End of Summer
 

Crisis On The
Infinite Worlds 7-12

by Gary Ancheta

Issue #7, October '94: "Beyond The Silent Night"

On a floating asteroid near the Anti-Matter Wave, Alex and Lyla are joined by Pariah, who asks what part the Monitor could have intended him to play in the Crisis. Lyla responds that she has been told the Monitor's plan and knows what part he'll play in the conclusion, but the representatives of the six planets must also know of these plans. Pariah obliges her by taking them to the merged Earths.

Near the Source Wall, where everyone has been freed of Psycho-Pirate's spell, Desaad and Kalibak are about to be captured by Orion when, suddenly, they fade from the Source Wall. Lightray, Tawky Tawny, Changeling, the Modern Age Fury, and Tiger Rose arrive seconds later. In space, Brainiac has drawn Desaad and Kalibak to his satellite and greets them as the latest members of a select group who will soon rule the universe.

Lightray and the other Earth heroes and heroines note that the wall of anti-matter has vanished. Lyla appears nearby, explains the machinations of the Psycho-Pirate, and enlists Scott Free as representative of the New Gods to hear the story behind the Crisis.

On Earth, Yolanda Montez, the new Wildcat, stands unseen above Green Arrow, the Atom, and Liberty Belle, when she overhears Atom declare that there will never be another Wildcat. Yolanda realizes that she must prove herself worthy of the name before revealing her new identity.

On the Justifier World, Pariah contacts its heroes and their former opponents. Captain Swift will represent this world, to hear Pariah and Lyla's stories.

On the Sovereign Seven Homeworld, the Freedom Fighters pledge to Starfire to help all they can. All four planets are still endangered by the temporal fluxes, however, and the Anti-Matter wave looms in the horizon if time resumes it's normal course.

Finally, Lyla, Alex and Pariah stand on the asteroid with Lady Quark, Superman of Earth, Uncle Sam, Scott Free, Superman of 2031 and Captain Swift. The heroes want to battle, but Alex and Lyla tell them that they must know exactly what they are fighting.

Now, Lyla begins her story at the beginning-ten billion years ago when Earth was little more than cooling gases, the inhabitants of Oa, at the center of the universe, were immortal and had the powers of the legendary gods. They always strove for continued advancement, but their science perverted, for one of them, Krona, soon to discover the secret of the universe's creation. Other warned him away, vowing that the legends told of destruction to come to any who plumbed the mysteries of Creation. Krona called them fools, and continued his studies. He built a time-viewer in which he observed a cosmic Hand holding the galaxies in its palm. An instant later, a bolt of energy blasted the viewscreen to bits. Had Krona been mortal, he too would have perished, but that would have been far better than what actually occurred.

At that point, according to Lyla, the Anti-Matter Universe was formed, and the single Universe split many times into two separate universes that mirrored each other.

For his cosmic crime, Krona was converted to disembodied, insensible energy , and sentenced to circle the universe forevermore. Twice he managed to assume human form again; twice again he was defeated. The Oans, feeling responsible for Krona's actions, were consumed by guilt. They had created Evil, so they must form a force to constrain it. Their first attempts to do so was the construction of Manhunter robots, which later proved defective. Their second, and better, solution was the creation for the Green Lantern Corps. Still, there were dissenters among the Oans who maintained that evil must be destroyed, not contained. These dissidents broke away from the Guardians, and evolved into the Controller race.

Oa and Qward had one moon each. On the moon of Qward, the Anti-Monitor broke the surface and came to life, repository of the power of a cosmos, and on the moon of Oa, the Monitor burst from a crater, symbol of the power of the positive universe.

The Anti-Montior quickly conquered the world of Qward and created the lightning warriors known as Thunderers. The Thunderer elite he converted into his shadow-demon warriors, and with them he spread a reign of terror throughout the anti-universe. He hungered for more worlds to conquer, but did not know anything existed by the universe of Qward.

At this point, the Anti-Monitor sensed the presence of the Monitor, who had spent his existence in meditation and study. The Monitor found his evil twin as well, and the two locked in combat for a million years. They were equal in power, so neither could win, but finally, both struck simultaneously and rendered each other unconscious for nine billion years.

Pariah now takes up the tale, explaining that he himself came from an alien planet on which he was the greatest scientist, responsible for weather control and the destruction of disease. He soon discovered the existence of the Matter and Anti-Matter Universes, and used that knowledge to learn the origin of the universe, despite the legends common to all planes that such knowledge would lead to destruction. He observed the creation while protected in an anti-matter chamber, but in so doing, he fulfilled the legend. A chain reaction for anti-matter destroyed his planet, then his galaxy.

That cataclysm awoke the Anti-Monitor. The anti-matter universe expanded to fill the void left by the death of Pariah's galaxy, and he fed on its power. He realized that by destroying every postive-matter galaxy, he would gain all the power of that galaxy.

However, Lyla interrupts, the cataclysm also woke the Monitor, who vowed to fight and protect the Positive Universe and achieve balance. He viewed Pariah in an energy globe, learning what had happened, and deduced how the last survivor could be used to protect those who would stand at the end.

For mobility, the Monitor created his satellite-ship. He realized Pariah could sense where disaster impended, and gave him the power to be drawn to other galaxies endangered by the anti-matter. But he death of each succeeding cosmos weakened him and strengthened his enemy.

Then, the Monitor scoured all the worlds to find heroes to act as soldiers in the Crisis, and so found her, a child adrift at sea, clinging to the remains of a sunken ship. He rescued her, raised her.and, she says, he was repaid with death. The Superman of 2031 comforts her, saying they understand that she as being controlled, then asks Alex to tell his story.

