Pencillers: Phil Jimenez, Jerry Ordway, George Perez & Ivan Reis
Inkers: Andy Lanning, Jerry Ordway, George Perez, Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert, Marc Campos, Drew Geraci, Sean Parsons, Norm Rapmund & Art Thibert
George Perez Cover Alex Luthor stands in the centre with shards containing characters circling him. From the top and then clockwise:
Superwoman of Earth-3 (face hidden by the Infinite Crisis logo); Flash (Jay Garrick); Ray (again hidden by the logo); Superboy; Nightshade; Mr. Terrific; Green Arrow; Atom; Wonder Woman of Earth-2; Green Lantern (GL) Hal Jordan; Black Adam; Superman; Sand; Power Ring of Earth-3; STRIPE; Steel; Black Lightning; Power Girl; Question; Batman; GL John Stewart; Jonah Hex; Nightwing; Captain Marvel; Uncle Sam; Wonder Woman; Unknown Soldier; Wildcat; GL Kyle Rayner; Starfire; Gold of the Metal Men; J’onn J’onnz; Flamebird; Kal-L; Metamorpho; Lady Quark; Breach; Warlord; Psycho-Pirate.
Jim Lee and Sandra Hope Cover Superboy-Prime stands holding Wonder Woman’s lariat. On the ground before him are a batarang, Wonder Woman’s tiara and GL Hal Jordan’s power battery. Behind him in tatters is Superman’s cape, deliberately evoking the same image that was used during the Death of Superman story.
Page 1 – Panel 3 Despite flying into space in the hopes of defeating a satellite in control of thousands of OMACs and responsible for creating hundreds of new Earths, GL Hal Jordan is still hopeful of getting to the following week’s baseball game. He stands with his friend Green Arrow.
Page 1 – Panel 4 Black Canary stands behind Green Arrow while Metamorpho can just be seen beside GL.
Page 1 – Panels 5-6 GL John Stewart is having some trouble with his ring and its reaction to the new Blue Beetle. Jordan mentions that John’s ring is “sparking like Gardner’s”, a reference to another GL, Guy Gardner. His ring was described in Green Lantern: Rebirth as being “like a leaky faucet. Sparks always fly. Even when he’s standing still. His will power can’t wait to get free.”
Page 1 – Panel 7 Blue Beetle who’s justifiably nervous. The person he mentions, Ted Kord, was the previous Blue Beetle before he was killed at the end of Countdown To Infinite Crisis.
Page 1 – Panel 8 Left to right are Green Arrow (just his quiver can be seen); GL Hal Jordan; Black Canary (can just see her leg and head); GL John Stewart; Booster Gold; Blue Beetle; Metamorpho; Mr Terrific; Batman; and Sasha Bordeaux. Booster needs Blue Beetle “looking front and center” as he is the only one capable of detecting the hidden Brother Eye satellite.
Page 1 – Panel 11 Batman saying Booster has “no idea how to talk to kids” is a bit of a put down – he’s hardly the most communicative of people himself.
Pages 2-3 – Panel 1 Blue Beetle has every right to be bemused by the events; only a couple of days ago he was a normal kid but now, as he says, he’s in a strange suit and “in space. With Batman. Looking for an invisible satellite.”
Pages 2-3 – Panels 3-6 Uncertain of his powers, Blue Beetle manages to alter the vibrational frequency of Brother Eye, revealing it to the crew of the Bug.
Pages 2-3 – Panels 10-12 Brother Eye tells Batman what’s happening: that it and Alex Luthor are searching for a perfect world amongst the alternate Earths and, when found, the Earth of the heroes will no longer be needed.
Pages 2-3 – Panels 13-15 As hundreds of OMACs head toward the Bug, Batman calmly orders the Green Lanterns outside to defend them.
Page 4 Kal-L and Superman come to an understanding over the corpse of Earth-2’s Lois Lane.
Page 5 – Panels 1-6 Superman and Wonder Woman convince Kal-L that their Earth is still worth saving.
