Crisis On Infinite Earths #12 (1985)

Just look at that cover! How many heroes can you identify? There’s the regular Superman and the defunct Superman from Earth-2 with the grey temples. Hawkman’s there, and the Martian Manhunter, an old Wonder Woman, Superboy to go with the two Supermen. Then there’s a ton of old crappy DC heroes: the female Dr. Light, Firestorm’s girlfriend who was also a superhero (what was her name, Stormhawk or something?) and Robin in a weird costume and Black Lightning and a few characters even I’m not geeky enough to know (is the dude shooting bolts out of his hands the dude from the hated version of Doom Patrol?).

Then you open the cover and the splash page has such front-runners as Dolphin (a one-shot undersea heroine), Captain Comet (the resident hero from the Secret Society of Super-Villains, the Atomic Knight (so obscure even I’ve never read a story with him in it), Rip Hunter Time Master, Animal Man (long before his ’80s-’90s series) and Adam Strange. Yeah, the most famous character is Adam freaking Strange.

Crisis on Infinite Earths is the ultimate fan-geek heaven, a long celebration of the sheer power and goofiness of the costumed hero. Every hero from everyplace unite to fight some weird obscure bad guy that is only defeated by the greatest of them all.

I remember dreaming about a comic like this when I was in elementary school. "Let’s team up all the heroes and have them fight all the villains," my friends and I would daydream, and Crisis is the ultimate version of just that. Is it good? Is it well written and drawn? Well, it’s really damn well drawn, panel after panel of pure great George Perez obsessiveness and eye for detail. It looks fantastic. Storywise, well, Marv Wolfman’s done much better, but the story serves its purpose.

Crisis is the kind of comic that it’s hard to be critical of. The comic succeeds in doing exactly what you want it to do. It fulfilled my grade school lust, and fulfills it off in an exciting and profesional way. Frankly I found this issue kind of inpenetrable plotwise, but I could always fall back on the amazing artwork. Look at that cover again. Look at the background this time. There’s a whole cityscape there! It’s not enough that George Perez drew upwards of 40 heroes on the cover. He also drew all of goddamn New York City. The whole issue is full of bits like that.

I hear that Wolfman is working on a prose novel of the Crisis; wonder what that will be like? And how will he replace that amazing art?

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One Response to “Crisis On Infinite Earths #12 (1985)”

  1. Unknown Says:

    Isn\’t this what spurned the reset of the DC universe in the late 80s with JByrne\’s reinvention of Superman?

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