Cover to Infinite Crisis #1.
Art by George Pérez
|Publication date||December 2005 – June 2006|
|Number of issues||7|
|Main character(s)||Superman (Kal-L)
rest of DC Universe
|Infinite Crisis (hardcover)||ISBN 1-4012-0959-9|
|Infinite Crisis (softcover)||ISBN 1-4012-1060-0|
"Infinite Crisis" is a 2005–2006 comic book storyline published by DC Comics, consisting of an eponymous, seven-issue comic book limited series written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Phil Jimenez, George Pérez, Ivan Reis, and Jerry Ordway, and a number of tie-in books. The main miniseries debuted in October 2005, and each issue was released with two variant covers: one by Pérez, and one by Jim Lee and Sandra Hope.
The series storyline was a sequel to DC's 1985 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths. It revisited characters and concepts from that earlier Crisis, including the existence of DC's Multiverse. Some of the characters featured were alternate versions of comic icons such as an alternate Superman named Kal-L, who came from a parallel universe called Earth-Two. A major theme was the nature of heroism, contrasting the often dark and conflicted modern-day heroes with memories of "lighter" and ostensibly more noble and collegial heroes of American comic books' earlier days.
Infinite Crisis #1 was ranked first in the top 300 comics for October 2005 with pre-order sales of 249,265. This was almost double the second ranked comic House of M #7 which had pre-order sales of 134,429. Infinite Crisis #2 was also the top seller in top 300 comics for November 2005 with pre-order sales of 207,564.
The plot begins when, in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Kal-L (the Superman of pre-Crisis Earth-Two), the Superboy of Earth Prime, Alexander Luthor, Jr. of pre-Crisis Earth-Three, and Lois Lane Kent of pre-Crisis Earth-Two voluntarily sequestered themselves in "paradise". DC officially began leading up to the new Crisis with a one-shot issue Countdown to Infinite Crisis, followed by four six-issue limited series that tied into and culminated in Infinite Crisis.
Once the Crisis was completed, DC used the One Year Later event to move the narratives of most of its DC Universe series forward by one year. The weekly series 52 began publication in May 2006, and depicts some of the events which occurred between Infinite Crisis and One Year Later.
In June 2008, a third and Final Crisis began a run, set immediately following the conclusion of the 51-issue Countdown to Final Crisis. This Crisis has thus been referred to in DC continuity as the "middle 'Crisis'".
Infinite Crisis was announced in March 2005. The event was kicked off with the release of Countdown to Infinite Crisis. Countdown to Infinite Crisis was followed by four six-issue limited series: The OMAC Project, Rann–Thanagar War, Day of Vengeance, and Villains United, as well as a four-part limited series DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy. These first four limited series each had a special tie-in issue, released at monthly intervals during the Infinite Crisis event.
As with many large-scale comic crossovers, Infinite Crisis featured a large number of tie-ins. Before the event was announced, books such as Adam Strange and Identity Crisis were being described as part of bigger plans. After Countdown, several books were identified as tie-ins to the four mini-series. Thus, although Infinite Crisis itself is only seven issues long, its plot elements appeared in dozens of publications.
Some of these books were of direct and major importance, such as the Superman "Sacrifice" and JLA "Crisis of Conscience" storylines, the latter of which ended with the Justice League's lunar Watchtower being destroyed, leading directly into Infinite Crisis #1.
DC Comics executive editor Dan DiDio stated that Infinite Crisis was being hinted at in various stories for two years prior to its launch, starting with the "death" of Donna Troy. The leadup was mostly understated until the release of the Adam Strange limited series in 2004, at which point industry press began to report that DC was planning a very large event, mentioning the titles Teen Titans, The Flash, and JSA, all written by Geoff Johns.
With Countdown to Infinite Crisis, Infinite Crisis began to visibly affect DC's editorial policy. Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison moved into editorial positions in addition to their writing duties, respectively to coordinate coherence of the DC Universe and to handle reimaginings of several characters. Mark Waid signed an exclusive contract with DC, receiving a similar editorial role. DC replaced its official decades-old logo (the "DC bullet") with a new one (the "DC spin") that debuted on the first issue of DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy.
