Questions about the Crisis (Spoilers Likely)

Discussion in 'Comic Books and Graphic Novels' started by Teratron, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. Teratron

    Teratron Kaiser Dragon

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    135
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Likes:
    +0
    Hi all. I've just recently finally obtained a few issues I was missing and was able to read the Infinite Crisis issues published so far. Now I've read the original Crisis TPB, and I've read some DC comics off and on from Byrne's Man of Steel forward, so I thought I had a decent understanding of the original Crisis. However, Infinite Crisis has made me re-examine what I really know about it. The more I investigate the Crisis, the more confused I seem to get. I'd appreciate some help figuring out a few things.

    First off, let me state that most of my knowledge of the Crisis comes primarily as a Superman fan. While I've read some other DC comics from the early post-Crisis era, the only ones I've read with any degree of consistency have been the Superman titles. As such, the Man of Steel revamp sorta defined what the effects of the Crisis were all about to me. I was under the impression that upon the conclusion of the Crisis, everything was wiped completely clean and the entire DC Universe was rebooted from Day 1, with all comics and characters getting revamps in the vein of Man of Steel, Emerald Dawn, etc.

    However, what I've recently read seems to indicate that Superman was the exception rather than the rule. What I've read implies that most titles actually kept running, uninterrupted by the Crisis. For example, I only just realized that Emerald Dawn actually came a few years after the Crisis, and that Green Lantern Corps was still published for a couple years between the Crisis and Emerald Dawn. My new understanding is that the Crisis may have altered the character's back stories and invalidated some of the previous stories, but that at least some of the pre-Crisis material may actually be in continuity after all. Is this correct?

    Also, I've read about a number of things that are apparently confusing even to some who know much more about all this than I do. E.g., I've read that Wonder Woman apparently showed up as a member of the post-Crisis JLA before she actually became a super-hero. And it sounds like there's quite a mess surrounding Hawkman. I take it the post-Crisis era didn't exactly get off to a great start. Would it be safe to say that some early post-Crisis stories are not canon, or at least have some inconsistencies that need to be overlooked? I'm aware that Zero Hour is related to this.

    I'm also curious about some of the lingering effects of the Crisis. I realize that no one aside from the Psycho Pirate, Pariah, and the four survivors who reappear in Infinite Crisis remember the pre-Crisis multiverse. But do they remember the Crisis itself? I have the nagging impression that I've read characters discussing the Crisis in post-Crisis stories. I seem to remember that the multiverse was merged into a single Earth some time before the Crisis was finished. Does everyone remember the events from the end of the Crisis, after the battle at the beginning of time? Or even somehow remember what the Crisis was all about, even if they can't remember the multiverse that existed before it?

    Along the same lines, what about Barry Allen? I can't remember when he died during the Crisis, but everyone remembers him, unlike Supergirl. Do they know that he died in the Crisis, or was some alternate death created for him that fits with the post-Crisis DCU?

    I probably have more questions, but that's all I can come up with at the moment. I think I'm still a little too confused to really organize my thoughts well. Any help figuring this mess out would be greatly appreciated. :) 

    P.S. I take that back. I do have one more semi-related question. I haven't read Superman: Birthright yet since I'm missing one of the first issues. Am I right that this replaces Byrne's Man of Steel in continuity, or does it just supplement it?

    Edit: I just read that even the Superman titles were published for a few months between the end of Crisis and Man of Steel. Was even Superman truly rebooted like I thought? :huh
     
  2. Lumpy

    Lumpy Taylor Swift Actionmaster Super Mod

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Posts:
    18,922
    News Credits:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    292
    Likes:
    +33
    um...i dont think i know enough to explain it either...but im sure someone does...though i am now curious about barry...i think others remember ithe crisis too....but im not sure who or how
     
  3. UDontKnowSith

    UDontKnowSith NOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Posts:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    81
    Likes:
    +0
    Others remember the crisis and how Barry died...Flash tried to take Barrys place at the end of the Chain Lightning arc in Flash ( I forget the issue numbers). But they see it as just a Crisis on Earth, not infinite earths, as can be seen on the walls of the Daily Planet in Infinite Crisis #2.
    Not sure, but I think Birthright is a replacement for MOS.
     
  4. RabidYak

    RabidYak Go Ninja Go Ninja Go

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2003
    Posts:
    8,467
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +28
    Titles in general just carried on as normal througth and after Crisis, with the back historys reshuffling to account for a single Earth. For example, Jay Garrick being the predacessor to Barry Allen rather then an alternate Earth version whoese career started 20 years earlier. Any same-person duplicates were either bumped off or ambigiously packed off somewhere.

    Superman and Wonder Woman are the only ones that got a significant and obvious revamps immediatly after Crisis. Everybody elses changes were either explained as they went along, covered in History of the DC Universe, explained in later "year one" type stories or multiples of the above.

