"Prelude": This story is reprinted from Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse #1 (Digital), Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse #2 (Digital) and [[Infinite
Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse #1 is an issue of the series Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse (Volume 1) with a cover date of September, 2014. It was published on July 16, 2014.
Synopsis for "Prelude"
Nix Uotan records that the the multiverse consists of 52 universes in delicate balance. It will however be endangered by the "Infinite Crisis", which is bound to happen, and can only be stopped by a great effort. Nix adds that crises have occurred in the multiverse before too and the multiverse once consisted of infinite realities. They were protected by the race called Monitors on the world called "Nil", which was located outside the multiverse, in the Overvoid. Eventually however, one who came to call himself the "Anti-Monitor" betrayed them and started destroying the infinite multiverse. The Monitors sacrificed themselves to stop him, while only 52 universes of the once vast multiverse survived.
Nix was the sole monitor to survive the destruction, being in hibernation at that time, and though he would like to believe it was because he cared for the betterment of its people unlike the other Monitors, he knows it's foolish to think so since the multiverse is non-sentient. He however has realized a new crisis is coming. after seeing an unknown force armed with modified Monitor weapons attacking Earth-48, causing immense destruction. Though he helped in fighting back, he knows he needs an army of champions - regardless of whether they're good or evil, human or metahuman. After finishing his statement, he tells his artificial intelligence Construct to give it to any champion who will assist him.
Nix tells Construct that they must stop their enemy from gaining artifacts that will strengthen him, and asks her to show him the progress of his champion Harbinger, whom he recruited from Earth-48. Harbinger jumps from universe to universe through the Bleed, using her orb made from Monitor technology. She secures artifacts on Earth-20 and Earth-41, before arriving on Earth-17, where she is ambushed by wastelanders but escapes. Harbinger then travels to Earth-19, where she asks a figure to not attack her and states she needs help. As they reject it, she states that the multiverse is in danger and explains to them its structure, before stating that a great effort will be required to safeguard it when the Infinite Crisis comes.
On Gotham City of Earth-0, three high-end shops of Gotham dealing in collectibles and antique items have been robbed in the last week, making Batman suspicious. Only one item was however stolen in each raid and Batman believes he knows who the thief is, due to her typical M.O., but wants to catch her red-handed. He decides to interrogate the illegal antique dealers, going first to "Honest" Joseph Frater. Jerry and Slim meanwhile show Honest a painting they recently robbed. As he gets impressed upon examining it, Batman busts in and quickly knocks the two thugs out before interrogating Honest, who swears he has no idea who's been behind the string of robberies at the antique shops. Batman realizes he's saying the truth and before leaving, tells him the painting the thugs brought him is fake.
While talking with Alfred about having no leads, he gets informed about a silent alarm being tripped at Leachman's Rarities. As the robber takes an artifiact, Batman believes they are Catwoman and tells them to give up. Harbinger steps out of the shadow, which confuses Batman, since the robberies were committed using Catwoman's methods. As he takes the artifact from Harbinger, the two fight and she requests that he give it back. She threatens that she could kill him with a thought after getting knocked down, but it will alert the man who's after her, and explains the artifact is called the Eternal Key, which she needs to save the multiverse. Getting up, Harbinger adds that she doesn't want him to kill him as he's a hero and would make a great ally.
Batman gets confused upon hearing Harbinger's words and tells her that he doesn't understand. She explains that the multiverse is under assault by an unknown force and the Eternal Key is the last item they need to utilize the artifacts they have collected. As she talks about coming through the Bleed to his universe in order to retrieve it beforehand, Batman tells her to explain the whole thing again. Harbinger however decides to show him the truth instead and takes him to Earth-19's version of Gotham, which is still in the era of gaslights. Batman gets shocked upon discovering where he is and asks her to explain everything from the beginning.
Harbinger tells Batman that he's in a variation of Gotham, before telling him to get settled in. As he views the city, he realizes that the city is similar to his Gotham, but still different. Harbinger knows he's disturbed because of it and asks him that they leave the rooftop they are on, in order to not get caught. She takes him to a building and shows him a woman lying on bed. He realizes she is this universe's Catwoman, who Harbinger states is an assassin-turned-vigilante. As he believes that Catwoman is dead, Harbinger assures she is alive and placed in suspended animation, so she could borrow her skills and steal the Eternal Key. Explaining to him that the multiverse is in danger, she adds that she doesn't know who exactly is responsible, but her side is building an army to fight.
Stating that the Eternal Key could be used to win the coming war and some people are serving the one endangering the multiverse, she adds that the artifacts are sought by both sides to gain advantage. She in particular has been evading a monstrous man who has captured multiple artifacts, but she could stop him with the Eternal Key, which she requests Batman to hand over. As he does, a horribly mutated Two-Face busts in and demands they give it to him. As Batman and Harbinger fight him, Two-Face states that it was he who spread the claim that the Eternal Key could stop him, since it was the last thing he required for his plans. After defeating both the heroes, Two-Face snatches it from Harbinger's hand and exclaims that it will make him a god. She attempts to stop him as it imbues him with power, only to get blasted through the chest.
Two-Face then ponders whether to conquer Earth-19 or another, ultimately deciding to flip a coin. As the coin lands on the side of another universe, he decides to attack Earth-48, Harbinger's universe, in amusement. Batman rushes towards the dying Harbinger as he teleports away, and she pleads with her dying breath that he stop him. As he tells her to hold on, she passes away, leaving Batman in despair over what to do. The Catwoman of Earth-19 however soon approaches him and states they must honor her dying wish, but he doesn't seem to be anything special. In order to make up for it, she decides to summon other allies the Harbinger earlier recruited from across the multiverse: Atomic Wonder Woman, Arcane Green Lantern, and Nightmare Robin.
Appearing in "Prelude"
- Anti-Monitor (Flashback only)
- Atomic Two-Face
- "Honest" Joseph Frater
- Mutie Men (Unnamed)
- Alfred Pennyworth
- Arcane Green Lantern
- Atomic Wonder Woman
- Black Racer of unknown world (In dream sequence only)
- Earth-0 characters:
- Aquaman (In dream sequence only)
- Blue Beetle (In dream sequence only)
- Cyborg (In dream sequence only)
- Deathstroke (In dream sequence only)
- Doomsday (In dream sequence only)
- The Flash (In dream sequence only)
- Hawkgirl (In dream sequence only)
- Sinestro (In dream sequence only)
- Supergirl (Dies in flashback)
- Superman (In flashback and dream)
- Elongated Man of an unknown world (In dream sequence only)
- Firestorm of an unknown world (In dream sequence only)
- Gaslight Batman (In dream sequence only)
- Kilowog of an unknown world (In dream sequence only)
- Monitors (Flashback only)
- Nightmare Batman (In dream sequence only)
- Nightmare Robin
- Catwoman (Earth-0) (Mentioned only)
- Multiverse (Flashback and main story)
- Earth-0 (Flashback and main story)
- Death Pits
- Axis Tower
- The Bleed
- Multiverse (Flashback and main story)
- This issue is reprinted in Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse Vol. 1.
- Cover gallery for the Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse series
- Images from Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse Vol 1 1