*On the planet Oa, Guy Gardner, wearing a customized uniform, and former substitute Green Lantern of Earth, stands before the six Guardians who had voted against the majority decision of their fellows. They have split their ranks due to differences in dealing with evil. Their brothers prefer to correct evils after the fact, but they wish to search evil out before it can happen. They offer Gardner a position as their Green Lantern, the first of a new corps. He agrees.
Seconds later, a cosmic storm created by the anti-matter kills five of the Guardians in an instant, while Gardner is protected by his ring's aura. He swears his oath of allegiance and flies into space, as the last Guardian watches.
In space near Earth-2, Brainiac's spacecraft is crowded with practically every super-villain from Earths 1, 2, 3, S, and X. Their latest recruit, T.O.Morrow, materializes, having been teleported from the JLA satellite. Now, Brainiac reveals, the Anti-Monitor can no longer be detected in the positive or negative matter universes. All five Earths are in chaos due to the Crisis. It is time for them to strike and seize power. Luthor will serve as field commander, but Luthor of Earth-2 disagrees, insisting that he more able than his counterpart. Brainiac kills Luthor with a force bolt, saying that two Luthors are superfluous. The other villains are quelled by this demonstration of power.
In another segment of space near Earth-1, a spacecraft from Tamaran awaits the arrival of Princess Koriand'r, aka Starfire. Captain Karras discusses with his aide Taryia the proceedings of having to take her back to her homeworld on a royal mission, the nature of which she must not learn until the time is ripe. The Tamaranians beam up Nightwing, Starfire, and Jericho. When Starfire introduces Nightwing as her lover, Taryia insists that she be told, but Karras refuses. Jericho overhears, but decides not to tell Nightwing.
On Earth-1, the remaining Teen Titans and Firehawk are gathered in Manhattan, a "warp zone" area which has been merged with other Earths and in which time still runs riot. Scientists Rip Hunter, Jenet Klyburn, Will Magnus, and Darwin Jones are being interviewed on TV about the time displacement, but cannot offer any advice. Wonder Girl decides to single-handedly search the cordoned-off area for her husband, Terry Long, who has been lost there, and Firehawk decides to join her in the search.
At Galaxy Communications, TV news anchorman Clark Kent stiffly reports that Alexander Luthor of Earth-3 will be addressing a special assembly of the leaders of five Earths at the United Nations in a few hours. Clark's colleagues comment on how cold he has seemed since he heard of Supergirl's death.
On Earth-1, during World War II, Sgt. Rock, Lt. Jeb Stuart, and the Haunted Tank crewmen ponder over what they have recently seen: the deaths of the Losers, costumed super-heroes fighting shadowy demons, and a giant machine many stories high appearing out of nowhere. Suddenly, the men notice a strange crimson spiral in the sky that lasts only a few seconds, and disappears. They are baffled, but hope the disturbance will never return.
Across five Earths, the same crimson spiral of energy is seen, extending back through time.
On Earths 4, X, and S, the army of super-villains has gained complete control. The few super-heroes left to resist them have been overcome. Guardians like Captain Atom and Nightshade are carted off senseless, and the Blue Beetle's flying bug lies in flaming ruins near the Statue of Liberty.
At Earth-1's United Nations, Alexander Luthor, accompanied by Lyla and Pariah, tells the delegates the facts behind the Crisis, and explains that the anti-matter universe has seemingly vanished. Lyla tells the audience that she has given the Secretary-General the Monitor's files, to be shared by the Earths that survive. Pariah confirms that although the Earth-linkage is a problem, it is not dangerous. In point of fact, since he remains among them, the danger has probably subsided.
When Pariah opens the floor for questions, a delegate states that he bears nor proof of his assertations. Furthermore, many of them suspect that an inter-Earth invasion will take place soon. The nations of their own world have difficulty getting along together; why should the nations of five Earths by any more tractable? While the man speaks, Pariah exclaims with fear that he is vanishing again. The threat of destruction isn't over yet.
