In 1999 LEGENDS OF THE DC UNIVERSE: CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS was released, a one-shot special written by CRISIS writer Marv Wolfman. It told the story of Earth-D and of the heroes’ attempt to save it. It acts almost as issue 4½ of the original series but I’m included it here on it’s own page.
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Penciller: Paul Ryan
Inker: Bob McLeod
Cover: From top to bottom are Starfire; Superman; Green Lantern (GL) John Stewart; Supergirl; Batman; Nightwing; Dawnstar; and Flash. It’s interesting that there’s not a single character from anywhere other than Earth-1.
Page 1: This is the Anti-Monitor and, reflected in his lenses, the Psycho Pirate.
Page 2 – Panel 1: Just before the death of Earth-6; left to right are Lady Quark; Lord Volt; and Pariah.
Page 2 – Panel 2: Firestorm battling a shadow demon.
Page 2 – Panel 3: Supergirl saving a pilot from the anti-matter.
Page 2 – Panel 4: The Shining Knight and, in the bottom left corner, a shadow demon.
Page 2 – Panel 9: Behind the Anti-Monitor is an image of Dawnstar and Superman. However, this is incorrect as Dawnstar has been teamed up with the Earth-2 Superman whose S shield is slightly different.
Page 3: This page shows the death of Lord Karak and Earth-6 as well as the saving of Lady Quark by Pariah. This all took place in issue #4, Pages 5 to 7.
Page 4 – Panel 2: In the future of Earth-1, the Flash and his wife Iris enjoy their last few happy moments together, though they don’t know that.
Page 5 – Panel 3: The Crisis comes to the future.
Page 5 – Panels 6 and 7: With Iris’s blessing, Barry Allen becomes the Flash.
Page 6 – Panels 3 to 5: Despite the first few pages showing scenes from issue #4, this scene is from issue #3, Pages 4 and 5 where the Flash relaxed his internal vibrations aiming to return to the past and, as revealed here, get help from the Justice League.
Page 7 – Panel 1: It’s now revealed that rather than appearing in the 20th century on Earth-1, Flash actually arrived here, on Earth-D. On the left is Mirror Master (Earth-D); then Flash (Earth-D); and Flash.
Page 7 – Panel 2: The Mirror Master of this world is of African-American origin. The other characters we’ll see are also more diverse in terms of their ethnicity that those traditionally shown on Earths 1 and 2.
Page 7 – Panel 3: The Flash of Earth-D is Asian.
Page 8 – Panels 5 and 6: The Flash gives us an explanation of how he ended up here.
Page 9 – Panel 2: Here we meet Flash-D’s wife, Hoshi and learn that his name is Tanaka. Unmasking him on the doorstep won’t do much for any secret identity he has.
Page 9 – Panels 4 to 7: Seeing another happily married couple makes Flash remember Iris in the future that’s threatened with the anti-matter cloud.
Page 10 – Panel 1: Here we’re given this Earth’s designation and meet members of the Justice Alliance of America as they battle Molluskk the Marauder. Working clockwise from the top left are Robin-D; Batman-D; Wonder Woman-D; Hawkgirl-D; and Hawkman-D. This whole scene may be a homage to the first appearance of the Justice League on the cover of Brave and The Bold #28 from 1960.
Page 10 – Panel 2: And this is Medulla who is controlling Molluskk.
Page 10 – Panel 3: Hawkman-D and Hawkgirl-D are aliens and, unlike on Earth-1 or 2, are brother and sister.
Page 11 – Panels 1 and 2: Wonder Woman-D is darker skinned than the Earth-1 version but is probably still an Amazon.
Page 11 – Panel 7: Lady Quark attacks Medulla, displaying a sharp difference in how the heroes of two worlds deal with their enemies.
Page 12 – Panel 1: Batman-D’s line about being “officers of the law, not vigilantes” shows a marked difference between Earth-D and the other Earths where most heroes are, at best, tolerated by the authorities. It seems here they’re sanctioned.
Page 13 – Panels 3 and 4: Flash-D was inspired by Earth-1’s Flash in the same way that he had been inspired by the Flash of Earth-2.
Page 13 – Panel 8: Flash-D keeps his suit in a pen in a similar way that Flash keeps his in a ring.
Page 14 – Panel 5: Flash-D mentions there being “no joy” on Earth-1 according to the comics. He may be referring to the end of the Flash’s series which detailed Iris’s murder, the death of Professor Zoom and Flash’s own trial.
Page 15 – Panel 1: “Are the comics still that way?” asks Flash. “Thank goodness, no.” Flash-D replies. Bearing in mind that this tale is meant to be set concurrent with the original CRISIS series, it seems odd that the tales of Earth-1 that Flash-D reads should no longer be dark. Things are seen as having been quite grim in the 80’s comics with fingers being pointed at WATCHMEN and THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS in particular.
