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While wandering the ruins of Multiverse-2, the insane Pariah somehow made psychic contact with the Great Darkness. Pariah believed that the Darkness had spoken to him and chosen him as its herald, when in fact his broken mind cor

Dark Crisis (later fully called Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths) is a 2022-2023 crossover event, following on from later issues of Infinite Frontier (Volume 1) and Justice League Incarnate (Volume 1). It features Pariah, one of the main characters of Crisis on Infinite Earths, attempting to create his own Multiverse of "perfect" worlds and invading Earth 0 with an army of possessed villains. It all results in the creation of a new infinite Multiverse, including the restoration of multiple pre-Crisis realities; and the disbanding of the Justice League.



While wandering the ruins of Multiverse-2, the insane Pariah somehow made psychic contact with the Great Darkness. Pariah believed that the Darkness had spoken to him and chosen him as its herald, when in fact his broken mind corrupted the Darkness, and what he believed to be the Darkness' voice was merely his own hatred of the worlds that had replaced his Multiverse echoing back at him. He drew immense power from the Darkness and plotted to create a new infinite Multiverse, using the heroes of Earth 0 as fuel. He planned to trap each of them in false paradise worlds to generate the Crisis energy he needed, starting with Barry Allen, who had fallen through one of the cracks left in the Multiverse by the Flashpoint and landed in Multiverse-2.

While searching for Barry, Justice League Incarnate discovered Pariah's plans to unleash the Great Darkness into the Multiverse, and assumed that the Darkness was controlling him and attempting to destroy all reality as it had after the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Along with the Justice League of Earth 0 they confronted Pariah and his Dark Army in Multiverse-2. The heroes prevented the Darkness from entering the Multiverse but Pariah trapped each of them in their own paradise worlds, except for Black Adam. Adam managed to escape back to Earth 0 and told the remaining heroes that the Justice League were dead, as they had appeared to be disintegrated when Pariah sent them into the paradise worlds.

The Great Darkness

Deathstroke, who was secretly working for the Darkness, took command of the Secret Society of Super-Villains and formed them into an army. Under his command, doomsday cults and minor supervillains around the world all launched attacks at once in the League's absence, so Jon Kent formed a new team to deal with them and inspire the frightened populace.

The Secret Society launched a full assault on Titans Academy, destroying the building and traumatising the students. In the aftermath of the attack Black Adam announced that, since both Jon Kent and Nightwing had proven unable to lead, he was taking control of the League. However, the League refused to use his brutal methods and Adam resigned in disgust. He instead sought out the Legion of Doom to help deal with Deathstroke's campaign of terror.

In space, Hal Jordan and Jo Mullein rallied the entire Green Lantern Corps for the fight against the Dark Army. They went to Ryut, the headquarters of the Black Lantern Corps; and Hal, Jo and Kyle Rayner entered the Black Lantern Central Power Battery, telling the others to destroy it if they did not return. They passed through the Lantern and emerged in Multiverse-2, where they found Pariah and the pocket dimensions he had imprisoned the Justice League in. Hal entered John Stewart's paradise world while Jo and Kyle kept Pariah occupied.

Back on Earth, the combined forces of the Justice League, Justice Society, Batman Family and Titans worked to hold the world together. Deathstroke and his army seemed to withdraw, but Mister Terrific detected dark energy at the edge of the Multiverse. Alan Scott took Jon Kent, Nightwing and Yara Flor to meet with Justice League Dark, and the two Swamp Things told them that an elemental force like the Darkness would likely not bother to micromanage supervillains and suggested that the Great Darkness had been corrupted by something else. They went on an expedition into the Starheart to investigate the Darkness, where they found Pariah's antimatter chamber from the Crisis on Infinite Earths and discovered that Pariah had corrupted the Darkness rather than the other way around as they had assumed.

The Secret Society, now fully under the control of the Darkness, attacked the Legion of Doom. Lex Luthor realised that Deathstroke was the conduit to the Darkness and attempted to kill him, but the Legion were also possessed by the Darkness.

