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Comic Book / Infinite Crisis

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"I've been in worse places than this. And I've gotten out."

In 1985, DC Comics decided to clean house and get rid of The Multiverse. And so they published Crisis on Infinite Earths. And it was good (reception-wise), even though it left many issues with continuity. Since then, DC has not been shy with the Crisis Crossovers, though most of them could not live up to the standard the original Crisis had set. Zero Hour: Crisis in Time! mucked up continuity a bit, and Identity Crisis (2004) was in reality just a murder mystery with a plot the fanbase doesn't quite agree on. In honor of the Crisis' 20th anniversary, the editorial staff decided to tie up a few loose ends and create a full blown sequel to it.

Since the Crisis, fans had complained that nearly every title DC produced had been getting progressively Darker and Edgier. The Big Three had been hit hardest. Batman lost his sidekick, had his back broken, had Gotham hit by TWO plagues and an earthquake, and just barely saved Gotham from becoming a No Man's Land. Superman died, was replaced four times (two of which were a clone and an evil cybernetic doppleganger), and came back to life JUST to start. Wonder Woman was affected the least, but was recorded killing Max Lord to save Superman, causing a massive blow to human-Amazonian relations. The DCU was dark and getting worse, especially since the events of Identity Crisis (2004), The O.M.A.C. Project and others came to light. The opinions of the fans had been heard, but a question was raised by DC: "What would the heroes of the Crisis — what would the Golden Age Superman think?" Their conclusion? "We saved the wrong Earth." Their solution? Recreate the Multiverse into a Merged Reality.

Thus the foundation was set for Infinite Crisis.

The survivors of the Multiverse, Alexander Luthor Jr, the Golden Age Superman (Kal-L), Superboy Prime, and Lois Lane entered a "paradise dimension" at the end of the Crisis, but were able to watch the new Earth. As time went on, they were disappointed by the growing cynicism in the Universe and Prime and Luthor began to plan to replace the Earth with a better one. Kal-L agreed, but was more attentive to his dying wife, which Prime and Luthor used to break free from their dimension and enter Earth. Due to Superboy-Prime's punching of the barriers of the dimension, several things changed without explanation. While Prime manipulated events in space, Luthor stayed on Earth and disguised himself as the regular Lex to form a Secret Society of Villains (sans The Joker) and even recruited the treacherous Psycho-Pirate from the original Crisis. When another hero, Pariah, who was instrumental in the fight with the Anti-Monitor, came to warn Lex Luthor of a coming danger, Alexander Luthor killed him.

Because of Wonder Woman's murder of Max Lord (who was responsible for the murder of Ted Kord), the treachery of the Justice League, the movement of the planet Rann into Thanagar's orbit, and the center of the Universe no longer being Oa, chaos broke out all across the Universe. With Hal Jordan revived, the Spectre was without a host and was tricked by Jean Loring, the new Eclipso, into destroying the magic of the Universe, which ultimately led to the death of Shazam!. Also, before Max Lord died he hijacked the Brother Mk. I satellite and injected millions of people with the O.M.A.C. nanoprobes which were to activate and transform people into cyborgs to eliminate any and all metahumans upon Lord's death (and it was later revealed that Alexander Luthor screwed up Brother Mk. I further, causing it to go rogue, rename itself Brother Eye, and try to kill as many heroes as it can with its O.M.A.C.s). Finally, the story begins with the abduction of the Martian Manhunter and the destruction of the Justice League Watchtower.

Whew! And that's just the prologue to the story!

In the main story, Alexander and Superboy-Prime take all the heroes and villains that they spent the past year kidnapping and attach them to a giant "dimensional tuning fork". This allows them to recreate the Multiverse and bring back all the Earths that were lost during the original Crisis, which Alexander can smash together to form what they consider the perfect Earth. Luckily for the Multiverse, Prime picks a fight with the regular Superboy. The fight escalates, and the two eventually crash into the fork, causing all the Earths to merge into one Earth. Prime snaps and flies to the center of the Universe in an attempt to destroy and remake the Universe. He is intercepted by Superman and Kal-L, who beat him into submission, but not before he kills Kal-L.

