Crisis On Infinite Earths #1
DC Comics (April, 1985; as posted to comiXology)
PLOT: Marv Wolfman (writer/editor), Len Wein (also consulting editor), and Robert Greenberger (also associate editor
PENCILER: George Pérez
INKERS: George Pérez & Dick Giordano
COLORIST: Anthony Tollin
LETTERER: John Costanza
MANAGING EDITOR: Tom Codon
Some guy named Pariah is forced to watch world after world disintegrate, including Earth-3. The Luthor of Earth-3, the only hero to stand against the Crime Syndicate, and his wife Lois send their only son to Earth-1 but to the now abandoned Justice League satellite headquarters. He’s taken from there by a being called the Monitor, who also sends his colleague Lyla across the multiverse as Harbinger to recruit heroes and a few villains that may be able to stop this threat, but a shadow sneaks into one of Harbinger’s duplicates, who joins a shadow army against the assembled until chased off by the Monitor.
What they got right: This a twelve issue series so of course not everything is set up right at this moment. It does bring a good mystery that gets your attention. It also brings in some obscure Earth-1 and Earth-2 heroes and villains alongside some of the more famous ones. I almost felt sorry for the Crime Syndicate being unable to save their world despite seriously trying…but it wasn’t exactly for noble reasons.
What they got wrong: I hope Pariah actually does something important in this story because otherwise he already feels unnecessary right from the start. Did Psycho-Pirate really have to go so far with getting Killer Frost on their side that she’s hot for Firestorm? (No pun intended.) I’m also not sure what this particular combination of heroes and villains can do.
What else is there?: This is the only issue I have, at the time being a free preview thing from comiXology before it was absorbed into the Kindle family. This comic is in some ways my “Flashpoint”. There are sadly too many similarities. The rebooted universe wasn’t thought out that well and certain aspects somehow transfer to the new universe while others don’t. This series ended the multiverse because DC couldn’t maintain the separate continuities of Earth-1 (the main DC universe in the Bronze Age), Earth-2 (the Golden Age heroes), and Earth-S (the Fawcett purchases). DC has a sad history of not being able to keep their own continuity straight, something they only really started in the Bronze Age after Marvel showed the idea could work, and the mini-reboots and retcons would follow from here until DiDio scrapped it all (except for the parts it didn’t, thus learning nothing about commitment if a particular writer had enough clout) to create his Darker DC.
What I think overall: The story is fine but it’s also a harbinger (this time I meant the pun) of the end of the DC universe I grew up with and some of the mistakes DC would continue to make with continuity in the decades to come. That give it a personal bias with me. If you want to see a full review check out Linkara’s review of the event.