Crisis on Infinite Earths #11: Aftershock

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

Cover: Nicely split into clearly defined sections for once!

Top panel: Kid Flash; Flash; Superman; Superman of Earth-2.

Left panel: Queen Hippolyta on the throne; Wonder Girl in front of her; then Fury; Wonder Woman of Earth-2; and Wonder Woman.

Middle panel: Harbinger in the centre; Brainiac’s ship top left; Rip Hunter’s time sphere top right.

Right panel: Dr. Occult; Dr. Fate; Etrigan the Demon in the air; Amethyst held by the crowd below.

Bottom panel: Zatara; Batman; Peacemaker; Pariah; Lady Quark; Robin of Earth-2; Huntress of Earth-2; Captain Marvel; Robin; Green Lantern (GL) Alan Scott; Jade; Power Girl; Uncle Sam; Alex Luthor. (The Collected Edition doesn’t have the DC 50 Year logo and shows Zatanna and Changeling between Zatara and Batman.)

Page 1 – Panels 1 to 4: These opening panels parallel those of issue #1. There they showed the birth of the Multiverse; here, however, things end differently as a single universe is created.

Page 2 – Panels 2 to 4: Superman of Earth-2 wakes up in what he thinks is his apartment on Earth-2. He’s more than a little confused.

Page 2 – Panel 6: He mentions Power Girl picking up the slack if he retires; on Earth-2, Power Girl was the equivalent of Supergirl. His confusion prevents him from noticing that the building he’s heading towards has a planet on the roof (symbol of the Earth-1 newspaper, the Daily Planet) rather than a star for the Earth-2 newspaper, the Daily Star.

Page 2 – Panel 7: He doesn’t notice he’s reading the Daily Planet nor the stares of the people around him who obviously think he looks like an older Clark Kent.

Page 3 – Panel 1: Perry White, editor of the Daily Planet and various newspaper staff behind him. Obviously he’s not happy that someone has sat in his office.

Page 3 – Panel 7: You don’t know how wrong you are, Jimmy

Page 3 – Panel 5: This world’s Clark Kent arrives and covers for the older one by claiming he is his nephew. Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are behind Clark in the top right corner.

Page 3 – Panel 7: Jimmy Olsen’s line of “Nice to know there are some consistent things in this universe, eh, Lois?” is heavy handed irony at its best.

Page 3 – Panel 9: The Warp Zone that Superman mentions was briefly seen in issue #9.

Page 4 – Panel 1: The red skies behind the Supermen are corrected in the Collected Edition and are shown as blue. I find it odd that Superman of Earth-1 would wake up in his office; did he often sleep there?

Page 4 – Panels 2 and 3: People still remember Supergirl at this point. It would take some time before Superman was ret-conned as being the sole survivor of Krypton, thus erasing her from continuity.

Page 4 – Panel 4: Superman misquotes Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – the actual line is “‘Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice…

Page 4 – Panel 5: This panel baffled me for years – why would a cameo character introduce himself by name? What was it about Jerry Thomas that warranted a named speaking part? With the help of the SHOWCASE PRESENTS: JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA series of reprints and the internet I could finally satisfy my curiosity. In JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #16 from 1962, the League battles an enemy called The Maestro who is actually a fictional character (I know – bear with me) created by one Jerry Thomas. That name is an amalgam of Roy Thomas and Jerry Bails, two of the leading lights of comics fandom in the 1960’s. As CRISIS drew a large part of comics history to a close, it seems fitting that two of the biggest proponents of comic fandom should get a named walk on part.

Page 5 – Panel 2: The typo in Superman’s speech bubble “the Flash keeps this Cosmic Treadmill.” isn’t one that gets corrected in the Collected Edition oddly enough.

Page 5 – Panel 5: Jay Garrick is, of course, the Flash of Earth-2.

Page 5 – Panels 6 to 8: This whole scene has baffled me as well, but for a different reason than the one above. Back on Page 2, Superman of Earth-2 wakes up, gets dressed and goes to work. Let’s be generous and say he arrives at the Daily Planet at 9am. There’s the appearance of Perry White then Superman turns up and they fly off. They head to New York to look for the Warp Zone and then here to Central City. Even if they’ve been flying slowly, it’s not going to be past 10am at the latest. Joan Garrick, shown in Panels 6 and 7, is cooking T-bone steaks. For breakfast!! Seriously, that’s one hell of a breakfast of champions!

Page 5 – Panel 9: This is Jay Garrick, the Flash. He clearly remembers both Supermen while his wife doesn’t.

Page 6 – Panel 1: Flash conveniently has a laboratory where, in the background, Kid Flash is already at work on the Cosmic Treadmill.