Plus a bunch of other stories involving the Secret Society of Supervillains trying to Take Over the World by force, Batman leading a team to take down Brother Eye (including a youth by the name of Jaime Reyes who unwillingly becomes the new Blue Beetle), Superman and Kal-L fighting over Lighter and Softer versus Darker and Edgier, and a bunch of heroes trying to do something about Alexander messing with the Universe.

As with Crisis on Infinite Earths, a great number of Retcons occurred as a result of the story, in this case caused by a combination of the recollapse of the once dead Multiverse and the punching of the Source Wall by Superboy-Prime.

Superboy-Prime's changes were:

  • Jason Todd was restored to life, even though everyone remembered his death.
  • Elasti-Girl and Negative Man of the Doom Patrol were restored to life, the Chief was restored to his original body, and the team's history rebooted. The team eventually remembered their original history, and it was later shown that nearly all of the versions of the Doom Patrol that ever existed are still in continuitynote . Yes, even John Byrne's team.
  • Superman, Donna Troy, and the Metal Men each had the inconsistencies in their origins reconciled.
  • The various incarnations of pretty badly mixed up. After the event, the Golden Age Hawkman continued to be the one that DC stuck with.
  • Hal Jordan was never an ex-con who served 90 days in prison for drunk driving, leaving a man paralyzed in its wake.
  • Maxwell Lord managed to return to his full human self but, after a lifetime of secretly harboring a deep hatred for superheroes, began to actively manipulate things from behind the scenes as one of the leaders of Checkmate.

The changes caused by the rebirth and collapse of the Multiverse were:

  • Joe Chill was arrested for the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne, and was subsequently released after serving his sentence.
  • Superman was briefly active during his teenage years as Superboy. As a result, his adventures with the Legion of Super-Heroes are once again canon.
    • After losing and then regaining his powers, he regained the perfect memory and super fast computer-like calculative processes he had pre-Crisis.
  • Lex Luthor spent his youth in Smallville and knew Superboy, eventually leaving under suspicious circumstances and leaving behind a sister and a dead father.
  • The Original Seven (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), The Flash (Barry Allen), the Martian Manhunter, and Aquaman) were once again the founding members of the Justice League of America.
  • The Justice Society founders regained their memories of the Golden Age Superman, Kal-L.
  • The various versions of General Zod were replaced by a modern Kryptonian Zod (similar to the one in the movies).
  • The Matrix Supergirl was wiped from existence. (DC changed their mind later, though.)

Needless to say, in order to fully appreciate Infinite Crisis, you'd better have done your research, especially with the tie-ins as all of the above would eventually become more important later on. Worlds lived, worlds died (the same could be said of many characters), and the DC Universe was never the same...literally, as it was later revealed, due to the events of Infinite Crisis, the multiverse was brought back, albeit with a definite number. Later references would call this event the "middle Crisis"; part of a saga that started with Crisis on Infinite Earths, and ran through Final Crisis. The Multiverse and the fate of it and many of the DC superheroes characters (read: plotlines) were later revealed and concluded in the immediate sequel, 52.

Tales from the Dark Multiverse has its own, much darker take on this story.

It was unofficially converted into an audio drama, albeit the project was abandoned. There is also an official adaptation released by Graphic Audio.

Not to be confused with the 2013 multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game.

