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Infinite Crisis is a 2005-2006 crossover event written by Geoff Johns with illustrations by Phil Jimenez, George Perez, Ivan Reis and Jerry Ordway. The story is told through an eponymous seven issue mini-series although tie-ins span the entire DC Universe. There were four lead-in mini-series' published as part of the Countdown to Infinite Crisis including Day of Vengeance, The OMAC Project, Rann-Thanagar War and Villains United. Its conclusion was followed by the One Year Later event skipping ahead a full year in the timeline, while the missing year was explored in the 52 event.
The story returns to concepts established at the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths when Alex Luthor, Lois Lane of Earth-Two, Superboy-Prime and Superman of Earth-Two disappeared as the last surviving heroes of the destroyed Multiverse. It's revealed that they have been monitoring the heroes of New Earth as they descend into darkness, and believe this generation unworthy of their legacy. They return to bring back the Multiverse, in an effort to restore the idealistic values of their own time.
Countdown to Infinite Crisis
Max Lord of Checkmate is exposed for developing hero-killing cyborgs called OMACs, and kills his old friend Blue Beetle for uncovering his plans. Lord takes control of Checkmate and begins using these OMACs to attack heroes across the world. He is killed by Wonder Woman for mind-controlling Superman, although this does not stop his plans. The Spectre loses his human host and is seduced by Eclipso into destroying all of magic by killing every magic-user. Adam Strange's planet Rann and Hawkman's planet Thanagar enter a massive war, which begins shifting the center of the universe. Black Adam, Calculator, Deathstroke, Doctor Psycho, Lex Luthor and Talia al Ghul form a Secret Society of Super-Villains to organize the villain community and fight back against the heroes together. Donna Troy returns from the dead.
After the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, it is shown that the characters who entered the "heaven" do not end up very pleased. Their new realm was crystal-like and responds to the emotions of the inhabitants, Superboy-Prime, Alexander Luthor, Superman of Earth-Two, and Lois Lane of Earth-Two. Superboy-Prime is constantly shown his ninth birthday party and his first time that he used his powers. These happy recordings cause Superboy-Prime to become unstable and lusts to be returned to his Earth. Out of rage and frustration, Superboy-Prime punches the walls of their realm and sends a ripple effect throughout the universe, as well as where they are. This wave causes reality to reconstruct certain aspects of itself and make history like it was supposed to be on all of the individual Earths that were destroyed. Some instances were the resurrection of the Doom Patrol and Jason Todd. These waves also caused the Lois Lane of Earth-Two to become weakened. Another revelation is made by Alexander Luthor, and he realizes that he could have sent them to Darkseid's domain and return to Earth instead of going to the crystalline "heaven". Believing that the New Earth is imperfect and needs to be replaced, Alexander Luthor powers up Superboy-Prime and enables him to breach their realm. After this, Alexander Luthor steals control of Brother Eye from Batman, forms a new Secret Society of Super-Villains (known simply as "The Society") to strike out at Earth's heroes, and plans for the Spectre to wreak havoc on the people of magic. Superboy-Prime destroyed the Justice League Watchtower and took Martian Manhunter hostage, triggered a War between Rann and Thanagar, and recovered the corpse of the Anti-Monitor.
While at the Watchtower, the trinity of DC, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman debate the current situation on Earth. Batman makes clear that Superman needs to be on Earth and help, and that Wonder Woman has crossed the line in killing Maxwell Lord. After a brief combat with Mongul, they part ways and join the fight. Kon-El is also contemplating whether or not he should interfere while he stays at the Kent farm. During this time, OMAC's have been destroying all of the meta-human population, most recently being Ratcatcher. After discovering the whereabouts of Nightwing, the OMAC's depart on an alternative assignment. To add to the fray, Gotham City is under attack by multiple lethal villains along with The Spectre.
In an attempt to discover what The Society is up to, the Freedom Fighters raid an "abandoned" refinery and are greeted by Deathstroke, Doctor Polaris, Sinestro, Bizarro, Zoom, Psycho-Pirate, Black Adam, Cheetah, and Doctor Light. Here, the entire Freedom Fighters are killed in a slaughter except for Uncle Sam. The Society's only casualties are Doctor Polaris, who is killed by The Human Bomb.
After Alexander Luthor convinces Superman of Earth-Two to destroy their realm, they head out to try to recreate the world for the better.
