Crisis on Infinite Earths #1: Pt. 1
The epic begins... at the beginning... with the creation of the multiverse. It's appropriate to depict its birth, since this story is eventually going to depict its death...
In the beginning there was only one, a single black infinitude, so cold and so dark for so very long that even the burning light was imperceptible. But the light grew and the infinitude shuddered and the darkness finally screamed as much in pain as in relief. A multiverse of worlds vibrating and replicating… and a multiverse that should have been one, became many.
That was then, but this is now… July, 1985. As a wall of anti-matter begins to obliterate Earth-3, a mystery man in a green hooded cape floats in midair to watch. “I cannot run from this plague which swallows earth after earth. No, I am drawn to it, forced to observe the death-rattle of the multiverse.”
Earth-3 is home to the Crime Syndicate of America, five supervillain counterparts to familiar Justice League members, that terrorized their planet for years. Now working to save it, Power Ring attempts to seal a volcano and tells Ultraman, “Nature’s gone insane!”
Ultraman replies, “It’s more than nature — it’s the entire universe.”
Meanwhile, Johnny Quick and Owlman comment on the futility of it all...
Why did the gods give us these powers if we can’t use them to save our own lives?”
Earth-3’s lone hero, Alexander Luthor, flies through the destruction and witnesses the anti-matter swallow Super-Woman alive, making hers the first super powered death in the crisis. Realizing he’s going to die as well, Luthor returns home, “If I’m to perish, let it be at the side of my loving wife.”
Meanwhile, Johnny Quick and Owlman disappear into the anti-matter, deaths number two and three.
Luthor places his son in a rocket and tells his wife, Lois, “From the moment I first learned of the other earths and the multiple dimensions, I strove to find some way to bridge the vibrational gap which separates us. This is a prototype, large enough for only one. We will die, but our son shall live.” He knows where other heroes live, they will care for their son.
The man in green appears from nowhere and encounters Ultraman and Power Ring. He says his name is “Pariah” and he mourns for this world about to die. He says his hand is not the one which slays worlds and he can do nothing more than cry. Vowing to fight until the very end, Ultraman flies into the anti-matter and disappears. As Luthor’s rocket leaves the atmosphere, Earth-3… is simply no more.
A universe ceases to be. Untold worlds fade from reality.
In space above Earth-1, Luthor’s rocket lands on the abandoned satellite headquarters of the Justice League of America. Elsewhere, Monitor and Lyla do what they’ve been doing throughout 41 pre-Crisis appearances: observe. Monitor comments, though, that it’s now time for them to act.
He sends Lyla to summon a pre-selected group of "so-called heroes and villains" that he’s analyzed — in the past, present and future — to fight alongside each other. Lyla says she’ll do as he asks, but suggests he remember that they are now equals; she will no longer tolerate being treated as his slave. “She concentrates and her body fairly explodes with power…”
One of the Harbinger replicants arrives in “an Africa known only to a very few: Gorilla City," and she appears before King Solovar, “We have need of you. Come with me… a great adventure awaits.” In that instant they are gone…
A Harbinger replicant then appears in the “sprawling sanitized cityscape of 30th-century Metropolis." Dawnstar, a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, flies toward the team's recently rebuilt headquarters. There, Harbinger grabs her wrist, “I need you, Dawnstar. Come with me now!” In an instant, they vanish.
In a series of 13 panels, Crisis on Infinite Earths #1 depicts a Harbinger replicant recruiting Firebrand. The same panels are expanded and embellished in the pages of All-Star Squadron #50, which is where this particular retelling of the tale continues...
Click here to continue, and be sure to return every Wednesday to keep reading about Crisis on Infinite Earths...
Title: Crisis on Infinite Earths
Issue #: 1
Cover Date: April 1985
On Sale Date: 1-3-1985
Cover Artists: George Perez, Gaspar Saladino
Writers: Bob Greenberger, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman
Penciller: George Perez
Inker: Dick Giordano
Colorist: Anthony Tollin
Editor: Tom Condon, Dick Giordano, Bob Greenberger, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman