Wolfman looks back on 'Crisis,' 13 years later, and its undoing

By printing delay-caused coincidence, the very week that the rules of the DC Universe are changed by the publication of "The Kingdom" #2, an "untold story" of the series that set up those rules also reaches comic stores.

Thirteen years after Marv Wolfman began what is certainly DC Comics' most ambitious series, "Crisis on Infinite Earths," he can look back on his creation - which compressed about a dozen parallel worlds into one streamlined DC Universe - in a positive light.

"I still like it," Wolfman told the Comic Wire Tuesday. "It was a difficult job and it still works. … ['Crisis'] was special and I knew it at the time."

Wolfman is also a member of a rare fraternity, along with Julie Schwartz and Gardner Fox, who created the parallel worlds to begin with, Dan Jurgens who neatened-up some of the "Crisis" loose ends in the "Zero Hour" series and now Mark "The Kingdom" Waid.

"It doesn't feel odd to have affected the DCU. That was what I wanted to do," he said. "It still works, probably better than any of the other crossover series to date. … I'd only have liked more time. I did most of what I wanted."

Of course, the new "Legends of the DC Universe: Crisis on Infinite Earths" special, released Wednesday, falls under the category of unfinished business.

"This is one of only two Crisis stories I would have liked to do that I didn't. The other I won't talk about."

While Wolfman is happy with how "Crisis" turned out, overall, like most creators and fans, he's not entirely happy with every aspect of it.

"The only change at the end is I wanted everyone to forget there was a Crisis and to begin all DC comics over with issue #1. That was overruled and the heroes had to remember the Crisis, which I still think was a mistake."

Those problems he worried about then lead to the series never being universally applauded, even by those who approve of its very notion.

"It was controversial then and still is," Wolfman said. "Those who liked it felt it's the best series of its kind to date. Those who hated it still hate it. And DC goes on. The Crisis brought readers to DC which is what its goal was (besides making the universe simpler for those new readers to make out). We succeeded in what we set out to do."

Wolfman's got no hard feelings about the effects of "Crisis" being undone.

"If the 'Kingdom' is well done it's good - if it helps sell DC comics." Wolfman hadn't yet received his monthly shipment of comics from DC at press time, and thus was unfamiliar with the actual "Kingdom" issues. "If it doesn't help DC it's not good. Comics are fluid and need to change to meet the times."

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