“Worlds will live.  Worlds will die.  And the DC Universe will never be the same again!”  So went the tag for DC’s milestone 50th anniversary series, ‘Crisis On Infinite Earths’, which made its appearance thirty-five years ago this April.  I remember being utterly entranced by the series and its endless barrage of heroes and alternate worlds.  In retrospect, it’s easy to write off my excitement: After all, CoIE was primarily designed as a housekeeping gimmick, to help streamline and simplify the DCU into one clearer narrative.  On the first point, it was a huge success, but on the second (arguably more important) point, it was a world-class failure, as the continuity patches began appearing even before the 12-issue maxiseries ended.  Nearly everything that series established, including the deaths of Flash and Supergirl, the destruction of Earth-3, the destruction of the Guardians Of The Universe and more has been overturned in the ensuing decades.  Indeed, a cynic might say that the only real lasting effect of the Crisis was proving that such events could be profitable and making it possible for universes to just flat-out reboot when continuity gets too interlaced, leading us to today’s antimatter query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is fine with aging and the pitfalls thereof, but occasionally still misses those more innocent days where it seemed like anything could happen in comics, regardless of profit margins, asking: Do the literally earth-shattering events of Crisis On Infinite Earths matter any longer?

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

2 Comments

  1. Daniel Langsdale on

    No, the original Crisis only matters in as much as it makes DC Editorial think that doing a Crisis again and again and again and again is a good idea.

    My analogy for Crisis & DC is this:

    DC continuity is a good old-fashioned pocket watch, which by the 1980s had gathered so much crusty dirt and rust that it didn’t run so smoothly anymore. So, they brought out this big mallet named “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” and BANG BAM BANG they knocked off that rust and dirt. Sure, there were a few cracks in the glass now and some of the gears maybe didn’t mesh as well as one would want, but overall enough of the old rust and grime were gone to get things running with some semblance of smooth.

    Then about a decade later, when things had begun to crust up a bit again BANG! out came the Zero Hour Hammer. Now the cracks in the glass didn’t get any better and maybe there were more of them and so a few years later BANG! Hypertime. Then BANG! Infinite Crisis. Then BANG! BANG! BANG! Flash Point.

    Now we have an assemblage of shattered glass and gears, and maybe someone can make a timepiece out of them, but it sure looks like a big mess to me.

  2. Malone_hasco on

    It may matter in sense that Crisis shaped how these big superhero crossover events are made, for better or worse. From storytelling point of view, nope has not mattered at all for a long time.

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