Crisis on Infinite Earths #12: Final Crisis

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

Cover: Held in the Anti-Monitor’s fist on the left of the cover are: Wildcat; Vigilante; Judomaster; Batman; Changeling; hanging off it are Flash and Robin (both of Earth-2); and wrapped around it is Elongated Man.

Held in the fist on the right are: Black Lightning; Wonder Woman of Earth-2; Aquaman; Kid Flash; Alex Luthor; and Captain Marvel.

The rest of the heroes are airborne and I’ll work clockwise from the fist on the left: Lady Quark; Black Orchid; Martian Manhunter; the Ray; Green Lantern (GL) Alan Scott; Superman of Earth-2; Air Wave; Kole; Black Condor; Tempest (in front of the Anti-Monitor); Dr. Light; Superman; Pariah; Firehawk; Firestorm; Captain Atom; Wonder Woman; Superboy-Prime; Harbinger; Power Girl; Mary Marvel; and Hawkman.

Page 1: Once again, captions make these annotations almost obsolete but, for the sake of consistency, here we have Dolphin; Rip Hunter; Animal Man; and Atomic Knight in the foreground with Captain Comet and Adam Strange above them.

Page 2 – Panel 2: Adam Strange notices that the Earth has vanished as per the ending of the previous issue when it was taken by the Anti-Monitor into the antimatter universe.

Page 2 – Panel 5: Brainiac wakes. It’s unclear whether this is the same body we saw in the previous issue or a brand new one . . . although as the universe has been remade I guess it’s technically a new one.

Page 3 – Panel 2: Wow, Dolphin starts crying at the drop of a hat here!

Page 3 – Panel 7: Who’s Brainiac’s friend?

Page 3 – Panel 5: Brainiac’s use of the word “REM” makes me chuckle: around the time CRISIS was originally published I was trying to get to grips with my first computer which used BASIC and REM was used for inline comments when programming. It just seems odd that he would actually speak it out loud.

Page 3 – Panel 7: Brainiac agrees to help the heroes by taking them to someone with enough power to help.

Page 4 – Panel 4: The page is set out in the same format as the last page of the previous issue. The image of the Anti-Monitor looms above the Earth while the two Supermen look on.

Page 5 – Panel 2: Again, a reference to a “thousand universes” having been destroyed. This is Metropolis – note the Daily Planet building.

Page 5 – Panel 3: Probably Gotham city.

Page 5 – Panel 4: Top to bottom are Halo; Metamorpho; and Black Lightning.

Page 5 – Panel 5: Left to right on the balconies are Wonder Girl; Wonder Woman of Earth-2; Fury; Queen Hippolyta; and Wonder Woman.

Page 5 – Panel 6: Paradise Island.

Page 5 – Panel 7: Moscow.

Page 5 – Panel 8: Red Star.

Page 5 – Panel 9: Top to bottom are Deadman; Phantom Stranger; and the Spectre.

Page 5 – Panel 10: Probably somewhere near Salem. The Anti-Monitor reveals the Flash has died.

Page 5 – Panel 11: Titans’ Tower in New York.

Page 5 – Panel 12: Left to right are Uncle Sam; Kid Flash; and Blue Beetle.

Page 6 – Panels 1 to 4: The sky turns black. We’ll find out the reason for this in just a moment.

Page 7 – Panels 1 and 2: It’s time for action

Page 7 – Panel 1: Harbinger appears once more to recruit the heroes against the Anti-Monitor.

Page 7 – Panel 7: Harbinger appears to Sunburst and (with only her hand shown in this panel) Dr. Light. This and the next few panels are recoloured in the Collected Edition showing Harbinger in her red and blue costume.

Page 7 – Panels 9 and 10: Harbinger assuages any guilt Dr. Light may feel over the death of Supergirl in issue #7.

Page 8 – Panel 13: Leslie “Rocky” Davis and Kyle “Ace” Morgan of the Challengers of the Unknown.

Page 9 – Panel 1: The black sky is revealed to have been made up of millions of the Anti-Monitor’s shadow demons . . .

Page 9 – Panel 2: . . . a fact pointed out by Red of the Challengers. The rest of the Challengers are, from left to right: June Robbins; Walter “Prof” Haley; Rocky Davis; Ace Morgan; and Matthew “Red” Ryan.