Before Alex can reply, Lady Quark must be restrained form killing Pariah. He is responsible for the force which destroyed her world and family, she says. Uncle Sam demands she stop, saying that Pariah has suffered enough, and that they must now band together to save the remaining worlds.

The four world's time lines continue to converge, and all the heroes on them fear for their friends and allies who have joined the Monitor's aids in the war on the Anti-Monitor. Indeed, the Spectre maintains, not even his power would be effective in the anti-matter universe, but other heroes have been chosen: Valor, the Modern age Superman, the Future Age Superman, Lady Quark, Wandjana the Thunderer, Jade, Golden Age Green Lantern, The Golden Age Fury, Orion of the New Gods, The Silver Sorceress, J'onn J'onzz, Braniac 5, Firestorm, Doctor Light and Tiger Rose.

Alex reveals his power: being composed of both positive and negative matter, he can open a portal between their multiverse and the anti-matter universe. Pariah can then guide them to their enemy. Alex then tears open a space-warp and amidst the heroes and heroines into the universe of Qward.

Finally, the heroes arrive at the bizarre fortress of the Anti-Monitor. They have been watched by their foe, who orders the Psycho-Pirate to make them emotionally controlled slaves. The Pirate, fearfully tell his master that controlling the three planets have exhausted his power, and he must recharge. The Anti-Monitor angrily knocks him down, and prepares to take charge personally.

In the fortress, the heroes search for their enemy. Abruptly, Pariah is gripped by a stony-hand-the fortress wall, itself-but he is invulnerable to harm. However, the Superman of 2031 is knocked reeling by another such hand. Monsters materialize from the walls and begin fighting the Monitor's warriors. The heroes can barely hold a stalemate for these monsters, once smashed, can reform in seconds.

Valor is in the forefront, searching for the Anti-monitor while the others hold off the monsters. Pariah leads the way, with Dr. Light by his side. Suddenly, a thrusting trunk of stone seemingly obliterates Pariah. Dr. Light vows that the Anti-Monitor will pay for the death and blazes off. Valor catches up with her near a huge machine, which she identifies a solar collector the villain is using to reduce the vibrantional frequencies of the four key points in the Matter Universe, weakening the temporal fluxes and allowing the Anti-matter wave to destroy them. Valor vows to destroy it.

Then Anti-Monitor strikes Valor, and his cry of pain is heard by Tiger Rose, who heads to her ancestor's side. Dr. Light attacks the enemy, but is rebuffed. He continues pounding the near-helpless Messiah of Worlds. Racing to the scene, Laurel Gand passes Pariah, digging himself out of the rubble. The Anti-monitor is about to kill Valor with an energy blast when Tiger Rose crashes into the villain with all her might. She delivers blow after blow, screaming, while Dr. Light look on, inspired by her courage and selflessness.

But the villain is too powerful. He knocks Laurel Gand back with a mighty smash, repulses her with a power blast, and announces that he will kill Valor, and then her.

Bleeding, she shouts that he will never kill Valor, and rips the floor from underneath him, causing his blast to miss her cousin. Then she pounds the enemy again and again, as the villain screams that she is destroying his life-shell. Dr. Light, watching, realizes the selfishness of her own life compared to Tiger Rose, and announces that this maid of might has shown her the true path. Valor, groggily, calls for Tiger Rose, who he now recognizes as being Laurel Gand.

The battered Anti-Monitor smashes Laurel Gand away again. His body has been almost totally destroyed by her pulverizing blows, and his energy is now waning. Laurel Gand goes to her ancestor's side, and takes him to Dr. Light, telling her to take him to the others after she makes her move. Turning, she rockets into the Anti-Monitor, and sends them both into the massive vibration-reducing machine, turning it into scrap. She smashes at her foe's prostrate body, screaming that his scheme is over at last. Dr. Light is horrified by the combat, and calls for Laurel to offer help. When Laurel turns to reply, the Anti-Monitor grabs her with both hands and sends a titanic energy burst through her body.

As Valor screams her name, the Laurel Gand of 2995 falls.

The Anti-Monitor, his body in ruins, shambles off to a portion of his fortress which is used as a spacecraft, and escapes. He needs time to heal, but he was to stand triumphant "at the dawn of time."

With his departure, the fortress begins to fall apart. The Golden Age Green Lantern contacts the other heroes. The sobbing Brainiac 5 reports that they have destroyed the merging-machine, but they've also had a casualty.

Valor, holding his still-conscious adoptive sister, begs her to live. Bleeding from many wounds, Laurel tries to console him. He tells her that she ruined the villain's machine, and she gives thanks that she has given millions a chance to live. She asks him not to cry, tells him she loves him and Braniac 5, and dies in his arms. Valor screams in anguish. He cries out for vengence, but elder Superman restrains him, telling him that Laurel's sacrifice has given them a chance to save the rest of the universe, and his lust for revenge might endanger that chance. With the fortress coming apart, the heroes must leave. Valor takes Laurel's body and follows his friends. Now, empty, the fortress disintegrates.

For the most part, the four planets are, for now, out of danger. The anti-matter has ceased it's progression.

Soon afterward, in a private ceremony on the planetoid made of the Anti-Monitor's fortress which they dub "Shanghalla," the heroes from the anti-matter mission pay their respects to one of their own. Valor makes them all swear that the news of Laurel's death will go no farther than this planetoid, for the Laurel of 2985 has a long life ahead of her. As Brainiac 5, via time bubble, return's Laurel Gand's body to it's proper place and time, Valor erects the first of many statues on this planetoid with the words "She died so that the Universe may live" emblazoned on the base of the statue.

Long after the last guest has left, Valor prays by the statue, promising to remember and miss Laurel forever.

