Crisis On The
Infinite Worlds #s 4-6
by Gary Ancheta
Issue #4, July '94: "And Thus Shall The World Die!"
Issue #4, July '94: "And Thus Shall The World Die!"
In 2031, Earth, Nightstar and Ibn Al Xuffasch contemplate their relationship together. Since Superman's departure, rumors of the impending deaths of all those in the 21st century spreads among the heroes and villains of the future. As they talk on the rooftop of a building, Xuffasch questions the futility of doing something when they know there is an impending doom that is going to occur in the past and that they cannot do anything about it. Just as they're talking, a plane veers into an oncoming storm and loses control. Nightstar flies out and saves the pilot of the plane. She comes back to Xuffasch and explains that even with their great powers, they should at least save what they can: as long as there is life, there is always hope for a better world. Just as Xuffasch and Nighstar are about to kiss, the Linear Man known as the Hunter arrives and enlists them to help in the coming Crisis.
At the East Hampton mansion of Steve Dayton, alias Mento, John Constantine is visiting. Dayton himself is getting very drunk, feeling that there is nothing to do but give in to the crisis. Constantine advises him that neither he nor their world is going to die, and declares that he can sense everything that is happening and knows what the outcome will be.
Pariah appears suddenly on the planet Almerac Prime where the anti-matter is finishing its destructive work. The heroes of this world have been winnowed down to three: the lightning-powered Lord Volt, his wife, the nuclear powered Lady Quark, and their daughter, the plant-mistress Liana. Even though Lord Volt has called to his sister, Matriarch Maxima of Almerac Secondus and his brother-in-law General Ultraa of the fifth fleet, he knew that they would not get to his planet in time to help them stop the wave of anti-matter. At the very edge of the anti-matter wave, Liana is killed. Lord Volt is also swallowed up and destroyed. Pariah, intent on saving at least one life, takes Lady Quark in his arms as he is drawn back to another world.
From his satellite, the monitor fires an energy burst at an unstable star in the Vegan system, which sends a beam of energy towards Earth.
In Japan, a group of astronomers is watching the onslaught of the anti-matter. Dr. Kimiyo Hoski upbraids her astronomer father and his staff for cowardice. When she uses the telescope to observe the Vegan star, she is hit by the beam of energy and vanishes.
In the satellite, as the Monitor muses that Dr. Hoshi is being recreated, Harbinger is preparing to destroy him, and Alexander Strange, knowing her intentions, realizes that she is doing the Monitor's will, even by killing him.
Meanwhile, the unseen manipulator teleports the Red Tornado into his sanctum. The enemy informs him that he plans to fight on his side, and that thus another galaxy will be destroyed.
In England, during the age of Camelot, Firestorm and Killer Frost have materialized before one of the Monitor's machines. The Shining Knight appears on the scene and is about to attack Firestorm and Frost as wizards, when shadow demons emerge from the machine and merge into a single entity, towering over the Monitor's device. Two courtiers from King Arthur's Court, Vandal Savage and the Silent Knight (aka the Resurrection Man) agree to put aside their animosity and help defend Arthur and the Crown.
In the Old West, in Arion's Atlantis, at the time after the Nuclear Exchange, and in World War II Markovia, the shadow demons have followed the same tactic, uniting to form a towering figure of darkenss.
This also takes place in 1994 New York City, where the Outsiders, Teen Titans, Superman, and Batman are struggling to form a plan of action. Starfire and Halo decide to mount an all-out attack against the machine. Abruptly, the newly created Dr. Light, formerly Kimiyo Hoshi, appears on the machine and warns the heroes not to damage it, as it is the only device that can ever save their planet. No one can understand her, since she is speaking Japanese, and she is forced to ward them off with a lightburst. In the crowd below, Katana comprehends, as does Superman, who approaches for a parley. Dr. Light reveals to him that hundreds of universes have already died, and only she can help save the few that remain. Superman takes this news as confirmation of his own worst fears, and vows to act on her advice, even if it costs his life. Vandal Savage watches intently as the heroes plan their attack, as the Resurrection Man wanders the crowd-scene with amnesia.
