- Writer: Geoff Johns
- Pencillers: Phil Jimenez, Ivan Reis, & George Pérez
- Inkers: Andy Lanning, Drew Geraci, Jimmy Palmiotti, Lary Stucker, George Pérez, Oclair Albert, & Marc Campos
- Colorists: Jeromy Cox & Guy Major
- Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
- Cover Penciller: George Pérez
- Cover Inker: George Pérez
- Cover Colorist: Alex Sinclair
- Editor: Eddie Berganza
George Perez Cover above: The characters are arranged in a circular fashion around the tear in space so I’ll start at the top and work clockwise:
Supergirl; Herald; Cyborg; Firestorm; Hawkgirl; Donna Troy; Green Lantern (GL) Guy Gardner; Red Tornado; Starfire; GL Kyle Rayner; Hawkman; GL Alan Scott; Shift; Bumblebee; Jade; Airwave; Animal Man; and GL Kilowog.
Jim Lee and Sandra Hope Cover on the right: Left to right we have Superboy battling Superboy-Prime with Krypto attacking.
Page 1 – Panels 1 and 2: High above the city of Bludhaven, home to Nightwing, the Brotherhood of Evil are about to live up to their name. Deathstroke (as hologram), Brain, Phobia and Monsieur Mallah are in the cockpit.
Page 1 – Panel 4: The big green fella is Chemo, a barely sentient mass of highly toxic chemicals, he was also used to devastating effect in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. In front of Chemo are Houngan, Plasmus and Warp. The Brotherhood were searching for Chemo as shown in Power Trip.
Page 1 – Panel 5: Behind the three villains is Gemini.
Page 2 – Panel 3: The man in the cowboy hat is Stallion.
Page 2 – Panel 4: Main panel – Chemo falls on Bludhaven causing a massive explosion and huge loss of life.
Page 3 – Panel 2: Alex Luthor floats in front of his tower with Superboy-Prime beside him. Held captive on the tower, left to right, are Power Girl, Martian Manhunter, Black Adam, Lady Quark and The Ray. Note that, as we look at the page, there is an empty booth to the left of Power Girl; to the left of that the outline of a man can be made out. This is a mis-coloured Breach who appeared on the tower in the previous issue. The Collected Edition corrects the error.
Page 4 – Panel 1: Power Girl blasts Alex with heat vision, a power she has only recently been exhibiting.
Page 4 – Panel 2: Superboy-Prime shows his relative youthfulness with another impassioned outburst while Alex remains calm and – to his mind – logical.
Page 4 – Panel 6: Alex confirms what readers of VILLAINS UNITED suspected – he hadn’t just arrived, but had been coming here for some time.
Page 5 – Panel 1: Alex begins to reveal his plans, explaining how everything fits together. Superboy-Prime punches through the prison wall while Alex watches Kal-L and Lois.
Page 5 – Panel 2: The corpse of the Anti-Monitor. As mentioned in the notes for Pages 28 and 29 in the previous issue, the Anti-Monitor’s body could be viewed as an anomaly or not; see my notes on the Crisis post-Crisis.
Page 5 – Panel 3: Deathstroke, Dr Psycho, Alex (as Lex Luthor), Black Adam, Talia Al Ghul – the Society from VILLAINS UNITED.
Page 5 – Panel 4: Psycho Pirate captures The Ray while, in the background, Cheetah, Dr Light, Black Adam (only his legs visible), Bizarro, Sinestro, Zoom and Deathstroke battle Uncle Sam – the fight shown in INFINITE CRISIS #1.
Page 5 – Panel 5: Psycho Pirate offers a black diamond to Jean Loring, the ex-wife of The Atom, who had been imprisoned in Arkham Asylum following the events of IDENTITY CRISIS; the diamond allowed Eclipso to possess her and seduce the Spectre, leading to the events in DAY OF VENGEANCE.
The Pirate is here described as the “only other person on Earth who remembered the Multiverse“; this position has long been held since the end of issue #12 of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS though it is possible that others remembered or found out during the time between CRISIS and INFINITE CRISIS – Waverider learned of the Crisis during the ZERO HOUR event, for example.
Page 5 – Panel 6: The Spectre battles Shazam, as shown in DAY OF VENGEANCE.
Page 5 – Panels 7 and 8: The Brother Eye satellite and the OMACs as shown in THE OMAC PROJECT.
Page 5 – Panels 9 and 10: Superboy-Prime moving planets around, causing the conflict shown in RANN-THANAGAR WAR.
Page 6 – Panel 2: Alex admits that the recreation of Earth-2 is not his ultimate goal.