Page 10 – Panel 1: Top to bottom are Halo; Green Arrow of Earth-2; Starman; and Peacemaker.

Page 10 – Panel 2: In the air are Black Condor and Air Wave; on the ground are Blue Devil and Judomaster. In the background on the far left is what looks like Starman (Prince Gavyn) but by this point in the story he’s already dead. The Collected Edition, while clearer, still shows the character as a uniform brown colour, offering no help in identifying him. I’ve gone through the Crisis Compendium and can see nothing that will help there.

Page 10 – Panel 3: From top to bottom are Mera; Aqualad; Aquaman; Lori Lemaris; Ronal; and Little Mermaid. All these characters are individually coloured in the Collected Edition.

Page 10 – Panel 4: From the top down are Hawkman; Hawkwoman; B’wana Beast (riding the giraffe!); Tempest; Impala (on the right); and Congo Bill on the left.

Page 10 – Panel 5: Lightning lords

Page 10 – Panel 5: Hero and villain fighting together. Electrocutioner at the top, Black Lightning at the bottom.

Page 10 – Panel 6: Left to right are Elongated Man; Cyborg; Black Orchid; and Uncle Marvel.

Page 11 – Panel 3: Rising Sun at the top, Sunburst at the bottom.

Page 11 – Panel 5: Red Star.

Page 11 – Panel 7: Jack O’Lantern and Godiva.

Page 11 – Panel 9: Top to bottom are Thunderlord; Thunder; and Lightning.

Page 11 – Panel 11: Geo-Force.

Page 11 – Panel 13: Top to bottom are Fat Marvel; Tall Marvel; and Green Fury. In his notes on this issue, Jonathan Woodward states “The Lieutenant Marvels die. (Note that this is a debated point.)” In the Crisis Compendium it is mentioned that this is the last appearance of the Lieutenant Marvels but does not state that they are dead.

Page 12 – Panel 1: Dr. Mist can just be made out just below his speech bubble; the figure is not much better in the Collected Edition, to be honest.

Page 12 – Panel 2: The Phantom Stranger and the “still-comatose” Spectre. In the Collected Edition, the Stranger’s last speech bubble has the point extended up past the Spectre so that it’s clear it is he who is speaking, unlike the image in the original issue.

Page 12 – Panel 5: Deadman hovers above the group of heroes below.

Page 12 – Panel 6: Left to right are Martian Manhunter; Captain Atom; Negative Woman; Superboy-Prime; Wonder Woman of Earth-2; Fury; Wonder Woman; Lady Quark; Superman; Power Girl; Harbinger; the Ray; Superman of Earth-2; Firestorm; Alex Luthor; Dr. Light; Captain Marvel; and Pariah.

Page 12 – Panel 8: “Personal grievances” – Harbinger refers to Superman’s desire to avenge the death of Supergirl.

Page 12 – Panel 9: Not shown in Panel 6, here you can see Firehawk behind Firestorm.

Page 13 – Panel 1: Jade mentions her father’s mystical ring

Page 13 – Panel 1: Again not shown in Page 12 – Panel 6 was Jade who speaks here.

Page 13 – Panel 8: The blur of speed heading for the light-bridge will be revealed in just a moment.

Page 14 – Panel 1: Brainiac has brought the heroes to Apokolips.

Page 14 – Panel 3: Left to right are Animal Man; Dolphin; Brainiac; Adam Strange; and Atomic Knight.

Page 14 – Panel 4: The heroes here are coloured individually in the Collected Edition; the character in red in the original issue is Captain Comet; the one in green is Rip Hunter.

Page 14 – Panel 6: Darkseid, ruler of Apokolips, introduces himself.

Page 15 – Panel 1: Lana Lang also introduces herself.

Page 15 – Panel 2: Left to right on the ground are Doll Man; Hawk; Dove; and Vixen with the Human Bomb on the wall above them.

Page 15 – Panel 4: Batgirl on the truck in the background.

Page 15 – Panel 5: Behind Lois Lane, left to right, are three members of the Inferior Five: Dumb Bunny holding a child; Awkward Man; and Merryman. These are all coloured individually in the Collected Edition.

Page 15 – Panel 8: Dove is killed by a shadow demon.

Page 16 – Panel 2: Watching the news is Johnny Thunder.

