Penciller: Phil Jimenez
Inkers: Andy Lanning with Norm Rapmund, Marlo Alquiza & Lary Stucker
George Perez Cover Due to the way the shards are arranged, I'll list the characters in strips from left to right.
At the top, mostly hidden by the IC logo, are Qward from COIE; Uncle Sam; Captain Atom; below him are shadow demons; Aquaman; Psycho Pirate; an L which would seem to point to Lex Luthor; Arion; an OMAC.
Second strip starting just below the date on the cover: Ralph and Sue Dibney; the rocket ship holding Kal-L (Earth-Two) escaping from an exploding Krypton; Harbinger and the Monitor; below them is Deathstroke; below him is Power Girl wild Wildfire; to the right is the rocket from Krypton containing Kal-El (Earth-One); above and to the right Superman cradles the dead Supergirl; to the left of them is the anti-matter wave destroying an Earth. Jumping over to the shard to the right of Superman holding the dead Supergirl is the image from Flash of Two Worlds, with Flash II on the left and Flash I on the right; above that is Batman looking over the dead Robin II from Death in The Family; to the right is the Anti-Monitor; then the Martian Manhunter; then Oa.
From the bottom left corner working diagonally upwards: Lady Quark; above her is the hand of creation from COIE; above that is Lex Luthor in a battlesuit; to the right is the meeting of the Justice League and Justice Society - in the cloud from left to right are the Atom I, Green Lantern Alan Scott, Hourman I, Black Canary I, Dr Fate and Hawkman - at the back of the table are Aquaman (just), Green Arrow, Superman, Batman, Atom II, Martian Manhunter with Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Wonder Woman at the front. To the right is Captain marvel; aboe and to the right the empty costume of Flash II from COIE; Power Girl in the forefront; to the right of her shoulder is Johnny Quick from Earth-Three; Black Condor and the Human Bomb; Dr Light I; and Superman's birthing matrix escaping from Krypton.
From the bottom left working diagonally upwards again: Phantom Stranger; Artemis as Wonder Woman; Bane breaking Batman's back; Darkseid; Hal Jordan as Parallax; Maxwell Lord killing Blue Beetle II; Donna Troy; Doomsday fighting Superman.
Last strip from the middle of the bottom edge: the Brother Eye satellite; the Gentleman Ghost; Wonder Woman having killed Maxwell Lord; Kal-L, Earth-Two Lois and Superboy-Prime about to enter Alex Luthor's paradise; Superboy under the mind control of Luthor; Green Lantern Guy Gardner.
Page 1 - Panel 2 Ellen Baker, wife of Buddy Baker more commonly known as Animal Man. In the foreground is a Thanagarian Hawk helmet which harks back to Animal Man's role in the Invasion from several years ago. Hovering just above it is one of Donna Troy's travelspheres that were mentioned in the notes for the last issue.
Page 1 - Panel 3 Ellen with her and Buddy's children Maxine on the left and Cliff on the right.
Page 1 - Panels 5-6 Animal Man who, as his name and dialogue suggest, has a connection with the Red or the animal world (also called a morphogenetic field.) This connection is malfunctioning.
During Grant Morrison's run on the "Animal Man" series, Buddy was involved with the after effects of Crisis On Infinite Earths and, for a while at least, became aware of his own existence as a comic book character.
Pages 2-3 - Panel 1 The travelsphere transporting Animal Man to . . .
Pages 2-3 - Panel 2 . . . New Cronus, once the home of the Titans of Myth, now belonging to Donna Troy following the events of the Return Of Donna Troy.
Pages 2-3 - Panel 5 Cyborg of the Teen Titans, a long term member and friend of Donna's.
Pages 2-3 - Panel 7 The main panel. Like the depictions of Olympus in Wonder Woman's series, New Cronus is an Escher-like place where normal rules of geometry don't apply. To my knowledge, this depiction of all things Olympian was developed by George Perez when he was writing/drawing the Wonder Woman series in the late 80's.
From the top down we have Cyborg and Animal Man; Starfire; Red Tornado; Donna Troy; Shift; Firestorm III; Bumblebee; and, right at the bottom, Herald.
