WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Justice League #34 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Bruno Redondo, Howard Porter, Hi-Fi and Tom Napolitano, on sale now.
With each passing issue of Justice League, the cosmic drama just keeps ramping up more and more. As Lex Luthor and Perpetua inch the heroes, and Multiverse on the whole, closer to doom, the team has been split up fractured.
While the Flash and John Stewart in the past with the Justice Society trying to claim a shard of the Totality, DC's Trinity linked up with Kamandi and more Justice Leagues in the future for a similar purpose. Meanwhile, Hawkgirl launched an attack on Lex and Perpetua with the Ultra-Monitor, a combination of the World Forger, Monitor and Anti-Monitor in tow.
However, this three-pronged assault hasn't paid dividends at all, and Perpetua has literally crushed a Starman in her hand. Considering the central role he played in the League's plans for defeating Perpetua, his apparent death is especially bad news.
This version of Will Payton's Starman cut through space and time just like the Totality did, tracking it and aiming to partner with the League to stop Perpetua's terror. He's been the mastermind behind the League's galactic countermeasures ever since, orchestrating how the remaining shards can be used as weapons to aid the godlike Ultra-Monitor. But when the teams recover the pieces from their different time periods, Will needs them to come to the cosmic control room Lex and Perpetua are operating in.
It's a huge team-up moment with he syncs up with the Starmen of the past and future to create a space bridge that reunites the heroes. Will is overwhelmed as he feels the power of his brethren and finds himself filled with their energies to create the rift, thus allowing everyone to bring the shards over for the killing blow. Sadly, it's just not meant to be because the portal can't be opened fast enough for everyone to rush the villains.
When Will realizes his plan isn't coming to fruition and sees Perpetua splitting the Ultra-Monitor apart, bringing the Anti-Monitor back, he realizes that their plan might not work. But before he can react or formulate a new tactic, as panic sets in, the giant-size Perpetua grabs him and clutches Will in her fist. Before crushing him, she savors the moment and calls him a "speck," relishing what she's about to do to the hero who tried to appropriate part of her power.
Perpetua, holding the hero in the palm of her hand, crushes Will to death, leaving the League without a point man and the person who best understood what the Totality could do. After all, he was the one who sent them across the timestream for the shards, so without Will, Perpetua may be able to reshapes the Multiverse any way she wants.
The past and future Starmen simply don't have the knowledge that Will did and would be grasping at straws if they tried to take his place. This is a stunning end to Will's return, but it's not entirely surprising. He has always been a target of Lex, since the tyrant knew that he was the truest threat to the dark goddess who now overshadoes all reality. And now, this Starman's light has now burnt out, leaving the League without a contingency plan.