Page 15 – Panel 2: Flash-D introduces Flash to the Justice Alliance of America, some of whom we’ve already met. Left to right are Robin-D; Batman-D; Wonder Woman-D; The Atom-D; Superman-D; Martian Manhunter-D; Aquaman-D; and Supergirl-D.
Page 16 – Panel 2: Wonder Woman-D says they’ve “never fought anything so… cosmic before” reinforcing how relatively innocent Earth-D is.
Page 16 – Panel 5: Once again, Pariah is blamed for the arrival of the Crisis.
Page 19 – Panel 1: Like all good Supermen, Superman-D has a Fortress of Solitude locked with a giant key.
Page 19 – Panel 5: Flash remarks that Earth-1 has survived similar crises before.
Page 20 – Panel 1: Up to this point in the main series we’ve seen no indication of Pariah having any control over his teleportation/universe hopping powers.
Page 20 – Panel 2: Not entirely sure when Flash told Wonder Woman-D that Earth-D was “less innocent” than Earth-1; if anything, it would be more innocent.
Page 21: Pariah returns with heroes of Earth-1. In the air, left to right, are GL John Stewart; Dawnstar; Firestorm; and Starfire. On the ground are Cyborg; Nightwing; Pariah; Superman; Batman; and Supergirl. Some of these heroes – Starfire and Firestorm for example – had previously been dispatched by the Monitor/Harbinger to protect the tuning forks in different time lines so Pariah has obviously plucked them from there.
Page 22 – Panel 1: The heroes from other worlds greet each other. Note that the Martian Manhunter-D is still afraid of Firestorm’s flaming head.
Page 22 – Panel 5: The Monitor launches a “time bomb” to ensure the heroes “never achieve an ultimate victory.” Oddly, this time bomb is never referred to again either within subsequent issues of CRISIS or in this one-off.
Page 23 – Panel 4: Even Flash is wary of pissing off Batman by implying he might be wrong!
Page 23 – Panel 6: Batman’s kinda grim at the moment; is this an example of what Flash-D was referring to when he mentioned Earth-1 becoming “dark”?
Page 24 – Panel 4: The shadow demons attack the Fortress. Dawnstar’s skin is miscoloured here. Also she asks “What are they?” which is inconsistent with the story so far. If this is the first time she’s encountered them then it can only be before she’s been recruited by Harbinger and the shadow demon attack on the Monitor’s satellite. However, at the start of the issue she and the other heroes are shown having been sent to guard the tuning forks by which time she knows what these things are.
Page 25 – Panel 2: The attacks by Firestorm and Starfire appear to destroy the shadows.
Page 25 – Panel 6: Green Arrow-D appears to use trick arrows much like his Earth-1 counterpart.
Page 26 – Panel 3: Hawkgirl-D is injured by a falling column.
Page 27 – Panel 1: Both Hawkgirl-D and Hawkman-D are killed by a shadow demon, the first heroes to die on Earth-D.
Page 27 – Panels 3 and 4: Starfire and Cyborg appear to have less luck in stopping the shadow demons despite earlier appearances which, again, is inconsistent. By this point in the main series, the demons are considerably weaker.
Page 27 – Panel 6: Supergirl-D mentions the Phantom Zone Projector, another similarity between this world and the others.
Page 28 – Panel 4: Superman-D is attacked by a shadow demon.
Page 29 – Panel 2: The Justice Alliance obviously have a back-up medical centre here at the Fortress.
Page 29 – Panel 5: The heroes flee the Fortress.
Page 30 – Panel 4: Superman-D dies from his injuries.
Page 31 – Panel 2: The funeral of Superman-D. Despite the approaching anti-matter, the heroes take time to bury their dead. In his notes on this issue, Woodward suggests the captions seen on subsequent pages that detail how much of the Earth has been destroyed were added late in the process.
Page 32 – Panel 1: Batman-D lays out the differences between his world and that of Batman of Earth-1. He also reveals that Robin is his son.
Page 32 – Panel 6: The heroes walk off, leaving Batman behind, emphasising his isolation. This is a little misleading as at this time Batman was leading the Outsiders.
Page 34 – Panel 3: This is José Hernandez who will have more to worry about than shadow demons in a moment.
Page 34 – Panel 6: GL Tagin Sur receives word from this universe’s Guardians of the Universe. Note that his costume is closer to that of GL Kyle Rayner’s who, when this issue was published, was the current GL of Earth-1.
Page 35 – Panel 4: The shadow demons attack Tagin Sur’s ship, forcing him to crash.
Page 36 – Panels 1 to 4: In a scene that parallels how GL Hal Jordan became Green Lantern, Tagin Sur dies passing on the mantle to José Hernandez.
Page 37 – Panel 6: Robin-D is killed by the advancing anti-matter wave.
Page 38 – Panel 5: Wonder Woman-D is also killed by the anti-matter wave.
