At the beginning of time, the Big Bang occurred, forming the universe. However, where there should have been one universe, there were many, each one a replication of the first, with their own separate histories.
The Crisis on Infinite Earths was a Multiversal catastrophe that resulted in the destruction of countless parallel universes, and the recreation of a single positive matter universe (and an antimatter universe) at the dawn of time.
At the beginning of time, the Big Bang occurred, forming the universe. However, where there should have been one universe, there were many, each one a replication of the first, with their own separate histories.
At the present time, a great white wall of pure antimatter energy stretches out across the cosmos. It pervades the Multiverse, consuming entire galaxies. On an unknown parallel world, a being named Pariah arrives. He is forced to witness the death of multiple worlds in multiple dimensions. He disappears as he is transported to the parallel world known as Earth-Three. On that world, the Crime Syndicate, in a rare demonstration of heroism, strives to save their beleaguered planet. However, even their combined might cannot prevent their deaths at the antimatter wall.
The planet's sole hero, Alexander Luthor, retreats to his home where his wife, Lois, holds their infant son, Alexander Jr., in her arms. Luthor places his son into an experimental rocket capsule and launches him from the planet Earth. As Earth-Three dies, Alexander's capsule pierces the vibrational wall separating dimensions. It lands on the abandoned Justice League Satellite orbiting Earth-One.
On board another satellite, a being called the Monitor summons his assistant Lyla (also known as Harbinger). He instructs her to travel to various alternate Earths and bring together a select group of super-powered beings. Harbinger uses her power to create replicant versions of herself and sends them to the various Earths. The Monitor, meanwhile, prepares to gather Alexander Luthor, Jr.'s space capsule.
The first of Harbinger's replicants travels to Earth-One and gathers King Solivar from Gorilla City. Another travels to Earth of the 30th century and summons Dawnstar of the Legion of Super-Heroes to her cause. A third replicant journeys to Earth-Two of the year 1942 to enlist the aid of Firebrand. One version gathers the Blue Beetle from the Chicago of Earth-Four. Another version of Harbinger collects the Psycho-Pirate from Earth-Two's present timeline. She brings him to Earth-One, where they encounter Firestorm and Killer Frost. The Psycho-Pirate uses his Medusa Mask to make Killer Frost fall in love with Firestorm. Another replicant travels to Pre-Cataclysmic Atlantis to find Arion the Sorcerer. However, a Shadow Demon attacks her and takes possession of Harbinger. The possessed replicant finds Arion and brings him back to the Monitor's satellite.
When they arrive, they find a room full of heroes and villains from alternate realities. Before the assemblage has a chance to acclimate itself to their foreign environment, a horde of Shadow Demons attacks them. They fight them off until the Monitor arrives. He casts a brilliant burst of light, which dispels the shadows. Introducing himself, he tells the impatient gathering that the Multiverse may soon be destroyed.
The Dawn of Man
Anthro the Cave-Boy leads a herd of mammoths away from the village of the Bear Clan tribe. After falling from atop one of the great beasts, he peers through the underbrush where he sees an image of a great futuristic city. He shakes his head and when he looks again, the image is gone. In addition, the herd of mammoths that he had corralled is likewise missing.
30th Century Earth
Members of the Legion of Super-Heroes discover the displaced mammoths stampeding through Plaza Square in Metropolis. Colossal Boy attempts to scoop them up into his giant arms, but they suddenly disappear.
In Gotham City, the Joker murders film mogul, Harold J. Standish. Batman crashes through the window and attempts to disarm the villain, but the Joker keeps him at bay with an adhesive-shooting flower. Suddenly, a distraught image of the Flash appears before them, warning about the end of the world. Batman tries to talk to the Flash, but he disintegrates before his eyes.
On board the Monitor's satellite, the Monitor warns his assemblage that a wave of antimatter energy is sweeping through the Multiverse, consuming entire realities. He has established certain devices throughout the various realities designed to halt the antimatter wall. He requires the heroes to travel to each reality and activate each of the devices. Nobody truly trusts the Monitor, but they realize that they have little choice but to heed his warnings.
Superman of Earth-Two, King Solovar and Dawnstar travel to Earth-AD, the world of Kamandi. They find the adventurer, Kamandi, scaling the side of an immense golden tower. The heroes realize that this is of the devices that the Monitor spoke of. A horde of Shadow Demons arrives to sabotage the tower, but the heroes manage to drive them away.
Arion, Obsidian and the Psycho-Pirate arrive in ancient Atlantis. Suddenly, Pariah arrives, but quickly falls sway to the Psycho-Pirate's emotion manipulation. Arion turns his power against the Psycho-Pirate and frees Pariah of his influence. Psycho-Pirate suddenly disappears and rematerializes in a darkened room. A deep voice bellows forth to him, commanding him to follow his every order. Psycho-Pirate, terrified by this mysterious individual, meekly complies.
Meanwhile, back on the Monitor's satellite, the Monitor asks Harbinger to retrieve Alexander Luthor from his nursery. Harbinger is shocked to discover that Alex, formerly an infant, is now the age of a young child. Suddenly, the dark influence of the Shadow Demon takes control of her, commanding her to betray the Monitor.
Harbinger walks into the Monitor's sanctum as he continues testing young Alexander Luthor. Luthor is aging at an accelerated rate, and is now the physical age of an adolescent boy. The Monitor discovers he is composed of both positive matter and antimatter, and believes that this composite life form may hold the key towards stopping the Crisis. Harbinger, still under the influence of a dark, mysterious entity, leaves the Monitor's satellite and reports to her new master.
On Earth-One in the 30th century, the Flash races through the streets desperately attempting to halt a series of natural disasters. He sees a wave of pure antimatter spreading outwards in the distance. He vibrates his molecules at super-speed, sending himself backwards through time.
