Crisis on Infinite Earths #10: Death At The Dawn Of Time!

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

Cover: I’ll break this down into sections working top to bottom and left to right.

First, though, are the Anti-Monitor on the left, the Spectre on the right and Pariah caught in the energy column between them.

Section 1 (Top left corner, white background down to the Anti-Monitor’s arm including the energy column): Starro; Space Ranger; Ibac; Element Lad; Vixen; Batman; Brainiac 5; Blue Devil; Vibe; Superman of Earth-2; Red Star; Plastique; Uncle Sam; Tin; and Power Girl.

Section 2 (Top right corner, white background down to the Spectre’s hands): Eclipso; Wonder Woman; Black Adam; Johnny Thunder’s Thunderbolt; Captain Marvel; Celsius; Mirror Master; Computo; Lord of Time; Halo; Captain Comet; Ultra Boy; Black Manta; Starman; and Green Lantern (GL) Alan Scott.

Section 3 (Between the Anti-Monitor’s arm and his thigh): Hawkman; Dr. Fate; Gypsy; Kanjar Ro; and Cyborg.

Section 4 (Between the Anti-Monitor’s legs and above the DC 50 year logo): Top to bottom: Flash; Superboy-Prime; Blue Beetle; and Dr. Light.

Section 5 (Between the Spectre’s legs): Silver Scarab; and Robotman.

Section 6 (Below the big hand): Human Bomb; Adam Strange; Aquaman; Alex Luthor; Dolphin; Obsidian; Robin of Earth-2; Jemm, Son of Saturn; Superman; Wonder Woman of Earth-2;, Wonder Girl; Black Lightning; Phantom Lady; Lady Quark; Captain Atom; Kole; Saturn Girl; and Lex Luthor.

The Collected Edition shows a few other characters that are hidden behind the banner at the top right: Shrinking violet; Kid Flash; Wildfire; and Tellus.

Page 1 – Panels 2 and 3: Lex Luthor being tortured by Psimon. “Psimon says…” I bet he just loves saying that!

Page 1 – Panel 7: Harbinger records The Monitor Tapes which appear at the bottom of each page of this issue with the exception of the last one. Here she details characters and events that occur at the same time as the Crisis. These will be treated as normal panels but labelled (MT) to differentiate them.

Page 2 – Panel 1: Brainiac kills Psimon.

Page 2 – Panel 6: “Brainiac, we can’t lose!” Who is Luthor kidding?

Page 3 – Panel 2: Fire in the sky

Page 3 – Panel 2: Anthro watches the red sky effect of the Anti-Monitor travelling back through time.

Page 3 – Panel 7: On Earth-4, Negative Woman attacks Chemo.

Page 4 – Panel 3: Chemo explodes.

Page 4 – Panel 4: Aqualad carries Aquagirl who was injured in the previous issue.

Page 4 – Panel 6: In the sky we have Kole. Below her, left to right, are Dove; Black Adam; and Robotman.

Page 4 – Panels 9 to 12 (MT): The last survivors of vanished universes: Pariah; Alex Luthor of Earth-3; Lady Quark of Earth-6; and Superboy-Prime of Earth-Prime.

Page 5 – Panel 2: Dove, ever the agent of peace, prevents Robotman from killing Black Adam.

Page 5 – Panel 3: Left to right are Celsius; Cyborg; and Quakemaster. It’s unclear who Celsius is attacking with her fire.

Page 5 – Panel 6: In the top-left ice prison are the Marvel family and their friends. In the left most window are Captain Marvel; Uncle Marvel; Hill Billy Marvel; and all Marvel. In the next are Mary Marvel and Mr. Tawky Tawny. In the next Captain Marvel Jr. and in the last (probably) Fat Marvel. All of the Marvels are in their civilian identities. At the control panel are T.O. Morrow and Hector Hammond; on the floor (left to right) are Houngan; Deathbolt; Sivana; Dr. Cyber and Enforcer. On the ledge from top to bottom are Dr. Destiny; Phobia; Despero; and Per Degaton.

Page 6 – Panel 4: Hector Hammond cannot speak and communicates telepathically.

Page 6 – Panel 5: The Martian Manhunter, being a telepath, can hear (so to speak) Hammond’s thoughts.

