iFanboy Video Podcast

iFanboy #71 – The History of DC’s Crisis Events

Show Notes

With DC set to drop their big summer event — Final Crisis — on the comic book world, iFanboy takes a look at the various universe shattering events that have paved the way.

Beginning with the grand daddy of all company-wide events, Crisis on Infinite Earths, iFanboy attempts to connect the dots from Crisis to Crisis, with stops along the way at Zero Hour, Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, and finally the speculation about Final Crisis.

Multiverses, reboots, Flash deaths – this one’s got ’em all!


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  1. paraphrasing Josh,


    Uncanny X-Men didn’t last either.   GENIUS!!!

  2. Awesome show! I have to admit this has got me pretty excited about Final Crisis, whereas before I definitely wouldn’t have picked it up. Not because it looked bad, but I’ve never followed an ‘event book’ like this before, and have never read any of the other crisis books because I was sure I’d just get lost.

    Now, though, I’m thinking I’ll jump in and see what happens. Kudos again to Gordon for bringing the fried gold! 

  3. Having a drink before discussing Crisis was perfect!

     Identity Crisis started the decline in quality at DC for me.  They just got too serious, grim and gritty for my tastes. Inane stories, rape, murder, not exactly what I’m looking for at DC.  It’s kind of sad DC can’t escape crisis now.

     I’m hoping the good Morrison shows up for Final Crisis but I imagine him being somewhat watered down and him having to pop in some heavy continuity stuff. Instead of putting in more back up material they should have just waited longer for the art to be completed. That’s the simplest solution.

  4. I guess now I can’t proclaim complete ignorance of Crisis. I’ll pick up the Final Crisis run and see if I’m clueless or not.

  5. So what was Crisis On Multiple Earths all about?

  6. @THEHOCHE – From Amazon:

    "As background for its multi-part epic Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC Comics released Crisis on Multiple Earths to introduce (or refresh) the reader to the concept of multiple Earths coexisting in the same physical space by vibrating in different dimensions. This volume collects four different story lines (each encompassing two issues) involving the Earth-One Justice League of America (the most familiar DC stars such as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman) and the Earth-Two Justice Society of America (older heroes, some with Earth-One counterparts such as the Flash and Green Lantern, but some unique heroes such as Doctor Fate and Hourman), all from the mid-’60s and written by Gardner Fox with pencils by Mike Sekowsky. The best story introduces Earth-Three, where only criminals have the super powers. Bored with committing easy crimes, the Crime Syndicate of America–a band of supervillains with knockoff costumes and dumb names ("Power Ring," "Johnny Quick")–challenges the JLA and JSA to battle. The other stories involve the Crime Champions of Earth-One and -Two, Johnny Thunder’s Thunderbolt, and Solomon Grundy and Blockbuster. For more crossover action, Crisis on Multiple Earths was followed by a volume 2. Alex Ross did the cover paintings for all three Crisis… books."

  7. Great show guys. It was so necessary.

    I share a lot of Josh’s sentiments about Crisis (on Infinite Earths). Yeah all comics from that era had a lot of exposition and over-explanation via dialogue, but I always found that Wolfman did even more of that than other writers. I enjoyed Crisis and found it interesting as hell, but it read so very slowly. I think this is a Marv Wolfman thing, because I felt the same way about his Titans: great overall design, great plotting and use of characters, but on a panel-by-panel, page-by-page basis it often feels really boring to me.

    P.S. Uncanny X-Men stayed on top a lot longer than New Teen Titans did. Titans had one hot creative team. Uncanny was the #1 book over the course of about ten different creative teams. 😛

  8. @Conor Ah thanks, so I guess it wasn’t really a stand alone Crisis. 

     All in all, I have to say that I’ve enjoyed Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis (I’m going back to read Identity Crisis now) I thought that if you had to compare what the two big names were doing at the time, DC’s execution of Infinite Crisis was more successful than Marvel’s Civil War. Anyone have thoughts on that?

  9. Gordon from earth 2, really funny.

    great show guys.

  10. Psycho Pirate? Didnt Black Adam kill him in Infinite Crisis?

    Also I hope they do something with Aquaman in Final Crisis

  11. I finally read ‘Infinite Crisis’ a few weeks ago — after having read 52 and several of the One Year Later books —  I actually liked the main IC series better than I thought I would; it was a fun story and I didn’t feel especially lost due to not having read the earlier crisis (though having read ’52’ and being able to back up a bit and see what happened before probably helped.)

