by Martin Maenza, partially adapted and expanded from Crisis on Infinite Earths #6-7 by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez
After the gathering on the Monitor’s satellite four days earlier, Harbinger had assigned small groups of heroes and villains on errands. One such group assigned on an errand in this world comprised three heroes and three villains, all but one of whom were Earth-Two natives. Power Girl, Johnny Quick, and Green Lantern of Earth-Two had been paired up with Per Degaton and Deathbolt of Earth-Two, along with Star Sapphire of Earth-One, since Harbinger had obviously thought the latter three needed to be carefully watched.
Their mission had taken the last four days of their time, even as the five Earths slowly began to align with one another, and working together was grating on their nerves. But Star Sapphire had secret plans to capitalize on this voyage through this new world, hoping to search for a power gem like her own. Perhaps I can seize on an opportunity amidst this chaos, she thought to herself. Her goal had been to locate all the gems and take the title as rightful queen of Zamaron. It was time to continue pursuing it with a vengeance.
The other two villains in the party of six, who had been walking behind her in close discussion, suddenly brushed past her down the ever-shifting street. “Out of our way, woman!” cried Deathbolt, who was dressed in green with purple boots, gloves and cape, with a black lightning bolt across his chest.
Star Sapphire took to the air as they almost knocked her over in their sudden rush. “What is the meaning of this, you two?” she demanded.
“The Earths are in contact, Star Sapphire!” explained Per Degaton, who had short red hair and wore a dark black military uniform with red boots and gloves, with a red D blazing across his uniform’s front. “We must see if we can break through!”
Star Sapphire turned and saw the three colorfully dressed heroes in their little group still flying above them in the air, but beginning to swoop down. It was obvious they suspected the two male criminals were up to something.
She glanced back and saw another change happen just ahead of them. “You can see it?” she exclaimed. “The Earths are becoming more visible!” She started to follow the men, if nothing else than to keep them as targets.
“I know, Star Sapphire,” said the Green Lantern of Earth-Two. “The question is, what can we do ab–?” Suddenly, a flash of light enveloped the trio. “Great Scott!” exclaimed the veteran hero in green, red, and purple, turning to his comrades. Despite the might of his power ring, he wasn’t able to stop the beam that hit the villains.
“Th-they’re disappearing?” said Power Girl, the Krypton-born young woman in white, red and blue, who was also caught off guard. Johnny Quick raced ahead at super-speed and began to search the spot the villains were standing only seconds ago.
“I don’t get it,” Green Lantern said. “Only the villains — Deathbolt, Per Degaton, and Star Sapphire — are gone.”
“And we’re not affected,” Power Girl added.
“Power Girl, this isn’t the effect of the antimatter cloud,” the speedster deduced. “Something else is happening.”
“I know that, Johnny Quick. Any ideas, Green Lantern?” She turned to the emerald gladiator.
Green Lantern scratched his receding blonde hair. “None. But whatever is happening, I don’t like it. We’d better alert Harbinger that we’ll be continuing our mission short-handed.”
Two individuals watched from the edge of a building as a crimson biplane soared across the lightning-filled skies. Below, a mix of colonial homes, twentieth-century skyscrapers, and far future towers dotted the landscape. Not only was the space of five universes coming together, but so were the various time periods of the past, present, and future.
The taller figure, a muscular man, was well-built and wore only black pants and boots. “Uhh, Mr. Sivana,” he grunted, “I, uhhh, don’t understand. That don’t look like Fawcett City to me.” Indeed, neither Fawcett City nor New York City adjoining it were in any way recognizable any longer.
The other man was much shorter in stature and even stood slightly hunched over. The bald man with round glasses named Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana wore a white tunic that resembled a medical uniform of sorts. He began to laugh with an overbite grin. “Heh heh heh,” he chuckled, “and only I, Sivana, comprehend what is happening.” He pointed to the changing landscape before them. “Time is in flux… universes are merging… What a glorious time to plan the conquest of a quintet of Earths!” For what the man lacked in stature and looks, he made up for in ambition and intellect.
“Did you forget about me, Sivana?” a voice boomed from the rooftop above.
Sivana did not even need to turn; he knew that voice all too well. “Curses! You?” He spun around anyway just as his larger companion took a defensive stance. He had no problem letting the brutish Ibac protect him, for that was the only reason he tolerated having him around, anyway. “Well, well, if it isn’t the Big Red Cheese himself,” Sivana taunted, “Captain Marvel!“
The hero was adorned in red with gold trim and a golden lightning bolt emblazoned upon his barrel chest. His white cape billowed gently in the wind.
Sivana hated him with every ounce in his body. “I thought you’d be out saving all mankind, or something equally ridiculous!” he said, his words spat forth like venom.
“That’s just what I intend to do,” Captain Marvel said, the dark-haired champion reaching forward, “after I put you behind bars–“
Suddenly, the two villains began to dissolve in a burst of light.
“Holy Moley!” Captain Marvel exclaimed. “Sivana and Ibac — disappearing?!”
“Bye, bye, Cheesey!” Sivana taunted. In his mind, he knew not what was happening, but he wasn’t about to let on to his most hated enemy that fact.
