In Justice League #21 when characters discovered that the Superman of Tomorrow wasn’t really am older Clark Kent, that future Man of Steel revealed that he was actually the “World Forger,” the “one who creates form from idea and hammers everything into existence.”
But what does that actually mean?
Within the context of the “Sixth Dimension” storyline that’s currently running in Justice League, it means a powerful being has created an alternate version of the Multiverse where dissent is harshly punished. He claims that unless the League accepts this version of the Multiverse, their version will cease to exist.
But in the grander story being orchestrated by Justice League writer Scott Snyder, the appearance of the “World Forger” has more meaning.
And it provides clues into the “banks of judgment” that
Snyder mentioned in recent issues, and the “judges” that may decide the fate of the DCU.
Who is the World Forger?
The concept of the World Forger can be traced back to Snyder’s last event limited series, Dark Nights: Metal.
In that series, Snyder introduced a new creation myth to the DC Universe. Although the very beginnings of creation were still connected to Krona and the "great hand” of old DC myth, Snyder added a twist — the current Multiverse’s creation is now linked to three siblings: the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor, and the World Forger.
According to this story, "first were matter and anti-matter," and with them were three creatures. Two were the brothers who monitored the matter and anti-matter (also known as the Monitor and Anti-Monitor). The third being, the “World Forger,” was tasked to watch over what was "yet to come," residing in the "World Forge" that existed deep in the "rolling cauldron of possibility" known as the Dark Multiverse.
The third being had a great dragon with him in the Forge, a creature that was tasked with destroying unstable worlds and eventually became known as Barbatos.
“There used to be a World Forger,” Snyder told Newsarama previously, “a mythical figure that we made up here as somebody who watched over the Forge and made sure it was kept in balance. And his pet monster, Barbatos, was the dragon who destroyed all the twisted and abominable worlds. But once that creature, Barbatos, became envious, he ended up killing the World Forger and taking over the Forge and forcing it to go dark.”
If the World Forger was killed by Barbatos, as Metal established, then how did he come back?
It’s not clear, but the DCU is filled with stories of characters returning into existence for various reasons. In fact, the World Forger’s brother, the Anti-Monitor, was also suddenly reborn following the recreation of the Multiverse in Infinite Crisis and 52.
But the death of the World Forger was part of the set-up for Dark Nights: Metal.
And now, another aspect of the World Forger has taken center stage in Snyder’s newest story: The World Forger’s mother, Perpetua.
Not a Nice Mommy
Since the beginning of Snyder’s run on Justice League, the writer has been introducing a new chapter into the DCU origin story, one that features the World Forger’s powerful mother, Perpetua.
Before the current Multiverse, there was a previous, bad version of the Multiverse that was created by a super celestial named Perpetua. It was created with “seven unnatural energies,” was “predatory in nature” and featured an army of vicious creatures that were half-human/half-Martian.
In short, it wasn’t a fun place.
But according to Snyder’s story, Perpetua’s three sons (the aforementioned Monitor, Anti-Monitor and her eldest son, the World Forger) turned their rogue mother in to other beings like her. (Justice League #20 described them as her “brethren” and said Perpetua was a “bad seed” among them.)
“When her sons turn her in for this,” Snyder told Newsarama, “when they realize what she’s doing and the Monitor, Anti-Monitor and World Forger turn her in, she’s imprisoned in the Source Wall with her soldiers and her minions.”
At that point, the DC Universe was “restarted,” and the current DCU emerged.
However, Perpetua’s essence recently escaped the Source Wall and is re-forming with the help of Lex Luthor and the Legion of Doom. And now, she wants to take revenge on the other celestial beings and use the Multiverse to do it.
At the core of the World Forger’s plan to replace the current Multiverse with the authoritarian version he’s making in the Sixth Dimension is a fear of the “judges.”
“What I am about to tell you is known only to the highest minds,” the World Forger told the Justice League in issue #20. “In the Omniverse, when any one Multiverse breaks before its final evolution, it’s sent back to the banks on which it was created.”
The World Forger maintains that the Multiverse is now headed for these banks, which he calls the “banks of judgment.” And according to him, it will be determined by “judges” whether it is “worthy” to still exist.
“The goal of a Multiverse is to achieve a harmonious form,” the World Forger explained to the Justice League. “We must wrest control of the Multiverse from [Perpetua] and help it achieve a higher form.”
The World Forger says that he believes the only hope for the future of the Multiverse is to be replaced by the alternate one he created.
But to make his version the new reality, half of the people in the Multiverse must be imprisoned or die. The Justice League doesn’t accept this option, although Batman appears to consider it.
So who are the judges? They are probably the same celestial beings who previously locked up Perpetua. After all, they destroyed her previous creation, so they might destroy the current Multiverse. Or could the Justice League convince them to give it another chance?
There’s another possible hero in the story: Bat-Mite.
Mxyzptlk seems to be in league with the World Forger, making some type of deal that requires him to erase the current Multiverse from existence.
But Lex hinted in the last issue that he could call forth Bat-Mite, and that might stop the destruction of the current Multiverse. And that might stop the World Forger from replacing it.
Another element that might come into play is Hawkman, who served in the World Forge during Dark Nights: Metal. If Hawkman (and by extension, Hawkgirl) is somehow connected to the World Forge, then it would make sense that he might be able to either fight the World Forger or play a part in restoring the World Forger into his former role at the World Forge.
The story picks up again April 17 with Justice League #17.