WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Justice League #22 from James Tynion IV, Francis Manapul and Tom Napolitano, on sale now.
Time and time again, the DC Universe has survived crisis after crisis, though never without consequence. From Crisis on Infinite Earths to Final Crisis to Blackest Night, it seems reality is always destined to do this dance with death and rebirth.
As Lex Luthor and his Legion of Doom look to unleash Perpetua, the destructive goddess and creator of the last Multiverse, however, we finally find out what the very first crisis that ever occurred was. And, in the pages of Justice League, we also learn how it would go on to shape the DCU as we know it today.
THE RISE OF PERPETUA'S INNER-CIRCLE
In Justice League #22, we discover Perpetua created her very first Multiverse in the Sixth Dimension, 26 billion years ago, a reality stitched together by seven mysterious forces. She also created three sons as the first beings to help oversee its balance; Alpheus (the World Forger) was made to populate the macabre realm from Dark Nights: Metal, Mar Novu (the Monitor) was tasked with overseeing reality and positive matter, and Mobius was his opposite, meant to guard the boundaries of creation and keep it free of life (aka overseeing anti-matter).
But the power to create, well, everything soon went to Perpetua's head, and as much as she wanted to please her boss, the Source, she began to believe she could usurp it. Thus, she secretly created an army meant to defeat the Source and whatever army it would send for her. She planned for her warriors to evolve over time into a cosmic legion that not even her sons could contain.
Of course, her plans were foiled, as these things often are, by an oversight on her part. Earth popped up, a planet that was kept off the radar, and which the Monitor believed was the key to stopping his mother's impending war and her ambition of defying her own death.
CIVIL WAR BREAKS OUT
When the Monitor spoke to his brothers on this issue, they were in disbelief; after all, even if they wanted to rebel, they were engineered not to. The Monitor warned them, once the Judges of the Source came knocking, they'd all be held accountable, and their realms would be destroyed along with them. In other words, they would end up paying for their mother's sins. But Perpetua's actions were beyond their control.
With this in mind, the trio attempted to contact the Judges of the Source, but just when they thought they established a link, Perpetua, who suspected their betrayal all along, attacked, and a massive war erupted. Perpetua unleashed her army on her traitorous sons, but while this appeared to be DC's very first crisis, it was actually just the opening salvo.
THE FIRST CRISIS UNLEASHED
When Perpetua's army overran the brothers, a huge bird known as the Raptor arrived on the scene. This was the Source's main watchdog, meant to take her and her army out. The ensuing battle threatened the very fabric of reality, but thankfully, Raptor emerged victorious, creating the Source Wall to imprison her inside.
However, the end of this crisis was bittersweet, as it sparked the Anti-Monitor's hatred for all existence. Seeing as the Source Wall now became the membrane separating reality from the Source, his job was redundant, and he resented how he was meant to monitor nothingness while the Monitor would see the rise and fall of uncounted civilizations. Right then and there, the Anti-Monitor vowed to be a villain as long as he lived, forever embedding himself as a thorn into the history of the DCU. As we know, this crisis was merely the beginning because while Perpetua slumbered, these three brothers would go on to play crucial parts in multiple crises thereafter, helping dictate the overall fate of the Multiverse.
Justice League #23 goes on sale May 1.