Page 39 – Panel 1: A quick nod to the start of the Multiverse – Flash of Two Worlds was the title of the first story to feature Earths 1 and 2 and introduced the whole concept of the Multiverse.
Page 39 – Panel 6: And the two GLs meet up.
Page 40 – Panel 1: GL Hernandez claims Earth-1 is a little egocentric. It’s also counter intuitive as the later heroes of the Silver Age are from Earth-1 while their counterparts from the Golden Age, which came before them, are from Earth-2. It’s all academic by the end of CRISIS though.
Page 40 – Panel 6: Flash-D comes up with the idea of transporting the civilians from one Earth to another.
Page 41 – Panels 2 to 4: This is just the sort of stirring speech that Superman normally delivers.
Page 43 – Panel 1: A huge version of the Flash’s cosmic treadmill has been constructed in order to ferry as many people to Earth-1.
Page 44 – Panel 3: Flash supposes the people of Earth-D will merge with their counterparts, the first time this idea has been put forward.
Page 46 – Panel 2: The Anti-Monitor teleports Flash away . . .
Page 46 – Panel 5: . . . and he appears in the Anti-Monitor’s lair. On the left is Red Tornado whom the Anti-Monitor captured in issue #4, and the Psycho Pirate. It’s worth noting, though, that this scene isn’t shown in the main series until issue #5, Page 5 – Panel 8.
Page 48 – Panel 4: As GL Hernandez saves Supergirl from one shadow demon . . .
Page 48 – Panel 5: . . . he is killed by another.
Page 49 – Panels 1 to 4: As exhaustion takes hold of Flash-D he implores the Justice League to return to their world.
Page 50 – Panel 4: Superman is obviously attached to anybody wearing an S shield.
Page 50 – Panel 6: Supergirl-D sacrifices herself to allow the Earth-1 heroes time to get home.
Page 52 – Panel 1: With the portal between worlds closed, the Justice Alliance make their last stand, apparently aided by Molluskk the Marauder. Despite their bravery, they will not be successful.
Page 52 – Panel 2: The heroes reappear aboard the Monitor’s satellite. Above the crowd are Colossal Boy; the Mist; Plastic Man; and Alex Luthor. Left to right in the crowd are Star Sapphire; GL Stewart; Mon-El; Batman; Superman; Clayface; Supergirl; Atom; Hawkman; Ragman; Hawkgirl; Power Girl; Flash; and Cyborg. This and the following pages are a condensed version of the scene on Pages 7 and 8 in issue #5.
Page 53 – Panel 1: Alongside Alex Luthor is Harbinger.
Page 53 – Panel 2: Left to right are Kid Flash; Atom; Jade; Sgt. Rock; Obsidian; with Mercury above them. The inclusion of Kid Flash is a mistake as he doesn’t appear in CRISIS until much later.
Page 53 – Panel 6: A little bit of foreshadowing . . . fourteen years after the event!
Page 53 – Panel 7: Left to right we have Dr. Light; Changeling; Hourman; Blackhawk; Superman; Batman; Supergirl; GL Alan Scott; GL Stewart; Johnny Thunder (his jacket is miscoloured – it should be red); Dream Girl; and Brainiac 5.
Page 54: And a big crowd scene to finish off. I’m going to break it into (hopefully) logical sections.
In the top right hand corner are Wildcat; the Spectre; Robin; Phantom Stranger; Plastic Man; Starfire; Nightwing; and Alex Luthor (on the platform.)
The middle section using Elongated Man’s body as a divider: Mercury; Ace Morgan; Rocky Davis; Red Ryan; Professor Haley;Nuklon; Dolphin; Elongated Man; the mist; Wonder Woman; Dawnstar; Solomon Grundy; GL Alan Scott; GL Stewart; Aquaman; Batman; Star Sapphire; Captain Comet; and the Atom.
The left hand side, down to Pariah: Harbinger; Swamp Thing; Ice Cream Soldier; Sgt. Rock; Wildman; Little Sure Shot; the Riddler; Black Lightning; Robotman; Amazing Man; Kamandi; Sun Boy; Colossal Boy; Creeper; Superman; Supergirl; Bouncing Boy; Duo Damsel; Wonder Girl; Platinum; Judy Walton; Biff Bailey.
The bottom right: Pariah; Martian Manhunter; Flash; Batgirl; Deathstroke (you can only see his feet); Plasmus; and Lead.
Deaths in this issue:
- Hawkgirl (of Earth-D)
- Hawkman (of Earth-D)
- Superman (of Earth-D)
- GL Tagin Sur (of Earth-D)
- Robin (of Earth-D)
- Wonder Woman (of Earth-D)
- GL Hernandez (of Earth-D)
- Supergirl (of Earth-D)
- The Atom (of Earth-D)
- Aquaman (of Earth-D)
- Martian Manhunter (of Earth-D)
- Batman (of Earth-D)
- Flash (of Earth-D)
- Green Arrow (of Earth-D)