This comic event and its lead up use the following tropes:

  • According to My Calculations: When Power Girl asks Alex about the cost of his plan, Alex explains that he'd projected several thousand scenarios, and apparently the one he's using is the most "efficient".
  • Achilles in His Tent: At the beginning of the event, Connor Kent is refusing to go out and be Superboy, partly due to angst over being a partial clone of Lex Luthor, but also because he's recently seen a Bad Future where he and the Teen Titans turned evil.
  • Anti-Villain:
    • Black Adam starts the series as one of the inner circle of the Secret Society, participating in the massacre against the Freedom Fighters. Then he's betrayed and hooked into the Multiversal machine for his connection to Earth-S. When, he's freed, he helps the going on a killing rampage against the Secret Society, killing both Psycho Pirate and Amazo. When Gypsy asks if he's on the heroes' side now, Zatanna responds he's pretty much on his own side.
    • Earth 2 Superman's actions are out of a desire to save Lois and his anger over the corruption of the world. He tries to peacefully reason with Batman and simply flies away when Batman tries to use kryotonite on him rather than retaliate. Finially he has a Heel Realization and redeems himself.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Superboy Prime rips off Risk's right arm.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: "What about Dick Grayson?" And with that, Kal-L's insistence that none of the modern heroes are worth protecting starts falling apart.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Earth-2 Superman starts ranting about how the heroes of New Earth wasting their opportunity to make it a perfect world, his Earth-1 counterpart replies that there is no such thing as a perfect world if it needs Superman in it.
  • Asshole Victim: Really, there were about five decent people in Bludhaven. Alex even compares it to Sodom and Gomorrah. Also Alex himself at the end, gunned down in a back alley like a street thug by the "real" Lex and the Joker.
  • Back for the Dead: Golden Age Wonder Woman returns to give her modern counterpart some encouraging words, and the Invisible Jet, then fades away into non-existence.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: The Joker and Lex Luthor do what Batman couldn't, and kill Alexander.
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: After it looks like Alex Luthor has killed Nightwing, Batman decides enough is enough and holds him at gunpoint. It was not a coincidence that Wonder Woman of all people talked him out of it, especially when she had killed Max Lord not too long prior. This act is the straw that breaks the camel's back as Bruce decides that he could no longer be the "grim and distrustful" Batman he had been over the last few years and goes on a year-long sojourn to rebuild Batman.
  • Berserk Button: Conner was already fighting Superboy-Prime, but then he hurt Krypto.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Alexander Luthor Jr. and Superboy-Prime, dissatisfied with the current state of the DC universe, work to restore the multiverse so they can create a perfect earth, tricking the Superman of Earth-2 into believing they're going to recreate his world. Alex is the brains, hijacking Brother Eye and impersonating Lex Luthor to form the Secret Society of Supervillains; Prime is The Heavy, eventually going insane and deciding to destroy the entire universe in the climax.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Superboy-Prime, after Kal-L's Rousing Speech.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Alexander Luthor and Superboy-Prime's attempts to reset the universe are stopped. However, various cities are destroyed, and many heroes and innocent civilians are killed in the chaos, most notably Conner Kent a.k.a. Superboy and the Golden Age Superman. The whole ordeal leads Clark Kent, Diana Prince and Bruce Wayne to take sometime off to reflect and rediscover themselves. Meanwhile, an imprisoned and unhinged Superboy-Prime promises to escape and kill those who wronged him.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Alexander Luthor plans on taking the "best" Earths and mixing them all together. This includes Earth-Prime, our Earth, which he has trouble finding. "!" He says, staring directly out at the reader as his hands reach out from the page, ready to snatch the reader's own world...
