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What is "Crisis"?

  • Avatar of Gislef

    Gislef

    [1]Jul 17, 2005
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    This was originally posted over at TV Tome. Thought it would be useful to be posted here. it's just info - no need to post or comment on this thread, as it is for info purposes to explain some of the Analysis stuff when we get it up.

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    Justice League – What is “Crisis?”

    From www.io.com/~woodward/chroma/crisis.html

    What was the Crisis?
    Crisis on Infinite Earths was a 12-issue comic book maxi-series published in 1985 and 1986 in which DC Comics condensed their multiverse into a single universe, thus "simplifying" and "improving" it. Whether they succeeded in that goal is a good question, and one I shan't address. Crisis is, however, incredibly important to understanding DC continuity, as well as being possibly the most significant crossover series of all time. It's also a fine story, in my opinion.

    Why did DC need a Crisis?
    In the late 30s, 40s, and early 50s the company that would become DC Comics published a great many superhero titles, featuring characters such as Superman and the Flash (Jay Garrick). Many of them were members of the Justice Society of America. This era is now called the Golden Age. In the late 40s, superhero popularity declined, and through the mid-50s only Superman and a precious few other heroes remained in publication. In 1956, a new Flash (Barry Allen) was introduced, inaugurating the Silver Age of comics. Barry Allen was in part inspired to become "Flash II" by the comics he had read as a child; comics about Jay Garrick, "Flash I". Flash II later joined the Justice League of America, alongside Superman, who was, of course, still around.

    See the problem? Superman had fought beside Flash I; Superman was now fighting beside Flash II. But, to Flash II, Flash I was a fictional character. The "fictional" aspect was addressed a few years later, in the pivotal story "Flash Of Two Worlds" (Flash #123). In it, Flash II accidentally "tore a gap in the vibratory shields separating [two] worlds", and traveled to an alternate Earth, one where the retired Jay Garrick lived. When asked how Barry could possibly have read about Jay's adventures, Barry replied, "A writer named Gardner Fox wrote about your adventures -- which he claimed came to him in dreams! Obviously when Fox was asleep, his mind was "tuned in" on your vibratory Earth!"

    Only a couple years later, Mr. Fox decided to pull out all the stops. In Justice League of America #21-22, he presented us with the stories "Crisis On Earth-One!" and "Crisis On Earth-Two!", in which the Justice Society and Justice League teamed up to foil a cross-Earth group of villains who had found a way to bridge the gap through music and magic. The issue of the "identical duplicates" was ignored - Superman did not appear to remember having been a member of the Justice Society, for instance. The Silver Age Earth of Barry Allen was dubbed "Earth-1", and the world of Jay Garrick, "Earth-2". This is important and counter-intuitive: The older Flash I was from Earth-2, and Flash II was from Earth-1.

    At the very end of the adventure, as the heroes are closing in on the villains, their thoughts turn to escape, and the Fiddler cries out, "There is an Earth-One and an Earth-Two! Somewhere there must be an Earth-Three! If we can find the doorway into it -- before the justice champions find us -- we can escape them forever!" They did not find it in time, but the seed of a multiverse was planted.

    The basic story of the Crisis is that a shadowy figure called the Anti-Monitor is bent on destroying all versions of the universe and an equall shadowy character called the Monitor is trying to stop him. So he recruits the heros of the multitudes of Earths, meaning at least 2 Supermen, Batmen, etc. The series includes, I think, every DC character not already dead, many of who I've never heard of. In the end, all the versions of Earth are collapsed into one continuity, killing off billions of people on those planets as well as many superheroes and supervillians, including several versions of Lex Luthor, a Lois Lane, the Flash II - Barry Allen I think, a Supergirl, a Robin, and, of course the Monitor and Anti-Monitor to make it seem like nothing happened when the realities collapsed into themselves into what is called Earth Sigma.

    All in all, this didn't help since in the mid-90's DC released Zero Hour, which tried to fix the Crisis's flaws. But writers are writers, and they will write what they want to make a story good. I personally don't care about continuity, I have never read the Crisis series and don't plan to, the only reason I know about it is from the Simpsons episode guide called "The Simpsons Forever, where in the episode "Worst Episode Ever," parodies the cover of issue 7 of the series when Supergirl dies, but if you want the whole story you can pick up the bound copy of the series that are floating around in your local comic store.
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  • Avatar of RandomWatcher

