It is hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that we are rapidly approaching the 30th anniversary of Crisis on Infinite Earths. If that fact says one thing to me, louder than anything, it says that I am getting old.
Now I am of two minds about the Crisis. I actually like the Crisis and it's simplification of the DCU. Most of that comes from the immediate aftermath within DC Comics, a sort of explosion of creativity and new books. Of course, Supergirl was killed in the Crisis, something I have never quite understood.
But there is one thing that I do find interesting. Despite everything that happened in the Crisis, it is clear that the lasting image of that story is Superman holding Supergirl's body after she sacrifices herself to save him.
Yes, the cover to Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 is a beautiful cover and a great image. But that image doesn't have multiple earths. It doesn't have the Anti-Monitor of the Monitor. It doesn't have the true 'hero' of the story, the Earth-2 Superman. And didn't the Flash also die.
I wonder why that image resonates so much. One of my theories is that Supergirl's death had more impact that DC thought it would. Instead of her being a footnote, a secondary character, she meant something to people. Another is that it stands as the end of an era. Someone bright and optimistic is killed. The grim and gritty era of comics starts shortly thereafter. Maybe Supergirl's death meant something more, something about comics.
Of course, it just might be that it is a masterful cover by George Perez, homaged many times.
Okay, so you might be asking why am I talking about this now. Well, I recently stumbled across the JLA in Crisis Secret Files from 1998. It is an issue with an original Flash story. But more importantly, it has 2 page spreads recapping all the major company-wide crossover that have occurred in the DCU up to that point. That includes the Crisis. And there is Superman holding Supergirl in that classic pose on the cover (drawn by Robert Campanella).
Open the cover and the first page is a reprint of the Crisis #7 cover but now with the JLA in Crisis logo.!
Again, amazing the power of that image, such that in an issue looking at ALL the crossovers, this was the image the chose as their opening page.
Here is the Crisis on Infinite Earths double page spread, drawn by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. Garcia-Lopez is a legend. I love this splash as it covers the story nicely showing the last battle, the Flash's destiny, and the united villains.
But again, there, in the center, is Superman holding Kara.
The pages come with text explaining what happened. I include the Crisis text for completeness.
I thought I would include some other crossover splashes that include Supergirl.
Here is the Zero Hour picture, drawn by Paul Ryan. There is the Matrix Supergirl on the left, next to the Darkstar Donna Troy!
And I found this interesting. Here is the Genesis pages drawn by Ron Wagner.
There is Supergirl on the fold, being blasted by a parademon. No Superman. No Batman. No Wonder Woman. But there is Supergirl!
I have covered a lot of Crisis over my 6 years doing this blog. I'll be covering it more in the upcoming year.