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Infinite Crisis: Speculation Post #5

I think I figured out who's really behind the entirety of Infinite Crisis. And if so, it's going to blow everyone's minds.

Take a seat. This is going to take a while...

We're only two weeks away from Infinite Crisis #1, and DC Comics is really ramping up the storylines. Now, I don't read every comic they publish, although I'd really like to buy every single cross-over issue for the Infinite Crisis if I can afford to.

Anyway, this week I read four comic books that all seemed to lead into Infinite Crisis:

Adventures of Superman 644
JLA 119
OMAC Project 6
Superman/Batman 22

Even more to the point, JLA 119 had an Infinite Crisis banner along the top. Looks like it might be the first official tie-in/crossover book with Infinite Crisis (as opposed to crossing over with one of the four lead-in miniseries).

The stories are fascinating in light of my previous speculations that the Multiverse is returning.

In Superman/Batman, the two named heroes are trapped in an alternate universe, already something that shouldn't be possible in the current continuity. (That alternate universe, by the way, has heroes who are obvious riffs on some familiar Marvel characters. ) As the story ends, Bizarro Batman finds himself facing the Superman of the Superman: Red Son miniseries, and Bizarro himself ends up fighting with Terry McGinnis, the Batman Beyond of the future. And Lex Luthor talks with a holographic visitor, one of the heroes from the universe in which Superman and Batman have been trapped. Apparently, Luthor has made a deal with him to keep Superman and Batman out of his way. He says, "I have very important business that is reaching a critical point. I need to know that it will not be disturbed." And Luthor's in his battlesuit.

In OMAC Project, the OMACS are stopped and Brother Eye is apparently defeated, but it reveals to the world that Wonder Woman murdered Maxwell Lord to release his control over Superman.

Adventures of Superman shows Superman dealing with his having his mind controlled by Lord, but it ends with Luthor in his battlesuit recruiting the current Parasite.

And finally, JLA 119 shows the fallout of the battle with Despero. The League is once more disbanded, and in the last few pages, as the Martian Manhunter tries to rebuild it, he receives a strange visitor...who appears to kill him.

(Brief digression: One of the problems that takes place in a comic book universe is that the same characters seem to be dealing with major threats at the same time. It's clear that Adventures of Superman 644 follows JLA 119 -- but then where does Superman/Batman 22 fall in this whole picture? I recall one month when there were literally three different threats to the entire Earth, taking place in three different books, with three different heroes confronting the threats. That's a wee bit of overkill.)

Last time, I decided to call the villain behind the upcoming Infinite Crisis by the name The Adversary, for want of something better. Well, the big clue to his identity can be found on the last few pages of JLA 119, when the Martian Manhunter is sitting in the JLA base on the Moon. As I mentioned before, he's trying to figure out which heroes to recruit for a new League. The transporter is activated, and it registers the visitor as Superman. However, as I already noted, the visitor -- who we only see from behind, wearing a red cape -- does not appear to be Superman. Because when the Manhunter says to him, "I think there's a possibility that everything we're facing is connected," the visitor replies, "I know," and then blasts the Manhunter, causing the JLA base to explode.

It is my prediction that this strange visitor is the Adversary.

So who is it? Who could make the JLA transporter think he's Superman?

Well...cast your mind back, if you can, to the Kingdom Come miniseries, and its sequel, The Kingdom. The sequel opened with a figure from the past, trapped in the sky, forced to watch the world around him, but unable to participate anymore in the events unfolding around him. Although his identity was never stated explicitly, it looked a lot like the Golden Age Superman -- the one we last saw back at the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths, walking with his wife Lois into what all of us assumed to be heaven.

But what if he didn't? What if, instead, he found himself trapped in a dimension outside the one universe, forced to watch a world without him? A world that in fact never remembered him, because it had a Superman of its own?

Remember last year when Mr. Mxyzptlk told the current Superman and Lois that everything that was going to happen was because of them? What if the Golden Age Superman -- let's call him Superman-2, for the late, lamented Earth-2 -- has spent the past twenty years trapped in this other dimension, forced to watch some other Superman live the life that he knows should be his? Instead of living in paradise with his Lois, what if he was forced to watch a pretender Superman marry his own version of Lois? As he watched the universe unfold without him, might he not have been driven mad with rage and jealousy? Almost to the point of evil insanity? And when he saw the events of Zero Hour, and realized that it might be possible to recreate the Multiverse, and thus get his life back for himself -- would he not have taken whatever steps he could have to do this, even if it meant dealing with Lex Luthor?

When Batman was trying to solve the identity crisis, he kept asking the question, "Who benefits?" That's the same question I'm asking now. Who benefits if the current universe is destroyed, replaced by the late, lamented Multiverse?

The answer is: anyone who remembers the old Multiverse, and wants it back, so they can have their old lives back again. And given the clues that DC has planted in The Kingdom, in the Superman books, in Zero Hour, the answer becomes clear.

The Adversary, the villain who is attempting to destroy the universe and restore the Multiverse...is none other than the original Superman.

And if I have somehow managed to figure it out, and if I'm (heaven forbid) actually correct in my reasoning...then let the howls of outrage from the fans commence.


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This would, frighteningly enough, also jibe with the current TV JLU storyline.
Yeah, Justice Lords and all that...

Honestly, I don't know if his speculation is accurate. They did that to us before, and it wasn't who we thought it was. It was someone with a similar outline.

Kingdom, we thought it was the Phantom Stranger. And it wasn't it was "A Supermans" baby with power over Hypertime.
Whatever that means...
Which would makes sense.