    RandomWatcher

    [2]Jul 18, 2005
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    That was interesting Thanks for the Info...allot of changes were made during "Crisis" and not ALL GOOD I am more a Marvel man myself I think I would like to see an Avengers series kinda like JLU.....Although I have enjoyed JLU superman and Batman are the best and the show has helped me to understand the D.C. Verse a little better
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  • Avatar of sylent_asassin

    sylent_asassin

    [3]Jul 18, 2005
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    About 12 or so years ago, they had an Avengers cartoon on CBS on Saturday mornings. It was terrible. What's worse is it didn't feature the big three; Thor, Iron Man or Captain America.
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  • Avatar of Justice-Lords

    Justice-Lords

    [4]Jul 19, 2005
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    sylent_asassin wrote:
    About 12 or so years ago, they had an Avengers cartoon on CBS on Saturday mornings. It was terrible. What's worse is it didn't feature the big three; Thor, Iron Man or Captain America.
    I don't know about the show but the toys most certianly did include Captain America.
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  • Avatar of xdestron

    xdestron

    [5]Jul 19, 2005
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    Justice-Lords wrote:
    sylent_asassin wrote:
    About 12 or so years ago, they had an Avengers cartoon on CBS on Saturday mornings. It was terrible. What's worse is it didn't feature the big three; Thor, Iron Man or Captain America.
    I don't know about the show but the toys most certianly did include Captain America.


    If they made an Avengers cartoon similar to JLU I would have to say that would be some cool stuff. Even better would be some kind of a crossover with JLU vs. The Avengers. But then we're getting into the Amalgam comics which were utter crap.
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  • Avatar of sylent_asassin

    sylent_asassin

    [6]Jul 19, 2005
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    xdestron wrote:
    Justice-Lords wrote:
    sylent_asassin wrote:
    About 12 or so years ago, they had an Avengers cartoon on CBS on Saturday mornings. It was terrible. What's worse is it didn't feature the big three; Thor, Iron Man or Captain America.
    I don't know about the show but the toys most certianly did include Captain America.


    If they made an Avengers cartoon similar to JLU I would have to say that would be some cool stuff. Even better would be some kind of a crossover with JLU vs. The Avengers. But then we're getting into the Amalgam comics which were utter crap.


    Agreed... and that was because there were so many disputes on who could win what battle. If you think about it, you don't want your poster character to be beaten up by a rival companies character.
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  • Avatar of DeusKNiGHTS

    DeusKNiGHTS

    [7]Jul 20, 2005
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    You may want to amend on to that there is a new Crisis happening now called the Infinite Crisis. It's getting pretty interesting, all things considered, and Superman and Wonder Woman are about to fight each other through an arc spanning both books.
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  • Avatar of Gislef

    Gislef

    [8]Jul 23, 2005
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    While there is a Crisis coming up, and have been several mini-Crises in the past few years, it's not sure if the new Crisis will be a ground-breaking even that "resets" the history of characters the way that the original Infinite Earths Crisis did.

    The main reason we have it here is because with some character, they had definite pre- and post-Crisis histories. Which we noted in the Analysis section (and that material will be coming back to - see the Character Analysis pinned thread).
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  • Avatar of I_Love_My_DVR

    I_Love_My_DVR

    [9]Jul 24, 2005
    • member since: 06/20/05
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    Gislef wrote:
    While there is a Crisis coming up, and have been several mini-Crises in the past few years, it's not sure if the new Crisis will be a ground-breaking even that "resets" the history of characters the way that the original Infinite Earths Crisis did.

    The main reason we have it here is because with some character, they had definite pre- and post-Crisis histories. Which we noted in the Analysis section (and that material will be coming back to - see the Character Analysis pinned thread).


    The new Infinate Crisis looks like it is going to be pretty good... *Spoilers for those who don't read comics*

    Identity Crisis raised many questions that should be answered in the new series, and I have very much enjoyed the O.M.A.C. Project and the Villians United six-part minis that are leading up to it... The Return of Donna Troy has been fun as well, including the realization that the Outsiders have been funded by Bruce Wayne and that all of their information that has helped them catch all of their criminals has come from Deathstroke the Terminator aka Slade Wilson.

    ...I haven't really cared for Checkmate, but it looks like it's going to turn out good. The 4 part Sacrafice series has really had me confused... Bruce getting the crap beat out him by Clark because he thought that he was actually Darkside while being minipulated by Checkmate?... Confusing stuff...

    Anyway, I think they have done a good job leading up to the new Crisis. I am also really interested in the Nightwing book, and I wouldn't be surprised if he is a major player in the new Crisis (I could be wrong because I really like Dick Grayson...).

    *End Spoilers*

    I think it is going to be good. It may not be as big as Crisis on Infinate Earths, but it will probably be less flawed. The whole "one year later" on all DC Comics books after Infinate Crisis should be equally as interesting.

    ...On a side note, is anyone else really excited about Justice?
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