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"Conquerors from the Counter-World": It has been more than a century since he was last in New York City - in fact, it wasn't much of a city back then - but the ancient being known as the Immortal Man owns a significant amount of the real estate there. Upon his


Quote1 I sometimes wonder how we all might have turned out if we'd never had to fight a war. Quote2
-- Immortal Man



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Synopsis for "Conquerors from the Counter-World"

It has been more than a century since he was last in New York City - in fact, it wasn't much of a city back then - but the ancient being known as the Immortal Man owns a significant amount of the real estate there. Upon his return, though, he marvels at an intimidating windowless skyscraper that looms over the city, belonging to a wealthy and mysterious philanthropist called Doc Fate. The Immortal Man has, in fact, returned from his long exile solely to answer a distress call from that tower - a clarion call to adventurers of special talent.

After stepping inside the tower, he is happy to be greeted by Lady Blackhawk and her Blackhawk Squadron, beside whom he had fought on the Al Waldi Trail. As a gift, he offers her the Eye of Giaour - spoils of war - but she refuses because it is too valuable. He insists that she at least sell it to the museum and use the revenue for her orphanage, knowing he can always come back for it when the museum crumbles with age. He then is introduced to Al Pratt, the Atom - an eighteen-year-old prodigy and sole individual to complete the Iron Munroe Bodypower course. Immortal Man wonders why they've all been called, and Lady Blackhawk notes that all conflict has ceased worldwide thanks to Doc Fate.

Doc Fate himself interrupts to admit with humility that he was just lucky. Spotting Al trying to read a comic book from his shelves, he orders the boy to put it down at once, warning that among all of the dangerous things in the room, that is the most dangerous. The tension is broken by the arrival of Green Lantern of the planet Ungara, who admits that his devilish appearance has forced him to work in secret on Earth. Immortal Man comments that this group of misfits suggests that trouble is expected, and Doc Fate admits that trouble has already found them. He reached out because a parallel Earth has been detected on the edge of Bleed Space, on a collision course with their own. The barrier between the two worlds is weakening, and doom approaches in the form of peril from the parallel Earth. He hopes that together, they can form a Society of Super-Heroes to protect mankind from this threat.

On the other Earth, Vandal Savage is annoyed to the point of violence by the inscrutable explanations he's been hearing for just what's going on. His companion Felix Faust explains that every one hundred thousand years, this earth and a parallel one - a world that is their mirror image - cross paths and become one. He has learned this from a supposedly cursed comic book, that posits that they are all part of a Multiverse of possible worlds. This inspires Vandal Savage with the idea that they could become pirates of possible worlds, conquering everyone. By spring of that year, the two worlds are at war, and the United States of America falls to Vandal Savage.

Five years later, the line between who is winning and who is losing grows faint. Al Pratt tumbles through the door of Doc Fate's temple in South America, screaming of having seen the Green Lantern killed, and feeling his face on fire after being spat at in the face by some kind of creature called a Makara. His mask burns away, and as Doc Fate tries to calm him, he raves of how he should never have looked at the cursed comic book those years ago. Fate carries him to his lab, explaining that the humming sound Al is hearing is the Musica Universalis - the Music of the Spheres. It is the sound of his Transmatter Cube warming up. He promises not to let Al die as he lives up to his namesake of Doctor, trying to heal his friend.

In the meantime, he attempts to further calm Al by telling the story of the Monitor-Mind and the Helmet of Nabu, who still speaks in whispers to him of Novu, the Proto-Monitor. When the Monitor Race died, things from outside came to occupy the vacuum left behind. Only Novu's son, Nix Uotan remained to protect the Multiverse. Every super-hero is a child of Uotan.

The story is interrupted by the sound of Blockbuster crashing through the door of the temple, demanding to be allowed to kill the Atom. Determinedly, Al rises and replaces his mask with a spare, insisting that he will hold the monster back while Doc Fate continues to bring the Transmatter Cube to full power.