Soon after this, Animal Man is transported to New Cronus, the base for a defense group against the crisis. At the same time, Power Girl is attacked by the combined efforts of Clayface, Psycho-Pirate, Giganta, and others. After she is about to be defeated, Superman of Earth-Two comes to her rescue and defeats all of them with ease. He then says to Power Girl, "It's been a long time, cousin. Too long." Then they fly back to a hidden Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic where Power Girl meets all of the group from the "heaven". Alexander Luthor reveals that she must have fallen through a crack in reality and reworked into the current reality. She is also given a detailed explanation of the universe, but twisted into saying that the current age of heroes are too dark. Power Girl also regains her memories of her previous self. After realizing that Batman was right, Superman flies into action to fight the crisis. He then meets up with the Shadowpact while stopping a building from collapsing. Realizing that Captain Marvel is nowhere to be found, Alexander Luthor, as Lex Luthor, orders Black Adam to be taken in instead. He also has Brother Eye taunt Batman about him not being in control of it anymore. Currently it is shown to the world the battle of Themyscira versus the OMAC's, the Joker is told that he cannot enter the Society, and the Superman of Earth-Two reveals that they are planning to make Earth-Two the template for the current reality instead of Earth-One.
In order to distract the Earth's heroes from their plans, The Society drops Chemo onto the city of Blüdhaven, killing millions. Afterwards, Superboy-Prime goes to Smallville to "talk" with the modern Superboy. A fight breaks out between the two throughout the state of Kansas, which leads them to Keystone City, where Conner uses his Titans communicator to contact not only the Titans, but the Justice Society, the Doom Patrol, and others. After accidentally killing a few of the heroes, Superboy-Prime is attacked by Jay Garrick, Wally West, and Kid Flash, and take him into the Speed Force, with Jay falling out just before they break into the dimension. Flash is then converted into energy, taking his wife Linda and his twin children, leaving Bart all alone to battle the psychotic Superboy. Then, he gets help from three of the residents of the Speed Force, his grandfather Barry Allen, Johnny Quick, and Max Mercury, and they all take Superboy-Prime into the Speed Force.
After considering Alex's plans to recreate Earth-Two, Power Girl goes back to the Fortress to tell them that she wants to bring in some of the heroes of this Earth into the fold, when she sees Luthor's true plan, a tuning fork similar to the ones used in the first Crisis, but this time, it has been combined with the corpse of the Anti-Monitor. Before she can escape, she's knocked out by Superboy-Prime. In the meantime, Kal-L goes to meet the current Batman, who is interested in the idea of the recreation of Earth-Two. Superman tells him of the people that used to live on Earth-Two, including that world's version of Batman, who grew up to get married and have a child. When Batman asks him if the Robin of Earth-Two is better than Dick Grayson, Superman says no, which is what Batman believed and takes out the Kryptonite in his possession. But, since Kryptonians are only affected by the Kryptonite of their dimension, this Kryptonite has no effect on Kal-L who uses his heat vision to destroy it and leaves to go back to his wife in the Fortress.
After programming Brother Eye and the OMACs to surround the tower, we see that the people that have been captured by him are people that are from the Earths of the original Multiverse: the Martian Manhunter of Earth-One, Power Girl of Earth-Two, Black Adam of Earth-S, Nightshade of Earth-Four, Lady Quark of Earth-Six, and Breach of Earth-Eight, which he needs to recreate not only the core Earths that were merged in the first Crisis, but the entire Multiverse itself. He uses the Psycho-Pirate to use his power on Black Adam to say the word Shazam, which powers up the tower, and Earth-Two is recreated with the people native to that world, including the Justice Society, Kal-L and his wife Lois, are transported there.
On Earth-Two, the Justice Society have no idea where they are, but Superman and Lois are happy to be back on Earth-Two, in front of the Daily Star. However, Lois is still weak from their travels, and eventually dies. Kal-L lets out a huge scream, which shatters the glass around him, and cracks the concrete beneath him. The scream is so loud that even the modern Superman can hear and he flies off to Earth-Two. When he gets there, he sees the Superman and Lois of that world and wonders what is going on. Kal-L blames Superman for bringing the corruption of Earth-One onto Earth-Two and attacks him and they battle it out, which destroys much of Earth-Two's Metropolis before the Wonder Woman stops the fight. Kal-L berates them for not being perfect, but Superman tells him that a perfect Earth doesn't need a Superman, which stops Kal-L and he goes back to the body of his wife.
After be healed from his fight with Superboy-Prime, Superboy goes to Titans Tower and finds only Nightwing, with the other Titans dealing with the disasters around the globe, they are the only ones who go to the tower in Arctic, where they are joined by Wonder Girl, and they launch an attack on Alex's tower and free the heroes plugged into it. Meanwhile in Japan, Doctor Light notices that the Flash has returned, but it's Bart, who's aged and in his grandfather's uniform. He tells them that Superboy-Prime escaped the Speed Force wearing an armor based on the Anti-Monitor's that constantly feeds him yellow sunlight.