  • Brought Down to Normal: Happens to both Supermen and Superboy-Prime at the end of the story.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Alex Luthor states Breach is being used to represent Earth-8, a world which supposedly would've been home to the likes of Kyle Rayner and Helena Bertinelli had the Multiverse not been destroyed. This implies that many, if not all, of the characters who were brand new after the original Crisis were not actually part of the natural progression of the Post-Crisis universe and were simply more castoffs that got blended into the merged timeline like the Justice Society and the Marvel Family.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • In the second issue, The Joker is pissed off that he wasn't invited into the Society by Alexander for being too crazy and unpredictable. In the last issue, he kills Alexander in an alleyway as revenge.
    • Early on, a teenager in El Paso, Texas, finds an odd scarab after being saved by Superman from a collapsing building.
  • C-List Fodder: According to The Other Wiki, over sixty named characters were killed in this event. At best, only ten of those characters were really cared about.
  • Combat Breakdown: The final fight between Superboy-Prime, Superman and Kal-L as their powers begin to fade due to the red sun radiation they've absorbed.
  • Confronting Your Imposter: When Lex comes face to face with a disguised Alex.
  • Continuity Snarl: The series was an attempt to fix a couple of DC's more infamous ones. While the explanation for what happened was mocked for a short time afterwards, the results were pretty decent.
  • Corrupted Contingency: After discovering that members of the Justice League had altered his and several others people's memories, Batman created a new version of Brother Eye to spy on and gather data on all metahumans to make sure they are not a threat and neutralize the ones that are. Maxwell Lord secretly corrupts Brother Eye for his own purposes and when Wonder Woman kills Max to stop him from controlling Superman, Brother Eye begins attacking metahumans all across the world using its OMAC cyborgs.
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: Alexander Luthor Jr. for mainstream Luthor (who is also a criminal, but at least keeps his hands clean).
  • Crossover Finale: While the end started with the relevations about what members of the Satellite-era JLA did in Identity Crisis (2004), the events becoming public knowledge, as well as the lead-in stories The OMAC Project (Batman's reaction to his own mindwipe) and the Superman/Wonder Woman crossover Sacrifice (Maxwell Lord mind controlling Superman into attacking Batman, and Wonder Woman killing Lord) marked the end of JLA (1997).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Doomsday versus the two Supermen.
    • Joker vs. the Royal Flush Gang.
  • Cue the Sun: Issue 2 has Power Girl fighting several criminals on her own. Behind her, the red skies start fading, until she's finally saved by the returning Kal-L, at which point not only have the skies turned completely blue, but the sun's shining behind him.
  • Debate and Switch: Initially, there was some ambiguity about whether the survivors of the original Multiverse could be right in regards to the moral condition of the current universe. After the first couple of issues, it was gone; the rest of the series had Alex Luthor and Superboy-Prime as the clear-cut villains and Kal-L ended up changing sides. However, Alex Luthor tells Power Girl that he accepted that, no matter which universe or reality, a Superman and a Luthor will always be enemies.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: At the beginning of the story, Batman is at his most paranoid, Wonder Woman is dealing with the effects of her killing Max Lord, and Superman is dealing with the fact that he apparently inspires no one anymore. Through the story, Batman learns to trust his allies again (signified by accepting Hal Jordan's help on Brother Eye to escape after spending the last year going out of his way to distrust the former Parallax). Wonder Woman decides to readopt Thou Shall Not Kill (by throwing her sword down and convincing Batman not to kill Alex Luthor), and Superman rediscovers his inspiring qualities (noted when he gives Prime a Kirk Summation about how un-Superman the kid is despite all his powers, costume, and name.) At the very end, all three take a break from superhero work to rediscover themselves. Batman in particular retraces his steps in his training, but brings his kids along with him.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Batman suffers one in #3, complete with flashes to the deaths of his parents and Jason Todd.
    Batman: ...This wasn't supposed to happen...I can't breathe. Can' this anymore. God...I wish...I just wish I could start over.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Superman dies in Power Girl's arms due to wounds sustained from fighting Superboy-Prime.