In the 20th century, the antimatter wave has reached Earth-One and it slowly begins to dissolve everything in its path. The Teen Titans team up with the Outsiders to save as many citizens of New York as possible. Batman and Superman arrive as well to lend a hand. Suddenly, Batman sees the Flash appear before his eyes. However, before the Flash can respond, he screams in pain and terror as he is pulled into another dimension and disappears.
In outer space, Brainiac's brain-ship surveys the progress of the antimatter wave. He logically deduces that in order to preserve his own life, he must help to save the Multiverse. Brainiac flies off to find his old partner, Lex Luthor.
Meanwhile, Blue Beetle, Doctor Polaris and Geo-Force arrive in Markovia in the spring of 1944. Markovia is currently under Nazi occupation and the Nazis attempt to secure the Monitor's energy tower. The American military forces known as Easy Company, the Losers and the Haunted Tank are present as well. While the heroes engage the Nazis, they must also contend with a horde of Shadow Demons. The Shadow Demons succeed in killing several war-time soldiers, including Easy Company's Flower and the Losers; Johnny Cloud, Captain Storm, Gunner, and Sarge. On Earth-AD, Superman-Two, Dawnstar, Solovar and Kamandi stand by helplessly as they watch the sky turn the color of blood and lightning storms erupt all around them. Solovar, finally succumbing to his recent injuries, dies in Kamandi's arms.
Meanwhile, Cyborg, Green Lantern, Psimon and Firebrand materialize in the town of Coyote, Texas in the year 1879. They meet up with several Southwestern heroes including Nighthawk, Scalphunter, Bat Lash, Johnny Thunder and Jonah Hex. The two disparate groups join forces and locate another one of the Monitor's towers.
However, the destructive wave of antimatter that the Monitor warned of strikes the Earth at all time periods simultaneously. While the other heroes fight against more Shadow Demons, Nighthawk is consumed by the antimatter wave.
Across time in the 30th century, the Legion of Super-Heroes shares a similar tragedy. While saving innocent civilians in England, Kid Psycho falls prey to the white energy wall.
Back on the Monitor's satellite, Harbinger returns. Consumed by the influence of her new master, she releases a blast of energy at the Monitor.
As Supergirl joins a despondent Batgirl on top of a city building on Earth-One, trying to encourage her before she is called to rescue a plane that falls apart approaching the antimatter wave, Pariah arrives on Earth-Six where he confronts the royal superhero family of Lord Volt, Lady Quark, and Princess Fern as the antimatter wave destroys their world as well. Lady Quark watches helplessly as both her husband and daughter are consumed in the wave while Pariah transports her safely out of the universe.
Meanwhile, the Monitor prepares to create a new hero to help him in his quest. By firing an ion-based energy ray into an unstable star in the Vegan system in the Earth-One universe, he causes a powerful flare of solar energy to travel to Earth. It reaches the observatory of Dr. Kimiyo Hoshi, who berates her staff as she uses the telescope to observe the destructive phenomenon present. She screams as the flare strikes her and then mysteriously transports her out of the lab, leaving her fellow workers and her father wondering what happened to her.
In the dark place where the Psycho-Pirate is taken prisoner, the shadowy figure watches on the screen the Red Tornado in action and uses his power to teleport him to the same place.
On Earth-Two in the time of Camelot, Firestorm and Killer Frost (still under the love thrall of Psycho-Pirate) get help from the Shining Knight to protect the cosmic tuning fork planted there in that time period, as Vandal Savage watches from a window. The three heroes engage the Shadow Demons in battle, but it is all for naught as they merge and form a giant Shadow Demon. This also happens in the other time periods that the cosmic tuning forks and the Shadow Demons appear.
In the present time of Earth-One in Metropolis, the superheroes see yet another cosmic tuning fork appear, though this time with a female in a costume similar to that of Dr. Light. She tries to warn the heroes approaching her to stay away from the tower, and blasts them away with a burst of light. Katana, who understands Japanese, realizes that this Dr. Light is not their enemy, but an ally. Superman, who is able to converse in Japanese, tells Dr. Light that he knows the situation they are in and they only want to help.
While on board the satellite, the Monitor watches the heroes valiantly but vainly try to protect the cosmic tuning forks, as Pariah emerges to find that the Monitor was expecting him. He reveals to Pariah that he was responsible for his survival when he should have died for his deeds, but before he could say anything more, Harbinger appears, obviously not in control of herself. She strikes the Monitor with a powerful blast that sends him hurtling down platforms until he finally lands dead. Pariah mourns as he realizes that with the death of the Monitor came the death of all hope.
At that moment, the heroes of both Earths One and Two can only watch as their worlds, consumed by antimatter, fade into nothingness.
In the Antimatter Universe, a dark, malevolent force addresses his new playthings, Psycho-Pirate, the Flash and Red Tornado. He has Psycho-Pirate use his emotion-controlling abilities to keep the Flash in line, while also promising that he will soon have his own worlds to rule.
On the Monitor's satellite, Harbinger regains control of her mind, and realizes what she has just done—she has just killed the Monitor. Pariah is present, and tries to get answers from her, but Harbinger has no memory of the attack. Suddenly, a view screen activates and a pre-recorded image of the Monitor addresses both of them. He tells them that he knew of his eventual demise at Harbinger's hands, and bears her no ill will. To safeguard the remaining universes, he turned his body into an energy conduit. Upon his death, the Monitor's life essence shunted Earth-One and Earth-Two into a Netherworld, keeping them safe from his adversary's attack—at least for now. However, in his haste to save them, all time has become one. Alexander Luthor enters the chamber and hears the last of the Monitor's speech.
