The Annotated Crisis on Infinite Earths

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Issue #5, August '85: "Worlds In Limbo"

Wolfman, Pérez, Ordway

Plot Summary: We discover that the Monitor planned his death to release energies that would activate his devices and drag all the planets of the universes of E1 and E2 into a "pocket universe", where they would be spared destruction. However, the Earths are suffering from two problems - time is jumbled and compressed, with different ages intermixing, and the vibrations separating these worlds are slowing down; soon they will collide and mutually annihilate. L4, Harbinger, and Pariah gather all the heroes and villains of both Earths on the Monitor's satellite and explain this to them, then return them to the surface to judge whether they should help. They agree, and L4 is preparing to send a small group to save one of the three Earths not yet affected by the anti-matter (EX) when the satellite is attacked by the Anti-Monitor, who finally reveals himself and attempts to take the Monitor's name.


5.Cover: This is where the annotating starts to get really rough. The left half is Earth-1 characters, the right, E2. By rows, with the partly hidden, "rear" rows marked as HR.

5.1.4: "two captives" We haven't seen the Flash in the Anti-Monitor's captivity yet, but we get confirmation of it on this page.

5.1.8: To this point, Red Tornado II's power was simply a high degree of wind control.

5.1.9: "three universes remaining" Ah-ha! Between last issue and this, they decided to make E4 and the Charlton characters part of the new universe to come.

5.3: Plot points abound here.

5.4.1: This gathering of worlds is what we saw on the penultimate page of last issue.

5.4.1-2: "your two universes", "your populace" Pariah is definitely not from E1 or E2, so this seems to be confirmation that Harbinger is from one or the other.

5.4.2: "I've used my energies to calm your populace." Then what did he need PP2 for?

5.5.8: The Anti-Monitor seems to have kept PP2 well-briefed, despite his constant questions. F2 apparently has no memory of anything since he disappeared from New York. The Anti-Monitor has been keeping him on ice.

5.6.1: Immediately pre-Crisis, Lana, Lois, and Jimmy all worked for television news.

5.6.4: Robin I, Huntress II, Batman II. What are they seeing, you wonder? Wait a page...

5.6.6: Sinestro, Sgt. Rock, Nuklon

(Clipped from 5.7-8.)

5.7 and following: See also 4½.52-54, where this meeting is retold.

5.7-8: [cracks knuckles] Left page, starting in the lower left, going left to right by location of heads. Captain Boomerang, Nicky, Judy, Dane, and Biff of the Sea Devils, Catwoman II, Riddler, Changeling, Cyborg, Plasmus, Persuader, Proty II, Luthor I, Doctor Fate, Power Girl, Steel, Platinum, Blok, Element Lad, Dream Girl, Captain Comet, B'wana Beast, Hawkwoman, Hawkman II, Ultra Boy, Chlorophyll Kid, Creeper, Shrinking Violet, Firebrand II, Star-Spangled Kid, Phantom Girl, Colossal Boy, Rag Doll, Aqualad, Lori Lemaris, Aquagirl, Green Lantern III, Wonder Girl, Jonni Thunder, Ragman, Windfall, Zatanna, Gold, Bouncing Boy, Duo Damsel, Star Sapphire, Atom I, Terminator (foot only), Cosmic Boy, Katana (miscolored), Kamandi, Mon-El, Star Boy, Swamp Thing, Worry Wart, 4-Eyes, Little Sure Shot, Short Round, Long Round, Sgt. Rock, Bulldozer, Wildman, Jackie Johnson, and Ice Cream Soldier of Easy Company, Superman II, Dolphin, Aquaman, Gizmo, Metamorpho, Nuklon, Doctor Light II, Brainwave Jr., Black Orchid, Big Sir, Cpl. Asher, Sgt. Craig, Lt. Stuart, and Pvt. Rawlins of the Haunted Tank, Arion, Phobia, Lady Chian?, Solomon Grundy, Tharok. Harbinger, Elongated Man, Mist.

Right page, starting in the upper left. Mercury, Luthor IV, Shining Knight, Blackhawk, Andre and Stanislaus of the Blackhawks, Red, Rocky, and June of the Challengers of the Unknown, Wildcat I, Tin, Stripesy, Mammoth, unknown (female head behind L4's left buttock), Wildfire, Spectre, Phantom Stranger, Shimmer, unknown (Vibe miscolored?), Cheetah I, Johnny Thunder I, Doctor Polaris, Per Degaton, Johnny Thunder II, Vandal Savage, Robotman II, Timber Wolf, Lightning Lass, Huntress II, Cinnamon, Green Arrow II, Jonah Hex, Kole, Batman II, Lead, Liberty Belle, Blue Devil, Polar Boy, Robin I, Dawnstar, Superman I, Black Lightning, Firestorm, Killer Frost, Batgirl, Halo, Pariah, Plastic Man, Scalphunter, Iron, Sun Boy, Bat Lash, Jericho, Brainiac 5, Celsius, Supergirl, Mirror Master, Starfire II, Nightwing, Wonder Woman II, Amazing Man, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, Tarantula, Firehair, Fury, Silver Scarab, Martian Manhunter, Blockbuster, Chameleon Boy, Flash I, Wonder Woman I, Shadow Lass, Green Lantern I, Geo-Force, Kung, Samurai?, Copperhead.

