To say simply that characters die in Crisis on Infinite Earths isn’t a spoiler any more than to say that the same happens in Shakespeare plays. Crisis is all about death. But the question is who died. We’ll give a quick rundown in the rough order it happened in on the show. Spoilers follow for Crisis on Infinite Earths right after this image of Beebo.
Alexander Knox, Earth-89
The DC multiverse is made up of endless shards that tell different stories. A Crisis destroys those shards, re-unifying the multiverse under a single (or even just fewer) umbrellas. The first universe to go was Earth-89. The same way that Earth-90 was the home of the 1990 Flash television series, Earth-89 is home to the 1989 Batman film starring Michael Keaton. While Michael Keaton, Kim Basinger, and Jack Nicholson were apparently busy, actor Robert Wuhl took a moment to reprise his role as Alexander Knox, Gotham Globe reporter from the movie.
When we spot him, he’s reading a newspaper with the headline “Batman captures Joker,” suggesting that the Joker didn’t die in the 1989 movie’s climax. Maybe. Behind him, the sky is red, and Danny Elfman’s Batman theme plays as the anti-matter wave destroys Earth-89.
The Titans, Earth-9
The shot we get is short, but we see Alan Ritchson and Curran Walters as Hank Hall/Hawk and Jason Todd/Robin as they stare up at a red sky on Earth-9. Earth-9 perishes, killing the Titans, Bruce Wayne, Cadmus, and whoever else the series has planned to show us.
An aging Dick Grayson, played by Batman 1966‘s Burt Ward, looks up at the sky and cries out “Holy crimson sky of death!” as Earth-66 perishes, killing Robin and any heroes that may have joined the cheesy world of the 1966 series.
All of Argo-City
Argo-City was the floating world containing the remains of the dead planet Krypton. There, Clark and Lois had their baby, Jonathan, and had planned to live out their days there with Supergirl protecting earth in Superman’s stead. Sadly, the people of Krypton learned nothing from the last time their planet exploded, and had only one pod prepared. The Kent parents put their child in the escape pod, saying exactly the words that Marlon Brando’s character said in Superman, and sent him off to Earth. Only by the Harbinger’s good timing were the DC Universe’s Royal Couple saved. The DC universe once again has only three Kryptonians left living.
Half of Earth-38
The Monitor’s plan had the heroes of the multiverse making their stand on Earth-38. Things broke bad, however, and after a hard fight, the Monitor extracted his team of heroes. Oliver Queen stayed behind a few seconds more, giving the many ships being evacuated by Lena Luthor the chance to escape to Earth-1. 4 billion people made the jump to Earth-1, a billion of which the Monitor attributed directly to Oliver Queen, but the other 3.5 billion did not make it. That’s a hell of a refugee crisis, DC.
Oliver Queen of Earth-1
Oliver gave the ships of Earth-38 a few seconds, and then, ultimately, his life. The Monitor was able to get him back to his loved ones to say goodbye, but Oliver ultimately died, sacrificing himself without hesitation to save countless lives.
More deaths will surely follow, but “at least 3.5 billion” is a pretty big body count, and that’s not accounting for the quadrillions, quintillions, and septillions of other lives throughout each of these universes.