DC Iron Age

Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985)

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Crisis on Infinite Earths was published by DC Comics from 1985 to 1986, consisting of an eponymous 12-issue, limited series comic book and a number of tie-in books. It was produced by DC Comics to simplify its then-50-year-oldcontinuity. The series was written by Marv Wolfman and illustrated by George Pérez (pencils and layouts), Mike DeCarlo, Dick Giordano and Jerry Ordway (inking and embellishing). The series removed the multiverse concept from the fictional DC Universe, depicting the death of long-standing characters Supergirl and the Barry Allen incarnation of the Flash. Continuity in the DC Universe is divided into pre-Crisis and post-Crisis periods. The Flash was later reborn.

The series’ title was inspired by earlier multiverse crossover stories of parallel Earths, such as “Crisis on Earth-Two” and “Crisis on Earth-Three“, and involves almost every significant character in every parallel universe of DC Comics history. It inspired the titles of three DC crossover series: Zero Hour: Crisis in Time! (1994), Infinite Crisis (2005–2006), and Final Crisis(2008).

Adventure Comics (2009)

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The five-issue mini-series Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds led into an all-new volume of Adventure Comics, featuring the revived Conner Kent/Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes. The main creative team of Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul debuted in a backup story in Adventure Comics #0 (April 2009). A secondary feature starring the Legion of Super-Heroes was co-written with Mike Shoemaker and drawn by Clayton Henry. The first issue of the new run of Adventure Comics was released on August 12, 2009, and features watermarked numbering marking it as both #1 and#504, thus continuing the original numeration of the series concurrently with the volume 2 numeration. For the variant incentive cover editions, the original numeration was dominant on the cover while the vol. 2 numeration was the watermarked numbering marking. The indicia of the comic book also reflects this dual numbering. The title officially returned to its original vol. 1 numbering with #516 (cover dated September 2010), until #529 when it was finally ended prior to DC’s The New 52 company reboot.

All-Star Superman (2005)

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All-Star Superman is a twelve-issue series featuring Superman that was published by DC Comics. The series ran from November 2005 to October 2008. The series was written by Grant Morrison, drawn by Frank Quitely, and digitally inked by Jamie Grant. DC claimed that this series would “strip down the Man of Steel to his timeless, essential elements”.

The series was the second to be launched in 2005 under DC’s All-Star imprint, the first being All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder. These series were attempts by DC to allow major comics creators a chance to tell stories showcasing these characters without being restricted by DC Universe continuity.

The series was met with critical acclaim and is widely considered to be one of the best Superman stories of all time.

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight

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Legends of the Dark Knight, is a DC comic book featuring Batman. It was launched in 1989 with the popularity of the Batman movie, following on from Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One. It differs from other Batman titles in that it has constantly rotating creative teams, and the stories are not necessarily part of the current events of the other Batman comics. Initially the title was promoted as running only stand alone self-contained five issue stories of graphic novel quality. However, after issue 20, stories of different lengths started to appear. While some stories have tied in with the other titles, generally this has not been the case.

Watchmen (1986)

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The series was created by a British collaboration consisting of writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons, and colorist John Higgins. Watchmen originated from a story proposal Moore submitted to DC featuring superhero characters that the company had acquired from Charlton Comics. As Moore’s proposed story would have left many of the characters unusable for future stories, managing editor Dick Giordano convinced Moore to create original characters instead.

Moore used the story as a means to reflect contemporary anxieties and to deconstruct and parody the superhero concept. Watchmen depicts an alternate history where superheroes emerged in the 1940s and 1960s and their presence changed history so that the United States won the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal was never exposed. In 1985, the country is edging toward World War III with the Soviet Union, freelance costumed vigilantes have been outlawed and most former superheroes are in retirement or working for the government. The story focuses on the personal development and moral struggles of the protagonists as an investigation into the murder of a government-sponsored superhero pulls them out of retirement.

Batman (1990’s)

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The 1993 “Knightfall” story arc introduced a new villain, Bane, who critically injures Batman. Jean-Paul Valley, known as Azrael, is called upon to wear the Batsuit during Bruce Wayne’s convalescence. Writers Doug Moench,Chuck Dixon, and Alan Grant worked on the Batman titles during “Knightfall”, and would also contribute to other Batman crossovers throughout the 1990s. 1998’s “Cataclysm” storyline served as the precursor to 1999’s “No Man’s Land“, a year-long storyline that ran through all the Batman-related titles dealing with the effects of an earthquake-ravaged Gotham City. At the conclusion of “No Man’s Land”, O’Neil stepped down as editor and was replaced by Bob Schreck.

Swamp Thing (1980’s)

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In 1984, editor Len Wein assigned Swamp Thing to British writer Alan Moore. When Karen Berger took over as editor, she gave Moore free rein to revamp the title and the character as he saw fit. Moore reconfigured Swamp Thing’s origin to make him a true monster as opposed to a human transformed into a monster. In his first issue, he swept aside most of the supporting cast Pasko had introduced in his year-and-a-half run as writer, and brought the Sunderland Corporation to the forefront, as they hunted Swamp Thing and “killed” him in a hail of bullets. The subsequent investigation revealed that Swamp Thing was not Alec Holland’s consciousness transformed into a plant but actually a form of plant life that had absorbed Holland’s consciousness after exposure to his work, with Swamp Thing’s appearance being the plants’ attempt to duplicate Holland’s human form.