5.9.1: Top to bottom: Harbinger, Gold, Hawkman II, Firebrand II, Tarantula.

5.9.2: Pariah, Metamorpho, Sargon the Sorcerer, Blackhawk, Brainiac 5 (miscolored), Supergirl, Cyborg, Changeling, Arion. Note that they are keeping together some of the groups we saw on the previous page - Supergirl and Brainiac 5 are still together, for instance, but the overall relationship is very fluid - Cyborg was halfway around the room from Blackhawk.

5.9.3: Black Orchid, Shining Knight, Bat Lash, Firehair, Scalphunter.

5.9.4: Kole, Gizmo, Sun Boy, S1, Dawnstar, Mon-El, Kamandi, Prof and Rocky of the Challs. Note that S1 is still holding Dawnstar, as he was at the end of last issue.

5.9.5: Wonder Woman II, Superman II.

5.9.7: Tomahawk was an pre-existing DC Revolutionary War hero.

5.9.8: Gee, Lois gets an massive ego-boost and a mild insult in one sentence.

5.9.9: Geo-Force, Zatanna, Deadman, Hourman I, Jericho, Johnny Thunder I, Chameleon Boy, Doctor Light II, Little Sure Shot, Katana, Dove, Mercury, Gypsy, Plasmus, Big Sir.

5.10.2: The stutter on "your" is revealing. Who said "Dead? What happened?"? Was Harbinger from their world, and felt she couldn't admit it?

5.10.3: A mostly-villains panel. Left to right, L2?, Cheetah I, Firehawk?, Captain Cold, Validus, Penguin, Vulcan?, Brother Blood.

5.10.9: Martian Manhunter, Jemm, Jade, Colossal Boy, Obsidian.

5.10.11: Ultra Boy, Flash I, Amethyst (Princess of Gemworld), Warlord, Proty II, Catwoman II, Lt. Stuart of the Haunted Tank, B'wana Beast, Black Canary II.

5.10.12: Creeper, Spectre, Phantom Stranger. The Monitor's machines must be powerful indeed if they can summon the Spectre.

5.10.13: Sgt. Rock, Ice-Cream Soldier, Swamp Thing, Lt. Jeb Stuart of the Haunted Tank.

5.11.2: Hawkgirl, Green Arrow II, Atom II. The E2 Hawks are reincarnated Egyptian royalty.

5.11.3: The conveniently-introduced Adam and Alanna Strange.

5.11.5-8: Crossing panels, Adam Strange, Nightwing, Starfire II, Harbinger, Silver Scarab, Fury.

5.11.6: Tamaran is Starfire II's homeworld.

5.11.9: GL1, Judy Walton and Dane Dorrance of the Sea Devils, GL3.

5.11.10: Brainiac 5's foot, Jonah Hex, Invisible Kid II, Pariah, Stripesy, Halo, Batman II, unknown (in red kerchief), Doctor Light II, Martian Manhunter.

5.12.4: Wonder Girl, Wonder Woman I, Green Arrow I, Captain Cold, Wonder Woman II, Cyborg, Blue Devil, Superman II, Silver Swan, Bat Lash, Ocean Master, Doctor Light II, Elongated Man, Killer Frost, Batgirl, Firestorm, Brainiac 5, Doctor Polaris, Supergirl, Cosmic Boy, Batman II, Starfire II, Huntress II, Nightwing, Saturn Girl, Steel, Aquaman, Lori Lemaris, Dream Girl, a Sea Devil, Abra Kadabra, Gold, Warp, Arion, Catwoman II, Lady Chian, Atom I, Samurai.

5.12.6: The art makes an interesting distinction between the purple "non-space and non-time" in which the Monitor's satellite floats and the starfield of the netherverse.

5.13.1: GLs are capable of ftl spaceflight on their own, when their rings are working. This must be somewhat humbling for them.

5.13.4: Most of these GLs are new here, but the blond-haired teenager is Arisia (named in homage to "Doc" Smith), the scarlet-skinned woman is Katma Tui, the crested, orange-skinned humanoid is Tomar Re, and the small, vaguely raccoon-like critter might be Ch'p. For those of you who only remember Arisia as an adult, this is before she used her ring to age herself.

5.14.5: Note Peter Parker, your friendly neighborhood trademark violation, standing behind S2.

5.14.6: I was under the impression that the existence of multiple Earths and multiple Supermen was public knowledge, but Lois' reaction doesn't jibe with that.

5.14.8: Bonnie Baxter, Corky Baxter, Jeffrey Smith, Rip Hunter. The Time Masters.

5.14.10: Robin I, Nuklon, Batman II, Huntress II, Alfred Pennyworth, Metamorpho, Jason Todd (Robin III), Katana. Note that there are members of the Batman mythos from both E1 and E2 in this crowd.