The Flash

The Flash Family journeyed into the Speed Force to search for Barry, tracking Speed Force signatures similar to his to parallel worlds in the Omniverse. The West twins and Jay Garrick ended up on a dark and grim world, while Jesse Quick and Max Mercury found themselves in a post-apocalyptic world. The two groups had brief adventures with alternate versions of Barry and returned home.

Wally West and Kid Flash found Barry in his false paradise world Earth-Flash.1. Wally attempted to speak to Barry, but Barry saw him as the Reverse-Flash and attacked him. Fortunately Linda followed Wally into the Force and arrived on Earth-Flash.1 in time to save him and help Barry remember what had happened. When they told him that the League had apparently been killed, Barry realised they were trapped in paradise worlds like him.

Meanwhile, Wallace followed the Wally West of the other world to his home, and when they got there the world shifted into a paradise for Wallace. He initially accepted it but when Daniel West walked in, alive and well, Wallace realised it was not real and rejected the dream world. Wallace fled from the house and joined up with the others.

Wally, Wallace and Linda returned to Earth 0 while Barry split off from them to locate and rescue the rest of the Justice League.

Justice League

Although most of the imprisoned Leaguers accepted their new realities and false memories, some of them subconsciously realised that the worlds they were in were too perfect to be real. Hawkgirl retained some memories of the real world, so Pariah tricked her into drinking from the "Vase of Mortality", believing it would grant her greatest wish of being freed from her cycle of reincarnation. In fact it simply erased her memories of her real life and she happily embraced the false reality. Meanwhile, a manifestation of Martian Manhunter's subconscious also tried to warn him that the world he was in was a lie, but J'onn rejected it. Aquaman was the only one who immediately understood the true nature of the world he was in and planned to escape.

Green Arrow and Black Canary's paradise worlds repeatedly failed as they subconsciously remembered each other, and each time Ollie escaped his own world and broke into Dinah's to find her. Pariah built multiple worlds for each of them, representing many different scenarios, but they all collapsed. Eventually Pariah considered just allowing Oliver, who had been mortally wounded in the fight against the Dark Army, to die; but Black Canary begged him to create a world for both of them where they could forget the truth. As she promised, they both embraced the "cage made of true love".

Superman initially accepted his paradise world, where he was able to see his son grow up. However, he came to understand that it was a lie and was enraged by what Pariah had done to him. Superman spent subjective years in his world studying it and discovering its secrets. In time he learned how to exploit his connection to the world to change it according to his will, although he could not escape.

Hal Jordan was captured by an alternate version of Kyle Rayner in John Stewart's world. The alternate Kyle believed that Hal was Parallax and attempted to execute him, but Hal was rescued by Barry Allen, who had been exploring the paradise worlds. Barry took Hal to Batman's world in an attempt to enlist his help, but their actions only accelerated the process Pariah was using to create his new Multiverse.

Barry and Hal were able to remind Batman, and later Wonder Woman of their true lives. They went to Superman's world, expecting to have to convince him too, but he told them he had long realised the truth and showed them how they could combine their wills to escape. Zatanna could sense the League trying to break her out of her own paradise world and attempted to run from them, initially choosing to stay in the paradise world where her father was still alive, but when the League caught up to her she realised no illusory world could ever be good enough and joined them. The Justice League broke free of the paradise worlds and confronted Pariah, but his powers pulled him to Earth 0, which had descended into Crisis.

Pariah told the League that their lives were now tied to the paradise worlds, and if they attempted to follow him they would cease to exist. Despite this Green Arrow, who was particularly vulnerable as he had been mortally wounded in the initial fight with Pariah and only saved by being put in a paradise world, told them that it was worth the risk to save the world. Barry and Hal combined their powers to teleport the League back to Earth 0, although Oliver did not arrive with them.