On Earth-One, varying timelines begins to intermingle with one another. Dinosaurs and World War I era bi-planes exist side by side with modern day Metropolis skyscrapers, and strange vessels from the far-flung future. Amazingly, Earth's populace remains relatively calm—another side-effect of the Monitor's influence.
Back on the Monitor's satellite, Alex, Pariah and Harbinger summon together a massive congregation of heroes from Earth-One and Earth-Two. They explain the present situation, but also explain that in order for things to correct themselves, the Multiverse must be folded back upon itself and become a single universe once again, or else all worlds will be destroyed.
On Earth-One, other heroes continue to help out amidst the confusion. Batman invites a group of heroes and villains into the Batcave for consultation. Starfire and the Legionnaire Sun Boy fly to Russia to help Red Star tackle a dinosaur. Members of the Green Lantern Corps fly to Oa to seek aid from the Guardians of the Universe, but the Guardians are swept up in an unforeseen attack. Rip Hunter and the Time Masters try to solve the mystery of the inter-connecting timelines. Wildcat saves a little girl from crumbling debris, but his legs are crushed in the process.
Meanwhile in the Antimatter Universe, the unseen enemy takes control of the Red Tornado and reconstructs him to do his bidding. He turns him into a force of primal energy and sets him upon the Earth. As the Red Tornado storms across the country, Earth-One and Earth-Two begin to slowly merge together. People see ghost-like astral images of people from the parallel worlds.
The Flash overcomes Psycho-Pirate's control and demands to see the face of the being who abducted him. The enemy steps forward and introduces himself as the Monitor. This Monitor however, is not the same as the one who just died. Unlike the more human-looking Monitor, this one is a gruesome mechanical-looking alien with blazing red eyes and jaundiced yellow skin.
The new Monitor gloats that the other Monitor is dead, and now he has only his enemy's remaining energies to absorb as well as those of three remaining positive-matter universes, and the heroes on board his satellite headquarters to destroy, before ultimate power can be his. As the Flash slowly recovers, the new Monitor grants Psycho-Pirate his wish for a world to control. He makes the Psycho-Pirate see three Earths, each of them belonging to the three positive-matter universes, and causes the villain's emotion-controlling powers to increase to an incredible scale, affecting all three Earths.
On board the earlier Monitor's satellite, the heroes try to rescue each other as it is now being ripped apart. Pariah screams as he finds himself being transported elsewhere. Alexander Luthor Jr. tries to use his powers to save the heroes on board, but Harbinger stops him from doing so and instead flies into the energy chamber where their main non-powered self is located. Just as Harbinger merges back into her original form, the satellite explodes.
Back on Earth-Two, Al Pratt takes the injured Ted Grant to his apartment to rest, trying to comfort his friend as he now feels useless in the battle. Outside his apartment, Yolanda Montez watches from a window, silently promising that Wildcat will still carry on. On Earth-One, Lex Luthor is transported from being in a cyclone via a teleportation beam to Brainiac's skull skip, where he sees his old partner in his new form, ready to conquer the universe.
Some of the heroes on board the satellite find themselves on Earth-X, which they see is now being devoured by the antimatter wave, but they also see within the wave the appearance of Harbinger, attempting to do something. They soon spot people heading toward the antimatter wave like lemmings. Northwind flies down to stop them, but he is attacked by Uncle Sam's Freedom Fighters. The new Dr. Light uses her light powers to create a blinding barrier to keep the people from reaching the wave, but the Ray attacks her, causing her to fall into the arms of the Earth-Two Hawkman.
Some other heroes were transported to Earth-Four, where they see the antimatter wave devouring the Earth in the middle of a rainstorm. Azrael spots the Blue Beetle's Bug hovering overhead and tries to investigate it, but is blasted away by Captain Atom. Nightshade and Peacekeeper join the fray on the ground, along with Judo Master who assaults Katana, mistaking her for "Nazi filth". Jay Garrick prevents Thunderbolt from speeding his way into a death run with the antimatter wave. The Question is with Blue Beetle in his Bug, wondering why they are compelled to head toward the wave.
Back on Earth-One, Aquaman along with Aqualad and Aquagirl discover that the underwater cities of Tritonis and Poseidonis have mysteriously disappeared. As they swim off, Black Manta and the Ocean Master watch until they also disappear. Dolphin notices this as she swims behind them.
The final group of heroes from the Monitor's satellite appear on Earth-S, where Changeling as an elephant is hurled through a brick building by Captain Marvel. Supergirl tries to reason with him as she fights him, but Captain Marvel only answers her with his fists. Kole erects a crystal barrier to prevent people from entering the antimatter wave, while Wonder Woman vainly struggles with Mary Marvel wrapped in her magic lasso, resisting the Amazon's efforts. Black Canary stuns both Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. with her sonic "canary cry". Wonder Woman is left looking at the image of Harbinger in the antimatter wave, wondering what she's doing.
Soon, the cosmos shudders as the three remaining positive-matter universes are now transported into the Netherverse through Harbinger's power, and Psycho-Pirate realizes that he is losing control over the people's emotions. Now drained of her power, Harbinger reverts back to being Lyla and joins Alexander Luthor Jr. on an asteroid overlooking the five universes slowly merging with each other, and now in danger of annihilating each other.
Back on Earth-Two, Alan Scott, Power Girl, and Johnny Quick chase after Star Sapphire, Per Degaton, and Deathbolt when the three villains suddenly vanish, leaving the heroes wondering where they went. Back at the apartment building of Ted Grant, as he is resting in his bed, Yolanda Montez now makes her debut in costume as the new Wildcat.
With a group of heroes selected from the five surviving universes and transported there with the help of Pariah, Lyla reveals to them the origin of the universes they're trying to protect: Krona, a scientist on the world of Oa, performed a forbidden experiment of looking in time to the creation of the universe, which had dangerous repercussions. It created not only an evil antimatter duplicate of the known universe, it also created endless positive-matter duplicates of the universe, with Oa being the only planet not duplicated except in the antimatter universe, where it was called Qward, the home of the Thunderers. Krona was banished from his world, and since then the Oans attempted to atone for his misdeed through the creation of both the Manhunters and the Green Lantern Corps.