Page 5 – Panels 7 Somehow Kal-L knows that the newly re-created multiverse is unstable and that it needs to be stopped from Earth-1.
Page 5 – Panel 8 The problem is, as Wonder Woman points out, which one is Earth-1?
Pages 6-7 We have a glimpse here into several of the newly created (or in some cases re-created) Earths. I’ve broken up the spread and will deal with each Earth individually. As before,due to the large number of characters crammed on to a single panel, I’ve numbered the characters and will detail them in the text.
Pages 6-7 – Panel 1 – Earth-S This is the Earth populated by the Marvel Family. As mentioned in the notes for the previous issue, S was chosen rather than 5 due to the similarity between the two when written by hand, but it also ties in with Shazam. The characters are 1) Captain Marvel Jr 2) Spy Smasher 3) Mary Marvel 4) Mr Talky Tawny 5) Bulletgirl 6)Bulletman 7) Ibis the Invincible and 8) Minute Man.
Pages 6-7 – Panel 2 – Earth-97 This is the Earth of the Tangent Comics line. In 1997 and 98, DC ran a series of one-shots with all new characters sporting the names of classic DC heroes and villains; it’s logical to assume that this Earth is named as 97 due to the first publication date. Thanks go to The Great Gonzo for getting in touch and listing almost all of the characters for me.
1) Plastic Man 2) The Spectre 3) Superman 4) The Atom 5) Batman 6) The Flash 7) Power Girl 8) The Joker 9) Green Lantern and 10) Manhunter.
Pages 6-7 – Panel 3 – Earth-247 This is the Earth of the Legion of Superheroes, and the number 247 refers to the Legion’s first appearance in Adventure Comics #247.
The Legion is shown battling the Fatal Five, a long standing foe, while at the same time trying to save civilians. This Earth probably differs from the “real” future that the Legion inhabits at the moment following their recent reboot.
Note that a few of the later numbers are spread around the picture – this is due to their later identification. The characters are 1) Karate Kid 2) Spark 3) Shrinking Violet / Leviathan 4) The Emerald Eye 5) Saturn Girl 6) Shikari 7) Kid Quantum 8) Mon-El / Valor 9) Dreamer 10) Umbra 11) Cosmic Boy 12) Validus 13) Star Boy 14) Livewire 15) Ultra Boy 16) Wildfire 17) the legs of Persuader 18) Sensor and 19) Gates.
Pages 6-7 – Panel 4 – Earth-898 This appears to be an assault at the Alamo featuring several DC Western heroes. I’m unaware of any significance in the number 898, though it is possible that it’s named for the year 1898 – that’s just a guess, however. I know the Battle of the Alamo took place in 1836; as I said, this is an assault at the Alamo. Huge thanks to Thomas Parks for identifying most of these characters.
1) Unknown 2) Roving Ranger 3) Silas Kent 4) Cinnamon 5) Unknown 6) Pow-Wow Smith 7) The Minstrel Maverick 8) Wyoming Kid 9) The Trigger Twins 10) Trail Boss / Matt Savage 11) El Diablo 12) Don Caballero 13) Jonah Hex 14) Firehair 15) Scalphunter 16) Johnny Thunder 17) Nighthawk 18) Madame .44 19) Strong Bow 20) Bat-Lash.
Pages 6-7 – Panel 5 – Earth-0 This is quite clearly Bizarro World by another name and as such is populated by Bizarro clones of Earth 1 heroes. I’m not an expert on Bizarro (or Superman, for that matter) but from reading on the net, this appears to be Bizarro World as it appeared pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Note that, in typical Bizarro fashion, the buildings appear to be falling upwards as they collapse.
The characters are 1) Hawkman 2) Wonder Woman 3) Lois Lane #1 4) Bizarro #1 5) another Bizarro Superman 6) Martian Manhunter 7) Jimmy Olsen killing 8) Perry White 9) Krypto biting the leg of Bizarro #1 10) another Bizarro Superman and 11) Batman.