Page 6 – Panel 3: Power Girl sums up the problems with the main three heroes of the DCU.
Page 6 – Panel 7: “…when a Luthor stands next to a Superman – they will always be at odds.” Alex makes it clear that, despite his professed friendship with Kal-L, he knows they’ll come to blows at some point. Yet seems happy to ally himself with Superboy-Prime.
Page 6 – Panel 9: I doubt Alex put the others to sleep like that . . .
Page 6 – Panel 10: Superboy-Prime wants to talk to someone but needs to ask Alex’s permission to go.
Page 7: Outside the devastated Bludhaven, Batman and Nightwing meet up and, showing Nightwing the security camera black box from the Watchtower, does something quite rare – he asks for help.
Page 8 – Panel 3: Alex lies outright to Kal-L when asked about Power Girl and Superboy-Prime.
Page 8 – Panels 4-5: They discuss Batman’s refusal to help as seen in the previous issue and Kal-L broaches the point Batman made about Nightwing; Alex dismisses it out of hand.
Page 8 – Panels 7-8: Alex convinces Kal-L to stay at his Lois’s side and to leave things to him.
Page 9 – Panels 1 and 2: Superboy-Prime arrives at the Kent farm and meets Ma and Pa Kent. It’s perhaps interesting to note that while the Kryptonite of this universe has no effect on the Superman of another (as shown last issue) this universe’s sun works just the same.
Page 9 – Panel 7: Superboy (Conner) steps out on to the porch with Krypto the Superdog behind him.
Page 9 – Panels 8 to 11: Superboy-Prime starts mumbling and stuttering when Conner speaks to him; for all his power, he’s still a young boy who has spent most of his life with only three other people in another dimension. Despite his eagerness to confront Conner, he’s nervous and can easily lose his temper.
Page 10: Superboy-Prime loses his cool and attacks Conner.
Page 11 – Panels 1 to 5: Booster Gold and his robot Skeets have tracked down the Blue Beetle scarab to the bedroom of Jaime Reyes. Jaime recognises Booster from the brand of toothpaste that Booster advertises; in order to make ends meet, Booster has been using his name to promote various products.
Note the Captain Carrot poster on Jaime’s wall in panel 5; Captain Carrot and his Zoo Crew lived on Earth-C but were destroyed in CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS.
Page 11 – Panel 9: Skeets discovers that the scarab is actually inside Jamie, fused to his spine.
Page 12 – Panel 6: During the battle between the Superboys, Superboy-Prime claims to be the real Superboy, again exhibiting the immature side of his personality.
Page 13 – Panel 8: After Superboy-Prime kicks Krypto down the street, Conner loses his temper.
Page 14 – Panel 1: Nightwing is staggered to learn his city has been destroyed as a distraction. On the screen in front of him and Batman is the scene of Superboy-Prime holding Martian Manhunter from the security tape from the Watchtower.
Page 14 – Panel 8: The “computer problem” Batman mentions is Brother Eye.
Page 15 – Panel 7: Amongst the fighting, Superboy-Prime has missed Conner activating his Titans communicator.
Page 16 – Panel 1: Responding to his signal are the Teen Titans, the Doom Patrol and the Justice Society.
Numbered in the picture are:
1) Elasti-Girl 2) Nudge 3) Wonder Girl 4) Flamebird 5) Negative Man 6) Stargirl 7) STRIPE 8) Terra 9) Superboy 10) Argent 11) Joto 12) Risk 13) Beast Boy as a dinosaur 14) Wildebeeste 15) Red Star 16) Hourman 17) Speedy 18) Robotman 19) Joker’s Daughter 20) Wildcat 21) Bushido 22) Grunt 23) Pantha and 24) Superboy-Prime.
Page 16 – Panel 3: In the background are Robin, Raven and Dr Mid-Nite. Superboy-Prime’s dialogue of “I’m not a bad guy!” again shows his immaturity.
Page 17 – Panels 1 to 4: Gotham Detective Crispus Allen was last seen in INFINITE CRISIS #1; since then, he’s been shot by another cop and has wound up in the morgue.
Page 17 – Panels 5 to 8: For a dead man, he’s quite mobile. His first word on reanimating – “Corrigan” refers to Jim Corrigan, his killer.
Page 18 – Panel 1: The Spectre appears before Allen; following the events of the DAY OF VENGEANCE SPECIAL, he has been freed of Eclipso’s influence. His claim that he has “been imprisoned long enough” refers to the fact that since the time of Christ, the Spectre has been bound to a human host. It was this lack of host that aided Eclipso’s corruption of the Spectre.