On the moons of both Oa and Qward, two similar but opposed beings emerged and came to life; they both became the Monitors. The Monitor of the positive-matter universe simply sought knowledge about his universe, while the Monitor of the other universe sought control over it, creating an army of warriors called the Thunderers and changing some into Shadow Demons. The two Monitors became aware of each other and waged war with each other until a simultaneous attack rendered them both unconscious until the present time.
Pariah joins the story with how he got involved: as the leading scientific mind on Earth of his universe, using his skills to turn his world into a paradise, he now sought to examine the origin of the universe, despite concerns from his people that he could end up destroying their universe in his pursuit for knowledge. Not taking heed to the concerns, Pariah set up a chamber in his lab where he could enter a pocket of the antimatter universe to observe the creation of the universe. As he did, his entrance set off a chain reaction, creating an antimatter wave that destroyed his universe, leaving Pariah stranded in space, safe but now realizing his error. However, with the destruction of his universe, the Monitor of the Antimatter Universe awakened, absorbing the power from the destruction. It also awakened the Monitor of the positive-matter universe, who now sought Pariah to use him for the purpose of saving it.
With a shifting of selected heroes, they are prepared to take on the being they now call the Anti-Monitor. Alexander Luthor Jr. used his powers to open a portal between the two universes, with the assorted heroes flying through this portal, to arrive on the other side, following Pariah's sensing abilities as he directed them to a glowing asteroid which was the Anti-Monitor's fortress. Inside, he watches the heroes approach and calls Psycho-Pirate to him, commanding him to use his powers against them. When Psycho-Pirate reveals that his emotion-controlling powers need to be recharged, Anti-Monitor angrily swats him away and decides to deal with them himself.
Soon the heroes find themselves battling the fortress itself as it comes to life with statues attacking them, reassembling themselves as they get damaged. Some of the heroes realize that some of their own powers don't work as they would normally in the Antimatter Universe. Nonetheless, Superman of Earth-One and Dr. Light manage to reach the heart of the fortress, where they see a machine converting starlight into energy, that is responsible for the merging of the universes. Superman of Earth-One plans to destroy it, but is suddenly attacked by the Anti-Monitor by a powerful blast. His scream attracts the attention of his cousin Supergirl, who engages the Anti-Monitor in physical combat, destroying his armor and also destroying the universe-merging machine. Dr. Light sees that Supergirl is seriously wounded from her battle and tries to get her out, but Supergirl tells Dr. Light to get her cousin out of there. This distraction enables the weakened Anti-Monitor to hit Supergirl with a titanic blast of energy, killing her in the sight of her cousin Kal-El.
As Anti-Monitor enters into an escape ship to recuperate, Superman of Earth-One holds his cousin Kara in his arms as she passes away, screaming that he would get his revenge. Superman of Earth-Two comforts his Earth-One counterpart and gets him to follow the heroes back to their own universe as the Anti-Monitor's fortress falls apart. Back on Earth-One, the heroes gather for a memorial service with Batgirl as the main speaker, stating, "Kara is a hero. She will not be forgotten." Later on, near the Fortress of Solitude, Superman of Earth-One has Kara's body wrapped up in her cape and flies her to New Krypton where she will be buried.
The Flash is captured, bound to a wall in a space capsule heading for the planet Qward in the Antimatter Universe. Psycho-Pirate is present, but fearful for his life. He wonders if the Anti-Monitor perished during his battle with Supergirl. Suddenly, the Anti-Monitor appears before them wearing new battle armor. He tells the Psycho-Pirate that he will spare him—for now.
On Apokolips, DeSaad watches the space capsule and asks his master Darkseid what they're going to do. Darkseid answers that they're simply going to watch and see what happens. If the heroes prevail against the Anti-Monitor, Darkseid says, then the "status quo" will be maintained. If the Anti-Monitor prevails, then he will be weakened enough to the point where Apokolips' sole leader will destroy him.
In the 30th century, the Legion of Super-Heroes monitor the partially merged five Earths. Brainiac 5 throws himself into his research, refusing to come to terms with Supergirl's death. Saturn Girl observes that his mind is in turmoil.
In the 20th century, Firestorm communicates with Vixen who finds famed robotics expert Professor T.O. Morrow. They bring Morrow to the remains of the Justice League satellite where they hope he can effect repairs upon the robot that he invented—Red Tornado. Ray Palmer is also present, and is inspecting the Tornado's body from the inside. Suddenly, something deep within the Tornado's bio-system activates and a huge explosion tears through the satellite. Blue Devil, one of the heroes summoned to examine Red Tornado's inner workings, finds himself transported to the Vegan system to deal with the Omega Men.
Back on Qward, the Anti-Monitor supervises the construction of an Antimatter cannon. With this weapon, he intends on finishing off the remaining Earths. Dozens of Qward's Thunderers work as slaves to complete the weapon. The Flash meanwhile, manages to break free. He grabs the Psycho-Pirate and races off with him across the barren landscape. Moving at super-speed, he exposes the Psycho-Pirate's face to many Thunderers. He forces Psycho-Pirate to warp their emotions into feelings of hatred for the Anti-Monitor. One by one, the Thunderers turn against their master, but the Anti-Monitor easily defeats them. While the villain is distracted, the Flash finds the Antimatter energy core that powers the cannon. Running faster than he has ever run in his life, he circles around the energy core thousands of times, turning the unstable antimatter back upon itself, destroying the cannon. The influx of energy is too much for the Flash's mortal body however. He begins phasing through different points in the time stream, and before long, he loses all physical cohesion and dies. All that is left of him is his empty costume and his ring. His noble sacrifice has saved billions of lives across the Multiverse.
