2001-04-26

Crisis on Infinite EarthsWorld lived. Worlds died. And DC Comics laughed all the way to the bank.

Some people think Crisis on Infinite Earths was the best thing to happen to comics since the Yellow Kid. I don’t think it was even the best DC mini-series of the mid-1980s. (Anybody heard of a little project called The Watchmen?)

 For Crisis-philes, the argument goes like this: Crisis was one of the few times when comic book characters died and stayed dead. Let’s see, would that be Supergirl and the Flash? True, those characters haven’t been resurrected, but guess what–there’s a new Supergirl, a new Flash, and a swarm of Flash-like people zipping around the DC universe. I don’t feel the loss.

Oh yeah, the events in Crisis altered history so that the original Superboy never existed. Whatever. There’s a new one of him flying around too, so what’s the diff?

But some characters did stay dead. Let’s see, there’s Princess Fern, The Ten-Eyed Man, Mirror Master… If you really need to see these guys buy it, go ahead and purchase the Crisis on Infinite Earths trade paperback for $25.45. Tell ’em the Surly Robot sent you–maybe they’ll give you a free sucker.

As for myself, I get all the Crisis I need at the Annotated Crisis Web site of Jonathan Woodward. I don’t understand Woodward’s obsession with the series, but he’s done a good job laying it out start to finish. There’s even panel-by-panel commentary, just in case you’ve got no life at all.

Here’s the final indignity: Crisis was supposed to combine all of DC’s parallel Earths into one Earth. And it apparently had, until a few years back when some DC characters discovered hypertime, which is basically the whole parallel Earth thing with a new name. Bah!

One good thing about Crisis: After last year’s U.S. presidential election, it inspired a nice bit of political satire. Check out the Constitutional Crisis on Infinite Earths.

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