Outside, Vandal muses that his opponent thinks he can open an escape hatch into the next universe. He intends to co-opt that escape hatch, and use it as a doorway to the next world, which he will raze, and the next. His rule will be one of brute strength, rape, and cruelty. His tirade is cut short by a blast of machine gun fire by the Blackhawk Squadron. Of course, Vandal is an immortal, but his plane is not. Still, Lady Shiva insists that she will see them all killed. The Squadron's only goal, though, is to buy time for Doc Fate to open the cube.

Doctor Faust and his Necro-Men manage to break into the temple, and soon he and Doc Fate are facing off against one another. Faust hopes it will be a challenge of magic against magic, but Fate simply kicks him in the groin and pistol whips him into unconsciousness. Al, meanwhile, uses a live electrical current to stun Blockbuster enough for him to use the forbidden martial arts move called the Deadly Atom Punch, which kills the monster. This act is against his principles, though, and when Fate urges him to follow through a portal to his lab, Al is too shaken to do it. He senses that the Makara is returning, and warns Fate, who is using his lab to try to forcibly rehabilitate Faust when Parallax attacks.

Elsewhere, Lady Blackhawk and Lady Shiva come to blows near an alligator-infested swamp, and though Lady Shiva is the superior fighter, she is momentarily blinded by light reflected by the Eye of Giaour that Lady Blackhawk wears, which causes her to fall backward into the water. She slices the waiting crocodiles to pieces, emerging from the water to then be riddled with bullets by the Blackhawk Squadron.

Immortal Man, meanwhile, knows that Vandal Savage is his mirror image. Both he and Vandal were given eternal life by a meteorite. For Vandal, that rock became the first murder weapon, and he holds it now, intent to use it to murder his counter-part.

Hurriedly, Doc Fate grabs Al and thrusts him through the portal before Parallax can consume him, explaining that the creature gives a face to his worst nightmares and that Al should punch that face when he sees it. Safe, for the time being, though, he returns his attention to the Transmatter Cube, reminding that it is their duty to warn others. Through the cube, he has built a bridge to worlds beyond - but he hasn't got the power to activate it before Parallax breaks through his magic barrier.

Fortunately, Green Lantern returns just in time to use the might of his ring to destroy the entity of fear. He explains that Al was mistaken when he saw his friend die. He believes that by using the Makara Plasma in Parallax's remains, they will produce quite enough energy to run the Transmatter Cube. As the Cube springs to life, Fate muses that there must be others like themselves whom they can contact with the device, and perhaps even recruit them.

As he is hunted by Vandal Savage, Immortal Man recalls that the first thing he had made with a chunk of the meteor was a weapon, to defend himself against monsters. Now, he does the same thing again, knowing he will face the fight of his life against his counterpart. Bloodthirsty, Vandal boldly crashes through the foliage of the jungle only to be impaled on Immortal Man's spear. Vandal retaliates by cracking his own hunk of the meteor over his enemy's head. Despite his wound, Vandal is pleased to remind that spilling immortal blood on this land summons the god Niczhuotan, for whom Doc Fate's temple was named. And Niczhuotan is the destroyer of worlds. Vandal will have won, in dying. He will have turned the heroes of this world into killers.

The five-year war that culminated with this point, though, is only the beginning of something much bigger. In killing Vandal Savage, Immortal Man has awakened Nix Uotan, and not even the Society of Super-Heroes will be able to stop it. All Immortal Man can do is hope that the heroes of other worlds will be prepared to face the same - and be luckier than he and his friends were.



Notes

  • This book was first published on September 17, 2014.
  • Both Al Pratt and Felix Faust are seen holding copies of Ultra Comics #1, the cursed comic book seen in The Multiversity #1.
  • Doc Fate's Transmatter Cube is analogous with the Transmatter Symphonic Array seen on Earth 23, having seen it in a dream.
  • The Temple of Niczhuotan is homophonous with Nix Uotan - meaning that the destroyer-god of the temple is the last remaining Monitor.

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