|Item Data|| |
|Publish Date:||NOV 1985|
Crisis on Infinite Earths 8-A by DC
"A Flash Of The Lightning"
*In the Anti-Monitor's ship, the Psycho Pirate is babbling in fear to the Flash, who is imprisoned in a gelatin-like substance. The Pirate prates on of how the enemy will kill him, now that he has failed him. He asks the Flash to join him against the enemy, when, suddenly, the Anti-Monitor appears. He has fashioned himself a new body and new armor, Supergirl having nearly destroyed him. Now they will shift their base to Qward, he says, and from there they will annihilate the five remaining Earths. The villain tells the Pirate that he won't die - yet - as his powers may still be useful and there is no time to create another like him.
On Apokolips, Desaad asks Darkseid what can be done to stop the Anti-Monitor, and he replies that all of Apokolips' energy has been diverted to cloak them from the enemy. They will wait, until after the battle. Should the heroes win, nothing will have been changed. Should the foe win, he will have been weakened enough to be killed.
On Oa, several Green Lanterns have been killed by the power outburst, while the Guardians have been freed. A female Green Lantern asks why they weren't called in to fight the unknown menace. The Guardians reply that their rings will now work, and that they knew a disturbance in the universe existed, but not its extent. The Lanterns reply that their demand for an investigation was refused, and one of the Guardians calls for a halt to the questioning. Their policy was decided by majority vote. The others must abide by the decision. The other Oan replies that they may not.
On Earth-1, in the 30th century, some Legionnaires are monitoring the five Earths. They note that the merging of Earths has stopped for the moment. When the White Witch reminds them that the victory was won at the cost of Supergirl's life, Brainiac 5 tensely tells them that the time differential is still in operation where the Earths overlap, and he must find a way to repair the damage.
In 1985 Pittsburg, Firehawk locates Firestorm, who receives a radio message from the Vixen. She is taking T.O. Morrow, creator of the Red Tornado, to the JLA satellite to work on their fallen android comrade. Firehawk and Firestorm join her. In the satellite, they find Vixen, T.O. Morrow, J'onn J'onzz, Cyborg, and the Atom examining Tornado. The Atom has shrunk himself via Superman's reducing ray, and is transmitting pictures from the android's interior. Tornado's construction proves beyond his scientific expertise, and Morrow is stunned to find that the android no longer has the insides that he had designed. Professor Stein, Firestorm's other half, notes that the construction is so unearthly it may be impossible to save him.
Meanwhile, the Green Lantern of Earth-1, has gone to Los Angeles in search of the Blue Devil to help examine the android. Transported to the satellite, Blue Devil observes Morrow removing Tornado's head, and tries to warn the scientist of a strange glow coming from the android's internal composition, but he is disregarded. The Atom jumps out of the Tornado's chest plate. Now, Morrow and the heroes are forced back by an explosion from the android's body, and fire spreads throughout the satellite. While pursuing Morrow, the Blue Devil mistakingly runs into a space warp, sending him tumbling through sub-space.
Green Lantern, Cyborg, Firestorm, Firehawk, J'onn J'onzz, and Vixen assemble, and find that Morrow and the Blue Devil have vanished, so they leave the satellite.
Blue Devil has emerged on the bridge of one of Omega Men's spaceships, where he confronts Shlagen, Zirral, Rynoc, and Doc, leaving both sides dumbfounded. But the space warp they have fallen into is causing their ship to disintegrate. Soon, Blue Devil and the four aliens are left clinging to debris, seconds away from certain death.
On Qward, the Anti-Monitor is busy supervising the reconstruction of his anti-matter cannon, with which he hopes to obliterate the remaining Earths. The laborers who work on the cannon are supervised by the Thunderers, who reward any slacking off with death.
In another passageway, Psycho-Pirate looks in on the still-imprisoned Flash, guarded by a Thunderer, and intends to torture the speedster some more. But the Flash whirls his body at blinding speed, spinning the gelatin away from him. Free, he belts the Pirate and knocks the Thunderer out. He smashes the Pirate with another blow, getting revenge for weeks of humiliation. He was once convicted of a murder he never committed; what difference would it make if he killed now?
The Pirate, his face swollen and bleeding, begs for mercy, telling the hero that he'll do anything he wants. Soon, the Flash speeds his pawn from one Thunderer to another, causing them to feel intense hatred for their master. Shortly, all the Thunderers rage, "Death to the Monitor!" and blast him with their bolts. Even he cannot stave off the effects, and screams in pain and rage.
Meanwhile, the Flash has forced the Pirate to show him the anti-matter cannon. He knocks the villain out and, vibrating through the weapon's casing, discovers a seething ball of anti-matter energy, kept in stasis by bands of force. The presence of this energy already weakens him, and he knows he can only destroy the weapon at the cost of his own life. Flash begins running around the anti-matter sphere at hyper-light speed. The effect is very painful, but he continues to force the energy back into the machine. He mind races: he remembers his family, his wife, his closest friends, and begs their forgiveness for leaving them in this manner.
While the Flash is straining against the anti-matter, the Anti-Monitor, still beset by the Thunderers, knows that his weapon is being tampered with, and lets loose a bolt of power that destroys his Thunderers, and leaves the surroundings a flaming ruin. Standing in the blaze, he knows that the Flash is responsible for this.
Within the cannon, the hero continues his fateful run, feeling the time-stream open around him. In this open time-portal, he sees Kid Flash, the Joker, and Batman. While his flesh ages and melts away, he shouts words of warning to them. Finally, he is reduced to a skeleton, just as the cannon explodes into a million pieces. Louder still is the scream of the Anti-Monitor, too late to save his weapon.
The Flash has died, and saved five universes.
Only his costume and his ring remain, lying in the wreckage.
The Anti-Monitor stands in contemplation. The humans have thwarted him twice now in his attempt to eradicate the final five universes, so they shall pay for their interference. So saying, he absorbs into himself the energy of his entire Anti-Matter Universe, condemning to death the inhabitants of a million worlds.
On Earth-1, in Challenger Mountain, the Challengers of the Unknown are watching conditions in space. Prof and Red note a giant flux of energy, while June Robbins reports that the sub-space readings given to them by Superman for checking all result positive. Rocky asks what's going on, and Ace replies that nobody knows. Suddenly, Prof is nearly deafened by a sound in his headphones like "an agonizing scream permeating the entire universe." The other four Challengers hear it next, and are driven to their knees by its force.
The scream comes from the Spectre, who stands like a cosmic colossus over the five worlds, sensing a move to change the very reality of nature, but helpless to do anything about it. *Source: The Official Crisis on Infinite Earths Index #1 - Published by ICG.