Aside from marking a major editorial shift within DC Comics, Infinite Crisis was a return to large company-wide crossovers of a sort that had been uncommon since the downturn of the comic industry in the 1990s.
The story begins in the wake of the four lead-in limited series, with Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman feuding, the JLA Watchtower destroyed, and the heroes of the world all facing a variety of menaces. Over this backdrop, Kal-L (the Earth-Two Superman), along with Earth-Two's Lois Lane, Earth-Three's Alexander Luthor, and Superboy-Prime escape from the pocket universe where they had been left at the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Kal-L seeks out his cousin, Power Girl, also a survivor of Earth-Two. Believing Lois' health will improve on her native world, he hopes to replace the current Earth with Earth-Two, which he considers perfect.
Kal-L tries to enlist Batman's support, stating that the Post-Crisis Earth's inherent "bad" nature caused Batman's recent mistrust and hostility. Batman refuses and tries to use his Kryptonite Ring, but as this is not native to Kal-L's Universe it fails and is destroyed by heat vision. Afterward, Batman learns Superboy-Prime destroyed the JLA Watchtower.
Alexander reveals to Power Girl that he and Superboy-Prime had been leaving their "paradise" for some time, manipulating events to help create an inter-dimensional tuning fork. Using the Anti-Monitor's remains and captured heroes and villains specifically attuned to former universes (Power Girl among them after Superboy-Prime knocks her out), Alex restores Earth-Two, un-populated except for the Earth-Two heroes transported there.
Superboy-Prime attacks Conner Kent, this world's Superboy. Multiple super-teams intervene. Superboy-Prime accidentally kills several heroes before the Flashes and Kid Flash force him into the Speed Force, assisted by the speedsters already within it. Jay Garrick, the only speedster left behind, says the Speed Force is now gone.
Seeking to create a perfect world, Alexander restores many alternate Earths. The Earth-Two Lois dies, and an aggrieved Kal-L and the younger Superman Kal-El fight until Wonder Woman separates them. Bart Allen (wearing Barry Allen's costume and aged to adulthood) emerges from the Speed Force, warning that he and the other speedsters were unable to hold Superboy-Prime, who returns wearing Anti-Monitor inspired armor that stores yellow sun radiation to empower him, making him even stronger.
Batman's strike force destroys Brother Eye, a satellite AI created by Batman that had gone rogue and begun transforming civilians into nano-infused robots. Alexander selects and merges alternate Earths, trying to create a "perfect" world, until Firestorm blocks his efforts. Conner, Nightwing, and Wonder Girl release the Tower's prisoners. Fighting each other, Conner and Superboy-Prime collide with the tower, destroying it. The multiple Earths recombine into a "New Earth" as Conner dies in Wonder Girl's arms. Power Girl soon arrives and asks Kal-El what happened to Lois. The answer causes her to break down prompting her to ask Kal-L why.
He answers her simply, telling her it was because he chose the wrong Superboy to condemn and the wrong Superboy to condone.
When a horde of supervillains attack Metropolis, heroes, current and retired, fly off to the rescue. They are joined by the National Guard. The battle results in multiple deaths on both sides, including many by Superboy-Prime himself, who kills villains and heroes alike. During the battle, Superboy-Prime takes off to destroy Oa, planning to collapse the Universe, and recreate it with himself as the only superhero. Superboy-Prime breaks through a 300-mile thick wall of willpower created by the Green Lantern Corps, and then kills thirty-two Green Lanterns before Kal-L and Kal-El carry him toward Krypton's remains, now essentially a huge cloud of kryptonite. Flying through Krypton's red sun, Rao, destroys Superboy-Prime's armor and causes all three Kryptonians' powers to dissipate. Landing on the sentient planet (and Green Lantern Corps member) Mogo, they fight. Kal-El finally knocks Superboy-Prime out and the older Superman Kal-L dies of his injuries in the arms of his cousin, Power Girl.
