Infinite Crisis

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Infinite Crisis

Cover to Infinite Crisis #1.
Art by George Pérez

Publisher DC Comics
Format limited series
Publication dates 2005-2006
Number of issues 7
Main character(s) DC Universe
Creative team
Writer(s) Geoff Johns
Penciller(s) Phil Jimenez
Jerry Ordway
George Pérez
Ivan Reis
Jim Lee (alternate covers)

Infinite Crisis was a seven-issue limited series of comic books published by DC Comics, beginning in October of 2005. It was written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Phil Jimenez, George Pérez, Ivan Reis and Jerry Ordway. Each issue was released with two variant covers: one by Pérez, and one by Jim Lee and Sandra Hope.

The series storyline was a sequel to DC's 1985 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths. It revisited characters and concepts from that earlier Crisis, including the existence of DC's Multiverse. Some of the characters featured were alternate versions of comic icons such as an alternate Superman named Kal-L, who came from a place called "Earth-Two". A major theme was the nature of heroism, contrasting the often dark and conflicted modern-day heroes with memories of "lighter" and ostensibly more noble and collegial heroes of American comic books' earlier days.

The story's plot was actually initiated when a superheroine, Donna Troy, died in 2003's Teen Titans/Young Justice crossover, Graduation Day. A 2004 limited series Identity Crisis also retroactively labeled it as a tie-in. DC officially began leading up to the new Crisis with a one-shot issue Countdown to Infinite Crisis, followed by four six-issue limited series that tied into and culminated in Infinite Crisis.

Once the Crisis was completed, DC used the One Year Later event to move the narratives of most of its DC Universe series forward by one year. The weekly series 52 began publication in May 2006, and depicts some of the events which occurred between Infinite Crisis and One Year Later.


[edit] Lead-ups

Infinite Crisis was announced in March 2005. The event was kicked off with the release of Countdown to Infinite Crisis (previously referred to as "DC Countdown" to keep the true title of the upcoming limited series a secret). Countdown to Infinite Crisis was followed by four six-issue limited series: The OMAC Project, Rann-Thanagar War, Day of Vengeance, and Villains United, as well as a four-part limited series DC Special featuring the return of Donna Troy. These first four limited series each had a special tie-in issue, released at monthly intervals during the Infinite Crisis event.

[edit] Tie-ins

As is the norm for a large-scale comics crossover, Infinite Crisis featured a large number of tie-ins. Before the announcement of the event, books such as Adam Strange and Identity Crisis were often described as being tied into bigger plans. After Countdown, a number of books were identified as tie-ins to the four mini-series. Thus, although Infinite Crisis itself is only seven issues long, dozens of publications dealt directly or indirectly with the plot elements.

Some of these books (such as the JLA "Crisis of Conscience" storyline which ended with the Justice League's lunar Watchtower being destroyed, leading directly into Infinite Crisis #1) were of direct and major importance. Others, such as several issues that featured little more than a cameo from the OMACs, are more akin to what comic fans call "red skies" crossovers, referring to a gimmick in the original Crisis on Infinite Earths where an issue's sole relation to the main event was a character remarking that the sky was red.

[edit] Synopsis

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Alexander Luthor II and Superboy-Prime, the main antagonists of Infinite Crisis.  Art by Phil Jimenez.
Alexander Luthor II and Superboy-Prime, the main antagonists of Infinite Crisis. Art by Phil Jimenez.

The story begins in the wake of the crises of the four lead-in limited series, with Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman feuding, the JLA Watchtower destroyed, and the heroes of the world all facing a variety of menaces. Over this backdrop, Kal-L (the Earth-Two Superman), along with Earth-Two Lois Lane, Earth-Three Alexander Luthor, and Superboy-Prime escape from the pocket universe where they had been trapped at the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths.[1] Kal-L seeks out his cousin, Power Girl, also a survivor of Earth-Two. Believing Lois' health will improve on her native world, he hopes to replace the current Earth with Earth-Two, which he considers perfect.[2][3]

Kal-L tries to enlist Batman's support, stating that the Post-Crisis Earth's inherent "bad" nature caused Batman's recent mistrust and hostility. Batman refuses. Afterward, he learns Superboy-Prime destroyed the JLA Watchtower.[4]

Alexander reveals to Power Girl that he and Superboy-Prime had been leaving their "paradise" for some time, manipulating events to help create an inter-dimensional tuning fork. Using the Anti-Monitor's remains and captured heroes and villains specifically attuned to former universes (Power Girl among them), Alex restores Earth-Two, un-populated except for the Earth-Two heroes transported there.[5]

Superboy-Prime attacks Conner Kent, this world's Superboy. Multiple super-teams intervene. Superboy-Prime kills several heroes before the Flashes and Kid Flash force him into the Speed Force, assisted by speedsters already within it. Jay Garrick, the only speedster left behind, says the Speed Force is now gone.[5][6]

Superboy-Prime at the conclusion of Infinite Crisis.  Art by Phil Jimenez.
Superboy-Prime at the conclusion of Infinite Crisis. Art by Phil Jimenez.

