Monday, December 30, 2019

A Field Guide to Legion Cover Variants, 2006-2007

The Field Guide to Legion Cover Variants, part 2: 2006-2007

For this pre-Rebirth checklist, I'm indebted to "Condo Arlik" who maintained the "Bits of Legionnaire Business" page on Facebook, in particular this gallery of cover variants (adapted to the web in part 1, part 2, and part 3 at the Legion of Super-Bloggers site), which made it a whole lot easier for me to compile a current list.

The gallery, presented in chronological publication order along with cover date:


Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #16 - May 2006
The second printing got a sketch cover, which came out about a month later. The typical "One Year Later" logo for line-wide event has been altered to "1001 Years Later" to match the setting of the issue. (See my original post from 2006 for a look at the covers without the logos; the second printing was much lighter blue.)

First printing cover
Art by Barry Kitson & Mick Gray
Second printing cover
Art by Barry Kitson

Justice League of America vol 2 #1 - October 2006
Relaunch of the JLA. Technically, only the second printing has a Legionnaire! Many of the characters on these covers changed from the original poster version seen below the covers; the Threeboot Karate Kid was originally behind Blue Beetle on Cover B. The combined Cover A+B appeared (without Karate Kid) on the Diamond Retailer Edition RRP promotional giveaway. The second printing cover had the original poster before the characters were changed around, so this is the only one that does have Karate Kid. Note that there exists a separate first printing with a Michael Turner cover that does not have KK, and that one was the basis for the pencil-only third printing and the recolored fourth printing (but because KK is not involved, I'm not showing those here, but see this page for all of the covers).

Cover A
Art by Ed Benes
Cover B
Art by Ed Benes

RRP Diamond Retailer Edition
Art by Ed Benes
Second Printing
Art by Ed Benes

Post image

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #23 - December 2006
For some reason, this odd issue of the Legion's regular book got a variant cover by Adam Hughes, featuring Supergirl. It wasn't an "Adam Hughes variant for all books" thing that month, so I don't know the story behind why this issue had this cover (and not, say, the regular Supergirl title).

Regular cover
Art by Barry Kitson
Art by Adam Hughes


Justice Society of America vol 3 issues 1-22, 24-26, 41, and 50 all had variant covers (usually Alex Ross doing the main cover and Dale Eaglesham doing the variant, except for the Lightning Saga), but rather than include all of those in this Field Guide, I'll only highlight the covers where Starman is on either of the covers. Here's a gallery of all the JSA covers.

Justice Society of America vol 3 #1 - February 2007
Relaunch of the JSA following Infinite Crisis. Starman is a member, this ends up being the Retroboot Thom Kallor wearing a full-face mask, who is also the Starman who was in Kingdom Come, and who had psychological problems due to being in the 21st century without his 31st century medications. The Alex Ross cover is an homage to All-Star Comics #3, while the Dale Eaglesham cover is an homage to All-Star Squadron #1 (which we'll see in 2020 homaged again, with LSH v8 #3 by Jim Cheung).

Regular cover
Art by Alex Ross
Art by Dale Eaglesham

Justice Society of America vol 3 #2 - March 2007

Regular cover
Art by Alex Ross
Art by Dale Eaglesham

Justice Society of America vol 3 #4 - May 2007
Dream Girl makes an appearance at the end, leading into the Lightning Saga.

Regular cover
Art by Alex Ross
Art by Dale Eaglesham

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #1 - June 2007
The first issue of the series based on the animated cartoon was reprinted shortly thereafter with a slightly modified cover for Free Comic Book Day 2007. Sometimes you'll find an FCBD version with the store's stamp in the blank spot at the bottom.

Regular cover
Art by Steve Uy
FCBD cover
Art by Steve Uy

The Lightning Saga was spread over five issues (three JLA and two JSA), with some of the covers linked together to form bigger pictures, which I'll show at the end.

Justice League of America vol 2 #8 - June 2007
Lightning Saga part 1 of 5, reintroducing the Retroboot Legion (despite the Threeboot version being a continuing series, at least for a while).

Regular cover
Art by Michael Turner
Art by Phil Jimenez & Mark Chiarello

Justice Society of America vol 3 #5 - June 2007
Lightning Saga part 2 of 5.

Regular cover
Art by Alex Ross
Art by Phil Jimenez and Rod Reis

Justice League of America vol 2 #9 - July 2007
Lightning Saga part 3 of 5.

Regular cover
Art by Michael Turner
Art by Phil Jimenez and Rod Reis

Justice Society of America vol 3 #6 - July 2007
Lightning Saga part 4 of 5.