Pages 6-7 – Panel 6 – Earth-154 The significance of the number 154 here harks back to Worlds Finest #154 from 1941 which published a story called The Sons of Batman and Superman!, the first appearance of the Super Sons.
In the imaginary story, both Superman and Batman had married and had children who, not surprisingly, grew up to work in the family business. Similarly, it appears, their respective villains also married and had children.
Consequently, we have 1) Superman Snr 2) Adora Luthor – daughter of Lex Luthor 3) Batman Snr 4) Batman Jr 5) Joker’s daughter 6) Riddler’s daughter and 7) Superman Jr.
Many thanks to Perry Beider for furnishing me with the info.
Pages 6-7 – Panel 8 – Earth-462 There seems to be little meaning to the numbering of this Earth except when combined with the previous one but I’ll come to that in a moment.
At first glance, this seems to be a world stuck in World War II but there are a couple of nice features hidden in plain sight. First, though, the characters:
1) Per Degaton 2) Wonder Girl – see below 3) Baron Blitzkrieg 4) Starfire 5) The Flash / Kid Flash 6) Wonder Woman – see below 7) Robin 8) Speedy 9) Iron Major 10) Captain Nazi and 11) Red Panzer. Again, thanks to Thomas Parks for identifying most of these characters and Steve Kinsella for getting the final one.
Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl are depicted how they appeared on television in the early 70’s.
Wonder Girl appeared in the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman TV series and was played by Debra Winger; prior to Lynda Carter’s successful portrayal of Wonder Woman, Cathy Lee Crosby starred in a loose adaptation of the character which is why her costume appears to different from the classic look.
Pages 6-7 – Panels 10-11 Alex picks up Earths 154 and 462, hoping to use them to create a perfect world. At the bottom of Panel 11, left to right, are GL Alan Scott, Shift, Starman, Starfire, Supergirl, Adam Strange, GL Kilowog, Captain Comet and Firestorm.
Pages 6-7 – Panels 12-21 The small head shots are Starfire, Firestorm, Ion (formerly GL Kyle Rayner – he was transformed in the Rann-Thanagar War Special), Adam Strange, Shift, Red Tornado, Supergirl, GL Alan Scott, Starman and Captain Comet. Behind the middle ones can be seen GL Kilowog.
Pages 6-7 – Panels 22-23 Alex smashes together the two Earths into one.
Page 8 – Panel 2 Psycho Pirate floats in front of the captives on the tower. As before, they are Breach, Power Girl, Martian Manhunter, Black Adam, Lady Quark, Nightshade and The Ray.
Page 8 – Panel 4 Alex looks on at the results of his mashing of Earths 154 and 462 which appear to be an Incan/Mayan influenced world with, on the left, versions of Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin facing off against Supergirl (Superwoman?), Superman and Superboy. Batman talks of a war between the two families.
Alan Moore, when writing Captain Britain for Marvel comics in the 80’s, designated the Marvel universe as Earth 616. At the time of Infinite Crisis, Marvel were beginning their own big event called Civil War where one group of heroes fought against another. The Earth that Alex has created and where heroes are fighting each other is from Earths 154 and 462. Add those two numbers together and you get 616 – a little in joke from writer Geoff Johns.
Others have suggested that the newly combined Earth resembles that put forward in the Twilight of The Superheroes proposal, also by Alan Moore, though that outline never mentions either Incas or Mayans. As an aside, the Twilight proposal is well worth reading – do a search on the net and track down a copy.
Page 8 – Panels 7-8 Finding the world he has created not to his liking, Alex destroys it almost without a thought.