Page 6 – Panel 8: Platinum of the Metal Men breaks through the ice.

Page 6 – Panel 12 (MT): Thanagar is the homeworld of the Earth-1 Hawkman.

Page 7 – Panel 2: Atom to the rescue

Page 7 – Panel 2: The Atom stands on the shoulder of Billy Batson; to the right is Mary Batson and behind him “Hill” Billy Batson.

Page 7 – Panel 5: Surely if Billy’s gag was nothing more than a handkerchief tied around his face he could have said his magic word?

Page 7 – Panel 6: Either way, he becomes Captain Marvel.

Page 7 – Panel 8 (MT): Left to right are Esper Lass; Validus; Sun Emperor (just his legs); Lightning Lord; Persuader; Titania; and Dr. Regulus.

Page 8 – Panel 1: On Earth-X are Atom; Multiplex; Jade; Batman; Bolt; and Calendar Man.

Page 8 – Panel 2: Fighting alongside them are Silver Ghost; Emerald Empress; Fury; the Dummy; Halo; and Robin.

Page 8 – Panel 3: Back on Earth-S are Molder; Hawkgirl; and Tin. In his notes on this issue, Jonathan Woodward writes “The Molder was a one-shot villain from a mid-70s Flash story. Perez hadn’t actually read the story, and didn’t know the Molder was actually the Elongated Man in disguise.” The story Woodward refers to was published in FLASH #253, cover dated September 1977. However a villain called the Molder appeared in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #76, cover dated March 1968. The Crisis Compendium rectifies the situation by saying that he “wears the costume of [the] second Molder, who was actually a disguised Elongated Man”.

Page 8 – Panel 4: In the air are Firestorm and Typhoon; on the ice are Captain Cold; Vixen; and the Icicle.

Page 8 – Panel 5: On Earth-4 are Mento; Changeling; Shaggy Man; and Speedy. As happened in the previous issue (Page 18 – Panel 8) when he was also facing the Shaggy Man, Speedy was miscoloured as Green Arrow in the series, and Changeling refers to him as “Green Arrow”. Both the colouring and the dialogue have been corrected in the Collected Edition.

Page 8 – Panel 8 (MT): I’m relying on Woodward’s identifications for this panel: Dr. Regulus; Silver Slasher; Mano; Cosmic King; Tyr; Validus; Tharok; Radiation Roy; Chameleon Chief; Emerald Empress. Harbinger mentions that the villains “say they’re going to help” which is confusing at this point as they haven’t yet.

Page 9 – Panel 2: Left to right are Shiera Hall; Dale Gunn; Alex Luthor; and Dr. Magnus.

Page 9 – Panel 3: What’s all this shouting? We’ll have no trouble here…

Page 9 – Panel 3: The Spectre steps into the battle, drawing it to a close.

Page 9 – Panel 4: Left to right are Cyborg; Captain Atom; Tempest; Dr. Spectro; and Tokamak.

Page 9 – Panel 5: Left to right at the back are Lord Satanus; Lady Quark; Firestorm; and Insect Queen of Earth-2. In the foreground are Creeper holding Deadshot in a head lock and Lead.

Page 9 – Panel 6: Left to right are Superman of Earth-2; Northwind; Hawkman of Earth-2; Wonder Woman of Earth-2; Huntress; and Metamorpho.

Page 9 – Panel 7 (MT): Harbinger reveals that Starman (Prince Gavyn) has died.

Page 10 – Panels 2 and 3: The effect of the Anti-Monitor’s passage is seen during the dinosaur age and as the Earth was still being formed.

Page 10 – Panel 4: The Legion of Superheroes: Phantom Girl; Star Boy; Mon-El; Brainiac 5 (seated); Blok; and Element Lad. In the Collected Edition, the characters on the balcony looking down are coloured individually and include Bouncing Boy; Wildfire; Dawnstar; and Ultra Boy among others.

Page 10 – Panel 5: Space Ranger and (seated) Cryll.

Page 10 – Panel 6: In the foreground is Jero; behind him on the left is Halk and on the right Chris KL-99.

Page 10 – Panel 7: The Lord of Time.

Page 10 – Panel 8: The Time Trapper.

Page 10 – Panel 9: The Time Masters: left to right are Bonnie Baxter; Rip Hunter; and Jeff Smith.