Seeking to create a perfect world, Alexander restores many alternate Earths. The Earth-Two Lois dies, and an aggrieved Kal-L and the younger Superman Kal-El fight until Wonder Woman separates them.[7][8][9] Bart Allen (wearing Barry Allen's costume and aged to adulthood) emerges from the Speed Force, warning that he and the other speedsters were unable to hold Superboy-Prime, who returns wearing armor that stores yellow sun radiation to empower him.

Batman's strike force destroys Brother Eye. Alexander selects and merges alternate Earths, trying to create a "perfect" world, until Firestorm blocks his efforts. Conner, Nightwing, and Wonder Girl release the Tower's prisoners.[10][11] Fighting each other, Conner and Superboy-Prime collide with the tower, destroying it. The multiple Earths recombine into a "New Earth" as Conner dies in Wonder Girl's arms.

When a horde of supervillains attack Metropolis,[12] heroes fly off to the rescue. Superboy-Prime takes off to destroy Oa, planning to collapse the Universe. Superboy-Prime kills many Green Lanterns trying to stop him before Kal-L and Kal-El carry him toward Krypton's remains, now essentially a huge cloud of kryptonite. Flying through Krypton's red sun, Rao, destroys Superboy-Prime's armor and causes all three Kryptonians' powers to dissipate. Landing on the sentient planet (and GLC member) Mogo, they fight. After Kal-El finally knocks Superboy-Prime out, Kal-L dies in the arms of his cousin, Power Girl.

Back on Earth, Batman contemplates shooting Alex, but is discouraged by Wonder Woman allowing Alex to escape.

Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman later meet up in Gotham. Wonder Woman plans to find out who she is. Batman plans a similar journey of self-discovery, revisiting the training of his youth, this time with Dick Grayson and Tim Drake joining him. Superman retires from superheroics until his powers return.[13]

Hiding in an alley in Gotham City and making new plans, Alexander Luthor is found by Lex Luthor and the Joker. Angry at being left out of the Society, the Joker kills Alex.

The Green Lantern Corps imprison Superboy-Prime inside a red Sun-Eater. The series ends with him carving an S into his chest with his bare hands and declaring that he has been in worse places than his current prison and has escaped.[14]

[edit] Hard cover revisions

The hardcover collecting all seven issues of Infinite Crisis includes several changes in dialogue, most of which relate to the nature of Earth-Two.[15]

Also changed is the two-page spread near the end of the book, where a new George Perez image is substituted.[16] Four additional pages of art by Phil Jiminez were added. An interview section included as an afterword explains the reasoning behind some of these alterations.

[edit] Novelization adaption

Ace Books, under the imprint of The Berkley Publishing Group and published by The Penguin Group, released a novelization adaption written by Greg Cox with an introduction by Mark Waid. (October 2006). Cover Art by Daniel Acuna. Cover design by Georg Brewer. Text design by Tiffany Esteicher. ISBN 0-441-01444-5

The novel was primarily adapted from the seven-issues mini-series published by DC Comics (December 2005 to June 2006). Additional materials on the book was adapted from:

  • Aquaman #37 (February 2006)
  • Day of Vengeance: Infinite Crisis Special (March 2006)
  • Gotham Central # 38 (February 2006)
  • JLA #119 (November 2005)
  • JSA Classified #4 (December 2005)
  • Rann/Thanagar War: Infinite Crisis Special (April 2006)
  • Teen Titans #32 (March 2006)
  • Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #223–224 (January and February 2006)

[edit] Consequences

[edit] Aftermath

[edit] Series canceled during the "Infinite Crisis" event

A number of series were cancelled with the one year later jump. Some ended outright, like Batgirl, Gotham Central, and Batman: Gotham Knights, while others were suspended and restarted later like JLA, Flash, and Wonder Woman. Additionally, Adventures of Superman returned to its original title of Superman, while the book that had previously been coming out as Superman since 1987 was cancelled, thus making the Superman line's two books, Superman and Action Comics, match the Batman line's Batman and Detective Comics.