Page 9 – Panel 1 Whenever there’s a Crisis, the magical go-to place appears to be Stonehenge; it’s been used several times as a meeting place for the DCU’s mystics to get together and this Crisis appears to be no different. As before, the characters are numbered and are as follows:
1) Black Orchid 2) Star Sapphire 3) Deadman 4) Amethyst 5) the Janissary 6) Stanley and his Monster 7) Vulcan 8) Zauriel 9) Etrigan the Demon 10) Lord Satanus 11) Freedom Beast 12) Ragman 13) Syrene 14) El Muerto 15) Valda 16) Nightmaster 17) Detective Chimp 18) Madame Xanadu 19) Daena, Madame Xanadu’s aide 20) Zatanna 21) The Phantom Stranger 22) Faust 23) Blue Devil 24) Enchantress 25) Alice Cohen 26) Monolith 27) Baron Winters 28) Rex the Wonder Dog 29) Jakeem Thunder 30) Istar 31) Olympian 32) Tasmanian Devil 33) Maya 34) Looker.
Page 9 – Panel 2 Maya, Odd Man and Black Orchid.
Page 9 – Panel 3 Mr Twister and Tasmanian Devil. The Phantom Strangers mention of “Nabu’s sacrifice” is referencing the Day Of Vengeance Special where Nabu (Dr Fate) sacrificed himself to defeat the Spectre, leading to the latter’s being linked with Detective Crispus Allen in Infinite Crisis #4.
Page 9 – Panel 4 Nightmaster and Valda.
Page 9 – Panel 5 The hand on the left may or may not be the hand of the Swamp Thing. Since the inception of the Vertigo imprint, DC’s more “mature” magical characters such as Swamp Thing, the Sandman and John Constantine have been pretty much excluded from the DCU proper. As such, this may be a way to sneak him in without too much fuss which makes sense as the character took part in Crisis on Infinite Earths. The other hand seems to belong to Empress, a character from Young Justice; despite her being shown throughout that series as wearing purple gloves, she’s shown on Page 10 – Panel 2 as wearing the separate arm guards shown here.
Page 9 – Panel 6 Faust, Blue Devil and Enchantress. Faust is a pessimist by nature and Enchantress’s line about his going home to “cry to daddy” is a reference to his father, Felix Faust, a long-time adversary of the JLA. These three also played a large part in the Geoff Johns scripted Day of Judgement mini-series during which, as odd as it is to say, Faust killed the Enchantress. I’m surprised she isn’t a little more pissed off at him.
Page 9 – Panel 7 Etrigan the Demon (at the very left), Jakeem Thunder, Star Sapphire and Stanley’s Monster again. Jakeem mentions his Thunderbolt not answering his call – this could be due to the Spectre’s rampage against magic or the fact that the Thunderbolt was originally an Earth-2 character and has been transported there.
Page 9 – Panel 8 Stanley and his Monster. It’s worth mentioning that in the early issues of Green Arrow, Stanley appeared as an adult in his 40’s or 50’s. Whether this still stands is debatable.
Page 9 – Panel 9 Madame Xanadu, the Phantom Stranger and Zatanna. Madame Xandu’s eyes were burnt out by the Spectre during Day Of Vengeance and, as revealed in the Day Of Vengeance Special, despite her best efforts she cannot grow them back.
Page 9 – Panel 10 Zatanna speaks her spells backwards so that “Ertceps raeppa!” becomes “Spectre appear!”
Page 10 – Panel 2 Crispus Allen appears in the middle of the magical circle. At the top of the panel are Empress, Klarion (with his feline familiar Teekl), Deadman, Vulcan and a Vigilante. At the bottom are Witchfire and Ragman.
Page 10 – Panel 4 Behind an understandably confused Allen are Monolith, Alice Cohen, Looker and Manitou Dawn.
Page 10 – Panels 5-7 The Spectre appears, and he’s none too happy.
Page 11 – Panel 1 Standing in front of the Spectre, just behind the pillar, is Witchfire. In front are Monolith, Rex the Wonder Dog, the Olympian and Detective Chimp.
Page 11 – Panel 3 The Phantom Stranger appeals for help. Behind him are Zatanna and Jennifer Morgan, the daughter of Travis Morgan, the Warlord.
Page 11 – Panels 4-6 As Zatanna points out, the Spectre ignores the Stranger and instead turns to face Star Sapphire who is flanked on the left by the Janissary and on the right by Jakeem Thunder.