Page 10 – Panel 10 (MT): Nimbus of the Omega Men.

Page 10 – Panel 11 (MT): The Tamaranean goddess X’hal.

Page 11 – Panel 5: Peeping Alex

Page 11 – Panel 4: As heroes and villains gather in Death Valley, Superman of Earth-2 and his wife Lois speak on the rocks above.

Page 11 – Panel 5: Alex Luthor watches them.

Page 11 – Panels 8 and 9 (MT): Tommy Tomorrow saving as many people as he can.

Page 12 – Panel 4: Superman leaves Lois on the rocks above Death Valley. If he’s unaware of Alex Luthor’s intent (as his surprise in issue #12 indicates) it seems somewhat callous to simply leave his wife alone in one of the hottest places on Earth! Maybe I’m just over-thinking this.

Page 12 – Panel 5: In rows from the top down are: Uncle Sam; Phantom Stranger; Spectre; Superman; Wonder Woman of Earth-2; Superman of Earth-2; Blue Beetle; Lex Luthor (miscoloured as red, corrected in the Collected Edition); Ultra-Humanite; Flash; Batman; Robin of Earth-2.

Page 12 – Panel 6: In the foreground are the shoulders of Atomic Knight and Human Bomb. Behind them, left to right, are Dr. Light; Mammoth; and Shimmer. The latter pair are part of the Fearsome Five, a team to which the original Dr. Light belonged, hence their comments.

Page 12 – Panel 7: In the background are Rip Hunter and Space Ranger; in the foreground are Firestorm; Cryll; Silver Scarab; and Fury.

Page 12 – Panel 8: Left to right are Saturn Girl; Colossal Boy; Ultra Boy; Phantom Girl; Element Lad; and Blok.

Page 12 – Panel 9: In the background is Validus; in the foreground are Kanjar Ro; Black Adam; Maaldor; and the Lord of Time.

Page 12 – Panel 10: Alex Luthor returns from the rocks above.

Page 12 – Panel 11 (MT): The Forever People: Big Bear; Vykin the Black; Beautiful Dreamer; Mark Moonrider; and Serifan.

Page 13 – Panel 3: Left to right are: Black Canary; Rip Hunter (miscoloured in the series, corrected in the Collected Edition); Flash; Katana; Jeff Smith; Green Arrow of Earth-2; Dr. Fate; Human Bomb; Ray; Hawkman; Bonnie Baxter; Robotman; Kid Flash; Martian Manhunter; Wonder Girl; Halo; Nuklon; Dr. Mid-Nite.

Page 13 – Panel 4: Kid Flash puts on a brave face; we’ll find out why in a moment.

Page 13 – Panels 5 and 6: Superboy-Prime arrives

Page 13 – Panel 5: A late entrant causes some surprise for Peacemaker; Changeling; Captain Marvel Jr.; Elongated Man; and Blue Devil.

Page 13 – Panel 6: Superboy-Prime, last survivor of Earth-Prime, the world where you and I are reading comics. Throughout the whole Death Valley scene, the skies are depicted as being blue; in the Collected Edition they are changed to red. This one panel, though, has a white sky in both the series and the collection.

Page 13 – Panel 7: Left to right: Sensor Girl; Chameleon Boy; and Brainiac 5.

Page 13 – Panel 8: Left to right are: Alex Luthor; Superboy-Prime; Captain Marvel; Lady Quark; Wonder Woman of Earth-2; Superman (miscoloured in the series, corrected in the Collected Edition); Uncle Sam; and Superman of Earth-2. Note that many of these characters, like Superboy-Prime, are sole survivors of either their whole universes or worlds.

Page 13 – Panel 11 (MT): On Gemworld, Amethyst (in the background) watches Lady Sapphire.

Page 14 – Panel 2: Left to right: Wonder Woman of Earth-2; Superman of Earth-2; Superman; Superboy-Prime; Spectre; Phantom Stranger; Captain Comet; and Blue Beetle.

Page 14 – Panel 3: Black Lightning; Star-Spangled Kid; and Spectre.

Page 14 – Panel 6: Aquaman; Huntress; and Judomaster.

Page 14 – Panel 8: Phantom Lady; Sargon the Sorcerer; and Jemm, Son of Saturn.

