Universal Crisis

After weeks of teasing, my Event Horizon column on Crisis on Infinite Earths has finally seen the light of day! It’s pretty big, which is appropriate given the subject matter. I follow the history of the comic book crossover and how it eventually led to the emergence of shared universes. The article also explores superhero metaphysics, the role of fandom in all these developments, and traces Crisis’ cultural influence. Here are the first couple of paragraphs:

Crisis on Infinite Earths (COIE), published April 1985 to March 1986 was one of the quintessential and most influential comic book series of the Event (What is the Event? Read the introduction here.). It is overshadowed by comics like Watchmen or The Dark Knight, but it is arguably more influential than both.

What is remarkable about COIE is not formal or narrative innovation, but an intensification and scope of the endeavor of super-hero comic books. It is more appropriate to speak of COIE as an endeavor rather than as a specific comic book, though it is that as well. It is more important and influential AS an endeavor than as a comic book narrative.

Check it out, it’s up now on The Comics Journal. And when you’re done with that, check out all the related Event Horizon posts here:

Explore more posts related to my Event Horizon column about the comics from 1985-87.

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