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Thursday, 8 November 2018

Crisis on Infinite Earths 4 - the Monitor dies

Wolfman, Perez and DeCarlo bring the first phase of Crisis on Infinite Earths to a destructive finale in issue 4 (July 1985).

Supergirl and Batgirl open this issue, with a discussion about heroism in the face of vast destruction. The news had already reported that Supergirl was going to get killed in Crisis, so there is a fatalism to the scene, which makes it much more moving.

John Constantine makes a brief appearance, talking with a highly stressed Steve Dayton. This scene gets set up in New Teen Titans, and duplicated in Swamp Thing.

Pariah is drawn to yet another universe getting wiped out. He manages to save Lady Quark, although she is none too happy about being pulled away from her dying husband and daughter.

And the Monitor creates the new Dr Light, taking a tempermental Japanese scientist and transforming her with a nova blast.

The Anti-Monitor is also recruiting, and grabs the Red Tornado, who he has mysterious plans for.

We get to briefly see one last tuning fork, this time in Camelot. Firestorm and Killer Frost have been sent to guard it, and they hook up with the Shining Knight. Vandal Savage is also on hand, though he just watches events play out.

When a tuning fork materializes in New York City, the Outsiders and New Teen Titans are determined to destroy it, thinking it is causing the time warps and anti-matter waves. Though she speaks no English, Dr Light is able to hold off the heroes and convey to them that the tuning fork is their only hope.

Wonder Woman hasn't been a part of this yet, but we do see her, in a scene duplicated in her own book, praying with her mother and the other Amazons on Paradise Island.

The Monitor reveals to Pariah that he is the one who gave Pariah his abilities. Pariah does not take the news well. As they talk, we see a montage of heroes dealing with various disasters, including the groups we have already seen in the old west, Markovia, and the Great Disaster era of Kamandi. The Legion are shown, as are Infinity, Inc, fighting alongside the Justice Society. Blue Devil is shown, alongside Hawkman and Hawkwoman. Even Lori Lemaris makes a cameo in this scene.

But then it's time for the finale the cover had proclaimed. Under the spell of the Anti-Monitor, Harbinger kills the Monitor.

And as the issue ends the waves of anti-matter look to spread across both Earths 1 and 2, leaving nothing behind.

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