Page 14 – Panel 10: The Lord of Time and Lex Luthor. On the screen is a line image of Uncle Sam; this is coloured in the Collected Edition.

Page 14 – Panel 11 (MT): Shadow Demons attack Olympus. Left to right are Artemis; Ares; Aphrodite; Zeus; and Apollo.

Page 15 – Panel 2: Metal Men

Page 15 – Panel 1: On the rock in the foreground is Dr. Polaris.

Page 15 – Panel 2: The three Metal Men forming a column are Gold on the top, then Lead, then Iron. On the ground, left to right, are Lightning; Lightning Lord; Black Lightning; Electrocutioner; Bolt; Lightning Lass; and Lightning Lad.

Page 15 – Panel 3: This is actually a miscoloured Rip Hunter and not Brainiac 5! This is corrected in the Collected Edition.

Page 15 – Panel 5: Here’s the real Brainiac 5 along with White Witch and Element Lad.

Page 15 – Panels 6 to 9: Cosmic Boy; Dr. Polaris; Magnetic Kid; and Magno Lad.

Page 16 – Panel 3: Rip Hunter; Bonnie Baxter; and Jeff Smith. Are those 3D glasses or simply colour coordinated to match their uniforms!?

Page 16 – Panels 4 and 5: This is the “problem” that Harbinger referred to in the previous issue.

Page 16 – Panels 14 and 15 (MT): The Immortal Man is destroyed by the anti-matter wave.

Page 17 – Panel 3: Brainiac shuts himself down in the hopes of surviving the forthcoming battle.

Page 17 – Panel 5: From the top down: Lori Lemaris; Mera; Ronal; Aqualad; and Vulko.

Page 17 – Panel 7: Lori confirms that Aquagirl is dead.

Page 17 – Panel 11 (MT): The Swamp Thing.

Page 18 – Panel 6: The heroes arrive at the dawn of time. From the top down are: Batman; Kid Flash; Wonder Woman; Mary Marvel; Spectre; Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt; Wildcat; Robotman; Alex Luthor; and Superman of Earth-2.

Page 18 – Panel 7: The Anti-Monitor awaits

Page 18 – Panel 7: The Anti-Monitor, with Pariah trapped in front of him, is waiting for them. The time-bubble in the top left looks to hold the Justice Society, the lower one the Legion. Across the bottom of the panel, left to right, are: Superboy-Prime; Hourman; Ray; Dolphin; Captain Comet; Kole; Hawkman; Elongated Man; Dove; Robin of Earth-2; Batman; Phantom Stranger; Superman of Earth-2; Spectre; Metamorpho; Wonder Woman of Earth-2; Captain Marvel; Alex Luthor; Black Lightning; Obsidian; Halo; Harlequin; Silver Scarab; Zatanna; Power Girl; Blue Beetle; and Sargon the Sorcerer.

Page 19 – Panel 1: First Pariah shouts for the heroes to escape quickly.

Page 19 – Panel 2: From the back of the frame moving forwards: Chris KL-99; Adam Strange; Rip Hunter; Cryll; and Space Ranger.

Page 19 – Panel 3: But now Pariah wants the heroes to destroy the Anti-Monitor.

Page 19 – Panels 4 and 5: The Anti-Monitor reveals the truth about his release, absolving Pariah of his guilt in the process.

Page 19 – Panel 6: Moving left to right in front of Pariah: Invisible Kid II; Shadow Lass; Ultra Boy; Peacemaker; and Shrinking Violet.

Page 19 – Panel 7: Left to right: Lady Quark; Hourman; and Cyborg with Superboy-Prime in the background. Lady Quark can now stop blaming Pariah for the destruction of her world and the death of her family.

Page 19 – Panel 8 (MT): Northwind carries Hawkman to his homeland where he will recover.

Page 20 – Panel 3: The heroes attack the Anti-Monitor. Clockwise from the top left are: Ray; Tempest; Firestorm; Halo; Firehawk; Cyborg; Black Lightning; Lightning Lass; Jade; Lightning Lad; Wildfire; Lady Quark; Captain Atom; Dr. Light; and Sun Boy.