From beyond the walls of time and space, one being screams out in unbridled anger. The Spectre has awakened.
On Oa, the Guardians of the Universe make a last-ditch effort to combat the hysteria that is gripping the universe. They recruit Guy Gardner back into the Green Lantern Corps and give him a ring again.
Suddenly, a cosmic crimson flame from beyond the void washes over Oa. The Green Lantern Citadel is destroyed and all but one of the six remaining Guardians are killed. Guy Gardner swears vengeance.
Meanwhile, a cadre of Earth's most powerful super-villains gathers together aboard Brainiac's starship with T.O. Morrow now joining them. Lex Luthor coordinates the meeting, declaring that they shall take advantage of the Crisis by holding three of the multiple Earths hostage. Alexei Luthor of Earth-Two protests, citing that he should lead the cadre rather than his Earth-One counterpart. Brainiac concedes that there is no need for two Lex Luthors, destroying the Earth-Two Luthor.
Reporters have dubbed the point where the five remaining Earths intersect one another as the Warp Zone. Within this area, a strange time-distortion effect has allowed for creatures and entities from various timelines to interact with one another. Dinosaurs are seen stomping through the same New York City streets as World War I era biplanes and futuristic starships. Firehawk flies with Wonder Girl into the Warp Zone, trying to find Donna Troy's husband.
At the United Nations, representatives from the various parallel dimensions address the assembly. Key speakers include Pariah, Harbinger and Alexander Luthor. The nation leaders are concerned that the spreading chaos may result in an inter-Earth war. During the address, a holographic image of Lex Luthor appears before them and extends an ultimatum. Citing that he already controls three of the five Earths, he demands the unconditional surrender of the remaining two, or else he and Brainiac will unleash a destructive force that will obliterate all five.
While the other heroes struggle to pierce the barrier separating the merging Earths, Jay Garrick recruits Kid Flash to help him. They rebuild Barry Allen's cosmic treadmill and use their combined speed to pierce the barrier with an assembly of heroes standing on connecting platforms, ready to do battle.
Meanwhile, Luthor's cadre of villains takes advantage of the situation. They spread themselves across the realities, sowing chaos and discord at every turn. Chemo poisons the waters surrounding Hudson Bay, killing Aquagirl. Doctor Phosphorus brutally injures Hawkman. The Joker and Poison Ivy capture the Freedom Fighters. Eclipso incapacitates Wonder Woman, and the Justice League fight the Brotherhood of Evil.
Back on Brainiac's ship, Luthor and Brainiac continue to coordinate their plans. Should the governments of the combined Earths fail to meet their demands, Luthor is more than ready to destroy all five planets. Suddenly, Psimon appears from behind the shadows. He is the only super-villain that did not join with the others planet-side. Using his powerful mental energy, Psimon blasts Brainiac, shattering him into a thousand pieces. He then brings himself to bear upon Lex Luthor.
After destroying Brainiac's shell, Psimon turns his attention towards Lex Luthor. He plans on taking over the united villains after killing Luthor. What Psimon doesn't realize however is that Brainiac's consciousness has been downloaded into the circuitry of his ship. He forges a new body for himself and blasts the top off of Psimon's crown with a beam of energy.
On Earth-One at the dawn of mankind, Anthro continues to see wild streaks of red lightning flashing across the sky. He ponders whether he should tell the rest of the tribe, but fears that they may find him crazy.
On Earth-Four, Chemo stands next to the ruins of the Statue of Liberty. All about him, the waters surrounding Manhattan Island are bubbling with deadly poisonous fumes. Negative Woman flies about him, ensnaring the gigantic villain with bands of shadow energy. The bands constrict until they eventually succeed in destroying Chemo's artificial shell. In Manhattan, Black Adam fights against Robotman and Dove. Kole of the New Teen Titans flies up behind him and turns his body into solid crystal. Robotman is prepared to shatter him, but Dove holds him back. Meanwhile, Cyborg and Celsius tackle Quakemaster.
Meanwhile, Aqualad races back to Atlantis, carrying Aquagirl's body. He hands her over to the city's medical specialists, but there is nothing they can do. Aquagirl has died.
In the frozen wastelands of Earth-S, Doctor Sivana, Doctor Cyber, Per Degaton, Houngan, Phobia, Despero, Deathbolt, Hector Hammond and Professor T.O. Morrow keep watch over the captured members of the Marvel Family. While Sivana is in the midst of gloating, the Martian Manhunter burrows through the ice and attacks them. He blasts at Deathbolt with his Martian vision. The Atom and Platinum of the Metal Men arrive to give him back-up. Phobia tries to use her powers on Platinum, but they fail, enabling the Atom enough time to loose the gag around Billy Batson's mouth. Billy shouts the magic word, "Shazam" and transforms into Captain Marvel.
On Earth-X, Batman and the original Atom fight up against Calendar Man while the Outsiders and Infinity, Inc. take on the Dummy. Hawkwoman and Tin fight Lightning Lord, and Firestorm and Vixen fight up against Captain Cold and Icicle. Green Arrow of Earth-Two assists Changeling and Mento in combating the Shaggy Man. Green Arrow defeats the Shaggy Man with an explosive-tipped arrow.
Suddenly, the Spectre makes his presence known across the five partially merged Earths. He warns all of the heroes that the Anti-Monitor is still alive and that he has retreated into the past to change the course of history at the dawn of time itself.