Page 16 – Panel 3: Sorcerers supreme

Page 16 – Panel 3: In the centre of the sorcerers (a collection of both heroes and villains) are Green Lantern (GL) Alan Scott and Dr. Occult. Working anti-clockwise from them are Black Bison; Zatara; Zatanna; Sargon the Sorcerer; Etrigan the Demon; Johnny Thunder’s Thunderbolt; Enchantress; Felix Faust; the Wizard; Circe; and Blackbriar Thorn.

Page 16 – Panel 4: The following panels are all left to right: Zatanna; Zatara (her father); and Black Bison.

Page 16 – Panel 5: The Wizard; Felix Faust; and the Enchantress.

Page 16 – Panel 6: Johnny Thunder’s Thunderbolt; Etrigan the Demon; and Sargon the Sorcerer.

Page 16 – Panel 7: Blackbriar Thorn; Circe; and Madame Xanadu who was not shown in Panel 3.

Page 16 – Panel 8: Dr. Occult and GL Alan Scott.

Page 17 – Panel 2: Clockwise from the top, those flying or overlooking the central group are Superman of Earth-2; Jade; Superboy-Prime; Firestorm; Firehawl; Superman; Wonder Woman; Negative Woman; Captain Marvel; Captain Atom; Fury; Wonder Woman of Earth-2; Power Girl; and the Ray. Standing in the middle directly below the Ray is Pariah; clockwise from him are Lady Quark; Dr. Light; Harbinger; Alex Luthor; and Martian Manhunter. Throughout the scenes here on Qward, the blue/white stones of the ground are coloured a darker grey in the Collected Edition.

Page 18 – Panel 1: That blur of speed from Page 13 – Panel 8? It was Kid Flash.

Page 18 – Panel 3: This is the same as issue #8, Page 22 – Panel 7 but seen from Kid Flash’s perspective this time.

Page 19 – Panel 1: Kid Flash finds the Psycho Pirate pulling at Flash’s empty uniform.

Page 19 – Panel 6: A rare show of compassion from Captain Atom here.

Page 19 – Panel 7: The end of Barry Allen

Page 19 – Panel 7: I’m guessing that’s a rhetorical question from Superman who had known the Flash for years.

Page 20: The Anti-Monitor stands in all his powerful glory. Note the two black suns behind him.

Page 21 – Panel 1: Top to bottom are Aquaman; Aqualad; Little Mermaid; Lori Lemaris; and Ronal. This entire page is recoloured in the Collected Edition.

Page 21 – Panel 2: Mera attacks the shadow demons.

Page 21 – Panel 8: Lori Lemaris appears to die here but, as stated in the Crisis Compendium, her death was later revealed to be a falsehood.

Pages 22 and 23 – Panel 1: Green Arrow of Earth-2 dies as Peacemaker looks on.

Pages 22 and 23 – Panel 3: Starman at the top.

Pages 22 and 23 – Panel 4: Halo saves Peacemaker.

Pages 22 and 23 – Panel 6: Top to bottom are Wildcat; Son of Vulcan; Vigilante; and Cyborg. Cyborg’s line about Wildcat not having nine lives is ironic as years later, in the pages of JLA, the original Wildcat (Ted Grant) whom Yolanda Montez replaced in CRISIS was revealed to have just that: nine lives though at the time of writing, most of them have now been used up.

Pages 22 and 23 – Panel 7: Prince Ra-Man killed by a shadow demon as Shade the Changing Man looks on.

Pages 22 and 23 – Panel 8: The Warlord in Skataris. In the Collected Edition, this panel’s sky is shown as purple which renders the shadow demons almost invisible!

Pages 22 and 23 – Panel 9: Both Clayface and the Bug-Eyed Bandit are killed by shadow demons.

Pages 22 and 23 – Panel 10: Zatara and Zatanna.

Page 23 – Panel 17: Almost the end

Pages 22 and 23 – Panel 11: Madame Xanadu and Johnny Thunder’s Thunderbolt. Note that on Page 16 – Panel 3 it is the Enchantress who stands next to the Thunderbolt.

Pages 22 and 23 – Panel 12: Dr. Occult and GL Alan Scott.

Pages 22 and 23 – Panel 16: Changeling and Kole.