Dark Army

Despite the heroes' best efforts, Pariah was able to use his paradise worlds to recreate the infinite Earths lost in the first Crisis. Meanwhile, Deathstroke spread the Darkness to all the villains of Earth 0, strengthening its hold over the Multiverse. Nightwing put out a call to the world's heroes to gather at the Hall of Justice and prepare for a climactic battle against Deathstroke and his forces.

Pariah sent most of his forces to the Hall to answer Nightwing's challenge, and dispatched assassins to deal with any heroes who did not respond. Sinestro went to New York City to psychologically torture and kill Jace Fox, the new Batman. Jace was able to fight off Sinestro, but the experience made him realise that he could not simply focus on street level crime in his own city and ignore the rest of the world. He gathered a ragtag team of stragglers and raced to the Hall.

As expected, Deathstroke attacked the Hall and the heroes attempted to reach him and sever his connection to the Darkness, but his army was too strong. Deathstroke was able to spread the Darkness to multiple heroes until the Darkness on Earth 0 reached a critical mass. Pariah and the Dark Army manifested on Earth 0, where the cosmic titans unlashed devastation and death while Pariah indiscriminately sent heroes into paradise worlds to reinforce his new Multiverse.

Damian Wayne realised the heroes could not win through valour alone and took a small team of heroes, including Doctor Light, into the Multiverse to try and find the source of the chains of darkness controlling the Dark Army and take control of them himself. The trail eventually lead to the House of Heroes where they were attacked by Justice League Incarnate, who had also been possessed by the Darkness. Doctor Light dove into the Orrery of Worlds to prevent them breaching it and was able to make connection with The Light, fully realising her powers. This allowed her to destroy the chains of darkness controlling Justice Incarnate. The two teams returned to Earth 0 to join the fight.

Young Justice

At the memorial service for the presumed dead Leaguers, the three founding members of Young Justice: Impulse, Robin and Superboy, disappeared without a trace. Cassie Sandsmark desperately searched for them, but found that the rest of the superhero community were too preoccupied to help and believed they had simply gone away to grieve in private. In fact the boys had been transported to a world resembling the team's heyday, complete with a duplicate of Cassie.

Although they initially enjoyed the simpler and more carefree reality, Bart and Tim started to notice flaws in the world, which was more juvenile and offensive than the adventures they remembered. However, Conner still wanted to stay and not question it, as he had suffered the most out of all of them in the real world. Whenever they came close to seriously examining the world they were in, a new threat rose up to distract them, culminating in Mount Justice being attacked by Captain Boomerang, Deathstroke and Lex Luthor.

Young Justice fought the three villains, winning a cathartic victory over the men who had hurt them the most. However, after the fight the three split up over their disagreements about the nature of the world they were in. As Impulse ran to Central City the world around him became undetailed and colourless, and he realised that it was a construct like the virtual reality he had been raised in, which could not keep up if he moved too fast and would fail to "load" correctly. Cassie met with each of the boys and asked them one last time to accept a world where all their dreams would come true, but even Connor rejected her. She teleported them all to the Watchtower on the Moon and told them that they had angered the creator of the world, and that since they would not willingly be part of his construct, he would force them to participate. Cassie unleashed an army of duplicate heroes on Young Justice.

While battling the alternate JLA and Titans, Impulse realised that the only one of their old villains who would create a world so deliberately immature was Mister Mxyzptlk. However, he was only partially right, as the world had in fact been created by Mxyzptlk's son Mickey Mxyzptlk. Mickey revealed himself to the team, introducing himself as their "biggest fan".

Meanwhile on Earth 0, the real Cassie Sandsmark enlisted the help of Cissie King-Jones, the former Arrowette, and Red Tornado to look for the boys. This was the first significant length of time the two former friends had been together since Cissie quit the team, and it allowed them to air their grievances and make up. As they could not find the boys on Earth, they journeyed into space in the Invisible Jet.

Young Justice refused to cooperate with Mickey and he attacked them. Impulse was able to send a signal out of Mickey's world which Cassie saw and crashed the plane into Mickey's construct. By combining their powers, Impulse, Superboy and Red Tornado created a portal out of Mickey's world and back to the real Happy Harbor on Earth. They received the distress call from the Hall of Justice, but before they could respond Mickey followed them through the portal.