  • Disappointed in You: According to the writer's commentary, Alfred's comments to Bruce about how his father was never alone when Bruce shoves him away is as close as Alfred would get to this.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Superboy-Prime manages to take Pantha's head off by accident, moments after she points out he's breaking bones with wild swings.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Even when Alex is defeated in the Battle of Metropolis, Superboy-Prime decides to cut their partnership and take things into his own hands.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him:
    • Neptune Perkins, a member of the All-Star Squadron and supporting character in Aquaman, is bitten in half by Shark and dies. Aquaman doesn't even acknowledge this.
    • Judomaster, who gets his back broken by Bane in the space of one panel.
    • Several of Superboy-Prime's victims are blown away quite casually.
  • Evil Is Petty: Deathstroke plays a part in the destruction of Bludhaven, mainly as a "screw you" to Dick Grayson.
  • Expo Speak: Mostly used the way it always is in superhero comics, but it becomes especially notable when Alex takes a time-out from destroying entire universes so he can run down what amounts to a bulletted list of the retcons created by Superboy-Prime.
  • Eye Poke: Black Adam does one to the Psycho Pirate...with super strength.
  • Eye Scream: Alex Luthor gets squirted with acid then tazed on the left side of his face before finally getting shot by Joker.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Alex Luthor Jr. and Superboy-Prime. Kal-L thankfully manages to avoid this.
  • "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner
    Blue Beetle: Rot in Hell, Max.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Black Adam pushes the Psycho Pirate's mask through his head and out the back.
  • Final Battle: The Battle of Metropolis. All the villains versus all the heroes. And leading the charge for the villains? Doomsday.
  • Fingore:
    • Earth-2 Superman's No-Sell of Batman's Kryptonite Ring, then burning it off with his heat vision while it's still on Batman's finger.
    • Alexander Luthor Jr. loses an index finger when the heroes fire energy at his hands through the portal he created.
  • Forceful Kiss: Alexander Jr. gives one to Power Girl, supposedly as a means to knock her out. One wonders if he had to kiss all of the men as well to knock them out or if he just wanted an excuse to make out with Power Girl.
  • Foreshadowing: When Batman's team is approaching Brother-Eye, John Stewart notes his Green Lantern ring is reacting oddly to Jaime, like it doesn't like him. Later, Jaime's own series reveals this is because of the scarab.
  • For Want Of A Nail: The battle between Kal-El and Kal-L allows both men to live out the other's past and they decide to alter history. When they end up causing the other's world to die, they both decide the other can't exist.
  • From Bad to Worse: The Golden Age heroes watched everything that happened after the original Crisis, but it's the most recent events that finally push Kal-L to intervene.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid:
    • Conner summons the Teen Titans to help with Superboy-Prime, and they fetch the Justice Society of America and the Doom Patrol.
    • During the Battle of Metropolis, both regular military personnel and active superheroes march against the Secret Society.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: At the end of the storyline, Prime carves the Superman insignia on his chest.
  • Go Out with a Smile: One of the most tragic casualties was the final duel between Superboy and Superboy-Prime below the Anti-Monitor Tower trying to save Wonder Girl and Nightwing, where Conner makes a combined Heroic Sacrifice and Taking You with Me to tackle Superboy-Prime into the tower, effectively destroying it. In the end, Conner is found in the ruins impaled, dying in Wonder Girl's arms.
    Wonder Girl: (crying) You did it, Conner. You saved the Earth. You saved everyone.
    (smiling) I know, Cass. Isn't it cool?
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Superboy-Prime uses his heat vision to cut the superhero Bushido in half.
  • Heel Realization: Kal-L has this in stages, ending when he realizes that the Superboy he condemned was a hero willing to die for others while the Superboy he supported became a murdering psycho.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Wonder Woman, thanks to some convenient recording from Brother-Eye. Everyone in the world has seen her snap Max Lord's neck without any context.
  • He's Back!: Booster Gold returns with a new outfit and a somehow restored Skeets, after he decided to go back to the twenty-fifth century.
