Special Addendum:  Infinite Crisis

A great many fans and readers have expressed dismay online about the difficulty of determining a coherent reading order for the events of DC’s last universe-shattering epic and all its myriad crossover stories. To say it all fits together seamlessly would be an outright lie… but as a service to those interested in the details, after four drafts and considerable puzzling, I offer the following. From soup to nuts, it compresses down into about two weeks of activity. Key events are in bold.

(Prefatory note, for those who care: while I was initially working with an “Autumn” timeframe, it seems clear now that the main Infinite Crisis story arc is set c. very early spring, around the end of March. I derive this mainly from Hal Jordan’s comments in #6 about the baseball season opening “next week,” with corroboration from the first OYL issue of Superman [#650 <5.06>], which opens in “early spring,” and again from Blue Beetle v6 #4 <8.06>, which references the events of IC as “last spring.” Sure, these could be dismissed as topical references, but IMHO they’re at least better evidence for dating the series than the Halloween reference from Action #831 I had previously relied upon (a fill-in crossover story that didn’t fit in clearly to begin with, and which may now need to be relocated to an earlier, Day of Vengeance-related timeframe). The New Year’s Eve tale in JSA Classified #9, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, is also not a direct crossover.)

History Notes and References
Prelude: during the events of DC Countdown (months earlier)  
Superboy-Prime first escapes into our dimension. InfC Secret Files #1 <4.06.>
Day Zero: Friday  
Footage of Max Lord’s death is broadcast worldwide. OMAC Project #6 <11.05> [end], WW #221<11.05> [end].
Day One: Saturday  
The Justice League’s Watchtower is destroyed. JLA #119 <11.05> [end], Adv. Superman #645<12.05>. Note: Lois Lane is in middle east.
JLAers gather at their cave, then Batman leaves for the moon. JLA #120 <12.05>
Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman battle Mongul and each other on the moon; meanwhile the villainous Society ambushes the Freedom Fighters. InfC #1 <12.05> [selected scenes, not in sequence].
Aquaman attempts to regroup the JLA, and contacts Nightwing. JLA #121<12.05>. Ends at night.
The JSA encounters Donna Troy approaching Earth. JSA #77<11.05>
Day Two: Sunday  
Donna recruits Supergirl and Red Tornado in New York City. JLA #122-23 <1-2.06>
Diana surrenders to the International Criminal Court at the Hague; Donna & Kara visit her there; she fights Cheetah. WW #222 <12.05>
The Rock of Eternity detonates over Gotham City. InfC #1 (continued; specific scenes only); Day of Vengeance #5-6 <10-11.05> (there is a longer-than-apparent continuity gap in #5); Gotham Central #37 <1.06> (provides the day of the week).
Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Batman defeat the Key in Gotham. JLA #124-25<3-4.06>. This occurs just after the Seven Deadly Sins have escaped from the Rock, and a caption specifies their next appearance (below).
The Sins attack Alcatraz; Donna recruits Starfire, Jade, & Shift from the Outsiders. Outsiders v3 #29 <12.05>-31 <2.06> [first scene]; note that it is still daylight on the West Coast.
Green Lantern and Green Arrow take on Mongul. GL v3 #7-8 <2-3.06>. Note that this begins the day after the moon battle; Ollie has evidently made an incredibly fast return from the East Coast. The story spans the night.
Donna recruits Cyborg from the Titans, while Red Hood infiltrates the Tower and attacks Robin. Teen Titans v3 #29 <12.05>. The story begins at 8:45 p.m. PST. Note that the reference to “breaking footage” of Max's death is inaccurate (probably a recording of an earlier broadcast).
Supergirl bids farewell to Superman, at his fortress in Peru. Superman #223 <1.06>
The JSA fights dual threas in Dr. Fate’s tower and the 5th dimension. JSA #78-80 <12.05-2.06>. The story extends into the next day.
Donna says goodbye to Dick in Blüdhaven, as the OMACs change protocol (from “elimination” to “truth & justice”) and begin to gather their forces. InfC #1 [scene is out-of-sequence].
Day Three: Monday  
Animal Man leaves Earth to join Donna; the Freedom Fighters news breaks. InfC #2 <1.06> [opening scenes]. These morning scenes need to occur as early as possible to accommodate crossover events below.
Brother Blood attacks the Titans. TT v3 #30-31 <1-2.06>. Begins “Monday. 11:13 a.m.”
Conner, in Smallville, learns of the Titans’ battle and of Luthor’s flight to the arctic via a TV broadcast. InfC #1 [Smallville scene only]—set at “4:34 p.m.” per TT #30.