Page 6 – Panel 6: Flash seems to have reached the right conclusion before Superman.

Page 7 – Panel 6: The portal between universes opens to reveal only “an endless expanse of black.” Earth-2 and its attendant universe simply doesn’t exist. The treadmill platform throughout this scene is coloured a dark grey in the Collected Edition.

Page 8 – Panel 2: Flash realises he was right.

Page 8 – Panel 5: Superman of Earth-2 is drawn towards the void.

Page 8 – Panels 7 and 8: Superman, too, realises that the Multiverse is no more.

Page 9 – Panel 1: The Cosmic Treadmill is ruined “beyond repair” to prevent any more universe hopping. It would, of course, make a return eventually.

Page 9 – Panel 7: Out in space, Rip Hunter and friends are coming to the same conclusion as the Supermen and Flashes. Left to right are Animal Man; Rip Hunter; Dolphin; Atomic Knight; Adam Strange; and just behind Strange’s jet pack, Captain Comet. This is one of the few instances where the Collected Edition’s colouring is wrong – Captain Comet is coloured so that he blends in to the ship!

Page 9 – Panel 9: Brainiac’s skull ship floating in spacae.

Page 10 – Panel 6: The heroes discover Brainiac himself. There’s extensive recolouring of the ship throughout this scene in the Collected Edition.

Page 11 – Panels 3 and 4: Worlds lives, worlds died…

Page 11 – Panel 1: The heroes gather at Titans Tower.

Page 11 – Panel 2: Changeling and Cyborg.

Page 11 – Panel 3: Harlequin; Obsidian and GL Alan Scott.

Page 11 – Panel 4: Phantom Lady and Peacemaker.

Page 11 – Panel 5: Left to right across the room are: Obsidian; Geo-Force; Captain Marvel; Peacemaker; Phantom Lady; Uncle Sam; Power Girl; Superman of Earth-2; Flash; Superman; Wildcat; Star-Spangled Kid; Aquaman; Zatara; Zatanna; Blue Beetle; Wonder Girl; Superboy-Prime; Kid Flash; Kole (seated at the table); Lady Quark; Huntress of Earth-2; and Pariah. Stretching over everyone is the Elongated Man.

Page 11 – Panel 7: Robin of Earth-2 places a comforting hand on Huntress’s shoulder. Beyond them, Kid Flash apparently jerks his head back, presumably in surprise at the appearance of . . .

Page 12 – Panel 1: . . . Harbinger who, as usual, comes bearing bad news.

Page 12 – Panel 3: Harbinger explains why some heroes remember the Multiverse: anyone who stood before the dawn of time retained their memories.

Page 12 – Panel 9: I know she’s in shock but Huntress gives away her secret identity here.

Page 13 – Panel 6: She also reveals (in case anyone didn’t know) that she’s the daughter of Earth-2’s Batman.

Page 13 – Panel 9: Robin of Earth-2 gives away his secret identity.

Page 13 – Panels 12 and 13: A New Earth

Page 13 – Panel 10: And here he mentions Wayne Manor. With those few details, Huntress and Robin have just given away Batman’s secret identity to anyone who was paying attention. Just as well they only invited the heroes, eh?

Page 13 – Panel 12: The red sky behind Huntress is corrected to blue in the Collected Edition.

Page 14 – Panel 4: Another mention of 1,000 Earths as opposed to an infinite number of them.

Page 14 – Panel 5: This is Anthro, the first boy.

Page 14 – Panel 6: The Viking Prince, one of DC’s historical heroes.

Page 14 – Panel 8: Tomahawk, one of DC’s Western heroes at the time of the American Revolution. In his notes on this issue, Jonathan Woodward states: “The revelation here about Earth-X doesn’t match earlier comics. It’s probable Earth-3 was meant.” This isn’t corrected in the Collected Edition.

Page 14 – Panel 9: This is Bat Lash from the American Old West. We met him earlier in the CRISIS.

Page 14 – Panel 11: Enemy Ace during World War I.

Page 15 – Panel 1: Sgt. Rock and Easy Company with (per Woodward in his notes) the Losers during the Second World War.

Page 15 – Panel 2: The Blackhawks and, towards the bottom left, Black Condor.

Page 15 – Panel 3: In the air are Firebrand; Plastic Man; GL Alan Scott; Hawkman; and the Ray. On the ground are Judomaster; Liberty Belle; Tarantula (behind and between Belle’s legs); Robotman; Atom; Phantom Lady; Uncle Sam; Doll Man (on Sam’s shoulder); Commander Steel; and the Guardian.

Page 15 – Panel 6: Thomas and Martha Wayne with the young Bruce walk home while, in the shadows of the alley waists . . .

