It seems fitting that a story dealing with alternate realities would have an alternate version.
The hardback collection of INFINITE CRISIS contains, as you would expect, the complete seven issue story but it also contains several differences. There have been a few instances of recolouring, not least of which is the two page spread of the battle of Metropolis. In the original issue #7, much of the fight scene is rendered as pencils with an all encompassing red wash laid over the top of it; if you’re reading this page you probably know what I mean already. In the collection, however, those pencils have been inked and coloured.
There’s also a handful of new pages inserted into the story as well as some changes to dialogue. More, perhaps, than any art changes, these alterations to the dialogue appear to alter the sense and tone of the story.
The page numbers here refer to the hardback collection and, in brackets, the individual issue and page. Where a new page has been inserted into the collection, I’ve indicated where it should fit in the individual issues.
Page 34 – Panel 3 (Issue 1 – Page 26): The first dialogue change. During the Mongul versus Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman fight in issue 1, Diana apparently means to kill Mongul with her sword before Superman stops the blow from falling. Batman asks “What are you doing?” to which she replies:
“What did you think I was going to do?“
Here, the same scene plays out but Wonder Woman’s reply to Batman’s question is slightly different:
“What did you think I was going to do? Kill him? I was going to pin him to the floor.“
Pretty big difference – in the original issue, it seemed clear that Wonder Woman was indeed going to kill him. The image to the right shows Wonder Woman’s sword about to land on Mongul’s head edge first; that’s not a pinning strike. In the collected edition, however, she’s intent on capturing him.
Pages 36 and 37 (Issue 1 – Pages 28 and 29): Superimposed over the two page spread of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman arguing with each other are images of Uncle Sam being beaten by the Society, first by Dr Light, then Cheetah and finally Deathstroke. This makes a little more sense as in the original issue, Sam is struck by Sinestro and the next time we see him he’s face down in the water. This battle shows he put up something of a fight.
Page 61 (Issue 2 – Page 19): The holographic Worldview displays that Alex uses are changed from green in the original issue to red; this brings them into line with the red displays that were used throughout the rest of the series. Also, in Panel 5, there is a clear view of Lex Luthor in one of the displays.
Page 66 (Issue 2 – Page 24): The blood on Batman’s face has been coloured red.
Page 79 – Panel 1 (Issue 3 – Page 5): The ZZZAATTT sound effect of the Purple Death Ray being fired has been removed. The dialogue from the Amazon firing the Ray has been truncated from “We already have. The Purple Death Ray has been completed.” to just “We already have.“
Page 87 – Panel 1 (Issue 3 – Page 13): Red blur speed effects have been added to Superman repairing the collapsing building.
Page 88 – Panel 8 (Issue 3 – Page 14): The sound effect of KRA KOOOM has been removed.
Page 93 – Panel 9 (Issue 3 – Page 19): Wonder Woman’s dialogue is shortened; as the Amazons prepare to leave this plane, her original words “Go, sisters.” are changed to simply “Go.” I can’t think of any rationale why this was done: the Amazons – as far as I’m aware – often refer to each other as sisters so it makes sense for Wonder Woman to say her original line.
Page 97 – Panel 7 (Issue 3 – Page 23): As Kal-L tries to convince Batman that everything on this Earth becomes corrupted, Batman brings up the subject of Dick Grayson. He originally asked:
“Is he a better man on your Earth than he is on mine?“
That question is changed in the collected edition to:
“You said this Earth corrupts everything. Is the Dick Grayson of my Earth a corrupted version of yours?“
The re-phrasing seems to shift the perspective of the question; rather than ask if one is better than the other (implying that our Grayson is the poorer version) it now seems to be asking if one is worse than the other (implying that our Grayson couldn’t be corrupted because we know he’s damn good.) The answer to both questions is still “No.“
Page 99 – Panel 2 (Issue 3 – Page 25): The crystals that Luthor crashes into now have images within them; also, the motion effect of him flying through them is coloured purple.
Page 99 – Panel 6 (Issue 3 – Page 25): As Alex is revealed, he utters a new line of “My hologram…” as it flickers off. His hair is also coloured red in the collection.
Page 109 – Panel 2 (Issue 4 – Page 3): Quite a large error has been corrected here. In the original issue, the number of prisoners on Alex’s tower appeared one short – it looked as though Breach was missing (see the image on the left.)
The character of Breach was actually present all the time – click on the image and you’ll get an enlarged version; there appears to be an empty booth immediately to the left of Power Girl (as we look at the page) but, to the left of that again a figure can be made out. He’s only been outlined, rather than coloured in; the collected edition shows him in place and coloured correctly (see the image on the right).