Pages 2-3 - Panel 8 Airwave who travels on radio waves as well as being able to pick them up. He is currently receiving calls from the Rann-Thanagar War at the new centre of the universe.
Pages 2-3 - Panel 9 GL Alan Scott, his daughter Jade and Shift attempt to ease Airwave's pain. Shift is from The Outsiders and was created from a fragment of the hero Metamorpho. For a while, he thought himself to be Metamorpho until the Outsiders discovered his true nature.
Pages 2-3 - Panel 11 Firestorm III is a mixture of two people, Jason Rusch and - in this instance - his friend Mick Wong who is concerned less with saving the universe and more with Starfire.
Pages 2-3 - Panel 12 No-one, not even Supergirl, can hear or see Mick so Firestorm spends a lot of time being asked who he's talking to.
Pages 2-3 - Panel 14 Kal-L's narration continues from Infinite Crisis #1. Here he mentions Supergirl's heartbeat.
Page 4 - Panel 1 Kal-L mentions here that Supergirl's heartbeat is in perfect sync with Power Girl's. The reason for this is explained later in this issue.
The Daily Planet headline claims she is a fraud; following COIE, Power Girl's origin was rebooted. Originally, she was the Earth-Two equivalent to Supergirl and cousin to Kal-L. Following COIE, it was maintained that she had arrived on Earth, proclaimed herself Superman's cousin, but then been found not to be a Kryptonian, hence being described as a fraud. It was later revealed that she was the time-lost grand-daughter of the Atlantean mage Arion, though that origin was also discounted.
Page 4 - Panel 2 The fight between Power Girl and Clayface continues directly from the end of Power Trip. The story attempted to make sense of Power Girl's confusing origin story and, at the end, it was revealed that, despite COIE doing away with the Multiverse, she was still from the Earth-Two universe.
Page 4 - Panel 4 Kal-L's narration here claims Power Girl may be "the most important person on the planet." In Panel 6, he adds "At least to me." As mentioned above, with her original origin still being in place regardless of the effects of COIE, Power Girl is Kal-L's cousin.
Page 4 - Panel 5 The Psycho Pirate appears and mentions, as he did to The Ray in Infinite Crisis #1, that Luthor wants her alive.
Page 4 - Panel 6 The villains sent to get her, however, aren't planning on using kid gloves. From the top down we have Giganta, Mr Atom, Clayface and Girder.
Note the red skies in the background.
Page 5 - Panel 5 Kal-L's narration shows his return to the DCU proper, for the first time since COIE.
Page 5 - Panel 6 As Kal-L streaks past, striking Giganta, note that the red skies are retreating.
Page 5 - Panel 8 Psycho Pirate, aware of Luthor's plans, a former resident of Earth-Two and the only person to remember the Multiverse, recognises Kal-L.
Page 6 Kal-L greets his cousin with a blue sky at his back.
Page 7 - Panel 1 In Metropolis, a news report confirms that Doctor Polaris, as seen in Infinite Crisis #1, is dead.
Page 7 - Panel 3 Lois Lane, long time love and now wife of Superman. She speaks on the phone to Martha Kent, Superman's adoptive mother, and mentions Conner; as seen in Infinite Crisis #1, Conner - Superboy - is resisting the urge to help in the Crisis.
Page 7 - Panel 5 Perry White, the Planet's editor, confirms for us that Black Condor, Phantom Lady and the Human Bomb - shown on the monitors above him - are all dead and Damage is in a critical condition. The Ray is missing - as was shown in Infinite Crisis #1, the Psycho Pirate took him - but so is Uncle Sam; the last time we saw him he was face down in the water.
To the left of the panel is long-time Planet photographer, Jimmy Olsen.
Page 8 - Panel 1 As Lois approaches Clark, we get to see a selection of previous Daily Planet front pages. From left to right with the headline in bold followed by the storyline it refers to we have:
Page 8 - Panels 2-3 Clark refers to Batman's line in Infinite Crisis #1 about Superman having last inspired people when he was dead.
Page 8 - Panels 4-6 Despite wanting to stay with his wife, Superman knows he is needed during the Crisis.
