Welcome to the five hundred and twenty-first in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the first five hundred (I actually haven’t been able to update it in a while). This week, in honor of Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, this week is an all-Avengers edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed! Did Crisis on Infinite Earths spin out of the aborted JLA/Avengers crossover? Did the Scarlet Witch originally have a GREEN costume? Was Captain America and Scarlet Witch’s ill-fated romance not originally part of Avengers Disassembled?
NOTE: The column is on three pages, a page for each legend. There’s a little “next” button on the top of the page and the bottom of the page to take you to the next page (and you can navigate between each page by just clicking on the little 1, 2 and 3 on the top and the bottom, as well).
COMIC LEGEND: Crisis on Infinite Earths spun out of the failed JLA/Avengers crossover of 1983.
STATUS: I’m Going With False
I have actually had this one suggested a few times over the years from different readers, but here’s a specific request from reader Chris M. from all the way back in 2007:
I heard that DC’s original CRISIS was a result of the aborted JLA/AVENGERS 83 crossover?
The aborted JLA/Avengers crossover was going to be written by Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas and drawn by George Perez…
Due to arguments about plot approval, the crossover was squelched and so, too, did Marvel and DC’s then somewhat regular series of crossovers come to an end (following two Superman/Spider-Man books, one Batman/Hulk book and one Titans/X-Men book).
So did the aborted 1983 crossover have anything to do with Crisis on Infinite Earths?
In general, the answer is no.
While his plans were not even CLOSE to being finalized, Marv Wolfman had a basic idea for Crisis on Infinite Earths all the way back in 1982, just with a basic “something to clean up DC’s continuity.” The first hint was the Monitor’s first appearance in New Teen Titans #21…
Now again, do note that the Monitor in New Teen Titans #21 was DRASTICALLY different in scope than what Wolfman ultimately did with the character. It was somewhat similar to how Scott Lobdell started dropping Onslaught hints well before he even knew what Onslaught WAS (as noted in this old Comic Book Legends Revealed).
So Crisis on Infinite Earths definitely did develop between 1982 and 1984, when the idea for the series was fully realized. However, it had nothing to do with JLA/Avengers.
The only way that it had SOME sort of tie-in with JLA/Avengers is that because of the cancellation of JLA/Avengers, then the proposed second Titans/X-Men book was also canceled, and George Perez was originally going to draw that, as well. So when Marv Wolfman first thought about having an artist for Crisis on Infinite Earths, he initially dismissed Perez as an option because he figured Perez was too busy, likely thinking of the Titans/X-Men story.
In addition, Perez did admit that his signing on to do such a major project for DC Comics was meant as a bit of a shot at Marvel, noting to Mark Waid in Amazing Heroes #66, “It was to get revenge for not being able to do the JLA-Avengers book, as well as a way of getting back at Secret Wars, which did phenomenally well with a minimum of effort”
Crisis on Infinite Earths DID end up putting DC right there with Marvel in terms of Direct Market sales share, so Perez did succeed in getting his measure of revenge there.
Thanks to Mark Waid and George Perez for the information and thanks to Chris M. (and the others who have sent in a similar legend) for the suggestion!
Check out some recent entertainment and sports legends from Legends Revealed:
Did an NFL team once draft John Wayne…when he was 63 years old?
On the next page, did the SCARLET Witch originally have a GREEN costume?
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