Issue #8, November '94: "A Flash Of The Lightning"

In the Anti-Monitor's ship, the Psycho-Pirate is babbling in fear to the Flash, who is imprisoned in a gelatin-like substance. The pirate prates on of how the enemy will kill him, now that he has failed him. He asks the Flash to join him against the enemy, when, suddenly, the Anti-Monitor appears. He has fashioned himself a new body and new armor, Laurel Gand having destroyed him. Now they will shift their base to Qward, he says, and from there they will annihilate the four key points and return to their conquest of the Matter Universe. The villains tell the Pirate that the Flash won't die-yet-as his powers may still be useful and there is no time to create another like him.

On Apokolips, Desaad asks Darksied what can be done to stop the Anti-Monitor, and he replies that all of Apokolips' energy has been diverted to cloak them from the enemy. They will wait, until after the battle. Should the heroes win, nothing will have changed. Should the foe win, he will have been weakened enough to be killed.

On Oa, several Green Lanterns have been killed by the power outburst, while the Guardians have been freed. A female Green Lantern asks why they weren't called in to fight the unknown menace. The Guardians reply that their rings will now work, and that they knew a disturbance in the universe existed, but not its extent. The Lanterns reply that their demand for an investigation was refused, and one of the Guardians calls a halt to the questioning. Their policy was decided by majority vote. The others must abide by the decision. The other Oan replies that they may not.

On Earth, in the thirtieth century, some Legionaries are monitoring the four planets that are at the cusp of the Anti-Matter wave. They note that the temporal merging of the planets have stopped for the moment. When Laurel Gand of 2985 tells them that they've faced worse problems before, Braniac 5 yells at Laurel and the rest of the Legionaries, telling them that this is unlike any problems they have ever faced and that for once in their lives, they should take this problem seriously. Laurel Gand storms out of the room, outraged at Braniac 5's outburst. Braniac 5 resumes his monitoring, alone, as he attempts to change the variables that lead to Laurel Gand's death.

In 1994 Pittsburg, Firehawk locates Firestorms, who receives a radio message from the Vixen. She is taking T.O. Morrow, creator of the Red Tornado, to the JLA satellite to work on fallen comrade. Firehawk and Firestorm join her. In the satellite, they find Vixen, T.O. Morrow, J'onn J'onzz, Cyborg, and the Atom examining Tornado. The Atom has shrunk himself with a piece of a white dwarf star, and is transmitting pictures from the android's interior. Tornado's construction proves beyond his scientific expertise, and Morrow is stunned to find out that the android no longer has the insides he designed. Professor Stein, Firestorm's other half, notes that the construction is so unearthly, it may be impossible to save him.

Meanwhile, the Green Lantern/John Stewart, has gone to Los Angeles in search of the Blue Devil to help examine the android. Transported to the satellite, Blue Devil observes Morrow removing the Tornado's head, and tries to warn the scientist of a strange glow coming form the android's internal components, but he is disregarded. The Atom jumps out of the Tornado's chest plate. Now, Morrow and the heroes are forced back by an explosion from the android's body, and fire spreads throughout the satellite. While pursuing Morrow, the Blue Devil mistakenly runs into a space warp, sending him tumbling through sub-space.

Green Lantern, Cyborg, Firestorm, Firehawk, J'onn Jonzz, and Vixen assemble, and find that Morrow and the Blue Devil have vanished, so they leave the satellite.

Blue Devil has emerged on the bridge of one of Omega Men's spaceships, where he confronts Shlagen, Zirral, Rynoc, and Doc, leaving both sides dumbfounded. But the space warp they have fallen into is causing their ship to disintegrate. Soon, Blue Devil and four aliens are left clinging to debris, seconds away from certain death.

On Qward, the Anti-Monitor is busy supervising the reconstruction of his anti-matter cannon, with which he hopes to obliterate the border worlds. The laborers who work on the cannon are supervised by the Thunderers, who reward any slacking off with death.

In another passageway, Psycho-Pirate looks in on the still-imprisoned Flash, guarded by a Thunderer, and intends to torture the speedster some more. But the Flash whirls his body at blinding speed, spinning the gelatin away from him. Free, he belts the Pirate and knocks the Thunderer out. He smashes the Pirate with another blow, getting revenge for weeks of humiliation. He was once convicted of a murder he never committed; what difference would it make if he killed now?

The Pirate, his face swollen and bleeding, begs for mercy, telling the hero that he'll do anything he wants. Soon, the Flash speeds his pawn from one Thunderer to another, causing them to feel intense hatred for their master. Shortly, all the Thunderers rage, "Death to the Monitor!" and blasts him with their bolts. Even he cannot stave off the effects and screams in pain and rage.

Meanwhile, the Flash has forced the Pirate to show him the anti-matter cannon. He knocks the villain out and, vibrating through the weapon's casing, discovers a seething ball of anti-matter energy, wrapped in an outer shell of tachyons, kept in stasis by bands of force. The only way he can destroy the cannon is to out-race the tachyons, which are faster than light-speed, and redirect the anti-matter elsewhere. He knows that he will not survive this ordeal, but he smiles, knowing that if he succeeds, all that he loves will be saved. The Flash begins running around the anti-matter sphere at hyper-light speed. The effect is very painful, but he continues to force the energy back into the machine. His mind races: he remembers his family, his wife, his closest friends, and begs their forgiveness for leaving them in this manner.

While the Flash is straining against the anti-matter, the Anti-Monitor, still beset by the Thunderers, knows that his weapon is being tampered with, and lets lose a bolt of power that destroys his Thunderers, and leaves the surroundings a flaming ruin. Standing in the blaze, he knows that the Flash is responsible for this.

Within the cannon, the hero continues his fateful run, feeling the time-stream open around him. In the open time-portal, he sees his friends, his comrades and his enemies. While his speed aura transforms him to pure energy, he is able to reach the tachyon shell of the anti-matter ball and destroys it, making the cannon explode into a million pieces. The Flash smiles, knowing that he is entering the speed-force and that his legacy is in good hands.