5.15.1: Alfred came within a hair of blowing Batman's secret id here. Nuklon, Huntress II, Batman II, Weather Wizard, Alfred Pennyworth, Samurai, Plastique?, Halo, Riddler, Poison Ivy, Per Degaton, Jason Todd, Brain, Monsieur Mallah, Robin I, and Anthro's Bear Tribe, including his wife and father.

5.15.5: Ah, the Cold War. I'm almost nostalgic. Firestorm, Starfire II, Killer Frost, Firebrand II, Polar Boy, Sun Boy. Note "fire and ice" theme.

5.15.6-7: Red Star changed his name as the Soviet government thought "Starfire" was too ambivalent (and to avoid confusion with Starfire II, obviously). Her comment is thus a little confusing; he's called Red Star everywhere now.

5.16.5: Red Star wasn't on the satellite for dramatic purposes. This way, exposition can be given.

5.17.1: Can you, PP2? Does your power work on androids?

5.17.6: "primal force", eh? This panel is possibly the inspiration for the post-Zero Hour series of that title.

5.17.7: The Anti-Monitor's pronouncement here is true. Red Tornado II never was the same again.

5.18.1: "David Gerrold" is a real-world science fiction author (he wrote the Star Trek episode "The Trouble With Tribbles", notably), but he's much younger than this man, and I have no idea if the name similarity is intentional.

5.18.5: Brainiac 5, Supergirl, Element Lad, Ultra Boy?, Geo-Force, Mon-El, Shadow Lass, Airwave II, Changeling.

5.18.6: Changeling is miscolored again.

5.18.7: Timber Wolf and Airwave II. All of the "others" are members of the LSH, so Timber Wolf recognizes them, but Airwave II wouldn't.

5.18.8: Lightning Lass, Kole, Invisible Kid II, Martian Manhunter, Shrinking Violet, Dream Girl.

5.18.9: For this one panel we switch from E2 to E1.

5.19.1-3: Crossing panels, Liberty Belle, Wildman of Easy Company, Amazing Man, Robotman II, Lady Quark, and random civilians.

5.19.4: We saw a tornado like this just a few pages ago, didn't we?

5.19.5: Johnny Quick I, Doctor Fate, Power Girl. People refer to themselves in the third person an awful lot through this series...

5.19.6: Wildcat I, above, and possibly Sandman I, below.

5.19.7: Mon-El (center) was on E2 just last page.

5.19.8: The person Wildcat I drops here appears as a small child two pages later.

5.20.1-4: Crossing panels, Zatanna, Johnny Thunder I and his Thunderbolt, Sargon the Sorcerer, and Doctor Fate.

5.20.2: The Thunderbolt only does what Johnny tells him to, usually literally.

5.20.7: Flash I.

5.20.9: Red Tornado II was created on E2, joined the JSA, then emigrated to E1 and joined the JLA.

5.21.2: Green Arrow I, Cheetah I, Black Lightning, Jericho, Wildcat I, Liberty Belle, Yolanda Montez (soon to be Wildcat II), unnamed child, Jade, Ultra Boy, Atom I, Green Lantern I. Cheetah I is a villain, but I can imagine she has an interest in anyone with a cat theme.

5.21.3: Wildcat I did walk again, but the damage to his legs continues to have repercussions through at least Final Night.

5.21.5: Wildcat I, in his secret id as Ted Grant, is Yolanda's "Uncle Ted", and Yolanda knows he is Wildcat, but it's possible he doesn't know she knows, which would be the only logical explanation for why she's introducing herself - to keep the secret. Yolanda will shortly become the new Wildcat II, so the child is a symbolic torch-passing.

5.21.6-14: Crossing panels, top to bottom within panels, Liberty Belle of the ASQ, Martian Manhunter of the JLA and Sgt. Rock of Easy Company, Aqualad, Lori Lemaris, Dane Dorrance of the Sea Devils, Aquaman, Dolphin, Nuklon and the Star-Spangled Kid of Infinity Inc., the Metal Men, Nightwing and Wonder Girl of the Titans, Element Lad and Phantom Girl of the Legion, Monsieur Mallah, Poison Ivy, Katana and Batman II of the Outsiders, Bat Lash, Cinnamon, the Ultra-Humanite, Brain Storm, S1, Lois Lane-Kent, S2.

5.22.1: L4's usage of pronouns here is a little fluid. The heroes he is speaking to are Northwind, Hawkman I, Starfire II, Steel, Doctor Light II. He will be sending this group to EX, but there are other heroes on the satellite, as we will see next issue.

5.23.1: "He"? "He" who? The Monitor is dead.

5.23.10: The Anti-Monitor never does "attend" to Apokolips, and for a good reason. He's not necessarily more powerful than Darkseid, as we find out in issue 12.

5.23.11: One has to wonder what F2 would consider "proof".

5.25.1: The first appearance of EX in this series.

5.25.5: Black Condor, Uncle Sam, the Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, the Ray, Doll Man. The Freedom Fighters. Note how the dialogue in this panel and the three following is designed to introduce them all.

5.25.8: Since they show up alive next issue, we have to assume they don't simply run into the anti-matter cloud.

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Jonathan Woodward,

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