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“Beyond the Silent Night”

  • Writers: Marv Wolfman, Robert Greenberger
  • Penciler: George Pérez
  • Inkers: Dick Giordano, Jerry Ordway
  • Colors: Tom Ziuko
  • Letterers: John Costanza

Crisis on Infinite Earths was a 12-part maxi-series and crossover event, produced by DC Comics in 1985 to simplify their 50-year-old continuity.  The series was written by Marv Wolfman and illustrated primarily by George Pérez. The series did away with the old “multiverse” in the DC Universe, and featured the deaths of some DC mainstays (like the Barry Allen Flash). It was ambitious, gigantic, and a huge whopping mess that I personally have only just started to fully wrap my head around.

The five Earths continue to merge, and the heroes on them fear for their friends and allies who have joined the Monitor’s aides in the war on the Anti-Monitor. The Spectre says not even his power would be effective in the anti-matter universe.  Alexander Luthor opens a portal between the Multiverse and the Ant-Matter Universe, through which Pariah guides Mon-El, the Supermen of Earth-1 and Earth-2, Lady Quark, Captain Atom, Jade, Green Lantern of Earth-2, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, the Ray, John J’onzz, Wildfire, Firestorm, Dr. Light, and Supergirl.

The Anti-Monitor strikes Superman, and his cry of pain is heard by Supergirl, who races to help him. She passes Pariah, who is digging himself out of rubble. The Anti-Monitor is about to kill Superman with an energy blast when Supergirl crashes into the villain.  She wails on the Anti-Monitor, but the villain is too powerful. He knocks Supergirl back and announces that he will kill her and Superman. Supergirl tears the floor from underneath him, causing his blast to miss Superman.  Dr. Light, watching Supergirl continue to beat on the Anti-Monitor, realizes the selfishness of her own life compared to Supergirl’s, and says she has shown her the true path. Superman calls for his cousin.  The Anti-Monitor beats Supergirl down, who falls dead as Superman screams her name.

The five Earths are for now out of danger. The time distortion has stopped, and the Earths remain linked.  The worlds receive the news of Supergirl’s death and a memorial service is held in Chicago.  Later, Superman leaves his Fortress of Solitude with the body of Supergirl, wrapped in her indestructible cape, and sets her free in space, promising to remember and miss her forever.

Again, Captain Atom’s role in all this is small.  But that is to be expected with a story this size.  Because Marv Wolfman’s task was so sweeping and huge, I give an A for story and definitely an A for George Pérez, Dick Giordano, and Jerry Ordway’s art.