Luthor arrives in the Arctic; Superman sets out to find him. Superman #224<2.06>. Superman apparently abandons the hunt, for reasons unrevealed. Note: Lois is now back in Metropolis.
Kal-L and Lois, Superboy-Prime, and Alex Luthor escape from their “heaven/prison” dimension. InfC #1 [climax].
In the Polaris system, Hawkman and Hawkgirl fight Komand’r. Hawkman v3 #47-48 <2-3.06>. The night before Donna’s arrival in the system.
Day Four: Tuesday  
Kal-L rescues Power Girl from attackers, and explains her Earth-2 history. InfC #2 [main story]. The scene apparently follows directly out of JSA Classified #4 <12.05>.
Superman finally unmasks Ruin as Prof. Emil Hamilton. Adv. Supes #646-47 <1-2.06>. Meanwhile Lois Lane is now in Europe, first visiting Diana at the Hague, then contacting Checkmate in Zurich.
The Outsiders capture a Society outpost. Outsiders v3 #33 <4.06>
The JSA rescues Libby Lawrence in Philadelphia. JSA #81 <3.06>
Power Girl seeks advice from Ma Hunkle in New York. JSA #82<4.06>. The story spans the night.
Det. Crispus Allen is murdered in Gotham City. Gotham Central #38 <2.06>; nighttime; the “12-8” on his notepad in an early scene is almost certainly inaccurate.
The heroes gathered around Polaris regroup for a last-ditch stand. Hawkman v3 #49 <4.06>. Precedes Donna's arrival.
In space, Donna and crew encounter first a crippled Rannian ship, then Komand’r herself, before arriving at Polaris. Firestorm v3 #20 <2.06>; Outsiders v3 #31-32 <2-3.06>.
Day Five: Wednesday  
Diana learns of a new OMAC attack on Themyscira, and leaves the Hague to join her sister Amazons in battle. WW #223 <1.06>; apparently in the wee hours of the morning.
The Spectre destroys Atlantis; Batman argues with Brother Eye and meets Kal-L; Diana sends Themyscira to another dimension; the two Luthors meet in the Arctic; Alex and Superboy-Prime capture Power Girl. InfC #2 [final scenes] and #3 <2.06>, Aquaman #37 <2.06>, WW #224 <2.06>. The end of InfC #2 must follow a gap to accommodate events above (e.g., Lois’ visit to Diana in the Hague, which can’t plausibly occur on the same day as the Luthor crossover issue above, when she’s in Metropolis). Note that the entire Batcave sequence in InfC #2-3 spans only “43 minutes.”
GCPD Det. Rene Montoya investigates her partner’s death, then quits the force. Gotham Central #39-40<3-4.06>. The story occupies a full day; Allen’s upcoming funeral is mentioned for “Thursday.”
Superman flies west to fight wildfires. Superman #225 <3.06>—with a brief stop in El Paso, per InfC #3. Note that Lois is back in the U.S., and that there's a night sky on the East Coast when Superman departs.
Superman and Green Lantern encounter a mystic sphere around the town of Riverrock, WY, that they cannot penetrate. The Phantom Stranger summons the Shadowpact to help, and they become trapped within. Shadowpact #1 <7.06>. This is the only time at which these events can fall—Superman is constantly busy hereafter until he loses his powers, below. However, the Shadowpact itself seemingly cannot become trapped at this time, as they are also otherwise occupied below, not to mention that team member Nightshade is a captive on Alex Luthor’s machine. Moreover, they appear in 52, during September of 2008/Yr20. To avert the paradox, we can only surmise that the Stranger actually summoned them to this point from a few months in the future.
The Shadowpact and allies reconstruct the Rock of Eternity; Dr. Fate is killed in battle with the Spectre, who is finally defeated. DoV Special #1 <3.06>. Set at night. This must follow the events of InfC #3 (featuring the Spectre), despite the seemingly intact Gotham seen in other crossovers.
Red Hood attacks Black Mask, kidnaps the Joker, and confronts Batman. Batman #648-49 <2-3.06>. The story overlaps (and continues past) the disaster in Blüdhaven, below.
Day Six: Thursday  
Chemo is dropped on Blüdhaven. Superman and other heroes assist with rescue and recovery work. InfC #4 <3.06> [opening scene], Adv. Superman #648 <3.06> [places the detonation at “12:51 a.m.” (on both “Friday” and “Wednesday”—but actually splitting the difference works best)].