Page 11 – Panels 8-11 Vengeance, Spectre style. Looking on in Panel 10 is La Salamanca from the Argentinian group, Super-Malon.
Page 11 – Panel 12 Deadman, Stanley and his Monster and Enchantress are behind Faust who is justifiably smug concerning the outcome.
Page 12 – Panels 1-4 Following on from the events in Teen Titans Annual #1, Superboy and Nightwing arrive at the Arctic to tackle Alex and are joined by Wonder Girl.
Page 12 – Panel 5 Alex is still mixing and matching Earths. As far as I know, Earths-3181 and 25G have no significance; Earth-Q has a brief mention on the Jonathan Woodward’s Annotated Crisis site here but that may just be coincidence.
Page 12 – Panel 6 Psycho Pirate never learns; during Crisis on Infinite Earths he was the lackey of the Anti-Monitor who promised him an entire world to play with but he didn’t get it. Now Alex promised him Power Girl – what are the chances of that happening?
Page 12 – Panel 8 Especially when Superboy arrives. Still stuck on the tower along with Power Girl is Breach.
Page 12 – Panels 10-11 The OMACs identify the heroes and begin defending the tower.
Page 13 – Panel 2 GLs John Stewart and Hal Jordan use their rings to both reinforce and propel the Bug toward Brother Eye.
Page 13 – Panel 3 On board are Blue Beetle, Black Lightning, Green Arrow, Metamorpho, Black Canary, Mr Terrific, Batman and Sasha Bordeaux.
Beetle comments that Jordan’s “insane” and Metamorpho’s response of “You don’t know the half of it, kid.” seems like a veiled reference to Jordan’s time as Parallax. Due to Coast City being destroyed, along with (it appeared) everyone he cared about, Jordan entered a dark phase and murdered a lot of Green Lanterns, along with the Guardians of the Universe and took the name Parallax. As Parallax, he attempted to re-create the universe during Zero Hour in much the same way as Alex is, but was defeated at the dawn of time. He was redeemed, however, during the Final Night event when he gave his life re-starting the sun. Later, during Day of Judgement, his soul was grafted to that of the Spectre and, for a while, the pair formed a Spirit of Redemption, rather than vengeance. During Green Lantern: Rebirth, however, Jordan was separated from the Spectre and resurrected. This left the Spectre without a human host and thus susceptible to the charms of Jean Loring’s Eclipso who had been told to seduce the Spectre by the Psycho Pirate who, in turn, was working for Alex Luthor.
Amazing how it all ties in, isn’t it?
Page 13 – Panel 6 Top down are Metamorpho, Booster Gold, Blue Beetle and Batman. Metamorpho is Rex Mason, a being who can transform himself into any element, including breathable air.
Page 13 – Panel 7 Batman at his best: he’s just crashed a spaceship into a satellite and already has a plan. The Oracle he mentions is Barbara Gordon, the original Batgirl, who, since her crippling by the Joker in The Killing Joke, has become Oracle, an information broker and computer expert for Batman and his allies. Why, however, a satellite needs artificial gravity in the first place is beyond me.
Page 13 – Panels 8-9 Since Identity Crisis there has been a certain tension between Green Arrow and Batman: GA was involved in the mindwiping of Batman and the latter knows it. Arrow’s mention of “Brave and the Bold” harks back to the series of that name that teamed various heroes together, particularly these two.
Page 14 – Panel 1 As Black Lightning states, when he debuted in the 70s he was the only African-American hero around.
Page 14 – Panel 7 Mr Terrific’s power, as he states here, of not being visible to machinery is certainly handy when going up against a sentient satellite like Brother Eye.
Page 15 – Panel 1 Back on Earth-1 at the tower, Wonder Girl attempts to free Martian Manhunter as Nightwing climbs.
Page 15 – Panel 2 Superboy surrounded by OMACs.