Page 15 – Panels 6 to 8: The Waynes die once more

Page 15 – Panel 7: : . . . Joe Chill. Anyone who had the time or inclination could use this information, along with the revelations of Huntress and Robin, to deduce the identity of Batman.

Page 16 – Panel 4: It all gets to be a bit much for the original Superman.

Page 16 – Panel 5: Superman realises that his Lois has gone and he will never see her again.

Page 17 – Panel 2: Phantom Stranger and Deadman look over the comatose Spectre.

Page 17 – Panel 5: Deadman refers to the Spectre as Corrigan; the Spectre inhabits the body of dead police officer Jim Corrigan.

Page 17 – Panel 8: This scene appears to be a slightly ham-fisted attempt at getting some of DC’s detective characters to appear in CRISIS as it isn’t picked up on anywhere else as far as I can see. In the doorway, Left to right, are Detective Harvey Bullock; Angel O’Day (behind the “cleaning dame”); Johnny Double; and Jonni Thunder.

Page 17 – Panel 9: The corpse in the smoke is Angle Man. As Woodward states in his notes on this issue “Angle Man’s death is never explained, though it’s possible he was trying to travel cross-dimension using his Apokoliptan “Angler”, and had it backfire in the wake of the merging of Earths.

Page 18 – Panel 3: Next to Angel O’Day, of Angel and the Ape, is Christopher Chance, the Human Target.

Page 18 – Panel 5: Dr. Fate and Etrigan the Demon.

Page 19 – Panel 2: Dr Occult appears

Page 18 – Panel 7: Amethyst, late of Gemworld.

Page 19 – Panel 2: Dr. Occult appears. As Woodward states “Prior to the Crisis, Doc had made exactly one appearance (in All-Star Squadron #49) since 1938. Remarkably, he plays a significant role in Crisis #12.” Not bad for a guy straight out of retirement.

Page 19 – Panel 3: It’s always made me laugh that the “symbol of the Seven” has eight sections!

Page 19 – Panel 6: The Shadow Demons return.

Page 20 – Panel 1: Some truly terrible poetry from Etrigan here.

Page 21 – Panel 1: Superman catches up to his Earth-2 counterpart.

Page 21 – Panel 4: “It will take time to forget . . . there was ever a Multiverse.” We readers never forgot!

Page 21 – Panel 6: Top to bottom are Captain Marvel; Power Girl; Wonder Girl; Cyborg; Blue Beetle; and Harbinger.

Page 21 – Panel 8: Wonder Girl; Wonder Woman; and an Amazon named Helene.

Page 21 – Panel 9: Queen Hippolyta on the throne; in front of her are the Earth-2 Wonder Woman and Fury. The Earth-2 Wonder Woman, like the Earth-2 Superman, no longer has a history on this Earth.

Page 22 – Panel 2: Clockwise from Power Girl are Jade; Harbinger; and Pariah. Power Girl’s origin was changed by CRISIS. Rather than being a Kryptonian, she was revealed to be from ancient Atlantis and the grand-daughter of Arion. Years later, during INFINITE CRISIS, this Atlantean origin was removed and her original one – that of being the Kryptonian cousin of Earth-2’s Superman – restored.

Page 22 – Panel 5: Batman; Robin; and Alex Luthor.

Page 22 – Panel 7: Lex in prison

Page 22 – Panel 7: Lex Luthor in prison. This is one of the last appearances of the old, pre-Crisis Luthor where he is an overt villain. John Byrne’s reboot of the Superman stories, The Man of Steel, would introduce a more white collar, businessman oriented Luthor.

Page 22 – Panel 11: Alex Luthor states that “none of the villains remembered fighting alongside” the heroes. All of the villains fought against the Oans in the previous issue so none of them should remember the Multiverse either.

Page 23 – Panel 3: Detective Chimp and Sam Simeon of Angel and the Ape.

Page 23 – Panel 4: Solovar (his name misspelled again but corrected in the Collected Edition) ruler of Gorilla City. He was injured back in issue #3.

Page 23 – Panel 7: Left to right are Rocky Davis; Professor Haley; June Robbins; and Ace Morgan, collectively the Challengers of the Unknown.

Page 23 – Panel 9: Cave Carson and his teammates – hard to tell them apart from behind!

Page 23 – Panel 10: This is Cave and Christie Madison.

Page 24 – Panel 6: As the evil of the Anti-Monitor is felt once more, Pariah is drawn to the source. Because there is only one universe, however, he is forced to remain where he is.

Page 24 – Panels 9 to 12: The Earth is pulled into the anti-matter universe of Qward.

Page 25 – Panel 4: The culprit is revealed to be, of course, the Anti-Monitor.