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Deluxe Crisis Catch-Up

I splurged a bit recently to play catch-up on some Crisis stuff…partly inspired by the CW‘s "Arrow-verse" crossover event of 2019-2020.

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I’d snagged the Crisis on Infinite Earths Deluxe Edition some years back, highly impressed with its sheer size and (relatively) cheap price FOR its size. Looks like that was specifically 2015, and I’d bought it as a "birthday present" to myself at the time.

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But then I’d happened across a copy of the Crisis on Infinite Earths Companion, vol. 1 for 50% off. And then with some disappointment over (lack of) good Black Friday sales and such, I ended up splurging on the 2nd and 3rd COIE Companion volumes.

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They make quite a great-looking set, at least to my eye! And I much Much MUCH prefer volumes like these to a single-volume "omnibus"! Imagine having all 3 Companion volumes as a single book! Sure, it might be the price of only 2 of the volumes. But these are books that I’ll actually be able to READ without breaking my wrists!

Plus, I also won’t have to worry about these self-destructing on a bookshelf under their own weight!

Now, the next thing to investigate is some Crisis on Multiple Earths hardcovers. I’m not sure off the top of my head how many paperbacks there are/were under that title…I think 6-7. And I’d imagine those could easily fit into 3 hardback volumes that would sure be pretty sitting next to these!

Time will tell, though!

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The ’80s Revisited: Crisis on Infinite Earths #12

crisis_on_infinite_earths_0012Final Crisis

Writer/Editor: Marv Wolfman
Co-Plotter/Penciller: George Perez
Embellisher: Jerry Ordway
Letterer: John Costanza
Colorist: Tom Ziuko
Published by: DC Comics
Cover Date: March, 1986
Cover Price: $1.25

This is a large, convoluted issue with way too much going on to really summarize and address in any great detail in the general length I allow myself, and to do so without having to go into a lot of detail. Essentially, an infinite multiverse has been condensed down to one universe, though a bunch of heroes from parallel universes remain, having been outside time when that consolidation occurred. They’re split up to address issues on multiple fronts…namely the Anti-Monitor. Said villain just refuses to go down and STAY DOWN, rising multiple times from seeming defeat. In the course of this, a number of elements get loosely addressed, we have some characters killed off, others get a sendoff, and others simply get brief appearances with loose/quick details "setting stuff up" for moving forward (such as Wally learning of Barry’s death and becoming Flash instead of Kid Flash).

While I tend to like and appreciate Wolfman‘s art, and certainly enjoy Perez and Ordway both, reading this issue was a chore. I first read it about a decade ago–sometime around Infinite Crisis, if I recall correctly–having "finally" sought out the collected volume to actually read the "original Crisis" for myself given its 20-year anniversary had cropped up with a "sequel" of sorts (yet, amazing to consider yet another 10 years have passed and we’ve had a 30-year anniversary edition!).

Given what it is, and dealing with an entire universe and wrapping up stuff from a year’s worth of issues and all that, I have no real problem with the story…it’s just dense and seems like it has a huge amount of ground to cover in its limited pages despite being an extra-sized issue.

The art, of course, is fantastic–Perez and Ordway teamed up? Doesn’t get much better than that!

The creative team as a whole packs a heckuva lot into this, which I do like; but I can only imagine what I’d feel about it if it were a brand-new issue in 2016.

While we do have the "ultimate defeat" of the Anti-Monitor in this issue and a bit of an epilogue explaining a few things, overall this issue itself caps off the series, and I feel like I missed a lot by not reading the previous couple issues, and lost the scope or "epic-ness" of the story jumping in on this alone. As the story has been a "complete, full story" for three decades, I don’t think I’d recommend this as something to just sit down and read as an isolated issue. It’s sort of neat to flip through and see just the isolated chapter rather than the final segment of pages in a collected volume…but I think Crisis works much better read as a whole than just grabbing an issue.

For a 25-cent issue, it’s not a horrible read…but there’s certainly a lot of nuance that I am not picking up on given the decade’s space between this and when I last read the earlier issues.

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