The Anti-Monitor screams, too late to save his weapon.

The Flash has died and saved the positive universe.

Only his costume and his ring remain, lying in the wreckage.

The Anti-monitor stands in contemplation. The humans have thwarted him twice now in his attempt to eradicate the Positive Matter Universe, so they shall pay for their interference. So saying, he absorbs into himself the energy of the entire Anti-matter Universe, condemning to death the inhabitants of a million worlds.

On Earth, in Challenger Mountain, the Challngers of the Unknown are watching conditions in space. Professor and Red note a giant flux of energy, while Julie Robbins reports that the sub-space readings given to them by Superman for checking all results positive. Rocky asks what's going on, and Ace replies that nobody knows. Suddenly, Prof is nearly deafened by a sound in his headphones like "an agonizing scream permeating the entire universe." The other four Chalengers hear it next, and are driven to their knees by its force.

The scream comes from the Spectre, who stands like a cosmic colossus over the five worlds, sensing a move to change the very nature of reality, but helpless to do anything about it.

In the 30th Century, Iris Allen does what she never thought she would ever do: she looks at Barry Allen's obituary. Barry was gone and she knew she would never know his love again, not in the way she once had. But the ache in her heart was lessened only by a warmth in her belly. The glowing warmth of life.

Issue #9, December '94: "War Zone"

On the planet Oa, Guy Gardner, wearing a customized uniform, and former substitute Green Lantern of Earth, stands before six Guardians who had voted against their majority decision of their fellows. They have split their ranks due to differences in dealing with evil. Their brothers prefer to correct evils after the fact, but they wish to search evil out before it can happen. They offer Gardner a position as their Green Lantern, the first of a new corps. He agrees.

Seconds later, a cosmic storm created by the anti-matter kills five of the Guardians in an instant, while Gardner is protected by his ring's aura. He swears an oath of allegiance and flies into space, as the last Guardian watches

In space, near Earth, Braniac of 2032's ship is crowded with every super-villain from all the border planets from different times. Their latest recruit, TO Morrow, materializes, having been teleported from the JLA satellite. Now, Braniac reveals, the Anti-Monitor can no longer be detected in the positive or negative matter universes. All the timelines of Earth are still in total chaos, though, and it is a perfect time for them to strike. Braniac says that the Monarch will be the field commander, but Vandal Savage disagrees with this arrangement. Vandal Savage offers that he knows more about this Crisis than anyone there, sighting that he alone has been plotting and planning ever since he found out about Crisis more than a millenia ago. Monarch kills Vandal Savage for being presumptuous and disagreeing with his ordered arrangement, and the other villains are quelled by this demonstration of power.

In another segment of the universe, a spacecraft from Tamaran awaits the arrival of Princess Koriand'r, aka Starfire. Captain Karras discusses with his aid Taryia the proceedings of having to take her back to her homeworld on a royal mission, the nature of which she must not learn until the time is ripe. The Tamaranians beam up Nightwing, Starfire, and Jericho. When Starfire introduces Nightwing as her lover, Taryia insists that she be told, but Karras refuses. Jericho overhears, but decides not to tell Nightwing about it.

On Earth, the remaining Teen Titans and Firehawk are gathered in Manhattan, a temporal "hot spot" where time still runs rampant. Scientist Jenet, Klyburn, Rip Hunter, Will Magnus, and Darwin Jones are being interviewed on TV about the time displacement, but cannot offer any advice. Wonder Girl decides to sing-handedly search the cordoned-off area for her husband Terry Long, who had bee lost there, and Firehawk decides to join her in the search.

On Earth, during WW 2, Sgt. Rock, Lt Jeb Stuart, and the Haunted Tank crewmen ponder over what they have recently seen; the deaths of the Losers, costumed super-heroes fighting shadow demons, and a giant machine many stories high appearing out of nowhere. Suddenly, the men notice a strange crimson spiral in the sky that lasts a few seconds, and disappears. They are baffled, but hope the disturbance will never return.

The red spiral of energy is seen extending back through time.

On the border places between the Matter and Anti-Matter Universes (Angor, New Genesis, and the Soverign Homeworld), the army of supervillains have gained complete control. The few super-heroes left to resist them have been overcome. Orion is being held in the grip of the Dreamslayer while Wandja is being carted off senseless as the Justifier's quinjet lies in flaming ruins near the Statue of Justice.

At the United Nations on Earth, Alexander Strange, accompanied by Lyla and Pariah, tells the delegates the facts behind the Crisis, and explains that the anti-matter universe has seemingly vanished. Lyla tells the audience that she has given the Secretary General the Monitor's files, to be shared with all the Earth's leaders. Pariah confirms that although there are still temporal anomalies, it is not dangerous. In point of fact, since he remains among them, the danger has probably subsided.

When Pariah opens the floor for questions, a delegate states that he bears no proof of his assertions. Furthermore, many of them suspect an invasion of Earth will take place soon. With so many planets in disarray, many aliens might consider Earth a suitable place to conquer. While the man speaks, Pariah exclaims in fear that he is vanishing again. The threat of destruction is not over.

In Pariah's place come the image of Braniac, projected above the delegate's heads. He explains his dominance over all super-villains, and declares that he has now taken control of the other three boarder planets which were in disarray after the anti-matter wave and temporal distortions. His ally will explain their demands for control over Earth. His image is replaced by a hologram of the Monarch, who demands that the nations of Earth surrender at once, or they will unleash a force that will destroy their world. They have fifteen minutes to decide.

At an outdoor french-style café, in Opal City of 1910, Lt. Steve Savage, the "Balloon Buster" and the Shade observe a red spiral of energy in the sky, which fades quickly. They are baffled for the moment, but both shrug it off and return to their afternoon tea.

