Crossovers, alternate timelines, and multiple plot collisions are the meat on the bone of DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths. But the reason that this story has remained a fan favourite ever since the iconic Marv Wolfman/George Perez twelve-issue mini series, is that it somehow manages to distill the very soul of DC into one gloriously satisfying storyline. We have the flawed heroes, facing insurmountable odds. We have the murderous villains, planning unspeakable atrocities. And we have those small, quiet moments that DC do so well.
Of course, the aim of Crisis on Infinite Earths was to streamline the DC canon, eliminate unpopular characters, and reboot the brand, which — at a time when comics like The Watchmen were shaking up the established order — many saw as old fashioned. The result was a labour of love, utilising every DC character, with the tagline promising: “Worlds will live, worlds will die and nothing will ever be the same.”
It’s taken a while for the DC Animated Universe to finally tackle the plot-beast that is Crisis on Infinite Earths, and they’ve chosen to do it in not one, but three parts. Thanks to that, Part One has an awful lot of exposition and action sequences that feel like the set up for greater things to come — because that what essentially they are.
That’s not to say that Part One doesn’t deliver. It does: in spades. Love, loss, and the connections that bind us, bring warmth and emotional resonance to a tale that could, in the wrong hands, have been simply another series of mega-battles.
Those who know the comics, will understand why Barry Allen’s Flash is very much the focus here. Be prepared for both shocks and surprises.
Crisis on Infinite Earths, Part One, is deftly done. It foreshadows the thrills and tragedies to come, while delivering enough memorable moments to keep audiences on the edge of their seat. Bravo DC.
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, the film will be available to purchase exclusively on Digital Download on 9th January and on 4K UHD + Blu-ray in limited edition steelbook packaging on 29th January.