    Characters remembered in the immediate aftermath, but over the years the line has changed to them remembering a big shattering non-specific event where Barry Allen and some other folks they knew died.

    As for Hawkman, don't even ask.
     
  5. Switchblade

    Switchblade Just a raggedy man

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Posts:
    12,905
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +33
    Okay, let me try to address some of those points.

    Most of the heroes in the DCU stayed the same after Crisis. Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman all got their origins rewritten, and a few others like GL had theirs tweaked. A lot of the old pre-Crisis stories still happened, but not always the way they were originally written.

    Hawkman got royally screwed by the Crisis, mainly because his reboot wasn't written until four years later and no one thought to set it in the past. The Golden Age Hawkman was retconned into the Silver Age one's place, and a new character was created to fill the gap between the two. Then it got confusing.

    Wonder Woman was taken out of the history of the DCU. Her place as a founder of the JLA was given to Black Canary. WW's mother later traveled back in time to become the JSA-era Wonder Woman.

    Supergirl, like the Earth-2 Huntress and Robin, was erased from history. Nobody remembers here. This was done because in the new post-Crisis DCU Superman was meant to be the only survivor of Krypton (although that's changed in recent years with the introduction of a new Krypto and a new Kryptonian Supergirl). Power Girl, the Earth-2 version of Supergirl, managed to survive the Crisis, but had her origin nearly as messed up as Hawkman's.

    Barry Allen is still remembered, and is considered to have died in a really big crisis, although only a few people remember the Crisis as it actually happened (Psycho Pirate, Pariah, Alex Luthor's gang, the Spectre, and as of recently Donna Troy and Power Girl).

    I'm not sure about Birthright vs. Man of Steel. If I had to guess I'd say the official verison is a merger of the two. But I honestly don't know.
     
  6. Sol Fury

    Sol Fury The British Butcher Administrator News Staff

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    Posts:
    35,576
    News Credits:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    317
    Likes:
    +34
    Facebook:
    Instagram:
    Infinite Crisis retcons a lot of the inconsistencies by suggesting that "time reshuffled itself to accomodate things".

    I also seem to recall reading somewhere that "the Crisis" was seen by the general populace of the DC Universe as a period of storms and massive natural disasters.

    Zero Hour later went on to note that there were a fair number of paradoxes left over by the Crisis, and it essentially boiled down to another realignment of time.
    If you think of it, the DC Universe's timeline has taken quite a battering from all the different realignments and the like over the years. You could almost explain the odd continuity gaff here and there as stress fractures caused by the continual contortions of the timeline.
     
  7. Teratron

    Teratron Kaiser Dragon

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    135
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Likes:
    +0
    OK, I think I understand it a bit better now. Thanks!

    So basically, Crisis wasn't meant to reboot the DCU like I thought. It just merged the multiple Earths into one, and rewrote anything that would cause a contradiction (e.g. multiple versions of characters, histories changing to accomodate Earth 2's characters, etc.) or that DC felt like changing (e.g. Superman's power levels, Supergirl, WW's origin, etc.). Golden Age characters were active during the Golden Age, and were later succeeded by the Silver Age characters. That sound about right?

    I'm still a bit confused about who knows what about the Crisis. They remember something, but obviously not the full story as we can read about it. RabidYak mentioned that they remember some big, non-specific event, and Sol Fury mentioned natrual disasters. Is it that they don't really remember the details, or is it just that DC has never elaborated on what they know? E.g., do they remember the major characters involved? (Monitor, Anti-Monitor, Pariah, Harbinger, Alexander Luthor Jr., etc.) Do they remember the Crisis involving a battle at the beginning of time?

    For an event intended to eliminate confusion over a complicated history, Crisis sure seems to create a lot of confusion by complicating history. :huh I guess I can understand how it might be easier to just jump into the DCU now than it would have then, but that still seems like an odd way to go about fixing your problems.

    I also remembered one of the other things I wanted to ask about. Am I correct that there was no true dividing line between the Golden and Silver Ages? My understanding is that the initial Golden Age comics and characters were eventually cancelled and replaced by the Silver Age comics and characters. What few characters remained in publication through both were later retconned into having been two different versions of the characters from Earth 2 (Golden Age) and Earth 1 (Silver Age). But since it was all done after the fact, there's no specific issue of Superman for example that can be singled out as the last Golden Age or first Silver Age issue. Is that correct?

    BTW, I realize there are going to be contradictions no matter what. I'm not really looking for a way to explain every little thing. I'm just trying to wrap my head around what exactly the Crisis was and what the effects of it were. I'm only just realizing that my view of the Crisis was heavily skewed by the fact that I approached it as a reader of the Superman comics, but not really of the rest of DC's comics. My knowledge of the event was fundamentally wrong, and I'm trying to reconcile this new knowledge with what I thought I knew.
     