Page 112 – Panel 9 (Issue 4 – Page 6): There’s a whole lot more electricity between Alex and Power Girl as he kisses her. In the original issue her eyes were closed, here they’re open in shock which is more in keeping with her personality – with her eyes closed she seemed too passive.
Page 113 – Panel 6 (Issue 4 – Page 7): As Batman and Nightwing survey the devastation of Bludhaven, we can now see a spiralling blue and red whirlwind, representing Superman and his rescue efforts.
Page 119 – Panel 8 (Issue 4 – Page 13): Superboy’s language – already tame enough – gets toned down a little more as “Come on, you mother–” becomes simply “Come on–!“
Page 120 – Panel 1 (Issue 4 – Page 14): Batman and Nightwing in the Batcave, viewing computer screens. In the original, the screen to the left of the panel shows just a sketched outline with what appears to be a Superman symbol on it; in the collection, this has been replaced by a clear image of Kal-L taken from Page 97 – Panel 2 (Issue 3, Page 23 – Panel 2.)
Page 125 – Panel 5 (Issue 4 – Page 19): While there are no changes here, the interview at the back of the collected edition does contain an alternate panel that was drawn for this moment; see the image to the left.
Rather than showing Superboy Prime reacting to having just punched Pantha’s head off, it shows several of the Titans watching in amazement as her head flies by, trailing a shower of blood.
Page 126 – Panel 8 (Issue 4 – Page 20): As Superboy-Prime and Beast Boy fight in the foreground, Red Star is now shown behind them; in the original issue he was not coloured, only outlined.
Page 133 – Panel 1 (Issue 4 – Page 27): The first caption is changed; it originally said Space Sector 2814 but that would place the space battle in the same sector as Earth. The collection correctly places it in Space Sector 2682, the Polaris Galaxy.
Page 139 – Panel 7 (Issue 5 – Page 1): Zauriel’s opening remark of “God works in mysterious ways.” has been moved to the bottom left corner of Page 141.
Pages 140 and 141: A new, two page spread featuring a large number of heroes attending the church service. Huge thanks go to Kara O’Connor who named all the characters (except one!) for me before I’d even started working on the spread. Due to the fold in the pages, some of the art didn’t scan, hence the black line between the pages, but the numbered version can be seen to the right with the key below.
1) Judomaster 2) Samurai 3) Blue Devil 4) Loose Cannon 5) Hackrat 6) Razorsharp 7) Ballistic 8) Stretch 9) The Chief 10) Elasti-Girl 11) Mento 12) Vixen 13) Bronze Tiger 14) Captain Marvel, Jr. 15) Sparx 16) The Question 17) The Huntress II 18) The Odd Man 19) Protector 20) Halo 21) Nightmaster 22) Anima 23) Grace 24) The Ape 25) Angel 26) Geist 27) Epiphany of the DNAngels 28) Cherub of the DNAngels 29) Bork 30) Geo-Force 31) Arsenal 32) Nightblade 33) Agent Liberty 34) Red Star 35) Detective Chimp 36) Freak 37) Robin III 38) Skyrocket 39) Speedy II 40) Terra II 41) Technocrat 42) Lian 43) Microwaveabelle 44) Dinky the Devil Bat 45) Mongrel 46) Fever 47) Sapphire 48) Manhattan Guardian 49) Green Arrow 50) Black Canary 51) Metamorpho 52) Black Lightning 53) Steel III 54) Gypsy 55) Beast Boy 56) Empress 57) Robotman II 58) Katana 59) Thunder II 60) Steel IV 61) Raven 62) Joto 63) Argent 64) Negative Man 65) Green Lantern Hal Jordan 66) Green Lantern John Stewart 67) Stargirl 68) Girl 13) 69) Kid Slick 70) Mary Marvel 71) Doctor Mid-Nite II 72) Lightning 73) Thunder I 74) Grunt 75) Nudge 76) Joker’s Daughter
Page 149 – Panel 5 (Issue 5 – Page 9): As Lois dies, she offers a cryptic source of hope to Kal-L; originally, she said:
“With all your powers, with everything you saw and did… …You still never…“
This now reads:
“I see the truth now, Clark. A truth even Alex didn’t see… …There’s something else out there… …Out there…“
At the moment, there’s no firm consensus on what – if anything – Lois was referring to, but with the hints in the new JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA series, it seems possible that, after everything that happened in INFINITE CRISIS, the multiverse – including a real Earth 2 – may be returning.
Page 152 – Panel 11 (Issue 5 – Page 12): The ghostly glow effect around the E2 Wonder Woman has been toned down to the point where it’s hardly evident at all.
Page 155 – Panel 4 (Issue 5 – Page 15): The circular panels that Alex uses to view the events on Earth 2 are now tinted red, bringing them in line with his “Worldview” displays.