On Earth, in 1992, Superman of 2031 and Power Girl futilely batter away at an invisible force shield which surrounds the earth from going to the other border planets to help. The magics of Dr. Fate, Johnny Thunder's Thunderbolt, and Sargon are useless, as are the efforts of Starman, Green Lantern, Jade. The members of the Justice Society and Infinity Inc., report a general failure to Superman, still at the UN. Alexander tries his powers and even his teleporation powers are blocked by this shield. A delegate complains to Alexander about their poor showing, and he replies that they are now trying Lyla's alternative plan.

At home on Earth, Wally West is invited by Flash 1 and Lyla. He refuses to help them, saying that the crisis is over, and he has retired. Lyla responds that the Monitor had records of his problem, and that most of it is due to psychological, not physical, restraints. Wally rejects the Montior's findings and storms out. Jay Garrick follows Wally, saying that with Barry Allen missing and presumed dead, he is the only one they can turn to. He holds up Wally's ring, and asks if he will take it.

Soon, an assembly of superheroes from Earth converges on Chelsea in New York, where Wally and Jay have brought Barry Allen's Cosmic Treadmill. As the other heroes watch, Jay and Wally run on the treadmill at super-speed, opening a rift in the shield covering Earth. Alex, Lyla, and a group of scientists attempt in vain to track the Flashes' progress, as the two speedsters break through Monarch's barrier.

Monarch reports to Brainiac that he had anticipated this action. The Monarch calculates 60% losses for their side, but 80 % for the heroes (he also calculates that his brother, Dove, will not be part of the 80 % who will die in this battle, but rather in a later one. If he controls these planets, though, he will make sure his brother survives). Brainiac replies that he doesn't care how many die. If the villains win, he and Monarch will be in charge; if the heroes win, they won't be in any shape to take on the two of them. Should worst come to worst, they can destroy the three planets, while remaining safe on the ship. Neither of them notice that someone from within the ship is watching them.

On Angor, the battle is joined. Heroes from Earth attack the Riddler, the Masters of Disaster, Gorilla Grodd, Cat Man, Evil Star, Dragon King, Trickster, and the Shaggy Man. Near Justifier Island however, Chemo breathes into the sea a concoction of toxic chemicals. Below, Aqualad, battling Black Manta and Shark, sees Aquagirl knocked out by poisons.

On the Sovereign Homeworld, more heroes battle. The Justice League and the Metal Men fight nemeses such as Valdius, Sinestro, Punch and Jewelee, Plasmus, Warp, Mano, Queen Bee, Eclipso, Captain Cold, and Starro. Warp displaces Steel from 1992 to a far-future era. Despite the best efforts of the heroes, the villains have the edge in battle. Captain Cold reports a victory to Monarch and Brainiac.

On the Source-Wall, the Floronic Man, with his partner Poison Ivy, Phobia, Dreamslayer, and the Joker, has taken the heroes of New Genesis prisoner in constricting plant vines, when the Justice Society, Infinity Inc., and the Outsiders invade. The Earth heroes attack Captain Boomerang, Cheshire, and Blockbuster, but Hawkman is helpless in the burning grip of Dr. Phospherous.

Monarch and Brainiac watch the battles progressing on the three Earths, and Monarch secretly calculates that their forces are divided rather evenly. If their side can't win, he hopes that they will kill each other off. He will rule the world, and be able to save his brother from death.

Suddenly, Monarch realizes that Brainiac is not responding. Sparks emerge from Brainiac's body, and seconds later, it explodes. The Monarch is dazed by the blast, then sifts through the debris, wondering who is responsible. At that, Psimon steps into the light, admitting to destroying Brainiac and that Monarch is next.

Issue #10, January '95: "Death At The Dawn Of Time!"

As Psimon attacks Monarch, a recreated Brainiac of 2031 blasts Psimon from behind and kills him. The living computer then replies that the spacecraft is part of his total being, and thus he knew of the enemy's presence when Psimon thought himself to be hidden. He had transferred his consciousness into the ship's computer before Psimon struck, and then rebuilt a new body in seconds. Relieved, Monarch announces that their plan to pit heroes and villains against one another is still in effect.

On Earth, in prehistoric times, Anthro is astonished to see the red spiral in the sky, but decides not to tell his fellow villagers about it.

On Angor, Chemo has turned Big City Harbor into seething chemical waste. In retaliation, Negative Woman destroys him. Aqualad pleads to Alexander to teleport him and Aquagirl to Atlantis, and Alexander complies.

On the Source-Wall, a band of villains, including Despero, Phobia, and Per Degaton, has bound the ruling family of New Genesis with neutralizing colar and shackles. J'onn J'onzz and Tina of the Metal Men engage the villains in combat, while the second Atom picks Orion's lock and lets loose the Dog of War into the fray.

On the Sovereign 7 Homeworld, a similar battle goes on.

Monarch and Brainiac are watching all of this, when they feel a powerful energy flux. At this, every hero and villain battling on the four worlds witness a cosmic manifestation of the Spectre, who halts their battles. He says that the Anti-Monitor is still alive, and has traveled back through the dawn of time to change history so that only the anti-matter universe will come into being. While the Anti-Monitor remained in the anti-matter universe, the Spectre couldn't attack, but he could see the crisis coming to completion and he must now finish the Monitor's work. The heroes and villains of the positive matter worlds must now combine their powers; half must go to the dawn of Creation, while the other half travels to Oa, at the time of Krona's great sin. The Spectre demands that their decision must be made on the spot. Not even Monarch or Brainiac can refuse the summons; they order the villain's cooperation.

