This issue features several incarnations of Wonder Woman.
This issue features several incarnations of Wonder Woman.
With Deimos hastily killed by Parallax, all of the power he absorbed from the Time Masters is returning to the core of the planet on which he stood – and it could soon cause the planet to shatter the Multiverse. Parallax tries to suggest a way to fix it, but Deimos traps him, warning that he will not allow Hal Jordan to start a second Zero Hour event. Despite the loss of the Time Masters, Telos promises the assembled survivors that he can sense the coming of heroes who might be able to help them.
Soon, Booster Gold, Goldstar, and Waverider arrive, admitting that they wanted to be present to face the end of time, if that is indeed what this is. Waverider explains that while the three of them cannot hope to absorb this temporal energy, the one being who could is Brainiac. Before anyone can prevent him from unleashing the entity who imprisoned them in the first place, he has done it, and they instinctively attack. He is too powerful, though, and so Superman demands to know what Brainiac intends to do once he’s destroyed them all. He would be destroyed as well. Brainiac responds that he had wanted to be the most intelligent being in the Multiverse. He has since become something else – a being who can feel loss. He now mourns the loss of the planet Colu. Telos begs for his longtime master to help, before the planet consumes them.
Brainiac explains that he was once Brainiac of the planet Colu, who sought to collect knowledge. When he observed the Flashpoint and survived it, though, he sought to become something more. He travelled to the edge of The Source and beyond it, looking into the Multiverse to witness its history – its inhabitants, its creators, its readers. He reached back through the Multiverse – through time – hoping to evolve as the Monitors had. His plan was thwarted, somewhat, when Superboy Prime shattered the walls of reality, and then he was lost in a tear in reality created by a monster. Finally, he re-emerged in a new reality, transformed into the creature he is now, body lost to the cancerous growths caused by exposure to the Multiverse. After all that, Brainiac wishes to be what he was, and begs for help. Angrily Dick Grayson wonders why they should help him, but Telos reminds Dick to maintain his compassion. Maybe the end is what it took for Brainiac to see his mistakes.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the dimensional wall, Supergirl has been helping to ensure that all of those who had been watching the planet encroaching on reality were returned to their homes. Superman welcomes her back, and warns that they need hope now, that whoever is fighting the good fight on that planet wins.
Brainiac begins raising the domed cities up from the surface of the planet, explaining that he is now taking back power over the planet from Telos, and he will then absorb the temporal energy at its core, and use it to send the people of the cities back to their homes in the hopes of resetting the Multiverse.
Unfortunately, not everyone has a home to go back to. Brainiac offers the Earth 2 survivors the chance to choose a universe to go back to, but they want their home. Brainiac ignores their complaints, suddenly jolting with the realisation that something is blocking him from sending everyone home. The answer is the first Crisis. Its power is too strong to be changed. The Multiverse must collapse into one universe. He warns that those who died in that Crisis must return to play their parts, but The Flash and Supergirl have already accepted their fates. They must ensure that the Multiverse is restored. Brainiac warns, though, that many of those on the planet will be returning to meet their deaths as their universes collapse. Superman and Parallax wonder why can’t they just go back with Barry and Kara to help fight the Anti-Monitor, and perhaps save their friends’ lives. Superman, Parallax and Lois insist on going alongside Barry and Kara, and so Brainiac agrees, warning that they must prevent the collapse of the Multiverse, and reset all things so that they are as they were before he took them from their worlds.
Once they have gone, it is only an instant before Telos knows that they have succeeded. Each of the many worlds has evolved, and each of the many worlds still exists. All except one. The survivors of Earth 2 remain on the planet’s surface, as Brainiac begins to fade away. He warns that the planet must be cleansed of all that transpired there, and begins wiping away its surface with heavy winds and sandstorms, uncaring that the Earth 2 survivors will die, so long as he remembers them.
Fortunately, Green Lantern manages to protect everyone with his power, and with Brainiac’s departure, The Green can return. Alan uses his power to bring it out again, covering the planet’s surface with lush greenery. To their surprise, The Flash discovers that the planet’s vibrational frequency matches that of their universe. They’re home – really home.
Telos appears in the skies and explains that when Brainiac abandoned them, his memories were returned, and he now knows where his family might be. He notes that Alan should be able to locate his family as well, now that he knows where he is. Grinning, Alan says good-bye, and explains to the others that he has already heard a distress signal from off-planet. Their people are out there, looking for them.
Meanwhile, Superman and Supergirl, having watched for a sign that the people on the planet had saved themselves, are a little taken aback when the whole thing just disappears from their universe. Superman suspects, though, that they’ll see it again.
On the Earth 2 convoys, Dick Grayson’s son looks out the window and sees the Green Lantern’s signal, and alerts the others to the news that they have a new home to go to; a world to rebuild.