Regular cover
Art by Alex Ross
Art by Phil Jimenez and Rod Reis

Justice League of America vol 2 #10 - August 2007
Lightning Saga part 5 of 5.

Regular cover
Art by Michael Turner
Art by Phil Jimenez and Rod Reis

Here's the three JLA covers for #8, 9, and 10 connected:

The Jimenez covers for JLA #9 and JSA #6 sort of connect, in that it looks like Superman's cape and Wonder Woman's hair bleed over from the JSA cover to the JLA cover, but it's not very centered as if some artwork was trimmed, and it also looks like there should be a third part but the JLA #10 Jimenez cover doesn't connect at all. And the Jimenez covers for JLA #8 and JSA #5 also don't connect. Oh well.

Justice Society of America vol 3 #7 - September 2007
Cover says Lightning Saga Epilogue but it's really just about Starman in the 21st century.

Regular cover
Art by Alex Ross
Art by Dale Eaglesham & Ruy Jose

Justice Society of America vol 3 #8 - September 2007
Dream Girl makes an appearance.

Regular cover
Art by Alex Ross
Art by Dale Eaglesham & Rodney Ramos

Action Comics v1 #858 - December 2007
Part 1 of the "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes" arc, featuring the Retroboot Legion. Gary Frank did both the standard and variant covers. The second printing is a slightly cropped version of the main cover with a different colored background (red replacing yellow). In 2010, this issue was reprinted (with the cover to issue #863) as a special edition promoting the collected version of the story.

Note that there was a slight softening in Superman's face between the solicited version and the printed version, making him look less angry.

Solicited unpublished
Art by Gary Frank
Published standard cover
Art by Gary Frank

Variant cover
Art by Gary Frank

Second printing
Art by Gary Frank

Special Edition reprint (2010)
Art by Gary Frank

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Legion Reprint Collections

[last updated May 2020]

Merry Christmas y'all! Who's waking up with some shiny new Amazon gift cards under the tree? May I suggest a reprint collection or three?

Here's a list of all of the Legion-centric reprint collections, some of which are still in print. This is not a comprehensive list of which Legion stories have been reprinted (that'll come one of these days), but a list of collections in which the Legion stars or is a significant guest-star. If you see a date instead of a publication year, that's a volume that has been solicited for the future. As of May 2020, that's these three books:

  • Silver Age Omnibus vol 3 (6/23/20)
  • Five Years Later Omnibus vol 1 (9/22/20)
  • Rebirth Legion vol 1 (10/6/20)
Below is a copy of the landing page (with some blogspot formatting concessions) that I also maintain separately. In addition to this summary page, each of these eras has a separate tab at the bottom listing what's included in that volume, as well as a list of stories that should hypothetically be included in any future reprint volumes. Check out my Future Reprints page here and note that this blogspot page might not get regularly updated, but the other reprints page will be.
  • H = available in hardcover
  • P = available in trade paperback
  • E = available in electronic format for Kindle or Comixology
Note that since I don't subscribe to any digital services, I'm probably missing that some of these collections are available digitally; please let me know what I'm missing, as these were accurate only when I first compiled this list a while back, and I'll add them. Titles that have strikethru text were solicited but cancelled.

