5: Lyla, formerly Harbinger.

Page 10 – Panel 6: And Pariah himself.

Page 10 – Panel 7: Wonder Woman, in her Diana Prince guise, on the left, Lady Quark on the right.

Page 11 – Panels 1 to 3: The Crisis is clearly not over as Pariah is drawn elsewhere.

Page 11 – Panels 4 to 6: Left to right are Lana Lang; Jack Ryder; and Tawny Young.

Page 11 – Panels 8 to 10: And again we have Bethany Snow; Mona Nockwood; Clark (Superman) Kent.

Page 11 – Panel 11: Brainiac’s huge floating head appears above the delegates.

Page 12 – Panel 1: Brainiac’s partner, Lex Luthor. Alex Luthor looks on and (even though he’s behind Lex) thinks he “almost looks like [his] father“. In his notes on this issue, Woodward writes “Baldness is unique to the Earth-1 Luthor” but Alex’s father, despite the goatee beard and moustache, was also bald.

Page 12 – Panel 3: So Luthor and Brainiac have three Earths under their control but they’re still not satisfied? Sheesh!

Page 12 – Panel 5: On Earth-4 are Chemo, Gambler, Dr. Spectro and Cheetah.

Page 12 – Panel 7: On Earth-S are Per Degaton, Houngan, Circe, Sivana, Validus, Killer Moth and Felix Faust.

Page 12 – Panel 9: On Earth-X are Fastball, Mist, Silver Ghost, Blackstarr, Star Sapphire and Bolt.

Page 13 – Panel 1: Note the poster of Ambush Bug on the wall of the alleyway.

Page 13 – Panel 4: The Creeper

Page 13 – Panel 4: Jack Ryder is transformed into the Creeper.

Page 13 – Panel 6: The Anti-Monitor’s journey back through time has reached 1917.

Page 13 – Panel 7: This is Steve Savage, Balloon Buster.

Page 14 – Panel 1: Superman of Earth-2 and Power Girl attempt to break through the barriers between worlds.

Page 14 – Panel 2: The magic-users of Earth-2 make their attempt. Left to right are Thunderbolt; Sargon the Sorcerer; Dr. Fate; and Johnny Thunder.

Page 14 – Panel 3: Top to bottom are Jade; GL Alan Scott; and Starman.

Page 14 – Panel 4: Left to right are Star-Spangled Kid; Huntress; Power Girl; Superman; Nuklon; Atom; Wonder Woman; Fury; and Silver Scarab. I have to be honest and say I don’t know why everyone is so concerned about Power Girl; perhaps sympathy following the death of her Earth-1 counterpart Supergirl?

Page 14 – Panel 8: As the caption says, this is Wally West who till recently was Kid Flash.

Page 15 – Panel 1: Harbinger and Flash of Earth-2.

Page 15 – Panel 3: Kid Flash’s “problem” that Harbinger mentioned is elaborated upon in the next issue.

Page 15 – Panel 7: Speedy and Cyborg in the Titans jet.

Page 15 – Panel 8: Magnus Labs, home to the Metal Men.

Page 15 – Panel 9: The headquarters of Infinity Inc. on Earth-2.

Page 15 – Panel 10: The Wayne Foundation Building.

Page 15 – Panel 11: This is Dayton Industries, headquarters of the Doom Patrol.

Page 15 – Panel 13: Holy Cosmic Treadmills!

Page 15 – Panel 13: There are seven platforms connected to the Cosmic Treadmill; in the original issue the characters on each are a uniform grey but in the Collected Edition some of them are recoloured individually. So starting from the top left platform and working clockwise are:

Platform 1: The Teen Titans including Changeling; Kole; and Cyborg among others.

Platform 2: Batman and The Outsiders including Batman; Geo-Force; and Metamorpho.

Platform 3: The JLA including Steel; Vibe; Aquaman; Wonder Woman; Hawkman; Hawkgirl; Superman; Martian Manhunter; Firestorm; and The Creeper.

