WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Justice League #33 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Bruno Redondo, Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, Hi-Fi and Tom Napolitano, on sale now.
The Justice League has pulled out all the stops as part of its ongoing conflict against the omnipotent villain Perpetua and upgraded Legion of Doom. In addition to traveling through time and space, encountering potential reinforcement and powerful artifacts from the DC Universe's past and alternate futures, the heroes have teamed with unlikely allies including the Anti-Monitor and World Forger as the battle for the fate of the DCU intensifies.
With the Anti-Monitor and World Forger joined by their similarly omnipotent brother the Monitor, the trio of siblings resort to desperate strategy straight out of Akira Toriyama's popular Dragon Ball anime/manga franchise: Fusion.
As Starman holds off Perpetua using energy from the totality within his cosmic Star Rod to buy time, Monitor, Anti-Monitor and World Forger merge together into a looming composite character that refers to himself as the Ultra-Monitor.
The new, all-powerful being battles Perpetua while Hawkgirl fights the resurrected, upgraded Lex Luthor -- referring to himself as Apex Lex -- as the rest of the Justice League remains scattered across time to recover artifacts to imprison Perpetua within the Source Wall at the edge of the universe once more.
Various techniques fusing multiple fighters together has been a mainstay in the Dragon Ball franchise since the early days of its long-running anime series Dragon Ball Z. The fan-favorite character Piccolo had been able to assimilate fellow members of his extraterrestrial race the Namekians and gain their powers and abilities, first absorbing the warrior Nail shortly before fighting against Frieza and, later, with the Guardian of Earth Kami to become a Super Namek.
Towards the end of Z, two alternate forms of fusion were introduced: A Fusion Dance performed by two fighters of similar strength and stature, and another form that used mystical Potara earrings to join the two wearers together into a composite fighter. This trope would go on to play pivotal roles in Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super.
The DC Rebirth era had revealed that the Monitor, Anti-Monitor and World Forger were all sons of Perpetua, assigned to oversee different realms within the Omniverse. The Monitor oversaw the main DC Multiverse, the Anti-Monitor was placed in charge of the Anti-Matter Universe and the World Forger was responsible for creating new realities within the depths of the Dark Multiverse. Their conflicting domains and interests had placed the siblings against each other in the past but , with a common threat in Perpetua, they have put aside all previous differences to form the Ultra-Monitor.
While he's only just debuted, the full scope of the Ultra-Monitor's powers and abilities is still unknown but the fusion appears to be fueled by the Totality's energies stored within the Nth metal wings of Hawkgirl. The merger comes at risk when Apex Lex taunts Kendra about the fate of the Martian Manhunter, who had previously suffered a grave defeat at the hands of the Legion of Doom. Incensed, Hawkgirl unleashes her full potential against Lex, with Starman warning her that the powered stored within her needs to be saved for the rest of the reunited Justice League's arrival to tip the scales against Perpetua.
The "Justice/Doom War," which serves as the climactic culmination of Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV's run on Justice League has seen the team pushed to desperate limits to defeat Perpetua and the Legion of Doom for the fate of the DCU. With all three of DC's most powerful cosmic beings merged into a single, composite being, the scales could be beginning to turn back in the favor of the heroes...if the fusion can last long enough to defeat Perpetua once and for all.