  8. Switchblade

    Switchblade Just a raggedy man

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Posts:
    12,905
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +33
    The only characters I'm aware of that remember Crisis exactly as it happened are Psycho Pirate, the Spectre, Alex Luthor, Superboy Prime, Superman of Earth-2, Lois Lane of Earth-2, Donna Troy, and Power Girl. Pariah might have, but Harbinger didn't. Everyone else just remembers a really bad time where several heroes died.

    Most superhero comics ended by the early 50s. The only three heroes to remain in print were the Big Three, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The Golden Age effectively ended with the superhero market going bust, and the Silver Age started with the creation of the new Flash in Showcase #4.

    The Big Three have no real clear point where they stopped being the Golden Age versions and started being the Silver Age ones. Batman is generaally regarded as switching over at the point when he adds the yellow oval to his costume, but that was well after he started appearing with the Justice League. So no, there's no real clear point where they became the Silver Age versions.
     
  9. RabidYak

    RabidYak Go Ninja Go Ninja Go

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2003
    Posts:
    8,467
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +28

    The objective of Crisis was to create a single undisputed DC universe, both to make it more acessable to new readers and to crack down on the contrived abuse of the multiverse system. Story wise, it bascially collapsed E1 and 2 into a continious line rather then two parallels and integrated all the aquired characters into the same universe as thier own (taking the oppertunity to revamp and fix some stuff along the way)

    Somebody who is a bit more up on current stuff will have to answer that definitively, but I think its a bit of both slightly leaning towards the latter. I doubt that the battle of the dawn of time is remembered.

    It more or less worked, but your gaurenteed to make a bit of a mess when your condensing 60-odd years of continuity across 2 major timelines and half a dozen smaller ones into a single one. New readers have been able to drop in and read most of the books since without having or needing any knoledge of any of this, which is ultimately what it was all about.

    Showcase #4 is the generally accepted starting point for the Silver Age and that works for almost all characters since they were axed during the downtrend and then came back in new forms starting from there.

    Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are bit more ambigous since they were continually published with no axeing and didn't recive the sort of revamp that characterises the start of the Silver Age until a bit later. Some people draw the line at S#4's cover date, others pick the start of thier respective stylistic change (New-Look Batman, Weisinger Superman, Kanigher Wonder Woman)

    The multiple earths were established a couple of years later when Barry Allen met Jay Garrick after vibrating into Earth 2, prior to that Jay Garrick had been shown to be a character in a comic that Barry Allen had read.

    Martian Manhunter predates S#4 by a short period, but he started out as detective strip before being revamped into a superhero once it all took off again.
     
  10. Wreckgar

    Wreckgar Anthony Stark Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Posts:
    7,837
    Trophy Points:
    242
    Likes:
    +6
    I really have to take a saturday one week and just sit down and read all of crisis.
     
  11. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Sorcerer

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Posts:
    14,116
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    277
    Likes:
    +70
    It might give you a headache if you read it all at once.
     
  12. Wreckgar

    Wreckgar Anthony Stark Veteran

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Posts:
    7,837
    Trophy Points:
    242
    Likes:
    +6
    Probably
     
  13. Scantron

    Scantron Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Posts:
    8,249
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    211
    Likes:
    +3
    This is a great essay discussing the entire original Crisis and providing some interesting commentary:

    http://www.monitorduty.com/mdarchives/2005/10/alan_kistlers_g.shtml

    A paragraph in the last portion covers the 'how does everyone remember Crisis' problem:

     
  14. Fairy Princess

    Fairy Princess Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Posts:
    4,331
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +0
  15. Teratron

    Teratron Kaiser Dragon

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    135
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Likes:
    +0
    Thanks a ton for all the responses. Definitely helps make things a bit clearer.

    I'm tempted to go reread Crisis now that I have a better understanding of it. Might help everything sink in better.
     
  16. Random Autobot

    Random Autobot Soviet Kanukistani

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Posts:
    6,608
    Trophy Points:
    211
    Likes:
    +0
    Hmmm... I haven't read Crisis since I was a kid in '86 or '87. Loved it then, but after refreshing myself with that web synopsis... it honestly sounds like one of the most contrived pieces of shit in History. Glad I can remember it fondly from my childhood...
     
  17. Teratron

    Teratron Kaiser Dragon

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    135
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Likes:
    +0
    I've got another question. I just learned about some of the various ways that DC is rereleasing their old Golden and Silver Age comics. So far, I've seen listings for various Archive hardcover books, Chronicles softcover books, and Showcase Presents black and white archives.

