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The Road to Final Crisis….Part II

Posted by lordcomicguy on January 19, 2008

  For your viewing pleasure, here is a reprint of part 2 of my feature originally presented at craveonline.com. Enjoy and if you have some time and love comics, head over to crave and check out their comic section, it’s worth your time.                                   

                                    

                                    THE ROAD TO FINAL CRISIS:

                                                       Part II

                                          Crisis on Infinite Earths

  In part I of Craves 4-part Road To Final Crisis, we took a look at the origins of the multiverse, whose roots took us as far back as the 1940’s with the birth of the first super-team, The Justice Society of America. Now, in part II, we will flash forward to 1985, the 50th anniversary of DC comics, and take a peek at one of the greatest stories ever told, the 12 part maxi-series, Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Crisis on Infinite Earths was an idea originally thought of to celebrate the 50th anniversary of DC comics and was given to Marv Wolfman and Len Wein to make happen. But where DC was looking for a crowning jewel for its 50 years of comic book service, Wolfman and Wein saw an opportunity for something greater, an opportunity to clean up one of DC’s greatest flaws, its continuity. So, with that in mind, Wolfman came up with a story that would reach across the entirety of the DCU and its history, a story that would consolidate its diverse 50 year history and launch it fresh into the future with limitless possibilities.

CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS

In Crisis you are introduced to two, nearly all-powerful, beings called the Monitor and the Anti-Monitor (Yes, Sinestro Corps fans, THAT Anti-Monitor!) who had been created in the same event that created the multi-verse (with the Monitor representing Good and the Anti-Monitor representing Evil). To simplify things, the Crisis series highlights the Monitor’s efforts to thwart (I love this word!) the destruction of the Multi-verse at the hands of the Anti-Monitor. To that end, the Monitor sends his assistant, the Harbinger, to enlist a select group of heroes to protect devices that would allow the Monitor to merge the surviving Earths into one that could be protected by the wave of anti-matter that had already absorbed countless alternate universes. The following conflict would expand to include nearly every DC hero.

During the series, the Monitor is killed by a possessed Harbinger….an attack that he expected and allowed so that in death, he would be able to release enough energy to protect the 5 remaining Earths. Successful in his sacrifice, the worlds are protected long enough for a group of heroes to lead an assault on the Anti-Monitor, causing him to retreat, but at the cost of Supergirl’s life.

The ensuing break in the fighting allows the heroes some much needed rest but with the threat of the Anti-Monitor temporarily slowed, another rises up in the form of a group of villains (led by Braniac and Lex Luthor) bent on conquering the Earth. Little known to all though, the Anti-Monitor had unleashed his back-up plan, an anti-matter cannon that he intended to use to break through the protective barrier around the remaining Earths. The Earths are saved again at the cost of a life as Barry Allen, The Flash, gives his life to destroy the cannon.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, the Spectre halts the hero/villain conflict, warning them of a greater danger…the Anti-Monitor’s plan to travel back to the beginning of time to prevent the creation of the Multi-verse. In response, the heroes and villains alike unite to stop him, coming up with the plan that the villains would travel to early Oa to stop a scientist named Krona from completing an experiment that would allow the Anti-Monitor to succeed. The heroes, as the villains are on there quest, join with the Spectre as he battles the Anti-Monitor directly. The Villains fail, allowing Krona to continue with his experiment, and the ensuing battle between the Anti-Monitor and the Spectre causes an energy overload that shatters space and time; causing the creation of a single universe where elements of the five remaining Earths are fused into one with no one but the people present at the fight at the dawn of time remembering the original reality.

In a final, all-or-nothing moment, the Anti-Monitor launches a last ditch attack where he pulls the Earth into his anti-matter universe and assails it with hordes of shadow demons. This attack fails due to a counter-attack that culminates into a battle between the Anti-Monitor and Earth-2 Superman, Earth-3 Luthor, and Superboy Prime (Yes, THAT Superboy Prime!). They, with some unexpected help from Darkseid, defeat the Anti-Monitor, causing him to crash into a star and die

After defeating the Anti-Monitor, the Earth-2 Superman, Earth-3 Luthor, Superboy Prime and Earth-2 Lois Lane leave the current universe and enter a paradise reality. You also see Wally West taking up where Barry Allen left off and becoming the new Flash as well as a glimpse of the Psycho-Pirate imprisoned within Arkham Asylum, revealing that he still remembers that the Infinite Earths existed.

FINAL THOUGHTS

And with that, DC cleans up, a bit, its confusing history in an epic tale like no other. I’ve must have read this series at least a dozen times and with each reading, I find something new that amazes me. It’s not my favorite limited series of all time but it cracks the top five for me and has a HUGE re-read value. Join me next week as I continue upon this Road to Final Crisis with a look at the follow-up to this series, Infinite Crisis.

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