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cover: George Pérez (not actual cover)

Apr 85
DC Comics

"The Summoning!" (32 pages)

Marv Wolfman/Len Wein/Bob Greenberger
George Pérez
Dick Giordano/George Pérez
Tony Tollin
John Costanza
Marv Wolfman

Originally entitled HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE and to be a 10 issue series, it quickly expand to 12 issue. This series was then advertised as UNIVERSE: CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, before becoming known simply as Crisis on Infinite Earths.
"Cover" scan from DC SAMPLER #3 (1984).

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  • Crisis on Infinite Earths
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    Showing posts 1 - 2 of 3708. View more »
     January 20, 2003 | Wolfman's Response to Byrne/Crisis
    From Marv Wolfman, via What the Hey! Messageboard
    A little "Crisis" clarification
    01-16-03 17:19

    Crisis was indeed my idea and nobody elses. It's one of the times I can absolutely say that. After I came up with the idea I mentioned it to Len Wein, Joe Staton, and I believe Laurie Sutton (an editor at DC at the time) who were all going to Pittsburgh with me on the same train.

    After it was pitched to DC, it is possible (though I have no memory of this) that editor-in-chief Dick Giordano or someone other than me might have looked around for artists. George was not expected to draw the comic because he was busy on Titans, but after I told him about it he asked to do it. Once he did there was never any reason to look elsewhere as nobody could have done it better.

     January 12, 2003 | Meanwhile... (1983)
    From Dick Giordano
    MEANWHILE… (Feb 1983)

    You may have heard that DC is planning to publish a maxi-series that will attempt to more neatly define the DC universe in an exciting adventure yarn that will span 12 issues. Tentatively titled "The History of the DC Universe", current plans are for the first issue to appear in the spring of 1983.

    DC/Marvel team-ups, JLA/Avengers is pretty well set for the summer. A second Titans/X-Men set for Christmas.

     January 8, 2003 | Byrne Turned Down Crisis
    From Slush Factory, thanks to ES
    IMO: Dominos
    By John Byrne


    And the end result of all this? At DC, it was Crisis on Infinite Earths (a job I turned down, when it was just called The History of the DC Universe) -- and to this day there are people who say Crisis did not go far enough, or Crisis went too far -- or, somewhat after the fact, that Crisis wasn't really "necessary."

    And still the dominoes fall. Crisis begat Man of Steel, and Man of Steel begat a whole syndrome. Now it seems a writer cannot begin a run on an existing series without blowing it all up and starting over. (Mea culpa? Not really. I would have been perfectly happy to do the reboot slowly, over several months, within existing continuity.)

    So now we find ourselves where we are -- with DC on the verge of "needing" another Crisis, according to many fans (simply ignoring bad stories being no longer an option, apparently), and the current regime at M*rv*l trundling as fast as their pudgy little legs will let them toward the kind of morass that makes the "need" for the original Crisis seem like smoke and fairy dust.

     December 31, 2002 | HOTDCU Time Line Reply
    From Marv Wolfman
    Re: History of the DC Universw
    12/30/02 04:49:10 PM

    Wow, I don't remember it being 3 issues at all, but I do have a vague memory of the timeline. Why that went away, who knows? Originally, the History was supposed to be the last two issues (11&12) of Crisis (The History of the DC Universe was Crisis' original name, by the way). But Crisis expanded in size - though not content. It just took more pages than originally planned to tell the story I had previously outlined for ten issues. By the time we realized that we'd need all twelve issues and that History would have to be a separate book, Crisis was selling so well the approval of the History spinoff was instantly approved.

    As for why the timeline never happened, as I say, I don't remember.

     October 29, 2002 | Crisis Originally 10 Issues
    From Marv Wolfman, via What the Hey!
  • CRISIS #10
  • Post-Crisis Multiverses
    10-28-02 23:46

    Let's see, memory being off, I'll do my best. I believe I knew early on - after I roughly plotted all 12 issues but before I completely committed to the plots - that I had to make changes. The ending of the series was the SAME execpt for the idea that the heroes NEVER went to the beginning of time and therefore they were affected by the time change, too. This would mean the ONLY person who knew the worlds had collapsed would have been Psycho Pirate and he was nuts. But everything else was the same.
    The series are supposed to be ten issues with a two issue History of DC to explain the new history. But the STORY ran longer than I anticipated (even with George drawing 127 panels per page). Even if the end didn't have to be changed so the heroes remembered the events, it still would have run the full 12 issues. being the first of its kind it was impossible to fully anticipate everything I needed to fit into the issues.

    I still think the ending doesn't work as is but I think considering what needed to be done it was done the best it could be. I just saw the dominoes falling and knew if anyone remembered the Crisis the characters be talking about it for years to come, which negated the need to make the change in the first place. And that is exactly what happened.

    08/07/2006 22:03:54

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