Legion of Super-Heroes Archives volume 11991H
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives volume 2 1992H
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives volume 3 1993H
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives volume 4 1993H
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives volume 5 1994H
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives volume 6 1996H
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives volume 7 1997H
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives volume 8 1998H
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives volume 9 1999H
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives volume 10 2000H
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives volume 11 2001H
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives volume 12 2003H
Legion of Super-Heroes Archives volume 13 2012H
Showcase Presents: Legion of Super-Heroes volume 12007P
Showcase Presents: Legion of Super-Heroes volume 2 2008P
Showcase Presents: Legion of Super-Heroes volume 3 2009P
Showcase Presents: Legion of Super-Heroes volume 4 2010P
Showcase Presents: Legion of Super-Heroes volume 5 2015P
Legion of Super-Heroes: The Silver Age Omnibus 2017H
Legion of Super-Heroes: The Silver Age Omnibus volume 22018H
Legion of Super-Heroes: The Silver Age Omnibus volume 36/23/2020H
Legion of Super-Heroes: The Silver Age Vol. 12018PE
Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes volume 1 2017H
Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes volume 22018H
Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga 1989P
Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga Deluxe Edition 2011HPE
Legion of Super-Heroes: The Curse Deluxe Edition 2011H
Legion of Super-Heroes: An Eye for an Eye 2007P
Legion of Super-Heroes: The More Things Change 2009PE
Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes 2012HPE
FIVE YEARS LATER (1989-1994)
Legion of Super-Heroes: Five Years Later Vol. 1 (solicited but cancelled before publication)2019H
Legion of Super-Heroes: Five Years Later Omnibus volume 19/22/2020H
REBOOT (1994-2004)
Legion of Super-Heroes: The Beginning of Tomorrow 1999P
Legionnaires Book One2017P
Legionnaires Book Two2018P
The Final Night1998P
The Legion by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning Vol. 12017P
Legion Lost 2011H
The Legion by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning Vol. 22018P
Legion Lost: The Complete Saga (solicited but cancelled before publication)2017P
Legion Worlds (solicited but cancelled before publication)2013P
Legion: Foundations 2004P
THREEBOOT (2004-2009)
Legion of Super-Heroes: Teenage Revolution 2006P
Legion of Super-Heroes: Death of a Dream 2006P
Supergirl & The Legion of Super-Heroes: Strange Visitor from Another Century 2006PE
Supergirl & The Legion of Super-Heroes: Adult Education  2007PE
Supergirl & The Legion of Super-Heroes: Dominator War 2007PE
Supergirl & The Legion of Super-Heroes: The Quest for Cosmic Boy 2008PE
Brave and the Bold volume 1: The Lords of Luck2008HP
Legion of Super-Heroes: Enemy Rising  2008HPE
Legion of Super-Heroes: Enemy Manifest  2009PE
RETROBOOT (2007-2011)
Justice League of America: The Lightning Saga 2008HPE
Superman & The Legion of Super-Heroes  2008HPE
Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds2009HPE
Legion of Super-Heroes: The Choice  2011HE
Superboy & The Legion of Super-Heroes: The Early Years2011P
Legion of Super-Heroes: Consequences  2011HE
Legion of Super-Heroes: When Evil Calls 2011PE
NEW 52 (2011-2015)
Legion of Super-Heroes volume 1: Hostile World  2012PE
Legion: Secret Origin  2012PE
Legion Lost volume 1: Run from Tomorrow 2012PE
Legion of Super-Heroes volume 2: The Dominators  2013PE
Legion Lost volume 2: The Culling 2013PE
Legion of Super-Heroes volume 3: The Fatal Five  2014PE
Justice League United volume 2: The Infinitus Saga 2015HPE
Legion of Super-Heroes: The Road to Legion (solicited but cancelled before publication)2020P
Legion of Super-Heroes volume 110/6/2020H
LEGION CARTOON (2007-2009)
Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century: Tomorrow's Heroes  2008P
Superman/Batman Volume 3: Absolute Power 2005HP
Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes [Tempo]1977P
Legion of Super-Heroes: 1,050 Years of the Future  2008P
Legion of Super-Heroes: The Life and Death of Ferro Lad  2009H
Super-Pets: The Silver Age (solicited but cancelled before publication)2017P

(full disclosure: I get a small kickback if you order something after clicking one of these links).

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Legion sales data, November 2019 (LSH v8 #1)

A month ago, I said “There's no sales data yet on the new series, but expect it to be high because (a) multiple covers and (b) flight rings. I'll go out on a limb and be optimistic and say LSH #1 will hit 65k sales.” I was wrong: it hit over 75k. That was going to be my original call, but I thought I was being optimistic and so dialed it back a little.

LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES (volume 8) #1 - November 6, 2019
Issue 1 had four variants sold in the stores, three different covers plus a blank sketch cover (which was the standard Superboy cover inside).

LSH volume 8 #1
Standard cover
Art by Ryan Sook
LSH volume 8 #1
Sook cardstock variant
Art by Ryan Sook

LSH volume 8 #1
Cheung cardstock variant
Art by Jim Cheung and Romulo Fajardo Jr

LSH volume 8 #1
Blank sketch variant
Art by N/A (Sook Superboy cover inside)