On the satellite, the Monitor observes the view screens with mounting anxiety. His strength lessens as each universe dies, and although the heroes fight valiantly, his plans are not ready to be brought to fruition. Pariah appears, and the Monitor greets him by name, although he is a stranger to this visitor. He explains to Pariah that this satellite is his home, built before the day Pariah was cursed. The visitor tells him of this damnation to watch millions of beings perish, but never to find death himself. The Monitor explains that he is the one responsible for Pariah's continued existence, since he saw great good to come of his survival.
The Monitor shows Pariah scenes of heroes fighting the shadow-warriors in Camelot, and points out to him one of the giant machines being defended. Pariah notes that he saw one of those constructions in Atlantis. He tells his guest that the Earth is the next planet to be destroyed next, suffering from incredible catastrophes which even super-beings are helpless.
Pariah asks why he was damned to survive the deaths of countless universes, and what the Monitor has done to allay the demise of others. The reply is that all his strength is being conserved for the end, for his enemy is able to move more swiftly than he, unhampered by morals or restraint. He begs Pariah not to harm "her" until "all is made clear." When Pariah asks who "she" might be, Harbinger shouts out, "Too late, old fool!"
The Monitor bids her to do what she must. Lyla and her corrupt Harbinger-self conflict, hesitate; then a bolt of energy rips from her hands and smashes through his body. He falls to the floor of his platform, dead.
Harbinger, switching back to Lyla, plummets helplessly several stories to the floor fo the satellite. Pariah, stunned, begs for explanations, but then realizes that the Monitor truly is dead. Meanwhile, on the viewscreens before him, the Earth is about to be eaten away rapidly by the onrushing anti-matter.
On Earth, none of the teams of heroes can do anything to delay the destruction. In Atlantis, in Camelot, in the American Old West, in World War II Markovia, in New York City 1994, in a time after the Nuclear Exchange, all can only watch as the wave of white nothingness tears away at the planet, and everything vanishes.
Issue #5, August '94: "Worlds In Limbo"
In his dark lair, the Monitor's adversary gloats that the Monitor and the Earth is gone. But he wonders why he has not received their energies. He informs the Pirate that he and the Red Tornado will serve as his tools, and that Barry Allen, capable of traversing space and time unaided, cannot be allowed to run free. Still, it's puzzling that he has not received the energy from Earth, a planet full of rich superhuman energy.
In the satellite, Pariah stands by the Monitor's body, mourning, when he is joined by the anguished Lyla, changed from her Harbinger identity, unable to believe that she could have killed him, crying that she owed her very life to him. They are interrupted by the voice of the Monitor, coming from a pre-recorded videotape. The image of the Monitor explains that he knew of Lyla's possession, and that she had no other choice but to kill him, but in doing so, she full-filled his last request.
The Monitor's image explains that all his energy was released into his machines at the moment of his death, powering all his vibrational forks and then some. His very being was transformed into an energy buffer, absorbing and guarding the planet of Earth from the antimatter wave. However on Earth, all time is becoming one. Time is separated by vibrational frequencies. Earth is being protected from the antimatter wave because it isn't fixed in one particular timeline due to the Tuning Forks. Unfortunately, the vibrational rates are slowing, and when they reach the same frequency, the timelines will merge and the earth will be destroyed by anti-matter. They must still defeat his foe if the Postive-Universe is to survive.
Telling Lyla he loves her, the image of the Monitor concludes its message, while Pariah an Lyla continue to mourn over the body. Suddenly, another voice fills the chamber. Alex has found his way out of the chamber and introduces himself. He explains that he has powers that traverse both the matter and anti-matter universes because of his exposure to Zeta Radiation/Matter/Antimatter. The monitor had left him instructions as to how to keep the timelines from merging totally, but first the body must be given a proper farewell. They eject the body into space. Lyla declares her love, and Alex replies that they can show their love by saving the universes that remain.
Back in the lair of the Monitor's adversary, the overlord of evil curses his opponent as he realizes that has happened. He vows to have the Earth and the villain explains that the Pirate will be given a world to play with, but for now, he can amuse himself with the Barry Allen, as long as he doesn't kill him. The Flash, demanding answers from his hosts, is put under a spell of fear by the Pirate.