Page 156 – Panel 3 (Issue 5 – Page 16): Another dialogue change, this time from the E2 Wonder Woman. She originally said:
“But now that I’ve left Olympus, the gods’ blessings are fading. Soon I’ll no longer exist.“
In the collection, this is altered to:
“But now that I’ve left Olympus, the gods’ blessings to keep me here are fading. I’m being pulled… somewhere.“
This ties in with Lois’s dying words mentioned above, possibly hinting at a return of the real Earth 2 and the multiverse.
Page 172 (Issue 5 – Page 32): Superboy Prime’s reappearance has been altered, slightly. Originally, he was superimposed over the more ordered illustration of the multiple Earths shown on Page 164 (Issue 5 – Page 24); now the background resembles the Earths as shown above Titans towers on Pages 168-169 (Issue 5 – Pages 28-29.)
Page 176 – Panel 4 (Issue 6 – Page 2): In the ongoing BLUE BEETLE series that came out of INFINITE CRISIS, the scarab was shown to communicate with Jaime Reyes, illustrated by hieroglyphs in the panels. Similar glyphs have been superimposed over the image here.
Page 176 – Panel 7 (Issue 6 – Page 2): The sound effect of KZZAT has been removed.
Page 181 – Panel 8 (Issue 6 – Pages 6 and 7): The panel has been recoloured, with Wonder Woman, Baron Blitzkrieg and Red Panzer all receiving a make-over.
Page 182 – Panels 6 and 7 (Issue 6 – Page 8): Another significant dialogue change, this time an exchange between the Psycho Pirate and Alex Luthor. Originally it reads:
PSYCHO PIRATE: I can feel them. Phantom beings from the fabric of Earth-One and Earth-Two, pulled from their restful peace, reborn in pain and given essence– –then destroyed. Billions at a time.
ALEX: I planted this garden, psycho-pirate. I have every right to tend it.
This has been altered to read:
PSYCHO PIRATE: I can feel phantom beings pulled from the fabrics of the multiverse, recreated and destroyed. For some reason Earth-Two remains vacant. Why when billions of other beings appear across the multiverse like ghosts. Reborn… …then destroyed.
ALEX: The anomalies of Earth-Two are not my concern. Finding the perfect Earth is.
As with Lois’s dying words and Wonder Woman’s “being pulled… somewhere“, this draws attention to the anomaly that is Earth-Two.
Pages 212 and 213 (Issue 7 – Pages 2 and 3): These aren’t new pages, but the fight between the heroes and villains in the streets of Metropolis has been fully coloured.
Page 214 – Panel 1 (Issue 7 – Page 4): Originally, Bane was silent as he broke Judomaster’s back; he now says: “I finally know who I am. I am Bane. I break people.“
As I don’t keep up with the Batman books, I’m not sure of the relevance of this line – had Bane suffered some sort of memory loss prior to this?
Page 214 – Panel 4 (Issue 7 – Page 4): The Shining Knight also has a line of dialogue added; as she leaps from her horse and clubs the Riddler, she now says: “Good night, jester!“
Page 214 – Panel 6 (Issue 7 – Page 4): Solomon Grundy also has more dialogue; however, he has to be satisfied with a simple: “Rrrarrr–“
Page 214 – Panel 7 (Issue 7 – Page 4): The sound effect of VZZZZZZZ has been removed.
Page 215 – Panel 4 (Issue 7 – Page 5): Alex’s dialogue has changed here. It was:
“This isn’t Earth-One, Superboy. It never really was. And now this “unified” world, this New Earth, has been altered again. There are changes within its history.“
In the collection, it now reads as:
“This isn’t Earth-One, Superboy. In fact, it never was. I miscalculated. I tried to divide a New Earth. Instead, I only altered its history.“
In both cases he goes on to give examples of how the history has changed.
Page 218 – Panel 7 (Issue 7 – Page 8): Wildcat’s dialogue is altered here as he, Power Girl and Kal-L fight against the Society. Wildcat asks Power Girl who Kal-L is and she asks him, in the original and the collection, “Who do you think, Wildcat?” In the original issue, he responds with:
“I think I remember. That’s him.“
In the collection, he says:
“It looks like Superman.“
At first, Wildcat clearly remembers the Superman of Earth-Two which implies he will also have memories of Earth-Two itself and, by extension, the multiverse. In the revised version, though, he merely thinks Kal-L “looks like Superman” thus negating any recollection of Earth-Two. In both versions, however, Power Girl replies:
“Yep. He’s our Superm–” her words being cut off as she’s attacked.
Page 222 – Panel 4 (Issue 7 – Page 12): The sound effect CHOOMM has been removed from the panel showing Breach’s explosion.
