The Anti-Living came to be as an unintentional result of Darkseid's attempt to acquire the Anti-Life Equation. Following his defeat at the hands of the Justice League, Darkseid had Cyborg discreetly kidnapped and brought to Apokolips. While imprison there, DeSaad revealed that Darkseid intends to combine the half of the equation embedded within Cyborg's internal Mother box with the half already in his possession. However, DeSaad also reveals to Darkseid that doing so would likely kill Cyborg. To circumvent this, Darkseid summons Black Racer and has DeSaad extract his essence and inject it into Cyborg to ensure he survived the process. Darkseid is successful in combining the two halves and creating the Anti-Life equation. But in so doing so while using Black Racer's essence, the equation became corrupted and transformed into a techno-organic virus. Darkseid unwittingly became the first of the Anti-Living and went on a rampage throughout Apokolips. In a desperate attempt to limit the damage DeSaad sent Cyborg back to Earth, though this was in vain as Darkseid destroyed Apokolips soon after.
Upon returning to Earth the virus quickly transmitted itself from Cyborg's cybernetic body onto the internet, corrupting any digital device connecting to it and allowing it to rapidly infect the population, who immediately attempted to literally claw the equation out of their minds. The infected then turned to a feral zombie-like state and attacked the uninfected in order to spread the virus through blood to blood transmission via bites and scratches. Due to humanity's use of digital devices such as televisions and smartphones, the Batcomputer estimated around 600 million were infected immediately, with it further predicting the number to rise to billions within the coming days once the virus has had the chance to fully disseminate across the globe digitally.
Equipment: None known.
Transportation: None known.
Weapons: None known.
- As a techno-organic virus, the corrupted Anti-Life equation has two parallel modes of infection, digitally through the internet via compromised digital devices or biologically through infected bodily fluids via bites and scratches. Between mere seconds with the former to several minutes with the latter, once the infection reaches the brain, infected individuals will begin to desperately and violently attempt to remove the equation from their minds by clawing at their heads and faces. Once succumbed completely, the infected will enter a feral, hyper-violent state and immediately attack the closest living individual, no matter whether they be friend or family. The virus also seems to partially mutate the bodies of the infected, making their fingers more sharper and claw-like to more easily spread the infection.
- Despite their behavior sharing a lot of similarities to zombies, leading to survivors frequently mistaking them for such, the Anti-Living are not actually zombies, at least not in the traditional sense. As noted by Batman, the Anti-Living do not attack people due to an unending desire to consume their flesh, but rather to spread "anti-life" as much as possible by either killing or infecting uninfected individuals. In addition, transformation does not kill and reanimate them, and while Cyborg states the Anti-Living are no longer alive, the Anti-Living can still be killed by ordinary means that would otherwise kill a normal, uninfected human. As also noted by Cyborg, the Anti-Living are attracted to living beings and will actively seek them out.
- While the infected outwardly show very little signs of intellect, they still retain the ability to utilize their skill sets, powers, and technologies respectively to a surprisingly effective manner. The infected have also shown numerous times of coming up with elaborate strategies and tactical decisions to bypass pockets of resistance and cause as much death and destruction as possible. Examples include:
- An infected Aquaman bypassed Mera's hydrokinetic defense of Atlantis by filling the surrounding water with infected blood.
- The Atom utilized his belt to bypass Captain Atoms defenses to infect him on a microscopic level.
- Upon being infected, Captain Atom charged up and self-destructed, obliterating several cites and killing tens of millions of people.
- An infected Martian Manhunter, whilst invisible, launched a surgical strike against the Justice League, killing Lex Luthor, one the smartest people left alive and infecting the Flash.
- Upon being confronted with the entirety of the Green Lantern Corps, an infected Superman paused to observe this before retreating into the Sun. Realizing he could not defeat the Corps, he elected to instead drain the Sun, ensuring the destruction of the Sol System and the death of all remaining life on Earth.
- Upon being interrogated by Cyborg with the Lasso of Truth, an infected Wonder Woman shows she and likely all other infected are still intelligent enough to speak in a fairly normal manner. In addition, upon being carelessly freed by Cyborg she immediately decapitates him, ensuring his knowledge of the cure and the cure itself dies with him.
- It is revealed that the virus is curable and that is possible the infected can be returned to normal. Being that the virus was created inside Cyborg who is both man and machine, the virus is also a binary of construct of the two and can be cured by him. With Cyborg's death, however, both this information and the cure itself have been lost.
- The infected seemed to be all linked as a hive mind to the Anti-Life equation. An infected Wonder Woman's first response to Cyborg when compelled to by the Lasso of Truth was, "We have a voice."
- The virus does not appear to be capable of infecting every single living being, with DeSaad not becoming one of the Anti-Living despite having been exposed to the tainted equation at the same time as Darkseid was.