Page 15 – Panel 3 Alex, still playing with the Earths, decides to merge Earth-3, his home planet which, pre-Crisis, was also home to the Crime Syndicate of America and the heroic Lex Luthor, his father, with Earth-2, home of Kal-L and the Golden Age heroes.
Page 15 – Panel 5 On Earth 2, Superman, Kal-L and Wonder Woman watch Alex’s hand materialise above them.
Page 15 – Panel 6 Aboard New Cronus, Donna Troy, Ion and Firestorm watch the merging begin. Donna quotes what the Titans told her and realises that this is the moment they meant.
Page 15 – Panel 8 The merging begins. In the foregound are Kal-L, Superman and Wonder Woman; behind them, faintly, are Lex Luthor and the members of the Crime Syndicate: Owlman, Johnny Quick, Ultraman, Power Ring and Super Woman.
Page 16 – Panels 1-2 Donna rallies her troops in an attempt to save the two Supermen and Wonder Woman. In panel 2 (above Ion) are Jemm, Son of Saturn; Ultra the Multi-Alien; GL Alan Scott; Supergirl; Firestorm; Animal Man; Adam Strange. Below Ion are GL Kilowog; Shift; Starfire; and Bumblebee.
Page 16 – Panel 3 Alex attempts to prove the universe wrong by merging the hero of Earth-3, his father Lex Luthor, with Kal-L.
Page 16 – Panel 4 As the Earths are forced together, so are the heroes. Despite Alex’s intentions, Ultraman is merged with Kal-L; behind them Johnny Quick and Owlman look on; Superman is merged with Lex Luthor; and Wonder Woman is merged with Superwoman.
Page 16 – Panel 5 Concentrating on his work, Alex doesn’t notice Nightwing climbing the tower below him.
Page 16 – Panel 6 The disembodied head of Martin Stein, floating at the shoulder of Firestorm, gives the hero an idea while all around him (though Ultra the Multi-Alien is the only one shown) the heroes fire at the hands of Alex.
Page 16 – Panel 7 The index finger of Alex’s right hand is blown off.
Page 17 – Panels 2-3 With Alex distracted, the merging of Earths-2 and 3 stops, leaving Wonder Woman, Kal-L and Superman dazed but alive.
Page 17 – Panel 4 The meeting of anti- and postive-matter does more than blow Alex’s finger off; it causes a huge explosion that catches (from top right going clockwise) GL Alan Scott (though he’s incorrectly coloured with a blue costume and yellow cape); Cyborg; Hawkgirl; Red Tornado (again incorrectly coloured with a white cape) holding Mal Duncan; Firestorm; Bumblebee; Captain Comet; and Starfire.
The identification of Alan Scott and Red Tornado came from Steve Kinsella who pointed out the expanded version of this panel that is shown in issue #5 of the weekly series 52.
Page 17 – Panel 5 Hawkman, GL Kilowog and Ion look on as their companions disappear. What happens to them is unknown at this point.
Page 17 – Panel 7 Nightwing knocks Alex from his perch and he plummets to the ground.
Page 18 – Panel 1 The heroes (Breach, Nightshade, Lady Quark, Power Girl, The Ray and Martian Manhunter) who had been imprisoned on the tower are now free and very pissed off.
Page 18 – Panel 2 Wonder Girl and Superboy free the last of the captives, Black Adam. Wonder Girl’s hesitation is understandable as Black Adam has traditionally been an enemy of the DCU’s heroes, specifically Captain Marvel, though he has previously attempted to reform.
Page 18 – Panels 3-4 As The Ray distracts the OMACs, Power Girl focuses her rage against Alex.
Page 19 – Panel 1 Psycho Pirate attempts to manipulate Power Girl’s emotions to make her kill The Ray just like, as The Ray mentions, Bizarro did to the Human Bomb way back in Infinite Crisis #1.
Page 19 – Panels 2-4 Before he can do that, however, Black Adam kills him by forcing his entire mask through his head and out the back. The chances of Psycho Pirate surviving this Crisis are now zero.