Pages 22 and 23 – Panel 17: On the ground are, top to bottom, the Ten-Eyed Man; Robin of Earth-2; and the Huntress of Earth-2. The Ten-Eyed Man confuses me here; first because he is shown in a suit and tie rather than his costume; secondly because the Collected Edition (also the Absolute Edition) shows him as an African-American when the character is Caucasian.

Pages 22 and 23 – Panel 19: Mary Marvel in the air above Kole.

Pages 22 and 23 – Panel 24: The shadow demons pierce Kole’s barrier and kill her, the Ten-Eyed Man, the Huntress and Robin.

Page 24 – Panel 7: Tawny Young reporting.

Page 24 – Panel 8: Behind Lois Lane on the left is the Vigilante and on the right Owlwoman. Both of them are coloured individually in the Collected Edition.

Page 24 – Panel 9: Roy Raymond reporting.

Page 24 – Panel 15: Mary Marvel stands looking at where Kole and the others were killed. Their bodies, however, are missing.

Page 24 – Panel 16: Rising Son cradles the dead Sunburst.

Page 24 – Panel 17: On the stretcher is Cave Carson; holding it at the top if Prof Haley and Ace Morgan of the Challengers of the Unknown. To the right, Rocky Davis holds Johnny Blake; in the bottom left is Christie Madison; and in the bottom right Bulldozer Smith.

Page 25 – Panels 2 to 4: The heroes battle the Anti-Monitor.

Page 25 – Panels 5 and 6: Harbinger reveals the reason the Monitor created Dr. Light. Is that forward thinking or what?!

Page 28 – Panel 1: Anti-Monitor down

Page 27 – Panel 9: The combined attack on the Anti-Monitor appears to have worked as he falls.

Page 28 – Panel 1: Dr. Light’s blast is focused on the Anti-Monitor, sending him crashing into Qward.

Page 28 – Panel 7: If anyone was wondering about the Earth still being stuck in the Anti-Matter universe, Alex Luthor is able to take care of that.

Page 28 – Panel 9: The shadow demons, imprisoned by the sorcerers, hangs to the right of the Earth.

Page 29 – Panel 6: Alex Luthor shifts the Earth from the negative to the positive universe.

Page 29 – Panels 8 and 9: “It’s all over.” Don’t speak to soon, Kid Flash.

Page 29 – Panel 10: Jade’s thought here – “… we’ve won. If anybody can win when untold numbers have perished.” – is something to think about. Yes, the heroes have beaten the Anti-Monitor but only after thousands of universes have been destroyed.

Page 29 – Panel 11: Wonder Woman of Earth-2 begins to wonder (no pun intended) what she’s going back to.

Page 30 – Panel 1: Superman of Earth-2 says “I don’t like this.” in reference to the shadow demons being drawn back to the Anti-Monitor. I’ll come back to this in a moment.

Page 30 – Panel 8: Death of Wonder Woman

Page 30 – Panel 3: The Anti-Monitor is back in business . . .

Page 30 – Panels 5 and 6: . . . and now he wants revenge.

Page 30 – Panel 8: Wonder Woman is stuck by the Anti-Monitor’s blast and appears to die.

Page 31 – Panel 3: Firestorm evacuates Psycho Pirate and Kid Flash.

Page 31 – Panel 7: Superman of Earth-2 decides to battle the Anti-Monitor on his own.

Page 31 – Panel 6: I can only assume his grief is affecting him; after all, both Lady Quark and Superboy-Prime are in the same situation as he is, being the only survivors of their universes.

Page 32 – Panel 1: The Anti-Monitor feels pain from within. The reason?

Page 32 – Panels 2 and 3: The sorcerer’s altered the shadow demons so that they would poison the Anti-Monitor after he absorbed them. If Superman knew this was going to happen, if it was all part of the plan, why then did he say “I don’t like this.” back on Page 30 – Panel 1?

Page 32 – Panel 5: Superboy-Prime elects to stay and help Superman.

Page 33 – Panel 6: Darkseid watches the battle through Alex Luthor’s eyes. His lackey, Desaad, sits above and to the right.

Page 34 – Panel 8: Nothing seems to stop this guy!

Page 35 – Panels 8 and 9: Darkseid uses Alex Luthor to strike at the Anti-Monitor.

Page 36 – Panels 5 and 6: Superman, Superboy-Prime and Alex Luthor wonder what they’re going to do now.

