Something powerful is coming. At the end of issue 15, we hear the Elder Martian begin to tell Martian Manhunter the story of Perpetua. According to Starman, this is a story that could destroy the universe itself. So what is this story? And what about the rogue Thanagarians? And back on Earth, what can Starman do to help the heroes of Earth prepare for the worst? Make no mistake, the Justice League has their backs up against a wall.
As the Elder Martian explains, Perpetua was the one who shaped the universe with the seven energies of creation. As it turns out, Rebirth brings back another name we haven’t heard in a while: Krona. Krona had ordered the people of his planet to gather as much information as possible about Perpetua to keep her at bay. They made a point to track down every trace of her mark and hide it, because they believed that if her mark was ever uncovered and it’s meaning was unlocked, Perpetua would return. Her return can be seen in the new forces that have been awakening across the universe, and things are about to get much worse. The Elder Martian reveals that not only is she dying, but when she dies and the illusion of Thanagar Shayera used her to create falls, “chaos will unleash itself on the universe.” She then reveals that the species that was helping Krona evolved into the Guardians of the Universe, who hid away all knowledge of Perpetua. However, one aspect of the story caused fear throughout all of the Guardians. The army that Perpetua created was made by mixing the DNA of humankind and Martiankind together. After Perpetua was locked away, the two species were split in half, with Martians taking the stronger mental capacity and humans getting fire. Later, a group of human scientists discovered the hybrid species and attempted to recreate it. The Martian they used for this experiment was Martian Manhunter himself, tying him to Perpetua.
Meanwhile, Hawkgirl is still trying to hold off Hawkman and Shayera, and Green Lantern is trying to deescalate the tension between himself and the other members of the Corps. As Shayera takes the advantage and prepares to finally kill Hawkgirl, the Green Lanterns present stand in her way, having been swayed by John Stewart. When Kilowog attempts to arrest Shayera, she summons an army of wingmen to stop the Lanterns. At the same time, while the Elder Martian passes, she tells J’onn one final thing: “The symbol has two meanings, J’onn. Justice and Doom. You must tell the Multiverse which shape to take.” As the Elder Martian dies, the world around them destabilizes and begins to fall apart. Shayera attempts to put on the Absorbascon, but she is quickly stopped by Martian Manhunter. After being shown by J’onn what she could do if she applied the Absorbascon the right way, Shayera breaks down in tears. She apologizes for what she has done and what she’s become, then removes the Absorbascon. This causes the false image of Thanagar to pass away, and Savage Hawkman to disappear. While Green Lantern wants to arrest her, Hawkgirl stops him and convinces him that they need Shayera to win this fight. However, even with Shayera on their side, they are still trapped inside the vault with no way out. As soon as all seems lost, Starman teleports himself, Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman into the vault. Starman then clears up the confusion as to why there are two Hawkgirls alive at the same time. “The Totality broke the chain of resurrection, splitting you between two lives simultaneously. Perpetua didn’t want you whole. She was afraid of what might happen if you were to face her at the end.” He then combines Shayera and Kendra’s essence, making each of them whole again. Starman then tell Shayera that there are still thousands of Thanagarians alive waiting for a leader to rise up, and that Shayera is that leader. Shayera turns to Kendra and admits that she could read the map on her wings the entire time. “…it’s charting the way to a higher plane of existence. The very highest. A godlike dimension. Don’t follow it lightly.” To the side, J’onn tells Batman that he believes there is someone he needs to find that can tip the balance in their favor. Starman ends the issue by telling Kendra, “I can see things, how they’re starting to line up, perfectly. You’re finally ready to fulfill your cosmic destiny. It’s time to fix the source wall.”
To say a lot happened would be an understatement. Not only did Perpetua make an army of human and Martian hybrids, when the creatures were recreated, J’onn’s blood was used. And now that the Green Lantern Corps and Shayera are firmly back on the Justice League’s side, the heroes can focus on their new mission: fixing the Source Wall.
A strong finish to an unexpectedly good arc makes this essential for the series. When the arc started, I wasn’t sure if I would care too much with everything that was going on at the same time on Earth. However, by the end of the first issue, I was hooked, and it only got better. My hope is that Snyder can keep this momentum going as the League attempts to fix the Source Wall and stop Perpetua.