RUN: 12 issues 1985-86 + 1 special 1998 (Legends of the DCU: COIE)
KEY CREATORS: Marv Wolfman & George Perez (writers), George Perez, Dick Giordano, Jerry Ordway, Paul Ryan (artists)
OUTLINE: The Anti-Monitor tries to destroy the positive matter multiverse in order to increase the anti-matter universe that he rules. Before he's defeated, numerous heroes and villains are killed and the entire structure of the DC Universe is changed
STANDOUT ISSUE: #12, a very satisfying final clash against the Anti-Monitor. Also #7, which featured both the origin of the Crisis (which led to a nice scene regarding Quark's reaction to Pariah) and the touching death and funeral of Supergirl
DUD ISSUE: I'm not sure I'd call it a dud, but the Special is the series' weak link; fortunately it's not essential to the plot
OVERALL: On the one hand I didn't link the end results of the series, a singular multiverse, where sloppy research and arbitrary changes were often explained away by "that story didn't happen". Even Earth-B is less lazy an explanation than that. However, taken on its own merits, the series is a fine read, the single best of all the multiple hero team-ups. There's a genuine sense of dread, since many characters die and do not come back. And being 12 issues, there's plenty of quiet moments between the action where characters get to express their own worries. Some corny bits here and there (at points the dialogue can be a bit painful to read) but a real sense of drama many such team-ups are lacking. The special, while having some good ideas (an interracial JLA counterpart team with a certain sense of innocents), has bits which flat-out contradict the original story (the nature of one sequence with the Flash meeting the Outsiders from the original run seems to have been misinterpreted by the writer even though he wrote the original scene, and Psycho-Pirate sees the Anti-Monitor's face prematurely), and the merging of lives doesn't jibe with anything what we've seen elsewhere, including in Crisis itself
RECOMMENDED OR NOT? Get the original story, pass on the Special
CONTINUITY NOTES: Crisis performed the dubious accomplishment of ejecting a lot of itself from continuity. The current DCU Earth does however, acknowledge a period of great chaos where Flash etc. died. Since with the advent of Hypertime all the old Earths still exist after all (and then some), it is unclear what exactly did happen when history was supposedly changed. The most likely explanation is that there are multiple multiverses. So one version of Earth-1, 2, et al was erased while other versions of those Earths weren't.