The heroes migrate to Earth-One to coordinate their efforts, with Superboy of the now-destroyed Earth-Prime joining them. They form their teams and develop a strategy using the time-traveling capabilities of the Time Masters, the Legion of Super-Heroes and the Lord of Time. Flash (Jay Garrick) and Kid Flash are outfitted with converter technology to help bridge the gap. With the aid of Magno Lad, Cosmic Boy and Gold, the team creates a large magnetic conductor, which shunts the assemblage backwards in time. Superman of Earth-One personally flies Alexander Luthor, Jr. ahead of the time travelers in order for Luthor to open the portal between the universes before they arrive.
Meanwhile, Lex Luthor and his allies travel backwards in time ten billion years to the planet Oa. They arrive on the fateful day when the scientist Krona is destined to witness the hand of creation and inadvertently create the Multiverse. They burst into his laboratory, but Krona is ready for them. He kills Icicle, Mirror Master and Maaldor.
At the dawn of time, the heroes face the Anti-Monitor. They channel all of their energy into him, but this only serves to make the Anti-Monitor more powerful. He requires their energy so that when Krona opens the doorway between the positive matter universe and the Antimatter Universe, the Anti-Monitor will then be able to obliterate the positive matter universe entirely.
The Spectre appears before the Anti-Monitor, channeling all of the mystical energy of Earth's most powerful sorcerers. He attacks the Anti-Monitor directly and their fight unleashes an explosion of energy, which appears to consume all reality.
The Big Bang happens again, but this time only one universe, with only one Earth, appears.
Clark Kent of Earth-Two finds himself in what appears to be his apartment, thinking he is back in his own universe. He dresses up for work and enters into the Daily Planet building unaware, thinking he is entering that of the Daily Star, and enters into Perry White's office, reading the paper until Perry chews him out for being where he doesn't belong. Clark Kent of Earth-One comes on the scene and rescues the other Clark, referring to him as his "Uncle Clark" to Perry, while Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen of Earth-One amusingly watch.
On top the Daily Planet, both Clark Kents transform into Superman and fly off to New York City, where the cordoned-off merged section of the Earths was located. However, they find that not only is the merged section no longer present, but also that no one even remembers that there was a cordoned-off section. They fly off to Central City in the hopes of finding Barry Allen's lab when they notice that Central City of Earth-One is now adjacent to Keystone City of Earth-Two. They find Jay Garrick's residence in Keystone City and, surprisingly, Jay Garrick's wife doesn't recognize Superman of Earth-Two, though Jay still does. He has Wally West in his own lab setting up the Cosmic Treadmill so they can find out together what's going on.
As Flash of Earth-Two, Kid Flash, and both Supermen race the treadmill, they find themselves transported out into a void where the Earth-Two universe should have been. Superman of Earth-Two fears that his wife, Lois Lane-Kent, has vanished along with Earth-Two and chooses to fly out into the void, but Superman of Earth-One stops him and they return back to the New Earth, with the Cosmic Treadmill destroyed. Kid Flash decides it is time to gather all the superheroes together to find out the truth.
Meanwhile, Rip Hunter's time vehicle emerges out of the timestream with the Forgotten Heroes in it. They also notice that time has reset itself. They board Brainiac's skull ship, still floating in space, and see Brainiac still sitting at the controls as he did before the point of time resetting. Dolphin thinks that Brainiac is now dead.
At the Titans Tower, there is a gathering of present-day superheroes from the various universes, with some trying to figure out why they can't go back to their own universe. To answer that question, Harbinger appears unto them, revealing that with time resetting itself, the five surviving positive-matter universes have all merged into one, with histories from those universes merging into a single history. However, in this universe, there was only one Superman that came from Krypton, only one Bruce Wayne that became Batman, only one Dick Grayson that became Robin, and only one Wonder Woman that came from Paradise Island. This makes Dick Grayson of Earth-Two, the Huntress, and Superman of Earth-Two feel as though they were now "non-persons", and it also confuses Power Girl, who in this universe's history is still recognized as a hero, though her Earth-Two cousin isn't.
Batman of Earth-One shows up with Jason Todd and Alexander Luthor, Jr. with more revelations to the group: the supervillains that went back in time to Oa to try preventing Krona's experiment from taking place now don't remember ever taking that trip, as evidenced by Batman talking with Lex Luthor in his prison cell, which means that only those who were there at the Dawn of Time were the ones who remembered, and they were the only ones that survived the universes merging. Superman of Earth-Two realizes from this that his wife is now gone and flies off in a rage, with Superman of Earth-One following to try comforting him for his loss.
Meanwhile, as stormy clouds appear over the earth, Phantom Stranger and Deadman look on helplessly at the Spectre floating in midair, unable to help them as they sense that a danger is coming. A housemaid at a Las Vegas hotel finds somebody has died in one of their rooms, and Jonni Thunder finds a triangle beside the body, which one of the detectives with her recognizes as the weapon of the Angle Man. Dr. Fate and Etrigan see that Amethyst is being attacked by people who consider her a witch, and so travel to the scene even as Dr. Occult appears to calm the people with his mystical talisman. The Shadow Demons then appear, and Amethyst tries to fight them off, but she ends up being blinded. Etrigan holds off the demons while Dr. Fate transports Amethyst back to Gemworld. Deep inside a cavern, Cave Carson and his team of explorers see a powerful maelstrom forming within the earth.
Back at Titans Tower, Pariah suffers pain and Alexander Luthor, Jr. experiences himself shifting into starry darkness as the Earth itself is swallowed up from its own universe into another. The two Supermen watch the sky as the face of the Anti-Monitor appears, welcoming the planet's residents to their death.
In Brainiac's starship, Dolphin, Captain Comet, Rip Hunter, Animal Man, the Atomic Knight, and Adam Strange convince the reviving robot that his memory was tampered with to make him forget the Crisis. Admitting that his power is inadequate to battle the Anti-Monitor, he sets course for the world of a more powerful being. On Earth, the Anti-Monitor's visage is seen in the skies all over the globe. He repeats that the Earth is now in the Antimatter Universe. His past victories over positive universes are meaningless, he says, because of the super-heroes' efforts to stop him. When he lists Supergirl and the Flash as casualties, Kid Flash demands to know what has happened.