Page 36 – Panels 8 to 11: Still the Anti-Monitor keeps coming!

Page 37 – Panel 3: “I have had enough!” Finally, the Anti-Monitor is destroyed.

Page 37 – Panel 3: Superman reaches the end of his tether

Page 38 – Panel 6: Alex Luthor reveals that Superman’s wife, Lois Lane of Earth-2, had survived within him.

Page 38 – Panel 11: Alex takes Superboy-Prime, Lois Lane and Superman of Earth-2 to a place where “there will be no fear… only peace… ever-lasting peace.” At least until the events of INFINITE CRISIS.

Page 39 – Panel 2: Some time later, Harbinger begins writing the History of the Universe.

Page 40 – Panel 1: The loss of Robin, Huntress and Kole

Page 39 – Panels 8 to 12: Harbinger reveals that Wonder Woman did not die but was rather devolved.

Page 39 – Panel 15: Left to right are Fury; Steve Trevor; Wonder Woman of Earth-2; and Zeus.

Page 40 – Panel 1: Batman, Robin, Mary Marvel and Batgirl look over the site where Robin and Huntress or Earth-2, along with Kole (and the Ten-Eyed Man . . . if that was him) were killed. The caption states that their bodies were never found; soon after CRISIS finished, DC published THE LAST DAYS OF THE JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA by Roy Thomas. In the text piece at the back of that issue, Thomas writes “… Marv Wolfman stated… their bodies were never found, and some readers have taken him to task for that, suspecting that left a loophole to bring them back. Since that was far from Marv’s or DC’s intention, I’ve tried to correct that impression by having the JSAers find the bodies and burying them alongside those of Bruce and Selina Wayne.” While that may have closed that loophole, it didn’t really explain how Bruce and Selina Wayne of Earth-2 were buried on the new, singular Earth . . .

Page 40 – Panel 2: Left to right are Aqualad; Aquaman; Ronal; and Mera. These are all coloured individually in the Collected Edition.

Page 40 – Panel 3: Superman and Power Girl remember their losses: Supergirl, Superman of Earth-2 and Superboy-Prime.

Page 40 – Panel 4: Dr. Light mourns Sunburst.

Page 40 – Panel 5: The Teen Titans at the graveside of Dove. Easily identifiable are Cyborg (with probably Hawk to the left of him) with Changeling to the right. On the far right can be seen Terry Long and next to him his wife, Wonder Girl.

Page 40 – Panel 6: Wildcat reads about the death of Green Arrow of Earth-2 along with Wildcat and Hawkman having been injured. Eventually, Green Arrow of Earth-2 would be classed as having never existed.

Page 40 – Panel 7: Kid Flash and the Flash, Jay Garrick, who delivers some good news.

Page 40 – Panel 11: Wally West renounces his Kid Flash identity and becomes the Flash in honour of his uncle and mentor, Barry Allen.

Page 41 – Panel 1: As the future of the Great Disaster no longer exists, Kamandi is shown as being found by Horatio Tomorrow. He will grow up to be Tommy Tomorrow.

Page 41 – Panel 2: Jonah Hex, the Western gunslinger, is thrown into the future.

Page 41 – Panel 5: Harbinger is joined by Lady Quark and Pariah.

Page 42 – Panels 4 to 15: The Psycho Pirate is left in his cell at Arkham. He claims to be “the only one left who remembers the infinite Earths.” which isn’t actually correct at that point – how else to explain the reports of Green Arrow of Earth-2 or Harbinger commenting on the Wonder Woman of Earth-2? Eventually, though, it would pass into common parlance in the DC Universe that the Psycho Pirate was the last to remember the multiverse.

Page 42 – Panels 5 and 6: Nothing will ever be the same…

Deaths in this issue:

  • Dove – killed by a shadow demon
  • Green Arrow of Earth-2 – killed by a shadow demon
  • Prince Ra-Man – killed by a shadow demon
  • Clayface – killed by a shadow demon
  • The Bug-Eyed Bandit – killed by a shadow demon
  • Robin of Earth-2 – killed by a shadow demon
  • Kole – killed by a shadow demon
  • Huntress of Earth-2 – killed by a shadow demon
  • The Ten-Eyed Man – killed by a shadow demon
  • Sunburst – killed by a shadow demon
  • The Anti-Monitor – killed (eventually) by Superman of Earth-2