Soon, more than a hundred super-beings congregate in Earth's Death Valley. Monarch, the Linear Men, the Legion of Super Heroes, and the Lord of Time have supplied time conveyances. Superman of 2031 muses with his younger counterpart about how he should settle down and find himself a good woman to be with. Someone who is strong and who will stand by you, because there is nothing more important than family. Alexander watches this interaction take place, concealed in the shadows, and makes two small trips: one into the recent past, and one into the near future.

When Superman asks if history can really be changed, Spectre replies that true history can only be changed at the Dawn of Time. Valor appears, after spending several days praying at the Shangrilla Memorial, to join the group of heroes.

Gold of the Metal Men offers his body as an electrical to channel power into the machines, as the electrically powered and magnetically powered beings provide the energy. The Lord of Time leads one division to Oa's past while the others head for the Dawn of Time. Above Monarch journeys in the Lord of Time's temporal bubble into Oa's past, concerned about his brother Dove, who is going to the dawn of time. At the last minute, the Monitor changes his mind and joins the heroes at the dawn of time.

In present day Atlantis, Aqualad receives the sad news that Aquagirl is dead. Mera cradles the youth in her arms.

Superman of 2031 and Alexander hurtle through the timestream ahead of the others, to the beginning of the universe, but when they arrive they are greeted by a giant Anti-Monitor. In an energy field suspended between his hands he holds a captive Pariah, who implores them to leave. He deserves this, he says, since he released his devil upon the matter universe.

The heroes attack, but even their great power cannot rival the energy of an entire universe.

Ten billion years ago on Oa, the super-villains of Earth attack Krona's city in the hopes of finding the scientist before he can complete his experiment. The Oans, seeing them destroying porperty, easily immobilize most of them. Maaldor, Mirror Master, and Icicle breaks into the laboratory and attempts to wreck the Creation viewscreen, but a defensive device reacts, killing the three villains before they can harm it. Krona enters the chamber.

At the Dawn of Time, the Anti-Monitor repels the heroes like gnats. He had needed their own energies and life-forces, for much of his consumed in reaching Creation. Having taken their powers, he raises his hand in a nimbus of energy. When Krona activates his viewscreen, he will see this hand, and so will open a gate between matter and anti-matter, destroying the positive matter universe.

Suddenly, the Spectre appears and graps the hand of the Anti-Monitor. He draws energy from the sorcerous heroes such as Dr. Fate, Zatanna, and the Phantom Stranger to grapple with the over-villain, and resists him. Dr. Fate directs his allies to contain their foe, but not to kill him since he holds the life forces of their friends.

Above them, they see the viewscreen appearing; Krona is looking into the beginning of time. As the Anti-Monitor screams to him to complete the experiment, the Spectre calls for more power. Then the energy of an entire universe pours through him and everything shatters around him.

Issue #11, February '95: "Aftershock"

Creation occurs.

In Metropolis, an older Clark Kent wakes in an apartment at 344 Clinton Street. He has dreamed of the end of the Universe. Now he finds the décor of his apartment has changed and Diana gone, and so he leaves for work. He enters the editor's office of the Daily Planet, where Perry White asks him to leave. A younger Clark Kent enters, and rights the situation. Realizing that he must be back in time, KC Superman accompanies his counterpart to Central City to use the Cosmic Treadmill. Jay Garrick greets both men of steel, and takes them into his lab, where Wally West waits.

Wally changes to his Kid Flash costume, and Jay assumes his Flash identity. Then, with the two Supermen, they board the Cosmic Treadmill, and reach the correct speed and vibration rate of the KC Superman's time period. However, they behold an endless sea of blackness. Feeling lost, without his wife and his newborn son, the KC Superman tries to leap into the void, but his counterpart holds him back, as the Flash and Kid Flash bring them back to the lab.

In the time-stream, the Hunter and the Linear Men try and figure out why they cannot enter any point of time in the timestream. They find the Brainiac's craft, adrift in time also. They board it, and find the robotic villain slumped in his command chair.

At Titans Tower in New York, the Teen Titans host an assembly of heroes who formerly occupied several different time periods and several different worlds. Uncle Sam and Wandjana report that they have tried to return to their worlds, but found merely a black void surrounding the Earth, bereft of any stars or planets. Slowly, they come to grips with the fact that for some reason, the Earth 1994 is the only planet that exists in this Universe.

Nighstar, shaken by her experience, tells how her and her husband awoke in a castle that belonged to Ra's Al Ghul, where they had to fight their way through several of Ra's Al Ghul's finest assassins. Red-Robin says that the only Dick Grayson of whom he could find records of was 19 years old, and lived in Manhattan. Even the grave of Alfred was missing from the Wayne Manor cemetery.

Harbinger explains that they accomplished defeating the Anti-Monitor in the past, but there seems to be a more pressing problem. There is, and was, only one planet now. They are alone in the universe. And what's more disturbing, is that time no longer exists. All of them are living on borrowed time because there seems to be a temporal field that surrounds the Earth which blocks any time travel into the past or into the future. They are all stuck on this planet, at this time, for the rest of their lives. All the heroes are stunned by this revelation, and none more so than the Superman 2031. His wife and newborn child is gone forever. He soars off in frustration and anguish, and Valor and the younger Superman follows him.

Somewhere in a spirit dimension, Deadman and the Phantom Stranger watch over the Spectre, who was rendered immobile after the battle with the Anti-Monitor. When they attempt to get back to Earth, they find that Earth is no longer there.

In Salem, Dr. Fate and the Demon magically observe Amethyst being attacked as a witch by a mob. Dr. Occult stops them, but then shadows appear and attack. Dr. Fate and the Demon join in the battle. However, Amethyst has been blinded, and when Fate looks into her eyes, he finds out that Amethyst is really a Lord of Order, and attempts to take her back to Gemworld through arcane means but he finds himself halted by the temporal/dimentional barrier that surrounds the planet.