On the merging Earths, Cat Grant of WGBS-TV is doing a live report on the chaos befalling the joined worlds. Beings and artifacts on every time era exist side-by-side. Manhattan skyscrapers overlook dinosaurs, Fokker Triplanes, Colonial dwellings, propeller planes, futuristic skycraft, and Indians from the 19th century. Hawkman and Flash of 2031 stand next to the Golden Age Hawkman and Golden Age Flash of 1994, and gape at the proceedings together.
In the satellite, Harbinger, Pariah, and Alex Luthor have teleported almost all the super-beings of the temporally-fluxuating Earth into the meeting chamber to enlist them as allies in the struggle for universal survival. Alex tells them that answers to the strange occurances on their worlds will now be given. Alex reveals to the throng that the Monitor is dead. They face an enemy, the name and nature of whom was never revealed to them by the Monitor. However, they do know this enemy's goal—the destruction of the positive matter universe.
Alex tells them, again, at the dawn of time, the prime universe was split into a positive and a negative universe and time is separated by different vibrational rates. Their foe is creating an imbalance in positive and negative universes that threaten everything. The only thing that is keeping the wave back is the tuning forks that is putting earth in a temporal flux. Further measures must be taken to insure that the positive universe is not destroyed. The Monitor's barrier must be extended to several key places in the positive universe via temporal tuning forks.
He tells the unbelieving crowd to return to their timelines and see the danger, to help them decide, but their decisions must be made quickly, for there is little time left.
On the planet Oa, a contingent of Green Lanterns, their power rings inoperative, land their spacecraft at the headquarters of the Guardians. Tomar-Re, Arisa, Xax, Ch'p, and others behold their masters, held immobile in a stasis beam. Suddenly, an energy burst knocks them all out.
In the time-stream, Hunter, the Time Master and the 21st century Teen Titans (Kid Flash, Ibn Al Xuffasch, Nightstar, and Offspring) are buffeted by incredible forces, making it impossible for them to emerge in any time period.
At Wayne Manor, Alfred Pennyworth introduces Batman, Jason Todd, Red Robin, the Fourth World Batwoman, Samurai (the Batman's agent in China), Ace the Bathound, to the cave-dwelling family of Anthro which has just appeared, complete with cave, by the stairwell inside the mansion.
In Russia, Firestorm, Starfire, Firebrand, Polar Boy, Killer Frost, and Sunboy give aid to the Soviet super-hero Red Star in fighting off a dinosaur attack. Firestorm is shocked to find that the Psycho-Pirate's spell on Killer Frost has worn off, so that she treats him once again as an enemy.
In the lair of the Monitor's foe, the Red Tornado is being subjected to powerful energies by his unseen host, while the Psycho Pirate and the protesting Flash look on. The enemy explains that the Tornado is actually a primal force, more than machine or human. The Tornado suddenly becomes a living cyclone, and the enemy says that now the Red Tornado will never again be the being they knew before. The cyclone, and the Tornado, fade from view, and the chamber is dark once more.
Elsewhere on Earth, the time-lost band of heroes sees a gigantic crimson cyclone appear in the sky, endangering aircraft. Huge thunderbolts shoot from its surface. Dr. Fate leads a group of magically powered heroes from Earth in uniting their power and banishing the tornado. Wildcat, carrying a child away form the torrent is struck by lightning. The Golden Age Flash comes upon the motionless body of the Red Tornado in the wreckage, while Ultra Boy examining Wildcat with the penetra-vision, declares that his legs are shattered and that he will probably never walk again. Reviving, Wildcat asks what became of the girl he was carrying, and Jade points out that it was Yolanda Montez, who had caught the girl safely.