Back on Earth, Batman, struggling with Superboy's death and Nightwing's severe injuries sustained during the Metropolis battle, contemplates shooting Alex. Batman is discouraged by Wonder Woman. Alex manages to escape.
Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman later meet up in Gotham. Wonder Woman plans to find out who she is. Batman plans a similar journey of self-discovery, revisiting the training of his youth, this time with Dick Grayson, now healthier, and Tim Drake joining him. Superman retires from superheroics until his powers return.
Hiding in an alley in Gotham City and making new plans, Alexander Luthor is found by Lex Luthor and the Joker. The Joker deforms him by spraying acid onto his face, then electrifies it, and finally kills Alexander by shooting him as Lex mocks him for making the mistake of not letting the Joker play in the Secret Society.
The Green Lantern Corps imprison Superboy-Prime inside a red Sun-Eater. The series ends with him carving an S into his chest with his bare hands and declaring that he has escaped from worse prisons than this.
The series and tie-ins have been collected into individual volumes:
- Infinite Crisis (collects Infinite Crisis #1–7, 264 pages, hardcover, December 2006, ISBN 1-4012-0959-9, softcover, January 2008, ISBN 1-4012-1060-0)
- Day of Vengeance (collects Day of Vengeance #1–6, Action Comics #826, Adventures of Superman #639 and Superman #216, 224 pages, December 2005, ISBN 1-4012-0840-1).
- The OMAC Project (collects The OMAC Project #1–6, "Countdown to Infinite Crisis" and Wonder Woman #219, 256 pages, December 2005, ISBN 1-4012-0837-1)
- Rann–Thanagar War (collects Rann–Thanagar War #1–6, 144 pages, January 2006, ISBN 1-4012-0839-8)
- Villains United (collects Villains United #1–6, 144 pages, January 2006, ISBN 1-4012-0838-X)
- Infinite Crisis: Companion (collects the one-shots "Day of Vengeance: Infinite Crisis Special", "The OMAC Project: Infinite Crisis Special", "Rann–Thanagar War: Infinite Crisis Special" and "Villains United: Infinite Crisis Special", 168 pages, October 2006, ISBN 1-4012-0922-X)
- Infinite Crisis Omnibus (collects Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1–5, The OMAC Project #1–6, Sacrifice #1–4, Villains United #1–6, Lightning Strikes Twice #1–3, Day of Vengeance #1–6, Rann–Thanagar War #1–6, JLA: Crisis of Conscience 1–5, Infinite Crisis 1–7, Day of Vengeance Special, Infinite Crisis Secret Files, Rann–Thanagar War Special, The OMAC Project Special, and Villains United Special. 1,152 pages, June 2012, ISBN 978-1401235024)
The hardcover collecting all seven issues of Infinite Crisis included changes in coloring, as well as, more significantly, alterations in dialogue, most of which relate to hints to the re-emergence of the DC Multiverse. Also changed is the two-page spread near the end of the book, where a new George Pérez image is substituted. Four additional pages of art by Phil Jimenez were added. An interview section included as an afterword explains the reasoning behind some of these alterations.
- 52: Weekly comic book presenting events that occur during the year between Infinite Crisis #7 and the "One Year Later" stories.
- Crisis Aftermath: The Battle for Blüdhaven.
- Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre.
- Crisis Aftermath: In the Wake of Infinite Crisis: Brave New World.
- One Year Later: After the publication of Infinite Crisis #5, storylines in most DC Universe series jumped forward one year, occurring after the events chronicled in 52.
- Countdown to Final Crisis is a weekly series that is actually a lead in to yet another crisis, Final Crisis. It does not take place immediately after 52; it actually, chronologically speaking, takes place concurrently with the comics DC was publishing at the time, over a year (in real world time, less in internal comic book time) after the One Year Gap.