Page 20 – Panel 4: From top to bottom: Superboy-Prime; Ultra Boy; Superman; Wonder Woman; Blok; Captain Marvel; Hourman; Power Girl; Mon-El; Captain Marvel Jr. The Anti-Monitor’s helmet is miscoloured here but is corrected in the Collected Edition.

Page 20 – Panel 5: The non-powered heroes watch. Left to right are: Brainiac 5; Robin of Earth-2; Dream Girl; Batman; and Gypsy.

Page 21 – Panel 2: The other part of the attack – the attempt to prevent Krona opening his temporal portal – is undertaken by the villains on Oa. Left to right are Validus; Emerald Empress; Ultra-Humanite; Black Adam; Lex Luthor; Dr. Spectro; Sinestro; and Blockbuster.

Page 21 – Panel 3: Ghost; Bolt; and Star Sapphire.

Page 21 – Panel 6: The Oans fight back. Left to right are Persuader; Lex Luthor; Faceless Creature; and Sinestro.

Page 21 – Panel 7: More villains fall: Warp; Star Sapphire; Dr. Double X.

Page 22 – Panel 1: Villains united

Page 21 – Panel 8: And more: Kanjar Ro; Clayface (miscoloured but corrected in the Collected Edition); and possibly Dr. Double X again in the background.

Page 21 – Panel 9 (MT): The Losers in World War II.

Page 21 – Panel 11 (MT): Sgt Rock and Jeb Stuart.

Page 22 – Panel 1: Some of the villains get through to Krona’s laboratory: Icicle; Maaldor; and Mirror Master.

Page 22 – Panels 4 to 6: If only they’d learned to work together . . .

Page 22 – Panel 7: Too late, however, as all three are killed by Krona.

Page 22 – Panel 9: Krona arrives to complete his experiment.

Page 23 – Panels 1 to 2: The Anti-Monitor reveals that had the heroes not followed him back to the dawn of time, he may well have been stuck there.

Page 23 – Panel 3: Dr. Light; Superman; and Blue Beetle

Page 23 – Panel 4: Wonder Woman of Earth-2.

Page 23 – Panel 5: Wildcat; Human Bomb; Captain Marvel; and Metamorpho.

Page 23 – Panel 6: Pariah.

Page 23 – Panels 10 to 12 (MT): On the left, Anthro the first boy faces off against a bear; on the right, Kamandi the last boy faces off against a member of the bear clan.

Page 24 – Panel 1: At least not for many years to come…

Page 24 – Panel 1: Well, he was right about that at least.

Page 24 – Panel 4: Left to right: Tellus; Uncle Sam; Adam Strange; Timber Wolf; Fury; and Silver Scarab.

Page 24 – Panel 7: The Spectre challenges the Anti-Monitor.

Page 24 – Panel 9 (MT): Left to right: Blue Beetle; Nuklon; Uncle Sam; Captain Marvel; Superman of Earth-2; Dream Girl; Wonder Woman; Lady Quark; Superman; Power Girl; Black Adam; Lex Luthor; Star Sapphire; Bolt; Lord of Time; Ultra-Humanite; Ghost; and Mirror Master.

Page 25 – Panel 1: Behind the Spectre are Earth’s sorcerors: White Witch; Dr. Fate; Zatanna; Phantom Stranger; Sargon the Sorcerer; Zatara; Johnny Thunder’s Thunderbolt; and Madame Xanadu.

Page 25 – Panel 4: I guess Zatara and Madame Xanadu are speaking metaphorically as the Anti-Monitor has nothing to do with Hell.

Page 25 – Panel 7: Jennifer Morgan; White Witch; and Dr. Fate.

Page 25 – Panel 8: Krona’s screen appears, alerting the heroes of the villains’ failure.

Page 25 – Panels 9 to 12 (MT): The History of the Universe was the original name for what became Crisis on Infinite Earths. Wolfman and Perez would later publish the History of The DC Universe after Crisis had finished.

Page 26 – Panel 5: The end of the Multiverse.

Deaths in this issue:

  • Psimon – killed by Brainiac
  • Chemo – killed by Negative Woman
  • Immortal Man – killed by anti-matter wave
  • Aquagirl – killed by Chemo
  • Icicle – killed by Krona
  • Maaldor – killed by Krona
  • Mirror Master – killed by Krona