Jun 17, 2017
The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 843: DC Comics Presents #78, February 1985
(A busy day today, so I'll get to blogging this tomorrow. But the coolest thing is that it's literally a direct prologue to Crisis on Infinite Earths. The last page basically starts off the Crisis series.)
So, as I say up there, this is quite literally the opening pages of Crisis. The story itself is a bit mediocre, though if we consider it in terms of what starts in the final pages, it's actually a bit of a tribute to characters that writer Marv Wolfman probably knows for sure are not going to survive the reboot of the DCU. The trouble is that I don't think the story takes advantage of the premise it sets up nearly enough. Basically we have three wizards, one in the past, one in the present, and one in the future (and the future one is a magic-using planet called Yggardis) to gain control of the universe (can anyone tell me what that would even look like - how do you control something infinite?). The time travel angle is not exploited to its utmost, and the fact that these three magicians are manipulating reality but not causing any paradoxes for one another is really interesting. It says something about the nature of time as a whole, as a 4th dimensional solid that exists all at once, but that can't be perceived in that way by humans.
This said, Mr. Wolfman was probably preoccupied by the twists and turns of the Crisis series he was navigating, and perhaps could not pay closer attention to the cool spacetime playground he established in this story.
The end of the issue, however, is a half-page dialogue between the Monitor and Lyla (soon to be Harbinger), a conversation that leads directing into the opening pages of Crisis and the destruction of Earth-3. I wonder if these little bits and pieces were reprinted in the Crisis collections that have come out. Probably not, though this one seems to be to be quite important.
To be continued.