Page 19 – Panel 7 As The Ray, Power Girl and Black Adam stand over the corpse of the Psycho Pirate, they are scattered by the return of one of the villains.
Page 19 – Panel 8 Above them at the mouth of the Anti-Monitor, Superboy, Nightwing and Wonder Girl don’t know how to stop the machine and so decide to tear it down.
Page 19 – Panel 9 Superboy notices the return of Superboy-Prime.
Page 20 – Panel 1 Superboy-Prime squares off against Black Adam.
Page 20 – Panels 2-7 Black Adam, his hands exploding with the magic lightning that is his power source, beats Superboy-Prime who just laughs it off.
Page 21 – Panels 1-4 With one punch, Superboy-Prime sends Black Adam beyond the stabilising effect of the tower, transporting him to Earth-S.
Page 21 – Panel 5 Black Adam appears in the skies of Earth-S, alongside Mary Marvel and Captin Marvel Jr.
Page 21 – Panels 6-7 Alex explains, or at least offers a theory, as to why Superboy-Prime hasn’t returned to his home Earth. Superboy-Prime explains that his harness is modeled on the Anti-Monitor’s armour and says that, following the battle with the Flashes in Infinite Crisis #4, he had been imprisoned in the Speed Force “for years under red sunlight.” Kryptonians are able to absorb power from a yellow sun (such as Earth’s) but a red sun will deplete their energy.
Page 21 – Panels 8-10 Superboy-Prime has had enough of Alex’s mixing and matching and insists he find Earth-Prime but is interrupted by the Martian Manhunter.
Page 22 – Panels 1-3 Martian Manhunter battles Superboy Prime with more success than Black Adam had.
Page 22 – Panel 4 Wonder Girl attempts to keep the OMACs at bay while Superboy uses his “tactile telekinesis” to destroy the tower.
Page 22 – Panel 6 From top to bottom, Breach, Lady Quark and The Ray attack Superboy-Prime while Nightshade and Martian Manhunter watch. Their attacks, however, are ineffective.
Page 22 – Panels 7-9 As light doesn’t work, Nightshade envelops him with darkness which reveals Superboy-Prime’s fear of the dark.
Page 22 – Panels 10-11 Superboy-Prime lashes out, the force of his blows sending everyone, like Black Adam, beyond the stabilising effect of the tower. Lady Quark vanishes to Earth-6, Breach to Earth-8, The Ray to Earth-X and Nightshade to Earth-4. The Martian Manhunter remains as he is from the universe of Earth-1.
Page 23 – Panels 2-7 Batman makes his way to the control centre of the satellite, passing screens that show Martian Manhunter and Power Girl battling Superboy-Prime.
Page 23 – Panel 8 The only time Brother Eye’s taunting causes Batman to pause is when the screen shows Nightwing and Superboy. Nightwing had been the original Robin and recently Bruce Wayne legally adopted Dick Grayson as his son and heir.
Page 24 As Brother Eye hints that Nightwing stands no chance against Superboy-Prime, Batman continues to work, intent on destroying his own creation. Brother Eye’s line about Batman blaming himself harks back to the death of the second Robin, Jason Todd, who was killed by The Joker. Following Jason’s death, Batman entered a very dark phase, blaming himself for the boy’s killing.
Page 25 – Panels 1-2 Nightwing and Superboy work to destroy the tower.
Page 25 – Panels 3-5 Wonder Girl and Superboy have recently become a couple after a long courtship and her being attacked by dozens of OMACs distracts him long enough for Superboy-Prime to knock them both from the tower.
Page 25 – Panel 6 Meanwhile, Alex has made his way back to the top and is going to continue playing with worlds.
Page 25 – Panels 7-8 Superboy-Prime’s transformation into a villain is pretty much complete.
Page 26 As Wonder Girl and Nightwing look on, Superboy and Superboy-Prime fight once more.
Page 27 – Panels 1-3 Brother Eye is over confident, convinced that Batman is trying to erase its memory.