Well, sales figures are out now, and I was significantly underestimating the sales. Via Comichron:
  • Combining all four covers, LSH #1 was the #10 book for November, with total sales of 75,611. It was the #3 book for DC (behind Batman #82 and #83, each with all cover variants combined). The #1 book of the month was New Mutants #1 at 138,484.
    • Note that the 11/23/19 Local Comic Shop Day variant would add another 600 copies, but I’m not including those because it was a limited promotional thing and not part of the regular 11/6/19 on-sale date supply.
  • The two $3.99 cover variants (regular version with Superboy, and the blank sketch cover) combined to make LSH #1 the #21 book for November 2019, with sales of 51,835. It was the #5 DC book, behind three issues of Batman and a Justice League.
  • The two $4.99 cover variants (Sook and Cheung cardstock variants) by themselves combined to make it the #36 DC book and the #87 overall book for November, with sales of 23,776. 
Historical analysis:
  • From my earlier post, the combined sales for LSH #1 make it the second-best selling title in the last 20 years, just beating out Legion of 3 Worlds #1 at 73,914 copies sold but coming up short of Adventure Comics v3 #4 at 85,145 copies (inflated because it came with a promo Blackest Night ring). See the table below.
    • There’s no 100% reliable data to the public for the period of roughly 1989-1994 due to the direct market distributor wars, but there’s anecdotal and estimated data. Given that, you have to go all the way back to about early 1992 to find another sale higher than 75,611.
    • And unrelatedly but interestingly, LSH v8 #1 sold roughly as well as what we are now covering from v4 in summer 1991 on the podcast (about 78K for issue 20 which we just did last week). 
  • Of course, it’s still early, and there were 4 covers. No telling what sales we’ll see when it’s just two covers and where the bottom of the sales curve is (recall the historic base of about 15-20k).
Top 20 selling Legion books, 2004-2019
  • Green = Threeboot
  • Yellow = Retroboot
  • White = Rebirth
Jan 2010
Adventure Comics v3
Nov 2019
LSH v8
Oct 2008
Legion of Three Worlds
Dec 2008
Legion of Three Worlds
Apr 2009
Legion of Three Worlds
Oct 2004
Teen Titans/The Legion Special
Feb 2005
LSH v5
Feb 2010
Adventure Comics v3
Jun 2009
Legion of Three Worlds
Oct 2009
Adventure Comics v3
Sep 2009
Legion of Three Worlds
May 2006
Supergirl & the LSH
Mar 2010
Adventure Comics v3
Nov 2011
LSH v7
Jul 2010
LSH v6
Nov 2011
Legion Lost v2
Mar 2005
LSH v5
Sep 2019
LSH: Millennium
Sep 2019
Aug 2019

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Crisis on Infinite Arrowverses part 1

A little something different for this page - it's my notes for the podcast, but this episode is not a Legion-centric one (in fact, a Legionnaire only appears in part 1 of this 3-part section).

Image result for crisis on infinite earths giant #1" 
The one on the left is the Walmart exclusive (Dec 2019) while the one on the right is coming to comic shops in January. Same interiors, which include the original Crisis #7 (so there's your Legion reprint).

This episode of the podcast returns to Event Theater: Crisis on Infinite Arrowverse part 1, where we will recap last week’s episodes of Supergirl, Batwoman, and Flash. Part 2, with episodes of Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow, will be covered on our January 20th podcast. Worlds will live, worlds will die, and the universe will never be the same! I think the last time we had an Event Theater episode was #381, 200 episodes ago. Podcast episodes on 12/15 (part 1) and 1/19 (part 2).

We know that there are multiple Earths in the “Arrowverse” multiverse. Flash, Green Arrow, and the Legends of Tomorrow are on Earth-1, while Supergirl and Superman are on Earth-38. On Earth-2, it was Oliver Queen who died while his father lived, becoming The Hood in Starling City, while evil versions of Black Canary, Firestorm, Vibe, and Killer Frost terrorized the world. Jay Garrick is the Flash of Earth-3, Harrison Wells is a wizard on Earth-13, Gypsy is from Earth-19, the Crime Syndicate is on Earth-27, everyone is a vegan on Earth-30, the 1990s Flash TV series was on Earth-90, and Earth-X is where the Nazis won WWII and many of our heroes have Nazi counterparts.

In the pilot episode of Flash, there’s a newspaper whose headline reads “Flash disappears in Crisis” and references red skies, taking place in 2024. Through some time travel shenanigans last season involving XS (Nora West-Allen, the daughter of Barry Allen and Iris West, from the year 2040), that has moved up to 2019. In last year’s crossover “Elseworlds”, we met the Monitor and Psycho Pirate, and the end of the crossover teased this year’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths”. It looks like Oliver Queen is fated to die – he apparently bargained with the Monitor to take him instead of Supergirl and Flash (who, ironically, both died in the comic book version), while Barry says that when he traveled to the future in this season’s premiere, he saw billions of futures, and the only one in which everyone lives is when he dies. So far this season, Oliver has seen the destruction of Earth-2 to red skies and antimatter, and Oliver has learned to accept his fate, while Flash has been trying to secure his legacy in his team after he’s gone. The Monitor has tested and recruited Martian Manhunter, Black Siren, and Green Arrow, and revived Lex Luthor (seemingly killed in the Supergirl finale last season) to be a hero. We have also seen Harrison “Nash” Wells become Pariah and seen that Arrow’s Lyla Michaels is Harbinger, working for the Monitor – and whose code name early on in the series was Harbinger!

