Earlier this year Warner Bros and DC Comics announced they were adapting the famed Crisis On Infinite Earths comic into an animated movie. Ever since, fans have been wondering how you smash the many events of such a sprawling maxi-series into just one feature. The answer is that you don’t. WB revealed today Crisis will be told in THREE movies, the first of which is coming this January.
Given its significance in comic book history, and how many animated superhero films they’ve put out by now, one might wonder why DC hasn’t done Crisis already. The closest they’ve come is Crisis On Two Earths, a very loose adaption released over a decade ago. The truth is, this one probably took a while to figure out.
The problem with Crisis On Infinite Earths is that it’s a mess. Given its purpose, it can’t help but be one. Anyone who goes into the story cold, without first being familiar with the decades of comic book continuity it was designed to unsnarl, is going to be confused. This is also, likely, why Warner Bros has yet to attempt turning it into a live-action movie.
Comic books were doing the multiverse thing way, WAY before anyone else was, and they were also the first to discover the problems that come with it (problems that Disney is just now reckoning with). Crisis was written by Marv Wolfman to celebrate the 50th anniversary of DC’s existence by simplifying the massive, unwieldy multiverse they had built up into one, easy-to-digest universe.
The basic gist of the plot is that all superhero variants from all versions of Earth have been summoned by a mysterious being called the Monitor to stop another mysterious being, the Anti-Monitor, from destroying Earths in all dimensions. The conflict had a large body count, which was considered quite shocking in a time when superheroes weren’t famous for undoing their own demises. A lot of established characters were eliminated including Supergirl and The Flash, and though they were quickly replaced with look-alikes, DC kept the originals dead for decades.
Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part One will arrive on digital January 9; physical releases on Blu-Ray and 4K UHD will follow January 23. Look for the other two parts of the story later in 2024.