Title: Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Writer(s): Marv Wolfman.
Penciller(s): George Pérez.
Inker(s): Dick Giordano, Mike DeCarlo & Jerry Ordway.
Colourist(s): Anthony Tollin, Tom Ziuko, Carl Gafford & Tom McCraw.
Letterer(s): John Costanza.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: January 1st 2001 (first published 1985).
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.
When it comes to superheroes, you tend to discover them in their personal life trajectories as they confront various obstacles that lead them to perceive life differently to other mortals. While some find themselves in front of incredible adversity with the occasional homework to take tough life-threatening decisions, others are driven to face what is often known as destiny as their faith and perseverance are tested beyond the ordinary strain we all encounter throughout life. There are, however, circumstances where their routes cross paths with others only to further expand the dilemmas they are confronted with. It isn’t just about the people they love or care for the most or the citizens of their hometown that turn out to be the center of their attention. The threats oblige them to look a good way off and apprehend the existence of other heroes, other civilizations, other planets but also other universes where the stakes are sometimes far worse than what they seem. In 1985, DC Comics unleashed one of the first and most colossal companywide crossovers that altered the franchise in unimaginable ways and it is a ride to remember forever.
What is Crisis on Infinite Earths about? This graphic novel collects the 12-issue series that tragically doomed the DC Multiverse by delivering some of the most iconic moments that fans will never forget. The story serves as the end and beginning of an era with a central focus on the powerful cosmic entity known as the Monitor. With the duty to reconnoiter all the parallel universes and alternate realities in his realm, he one day encounters his malicious archnemesis, the Anti-Monitor, who successfully plunges one reality after the after into oblivion. In order to put an end to his wretched plans, the Monitor recruits heroes from different times and worlds to help him out while the Anti-Monitor proceeds to recruit his own secret villains to sabotage any attempt of heroism. As the story unfolds, worlds are destroyed, others are born and some are reconfigured to ultimately pave the way to the DC Universe rather than the complicated DC Multiverse that reigned for countless years. But for this to occur, huge costs are met by our favourite heroes.
Right at the footsteps of the Modern of Age of superhero comic books, Marv Wolfman and George Pérez team up to deliver what might be one of the most important and respect-worthy cosmic crossover events in the history of superheroes. To be able to oversaturate a whole narrative with heroes from multiple worlds is a task that is beyond a man’s fancy as it wasn’t a complete disaster although it can be incredibly tedious to sort through all of these heroes or to even understand their relevance. While many of the heroes and villains that are part of this event might be unknown to the reader, the story allows a certain hope of discovery even if it is plunged in a narrative of destruction and chaos. While it is a geeky pleasure to see countless heroes and villains assembled together on the same pages of the story, it doesn’t always help the reader to be impaled with insane amounts of dialogue even if it is an inevitable and necessary condition to having this many heroes in this existence-threatening event.
Unsurprisingly, this graphic novel does explore themes of dread, defeat, and death with the grandiose spectacle that is expected of such an event. The repercussions of the crisis that unfold are felt throughout the universe in unimaginable ways but set the table for new story arcs and crossovers in the years to come. The artwork demands to be addressed for its ability to colorfully display the epic scale of the event as well as the intriguing and sequential panel configuration that allows the creative team to exploit both the artwork and the writing as much as they want. The style is a bit dated but iconic of the era in which the story was created. There’s no denying that it is the perfect style on which DC could end a generation of fantastic stories before embarking on a new adventure. While the visuals can get hectic and often feel populated, the character designs and the action sequences allow the story to breathe and develop in its entirety. It is no doubt that this graphic novel will never be stripped away its achievement as a sturdy and complete crisis.
Crisis on Infinite Earths is an epic scale crossover event that weaves together countless years of continuity to deliver a tragic and unforgettable change to the DC Universe.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!
Only watch the above scene teasing the CW Network’s upcoming Crisis on Infinite Earths TV series special if you’re ready for a spoiler!