  • Holographic Disguise: Alexander Luthor Jr. posing as Lex Luthor.
  • Homage:
  • Hope Spot: Earth-2 has been recreated, and it looks like everything will work out for the Kents. But then Lois Lane collapses.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: Variant. Golden Age and Modern Superman carry Prime while flying through Rao (a red sun) in order to remove Prime's powers as well as their own.
  • Hypocrite: A huge part of both Alex Luthor and Superboy-Prime is that, while both chide the post-Crisis heroes for being Darker and Edgier, both are nutjobs that are prepared to kill scores of people in their search for the "perfect" Earth.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Alexander Luthor's plan required him and Superboy-Prime to keep Kal-L in the dark for as long as possible. It never crossed his mind that if he needed to hide his real intentions from Earth-2 Superman, then maybe he is not what one would call a hero.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Psycho-Pirate wants Power Girl. Black Adam solves the problem in his own way.
  • Insignia Rip-Off Ritual: Superman to Prime during his "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Ironic Echo: Early in the story Alexander asks Lex how it feels to be stupid. When Joker kills Alexander Lex asks "Now who's stupid".
  • It's Personal: The fight with Superboy-Prime and the Titans gets very personal once Prime punches off Panthaa's head.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Not all heroes are darker and more corrupt than those of Earth-2. Dick Grayson is a prime example. Earth-2 Superman concedes that Batman, rude and paranoid as he is, had a point there.
  • Join or Die:
    • The Society's default recruiting tactic when would-be members don't believe that Evil Is One Big, Happy Family.
    • Inverted with the Joker which is more "Let me join or die."
  • Lack of Empathy: Any empathy Alex displays is a ploy to manipulate people. He's perfectly willing to annihilate entire universes to get his "perfect Earth" and shows no care or regard for Golden Age Lois Lane's deteriorating health.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: The Joker has killed the members of the Royal Flush Gang and demanded to know why he wasn't included in the latest Society of Super-Villains:
    King: Everyone knows the Joker's too wild.
    [Joker scowls a bit then electrocutes him]
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: While searching for the perfect Earth, Alexander at one point reaches through panels to grab the reader.
  • Legacy Character: Jamie Reyes gets his start as the Blue Beetle here.
  • Legion of Doom: One of the largest iterations of the Secret Society.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Superman and Superman. Clark finds Kal-L next to a dead Lois Lane, and asks what's going on. A grief-stricken Kal-L blames him and his Earth for her death, and immediately grabs the nearest car...
  • Life Will Kill You: The Golden Age Lois dies of natural causes.
  • Macho Masochism: After Superman rips Prime's symbol off, Prime uses his fingernails to carve an S-shield into the flesh of his own chest.
  • Manchild: Superboy-Prime starts here, initially having the emotional maturity of a seven year-old, proclaiming the heroes of the current continuity are "bad". He gets worse after his stay in the Speed Force. Much, much worse.
  • Medium Awareness: Somewhere in issue #6, Alexander Luthor is standing in the middle of representation of the multiple Earths, searching for Earth-Prime (the "real world" from the Bronze Age stories)
    Alexander Luthor: Earth-Prime. Where are—
    Alexander Luthor: —you.
    Alexander Luthor starts grabbing at the reader
  • Merged Reality: After the giant cosmic tuning fork is destroyed by the Superboys, the separated Earths are folded back into one again, forming New Earth.
  • The Multiverse: Alexander Luthor with his giant cosmic tuning fork recreates the Multiverse, though this time as a set of multiple Earths instead of multiple universes. The first alternate Earth he creates is Earth-2, which pulls heroes that were native to the original Multiverse's Earth-2 onto that world. A little later on, though, more alternate Earths would be created, though they would be unstable, even as Luthor tried to merge two Earths together to create a "perfect Earth" from that Merged Reality.
  • Murder Into Malevolence: After returning to life, Jason adopts the Joker's original "Red Hood" identity and attempts to take over organized crime in Gotham in a ploy to kill Batman's Rogues Gallery while getting the Caped Crusader to finally kill a man, by any means necessary. Unlike most examples, he eventually manages to take a few steps back from the brink, though he remains the most radical and prone to trouble of the Robins.
