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  1. #1
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    Default Crisis on Infinite Earths - Thoughts?

    I've just finished reading COIE and I'm curious about what everyone's else's thoughts are? What's your own review on it?

  2. #2
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    To be honest, I have never managed to get through the entire thing, even though I'm sure I've read individual issues multiple times. Everytime I try to read the thing, the writing and lack of any interesting protagonists keep the whole story at an arm's distance from me. It's absolutely gorgeous to look at and its impact upon the DCU is unparallelled, but there's just not a strong enough story to keep me hooked since I already know how it all turns out.

    That said, this issue, and its cover in particular, was a truly potent gateway drug for me into the DCU when I was a kid.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member WillieMorgan's Avatar
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    I read Crisis On Infinite Earths as a kid and it was absolutely mind-boggling at the time. In an era of constant event series it's easy to forget just how ambitious Crisis was for 1985. It was easily the biggest and longest storyline that I'd encountered up to that point. It was actually a little daunting. The first issue alone was full of characters that the young me hadn't come across yet. I'd also been unaware of the seeding that DC had been doing in their regular series with the Monitor beforehand. I often wonder what the 'Where do I start? It's so confusing..' internet generation would have made of it. Their heads would have exploded probably.

    I do go back to it now and then, for reference purposes rather than to actually reread it. The art is amazing for the period and the story obviously had huge ramifications for the DCU moving forward. It's a VERY dense experience to read all the way through.

  4. #4
    FF purist/snob CaptCleghorn's Avatar
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    There are two kinds of Crisis readers. Those who read it in single issue form back in 1985 and those who picked it up in trade and read it as a whole later on. There is no way to equalize the atmosphere of the single issue releases and the shocking developments with a trade reprint read along side the many other multiversal shifting stories since then.

    It's clear that dialogue and story-telling used for COIE is now "dated". For a comic book story a third of a century old, that's expected. But it kept interest. Even those who weren't reading DC were curious about the developments every issue. Who died? Who turned?

    Awesome book. But you hadda be there.

  5. #5
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    It was an awesome story and event in its time. The downside was that it created the paradigm of continually recreating universes that still occurs in the major brands. The incoherent universe redoing in DC finally made me stop paying attention to those books. This was especially true when the fundamentals of new universes were based on scientific idiocy and pulling out of new cosmic creator entities out of an endless rabbit out of a hat metric. It's still going on.

    The DC attempts to fix some incongruities after COIE went into a tail spin. However, the event was great.

  6. #6
    Extraordinary Member TheCape's Avatar
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    As much as i like Post-Crisis, i do think than in the long term, it shouldn't have happened, so that put a bit of black stain on this story. With that said, when i read it 4 years ago, i really enjoyed, it feel epic, big and amazing, even when i knew how it ended there was just something about it that keep me hooked until the end.
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  7. #7
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    I read it in single issue form, along with all the crossover issues of other titles, back in 1985. And I read it again after I got the TPB collection of the maxi-series, which must have been 15 years ago by now.

    I guess that I can read classic comic language because it's my mother tongue, so it gives me no troubles the way it does other people--I slip into it with ease. But to me all crossover event comics read the same. Maybe in the last couple of years they've changed, I wouldn't know--I was going to buy DOOMSDAY CLOCK when the first issue came out but the price tag put me off and now I'm glad I didn't bother given how long it's taking, wake me when the war is over. But all of the crossover event books themselves (not the issues that crossover with them), for the last thirty years, read the same to me.

    It's like watching a bunch of construction workers put up a skyscraper. Which can be interesting for a few minutes, but it's such a long slog. You admire the workers for the effort they're making, but it's not something that's all that lovely. You're watching Marv Wolfman sling a sledge hammer and George Perez operate a crane. Each issue has to move certain pieces into place and set up the frame for other events going on in other titles. The writing is expository and dense, a lot of panels are just big displays of many characters at one time--see this other comic for the full story.

    These big projects mainly seem to exist to bring in a bunch of other titles and get people to buy more comics. I wouldn't put crossover event comics in the same category as the more satisfying kind of comic book reads where it's about a specific plot or a small group of characters. And as such they're not examples of state of the art comic book storytelling. In most cases, the writers give up on their modern sensibilities and fall back on the basic brute strength methods of foundational comics. They don't have the luxury to make it pretty.

    CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS is the Empire State Building of crossover events. It was one of the first of its kind, it's huge, it's monumental. It's important to DC and to the comics industry as a whole. And it also overlooks the world that it's destroying--which means many of the generations, who come to admire its 20th century architectural ornamentation and go up to the observation deck to look over its view (where you can see clear to 1935), they will witness for their first time that great DC multiverse that used to stretch out to infinity. So that's something.
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  8. #8
    Incredible Member Vampire Savior's Avatar
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    It's quite literally one of the best looking comics I have seen. There are some really fascinating concepts in there, and I like the way Wolfman used Qward and the Anti-Matter universe. The original design of the Anti-Monitor is very creative and powerful.

    But it's a terrible story. I find it impossible to get invested in the characters based on that story alone, so when they die, or something, I don't really care. The whole thing really hinges near entirely on having a reader that is knowledgeable and invested in the DC Comics of the mid-1980s, so as a story unto itself, it falls completely apart and doesn't stand the test of time at all.

  9. #9
    Spectacular Member Fromper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCleghorn View Post
    There are two kinds of Crisis readers. Those who read it in single issue form back in 1985 and those who picked it up in trade and read it as a whole later on.
    Oddly, I'm one of those rare readers who doesn't fit into these two categories. I actually bought it as back issues when I got into comics seriously in the early-mid 90s, before it was available as a TPB.