Page 18 – Panel 2: “I repent my actions!” Those actions being the murder of dozens, possibly hundreds, of people, primarily magic users, killed in his Eclipso fueled rampage.
Page 18 – Panel 5: And with that, Allen becomes the new host of the Spectre.
Page 19 – Panel 1: The fight between Superboy-Prime and the heroes continues. Negative Man is wrapped around Superboy-Prime; STRIPE attacks him from above and behind; Grunt has just been thrown from his left hand; on the floor in front of him is Negative Man’s body (he loses consciousness when manifesting his negative form); Stargirl (just her boot can be seen) and Joker’s Daughter.
Page 19 – Panel 2: Superboy-Prime shakes off Negative Man and STRIPE while Elasti-Girl looks on.
Page 19 – Panel 3: Pantha attacks Superboy-Prime.
Page 19 – Panel 4: With little or no idea of just how powerful he is under the Earth’s yellow sun, Superboy-Prime accidentally punches Pantha’s head clean off.
Page 19 – Panel 5: Again, Superboy-Prime shows his relative age by saying “I didn’t mean to do that.“
Page 19 – Panel 6: Pantha’s head lands in front of Wildebeest and Red Star. Wildebeest, despite his size, is something of a child himself and viewed Pantha as a mother figure. At the top of the panel Flamebird lays comatose.
Page 19 – Panels 8 to 10: Terra and Sand, both of whom can control the earth, cause it to erupt beneath Superboy-Prime’s feet.
Page 20 – Panels 1 and 2: Wildebeest attacks Superboy-Prime, who still cannot understand why this is all going so wrong, and ends up dying for it, cut in two by Superboy-Prime’s heat-vision.
Page 20 – Panel 3: As Superboy-Prime uses his super-breath to freeze Red Star, Risk approaches from the side.
Page 20 – Panel 4: Red Star is literally frozen and, probably, killed.
Page 20 – Panel 5: Superboy-Prime has lost it completely, tearing off Risk’s right arm as he blames everyone else for the disaster.
Page 20 – Panel 6: Bushido attacks Superboy-Prime from behind as he complains that he is being ruined.
Page 20 – Panel 7: Bushido dies the same way as Wildebeest, cut in two by Superboy-Prime’s heat-vision.
Page 20 – Panel 8: As Superboy-Prime delivers a blow to Beast Boy, someone says “Wegothimguys.” which is accompanied by a sonic boom. The frozen Risk – merely outlined and coloured a uniform red – is in the background.
Page 20 – Panel 9: Argent, at the top of the panel, and Robin look on as Superboy is swept away.
Page 20 – Panel 10: A sign at the bottom of the panel shows that the battle has taken place in Keystone City.
Page 21 – Panel 1: The speakers of “Wegothimguys.” were the Flashes whose dialogue, because of their speed, often runs together. Holding Superboy-Prime are Kid Flash, Flash (Wally) and Flash (Jay Garrick).
Page 21 – Panel 3: Flash (Jay) saves Flash (Wally) from a burst of heat vision.
Page 21 – Panels 4 to 6: Jay Garrick has never been as fast as the other speedsters and now bows out.
Page 22 – Panel 1: The Speed Force that Kid Flash mentions is the source of the speedsters power. Wally was previously absorbed into it though he returned.
Page 22 – Panel 2: Something odd happens to Flash (Wally); at first glance he appears to be absorbed into the Speed Force again.
Page 22 – Panels 3 to 5: He visits his wife, Linda, and their two children as he thinks that he is being drawn somewhere other than the Speed Force. The Flash’s appearance before another character as a vision has echoes of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS where Flash (Barry Allen) appeared before Batman, among others.
Page 23 – Panels 1 to 7: Wally’s wife Linda, headstrong as ever, refuses to be left behind. It appears that she, Wally and the children are somehow changed into a lightning bolt which blasts into Superboy-Prime as Kid Flash struggles with him.
Page 23 – Panels 8 and 9: Superboy-Prime taunts Kid Flash saying “You’ve always been stupid. I watched you.” Kid Flash was originally Impulse who, as his name suggests, didn’t always think things through and was often thought of as being a little slow – ironic considering his powers.
Page 24 – Panel 7: From out of the Speed Force, grabbing Superboy-Prime around the neck comes Flash (Barry Allen), grandfather of Kid Flash. Barry is rare in the world of superheroes: a character who died and, to this day, remains dead. He has appeared occasionally (usually in THE FLASH during a time-travelling storyline or as a flashback) but in the present day he is still dead, having given his life during the Crisis.
