This week’s Justice League #22 gave the Anti-Monitor a new motivation for devouring worlds, giving a longer backstory to Crisis on Infinite Earths and other stories from DC continuity.
The issue revealed secrets about the beginning of the Multiverse and the creation of the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor, and the World-Forger, whom Justice League has already established are “brothers,” created by the evil and powerful entity named Perpetua.
This week’s story even explained how the Anti-Monitor got the name “Mobius.”
And oh yeah. Bat-Mite is saving the world from Mr. Mxyzptlk.
Justice League #22 is written by returning guest scribe James Tynion, introducing the idea that a previous Multiverse existed, one whose creation and destruction set up a current-day cosmic battle.
This week’s chapter of Justice League, drawn by Francis Manapul, was positioned as a “Legion of Doom” issue, although the bulk of its story concentrated on the history of Perpetua, the Anti-Monitor, the Monitor, and the World-Forger.
So how did Justice League #22 give new meaning to all DC’s past crises? Let’s take a look at spoilers to find out.
Bat-Mite to the Rescue
In the present-day, Mera, Starman and mini-Starro are trying to stop Mr. Mxyzptlk from un-imagining the whole universe out of existence.
“He’s unwriting the Earth itself,” as Starman describes it. (And the Justice League has left Earth for the Sixth Dimension, as shown in previous issues.)
The efforts of the heroes to stop Mr. Mxyzptlk aren’t doing much good, however, until Lex Luthor shows up with the Legion of Doom.
He has a secret weapon to use again Mxy.
Enter Bat-Mite, ready to save the world.
So That’s Why He’s Named Mobius
While the Legion is away, the Legion of Doom headquarters sits empty — except for Perpetua, the ancient, evil entity that is trying to re-emerge and take over the Multiverse with the Legion’s help.
Perpetua narrates the rest of the story, and the issue flashes back 20 billion years. Perpetua is remembering the moment when she created the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor and the World-Forger.
“You are the first beings,” she told the three brothers after they came into existence. “The first children of a new realm of existence, rent from the overload into flesh. I am your mother Perpetua. I was sent to give birth to bold new systems of life within the greater Omniverse.”
Perpetua showed the three new beings her new Multiverse, which she held in her hand. “I cannot speak to its purpose,” she said of her new Multiverse. “I will say I hope to please the source of our power.”
She created the Multiverse from Dark Matter, Positive Matter and Anti-Matter. She created her three children to “monitor” each of those realms.
Then readers find out the names of each:
The World-Forger is called Alpheus. He monitors birth.
The Monitor, she names Mar Novu. He monitors life.
And the Anti-Monitor is called Mobius, and he monitors death.
Five billion years later, Alpheus shows his brother Mar Novu the pet he made: his tiny world-eating dragon Barbatos (a nice tie-in to Dark Nights: Metal).
As the two brothers talk, they notice the beings who inhabit Earth are nasty creatures. When Mar Novu asks Perpetua about it, she admits that she merged humans with Martians to create vicious, dangerous warriors.
Mar Novu is concerned.
“All I have seen implies some sort of cosmic judgment coming for us,” Mar Novu tells his mother. “You have altered the core of creation into something it is not meant to become. This implies that you know your actions will be judged poorly and you wish to fight back.”
Perpetua admits that the “Judges of the Source” exist, and they desire beings to achieve harmony and reach toward justice. She is preparing to fight back, to stop the Judges from destroying her creation by preparing an army.
Judgment of Big Bird
Soon after (well, about 200,000 years later, that is), the three brothers build a huge communication device to warn the Judges. One of them shows up in the form of a great bird of prey. He says the Multiverse must be “set right,” and he locks Perpetua away in the Source Wall as she vows revenge.
Mar Novu explains that the three brothers will be “re-formed.” He will be born again on Oa; his brother Mobius on Qward. And their realm will be contained by the Source Wall.
Mobius is angry and vows revenge on his brother. “I will strike down infinite worlds just to crush your neck in my hands,” Mobius says, referring to his character’s already established world-eating hunger.
“I will find all the knowledge I require,” the character says, also setting up the character’s association with the Mobius Chair. “And should it take a billion years, it will be done.”
Perpetua ends the issue by recounting how many crises were spurred by this conflict between her boys. She claims that the universe “called out for her” in her absence, called out “for doom.”
And now she stands ready to “show her children the way” and save them all from certain judgment.
The story continues May 1 with Justice League #23.