Crisis on Infinite Earths Review and why this has us so excited for the CW Arrowverse Event!

Crisis on Infinite Earths Review - Animated Apparel Company

Image by DC Comics

Crisis on Infinite Earths has gathered a lot of mainstream attention in recent times due to the upcoming adaptation through the CW shows such as Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl. Regardless of what you think about these series, it’s hard not to feel excited or at least a bit curious about it–Warner and DC have gathered a tremendous cast of fan-favorite actors such as Tom Welling (Superman in Smallville), Brandon Routh (Superman in Superman Returns), Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman in the TV show of the 70s) and Kevin Conroy (the voice of Batman in Batman: Animated Series), among many others. But it’s also a great opportunity to look at the original story in the comics and why it was so important.

The 1985 event was created as a way for DC to streamline their Multiverse and create a single, cohesive universe where new readers could have a more accessible entry point, so writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez, now legends of the industry and very popular at the time because of their Teen Titans run, were up to the task of creating a story which would be the conclusion of the DC Multiverse stories we've come to know and love for decades.

And we have this: the biggest comic book event of all time and to this day the most important. This story changed DC forever and became a watershed event for many characters, as we are going to see. Wolfman and Perez aimed for the top and in doing so they created a story that is perhaps a great example of what DC’s heroes stand for and what heroism is all about.

What is Crisis on Infinite Earths?

Crisis on Infinite Earths Review - Animated Apparel Company

Image by DC Comics

The DC Multiverse is in tremendous disarray. The Earth-3 universe, where the Crime Syndicate of America reigns supreme, is fading away and the hero of that universe, Alexander Luthor, sends his baby boy to another universe as he says goodbye to his wife, Lois.

A being called the Monitor starts gathering heroes from multiple universes through her protégé, Harbinger, to take them to the former and tell them about the threat of the Anti-Monitor, who is turning several universes into anti-matter to feed himself. The characters team up to start dealing with the situation as several Earths begin to die and the universes start converging into one.

How was it? 

Crisis on Infinite Earths Comic Panel - Animated Apparel Company

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I have to say that I gave a very simple summary of the plot because I don’t want to give you a lot of spoilers, because Crisis on Infinite Earths is a very big and bombastic story, fully embracing the insanity, exaggeration and heroic elements that have defined superhero comics, and especially DC, at this point. Wolfman and Perez were handed a big challenge and they took what I consider the best route: as big as possible.

The scale of this event is extremely big and what I consider to be a very intelligent strategy was selecting a certain group of characters, specifically the Supermen, Flash, and a few others, to make them the protagonists of such a monumental situation. The Anti-Monitor, along with Darkseid (who has a very small cameo in this event), is a tremendous threat and his will feels impending, dooming Earth after Earth in a way that feels definitive, chaotic and utterly poignant–something like this has never happened before 1985 and through Wolfman’s writing we can tell that this was something very important to him.

And that is why I think this event works so well on this monumental scale: it feels like the DC Multiverse is never coming back and every death, fading Universe and ending feels like a closure, which is something that I think most comic books struggle with nowadays. Here we have stakes, with superheroes rising to the biggest challenge they've ever faced, they come out on top while still losing the only reality that they (and we) have ever known.

Imagine having the DC heroes, a big group of heroes that have overcome so many ordeals throughout decades, going after an enemy that even while losing still wins and still manages to transmit a very hopeful message.

Crisis on Infinite Earths is a story that defines what DC heroes stand for, always willing to sacrifice their own lives and even their own universes to make a difference, saving millions of people in the process. A lot of people talk about Barry Allen’s memorable sacrifice (the greatest death in comics, in my view), but we also have to talk about Earth-2 Superman, the first-ever superhero, who lost everything he had and still went up against the Anti-Monitor, resulting in one of the most definitive Superman moments of the character’s entire history.

We also get a sense of future and optimism, with Wally West taking up the mantle of his mentor, Superman honoring the death of Supergirl, the heroes preparing for a new world that has combined many realities and a new era in DC where we perhaps lived the best era in the history of the company.

What about the artwork?

Crisis on Infinite Earths Comic Panel - Animated Apparel Company

Image by DC Comics

George Perez is insane. That’s the only way I can describe his art on this book. I can’t imagine how this man puts himself through this ordeal of drawing every single DC character that has ever existed and put them in these incredible panels, making some of the most iconic artwork that you’re ever going to see.

His relationship and artistic chemistry with Marv Wolfman has always been very special with one understanding the other in a very unique way, but I would go as far as saying that Perez was the only artist capable of drawing on such a tremendous scale, which is something that we see in every single page. There’s so much detail and precision on every page that you can tell that he is having the time of his life and we’re coming along for the ride.

I also think that he has defined the Anti-Monitor, at least for me. I have seen that character drawn by many different artists, but I can only think of Perez’s design when I think of him, with Ivan Reis being perhaps the only one that ever came close in the Sinestro Corps War. That to me is very important because I think his design resonates a lot more and feels very multi-layered, if that makes sense.

Very few artists can claim to have drawn so many classic runs throughout the years as Perez, but I think that his work on Crisis on Infinite Earths is the biggest masterpiece of his career, with his Wonder Woman run being a closed second.

What it represents?

Crisis on Infinite Earth's Comic Book Panel with Dr. Doom - Animated Apparel Company

Image by DC Comics

Crisis on Infinite Earths is a monumental moment on the DC universe, giving a very important era of the company a proper ending and kick-starting the new era of classic versions of many of our favorite characters. And for better or worse, this story started the trend for many events in the comic book industry, which still lingers to this day.

I wouldn’t recommend this story to a new reader because I think this story works a lot better with readers that are familiarized with this version of the DC Multiverse and are emotionally connected with the characters–this perhaps is a disservice from the story’s part, but it’s a fascinating love letter to everything this Multiverse stands for.

In many ways, Crisis on Infinite Earths is the definitive DC story. And I congratulate Wolfman and Perez on that.

 


Kevin Tanza

Kevin Tanza is a Venezuelan writer who fell in love with stories, music and soccer/football when he was a child and since then, he hasn’t stopped writing about them. He has been published in multiple websites in both Spanish and English. You'll find his work at MusikHolics, Good Comis to Read, Gemr, The Busby Babe, Chiesa di Totti, La Soledad del Nueve, Sail Away, Colgados por el Fútbol, Genre, United’s Red Rain, Mariskal Rock, Sugati Fashion, Indie Artists Go and Music Existence. He has also published a series of short stories. Feel free to use the links provided below to follow Kevin on social media. For business inquiries, please contact him via email.

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