Page 9 - Panels 1-2 Gotham City where the heads of the Society are meeting. From left to right, on the screens, are Psycho Pirate, The Calculator and Lex Luthor. At the table are Deathstroke and Dr Psycho.
Note that though Psycho Pirate recognised Kal-L on Page 5 - Panel 8, he merely claims here that "someone" helped Power Girl escape. Luthor mentions a "contingency plan" for the capture of Power Girl which will come to light later in the story. As shown here, neither Deathstroke nor The Calculator (who refers to Slade - Deathstroke's real name is Slade Wilson) are aware of Luthor's "contingency plan".
Page 9 - Panel 3 On behalf of Luthor and the Society, The Calculator is attempting to discover who is behind the OMACs. Calculator is surrounded by screens, many of which show villains. In the top left (slightly hidden by the speech bubble) is Cyborgirl; the main screens from left to right show Psycho Pirate; Luthor; Ultivac and Mr Poseidon (the robot and a small man on his shoulder); and Sivana; bottom left shows Cliff Carmichael and the digital version of the Thinker; going round the desk, the next screen shows two Firestorm villains, Bug and Byte; the last shows a smiling man; and bottom right is Colonel Computron.
Page 9 - Panel 4 Deathstroke recounts the lack of luck the Society members have had in capturing a member of the Marvel family; Abra Kadabra - a long time Flash foe -is having trouble using magic thanks to the fallout from Day Of Vengeance and has been unable to keep track of Captain Marvel.
Behind Deathstroke are Luthor and The Calculator.
Page 9 - Panel 5 Dr Psycho claims Sivana and the Fearsome Five - traditional foes of Captain Marvel and the Teen Titans respectively - have had no luck "snatching junior". This refers to Captain Marvel Junior.
Behind Psycho are, on the left, Dr Sivana and, on the right, Abra Kadabra.
Page 9 -Panel 6 Deathstroke again. Here he claims Black Adam, one of the Society's leaders, is ready to go after Mary Marvel, the sister of Captain Marvel. The agents tracking her down - Chain Lightning and Goth - are behind him.
Page 9 - Panels 7-8 Luthor calls a halt to the hunt for the "world's mightiest mortals", the description often appended to Captain Marvel and his allies. Deathstroke mentions Luthor's stated need for one of the Marvels for a "mind-wiping machine" and, taking the easiest route, Luthor reveals he's not above betraying anyone in the Society.
Black Adam derives his powers from the same source as Captain Marvel and his allies; he should, therefore, be an adequate substitute for them.
The mind-wiping machine was mentioned in Villains United and is the ostensible reason the Society has come together; having learned of the Justice League's mind wiping of Dr Light I (as shown in Identity Crisis) Luthor claims to plan to wipe the minds of all the heroes simultaneously.
Infinite Crisis #1.
The dialogue - obviously heard over a radio - continues Luthor's words concerning Black Adam, justifying his betrayal of him to the rest of the Society.
Page 10 - Panels 2-4 It becomes abundantly clear with these panels that there are definitely two Lex Luthors in existence. The Lex shown earlier, dealing with the Society, and this version.
As shown in Villains United, the two Luthors are separate people; this Luthor is the ex-President who fell from power in Public Enemies, set up the Secret Six in Villains United to take on the Society, and wears armour from Apokolips.
Page 10 - Panel 6 Luthor sees two forms flying over him; Kal-L and Power Girl.
Page 11 - Panels 1-3 Kal-L brings Power Girl to where his Fortress of Solitude used to be back on Earth-Two. Despite the Psycho Pirate's revelations in Power Trip and Kal-L greeting her as "cousin" earlier, Power Girl is still uncertain of his identity.
Page 11 - Panels 4-5 Kal-L offers answers to Power Girl, claiming that - despite what she has believed since COIE - she was never alone.
Pages 12-13 - Panels 1-2 Alex Luthor and Superboy-Prime greet them both. Superboy-Prime is excited to see Power Girl and says "...it's been so long..." Despite his enthusiasm, it can only be assumed that he means the length of time spent watching her and the rest of the heroes as, in COIE - the last time he was in the DCU - he makes his appearance toward the end of the story and doesn't interact with Power Girl at all.