Page 27 – Panel 4 Meanwhile, Mr Terrific has ignited the propulsion system which will cause Brother Eye to fall to Earth; the aftermath of this is detailed in The OMAC Project Special.
Page 27 – Panels 6-7 But if Brother Eye’s going down, so is Batman.
Page 28 – Panel 1 GL John Stewart notices that, with the destruction of Brother Eye, the OMACs are falling apart, exposing their hosts to space. As GL Hal Jordan asks him to save them, Dinah (Black Canary) contacts them over the intercom.
Page 28 – Panel 2 Aboard the Bug are Black Lightning, Mr Terrific, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Green Arrow, Black Canary and Sasha Bordeaux.
Page 28 – Panel 3 Blue Beetle’s scarab tells him that they’re done and, for some as yet unknown reason, that they need to get away from the GLs. With that, he disappears. Much later, in the Blue Beetle ongoing series, the reason for the scarab’s urge to flee is revealed: the scarab was created by an alien race called The Reach who were long time enemies of the Green Lanterns.
Page 28 – Panels 4-6 Batman’s faith in his friends, while it hasn’t been at its best recently, is repaid when GL Hal Jordan rescues him. Jordan had been seen by Batman as having betrayed him on several occasions – the mindwiping that the JLA indulged in as well as Jordan’s role as Parallax in the Zero Hour event. However, with this act, he goes a long way to making amends.
Page 28 – Panels 7-8 Having seen the fight between the two Superboys on the satellite’s monitors, Batman tells GL Hal Jordan to take him to the arctic and the site of Superman’s fortress.
Page 29 – Panel 1 With the destruction of Brother Eye, the OMACs guarding the tower revert to their human hosts, leaving Nightwing standing among them.
Page 29 – Panels 2-4 Superboy-Prime and Superboy continue to fight with Wonder Girl helping until she is used by Superboy-Prime as a battering ram. All the while he rants about returning his Earth.
Page 29 – Panels 5-8 Earth-Prime is our world, the world where you are reading this and where I am typing it. As Alex searches for it, he looks out of the comic page and reaches out towards us.
Page 29 – Panels 9-10 Superboy-Prime attacks Wonder Girl; it is interesting to note that he says after the return of Earth-Prime “no one will ever know what I had to do to bring my Earth back.” This shows he is aware that his actions are wrong, but he still continues.
Page 30 – Panels 6-7 This appears to be an error in the art; in Panel 6, Superboy throws a punch with his right hand which Superboy-Prime catches. In Panel 7, however, Superboy-Prime is clearly crushing Superboy’s left hand.
Page 31 And as the pair crash into it, sending Nightwing and Wonder Girl flying, the whole thing comes tumbling down.
Page 32 Without the tower to keep them apart, the Earths merge once more, rewriting time as they do so, creating a New Earth, built on the post-Crisis Earth but containing elements of all that had gone before. Of major significance, and shown in the shards around the explosion, are:
- Superboy standing in front of a Welcome to Smallville sign – this shows Superman was active as a young Superboy, something that was changed following the post-Crisis reboot of Superman who only began his heroic activities once fully matured
- Batman’s parents’ killer has been caught – Joe Chill was originally shown to have killed the Waynes post-Crisis but this was later reversed
- Wonder Woman is shown with the Justice League – post-Crisis, it was decided that Wonder Woman came to “man’s world” much later and could not have founded the JLA, and her position was filled by Black Canary. Now, however, it would appear that she was again a founding member.
Page 33 Both Nightwing and Wonder Girl manage to crawl out from the wreckage of the tower, but Superboy has not been so lucky. As Supergirl gave her life in Crisis, so now Superboy gives his.
Page 34 Arriving too late to save him are Nightwing, Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman and Kal-L who can do nothing but stand and stare at Wonder Girl as she cries over his body.
Deaths in this issue:
- Star Sapphire – killed by The Spectre
- Psycho Pirate – killed by Black Adam
- Superboy – killed by Superboy-Prime