The Supermen 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 Supergirl's death, Harbinger replies that the battle had already killed Supergirl, 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 superheroes 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 remains 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 orbit over Apokolips, and he and his guests teleport to the planet, where Darkseid appears and introduces himself.
Back on Earth, the majority of the heroes are still battling the Shadow 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 Earth-Two Green Lantern and Dr. Occult form the nexus of their energy.
On Qward, in the Antimatter Universe, Harbinger and the heroes 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 appears to him—the last one Barry cast before his death. Wally follows the afterimage 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 kills her. In Chicago, Green Arrow of Earth-Two is killed by a shadow. In Philadelphia, 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 those of Kole, Huntress, and Robin of Earth-Two, but other lives have been saved. For a moment, the survivors can take stock.
On Qward, the Supermen of Earth One and Two, Captain Atom, Lady Quark, Firehawk, Wonder Woman, 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 antimatter energy away from their enemy. Negative Woman uses her negative-self to bind the Anti-Monitor and inhibit him; Harbinger then 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. Wonder Woman is caught in a withering flash of power, and is borne away to an unknown destination. Superman of Earth-One and Lady Quark vow deadly revenge, but Kal-L knocks them out, and tells Superboy 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. Superboy sends Kal-El and Lady Quark back through Alex's shrinking body, and turns to aid him. 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 Superboy. Darkseid, watching the conflict on a view screen, proclaims his planet to be endangered if the Anti-Monitor survives, sends a power burst at him through Alex's eyes. The enemy, devastated, is hurled into the core of one of the binary suns. Superman, Superboy, and Alex are stunned to see the spectre of their enemy rising from the sun. Superman smashes into his foe's fiery body, scattering him: the remains fall back into the sun and the star begins to implode.
They bravely await the end and Superman wishes that Lois could have lived to see their triumph. At that, Alex produces Lois 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. Alex cannot return them to Earth, but he can take them all to this beautiful world. Superman, Lois, and Superboy opt for that choice. The foursome vanish seconds before the exploding sun would have reached them.
Back on Earth, Lyla is explaining facets of the Crisis to Pariah and Lady Quark. Wonder Woman was returned to the clay which Aphrodite and Athena had given life, then spread across Paradise Island.
Time then continued to reverse itself, as the Amazons were returned to their original homeland before they fled Man's World. Zeus brought the homeless Wonder Woman of Earth-Two and her husband Steve Trevor to Olympus, where they could live peacefully. The bodies of Robin of Earth-Two, the Huntress, and Kole were never found. All those who died were mourned. In Keystone City, Jay Garrick determined that Kid Flash's illness was in remission, his body chemistry being changed by a blast from the Anti-Monitor. He could again move at super-speed, though only at the speed of sound. Wally donned Barry Allen's uniform, and announced, "From this day forth — the Flash lives again!"
The Great Disaster will not exist in the Earth's future, but a lost child will he found in Command D., adopted by General Horatio Tomorrow of the Planeteers, and named Thomas. Jonah Jex will be torn from his era to fight in the future, while the Guardians of the Universe must face the first division in their ranks. Thus, Lyla concludes her tale, and Lady Quark and Pariah ask her to help them explore their new homeworld. 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, straitjacketed in a rubber-lined room. Roger Hayden, formerly Psycho-Pirate, gibbers about Earths beyond numbers, the Anti-Monitor, and the memories, which only he had been allowed to keep.
The Monitor's plans did not completely work against the Anti-Monitor, ultimately costing the Monitor his life. Five universes remained. The heroes, at the Spectre's urging, pool their resources and travel back to the Dawn of Time when they confront the Anti-Monitor. Meanwhile, the villains travel (1,000,000,000 years later) to Oa to try to stop Krona from peering back in time and creating the Multiverse (and the Antimatter Universe the Anti-Monitor came from).
The Anti-Monitor reveals that he lured the heroes to him to absorb their life forces. He explains:
- Only here, before creation can the future be changed! When Krona taps the cosmic forces, opening the door between matter and antimatter ... it shall be my hand he sees! My hand which shall destroy the positive matter multiverse for now and forever! My hand which shall make the antimatter universe supreme! ... The Multiverse will no longer exist! 
However, the Spectre, aided by Earths' mightiest sorcerers managed to (apparently) defeat him.
As Krona peers back through the cosmic veil, the Big Bang occurs:
- In the beginning there were many. A Multiversal infinitude...so cold and so dark for so very long...that even the burning light was imperceptible. But then the light grew, and the Multiverse shuddered...and the darkness screamed as much in pain as in relief. For in that instant a Universe was born. A Universe with mighty worlds orbiting burning suns. A Universe reborn at the Dawn of Time. What had been many became one.
The resulting reality was able to resist the Anti-Monitor's attacks due to the successful depowering efforts brought about mostly identified in battles noted to Supergirl and the Flash which cost them their lives. Vastly depowered, the Anti-Monitor attacked the resulting Earth directly where he was finally killed by Kal-L. With both "Monitors" dead, the resulting primary Earth underwent further changes and readjusted into a new state of existence which differed in many major ways from its preceding versions. The universe reformated all of its inhabitants to be native to its history and time line which conflicted with the previous multi-dimensional originating people now in it such as Power Girl.
Some would be changed in the later Zero Hour/Hyper-Time event, whereby the existence of infinite dimensions would again be accessible in the DC primary reality (other dimensions existed, but were completely inaccessible and thus termed "Elseworlds Stories"). But interaction with these other dimensions was unstable and these separate realities' influences threatened to destroy the singular DC New Earth. This would be the same occurrence when the Dark Flash entered into the DC primary reality .