Pages 12-13 - Panel 3 As Kal-L introduces Power Girl to Alex, she can't help but betray the surprise and suspicion she feels at hearing his surname.
Pages 12-13 - Panels 5-7 Alex can detect Power Girl's anomalous existence, claiming that "She was never meant to survive [Crisis On Infinite Earths]." He offers a couple of reasons why Power Girl survived the merging of the Multiverse at the end of COIE, suggestng her "interaction with the Anti-Monitor" may have "left her protected from the shifting timelines."
With the exception of battling the Anti-Monitor at the end of COIE with most other heroes - including Kal-L - Power Girl had no "interaction" with him. This is either a simple error by Geoff Johns or an assumption on the part of Alex.
Pages 12-13 - Panel 9 Kal-L brings to a close any discussion about why she might have survived, prompting Power Girl to ask what she survived. She mentions Psycho Pirate telling her she "was from a different place" - this refers to the end of Power Trip.
Pages 12-13 - Panel 10 Superboy-Prime is obviously concerned that Power Girl remembers nothing of the Multiverse.
Pages 12-13 - Panels 11-12 Kal-L finally answers Power Girl's question about what she survived.
Page 14 - Panels 2-3 Kal-L recounts the history of the Multiverse, beginning with its creation thanks, in part, to the "being from Oa" in the centre of Panel 3. This is Krona, an Oan scientist.
Page 15 - Panel 1 Kal-L on Earth-Two fighting the Earth-Two Luthor. He mentions here that Power Girl was also a survivor of that universe's Krypton.
Page 15 - Panel 2 The Earth-One Superman fighting the Earth-One Luthor. While this scene is obviously pre-COIE, note the similarity between the battlesuit Luthor wears here and the Apokoliptian armour he wears on Page 10.
Page 15 - Panel 3 The pre-COIE Justice Society of America. Starting from the bottom left and moving clockwise round the table we have The Atom, The Sandman, The Spectre, The Flash, Hawkman, Dr Fate, Green Lantern and Hourman.
Page 15 - Panel 4 The pre-COIE Justice League of America. Starting from the bottom left and moving clockwise round the table we have The Flash, Green Arrow, Batman, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, Superman and, seated in a miniature chair on the table itself, is The Atom.
Page 15 - Panel 5 Kal-L references the first time heroes from the two universes met. This is the classic "Flash of Two Worlds" story from Flash #123.
Page 15 - Panel 6 This panel replicates the cover of Justice League of America #21, "Crisis on Earth-One" where the JLA and the JSA first meet. Black Canary appears with her JSA team-mates. Kal-L mentions the fact that although his Earth came first, it was the League's Earth that became Earth-One. He also says that the teams "met during a crisis."
From Justice League of America #21, the JLA and JSA would team up on an annual basis; the adventures would often include the word crisis in the title. For example:
These, and others that followed, would influence the naming of COIE and, obviously, Infinite Crisis itself.
Page 16 - Panel 1 Kal-L gives Power Girl a brief run down of some of the infinite earths:
Page 16 - Panel 2 The birth of the Anti-Monitor.
Page 16 - Panel 3 The five surviving Earths were One, Two, X, S and Four.
I've numbered the picture to the left so we have:
1) Tempest 2) Pariah 3) Lightning Lad 4) Ultra Boy 5) Blok 6) Halo 7) Lightning Lass 8) Cyborg 9) Hawkman 10) Alex Luthor 11) Hourman 12) Captain Marvel Jr 13) The Ray 14) E1 Superman 15) Wonder Woman 16) Sun Boy 17) E2 Superman 18) Wildfire 19) Dr Light II 20) Captain Atom 21) Lady Quark 22) Kole 23) Firehawk 24) Superboy-Prime.
Page 16 - Panel 6 Kal-L himself delivering the final blow to the Anti-Monitor, destroying him utterly.