All over Earth, the bands of super-heroes and super-villains contact Harbinger and accept her terms to join the fight against the Monitor's enemy. Alex Luthor, Pariah, and Harbinger chose a small group of heroes for an audience and summon them to the satellite: Steel, the Golden Age Hawkman, Northwind, Changeling, Starfire, Dr. Light, and (as revealed in the next issue) J'onn J'onzz, Katana, Azrael, Blok, Golden Age Flash, Kole, Tiger Rose (Laurel Gand), Black Canary, and the Fury II. Alex explains that the anti-matter cloud is now moving to other worlds. Only putting several Tuning forks on different worlds will they have enough temporal fluxation that would effectively hold the Antimatter wave in place. Just as he is about to send them to different worlds, the satellite starts to fall apart.
In his lair, the dark being and the Psycho-Pirate watch a viewscreen image of the satellite disintegrating. The villain says that this will only delay his enemies, but not stop them. When the Pirate asks him about the fate of Apokolips, the villain responds that Darkseid won't be able to resist him when the proper time comes. The Flash challenges their hosts to show himself, if he's so powerful. He reveals himself to the hero, and to the Pirate. They gaze at the huge figure, in an armored suit like the Monitor's, who's face seems to be composed of whitish "unflesh."
"Call me—the Monitor!" he says, "And very soon I shall be ruler of all who live!"
On the Soveriegn Seven Homeworld, the anti-matter is rapidly destroying the solar system. As the inhabitants flee what they believe is the "Rapture" as the despot known as Matriesse looks on. The Freedom Fighters (Uncle Sam, Fury I, Flying Fox, Human Bomb, Doll Man, Firebrand I, Captain Triumph) stand before the curtain of void, unable to understand what it is. Vowing to die trying to save this world they hope to someday free from the evil Matriesse, they head straight toward the anti-matter and destruction.
Issue #6, September '94: "3 Worlds! 3 Deaths!"
In his lair, the Anti-Monitor stands over the Flash, who has begun to recover from Psycho-Pirate's spell of fear. The villain declares that when the Monitor's remaining energies fade, which now protect earth through the giant tuning forks, the ultimate power will be his. As promised, he imbues the Pirate with enough power to control the emotions of the people on three planets. This will counter the Monitor's plan to save those worlds with the aid of the super-beings from Earth.
Back on the satellite, the heroes are trying to save themselves while their shelter falls apart. Pariah disappears, drawn to a new disaster. Alex hooks himself to one of the machines, to empower the tuning forks in place in several planets in the positive universe. Harbinger knocks him unconscious to permit his sacrifice, then she enters the power-well at the center of the satellite, moments before the satellite blows part.
On 1994 Earth, the Atom carries Wildcat to a bed in an apartment. Wildcat, in pain from his shattered legs, moans that he was useless before, and now he is helpless. Atom replies that Ted Grant gave Al Pratt lots of inspiration, not only by being a champion prizefighter, but by struggling to live in a hard and cruel world. He urges Wildcat not to let Al Pratt, or himself, down. And besides, the Atom points out, cats have nine lives and that even though things might seem dim now, a new life is just beginning. Outside, clinging to the windowsill, is Yolanda Montez. He mourns for Ted, vowing that a new Wildcat will live in his honor.
In Washington DC, deep beneath the pentagon, the Monarch (Hank Hall) is confronted by the Linear Men who knows that he's attempting to change history's outcome to suit his own needs. Just as the Linear Men are about to defeat him, Brainiac intervenes and teleports him to his ship. Hall is surprised, never having met Brainiac before. The living computer reveals a plan to make their rulers of the universe. Hank agrees to cooperate with Brainiac in order to save his brother and, hopefully, stop himself from ever becoming the Monarch in the first place.
On the Sovereign Seven Homeworld, Steel, Northwind, Dr. Light, Starfire, and Hawkman are suddenly teleported to a rooftop near where the anti-matter is devastating the city. There they see a giant figure of Harbinger within the curtain of the anti-matter. On the street below they see a crowd of humans running directly for the curtain, wishing to be part of the "Rapture." Northwind streaks down, but is blasted by The Human Bomb, who reveals himself, along with the other Freedom Fighters. Hawkman goes to Northwind's aid but is pummeled by Captain Triumph, who, like his fellows, is entranced into thinking that the costumed newcomers are foes. Dr. Light stops the people from reaching the curtain by erecting a barricade of light energy, before the Flying Fox swats her out of the sky. She is caught safely by Hawkman.
