In 1985, DC comics did what no one else had done before: completely overhaul their fictional universe, actually destroying it in a 12-issue part limited comic book series -in itself a relatively new concept at the time, preceded only by Marvel’s Secret Wars- in an epic story that involved several parallel universes, as well as killed many characters, notably The Flash and Supergirl. And even though almost every one of them was eventually brought back in the post-Crisis universe, those deaths had -and still have- a surprising emotional impact for comic book characters.
I don’t know if DC is currently planning any celebration of this anniversary. They do have a couple of event comics going on -Convergence and Multiversity- and have announced a new slew of comics for August, but this might not count since they have rebooted their universe about 3 times since the first Crisis anyway. Ironically, Marvel’s new Secret Wars event seems closer in spirit to the original Crisis.
As a comics fan, Crisis was both a thrill and scary to me at the time. Sure, we were going to get a new universe without decades of tangled continuity to follow, but would it be as good as the original? And even if I knew that all those deaths were temporary, they had never been so painful before. It REALLY felt like the End of an Era- and it was.
Personally, I felt such a major reboot was unnecessary. Most of DC’s parallel universes were hardly ever referenced, and continuity snags can be explained away with good writing- but just sweeping things away and starting over is apparently too tempting, given they did it *again and again*. Similarly, Marvel needs a retcon even less, so I wonder the reason for it. Maybe the rumor they just want to make their universe more like in the movies is true.
Regardless of whether DC celebrates it or not, Crisis on Infinite Earths remains a milestone in comics history, and I recommend it to fans of classic superheroes.