Page 17 - Panels 1-7 Kal-L's fate, along with Superboy-Prime, Lois Lane and Alex Luthor, at the end of Crisis On Infinite Earths. More information about what happened to the four of them can be found in the Infinite Crisis Secret Files & Origins.
Page 17 - Panel 8 The first image is of the post Legends JLA: Mr Miracle, Captain Marvel, Dr Light II, Martian Manhunter, Batman, Dr Fate, Blue Beetle, Black Canary, GL Guy Gardner.
Below them is The Flash III.
The lower half of the panel is split into separate images; clockwise from the rocket escaping from the exploding Krypton we have Superman, Booster Gold, Hawkman, Donna Troy and Wonder Woman.
Page 18 - Panel 1 Kal-L's narration shows his disappointment in the new Earth's heroes.
Clockwise from top left: Batman holding the dead Robin II; Superman being punched by Doomsday; Wonder Woman (in black) fighting the new Wonder Woman, Artemis; Parallax; Bane breaking Batman's back.
Page 18 - Panel 2 Clockwise from the top: Ralph (Elongated Man) Dibny at the funeral of his wife, Sue, who was killed in Identity Crisis - carrying the coffin are Green Arrow, Flash III and Hawkman; Superman and Wonder Woman standing over the dead Maxwell Lord; Superboy as seen in The Insiders under the control of Lex Luthor; Kal-L and Lois watching the scenes; Maxwell Lord shooting Blue Beetle at the end of Countdown To Infinite Crisis.
Page 18 - Panel 5 Behind Superboy-Prime, Kal-L and Power Girl is an image of Black Adam striking Uncle Sam; this comes from the battle shown in Infinite Crisis #1 (Page 27 - Panel 1).
Page 18 - Panels 6-9 In response to Power Girl's question of how the four survivors returned to the DCU, Superboy-Prime claims that Kal-L almost broke his hands, while Alex says that their "escape was nothing short of a miracle." While the first statement is true, the second is challenged by events shown in the Infinite Crisis Secret Files & Origins.
Page 19 - Panels 1-2 Superboy-Prime suggests that the Multiverse was a better place, after all "Being the only survivor of a reality that never existed . . . it's not easy knowing what you've lost." He is, of course, referring to himself as the only survivor of Earth-Prime's universe.
Page 19 - Panel 5 Alex wants to find out what the villains are up to.
Page 19 - Panel 6 Behind Kal-L and Power Girl is a scene of the Metal Men being attacked by OMACs. Anti-clockwise from top left are Mercury, Gold, Lead, Tin and Platinum. The remains of Iron are in an OMACs hand.
Kal-L reveals that they are in the same location that his Fortress of Solitude stood on Earth-Two and that the images displayed on the crystal walls respond to emotions and needs.
Page 19 - Panel 9 As Power Girl sees the Earth-Two Lois Lane, Kal-L implies that his wife's impending death is what caused the decay of the heaven they had inhabited.
Page 20 - Panel 5 Booster Gold, last seen leaving Earth following the death of his friend Blue Beetle II, returns from the 25th Century to the ruins of the Watchtower. His companion is Skeets, a floating robot also from the 25th Century.
Page 20 - Panel 6 Skeets reveals that he and Booster stole historical records from the future; were they to return, they would be executed.
Page 20 - Panel 7 As Skeets says, he cannot find Martian Manhunter who has been missing since the end of Crisis Of Conscience. The others, displayed on the screens in front of Booster are Mary Marvel, Metamorpho, Fire and GL Guy Gardner. Rather than assemble his friends, Booster decides to track down the Blue Beetle's scarab.
Page 21 - Panel 2 Strapped to a roulette wheel is King from the Royal Flush Gang (RFG).
Page 21 - Panel 3 Stood in front of him is his captor, the Joker. Note that under Joker's foot is the head of the android Ace of the RFG. For some reason, the Joker hasn't been invited to join the Society when it seems just about every other villain has, and he wants to know why.
Page 21 - Panel 5 As the King points out, "Joker's too wild." It would appear that, despite working together in the past, Luthor has decided the Joker is too unpredictable.
Page 21 - Panel 7 Using a trademark electric buzzer, the Joker apparently kills the King. Since the Invasion a few years ago, however, the King has been described as immortal so it's unlikely that he will remain dead.