The two Earth-S villains appeared thousands of miles away on Brainaic’s ship, where a bald man in green battle armor was waiting to greet them.
“Welcome aboard, Sivana, Ibac,” Luthor announced, “welcome to a very select group who will soon rule the universe!“
While Ibac stood dumbfounded as usual, Sivana glanced around the alien ship and noted that a dozen or so costumed individuals were already present. “Bah!” the short scientist cursed. “What need do I, Thaddeus Bodog Sivana, have for any of you? I am the greatest criminal mind ever!”
“You ain’t letting thisss ssshrimp get away with that, are you, Luthor?” hissed Copperhead, who had been skulking nearby. “He obviousssly doesssn’t know geniussss when he’sss looking at it.” Luthor chuckled at that.
“Genius? This guy?” Sivana balked.
“Hold your tongue, Sivana!” a voice squawked. From a small hovering chair that approached, a barely three-inch-tall green worm with goggles positioned himself between the two men and spoke, his voice amplified through a tiny speaker in the form of an antique radio he wore around his neck. “This here is Lex Luthor of Earth-One. I’ve met him before and know of his capabilities.” The worm spun around and moved closer to Sivana, lowering the volume on his voice projection device. “It would be in your best interest to listen to what he has to say.”
Sivana wrinkled his brow. “Feh! If you say so, Mister Mind. I will at least hear the man out.”
“We’ll be ready to explain it all just as soon as we gather the others,” Luthor stated. “Time is of the essence now.”
While fifteen heroes of the five Earths began a deadly mission into the antimatter universe to bring the battle to the Anti-Monitor’s stronghold, Lex Luthor and Brainiac were filling the latter’s space craft with the largest assembly of evil any of the five Earths had seen. Over the span of the next three days, they managed to locate and retrieve all those they felt could serve their cause.
From Earth-X, they brought the Silver Ghost.
From Earth-S, they gathered Black Adam, Captain Nazi, Holocaust, King Kull, Mister Atom, Thaddeus Sivana, Jr., Georgia Sivana, and the Weeper, as well as the aforementioned Ibac, Mister Mind, and Thaddeus Bodog Sivana.
From Earth-Four came the Banshee, Doctor Spectro, the Image, the Madmen, Major Force, Punch and Jewelee, and the Squids.
From the past of Earth-Two were gathered Baron Blitzkrieg, the Cheetah, Dragon King, Firefly, Insect Queen, Kung, Night and Fog, the Samurai, and Tsunami, as well as the aforementioned Deathbolt and Per Degaton.
From Earth-Two’s present time came the Fiddler, the Gambler, the Icicle, Alexei Luthor, the Mist, the Monocle, Rag Doll, Solomon Grundy, the Thinker, the Ultra-Humanite, Vandal Savage, and the Wizard.
From the far future of Earth-One, they contacted Doctor Regulus, the Lord of Time, the Fatal Five, and members of the Legion of Super-Villains.
From the reaches of Earth-One’s space came Blackstaar, Despero, Evil Star, the Faceless Creature from Saturn, Hector Hammond, Hyathis, Kanjar Ro, the Queen Bee, Sinestro, and Starro.
And, because it was the world and era with which Luthor was most familiar, from Earth-One’s present they recruited Bizarro, Blackrock, Black Spider, Blockbuster, Bolt, the Bug-Eyed Bandit, the Calculator, Calendar Man, Captain Boomerang, Captain Cold, Captain Stingaree, Cat-Man, the Cavalier, Cheetah II, Chemo, Cheshire, Chronos, Circe, Clayface II, Clayface III, Clock King, Cluemaster, Copperhead, Count Vertigo, the Crime Doctor, Deadshot, Deathstroke the Terminator, Doctor Cyber, Doctor Destiny, Doctor Double X, Doctor Phosphorus, Doctor Polaris, Doctor Psycho, the Dummy, Eclipso, the Electrocutioner, the Enforcer, the Eradicator, Felix Faust, Firebug, Floronic Man, Golden Glider, Gorilla Grodd, the Huntress, Hyena, Javelin, the Joker, Killer Frost, Killer Moth, Kobra, Lady Lunar, Lord Satanis, Matter Master, Metallo, Mirror Master, Mister Element, the Molder, Multiplex, the Penguin, Plastique, Pied Piper, Poison Ivy, Predator, Quakemaster, Rainbow Raider, the Riddler, the Scarecrow, Shadow Thief, the Shaggy Man, the Shark, Silver Swan, the Sportsmaster, Sonar, Syonide, Tokamak, Trickster, Typhoon, Weasel, Weather Wizard, and members of the Brotherhood of Evil, the Cadre, the Demolition Team, the Fearsome Five, the Gang, the Masters of Disaster, and the Royal Flush Gang, as well as the aforementioned Black Manta, Ocean Master, and Star Sapphire.
Once everyone was on board, the next order of business was to select a small group who would provide information on Earth-S, Earth-X, and Earth-Four. From villains native to these worlds, Luthor and Brainiac could anticipate the opposition and organize the right teams to strike at these first targets. They would also divide up their forces to ensure proper resources for the objectives planned.
And while the leaders schemed, the recruits mingled.