Young Justice fought Mickey, who inadvertently revealed that their mentors were alive. Despite Mickey's near-infinite power, Young Justice were able to trap him in a quantum entanglement created by Impulse. They raced to the Hall of Justice to join the fight against Pariah.

Dawn of the DCU

Jace Fox helped Mister Terrific modify the antimatter chamber to turn Pariah's own powers against him, sending him into his own paradise world. Despite this, and the return of the Justice League and the Green Lantern Corps, the possessed villains kept fighting and Pariah's new Multiverse continued to spread through the Orrery of Worlds. The corrupted Darkness transferred to Deathstroke, who had been driven mad by his experience with the Darkness and believed the Multiverse needed to be destroyed. Meanwhile, Pariah's restored Multiverse clashed with the 52 Earths, threatening all of reality.

Deathstroke forced the Darkness into Nightwing and his daughter Ravager, and had a psychic battle with Dick while the heroes attempted to fight through the Dark Army and reach him. Black Adam attacked Deathstroke and discharged all his power in a single blast to exorcise the Darkness from Deathstroke and make the assembled heroes immune to its influence, while also stripping both men of their powers.

Meanwhile Damian Wayne and his team returned to Earth 0 with Doctor Light. The Flash Family had used their speed to re-establish the links between the Orrery of Worlds and the restored infinite Earths, but the new links collapsed as soon as the Flashes forged them. Doctor Light was able to use her new connection to the Multiverse to solidify the links, forming a restored, stable infinite Multiverse and sending the Dark Army back to where they came from.

Although Deathstroke had been purged of the Darkness, he was still determined to at least kill Nightwing and Ravager. He and the depowered Black Adam fought hand-to-hand as Adam defended the two young heroes, who were still infected with the Darkness. Deathstroke eventually overpowered Adam, but Nightwing was able to move through the Darkness in his mind and out the other side, and stopped Deathstroke before he could kill Adam. Ravager begged Deathstroke to stop and he surrendered in despair.


In the aftermath, the Justice League decided to disband, as the younger heroes had proven they could stand on their own in the League's absence. Meanwhile Deathstroke was murdered in a prison hospital while being treated for his injuries from the fight.

The restoration of the infinite Multiverse led to the return of the Anti-Monitor. The Anti-Monitor once again attempted to destroy the Multiverse, but he was foiled by Barry Allen, Kid Flash, and a team of Multiversal heroes.

Amanda Waller approached a mysterious group known as the Council of Light and asked for their help to counter what she saw as a renewed threat from the escalating battles between superheroes and villains. The Council promised her unlimited resources to kill all the world's metahumans.



Core Issues


Recommended Reading

Links and References

Events Crisis on Multiple Earths | Crisis on Infinite Earths | Zero Hour: Crisis in Time! | Infinite Crisis | Final Crisis | Flashpoint | Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths
Zero Hour Related Events End of an Era
Countdown to Infinite Crisis Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1 | The OMAC Project | Rann-Thanagar War | Villains United | Day of Vengeance
Infinite Crisis Aftermath 52 | One Year Later | World War III | Battle for Blüdhaven
Countdown to Final Crisis Death of the New Gods | Salvation Run | Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer | Countdown to Adventure | Countdown to Mystery | Countdown Presents: Lord Havok and the Extremists | Countdown: Arena
Final Crisis Related Events Final Crisis | Final Crisis: Revelations | Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds | Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge
Flashpoint Related Events Time Masters: Vanishing Point
Road to Dark Crisis Infinite Frontier | Justice League Incarnate
See Also Identity Crisis (crossovers) | Heroes in Crisis | Dark Nights: Death Metal | Crisis on Infinite Earths Crossovers | Zero Hour Crossovers | Infinite Crisis Crossovers | Final Crisis Crossovers | Dark Crisis Crossovers | Convergence