And a recent Rolling Stone interview with Marc Guggenheim, the co-producer of the Arrowverse, says that “He told the creative teams of all the CW shows (including Black Lightning, whose title character will participate even though Crisis isn’t making an episode for it) to consider Crisis “a magic ticket” that would allow them to make whatever changes, big or small, to their continuity, in the same way that Superman and Wonder Woman got new origin stories and altered supporting casts in the wake of the original comic book Crisis.” So we’ll have to see what happens, as we’ve been given no information on what each of the core series will be like after the winter break. 

Crisis on Infinite Earths, Episode 1 (Supergirl, 12/8/19):
The Monitor sends Harbinger to gather the worlds’ greatest heroes - Supergirl, The Flash, Green Arrow, Batwoman, White Canary, The Atom, and Superman - in preparation for the impending Crisis. With their worlds in imminent danger, the superheroes suit up for battle while J’onn and Alex recruit Lena to help them find a way to save the people of Earth-38. 

The Earth-16 stuff here is spread out a bit, but I moved it around to one bullet point to avoid having to go back and forth a lot. 
  • Monitor explains the origin of the Multiverse and explains how the Age of Heroes kept chaos at bay from the multiverse. See other worlds getting wiped out:
  • Earth-89: Alexander Knox (from the 1989 Batman movie, complete with theme) reads a paper in Gotham City, headline reads “Batman captures Joker”. The Bat-signal is projected onto the red skies as he says “I hope you’re watching, big guy!” 
  • Earth-9: Hawk & Robin (Teen Titans on DC Universe streaming) 
  • Earth-X: The Ray
  • Earth-66: Gotham City, Dick Grayson is walking Ace. “Holy crimson skies of death!”
  • Earth-38 in National City, Wil Wheaton is holding a sign (from Superman II) proclaiming the end of the world; Supergirl saves him from a dragon named Spike (from season 4). At the DEO, Brainy says there’s seismic activity all over the world, coming from outside, and calculates they have until tomorrow night before the antimatter wave hits Earth. 
  • Argo City is in imminent danger, that’s where Superman and Lois are with their son Jonathan and Supergirl’s mother Alura. Supergirl warns them but only with enough time for them to send Jonathan on a ship to Earth (using Jor-El’s movie words, with shades of not only baby Kal-El but also Alexander Luthor. The wave hits and Argo is destroyed.
  • Earth-1: Harbinger recruits the Green Arrows (Oliver and Mia) from Lian Yu and Flash from Central City, then gets Batwoman from Gotham City when she was trying to capture some Wonderland Gang members. She gets Ray (Atom) and Sara (White Canary) at a trivia night in Star City.
  • Earth-38: Harbinger arrives with Oliver and Mia plus Superman and Lois, who she rescued from Argo (the others are doing recon). She explains that there’s a wave of antimatter sweeping across the multiverse; Oliver says he saw it destroy Earth-2. She says Monitor brought them all here to make a stand on Earth-38. A quantum tower appears (similar to the comics cosmic tuning forks), Lyla says the Monitor put them on key Earths as a last line of defense, but the heroes will have to defend it from the Anti-Monitor’s forces. Brainy has tracked baby Jonathan’s ship through a wormhole to Star City on Earth-16 in the year 2046 (site of a season 1 Legends episode s01e06 whose future doesn’t track with the Arrow 2040 timeline, so it was shunted to an alternate Earth), so Lois will go with Sara and Brainy to recover him. J’onn tells Brainy and Alex he will ask to use the ships the aliens came on to transport as many people off Earth-38 as possible, and take them to Earth-1 since that’s the last world that will get hit by the antimatter, but only Lena can make a transmatter portal big enough. Kara gives Superman a pep talk and he asks her how she can have so much hope in all this. Oliver gives Mia a case with her own Green Arrow suit and gear and says she’s earned the right to wear it. Barry reminds Oliver of the future newspaper that said Flash dies in Crisis, so Oliver calls the Monitor to remind him of their deal, Oliver dies so Barry and Kara live. Monitor wants Oliver to be ready for all possibilities. Alex tells Lena about the antimatter wave but despite the feelings that Lena has for Team Supergirl, they need her help. The heroes prepare to protect the quantum tower from the Shadow Demons (two Green Arrows, Atom, Batwoman, Superman, Supergirl, Flash). Dreamer and J’onn help evacuate National City via alien ships and the Legion Cruiser while Alex and Lena work on the portal. 
  • Earth-16, 2046: the team tracks baby Jonathan to the Arrow Bunker, where Oliver is shocked to find Sara alive. The old Oliver apologizes to Sara and tells him that in her world, it was destiny that got her on the Queen’s Gambit and set off an entire chain of events. Brainy says they have to leave. Sara tells Oliver that he’s a good man on every Earth (neglecting to tell him of his evil Earth-X counterpart).
