This week, our Sunday Scribblings prompt is Crisis. If you decide to write a post based on this week’s prompt, be sure to go back here and share your link so everyone can see how you interpreted things! Here’s what I did with it…
When you grow up reading DC Comics, you come to associate the word CRISIS with some kind of epic crossover story that will involve the likes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and pretty much every other superhero who has ever been part of the Justice League or Teen Titans.
It all started with the Multiverse. Back in the day, the Flash discovered that he was able to vibrate between realities, which introduced the world to Earth 2, which was home to all the old original heroes from the Golden Age of DC Comics. The Silver Age heroes called Earth 1 home.
Soon, the meeting between Multiversal Earths became an annual event and they were always titled “Crisis on Earth…” fill in the blank.
I love the idea of a Multiverse because it basically gives comic creators carte blanche when it comes to telling stories outside of regular continuity. You want a world where Batman is a vampire? We’ve got an Earth for that. You want a world where Superman became the Green Lantern? Sure, there’s an Earth for that. A world where the Justice League existed in the Old West? Why not?
In celebration of DC Comics’ 50th anniversary in 1985, the powers that be decided it was time to simplify things in continuity. This meant that DC Comics needed to eliminate the complicated Multiverse that had existed since 1961. To do so, Marv Wolfman and George Perez were chosen to create the Crisis on Infinite Earths, a story in which every alternate universe was systematically destroyed by a being known as the Anti-Monitor.
At the end of it all, every world but one was erased from existence, along with a number of heroes who were killed during the Crisis. Barry Allen, the Flash, sacrificed his life to save countless others, leading to Wally West becoming his replacement for over 20 years. Eventually, Barry returned from the grave, as most superheroes tend to do.
Another casualty of the Crisis was the original Supergirl. At the time, the plan was to reboot DC’s continuity in celebration of having only one world to work with. This meant a retelling of Superman’s origin. And this time, they wanted Superman to be the last son of Krypton. This time around, there would be no other surviving Kryptonians. Therefore, when Supergirl sacrificed herself, she was sadly wiped from existence and forgotten by all who survived the Crisis.
Eventually, other Supergirls were introduced with varying backstories. One of those Supergirls would once again hail from Krypton… but it took a long time for writers to get back to telling that kind of story.
Of course, there have been other Crises that have come and gone. But for a long time, Crisis on Infinite Earths was the Crisis that people referred to when using the word Crisis. DC’s continuity was broken into pre-Crisis and post-Crisis. Now, enough time has passed that there’s now a post-post-Crisis. They refer to that as the New 52 continuity, which began in 2011 when DC once again rebooted the entire line.
Crisis on Infinite Earths was designed to streamline the DC continuity. But it didn’t really work. There were still too many separate moving pieces that didn’t quite fit the new storyline. In 1995, Zero Hour: Crisis in Time was intended to clean up the leftover mess that had continually revealed itself in the previous ten years.
In 2004, Identity Crisis was published and became a controversial story that took a deep dive into the characters that made up the Justice League.
2005 brought us a direct sequel to Crisis on Infinite Earths with Infinite Crisis. At the end of the Crisis, the Lex Luthor of Earth 3 was able to create some kind of pocket dimension in which he, the Superman and Lois Lane of Earth 2, and a Superboy from Earth Prime (meant to be the real world), would live and observe the reality that was the DC Universe. It was a pretty decent story, but got kind of complicated in the telling of it. But hey, it reintroduced the Multiverse.
Then, it was just a few years later that we got 2008’s Final Crisis, which was even more complicated than Infinite Crisis. Looking back… I just… I get confused thinking about it.
I know that, most recently, there was a story called Heroes in Crisis, which I’m pretty sure focused on heroes and villains that utilized a secret location where they could basically undergo counseling. I haven’t had a chance to read it, since I haven’t really been paying much attention to comics in recent years.
So many Crises, so little time…
Thanks to everyone who participated this week and shared your links! Please visit their blogs, give them a follow, and take a look at how they interpreted the prompt.
Be sure to come back on Wednesday for the next Sunday Scribblings prompt! Encourage other bloggers to challenge themselves with the prompt! Remember that there are no rules for what you write, other than responding to the prompt! You can write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose, biography, instruction… it’s all up to you!