Platform 4: Infinity Inc including Nuklon; Fury; Northwind; Star Spangled Kid; Silver Scarab; Jade; Obsidian; Power Girl; Huntress; and Wildcat.

Platform 5: Doom Patrol including Tempest; Celsius; and Negative Woman.

Platform 6: The JSA including Johnny Thunder; Wonder Woman; Atom; Hawkman; GL ALana Scott; Dr. Fate; Thunderbolt; Hourman; and Superman.

Platform 7: The Metal Men including Lead; Platinum; Gold; and Mercury.

Page 16 – Panel 1: From left to right are Wildcat; Power Girl; Obsidian; Huntress; Silver Scarab; Nuklon; and Star-Spangled Kid of Infinity, Inc. Note the surprise on the Infinitors’ faces at Wildcat joining them; this is their first meeting.

Page 16 – Panel 3: The Metal Men: Gold; Iron; Tin; Lead; Platinum; and Mercury.

Page 16 – Panel 4: The Doom Patrol: Robotman; Tempest; Negative Woman; Celsius; and Mento.

Page 16 – Panel 5: Kid Flash asks about “Barry” – this is Barry Allen, the Flash, of course whose final fate was shown in the previous issue.

Page 16 – Panel 6: The Justice League and a few friends: Martian Manhunter; Lady Quark; Creeper; Superman; Hawkman; and Vibe.

Page 16 – Panel 7: The Outsiders: Katana; Metamorpho; Batman; Robin; Geo-Force; and Halo.

Page 16 – Panel 8: Hawk, friendly as ever

Page 16 – Panel 8: The Titans and friends: Red Star; Speedy; Hawk; Dove; and Aquagirl. Speedy’s hat is coloured correctly in the Collected Edition. The conservative Hawk is, of course, no friend of the communist Red Star.

Page 16 – Panel 13: Wonder Woman; Harlequin; and Hawkman, all of Earth-2.

Page 16 – Panel 15: Back to some JSAers: Steel; Atom; Aquaman; and Mera.

Page 17 – Panel 3: In the control room from left to right are Harbinger; Dr. Will Magnus; Alex Luthor; Shiera Hall; and Dale Gunn.

Page 17 – Panel 8: Brainiac calculates 60% losses of the villains, 80% of the heroes.

Page 17 – Panel 11: Luthor and Brainiac are watched by a hidden figure.

Page 18 – Panels 1 and 2: On Earth-4, the Trickster and the Riddler stand guard.

Page 18 – Panel 3: They’re no match for Changeling, though!

Page 18 – Panel 4: Tempest of the Doom Patrol and Kole of the Titans.

Page 18 – Panel 6: Left to right are Heatstroke; Coldsnap; Shakedown; and New-Wave.

Page 18 – Panel 7: Working from the back to the front are Cat-Man; Cyborg; and Gorilla Grodd who is miscoloured here but corrected in the Collected Edition. Luthor says that the villains will lose five of their troops for every one lost by the heroes. As Woodward says (and I checked his figures) “the villains outnumber the heroes by 6.67 to 1.

Page 18 – Panel 8: This is actually Speedy, not Green Arrow, attacking the Shaggy Man; he’s been miscoloured which has been corrected in the Collected Edition.

Page 18 – Panel 9: In the air are Negative Woman’s energy form and Lady Lunar. On the ground are Red Star; Negative Woman’s real body; and Dragon King.

Page 19 – Panel 7: Underwater action

Page 19 – Panel 1: Red Star vs Evil Star!

Page 19 – Panels 4 to 6: Chemo spews toxic waste into the water around Liberty Island.

Page 19 – Panel 7: Beneath the waves are Aquagirl fighting the Shark and Black Manta fighting Aqualad.

Page 19 – Panel 10: Aqualad tries to save Aquagirl.