Page 223: A new page showing an extended fight between Batman, Robin III and Nightwing against Deathstroke.
Page 229 – Panel 8 (Issue 7 – Page 18): A new item of dialogue is added as one to the two Supermen cries “For tomorrow!” as they fly off to tackle Superboy Prime.
Page 230: A new page showing more of the heroes vs villains battle in Metropolis.
Page 231 – Panel 11 (Issue 7 – Page 19): The controversial sound effect of CHAK has been removed, allowing for no confusion over whether Batman has reloaded, cocked or actually fired the gun and found it empty.
Page 232 – Panel 18 (Issue 7 – Page 20): Superboy Prime’s caption dialogue of “Where do you think you’re going?” has been replaced by someone, presumably Dr Mid-Nite from Page 230, declaring about Nightwing:
“He’s going to be fine.“
Page 233 – Panel 1 (Issue 7 – Page 21): The dialogue caption mentioned above is incorporated into this panel to make sense of Superboy Prime’s demand which originally just asked:
Now it reads:
“Where are you taking me? Where?!“
Page 240 – Panel 7 (Issue 7 – Page 28): This panel was originally silent; in the collection, Kal-L has a few more dying words for Power Girl. In the original Panel 6, Kal-L says:
“It’s not going to end. It’s never going to end… for us…“
This dialogue is unchanged in the collected edition but is now followed by:
“…One day you’ll see… …They’re still out there…“
This fuels the speculation that Earth-Two and the multiverse is due to return at some point.
Page 244 – Panel 7 (Issue 7 – Page 32): Dick Grayson now has a cast on his left arm, showing his injuries in the villains vs hero battle were substantial.
Pages 246 and 247 (Issue 7 – Pages 34 and 35): The two page spread of the heroes has been redrawn by George Perez with more characters. Here’s the numbered version (click to see a larger version) with the key below:
1) Wonder Woman 2) Mary Marvel 3) Katana 4) Shining Knight 5) Lady Blackhawk 6) Blue Devil 7) Nightmaster 8) Zatanna 9) Batman 10) Robin 11) Black Condor 12) Hawkgirl 13) Green Lantern Guy Gardner 14) Steel [Natasha Irons] 15) Steel [John Henry Irons] 16) Superman 17) The Question 18) Will Magnus 19) The Chief 20) STRIPE 21) Etta Candy 22) Nightwing 23) Red Devil 24) Wildcat 25) Isis 26) Red Tornado 27) Raven 28) Ragman 29) Phantom Stranger 30) Firehawk 31) Bulleteer 32) Nightshade 33) Jakeem Thunder 34) Thunderbolt 35) Monolith 36) Batwoman 37) Firestorm 38) Wonder Girl 39) Black Canary 40) Vixen 41) Star-Spangled Kid 42) Enchantress 43) Blue Beetle 44) Martian Manhunter 45) Green Lantern Alan Scott [in his role as Checkmate’s White King] 46) The Ray 47) Supergirl 48) Captain Atom 49) Klarion 50) Captain Boomerang 51) Dr Mid-Nite 52) Uncle Sam 53) Platinum 54) Sasha Bordeaux [as Checkmate’s Black Queen] 55) Adam Strange 56) Booster Gold 57) Huntress 58) Ion 59) Gypsy 60) OMAC 61) Starfire 62) The Spectre 63) Gold 64) Shazam 65) Elasti-Girl 66) Black Lightning 67) Starman 68) Catman 69) Green Lantern Hal Jordan 70) Manhunter 71) Changeling 72) Power Girl 73) Cyborg 74) Donna Troy 75) Captain Marvel 76) Thunder 77) Hawkman 78) Green Lantern John Stewart 79) Lobo 80) Black Adam 81) Dr Light 82) Mercury 83) The Helmt of Fate 84) Manhattan Guardian 85) Plastic Man 86) Catwoman 87) Fire 88) Elongated Man 89) Flash [Jay Garrick] 90) Detective Chimp 91) Negative Man 92) Frankenstein 93) Animal Man 94) Mr Terrific 95) Robotman 96) Metamorpho 97) Grace 98) Lady Shiva as the Jade Canary 99) Ravager 100) Atom 101) Flash [Bart Allen] 102) Skeets 103) Copper 104) Aquaman 105) Phantom Lady 106) Doll Man 107) Sand 108) Tin 109) Green Arrow 110) Human Bomb 111) Bumblebee 112) Hourman 113) Creeper 114) Lead 115) Speedy 116) Iron 117) Either Power Girl’s cat or Teekl, Klarion’s familiar.
Page 249: A new page which shows various characters in triangular shards over a white page.