May 23, 2024

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Characters Case File #399: Perpetua

The being who created the DC multiverse didn't want to do her job right. Problems ensued.

Every so often, some comic writer will go to one of the big two and make up some new origin story, something involving a cosmic entity that’s all powerful, usually in an attempt to put a personal stamp on the fictional universe as a whole.  I’ve noted that idea covers the various Metal stories from writer Scott Snyder over at DC, and how it is now a being named Perpetua created the DC Mulitverse.

Yeah, I probably should have done this one as the follow-up to the Dark Knights.  Oh well.

The Crisis on Infinite Earths had posited that there was the Monitor and the Anti-Monitor, one from the matter universe and the other from the Anti-Mater universe.  The two were at war, sort of, and it all ended when the Infinite Earths and universes were all merged into one.  The Multiverse had been a concept at DC since the Flash had first journeyed to Earth-2 decades (real world time) earlier, and the idea of putting everyone on one Earth might have been to simplify continuity or whatever, but the lore is writer Marv Wolfman never really intended it to be that big a deal as it was just supposed to be a big anniversary story.

For my money by the by, the original Crisis is still the only big crossover to actually fulfill the promise of a huge cast, semi-permanent change (nothing in comics last forever), and an epic feel.  That comes largely by featuring just about every character DC had for at least one panel as drawn by the late, great George Perez, a man who could draw giant crowds of superheroes and make each one distinct from each other.

But what does this have to do with Perpetua?  Well, writer Scott Snyder, given the chance to do his own thing on the Multiverse, basically asked where the Monitor and Anti-Monitor came from.  Sort of.  Indirectly.

Snyder’s story told the origin of the Multiverse, and Perpetua had a hand in it.  All the original Crisis did was show a giant hand forming the Milky Way and give a story about how it’s a really bad idea for anyone to witness the origins of the universe.  Perpetua, well, that might have been her hand.

Perpetua was one of the Hands, beings empowered by the Source of All Things to go off and create Multiverses.  She was one of many, but the different Hands were supposed to pass along their life forces, in something called (I kid you not) Anti-Crisis Energy when completed and basically cease to exist.  Perpetua didn’t like that plan and didn’t go that far, essentially going rogue.

Now, she did do some things while creating this new Multiverse for the all-encompassing Omniverse and…

…Watson is really going to hate this entry, I can tell…

…instead created three “sons,” namely Mar Novu, Alpheaus, and Mobius.  Mar Novu, the Monitor, was to watch over the matter realm and nurture it.  Alpheaus, the World Forger, worked the World Forge and created new universes, the “broken” ones sliding into the Dark Multiverse where they were supposed to break apart and cease to exist.  And Mobius, the Anti-Monitor, was supposed to make sure the mulitverse didn’t get exposed to the greater omniverse while watching over the anti-matter realm.

At some point, Perpetua had this genius idea to take the beings from both Earth and Mars and transform them into Apex Predators (yes, capitalized) with the intention to hunt down the powers above Perpetua.  This plan didn’t quite work out, to the point where her three sons (Mobius a bit reluctantly) agreed to tell the other Hands.  Perpetua sent the Apex Predators after all three of her boys as a punishment, but by then, the Hands had sent the Cosmic Raptor to imprison Perpetua behind the Source Wall.  The Apex Predators were likewise destroyed.  The other Hands then reset the Multiverse to evolve as it was supposed to with Perpetua’s punishment being she had to watch.

All this action is what drove the Anti-Monitor to do what he did by trying to destroy the Multiverse in the original Crisis.

Now, that’s Snyder’s backstory.  There’s more to it, but that’s the basics.  Eventually, Snyder’s Dark Nights: Metal introduced the idea of the Dark Multiverse, where Barbatos and the Dark Knights attacked the matter universe.  To defeat them, the Justice League did something that broke open the Source Wall.  That gave Perpetua an avenue to find a likeminded being who would be her all-powerful instrument to reshape the Multiverse to her liking.  That being was Lex Luthor, who with the Legion of Doom gave the people of the Earth a choice:  support “Justice” as exemplified by the Justice League, or “Doom” as exemplified by the Legion of Doom.

OK, remember when I said how much I felt the original Crisis was the only crossover that fulfilled all its promises?  Yeah, Snyder’s work is, like, the opposite.  It makes all kinds of promises, something big and epic, and it does work in that direction, but there are always moments that make me wonder what the hell is going on.  Case in point, the people of the DC Universe actually choose “Doom” over “Justice” because…for the life of me, I have no idea.  But there are so many things involving in Snyder’s long cosmic run that went from the two Dark Nights stories and in between included his entire Justice League run.  At least when Snyder wrote the Last Knight on Earth story, even Lex Luthor couldn’t believe the people preferred Doom.

However, if it was stupid for the people to choose Doom over Justice, all in a world where the heroes were always venerated, it was even dumber when Perpetua decided to pass on making Luthor her avatar or whatever and instead went with…the Batman Who Laughs.  Eventually putting his brain into the body of a Bruce Wayne who gained the powers of Doctor Manhattan following a Dark Multiverse version of Doomsday Clock

…oh yeah, Watson is really going to hate this entry…

…whereby the Batman Who Laughs redubbed himself “the Darkest Knight”.

I really don’t like the Batman Who Laughs.

Regardless, doing all this meant the Batman with Batman’s strategic mind and the Joker’s morality then did what anyone with half a brain would have realized he would have done and attacked Perpetua.

It did not go well for Perpetua.

So, she died.

You know, if she’d just done like she was supposed to, maybe she wouldn’t have lost her life at the hands of an all-powerful evil Batman.

Come back next week for the big 400th entry.  It will not be for any character associated with Snyder’s cosmic stuff.