Series canceled during the crossover
A number of series were canceled with the "One Year Later" jump. Some ended outright, like Batgirl, Gotham Central, and Batman: Gotham Knights, while others were suspended and restarted later with new volumes, notably JLA, JSA, Flash, and Wonder Woman. Additionally, Adventures of Superman returned to its original title of Superman, while the book that had previously been coming out as Superman since 1987 was canceled, thus making the Superman line's two books, Superman and Action Comics, match the Batman lines Batman and Detective Comics (in addition to the shared title Batman and Superman.)
Ace Books, under the imprint of The Berkley Publishing Group and published by The Penguin Group, released an October 2006 novelization adaption of the series written by Greg Cox, with an introduction by Mark Waid, and cover art designed by Georg Brewer and illustrated by Daniel Acuña. The novel was primarily adapted from the seven-issues mini-series published by DC Comics (December 2005 to June 2006). Additional materials on the book was adapted from:
- Aquaman #37 (February 2006)
- Day of Vengeance: Infinite Crisis Special (March 2006)
- Gotham Central # 38 (February 2006)
- JLA #119 (November 2005)
- JSA Classified #4 (December 2005)
- Rann/Thanagar War: Infinite Crisis Special (April 2006)
- Teen Titans #32 (March 2006)
- Wonder Woman (vol. 2) #223–224 (January and February 2006)
GraphicAudio produced an audiobook of the novelization of Infinite Crisis. The audiobook spans two volumes with 6 CDs each and features a full cast, music and sound effects. Volume 1 released May 2007 runs 6 hours, and Volume 2 released June 2007 runs 7 hours.
- "Top 300 Comics Actual—October 2005". icv2.com. 2005-11-15. Retrieved 2008-07-10.
- "Top 300 Comics Actual—November 2005". icv2.com. 2005-12-19. Retrieved 2008-04-21.
- # ^ "Counting Down in the DCU with Dan Didio". Archived from the original on April 10, 2006. Retrieved February 10, 2006.
- Johns, Geoff (w). Infinite Crisis 1 (December 2005), DC Comics
- Johns, Geoff (w). Infinite Crisis 2 (January 2006), DC Comics
- JSA #82 (2006)
- Johns, Geoff (w). Infinite Crisis 3 (February 2006), DC Comics
- Johns, Geoff (w). Infinite Crisis 4 (March 2006), DC Comics
- Teen Titans (vol. 3) #32 (2006)
- Johns, Geoff (w). Infinite Crisis 5 (April 2006), DC Comics
- Superman (vol. 2) #226–227 (2006)
- Adventures of Superman #648 & #649 (2006)
- Teen Titans (vol. 3) #33 (2006)
- Johns, Geoff (w). Infinite Crisis 6 (May 2006), DC Comics
- Infinite Crisis Special: Villains United (2006)
- Wallace, Dan (2008). "Batman". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. London: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 40–44. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5.
- "Up, Up, and Away"
- Johns, Geoff (w). Infinite Crisis 7 (June 2006), DC Comics
- Infinite Crisis hardcover details at DC
- Infinite Crisis softcover details at DC
- Day of Vengeance details at DC
- The OMAC project details at DC
- Rann–Thanagar War details at DC
- Villains United details at DC
- Infinite Crisis Companion details at DC
- THE INFINITE CRISIS OMNIBUS
- "The Collected Edition". The Annotated Infinite Crisis. Archived from the original on 2007-12-18. Retrieved 2008-02-19.
- "nfinite Rewrites, or: Crisis on Infinite Versions of DC's Major Crossover Series". Newsarama. 2006-10-11. Retrieved 2008-02-19.[dead link]
- Cox, Greg. Infinite Crisis (October 2006) Ace Books. ISBN 0-441-01444-5
- Dan DiDio: Crisis Counseling Session 3, Newsarama
- Your Guide to Infinite Crisis (over 140K words)
- Infinite Crises list of trades spanning Crisis on Infinite Earths to Infinite Crisis
- The Annotated Infinite Crisis Page by page, panel by panel notes on Infinite Crisis