Above New York city, Valor has succeeded in calming the older Superman, reminding him of his own loss with Laurel's Death. The older Superman weeps, not knowing where he belongs.

Back at Titans Tower, the Golden Age Fury (who arrived from the Soveriegn Homeworld) tells how her daughter reacted when she met her the first time after a long time had passed. After an emotional and physical battle, the Modern Age Fury went into a catatonic state, not responding to anybody. The Golden Age Fury wonders if her battle on the Soverign Homeworld was worth her daughter's misery. The Harbinger replies that she doesn't know.

Batman, Jason Todd, and Alexander arrive soon after the Fury's tale, and tell the assembly of a recent interview they had with the Angle Man. As the heroes attempted to illicit his help in dealing with this weird temporal/physical barrier that has encased the world, the Angle Man attempted to bust out of prison using his Angler to teleport him away. But as the Angle Man attempted to escape, he screamed out in pain, before vanishing. Therefore, says, Alex, no one should attempt teleporting until they have figured out what the Angle Man meant.

However, danger still besets the Earth, as shadows continue their assault, and the uncanny weather persists. Far below the surface of Peru, Cave Carson's crew reports an awesome flux of energy, and transmits the news to Titans. There, the heroes observe the electrical storms becoming worse, and Pariah feels his pre-teleportation symptoms again-but, with no place to teleport to, he remains in painful stasis. Alex grows with the anti-mater effect, and a horrid nightfall falls across the world

At Las Vegas, a detective convention is interrupted when Angle Man's body is found, along with his Angler weapon. The Angle Man mumbles, "The world is not in the right place," before dying.

On a rooftop in New York, the Supermen and Valor scan the beyond the Earth with their vision powers and realize that Earth has somehow been taken into the Anti-Matter Universe. Then, they are confronted by a huge image of the Anti-Monitor, welcoming them to his home, and to their deaths.

Issue #12, March '95: "Final Crisis"

In Brainiac of 2031's starship, the Linear Men convince the revived robot that the Anti-Monitor has removed Earth from it's place and that if he is ever to evolve into his present state, Earth must be found and put back to it's rightful place. Admitting that his power is inadequate to battle the Anti-Monitor and save the Earth, he sets course for the world of a more powerful being as the Linear Men disappear, knowing that they have set in motion the first battle of the Modern Age Superman with Brainiac.

On Earth in the Anti-Matter Universe, the Anti-Monitor's visage is seen in the skies all over the globe. He repeats that the Earth is now in the anti-matter universe, taken by him a the moment of their departure into the past. That is why the people cannot traverse the timeline or leave to any other worlds, for there are in his universe that has a different set of rules governing time travel or space travel. His past victories over the universe are meaningless, he says, because of the heroes of Earth. When he lists Barry Allen as a casualty, Kid Flash demands to know what has happened to his uncle.

The Supermen and Valor scan the globe and watch the populace panicking. Harbinger appears and teleports them to a chosen destination, then gathers Dr. Light from Japan, leaving Sunburst to defend the island. When Dr. Light states that she caused Laurel Gand's death, Harbinger replies that the battle had already killed Laurel, and that the Anti-Monitor's final attack merely gave her a swift death.

In the skies, the darkness splits into a million shadow demons, which begin an all-out attack on humanity, and the super-heroes mass to resist them. The Global Guardians team with other heroes to free their native lands from the threat, but the demons' numbers seem endless.

The Phantom Stranger summons Dr. Mist to help revive the Spectre who lies comatose. Below, Harbinger has gathered a large group of heroes, along with Pariah and Alex, to lead a final assault on their nemesis. Alex creates a bridge between universes, and they depart.

Near Apokolips, Brainiac's ship goes into stationary orbiting and he and his guests teleports to the planet, where Darkseid appears and introduces himself. Brainiac explains to Darkseid the severity of the Anti-Monitor's power and offers his help to Darkseid. Darkseid seemingly destroys Brainiac with his Omega Beams for his presumption, and contemplates the robot's words.

Back on Earth, the majority of the heroes are still battling the demons. The Dove is slain by a shadow-being as his brother watches in horror. In Dr. Fate's Salem tower, the magically powered heroes have gathered to pool their sorcerous might. The Golden Age Green Lantern and Dr. Occult form the nexus of their energy.

On Qward, in the anti-matter universe, Harbinger and the heroes manage to break the barrier around Earth and have arrived in the Anti-Monitor's old headquarters. Kid Flash insists on joining them because of his mentor's demise. Suddenly, an image of the Flash appear to him-the last one Barry cast before his death. Wally follows the after-image to where an insane Psycho-Pirate clutches at an empty uniform. Kid Flash knocks him out, and realizes that Barry Allen is truly dead when Lady Quark finds his ring. Pariah informs them that a great concentration of evil lies before them. They follow to find a towering Anti-Monitor, ready for the final slaughter.

In Atlantis, Aquaman leads his underwater legions against the shadows. Lori Lemaris saves a trapped Mera with a force beam. A demon closes in on her and seemingly kills her.

In Chicago, Captain Triumph is killed by a shadow.

In Phildephia, Cyborg, the Son of Vulcan, the Vigilante, and the new Wildcat continue rescue operations.

In New Orleans, Shade the Changing Man witnesses the death of Prince Ra Man.

In Skartaris, Travis Morgan leads his forces against the black menaces.

In Gotham City, both Clayface II and the Bug-Eyed Bandit perish at the hands of the demons.

In Salem, the tide finally turns. The sorcerous crusaders send their combined force in a net of energy to gather the demons from the Earth's surface, and bind them helpless in space. Over the Earth, lives have been lost, including Nightstar, Xuffasch, Red Robin, and the physical form of Kole, but other lives have been saved. For a moment, the survivors can take stock.

