This week on View from the Gutters our topic work is our 3-part 50th Episode Special! In part 1 we discuss the ur-event book, Crisis on Infinite Earths, by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. Released in 1985-6, the Crisis was one of the first great event books (Marvel in fact rushed Secret Wars out the door just to beat DC to the punch). Touted not as a mini-series, but a maxi-series, the 12-issue event brought the Silver Age continuity of DC to an end.
The Crisis sees world after world of DC’s vast multiverse being destroyed by a mysterious force. An equally mysterious figure who had been appearing in random places throughout the DCU—The Monitor—assembles a team of heroes from across space and time in order to combat this existential threat to all reality. Over the course of the series it is revealed that the source of the threat is the villainous Anti-Monitor, The Monitor’s double from the sole anti-matter reality of the multiverse.
In battling The Anti-Monitor numerous heroes die—including the famous deaths of Barry Allen, the silver age Flash, and Kara Zor-El, Supergirl—and eventually all but a handful of realities are destroyed. Those that remain are only saved by merging them down into a single reality which would serve as the sole DC Universe for the next 20 years. Crisis on Infinite Earths is a critical moment in the evolution of superhero comics, and it continues to have an influence on comics even 30 years later.
On Part 2 (out now!) of our 50th episode we will discuss the next crisis on our list, Identity Crisis.
Our hosts for this episode were Andrew Chard, Joe Preti, Tobiah Panshin, Matt McGinnis, Eric Manix, and Cade Reynolds.