In Pariah's place comes the image of Brainiac, projected above the delegates' heads. He explains his dominance over all super-villains, and declares tha he has now taken control of Earths 4, S, and X. His ally will explain their demands for Earth-1 and 2. His image is replaced by a hologram of Lex Luthor, who demands that the nations of the two free Earths surrender at once, or they will unleash forces that will destroy their worlds. They have fifteen minutes to decide.
On Earth-1, in 1917, Lt. Steve Savage, the "Balloon Buster", sees a red spiral of energy in the sky, which fades quickly. He is baffled for a moment, then shrugs it off.
On Earth-2, in 1985, Superman and Power Girl futilely batter away at an invisible force-field separating their world from the three captive Earths. The magics of Dr. Fate, Johnny Thunder's Thunderbolt, and Sargon are useless, as are the efforts of Starman, Green Lantern, and Jade. The members of the Justice Society and Infinity, Inc, report a general failure to Superman of Earth-1, still at the U.N. A delegate complains to Alex about their poor showing, and he replies that they are now trying Lyla's alternate plan.
At home on Earth-1, Wally West is visited by the Earth-2 Flash and Lyla. He refuses to help them, saying that the Crisis is over, and he has retired. Lyla responds that the Monitor had records of his "problem" and of his knowledge, which they need. Jay Garrick says that with the Earth-1 Flash gone, he is the only one they can turn to. He holds up Wally's ring, and asks if he will take it back.
Soon, an assembly of super-heroes from Earth-1 and Earth-2 converges on Chelsea in New York, where Wally and Jay have brought Barry Allen's Cosmic Treadmill. As the other heroes watch, Jay and Wally run on the treadmill at super-speed and open a rift in space. Alex, Lyla, and a group of scientists attempt in vain to track the Flashes' progress, as the two speedsters break through Brainiac's barrier.
Brainiac reports to Luthor that he had anticipated this action. The living computer calculates 60% losses for their side, but 80% for the heroes. Luthor replies that he doesn't care how many die. If the villains win, he and Brainiac will be in charge; if the heroes win, they won't be in any shape to take on the two of them. Should worst come to worst, they can destroy the Earths, while remaining safe in the ship. Neither Luthor nor Brainiac is aware of someone watching them from the shadows.
On Earth-4, the battle is joined. Heroes from Earth-1 and Earth-2 attack the Riddler, the Masters of Disaster, Gorilla Grodd, Cat Man, Evil Star, Dragon King, Trickster, Lady Lumar, and Shaggy Man. Near Liberty Island, however, Chemo breathes into the sea a concoction of toxic chemicals. Below, Aqualad, battling Black Manta and Shark, sees Aquagirl knocked out by the poisons.
On Earth-S, more heroes battle. The Justice League and the Metal Men fight nemeses such as Validus, Sinestro, Punch and Jewelee, Plasmus, Warp, Ibac, Mano, Queen Bee, Eclipso, Captain Cold, and Starro. Warp displaces Steel from 1985 to a far-future era. Despite the best efforts of the heroes, the villains have the edge in battle. Captain Cold reports a victory to Brainiac and Luthor.
On Earth-X, the Floronic Man, with his partners Poison Ivy, and Silver Ghost, Mr. Mind, and the Joker, has taken the Freedom Fighters prisoner in constricting plant vines, when the Justice Society, Infinity, Inc., and the Outsiders invade. The Earth-1 and Earth-2 heroes attack Captain Nazi, Cheshire, and Blockbuster, but Hawkman of Earth-2 is helpless in the burning grip of Dr. Phosphorus.
Brainiac and Luthor watch the battles progressing on the three Earths, and Luthor calculates that their forces are divided rather evenly. If their side can't win, he hopes that they will kill each other off; then the two of them will combine to kill Superman.
Suddenly, Luthor realizes that Brainiac isn't responding. Sparks emerge from the robot's body, and seconds later, it explodes. Luthor is dazed by this blast, then sifts through the debris, wondering who is responsible. At that, Psimon steps into the light, admitting to destroying Brainiac, and intending to kill Luthor as well. *Source: The Official Crisis on Infinite Earths Index #1 - Published by ICG.