This post is Filed Under:
Home page Highlights,
Interviews as well as Columns
by Robert Greenberger
Crisis on unlimited Earths
In 1984, Marv Wolfman was furiously attempting to figure out how the rest of the DC Comics line could tie-in with the events about to unfold in crisis on unlimited Earths. The project was large as well as sprawling; nothing on this scale had been attempted before so everyone was uncertain. He as well as Len Wein knew to tease the project, so every book, regardless of era as well as parallel universe, would feature the monitor as well as Lyla observing. who were they, what did they want, as well as so. It was a fantastic two-year tease.
Tying in actual stories shown much more challenging, especially as the maxiseries’ story evolved. Some editors as well as writers were certainly eager to play, others less so. Still, something needed to be done to represent the crisis would really have an impact across the line. Marv asked that every book, at minimum, have the skies turn red as the anti-matter wave came closer. Whether characters reacted to it or not, it ought to be a visual cue to the readers.
For the much more ambitious as well as commercially minded editors, they saw the chance for sales to spike or explain, in greater depth, what their characters were up to in the maxiseries. Some were successful, some less so, but everyone was testing the creators’ as well as readers’ appetites for these crossovers. While the crisis has been collected as well as remains in print, these crossovers have remained unseen in years – until now.
Crisis on unlimited Earths companion Deluxe edition volume One
Coming this summer is crisis on unlimited Earths companion Deluxe edition volume One, the first of three large books, collecting these seminal tales. I was pleased to be asked to speak with on the project as well as then asked to write some of the contextual essays. However, I insisted this needed a proper introduction as well as Marv agreed to pen that piece.
Infinity, Inc. #18
Despite all of his issues about how the new single universe would impact his beloved world war II era heroes, Roy Thomas was possibly the writer who worked the hardest to make his books work with the event as well as sow the seeds for what came next. He’s written a short piece to introduce his issues, which include Infinity, Inc. #18-20, All-Star Squadron #50-51, as well as Justice league of America #244 (the latter from Gerry Conway as well as Joe Staton). In these issues, we have the final summer team-up of the Justice league as well as Justice Society, guest-starring Infinity, Inc. as well as the transition of Dr. Beth chapel into the new doctor Midnight as well as the introduction of Rex Tyler’s child Rick, who becomes the new Hourman. The fun likewise includes seeing these stories drawn by a young Todd McFarlane.
Roy likewise takes readers from Earth-2 to Earth-S where Mister Mind creates the Monster society of Evil which will get Captain marvel involved next volume. There’s likewise a quick visit to Earth-X as well as the freedom Fighters so everyone’s in on the act with some fine art from Mike Clark as well as Arvell Jones.
Fury of Firestorm #41
He likewise shows in, A-SS #50, Firebrand II’s point of view as Harbinger arrives to collect her for the first team seen in crisis #1 as well as the drafting of Obsidian in II #18. Harbinger is the heroic name of Lyla, given power by the monitor to carry out her work as seen not only here, but in Fury of Firestorm #41, from Gerry Conway as well as Rafael Kayanan. She’s accompanied by the Psycho-Pirate who may have suffered the most throughout 1985 as well as things go awry in recruiting the Nuclear Man. When she tries to gather up John Stewart on her own, it doesn’t go any type of much better in green lantern #194 as Steve Englehart as well as Joe Staton show. just back from defeating Replikon, John as well as Katma Tui, along with green Arrow as well as Black Canary, are rather suspicious of Harbinger so a fight breaks out.
Justice league of America annual #3
Dan Mishkin may have been the second many enthusiastic writer to play in the cosmic sandbox so he tackled the Red Tornado’s true nature in Justice league of America annual #3. In a story drawn by Rick Hoberg, the tornado champion emerges as well as Reddy becomes an elemental but in the process, destroys the JLA Satellite. Over in Blue Devil #17-18 he corwrites with Gary Cohn as well as Alan Kupperberg pencils. The first story shows the red skies as well as a wild beach party then sends Dan Cassidy into the multiverse to save alternate versions of himself, accompanied by the Omega Men.
Speaking of the galactic freedom fighters, the underrated series from Todd Klein as well as Shawn McManus offer Omega men #31 (partially drawn by Ernie Colon) as Doc, Shlagen, Zirral as wellas Rynoc leave Tamaran as well as encounter a hole in space which proves to be Blue Devil’s journey.
New teen Titans #13
Wolfman gets into the act with new teen Titans #13-14, both drawn by Ed Barreto (who has numerous covers in this volume — I miss him as well as his fantastic work), as a ship from Tamaran arrives to bring Starfire back to the Vegan star System (also home to the Omega Men) with Nightwing as well as Jericho choosing to join her.
DC Comics presents #87
The many influential of the crossovers can be found in DC Comics presents #87 as Elliot S! Maggin, Curt Swan, as well as Al Williamson have Superman cross from Earth-1 to Earth-Prime where he meets a young Superboy. From this moment until final Crisis, Superboy-Prime has been an irritant, catalyst, as well as major antagonist.
The following issue has one of the lesser efforts in successfully tying in as Steven Englehart, Keith Giffen, as well as Karl Kesel pair Superman as well as the Creeper against a demon which occurs somewhere around crisis #8 although there’s little to work with.
Wonder woman #328
Many writers merely had heroes combating the Anti-Monitor’s shadow Demons as seen in wonder woman #327-328 from Mindy Newell as well as Don Heck. Her battle against the South American god Tezcatlipoca seemingly ends or is interrupted by these creatures.
With the multiverse in flux, things go awry, as seen above but likewise allows for some quirky stories such as Firestorm #42 where Conway as well as Kayanan shift the focus to Firehawk, partnering with wonder Girl, as they find themselves in 1776, combating creatures alongside George Washington (why not?), Tomahawk, as well as Dan Hunter.
The Losers special #1
Perhaps the most distinct story in this volume is The Losers special #1. When it was chose that this team, made up of Captain Storm, Johnny Cloud, Gunner, as well as Sarge, would be among the casualties, we asked Editor Murray Boltinoff to send them off within the proper context of a war series. Robert Kanigher makes one of his final comics appearances with this touching tale, illustrated by Judith Hunt, Sam Glanzman, as well as Mike Esposito.
Each volume will include a timeline, placing the crossovers into a chronological context, from the Monitor’s pre-Crisis appearances through the first post-Crisis appearances of Harbinger, Pariah, as well as lady Quark. This was something I delighted in assembling as well as wishing we included it in the absolute crisis on unlimited Earths.
If you’re a fan of this era, these characters, as well as the event, then this book will be a good look back. For others, it’s a chance to see what all the fuss was about considering “red skies” has ended up being a catchphrase to indicate something huge is coming (did you notice them in the Justice league movie?).