  • Earth-38: Superman and Supergirl go to the roof of the tower to fix what broke while the others hold off the shadow demons, so the use their vision powers to recharge the tower long enough to hold the antimatter off a while longer. Superman is drained and falls first, but it buys them enough time – the portal is open and there’s only 14 minutes left. The heroes fight the shadow demons on the roof while people escape in the alien ships through the portal. The Monitor appears and says the battle is lost, they must retreat, and teleports all of the heroes away. Oliver refuses to go until the planet is evacuated. He fights the shadow demons until he runs out of arrows and charges them. Earth-38 falls.
  • Earth-1: Monitor transports the badly wounded Oliver to Star City and says he saved a billion people, but only 3 billion of the planet’s 7.5 billion got out on the armada. Pariah appears, he says he is sent to bear witness to the Anti-Monitor’s actions. The team returns from Earth-16. Oliver says it’s his destiny, he gave it all up for Barry and Kara. He tells Mia to find Felicity and William and tell them how much he loved them, then he dies. Monitor says this is not the way Oliver was supposed to die. Pariah says they’re all doomed.
Crisis on Infinite Earths, Episode 1-1/2 (Walmart comic):
The 100-Page Giant Crisis on Infinite Earths Special from Walmart contains two stories that chronologically fit in between episodes 1 and 2. The main story (as summarized here, here, and here) deals with the Monitor gathering heroes and working on a plan that will appear early in episode 2, while the backup features a council of multiversal Luthors (as summarized here).
  • As the issue opens, Pariah appears on an Earth where a giant billboard in Metropolis's Heroes Square depicts the Justice League -- in what appears to be an alternate angle from the famous Justice League #1 image by Jim Lee. In case there was any doubt that the parallel was intentional, the Earth he lands on is designated Earth-N52. On the comic's second page, it is wiped from existence. A group of heroes is assembled and, since this is taking place in between parts one and two of the story, Felicity Smoak takes point on trying to figure out who the seven Paragons are. Fans also get to see how Felicity discovers that her husband is dead, and confronts The Monitor about it. Harbinger/Lyla Michaels admits that she has not yet informed John Diggle about Oliver's death, and Barry Allen/The Flash is there to give Felicity a supportive shoulder. The Monitor sends a group of heroes -- The Atom, Batwoman, The Ray, The Flash, Kid Flash, Nyssa al Ghul, and Harbinger -- to seek out Outkast, the antimatter universe doppelganger of Pariah (and a character with no direct corollary in the comics, as far as we could find). Earth-76 is just one of their stops along the way. Wonder Woman suits up and heads into action, saving a group of innocent bystanders endangered by the battle between Pariah and Outkast as well as the red skies that spell doom for their world. She isn't the only Wonder Woman seen in the issue -- there's a picture of the New 52 Justice League on a Metropolis jumbotron on the comic's first page, and later fans can spot the Wonder Woman of Earth-D and also the version played by Adrienne Palecki in the failed pilot -- but Carter's is the one that has something to do with the plot. They trail him through the multiverse, finally catching up to him on Earth-D, a world created by Wolfman and the late artist Paul Ryan in Legends of the DC Universe: Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1999. It's there that Outkast takes aim at Barry Allen, but before The Flash can be struck down, Wally West runs in front of Outkast's antimatter beam, vanishing into thin air and seemingly dying. 
  • The backup story deals with a "Council of Luthors" who have convened to try to kill all of the multiverse's Supermen, using the events of the Crisis for cover. Among a number of favorite looks from the comics, there's one guy who's absolutely the one seen in Superman: The Movie. He shares his scene with the Jon Cryer Luthor from Supergirl, who of course played Hackman's nephew Lenny in Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. Besides the Hackman Lex and "Aussie Lex," the long-haired, bearded "Lex Luthor II" from the '90s, there is an appearance in here by Beppo the Super-Monkey. If the Batman v Superman Lex appears here, though, it's basically unrecognizable in his post-prison form: there are a pair of bald Luthors in orange prison jumpsuits, but not one who looks like the long-haired version that Eisenberg played in his earlier appearance.
Crisis on Infinite Earths, Episode 2 (Batwoman, 12/9/19):
The group uses Ray’s invention to track new recruits to help save the universe. The Monitor sends Iris, Clark, and Lois in search of a mysterious Kryptonian, while Kate and Kara head out to find Bruce Wayne. In addition, Mia challenges Sara, Rory discovers a hidden talent, and Lex Luthor returns.