  • Never My Fault:
    • Superboy Prime does a lot of victim-blaming on his rampages.
    • Even as he's forced into Crispus Allen, the Spectre screams that nothing he did on his rampage was his fault.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Had it not been for Alex Luthor's manipulations, Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman would probably have gone their separate ways for good. Although a large percentage of why they were cracking apart in the first place (Max Lord's shenanigans and the Brother Eye going rogue) was his fault to begin with.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • The Society of Super-Villains ganging up on Uncle Sam.
    • The fight between the Golden Age and Modern Supermen.
    • It's also both fights between Bart Allen and Prime. Allen is not on the receiving end.
    • Subverted with Allen the second time around, as Prime effortlessly escapes and intends to destroy the universe.
  • No Place for Me There: During Earth-2 Superman's rant against the modern-age Superman and his allies having the opportunity to create "the perfect world" and squandering it while he was working with Alexander Luthor to bring back Earth-2, which was to him "the perfect world", the modern-age Superman replies that Earth-2 Superman's Earth couldn't be perfect because "a perfect world doesn't need a Superman".
  • No-Sell:
    • Batman brandishes a Kryptonite ring at Kal-L, but since he's from another universe, it doesn't do anything. Well, physically. Kal does admit it hurts emotionally.
    • At the end of the event, as Kal-L and Superman fly Superboy-Prime through the remains of Krypton, he laughs that it won't do anything to him. Except they're not flying at Krypton...
    • Psycho-Pirate's powers don't do anything to Black Adam the second time around.
  • Nothing Personal: Deathstroke says this to Phantom Lady, as he skewers her.
    Deathstroke: Nothin' personal. Just business.
  • Novelization: Was novelized by Greg Cox who went on to novelize most Crisis Crossovers after this.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Joker beating the Royal Flush Gang to death.
  • Oh, Crap!: The look on Maxwell Lord's face when, under the Lasso of Truth's influence, he's forced to answer "How do I free Superman from your control?"
  • Old Superhero: Kal-L is definitely up there in years, but he's still powerful enough to fight Superman to a standstill.
  • Parental Favoritism: Dick Grayson is shown to be Batman's favorite son twice. First, when Bruce asks his Armor-Piercing Question (see above) and second when Brother Eye specifically invokes this. And Bruce programmed Brother Eye!
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The Brotherhood of Evil drop Chemo onto Bludhaven, destroying the entire city. However, the city was known to be even more corrupt than Gotham and the dropping of Chemo is even intertwined with images of the corrupt actions in the city, including the mayor taking a bribe.
  • Physical God: Superboy-Prime, who has the power levels of Silver Age Superman and neither his Kryptonite nor magical weaknesses (red solar radiation still works though). It's suggested once or twice that he's SO strong that various pantheons of DC's mythical gods actually fled the DC plane of reality during the Infinite Crisis lead-in to get away from him.
  • Planetary Relocation: The ones behind all the events of this Crisis Crossover are Alexander Luthor Jr and Superboy Prime, with the latter moving planets out of their orbits to be aligned as the former requires to make new universes with the Anti-Monitor's technology. This included the "Rann-Thanagar War", where both planets literally collide to each other provoking a massive planetary disaster.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: In the seventh issue, as her cousin is dying, Power Girl cries out "please, don't leave me alone".
    Power Girl: No. Don't leave me alone, Kal. Please, don't leave me alone again.
  • Powerful and Helpless: Golden Age Lois Lane is dying of old age, and no superpower or reality warp can save her.
  • Precision F-Strike: When the villains decide they are going to devastate Metropolis, Superman replies, "Like Hell." A usually mild example but given Superman's status as a boy scout, it fits.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Wally West, in the start of DC's (or rather, Dan DiDio's) attempts to get rid of him permanently. In order to get rid of Superboy-Prime, he runs into the Speed Force, taking Linda Park and their newborn twins with him.
    • The Amazons leave Man's World in order to forestall Brother-Eye's attempts to kill them.