Page 21 - Panel 9 As the Joker leaves, we can see he has dealt with the rest of the RFG as well: Jack with his face in a slot machine; Queen with what looks to be a rubber chicken in her throat; and Ten crushed beneath a table/block of some sort.
Page 22 - Panels 1-4 Kal-L introduces Power Girl to his wife, the Lois Lane of Earth-Two. At first, Power Girl has no recollection of her at all.
Page 22 - Panels 5-6 With just a touch of Lois's hand, however, Power Girl suddenly remembers everything about her pre-Crisis On Infinite Earths life.
From the bottom left hand corner, working clockwise around are: two panels of Power Girl and Kal-L using the giant key to open his Fortress of Solitude; Power Girl as a baby with her father Zor-L and her mother; Krypton exploding; Power Girl holding the ship that brought her to Earth-Two; Christmas with the Kents; her with Lois; her with Kal-L in his Clark Kent identity; her in front of the Daily Star newspaper building; she and Kal-L chasing the Toyman.
Page 23 As Power Girl's memories come back, the meeting between her, Kal-L and Lois becomes something of a family reunion.
Page 24 - Panels 2-3 Batman is trying to play the security recording he recovered from the Watchtower last issue.
Page 24 - Panel 4 Alfred Pennyworth, long time butler to the Wayne family and aide de camp to Bruce in his campaign as Batman.
Page 24 - Panels 6-8 An indication of Batman's mood is the anger with which he treats his friend.
Page 24 - Panels 12-13 As the batcomputer switches off, Bruce Wayne is gone and Batman returns.
Page 25 - Panel 3 As Brother Eye states, its original purpose was surveilance.
Page 25 - Panel 4 Batman may have been responsible for the creation of Brother Eye, but the OMACs were the creation of Maxwell Lord.
Page 25 - Panel 5 Brother Eye refers to "sixty point seven percent" of the OMACs being disabled; this happened at the end of The OMAC Project.
Pages 26-27 The OMACs attack Themyscira. Wonder Woman is front and centre with Fury II to the left, transdorming into Tisiphone as she flies.
Page 28 - Panel 3 Carissa, an Amazon warrior and healer, dies.
Page 28 - Panel 4 Artemis who briefly held the title of Wonder Woman. Behind her, both attacking and being attacked by an OMAC, is Tisiphone.
Page 28 - Panel 6 Artemis and Wonder Woman fight back to back, Artemis demanding to know what to do and Wonder Woman not having any answers.
Page 29 - Panel 6 Kal-L refers to the heroes of this world as altering minds - the reference is to Identity Crisis.
As to heroes killing, several heroes have resorted to taking the lives of their foes:
There may well be others - these are just the first I remembered.
Page 29 - Panel 7 Top to bottom are The Spectre facing off against Amethyst; Garnet and Ultramarine (with the circle on his forehead); GL Guy Gardner and other GLs including GL Isamot Kol on the right; the Shadowpact consisting of Ragman, Nightshade, Blue Devil, Nightmaster, Enchantress and Detective Chimp in the front; and Batman.
Page 30 - Panel 1 As Kal-L states here, at the end of Crisis On Infinite Earths, the surviving Earths were merged; Earth-One may have been "the primary world" but the resulting Earth was not Earth-One.
Page 30 - Panel 4 Kal-L states his reason for returning to the DCU: he wishes to bring back Earth-Two.
The screens in front of him and Power Girl show, on the left Dr Midnite I and Wildcat I; Flash I; Earth-Two Wonder Woman and Fury.
The screens (roughly) in the middle show Dr Fate and Hawkman; a meeting of the JSA with, clockwise from Hawkman, Flash I, GL Alan Scott, Starman I, Dr Fate, The Atom I, Dr Midnite I and Wildcat I; the marriage of Kal-L and Lois.
The screens on the right show the grave of Bruce Wayne; the Earth-Two Huntress (Wayne's daughter) in front of his grave; Huntress again; and Earth-Two Robin fighting the Earth-Two Scarecrow.
Deaths in this Issue: