Thursday, January 3, 2008

Crisis On Infinite Earths #8-12 (11/85-3/86)

In #8, Vixen found T.O. Morrow, builder of the Red Tornado, and carted him up to the formerly abandoned JLA satellite. Already aboard were Manhunter, Firestorm, and the flaming heroine Firehawk. The trio had some interesting conversations...
Firestorm: "You ever get cold in that getup, J'Onn J'Onzz?"
MM:"We Martians do not get cold. Why do you ask?"
FS:"Sheesh! Mars doesn't need women. What they need is a sense of humor!"

MM:"Firehawk...your flame may prove a problem." Firehawk:"Don't worry--When I want to, my fire's more bark than bite."
MM:"Still, I prefer some distance between us."

Morrow was pressed into attempting a repair job on Red Tornado's broken body, which proved to be booby-trapped. Much of the JLA satellite was destroyed (again), Firehawk lost her costume, and Firestorm had to pull the unconscious Manhunter to safety. Perhaps in retaliation for J'Onn's comments, Firehawk chose to create a new costume and show it off before helping the Martian. Even the usually laid back Firestorm says, "...This is hardly the time for a fashion show."

In Crisis #9 (12/85,) Brainiac and Lex Luthor gathered one of the largest collectives of villainy in history to conquer multiple Earths that had survived the Anti-Monitor and become linked. Their nefarious intentions made, our world’s heroes and scientists (including a surprisingly noteworthy Dale Gunn) worked to access and retake the lost Earths. Again surrendering any leadership credentials, the Manhunter allowed his charges to scatter amongst other super-heroes without his guidance. Steel was nearly fried by Plasmus on the Fawcett world Earth-S, but Vibe shook the ice off the world of Shazam to cast Plasmus into frigid waters. However, when Steel’s interest turned to another member of the Brotherhood of Evil, Warp, he was teleported to parts then unknown. Aquaman and Mera were also present in joining his former teammates in a not unexpected defeat. Gypsy fared better alongside heroes campaigning for Quality Comics’ Earth-X, backhanding classic League foe Kanjar Ro. Steel turned up in Justice League of America #245 (also 12/85) in the year 1,000,000,000 A.D. on a ravaged Earth. There he defended the aged Lord of Time from six of his own clones, before getting his mack on with Olanda, the Lord’s purple-haired clone “daughter.” For all we know, he sired offspring before returning to the present.

Manhunter resurfaced in Crisis #10 (Jan.'86,) having discovered a large central collection of the evil-doers (including Despero!) "No, Hector Hammond, nothing can help you now. I am tired of you humans! Tired of your evil! Tired of your lust for power!" The furious Manhunter, eyes ablaze with Martian Vision blasts, commanded "Surrender to us now. Let us return order and justice to this Earth!" It goes without saying that J'Onzz, Platinum, and The Atom taught the creeps a little something about opportunism. Sometimes in the midst of all this, the Detroit League sans Steel regrouped at the Bunker to check on Commander Steel, filled with regret over his actions and the fate of his still-missing grandson. Manhunter chastised, “Haven’t you done him harm enough? ...We can only hope that he finds us. Assuming he’s still alive.” Back in the midst of Crisis, the Anti-Monitor returned, and Manhunter joined with the most powerful collection of heroes ever before seen in an attempt to stop him. They failed. "And, from the dawn of creation...comes death...It is the end of all that was."

The History of the DC Universe had been rewritten, and all alternate Earths merged into one reality. Now, there had only ever been one Batman, and he began his war on crime just a few years prior to the Crisis. Supergirl and Wonder Woman never existed. The Justice Society members were the first ever super-heroes, protecting the Earth from World War II until a congressional committee helped bring their careers to an end in the 1950's. There was still a heroine called The Huntress, but Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle never married, so her entire life and parentage had changed. J'Onn J'Onzz joined with the rest of Earth's heroes to destroy the Anti-Monitor, saving the last existing reality from destruction in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 (Mar.'86). It would be another two years before we would learn just how much the Crisis changed the history of Mars, and The Manhunter himself.


Luke said...

*sigh* I really want to read this. Is it sad that I have never read all of COIE? Is my nerd membership card revoked now?

I DO, however, have a copy of JLoA #245. I think you may have just inspired my next post. Thanks, Frank!

Diabolu Frank said...

It is more sad to have read all of COIE, including entirely too many spin-offs, and then summerizing them on a themed blog. COIE is kind of awful, actually. It will always be pretty to look at, and I'm sure Marv Wolfman's novelization helps redeem his previous work, but in the original context its stinky. I referenced "Beyond The Silent Night" because I still think that issue is a true classic of the medium, but the rest of it, including Barry Allen's passing, fares really poorly in retrospect.

Luke said...

I still think I owe it to myself as something of neophytic DC fan to pick it up. Oh, that and Watchmen, which for some reason I still think would have been more neat to me had Moore gotten to use the Charleston characters.

As a side note, I tried to find my copy of JLoA #245 last night, and was unable to, so it looks like my post about will have to wait. Bastards!

Diabolu Frank said...

Wait-- you haven't read "Watchmen?" I'll be the first to admit its overrated, but still essential reading. I'm glad he didn't use the Charlton characters, as his interpretations of them being the norm would have spoiled most of them for me. I vastly prefer non-Moore characterizations of Captain Atom, the Question, Peacemaker and even Thunderbolt. Nite Owl wasn't all that far removed from Ted Kord, and Nightshade could use a personality.

Luke said...

Was there a Watchman version of Judomaster?

Watchmen is one of those books I keep wanting to pick up, but always balk at the pricetag.

Diabolu Frank said...

No Judomaster analogue by my recollection, and anyway, who said anything about buying "Watchmen?" That's a library standbye these days, along with Gaiman "Sandman," "Maus," and DKR...