I bought “Crisis on Infinite Earths” yesterday, by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. Back in the 1940s, DC Comics had the Justice Society of America. Lots of comic companies had publications…. slowly, throughout the 50s and 60s and 70s, these were bought by DC Comics. They began having cross overs between the various earths, including the JSA’s (earth 2) and the newer JLA (earth 1). So you would have various versions of Superman meeting each other, and see every single possible alternate universe.
The powers that be decided it was too complicated. And it was… very confusing. So they merged all the universe into one. “Crisis” is the result. The first big, company wide cross over, and it still sets the standard for them. So much so, that DC’s 20 year anniversary, is “Infinite Crisis” which is apparently undoing some of the work of the first “Crisis”(subject for a rant another time).
It’s quite a read. A bit of Silver Age corny, and the by now boring and predicted “villain falls down, hero’s declare victory, villain rises, and must be knocked down again”. It probably did not need to be 12 issues long. However, it was enjoyable to read, and to view all the variations involved.
Still, it is only a necessary read for those who want to understand where DC is today, and how it got there. If you want to just have fun reading comics (and comics should be fun!), you should just dive in today, and not worry about the history.
If I was to recommend just one graphic novel to read though, I’m still going with “Watchmen” by Alan Moore. It made Time’s number one book a few weeks ago, with their new edition out this fall. Read it!