    But my experience is still similar to those who read it as a TPB after the fact. As others have said, it's not really a great story, and it only matters if you already know the characters from pre-Crisis.

    And I still say it's the worst idea DC ever had. Rebooting everything just led to twisted continuity, and needing to "fix" things over and over in the future. And set the precedent that they could do it again later. Which they did, and it was an equally bad idea the second and third times, regardless of whether or not it produced a couple of good stories in the short term.

    And all the "Crisis" events are the main reason I don't touch modern comics. Since getting back into reading comics a few months ago, after a 15ish year absence, I've been reading my old comics collection, not buying anything new. I've bought exactly two comic books in recent months, both of which are 30+ year old back issues to fill in gaps in my old collection.

  10. #10
    Mighty Member Tzigone's Avatar
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    And all the "Crisis" events are the main reason I don't touch modern comics. Since getting back into reading comics a few months ago, after a 15ish year absence, I've been reading my old comics collection, not buying anything new. I've bought exactly two comic books in recent months, both of which are 30+ year old back issues to fill in gaps in my old collection.
    I started comics with Marvel. Then I learned about Crisis (from the Internet - I started reading comics in the mid 90s) and decided not to read DC because I liked the non-rebooting of Marvel. Dropped Marvel after One More Day. Then a few years ago decided to start with older DC material. I do kind of wonder if the persistent reboots we're getting nowadays may lead back to a rotating reader base as in days of old, but I just don't know if that could feasibly happen.
    Last edited by Tzigone; 07-29-2019 at 11:02 AM.

  11. #11
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    Really well-written and well drawn epic story. Horrible consequences for DC Comics.
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  12. #12
    FF purist/snob CaptCleghorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fromper View Post
    Oddly, I'm one of those rare readers who doesn't fit into these two categories. I actually bought it as back issues when I got into comics seriously in the early-mid 90s, before it was available as a TPB.

    But my experience is still similar to those who read it as a TPB after the fact. As others have said, it's not really a great story, and it only matters if you already know the characters from pre-Crisis.

    And I still say it's the worst idea DC ever had. Rebooting everything just led to twisted continuity, and needing to "fix" things over and over in the future. And set the precedent that they could do it again later. Which they did, and it was an equally bad idea the second and third times, regardless of whether or not it produced a couple of good stories in the short term.

    And all the "Crisis" events are the main reason I don't touch modern comics. Since getting back into reading comics a few months ago, after a 15ish year absence, I've been reading my old comics collection, not buying anything new. I've bought exactly two comic books in recent months, both of which are 30+ year old back issues to fill in gaps in my old collection.
    I may have misspoke with the TPB reference. Some folks like yourself obviously did pick up the back issues, but the feeling of watching it unfold is the main point I was getting at.

    In retrospect, not a good idea for DC. While it did a lot to Marvelize them, DC lost a considerable part of what made them different than Marvel. This led to a constant struggle to "fix" continuity. But damn, if you were there then, it was a marvelous (pun intended) trainwreck.

  13. #13
    Spectacular Member DavidRA's Avatar
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    It was a great story, and really got me focused on DC. However I'd like to see it reversed in the next Crisis and everything resetting to the pre-Crisis universe.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vampire Savior View Post
    But it's a terrible story. I find it impossible to get invested in the characters based on that story alone, so when they die, or something, I don't really care. The whole thing really hinges near entirely on having a reader that is knowledgeable and invested in the DC Comics of the mid-1980s, so as a story unto itself, it falls completely apart and doesn't stand the test of time at all.
    Well, imagine if the only thing you had to base your opinion of GAME OF THRONES on was the final season.

    In point of fact, DC had no reason to expect that COIE would be collected in a trade paperback and that that's how most people would read it in the distant future. They weren't writing for trades, like they do now. For most of their existence, comics were disposable entertainment that had meaning at the time and didn't need to have meaning later because they made all their money in that month they came out.

    COIE was being written for people who were reading the comic books at the time and who had knowledge of the characters. That was the whole point of it. George Perez does throw in a few obscure characters that only eagle-eyed readers could pick out, but that wasn't a horrible feature of the book, either--it sparked curiosity and drove people to find out more about those characters.

    In FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF THREE WORLDS, George Perez does the same thing. And again, I don't think that's a horrible feature of the comic. It's fun to pick out these obscure characters and investigate their history.

    But really, if you weren't the readership for which the story was written, it doesn't matter if you don't get anything out of it. It wasn't for you.
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  15. #15

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    Well, since I started buying comics regularly by 1975 after having read here and there for a few years prior, by 1985, I knew all the characters and Earths that DC had to offer, so I can say that reading Crisis each month was a thrilling experience -- especially after the monumental letdown that was Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars the year earlier.

    DC, at the time, had the reputation that nothing ever changed -- not exactly true, but Marvel was the one who trumpeted the fact that they were always changing even though it really was just the "illusion of change." However, Marvel was lots better and making their older stories seem to "matter" because they were always constantly referenced, whereas with DC once a story was over, it was rarely referred to again.

    Crisis promised and delivered big changes and went further by trying to tie the various threads of DC Comics into a consistent narrative when they were never meant to be so. Taking Green Lantern #40 from 20 years earlier in 1965 and making that one of the lynchpins of Crisis was something that DC just didn't do very often at the time. Another big thing in Crisis is that you really felt that this was something that was too big for even the overpowered heroes of DC to be able to fix. Superman couldn't just blow everything back to normal with his super-breath.

    The fallout from Crisis is another subject entirely as far as I'm concerned. The miniseries itself and all that it promised and delivered still makes it my favorite crossover of all time, but of course, not knowing what was going to happen in each issue before you read it is most of the experience.

    Glad I was there for it.

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