    That said, without being a DC continuity junkie, I’m not convinced that this ‘Crisis’ actually changed anything significant.  There were a couple apparent character deaths, but Wally’s already been undone (and isn’t Superboy only still out of commission due to the copyright problem?)  But I’m not sure how this story made changes in the DCU at large, other than providing a convenient excuse when writers wanted to change/retcon things anyway.  

    In comparison, "Civil War" did make some real changes in the Marvel U, and while they haven’t all stuck (ie, Spidey unmasking) a lot of them have.  I’m not looking at this as a better/worse thing, but it does strike me as a significant difference between the events.  But then, I’m just a layman when it comes to DC, so I could be wrong.


  12. @jackwteeg – Yep, Black Adam killed Psycho Pirate rather brutally.

  13. @ jackwteeg Considering how Morrison handled Aquaman in JLA if he’s anywhere near Final Crisis, Aquaman will be epic.

  14. good show guys.  that’s why i love you guys, because u do stuff so i don’t have to.  I loved zero hour, but what do i know? Except that it was not Hourman in that ad, it was Libra.

  15. @jtrem – We noted as such on the show.

  16. haha.  oops.  sorry fella


  17. I need as many Crisis primers as I can get! This was just what the doctor ordered.

    In a way, I used Identity Crisis as a DC jumping-on point, and while it didn’t take I did enjoy the series a lot. One of the things that the DCU has over the current Marvel U is that they know the appeal/value of the secret identity in superhero stories. I am always intrigued when longtime DC fans say they liked it; at the time, I thought, "Wow. If I knew who any of these people were, I bet I’d be pissed that they were dead."

    I feel like a lot of these alternate Earth problems could just be solved by DC not making such a big deal out of them. Have you gotten a load of the Marvel multiverse? The Exiles treat breaching realities like it’s a trip to the grocery store.

    Have they ever dealt with how the man on the street experienced Crisis on Infinite Earths? I mean… if Earths are merging, they have more serious problems than which Superman is still real; they have the other 4 billion people to contend with as well. I’d like to see a story where Bill Stevens of Earth 1 comes home to find Bill Stevens of Earth 2 in his apartment, throwing out his Cookie Crisp because "the real Bill Stevens hates Cookie Crisp." 

  18. Gordon from Earth-2 was the funniest thing I’ve seen on this site yet. The only thing that could have topped it is if Connor had pulled out a bong instead of a flask.

    good show, fellas

  19. Avatar photo PymSlap (@alaska_nebraska) says:

    appreciated you’se guys observation that silver-age comics feature characters that needlessly explain how their powers work each and every time they employ them. there is too much of that in Dark Phoenix Saga, but i still love the shit out of it.

    maybe comics’ publishers today could try remaking classic comics like they do in hollywood with classic movies.

    – heretic 

  20. @PymSlap – It wasn’t needless.  Every issue is somebody’s first.

  21. @conor  — That’s a good point.  I remember that the Dark Phoenix Saga was one of the first Xmen stories I read, and it made it so much easier to read later books in the series — because so much that’s fundamental to how the universe works was explained in that series.  Granted, it’s not always done artfully (Colossus really doesn’t need to have a thought bubble saying, "I’m glad Cyclops taught me judo!" before he throws some one).  But I don’t think the principle is bad.  Most prose books that are published in series form have a paragraph or two in the first chapter giving background on the main characters.  It’s a little awkward for a longtime reader, but you can usually skim it; meanwhile, somebody who picks a book up for the first time has a leg to stand on.

  22. Just to put it out there, the reason Earth-2 was created because, when Barry Allen debuted, Jay Garrick wasn’t a "real" character in the DCU canon anymore but existed as a comic book character that Barry grew up reading.  After Barry got his powers, he decided to become the Flash based on his love for the comics he read as a kid.  So, later, when DC decided it’d be cool to have the two team up, they decided to make Earth-Two to justify how Jay could exist when he’s a comic book character in Barry’s world. 

    So, if you’re wondering why the Multiverse started in the first place, there you go. 

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