Batman barely survives his final confrontation with the Red Hood. Batman #650 <4.06>. For that matter, how the Joker survives the point-blank climactic explosion remains unrevealed.
Wonder Woman bids farewell to the Olympian Gods. WW #225-26 <3-4.06>. A news broadcast mentions events in Blüdhaven.
Superboy-Prime battles Conner… and the Titans, the Doom Patrol, and the JSA. Meanwhile Alex explains the plot to Kara, and Cris Allen is resurrected as the Spectre. InfC #4 [daytime scenes], TT v3 #32 <3.06> [expands on the battle, including restoring the proper history of the Doom Patrol).
Robin and his fellow Titans seek a cure for Conner’s injuries. Robin #146-47 <3-4.06>. The first page elides a very large continuity gap from the end of #145, which coincides with The OMAC Project, weeks earlier.
Conner and Cassie confess their feelings for one another in Smallville, while Robin and his fellow Titans return to help in Blüdhaven. Titans Annual #1 <4.06>. The Luthor scene in the Tower matches one in InfC #5; the overall story spans the night.
Nightwing re-enters Blüdhaven to rescue a friend, and is himself rescued by Batman. Nightwing #116 <3.06>. If we can believe Dick’s opening narration, his “deal” with Deathstroke [in #115] was only the morning of the previous day… but that may not be accurate.
Alex activates his machine, and “restores” Earth-2. InfC #4 [final scene].
In space, an injured Firestorm re-bonds with Prof. Martin Stein and rebuilds himself. Firestorm v3 #21-22 <3-4.06>
The expanded cohort of heroes around Polaris expose Superboy-Prime’s role in the Rann-Thanagar war, and broker a ceasefire. Jade dies in battle, and Kyle Rayner regains his Ion powers. R-T War Special #1 <4.06>
During a brief interlude, Earth’s heroes gather for a church service. InfC #5 <4.06> [opening scene].
Day Seven: Friday  
Dick Grayson awakens in the Batcave, makes plans with Bruce, confronts Deathstroke, proposes marriage to Barbara Gordon, then heads west for Titans Tower. Nightwing #117 <4.06>; InfC #4 [planning scene only]. The story spans a full day.
Booster Gold and Batman gather a team in the Batcave; Superman battles Kal-L on Earth-2; Dick summons allies to the Tower but finds only Conner available; Alex creates more “parallel earths;” Superboy-Prime returns in a bad mood. InfC #5 [main story] ; Superman #226/Action #836/Adv. Supes #649 <4.06> [provide details of battle].
Dick and Conner set out for the Arctic, but make a stop in Vancouver. TT v3 #33 <4.06>. Begins around sunset.
Day Eight: Saturday  
Batman’s team finds and takes out the Brother I satellite; Dick and Conner defeat Alex and Superboy-Prime; Conner dies from his injuries. InfC #6 <5.06>; appears to take place during the wee hours of the morning.
The Society frees villains from prisons worldwide, and sends them to Metropolis. Villains United Special #1 <6.06>. Begins around dawn. (Note a slight inconsistency in the Arkham scene re: the time of day, as compared to when the heroes featured returned from Batman’s orbital team in OMAC Project Special #1.) The story spans at least several hours, so it’s not at all clear what the heroes gathered in the Arctic are doing while these events transpire.
The heroes and villains have a showdown in Metropolis. Superboy-Prime escapes into space and battles the GL Corps, then is defeated, at the cost of Kal-L’s life and Superman’s powers (and also of any plot plausibility… but I editorialize). InfC #7 <6.06>
Day Nine: Sunday  
Sasha Bordeaux defeats the remnants of Brother I in Saudi Arabia. OMAC Project Special #1 <5.06>. Allowing for international travel time, this must fall a day after her return to Earth.
Days 10-11: Monday-Tuesday  
GL and Batman team up against a new Tattooed Man. GL v3 #9 <4.06>. Placemest is speculative, but it appears to fit best after Hal and Bruce’s rapprochement in InfC #6. This period is IMHO also the best place for any other stray stories that need to fall after the main event ’s climax.
Day 12: Wednesday  
Alexander Luthor is killed in a Gotham City alleyway. InfC #7 [epilogue]; “days later,” and note the dateline on Alex’s newspaper. The Joker is evidently alive and well, despite recent events—and Luthor is evidently willing to work with him, despite being tortured at their last meeting [see 2007/Yr19].
(About five weeks later)  
Clark, Diana and Bruce part ways as friends once again. InfC #7 [epilogue 2].

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This page last updated 09/09/2008 .