But lord would it be depressing. The ultimate bad guy is Superman?
As I've said elsewhere in this post, he wouldn't necessarily be seeing himself as a bad guy. I mean, he's trying to restore the Multiverse! Isn't that the most heroic thing ever?
What if it's the future Superman that they have used a few times over in Superman/Batman?
Possibly. In fact, there would be many future Superman analogs to draw from. But would any of them have the same emotional impact as this one?
That works. How creepy.
Also, I'm still cackling with glee over the first mention of Zod in Smallville continuity.

and the Phantom Zone, don't forget the Phantom Zone.
We haven't seen the episode yet...
I've heard the Earth-2 Superman come up a couple of times on Comic Bloc Forums, but couldn't there also be the possibility that it could be the Earth-1 Superman or a grown up Earth-Prime Superboy?
The Earth-1 Superman seems to have been the model for the current version.

It could very well be the Earth-Prime Superboy, but as I ask above, would it have the same emotional impact? It would take longer to explain to the world at large. But to simply say the original Superman is back...
I can see your line of reasoning - and I think it's reasonable - but I don't think Kal-L would do it, given the way COIE ended, and his heroic nature. I wouldn't count out any other COIE cast members, though, or other multiversal characters.
I have to admit, I hope I'm wrong. But it seems to fit. Remember that just like Hal Jordan as Parallax, he'd be interpreting his own actions as heroic. I mean, a universe in which Wonder Woman commits murder? Far better to destroy it and begin anew.
Is the force that plans to destroy the current universe actually called The Adversary? I find that interesting; are you familiar with the Vertigo series "Fables?" In it, fairy tale characters have left their homeworld and come to New York, because their homeworld has been conquered by a mysterious villain known only as the Adversary. Seeing as Fables is a DC title, I wonder if this is somehow related, though I have seen no evidence of crossover within the series with other titles. Then again, I am only a dabbler in comics and don't know how these things work.
sdelmonte got me reading "Fables" and now I'm hooked. I used the name The Adversary in my own posts as an homage to Willingham's villain. But no, no one in the DC Universe is being called The Adversary. In fact, at the moment, no one knows that there is one person behind everything (assuming that there is...)
Do you really think that they'd make the Golden Age Superman a villian? Nah, that doesn't taste right, chef.

If he would have such jealous rage watching another Superman live his life why wouldn't he feel the same way about the earth-1 Superman? And what about the Superboy that went with him and Lois at the end of Crisis?

My vote as to who blew up the watchtower (note, I didn't say they were the mastermind behind IC as I think there's going to be more than one person) would be Hank Henshaw.

1-DNA matches Superman
2-Can control computers and machinery (tie in with Brother Eye)
3-Apparently wizard blacked out Mongol during their IC previews.

So what do you think?
Your reasoning sounds good. But I don't think J'onn would have been so frightened of Henshaw when he saw him. Seeing the original Superman, someone who's not supposed to exist -- that might freak him out.

As for the jealousy thing, Superman-2 never had reason to be jealous of his younger counterpart, as he has his own life married to Lois and editing the Daily Star. But if he's been trapped in some sort of pocket bubble, as we saw in the miniseries The Kingdom...that's the clue that made me select him as the prime suspect over anyone else.

Also see what I note above. Would any other mastermind have the same emotional impact? Perhaps the Anti-Monitor, but that's about it. Unless you can think of some other character that I'm missing.
The one problem with this is that I just can't see Mark Waid (and probably Grant Morrison) going along with making the original Superman into a murderer and bad guy.

But again, think of Hal Jordan as Parallax in Zero Hour. Superman-2 would see his actions as heroic, not villainous.
Taking a mild tangent off your post, when did Terry McGinnis become part of mainstream DC continuity?
He's not. As far as I can tell, this is his first appearance in a continuity book.


I have to admit your reasoning is convincing, Michael. But I don't know if DC would do that. Things may have changed of late, but historically they've been loathe to do ANYTHING to tarnish the image of Superman. Even in the Elseworlds where circumstances dictate Superman should be somewhat "adversarial" he's still written with an innate instinct towards "Truth, Justice and the American Way." At one point (and I don't know if this is continuity or not) the Crime Syndicate's Ultraman wasn't even Kryptonian, even though this was supposed to be a "Mirror Universe" setup.

I find it hard to believe DC, even with Dan Didio running things, would make any incarnation of Superman a villain. The closest they ever came was with Dark Knight Strikes Again, but that's probably not a good example, because that one just sucked.

A random thought: Where's Buddy Baker in all this? Animal Man had the best post-Crisis tie-in with Psycho Pirate back in the day, and it would really impress me were DC to draw that Grant Morrison storyline into current events.

Jayme Lynn Blaschke
Wow you would fit in with the posters on Gaia's thread "crisis conspiracy" really nice work my friend. I dont think you'd be right because where would superboy be? he did go with him at the end of the original crisis.
2 things:

1.) What if its the original Earth-1 Superboy? But the only Superboy that exists is a clone. And he'd be immature enough to think this would be the way to solve it...to live again. And given all the Legion of Super Heroes time travel he's done could he have been lost in the timestream. Oh, and one more thing with the reboot of the Legion could this be the catalyst that "freed" him from being stuck in time.

2.) Our comic discussions have led me to friend you. If you object, please let me know.
1) The original Earth-1 Superboy...but all grown up? Wouldn't that be the Earth-1 Superman? Maybe it's the Pocket Universe Superboy, as I think someone suggested above.

2) No problem; my own friending policy is spelled out on my info page.
I don't think so, b/c he did walk hand-in-hand with Lois into their private afterlife. If he'd had to go alone, maybe I could see it.
But in the miniseries The Kingdom, they established that he wasn't in a private afterlife with Lois, but instead trapped by himself in some sort of private hell from which he was unable to escape.
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December 2016

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