Like last episode, the show jumps from team to team a lot, so I've grouped all of the stuff that each team goes through into one set of bullets for easier reading.
  • Lyla needs Ray’s lab, but not the regular Waverider (they have a multiverse of them, and Sarah said her team could sit out this crossover). She goes to Earth-74 where she recruits Mick Rory, and his Waverider Captain Cold is Gideon on that ship.
  • Monitor: across space and time there are 7 heroes, beings of the purest will who can ultimately defeat the Anti-Monitor, known as Paragons (found with the help of Felicity and the Tome of the Guardians)
    • Kara – Hope
    • Sarah – Destiny
    • “A second Kryptonian who has suffered a greater loss than most mortal men could endure” – Truth
    • “The Bat of the Future” – Courage
  • Monitor has brought back Lex Luthor 38 to fulfill his destiny; Luthor steals the Book of Destiny to go kill Superman across the multiverse, Monitor insists this is part of it
  • Batman
    • Earth-99 (Batman Beyond debuted in 1999): Kate and Kara go to find Batman in Gotham, we hear the Batman Adventures theme, meet Bruce wearing exoskeleton like in Dark Knight and Kingdom Come. Luke Fox reveals that Batman killed Superman and that fight is why he wears the armor, Bruce tries to kill Supergirl, says his Kate would never trust a Kryptonian and that his world isn’t worth saving. Kate knocks him back and he falls and dies, saying “there is no hope”. She takes his Kryptonite.
  • Superman
    • Earth-75: Iris goes with Lois and Clark to find Superman, Metropolis, Luthor killed that Earth’s Superman and then breached (Death of Superman homage to Superman #75)
    • Earth-167: Smallville – Lois, Clark, Iris meet Clark Kent but Lex zaps them away. He gave up his powers to marry Lois, live on the farm, and raise a family; Luthor leaves because it’s no fun killing a Superman with no powers. (Homage to Smallville creators Millar & Gough who were both born in 1967)
    • Earth-96: Metropolis, Lois Lane music when she meets Superman, Iris: “he looks just like Ray Palmer”. On this Earth, Joker gassed the Daily Planet and killed everyone (as seen in the Justice Society Kingdom Come Special), including Jimmy, Perry, and his wife Lois. He changes into the Kingdom Come costume to the John Williams music.  Lex appears with the Book of Destiny and has the Supermen fight, but he turns his back on Lois and Iris who knock out Luthor and restore Superman-96. The two Supermen talk about their families (including Superman's son Jason) and the fight (reference to Superman III fighting himself) and recover the Book of Destiny. This Superman has suffered a greater loss than most mortal men could endure and they realize he's the Paragon they were looking for. (Kingdom Come debuted in 1996)
  • Constantine, Flash, Sarah, Mia looking into a Lazarus Pit to resurrect Oliver
    • Earth-18 North Dakota they find a Lazarus Pit in a mine owned by Jonah Hex. They resurrect Oliver but he doesn’t have his soul yet, Constantine is having trouble due to all the antimatter. He had previously helped with the resurrections of Sara, Thea, and Roy on the Arrow show. (Named after the 1800s fighter Jonah Hex)
  • On board the Waverider, Ray meets Superman. Superman-96 and Batwoman are revealed to be the 3rd and 4th Paragons (of Truth and Courage, respectively)
  • Harbinger is teleported away and meets the Anti-Monitor
Crisis on Infinite Earths, Episode 2-1/2 (Black Lightning, 12/9/19):
Black Lightning is revealed to be on a different, unnamed Earth and has his own "red skies" episode (titled "Earth Crisis") leading into Episode 3.
  • Red skies and lightning appear in the sky during the beginning of the episode. As Jennifer Pierce stands at her window watching the storm, she passes out and meets different versions of herself in the multiverse. Anissa, Gambi, Jefferson Pierce and Lynn Stewart gather at Anissa's loft, where Gambi tells the family that the red storm is filled with antimatter, which Jennifer's cells are storing. A projection of Jennifer appears on Earth-1 to witness her father murdered in their house by the ASA. The Earth-2 Jennifer, referred to as Jinn, is a cold-blooded killer who uses her powers to kill her entire family when they try to have an intervention. The episode ends with the antimatter wave wiping out their Earth, though Black Lightning is rescued by a flash of light.
Crisis on Infinite Earths, Episode 3 (Flash, 12/10/19):
Pariah enlists Black Lightning to help stop the Anti-Monitor after Flash-90 shares what he learned from his battle in “Elseworlds.” With the help of Black Lightning, Barry, Cisco and Killer Frost come up with a plan that could save them all. Meanwhile, Iris has a heart-to-heart with Ryan Choi, while Oliver and Diggle return to an old, familiar stomping ground.