Page 25 – Panel 3: Barry is not the only dead speedster in the Force; on either side of Barry appear Max Mecury on the left of the panel, and Johnny Quick on the right. Both Golden Age characters, Max was brought in to tutor Kid Flash when he was Impulse.
Page 25 – Panel 8: Still unable to grasp what he has done, Superboy-Prime believes that he will still be Superman when he grows up.
Page 25 – Panel 13: Wildcat asks if his long-time friend Jay, Flash, is alright. In the background, in the aftermath of the battle with Superboy-Prime, Sand and Hourman rest on each other while STRIPE looks on with Stargirl beside them.
Page 25 – Panel 14: Flash (Jay) reveals that the Speed Force is gone.
Page 26 – Panel 1: With the continuation of Alex’s plans, the OMACs flock to the Arctic and guard the emerging tower.
Page 26 – Panel 2: Kal-L seems to hear something.
Page 26 – Panel 3: The tower breaks through the ice as the OMACs flock around it.
Page 26 – Panel 4: In CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, Psycho Pirate was promised a whole world to play with by the Anti-Monitor; mirroring that bargain here, Alex has promised him Power Girl.
Page 26 – Panels 5 to 8: At Alex’s command, Psycho Pirate forces Black Adam to speak the name of the wizard Shazam, calling down the magical lightning which will fuel the tower.
Page 27 – Panel 1: The caption incorrectly identifies the location as Space Sector 2814; it should be 2682. This is corrected in the Collected Edition.
Back at the space battle, chaos reigns. Airwave is picking up transmissions from the various spaceships; behind him is Hawkman and Shift; to the right is Supergirl.
Page 27 – Panel 2: Airwave splits in “a million different directions” – I’m not certain if this was deliberate (an attempt to help the dying get messages to their families as hinted at in panel 1) or an accidental effect of the same. Either way, it appears he’s dead.
Page 27 – Panels 3 to 7: Firestorm’s friend, Mick Wong, burns himself out and dies trying to help the spaceship. Without another person to share the Firestorm persona, Jason Rusch reverts to his normal self, a situation that would normally mean his death in space. However, the elemental Firestorm who appeared in the previous issue is controlled by Professor Martin Stein who manages to save Jason.
Pages 28 and 29 – Panel 1: Alex uses his tower to disrupt reality, widening the rift in space/time with his own hands. From the top, just to the left of the speech bubble, and working anti-clockwise are Adam Strange; Jade; Supergirl; Jemm, Son of Saturn; Shift; GL Kilowog; GL Kyle Rayner; Hawkman; Hawkgirl; Captain Comet; GL Alan Scott; Bumblebee; Starfire; Starman; Ultra the Multi-Alien; and Red Tornado.
Pages 28 and 29 – Panel 3: Kal-L and Lois are silhouetted before a display of moments of their lives. Note that in the top right picture, showing Clark and Lois at the Daily Star, Jimmy Olsen stands in front of the editor Perry White. On Earth-2, Clark, Lois and Jimmy all worked at the Daily Star under the editorship of George Taylor. While the Earth-2 Perry was a reporter who occasionally filled in when Taylor was away, it seems strange that he is featured as editor rather than Taylor.
Below that image are the Earth-2 Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle-Wayne showing Clark their new-born daughter Helena who would grow up to be the Huntress. To the left of that, Batman and Robin share a happier time with Kal-L.
Pages 28 and 29 – Panel 6: The scene following the Superboy-Prime fight is a bit crowded but, top to bottom, left to right are Elasti-Girl; Vortex; Joker’s Daughter; Joto; Dr Mid-Nite; Robotman; Wildcat; Flash (Jay); Hourman; Sand; STRIPE; Stargirl; Beast Boy; Flamebird; and Mr Terrific.
Pages 28 and 29 – Panels 7 and 8: As Alex tampers with reality, several of the crowd disappear, along with Keystone City in the background. In panel 8, with STRIPE vanished, Mirage becomes visible on the right of the panel.
Page 30: Earth-2 comes into existence for the first ime in 20 years and Kal-L and Lois are transported there, appearing in front of the Daily Star building.
Deaths in this Issue:
- Chemo – killed by the Brotherhood of Evil
- Millions (according to Nightwing) of civilian inhabitants of Bludhaven – killed by the Brotherhood of Evil
- Pantha – killed by Superboy-Prime
- Wildebeest – killed by Superboy-Prime
- Bushido – killed by Superboy-Prime
- Red Star – frozen by Superboy-Prime – shown to be alive in later issues of TEEN TITANS
- Risk – lost an arm to Superboy-Prime – shown to be alive in later issues of TEEN TITANS
- Airwave – “split into a million different directions” in space.