    The Archive books sound nice, but they're out of my price range. The Showcase Presents books are definitely affordable, but I'd rather have color versions, and they only seem to be for Silver Age comics going by what little I've seen so far. The Chronicles seem pretty ideal to me, but I've only found listings for Superman and Batman, and only a couple volumes each.

    Are these all of DC's offerings so far for older comics? Anyone have any idea whether they plan to keep on releasing these, or if there's any decided ending point? Has there been any news about how likely these are to keep coming, or if they're going to fail and get cancelled?

    I'd really like to read some of these old stories, so I'd appreciate any info on what the options are.
     
  18. RabidYak

    RabidYak Go Ninja Go Ninja Go

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2003
    Posts:
    8,467
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +28
    Those are the major organised outlets, althougth there are some other odds and ends out there that might interest you if you just want a sampling of the material rather then big chunks of it. Of particular note are -

    The Greatest Stories books
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=2932
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=1298
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=3996
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=1345
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=4832
    (Plus a forthcoming Superman volume and a couple that are out of print)

    Batman Decades
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=1216
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=1215
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=1218
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=1217
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=2335

    Superman Decades
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=4337
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=1548
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=1550
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=1549
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=1549

    Multiverse crossovers
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=1333
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=1334
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=2350
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=5086
    http://www.dccomics.com/graphic_novels/?gn=4575


    They will go until they arn't profitable anymore, which wont be any time in the immediate future.

    The Archives line has been around since the eighties and must be knocking on 150 volumes now, probably more like 175 if you count the licenced volumes as well.

    Showcase and Chronicals are both recent things, but must be doing well since the lines are expanding. The former is phonebook reprints of stuff that either wouldent make it in a higher quality format or won't get archived for a long time, the latter is chronological colour TPBs starting from the begining of the title character.
     
  19. Teratron

    Teratron Kaiser Dragon

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Posts:
    135
    Trophy Points:
    96
    Likes:
    +0
    Thanks for the info! So the Archives have been around since the 80s? I take it new releases for any given series are fairly rare? I imagine that if say I wanted to get a full Archive set of Justice League of America from its beginning up to the Crisis, it'll probably be another decade or so before that's possible. Probably even longer for the likes of Superman, Batman, & Wonder Woman. I really hope the Chronicles really catch on and get released at a faster pace. :confused2 

    Speaking of Wonder Woman, I'm curious about something here. I always hear about her being one of the "big three" along with Superman and Batman. I assume this comes from them being the three to survive the Golden Age bust, and subsequently being considered the three biggest characters of the DCU.

    However, aside from WW surviving the end of the Golden Age, it seems to me like she's been more in the league of other DC characters in terms of her publishing history. As far as I know, she's always had only the one comic focused on her, while Superman and Batman have pretty much always had at least two comics focused on them. And while Superman and Batman both have their two main titles with continuous numbering back to their original appearances, WW is now about to get her third #1 issue. Not to mention that she got completely rebooted from scratch with the Crisis, effectively eliminating the current Wonder Woman from all pre-Crisis stories if I understand it right.

    Is there some other reason I'm missing for WW being so often considered on par with Superman and Batman? What little I know seems to suggest that she really hasn't ever been in the same league as Superman or Batman. Seems more like a big two and a half.

    Sorta disappointing since I really like the character. I'd really like to see an ongoing Trinity series. I'd give up Superman/Batman for that. :confused2 
     
  20. RabidYak

    RabidYak Go Ninja Go Ninja Go

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2003
    Posts:
    8,467
    Trophy Points:
    232
    Likes:
    +28
    Its variable depending on demand, cross promotion oppertunities, release qoutas and all sorts of other black magic. There are some constants thougth - Batman and Superman always get at least one volume every year, theres usually an even spread between GA and SA stuff and they try to get a certain number of new lines out because first volumes always sell better.

    It'll be a long time, but there is only so much that the market can support and stuffing it all out the door at once would kill the line stone dead.

    Its not all long wait thougth. GA JSA is done, JLA had almost finished its original run last time I checked and allot of the lesser known characters and genre features only require a relatively low number of volumes. They also have different lines for the GA and SA material of each character as well so you can get your Hal Jordan, Barry Allen and New Look Batman without waiting for massive amounts of Jay Garrick, Alan Scott and dodgey 50s Sci-Fi Batman to be cleared.

    Chronicals are only really happening because Archives paid for the restoration and because the volumes that this stuff was in have been out long enougth not to have thier sales cannibalised by the paperbacks. Releasing paperbacks editions at the same or quicker pace as the hardcovers isn't an economically viable model in this case.

    Wonder Woman's big status is allot to do with her value as an icon in the wider world of pop culture. Everybody knows who she is and the character is worth allot in merchandising and mass media rights, even if she isn't as sucessfull in comics thesedays as lesser know characters like Flash and Green Lantern.
     

Share This Page