[edit] Editorial planning

DC Comics executive editor Dan DiDio stated that Infinite Crisis was being hinted at in various stories for two years prior to its launch, starting with the "death" of Donna Troy.[17] The leadup was mostly understated until the release of the Adam Strange limited series in 2004, at which point industry press began to report that DC was planning a very large event, mentioning the titles Teen Titans, The Flash, and JSA, all written by Geoff Johns. [citation needed]

With Countdown to Infinite Crisis, Infinite Crisis began to visibly affect DC's editorial policy. Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison moved into editorial positions in addition to their writing duties, respectively to coordinate coherence of the DC Universe and to handle reimaginings of several characters. Mark Waid signed exclusively with DC, receiving a similar editorial role. DC replaced its official decades-old logo (the "DC bullet") with a new one (the "DC spin") that debuted on the first issue of DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy.

Aside from marking a major editorial shift within DC Comics, Infinite Crisis was a return to large company-wide crossovers of a sort that had been uncommon since the downturn of the comics industry in the 1990s.

Kal-L fighting Kal-El, in art based on the cover to Action Comics #1. Art from Infinite Crisis #5.
Kal-L fighting Kal-El, in art based on the cover to Action Comics #1. Art from Infinite Crisis #5.

[edit] Homages to DC Comics history

  • Kal-L crying after the death of the Earth-Two Lois Lane is reminiscent of the death of Supergirl.[18]
  • Jim Lee's cover of issue #6 has Superboy's shirt draped in the background like Superman's cape when he died.[19]
  • Mongul's appearance in Infinite Crisis #1 has the same panel framing from Alan Moore's "For the Man Who Has Everything", sans Jason Todd.[20]
  • The S-Shield that Superboy-Prime carves into his chest is reminiscent of promotional art for "The Death of Superman" storyline.
  • The first splash page of Kal-L fighting Kal-El with one throwing a green, 1930-vintage vehicle at the other is based on the cover art of Action Comics #1.
  • The panels from issue #7 depicting a conversation between Jay Garrick and Bart Allen mirrors the conversation Garrick had with Wally West in the original Crisis.[21]
  • The skies turn red, as they are throughout the original Crisis.
  • The original Superboy, Kal-El, had a similar battle with Conner Kent in a Zero Hour story. He even says the same line, "You're not Superboy!" before his first strike.[22]
  • The creation of "New Earth" resembles the collapse of the Multiverse.[23]
  • The cover of issue #5, with Kal-L fighting Kal-El, resembles the panel in which Kal-L knocks Kal-El out so that he can fight the final battle with the Anti-Monitor.[24]
  • When recounting her history, the Earth-Two Wonder Woman (Diana Prince) is surrounded by images re-drawn from early issues of Sensation and Wonder Woman comics, originally drawn by H. G. Peter.[7]
  • When Black Condor is run through by an energy blast by Sinestro, it mirrors a similar panel in the original Crisis between Supergirl and the Anti-Monitor, respectively.[25]

[edit] References

  1. ^ Infinite Crisis #1 (2005)
  2. ^ Infinite Crisis #2 (2005)
  3. ^ JSA #82 (2006)
  4. ^ Infinite Crisis #3 (2006)
  5. ^ a b Infinite Crisis #4, 2006
  6. ^ Teen Titans #31 (2006)
  7. ^ a b Infinite Crisis #5 (2006)
  8. ^ Superman vol. 2 #226-227 (2006)
  9. ^ Adventures of Superman #648 & #649 (2006)
  10. ^ Teen Titans vol. 3 #32 (2006)
  11. ^ Infinite Crisis #6 (2006)
  12. ^ Infinite Crisis Special: Villains United (2006)
  13. ^ "Up, Up, and Away"
  14. ^ Infinite Crisis #7 (2006)
  15. ^ [2]
  16. ^ #   Counting Down in the DCU with Dan Didio. Retrieved on February 10, 2006.
  17. ^ Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 (1985)
  18. ^ Superman vol. 2 #75 (1992)
  19. ^ Superman Annual #11, 1985
  20. ^ Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 (1985)
  21. ^ Superboy #8 (1994)
  22. ^ Crisis on Infinite Earths #10-11 (1985)
  23. ^ Crisis on Infinite Earths #12, 1985
  24. ^ Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 (1985)

[edit] External links

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