  • Riddle for the Ages:
    • How did Power Girl survive being Retgone? Alex Luthor, despite all his knowledge of the multiverse, can't figure it out for the life of him. Golden Age Superman just figures because of Heroic Willpower.
    • The recreated Earth-2 is different from all the other Earths Alex creates, being nigh-abandoned save for everyone dragged there from Earth-1. When asked about it, Alex just shrugs it off, though there is some implication that it's not the actual Earth-2 in any form, and the real one is somewhere... else.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: In the end, Superboy-Prime is locked up in the middle of Oa, chained by a baby Sun-Eater and guarded by lots of Green Lanterns.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Why Booster Gold returns to the 21st century. He knows Batman never found and stopped Brother-Eye, but he manages to find a way to fix that, and it's Jamie Reyes.
  • Slasher Smile: The last image of the book is Superboy-Prime doing this right after having carved a haphazard Superman logo on his bare chest.
  • Skyward Scream: Kal-L, when his Lois passes, screams loud enough to shatter every window around him. Superman hears him from a whole planet away.
  • The Starscream: In a straight-up subversion, Alexander Luthor knew that it is generally impossible for anybody to control somebody that's as insane as The Joker so he did not even try. The Joker was VERY unhappy that he was not invited as Luthor eventually found out.
  • Throwaway Country: The city of Bludhaven gets nuked when the villain Chemo gets dropped on it.
  • Together in Death: Golden Age Superman and Lois.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Joker comes to find out that Big Bad Alexander Luthor didn't let him in because of his unpredictability. Of all the super villains Alex was gathering, he didn't let the Joker in. The Joker is understandably pissed. Jump to the final issue, with Alex planning to rebuild his power and his power base, only to be ambushed by the Joker and Lex Luthor. And as Alex is begging for mercy, Lex tells him flat out his one big mistake wasn't attacking Superman or killing Superboy or even messing with him or any of that. It was "not letting the Joker play."
    Lex Luthor: [as the Joker ventilates Alex's head] Now who's stupid?
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Superboy-Prime takes several. At first, he just wants to confront Connor about not being a good enough Superboy, then he starts accidentally killing people. After getting trapped in another dimension, he has no problem murdering whole swaths of people for absolutely no reason.
  • Undignified Death:
    • For all of his power, Alexander Luthor of Earth-3 ends murdered in an alley with a gun and a bunch of acid.
    • Psycho-Pirate dies by having Black Adam force his mask through his skull, but the actual graphics look like Black Adam impaled his fingers into Psycho-Pirate's eye sockets.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Wonder Woman prevents Batman from shooting Alex Luthor for nearly killing Nightwing. Alexander tells her it doesn't change anything.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Kal-L, for Alex Luthor.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: At least some of Brother-Eye's motivation is to get Daddy Batman's approval... by killing all metahumans, as seen during its Villainous Breakdown.
  • Wham Line: At the end of Issue 1: "Now this...This looks like a job for Superman!"
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Alex Luthor has Psycho-Pirate use his powers to make Black Adam say the name of the one being he truly fears, so as to summon the magic lightning and fuel his tuning fork - the Wizard Shazam.
  • Wretched Hive: We see a few scenes of Bludhaven before Chemo hits it. Police officers beat up a young man for selling drugs outside a school and not giving them a cut, a pimp looking for more young women for the brothels, and the mayor arranging a deal with a local mobster.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: When Alexander Luthor succeeds in bringing back the Multiverse, though in the form of multiple Earths, Superboy-Prime is greatly incensed at the fact that his own home world, Earth-Prime, wasn't resurrected and thus he can't go back home to his own universe. Near the end of the story, Superboy-Prime decides on a rather radical method of going back home: to destroy Oa and thus create another Big Bang from which another universe would be born in the place of the existing one, where Superboy-Prime himself would be its prime hero. However, the heroes succeed in defeating Superboy-Prime and incarcerating him within a Sun Eater prison before he can accomplish that.