The Annotated Crisis on Infinite Earths

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Issue #2, May '85: "Time And Time Again!"

Wolfman, Pérez, Giordano

Plot Summary: We witness a chronal displacement, or "glitch in time", as a herd of mammoths are transported from the time of the Neanderthals to the 30th Century. Batman II witnesses an image of a dying Flash II, who cries to him that the Earth is doomed. The Monitor's gathered superhumans bicker, but end up agreeing to help him. He sends them to defend, and later activate, devices he has planted in six key eras across E1 and E2. The Guardians of the Universe are attacked and incapacitated by the foe. One of the devices is attacked by shadow demons, but they are easily repelled. Early warnings of the anti-matter wave come to Earth-1. While the turncoat Harbinger continues to plot, we find that Luthor IV is aging rapidly and appears to be glowing. Psycho-Pirate II attacks Pariah, but is teleported away by the foe, who forces him to behave, and obey. The anti-matter wave appears in the skies over Earth-1.


2.Cover: A shadow demon, S1, Obsidian, Dawnstar, Kamandi, Firestorm, Firebrand II, Solovar, GL3. Note Statue of Liberty in background. This is the only issue in which the Earths behind the logo go all the way across the cover. (In the collection, the Earths don't go all the way across.)

2.1: Once again, we begin at the beginning.

2.1.1: Note the rough panel-borders. "Cave man sequential artists no have rulers; can't draw straight borders!"

2.1.2: Anthro is the first Cro-Magnon man, born to Neanderthals.

2.1.2-6: The mammoths represent to Anthro's universe what the Crisis represents to the multiverse-at-large.

2.2.8: Anthro is, indeed, the Bear Tribe's biggest hero - arguably the biggest hero of his millennium, since he's the only one to get his adventures published by DC [grin].

2.3.5: This our first temporal anomaly; it's far from being our last. These are not manifestations of the anti-matter wave; we'll see what they are a little later.

2.3.5-7: Anthro recognizes 30th Century Metropolis as a "village"? I suppose I shouldn't stop suspending my disbelief now...

2.4.2-4: Left to right, crossing panels, we have Phantom Girl, Wildfire, Colossal Boy, Lightning Lass, and Chameleon Boy, of the LSH.

2.4.2: Dawnstar and Wildfire have (to quote WW6.7) "a romantic but platonic (of necessity) relationship". Wildfire is nothing but energy inside his suit.

2.4.5: The captions and dialogue in this series are so helpful, I feel silly saying, "That's Brainiac 5."

2.4.6: Not just images are being sent cross-time; living creatures are being displaced as well.

2.5.3-4: "Reep" is Chameleon Boy - a shapeshifter.

2.6.4: "Late July, 1985" It's still July.

2.6.6: The Joker. (Technically, this is "Joker II", but the careers of the two were identical and WW does not number them.) The "bang" gun and the victim's "Joker-venom"-induced grin are two of the "Harlequin of Hate"'s trademarks.

2.6.7-8: Rock-solid proof the Joker is insane: colorized silent comedies???

2.6.9: Batman II, making a typical entrance. Batman I died some time prior to Crisis. The movie in question is The Prisoner, 1955, starring Alec Guinness. Sort of an early Clockwork Orange. The one Batman II doesn't mean is the cult tv show starring Patrick McGoohan.

2.7.1-2: John Alden and Miles Standish were English colonists of America. They came over on the Mayflower, which landed at "Plymouth" Rock.

2.7.3: Another Joker trademark.

2.7.7: F2 plays a pivotal role in Crisis. What we see here is technically an image from the future - foreshadowing made flesh, if you will. F1, F2, and Kid Flash can travel through time by attaining great speed. The caption directs one to Flash #350.

2.8.4: F2 didn't tell anyone where he disappeared to - or why - which is why Batman II refers to Iris as "late".

2.9-10.1: Solovar's name is still spelled wrong. Dr. Polaris' comment is in reference to the Monitor's actions in the lead-in appearances - actions which are never explicitly explained, though it's reasonably clear he was arming villains so they could fight the Anti-Monitor.

2.9-10.2: "Already more than one thousand universes have perished. The last contained the world you know as Earth Three!" It seems "Infinite Earths" is just hyperbole. The seventh viewscreen replays the death of Power Ring.

2.11.6: Geo-Force's attitude seems inconsistent with his speech in 2.9-10.8.

2.11.8: Another explanation for giving weapons to villains.

2.11.11: Madness doesn't exactly mean veracity, but PP2 is perfect for making such a mistake.

2.12.1: "...five crucial eras..." As near as I can tell from subsequent events, there are actually six: one in ancient Atlantis, one in Camelot, one in the Old West, one in 1944 Markovia, one in the present day, and one in the alternate future of Kamandi. She also misstates their purpose, as we'll see.

2.12.2: "For the presence of such heroic ideals creates its own focal point!" Ah-hmm.

2.12.6: Note the "infinite Earths" circle motif.

2.13: The still-unseen enemy attacks and incapacitates the Guardians through the Central Power Battery of the GLC.

2.13.7: "What began with you so many centuries ago -- ends with you now!!" We'll find out later that the Oans were responsible for a great deal of what's happening here. "Centuries" is a vast understatement.

2.14.4: S2 and Batman II. The "totally unexpected" volcano is what we call a Bad Sign, natural disasters being the overture for the anti-matter wave.

2.14.7: If Pariah is here, this universe is about to die.

2.14.8: "Exile" is a rather disingenuous way of putting it, as we'll see later.

2.14.10: He's not changing worlds this time, merely eras.

2.15: Kamandi is a Jack Kirby creation, and no longer exists (as such) after the Crisis. He and Anthro are another "beginning/end" motif, as the First Human and the Last Boy. Note Statue of Liberty, as on cover. The giant thingamabob is a "cosmic tuning fork", used to control the vibrations which keep the infinite Earths separate.

2.16.1: Dr. Canus is Kamandi's friend, an intelligent scientist dog.

2.16.4: A minion enters and attacks. Presumably the foe dispatched the shadow demons after Harbinger warned him in 2.12.9.

2.17.9: As noted on the previous page, most animals here are deadly, intelligent, hunters of men.

2.18.8: There are two things wrong with L4: he's growing much too quickly, and he's got stars in more than just his eyes...

2.20.1: "It's no longer enough to change emotions, is it?" He needs to control, and enforce, emotion on a grand scale. He will, too. The "sniff" business for his sensing of emotions is cute...

2.20.4: Give or take 5000 years.

2.20.9: I have no idea why making Pariah laugh is such a bad idea. Maybe he just feels he doesn't deserve it.

2.22.1-8: The foe now has PP2; looks like he's vital to everyone's plans.

2.22.10: "The menace we deal with is one of emotion." I confess I don't understand this line. As to Raven, this was shortly after the Titans' defeat of Trigon, when she went missing for some time..

2.22.11: The role Doctor Light II plays is unlike any PP2 could have played. Further, the most likely task the Monitor could have put him to is taken care of by Monitor himself. [shrug]

2.23.2: Pariah's world died almost immediately after his evil act, we later find. The "long after" quote is simply inaccurate. It's probable Pariah's conceived origin changed between when this issue was written and when we actually learn the details later.

2.23.8: Well, there's lying, and then there's not telling people everything...

2.24.3: It's never clear what his "unless" is.

2.24.4: Harbinger has multiple bodies, remember.

2.24.9: And which universe is "yours", hmm?

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Jonathan Woodward,

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