It would not be until the later Infinite Crisis occurrence that stable extradimensional realities would be shown to exist within the DC universe again.
Convergence nullified Crisis by preventing the destruction of the multiverse but as Brainiac noted "Each world has evolved but they all still exist." All that is known is that the Kents, the Flash, Supergirl, and Parallax were successful in preventing the collapse of the Multiverse as well as the original deaths of the Flash and Supergirl. Superman and his family and Parallax relocated to Prime Earth while Barry and Kara left for parts unknown in order to seek their destinies elsewhere. 
Years later, it was eventually that the two central figures of the Crisis event itself were champions of both The Presence and The Great Darkness with Mar Novu aka the Monitor being one of many who was created by The Presence to monitor the Multiverse whereas The Anti-Monitor being one of many who was cursed by The Great Darkness to obliterate the Multiverse with the superheroes themselves acting as the Multiverse's immune system against the Great Darkness' machinations.
However, when the Multiverse had been destroyed by the aforementioned Crisis event and had been reborn into just one single universe, The Presence was greatly weakened as a result which gave the Great Darkness the opportunity to attack The Presence itself. Even though several superheroes had tried their best to fight back against the now sentient primordial darkness, they were soon defeated with the Great Darkness almost succeeding in achieving its' goal but a last minute intervention by Swamp Thing had convinced the Great Darkness to form a truce with The Presence and the end result of the aforementioned truce was that The Presence would no longer make it's influence be as prominent as it was before and the Great Darkness would no longer actively attempt to destroy The Presence along with agreeing to render itself dormant.
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #1
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #2
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #3
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #4
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #5
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #6
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #7
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #8
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #9
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #10
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #11
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #12
- All-Star Squadron #50
- All-Star Squadron #51
- All-Star Squadron #52
- All-Star Squadron #53
- All-Star Squadron #54
- All-Star Squadron #55
- All-Star Squadron #56
- Amethyst (Volume 2) #13
- Blue Devil #17
- Blue Devil #18
- DC Comics Presents #86
- DC Comics Presents #87
- DC Comics Presents #88
- Firestorm (Volume 2) #41
- Firestorm (Volume 2) #42
- Green Lantern (Volume 2) #194
- Green Lantern (Volume 2) #195
- Green Lantern (Volume 2) #198
- Infinity Inc. #18
- Infinity Inc. #19
- Infinity Inc. #20
- Infinity Inc. #21
- Infinity Inc. #22
- Infinity Inc. #23
- Infinity Inc. #24
- Infinity Inc. Annual #1
- Justice League of America #244
- Justice League of America #245
- Justice League of America Annual #3
- Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 3) #18
- Losers Special #1
- New Teen Titans (Volume 2) #13
- New Teen Titans (Volume 2) #14
- Omega Men #31
- Superman #414
- Superman #415
- Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #46
- Wonder Woman #327
- Wonder Woman #328
- Wonder Woman #329
- Crisis happened in the resulting Post-Crisis DCU but didn't (in theory) involve multiple Earths. Exact details regarding the Post-Crisis version of Crisis have been vague at best with The Flash (Volume 2) #150 one of the few glimpses into that version of Crisis.
Characters who died or were erased during the Crisis
Note: Not all of these characters actually appeared in the Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series, but nonetheless were erased from continuity due to the after effects of the Crisis. Some characters were unfortunate enough to have actually died during the Crisis, as well as having their existence erased from human memory.
- Captain Storm
- Dove (Don Hall)
- Farmer Boy
- Flash (Barry Allen)
- Huntress (Helena Wayne)
- Johnny Cloud
- Johnny Quick (Earth-Three)
- Julia Remarque
- Kid Psycho
- Alexander Luthor, Sr. (Earth-Three)
- Lois Lane (Earth-Three)
- Power Ring
- Supergirl (Earth-One)
- Hippolyta (Earth-One) survived Crisis, erased
- Huntress (Helena Wayne) (killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12)
- Jimmy Olsen (Earth-One) survived Crisis, erased
- Lana Lang (Earth-One) survived Crisis, erased
- Lois Lane (Earth-One) survived Crisis, erased
- Rising Son (killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 but didn't die in New Earth's version of Crisis)
- Robin (Earth-Two) (killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths #12)
- Steven Trevor (Earth-One) survived Crisis, erased
- Steven Trevor (Earth-Two) (went to Pre-Crisis Olympus; survived as extra-dimensional outside of the main universe)
- Superman (Earth-One) survived Crisis, erased
- Wonder Woman (Earth-One) (reverted to clay at the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths, effectively killed) erased
- Wonder Woman (Earth-Two) (went to Pre-Crisis Olympus; survived as extra-dimensional outside of the main universe)
- Captain Atom (Earth-Four) survived Crisis
- Captain Marvel (Earth-S) survived Crisis
- George Perez claimed in a 1994 interview that Chris Claremont, famous for his 17-year run on The Uncanny X-Men, suggested that the Earth-One Superman die killing the Anti-Monitor; since his history had been the one to survive the alteration of history, the new Earth was now without a Superman. In this scenario, the Earth-Two Superman, after considering the fact that his wife and friends are all now gone, would look at the heroes surrounding him and say, "Well, guess I don't need this anymore" and begin to wipe old-age make-up from his face and white hair dye from his temples. He would then explain that he had stopped physically aging in the 1940's when his powers reached their peak. This Superman would then return to Earth with the other heroes and assume his younger counterpart's life. The thrust of the post-Crisis Superman reboot would then be "The Return of the Original Super-Hero," with the Earth-Two Superman learning to live his life as a younger Clark Kent in the modern world.
Links and References
Crisis on Infinite Earths Crossover