In the anti-matter universe of the Anti-Monitor, the Psycho Pirate, controlling the emotions of the populations of the border planets and begs his mater to let him stop, as the strain is killing him. However, the Monitor replies that once he had yearned for a world to mold, now he has three.
On the Homeworld of the Justifiers, Azrael, the Golden Age Flash, Blok, Katana, and J'onn J'onzz materialize before an anti-matter curtain in the American Midwest. They too see Harbinger's image amidst the anti-matter, and overhead, is the Justifer Quinjet is descending. As J'onn J'onzz flies to intercept the ship, he is taken down with a lightning bolt by Wandja of the Justifiers. Captain Swift and the Silver Sorceress appear nearby. Azrael chases the small Blue Jay, only to be knocked out by a bolt by the Silver Sorceress. Captain Swift realizes that they are being forced to attack the heroes, but knows that they are helpless to do anything about it.
In the temporally mismatched Earth, the Atlantis of Arion's time now exists above the waves, while the underwater Atlantean cities of Tritonis and Poseidonis have been transplanted to a future Earth. Lori Lemaris, Aquaman, Aqualad, and Aquagirl are unable to locate their homes. Aquaman takes off on a tangent, searching for Mera. His movements are observed by Ocean Master and the Black Manta who disappear.
Near the Source Wall, Black Canary watches Changeling, in elephant-form, being thrown through a wall, while Tiger (Laurel Gand) Rose flies down from above. The three Earth heroes are then attacked by Orion, who has been manipulated into fighting them. Tiger Rose holds him off, and tries to reason with him, but the Dog of War will not listen, and nearly buries them by knocking down a part of the wall. Black Canary deduces that the Psycho-Pirate, and old foe of her mother's, must be controlling the New Gods who are guarding the Source Wall, and then notices that several of the New God soldiers are running toward the anti-matter curtain. Kole erects a crystal barrier to stop them. Here too, Harbinger's image can be seen within the anti-matter. The Modern Age Fury is almost killed in a deadly trap constructed by Scott Free, before Black Canary's sonic blast incapacitates the New God. Chnageling, as a boa constrictor has managed to tie up the possessed Lightray.
On the Sovereign Seven World, Steel is preventing people form destroying themselves in the anti-matter.
On the Justfier's Homeworld, Katana, Blok, and J'onn J'onzz have stalemated Wandjana, Captain Swift, and the Silver Sorceress.
Harbinger, existing simultaneously in the Anti-Matter wave extends the Monitor's shield around the Earth and uses it to encompass the four border worlds, successfully holding back the Anti-Matter wave.
In the lair of the Anti-Monitor, the Pirate suffers feedback from lowing control over the populaces of three Earths.
On Earth, Harbinger now accomplishes the incredible task of linking Earth, the Sovereign Seven Homeworld, the Justfier Homeworld, and the Source Wall to form a giant buffer which keeps back the Anti-matter wave. Doing so, Harbinger ceases to exists; she reverts to the identity of Lyla, dazed, and lands on the moon. Alexander asks why she made the sacrifice and she replies that she hadn't sacrificed everything—the Monitor did, while she is still alive.
But their job is still not finished. The three planets and one planetoid at the edge of the universe, all separated by different vibratory rates, are in temporal flux and eventually, the vibrational rates will resume and the Anti-Matter wave will claim them.
On Earth, Power Girl, Golden Age Green Lantern, and Johnny Quick, in pursuit of Star Sapphire, Deathbolt, and Per Degaton, see their quarry disappear without a trace.
In the apartment where he was taken, Ted Grant sleeps. A figure stands overwhelmed for a moment, proclaiming that the world still needs a Wildcat, and will have one.
In space, Lyla reassures Alex that the Monitor had seen a special destiny in the crisis for him.
On Earth, Yolanda Montez takes to the rooftops as the New Wildcat.
All characters are DC Comics
This column is © 1999 by Gary Ancheta.