Crisis on Infinite Earths or How a Comic Book Series Influenced an Author

Hey there.

One frequent question I get asked is: what were/are some of your influences?

I addressed a few of them in some of my other posts but I would be remiss if I did not cite two pieces of literature that had a HUGE impact on me.

Has anyone heard of Crisis on Infinite Earths (COIE)?

If you do not read comics you likely have not. If you are an avid reader of them (like me) than I am sure the name has surfaced in conversations with friends, or at conventions over the years.

Quick background. COIE was a 12 part mini series published by DC Comics in 1985. It contained an appearance of every DC character between 1935 and 1985. Pure genius of DC to have the book come out during their 50 yr anniversary. Written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by the one and only George Perez, it was the industry’s attempt to clean up its so-called “continuity problems. The series is known for the killing off popular characters like the Flash, Supergirl, and the Golden Age Superman. It also eliminated the Multiverse.

By the way, DC brought it all back but that’s another story.

There has not been nothing like COIE before or since. It completely changed comics forever. There was a certain predictability about comics in the past. You knew the heroes would never die and there would always be the status quo.

Not any more.

When Crisis finished its run,  the trail had been blazed for a new era. 1986 saw The  Dark Knight Returns, Mutant Massacre in X-men. Batman: Year One, Daredevil ‘s Born Again, Maus, The Man of Steel, and of course Watchmen. Whew! No wonder 1986  is widely considered the greatest year in comics.

Some other things that made Crisis great was the war to end all wars. Heroes battled for the sake of all creation and not just a bank robbery or a some long standing grudge. The villain of the story was the Anti-Monitor and he lived up to the hype as the ultimate bad guy. As did Marv Wolfman’s promise that “the DC universe would never be the same.”

I went for a similar feel in the Opportvnvs Adest series.  There is  the build up  to a war before all hell (literally) breaks loose. What starts out as a spark later erupts into a cosmic firestorm. A true Armageddon.The feeling of desperation and hopelessness is at the forefront for the central characters.  There is plenty of death too. You cannot have a war without it. Like Crisis, the reader is  not cheated with the elimination of non essential characters.  No one is safe in the story and victory as we know it, is not assured.

I want to tell you more, but why spoil it?

It all starts in Sidereus Nuncius on sale now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

I will talk about Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and how it relates to Opportvnvs  Adest this week.

Till next time.







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