With the tower activated, Alex fires a beam at Kal-L that brings back the rest of the Multiverse, sending the rest of the people of Earth to their native Earths, including Earth-S, Earth-898, and even Earth-Three. Alex sifts through the Earths and tries to merge different Earths together in order to create the perfect Earth. Kal-L realizes that Alex has been using him all this time and flies with Superman and Wonder Woman back to Earth-One, but they don't know where it is since the sky is covered with dozens of parallel Earths.
Superboy-Prime goes to the tower and attacks the heroes, and gets Alex to stop merging different Earths together and to find Earth-Prime. The two Superboys resume their fight, with the infinitely-powered psychopath clearly beating Kon-El by breaking his wrist. Instead, Superboy flies into Prime and they both go through the tower, destroying not only it, but Alex's Multiverse, bringing all of the Earths back together and remerging the Earths back into one New Earth, sacrificing his life when the two Supermen, Wonder Woman, and Batman arriving too late as Superboy dies in Wonder Girl's arms.
Remerging of multiverse
The Multiverse is merged again, and a New Earth is born out of it.
The Society launched its most ambitious plan yet when it staged a worldwide prison break from every prison/facility that held supervillains. Oracle and Martian Manhunter coordinated the Earth's superheroes as they tried to contain as many escapees as possible. In the meanwhile, Dr Psycho and Warp freed Doomsday from his prison at the center of the Earth. The Six reappeared and managed to question Scarecrow as to what the Society planned to do next. Scarecrow told them the Society was going to use the escaped villains to launch a massive assault on Metropolis as the first step towards world domination. The Six told Green Arrow who then told Oracle who then had the heroes of Earth gather in Metropolis to stop the Society's army.
The battle that followed was brutal with both sides suffering massive casulties; the hero Judomaster had his back broken by Bane, the Trigger Twins and the Madmen were shot by Wild Dog, Crimson Avenger, and Vigilante, Amazo was beheaded by Black Adam, Solomon Grundy and the Bloodpack were killed by Superboy-Prime. The fight turned in the heroes favor when several heroes that had been missing, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Batman, Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandmark), and Nightwing, arrived on the scene. Superman and the Superman of Earth-Two took down Doomsday. Alex Luthor attacked the heroes but his powers began to fade. Batman tried to kill him but was talked out of it by Wonder Woman. Just then a collapse of some debris separated Alex Luthor from the heroes. The battle then came to a close with the heroes triumphing and the Society facing heavy losses.
Superboy-Prime, knowing that he can't bring back Earth-Prime, flies out of the battle at light speed, planning to go to Oa and absorbing the Green Lantern Central Power Battery to create a Big Bang to his preferences. The Martian Manhunter alerts the other heroes of Prime's plans through telepathy and tells those who can fly to go after him. Kal-L grabs Prime and tries to talk him out of it, but Prime doesn't want to listen and in a flash, is light years ahead of them. Hal Jordan then alerts Guy Gardner of the coming threat and mobilizes the Green Lantern Corps who manage to create a three-hundred mile wall of pure will, which slows him down long enough for the two Supermen to grab him and take him away. They take him through the remains of Krypton, and then through the red sun Rao, which destroys his armor, and they all crash onto the Green Lantern planet Mogo, where Superboy-Prime kills Kal-L by pummeling him to death and almost does the same with Kal-El, saying that when Kal-El is gone, then he will be Superman. At that, Kal-El rips the S-shield off Superboy-Prime's chest, saying that he will never be Superman because he has no idea of what it means to be Superman, that it isn't about power or the symbol but about what he does with it. After Kal-El defeats Superboy-Prime, the Green Lantern Corps show up to destroy the Kryptonite that fell on the planet and to encase Superboy-Prime in a holding casket until he is brought to Oa for imprisonment. Power Girl weeps as her Earth-Two cousin dies, fearing that she will be left alone again, but Kal-L assures her that he will always be with her even if she can't see him, for he now sees what his wife has seen when she died.
As the heroes return to Earth to mourn for their dead, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman find themselves needing time to recover, not just physically but also spiritually as heroes. As Diana flies off in her invisible jet to find out who she really is, and Batman goes on a journey with Dick Grayson and Tim Drake to rebuild Batman, Clark joins with his wife Lois, realizing that even though he will need time to recharge his powers, the Earth will be in pretty good hands with enough heroes present to take care of things.
A short time later, Alexander Luthor was electrocuted by the Joker for not letting join the Society, and then shot in the head by Lex Luthor.
On Oa, Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner are heading to a memorial for the Green Lanterns recently killed, and observe the special prison used to house the renegade Kryptonian. Too dangerous to be held in the Sciencells, the Guardians have placed Superboy-Prime's cell in a junior red Sun-Eater given to them by Donna Troy, to be watched by fifty Green Lanterns at all times. In his cell, the Kryptonian etches a bloody S-shield on his bare chest, saying that he's been in worse places than this and he's gotten out.