On Qward, the Supermen, Valor, Captain Atom, Lady Quark, Firehawk, the Golden Age Fury, and other heroes strike at the Anti-Monitor, but he ignores their blows, feeding on the energy of a nearby star. As Dr. Light absorbs the energy of one of the binary suns they are between, the Anti-Monitor feels his power draining away. Alex begins to drain the anti-matter energy away from their enemy. Negative Woman uses her negative-self to bind the Anti-Monitor and inhabit him; then Harbinger leads all the energy-producing heroes against him. Dr. Light blasts him with the energy of a sun, and he falls into the ruins of his fortress.

Alex creates a dimensional hole, large enough to enclose the Earth and return it to its proper universe. The heroes follow. The ball of bound demons hover and then fall on the fallen enemy. Thus, the Anti-Monitor absorbs his slaves' energies and rises again, while the heroes start to give battle. Fury is caught in a withering flash of power and dies, with her daughter's name on her lips.

Valor and Lady Quark vow deadly revenge, but the Superman of 2031 knocks them out, and tells the younger Superman to take them back. Since he has no world and no wife to return to, the elder Superman has the least to lose. Then he confronts the monstrous Anti-Monitor, and batters him. Superman sends Valor and Lady Quark back through Alex's shrinking body, and turns to aid him. KC Superman continues his one-man war against the Anti-Monitor, striking telling blows, while the villain, his power waning, absorbs more energy from the anti-cosmos, and blasts him and Superman. Darkseid, watching the conflict on a viewscreen, comes to the conclusion that his planet to be endangered if the Anti-Monitor survives, sends a power burst through Alex's eyes. The enemy, devastated is hurled into the core of the one of the binary suns.

Superman, Superman of 2031, and Alex are stunned to see the specter of their enemy rising from the sun. the KC Superman smashes into the foe's fiery body, scattering him; the remains fall back into the sun, and the star begins to implode. Alexander has only enough energy to send one more person to the positive matter universe. The KC insists that his younger counterpart to go home and be with Lois. The Superman of 1994 smiles and shakes hand with the Superman of 2031 before going to the positive universe. KC Superman and Alex bravely await the end. Superman of 2031 wishes that he could see his wife and newborn son for the last time. At that, Alexander produces Diana and their son from a void-pocket in his body, where she had been sent to wait. She tells her husband that she had been to a tranquil world far from the positive and negative universe. Some place where they could be happy. The three of them, with baby Johnathan in tow, agree to go to this world and, as the KC Superman grabs his wife's hand, they enter paradise.

Back on Earth, Lyla is explains the facets of the world without the Monitor or her mission, to Lady Quark and Pariah. In Los Angeles, while the Modern Age Fury tries to put her mother's death behind her, Brainwave Jr. erases Lyta Hall's memory of ever meeting her mother and his power ripples out throughout the world, causing many to forget the Crisis.

The bodies of Future-Age Robin, Nightstar, Captain Triumph, and Kole were never recovered, but a tomb for all that died in Crisis is erected by the Justice Society in the Valhalla Cemetery.

In Keystone City, Jay Garrick gives the Kid Flash a physical after a dangerous bout with Mr. Element. Jay says that the Kid Flash's illness is in remission and his body chemistry has been changed by a blast from the Anti-Monitor. He could again move at super-speed, though only to a maximum of Mach-1. Wally, looking at Barry Allen's ring, makes a decision and announced that: "From this day forth-the Flash lives again."

In the next sector over , on a planet near Alpha Centauri, Adam Strange of Rann and his wife, Aleena, awake to find their world has been saved by a person or persons unknown. Aleena recalls that she had a dream of child that her and Adam Strange had, and that possibly, this child saved them. Adam says that he had a very similar dream and he holds his wife close, never wanting to let her go.

In a bunker beneath Washington DC, the Monitor plots once more to journey into the past to find a way to save his brother and his sanity while in the far future, Brainiac 5 pushes Laurel farther away from him, hoping that this event might change the future and Laurel might be able to live a ripe old age. Both are watched by the Hunter and the Linear Men, who are, more than ever, aware that the sacred timeline must be preserved.

In the Andes Mountains, Brainiac of 2031 finally defeats the younger man of steel and replaces him with a Superman Robot that he had defeated and deactivated sometime in the 21st century. It takes the combined might of the Teen Titans and the alien group known as Vanguard to defeat Brainiac, who's consciousness is dispersed into the universe. This dispersed consciousness links with his past dispersed consciousness (due to an accidental teleportation accident on Colu) and merges with the circus mentalist known as Milton Fine.

In one of Apocalipse's remote aeries overlooking his fire-pits, Darkseid contemplates the nature of heroism that drives the great heroes of Earth and soon sends for his underling Glorious Godfrey to test his theories out.

Thus, Lyla concludes that her tale, and Lady Quark and Pariah ask her to help them explore the new universe. They leave with her, honoring the memory of their benefactor, the Monitor.

And in Arkham Asylum, the staff discuss a new patient who seems beyond help, straight-jacketed in a rubber room. Roger Hayden, formerly Psycho Pirate, gibbers about the destruction of countless galaxies beyond numbers, the Anti-Monitor, and the memories of genocide, which only he had been allowed to keep.

 
Return to the Top of the Page

Now that you've read this piece,
discuss it in the Fanzing Forum!

     
 
All characters are ™ DC Comics
This column is © 2000 by Gary Ancheta.
Fanzing is not associated with DC Comics.
All DC Comics characters, trademarks and images (where used) are ™ DC Comics, Inc.
DC characters are used here in fan art and fiction in accordance with their generous "fair use" policies.

LinkExchange
 
Fanzing site version 7.2
Updated 3/7/2007