Page 20 – Panel 2: On Earth-S, from top to bottom, are Punch; Black Canary; Green Arrow; and Jewelee.

Page 20 – Panel 3: Lead of the Metal Men in the middle; clockwise from the top left are Cheetah; Mirror Master; Bug-Eyed Bandit; Ibac; and Plasmus.

Page 20 – Panel 4: Superman punching Starro with Hawkman in the background.

Page 20 – Panel 5: Sinestro on the left, Elongated Man on the right.

Page 20 – Panel 6: Plasmus grapples Steel with Warp on the right hand side.

Page 20 – Panel 8: Steel’s rescued by Vibe.

Page 21 – Panel 3: Actually, Steel does return.

Page 21 – Panel 5: From left to right are Queen Bee attacking the Creeper; Lady Quark; Mercury attacked by Mano; Firestorm; Zatanna; Validus; Penguin; and the Emerald Empress. In his notes on this issue, Woodward names the Empress as Killer Frost probably due to the poor colouring in the original comic; this is corrected in the Collected Edition.

Page 21 – Panel 6: Left to right are Eclipso; Iron; Wonder Woman; Copperhead; and Clock King.

Page 21 – Panel 7: On the left, Ocean Master stares at the frozen bodies of Aquaman and Mera. In the background are Captain Cold and Icicle.

Page 22 – Panel 1: Left to right are Killer Frost; Weather Wizard; Golden Glider; and Captain Cold (who’s obviously rushed up to join them after dealing with Aquaman and Mera in the last panel!)

Page 22 – Panel 3: Killer Frost says she knows “the power the heroes have” possibly as a reference to her being recruited by them in the early days of the Crisis.

Page 22 – Panel 8: Villains vs Freedom Fighters

Page 22 – Panel 7: On Earth-X we find Poison Ivy indulging, as villains are wont to do, in a spot of word play.

Page 22 – Panel 8: The villains on the left are Silver Ghost; Floronic Man; Poison Ivy; and the Joker. They’ve captured the Freedom Fighters who are wrapped up in the vines: clockwise from the top left are Black Condor; Uncle Sam; Phantom Lady; Human Bomb; and Firebrand. In the large flower directly to the left of the Joker is Doll Man.

Page 23 – Panel 4: As mentioned above, Silver Ghost’s line about having “five more ready to fight for us.” isn’t too far off the mark.

Page 23 – Panel 5: With his own mini-monitor is Mister Mind. On the screen are Fury; Silver Scarab; Starman; Halo; and Hawkman.

Page 23 – Panel 6: In the air, Captain Nazi gets punched by Superman of Earth-2. On the ground left to right are Samurai; Katana; and Scarecrow.

Page 23 – Panel 7: From the top down: Wildcat; Cheshire; and Dr. Mid-Nite.

Page 23 – Panel 8: From the top down are: Dr. Phosphorus; Northwind; Hawkman; Blockbuster; and Thunder.

Page 23 – Panel 9: Hawkman is critically injured by Dr. Phosphorus.

Page 24 – Panel 1: Back on Earth-4, from the top down: Kobra; Solomon Grundy; Black Spider; Hawk; Mento; and Fiddler.

Page 24 – Panel 2: On Earth-S, from the top down are: Lightning Lord; Gold; Hyena; Gypsy; and Kanjar Ro. I love how Gold conducts electricity from Lightning Lord to stun Hyena!

Page 24 – Panel 3: On Earth-X, top to bottom and left to right are: Thunderbolt fighting the Mist; Halo against Star Sapphire; and Shadow Thief against Obsidian.

Page 24 – Panel 7: Brainiac hasn’t said a word since Page 21.

Page 25 – Panels 6 and 7: The mysterious figure from Page 17 – Panel 11 is revealed to be Psimon. His “old partner Gizmo” served with him in the Fearsome Five.

Deaths in this issue:

  • Lex Luthor of Earth-2 – killed by Brainiac