Again, episode events are moved around to be easier to read.
  • Earth-203, New Gotham, Huntress (Birds of Prey series from 2003) has Oracle send her some data but both are wiped out
  • Ralph, Cisco, and Frost appear on the Waverider, “Holy All-Star Squadron!”. Jonn organizes a rescue team to save as many from the multiverse as they can and bring them to Earth-1, Superman-96 goes with him (all happens off-screen). Cisco fixes the Paragon detector and finds the other three:
    • Jonn – Honor
    • Flash – Love
    • Ryan Choi – Humanity
  • Diggle arrives, wants to help save Oliver. The Monitor tells him that Lyla is with Anti-Monitor. Cisco and Frost try to find the source of the antimatter wave, Monitor restores Cisco’s Vibe powers.
  • Saving Oliver’s soul (Diggle, Constantine, Mia, with Sara watching his body back on the Waverider)
    • Earth-666, they go to Lucifer’s bar because Constantine can’t get into Purgatory and Lucifer owes Constantine a favor. They get a card to get in to Purgatory. 
    • Purgatory for Oliver is Lian Yu. Oliver finds them and recognizes them. They’re just ready to go back when Jim Corrigan (Spectre) shows up, says it’s Oliver’s turn to be called to a higher purpose, it’s his destiny. Oliver tells Diggle and Mia it’ll be OK and they vanish.
  • Source of antimatter (Vibe, Frost, Flash) – Central City
    • Pariah appears, he’s there to bear witness. Cisco vibes the memories of how to open the Anti-Monitor’s door from him. Find the antimatter cannon, see Flash-90 trapped on the treadmill, he’s powering the cannon, the test fire was Earth-2, that's why that Earth was destroyed relatively early this season. (Recall that Earth-90’s heroes were destroyed by the Monitor at the end of Elseworlds, but Flash escaped.) Vibe stops the treadmill, Flash-90 says he has to go back on due to the fail-safe that would destroy all worlds at once. Black Lightning appears, Pariah brought him from his Earth which was just destroyed. BL absorbs the energy from the cannon. Barry says that this is what he’s been running towards all these years, it’s time for Flash to vanish in the Crisis. But Flash-90 steals Flash’s speed – “Monitor said Flash had to die but never said which one”. He gets back on the treadmill running the opposite direction and disintegrates (like in Crisis #8), the cannon is destroyed and the wave stops before hit hits Earth-1.
  • Waverider (Batwoman, Supergirl, Luthor, Lois, Sara)
    • Luthor explains how the Book works, via willpower. Supergirl wants to try to bring back Earth-38 using the Book. Lois sees Earth-73 destroyed, now there are only 7 left. Superman-96 returns (with the John Williams theme) briefly, he couldn’t save them. Kate stops Kara from opening the Book (she was going to use the kryptonite if needed), convincing her that if something happens to her as a Paragon then they’re all doomed, so Kara leaves.
  • Ivytown looking for Ryan Choi (Iris, Ray, Ralph)
    • They find Choi in his lab (he is an expert on Ray Palmer's quantum miniaturization), but he wants to go home instead. He says he’s not a hero, but Iris tells him it’s their humanity that make the heroes want to fight. Ray gets word that the other 6 Earths are gone, this is the only one left.
  • All teams now back on the Waverider. Kate tells Kara that she has Bruce’s kryptonite and would have used it to stop Kara from using the Book, he had it because he lost hope and she never will. Kara tells her to keep it and that she has the courage that Kate will never have to use it. Harbinger reappears, she can’t remember what happened. The team realizes that the Anti-Monitor planted her back on the ship. Through Harbinger, Anti-Monitor defeats the heroes, Monitor tells Pariah he will know what to do when the time arrives. Harbinger and Monitor blast each other but she wins. The antimatter comes back and destroys Earth-1 leaving only the Waverider. Pariah sends the seven Paragons away and the Waverider is destroyed. They appear at Vanishing Point, a place outside of time and space where the Anti-Monitor can’t go. Superman falls (Supergirl holds him like on Crisis #7 cover) and Luthor takes his place carrying the Book of Destiny. 
Part 2 coming in January! The Arrow (episode 4) and Legends of Tomorrow (episode 5) will air back to back on January 14th.