- For the real-world crossover event, see Crisis on Infinite Earths.
- "December 10, 2019. On that day he will answer the call and make the ultimate sacrifice. Soon, this world will fight for the fate of all the known universes."
- —Mar Novu warning Barry Allen and Iris West-Allen the Crisis is near[src]
The Anti-Monitor Crisis, also known as the World Wide Crisis, the Crisis of Infinite Worlds, or simply the Crisis, was a massive, cosmic, apocalyptic event that encompassed the cataclysmic destruction of every single Earth in the multiverse by the Anti-Monitor's wave of antimatter, leaving only the chosen Paragons as the last survivors.
Oliver Queen would later on become the Spectre, gather the Paragons and reform the multiverse and a new universe that is a merged Earth-1, Earth-38, and Earth-TUD5 to Earth-Prime before an alliance of heroic teams banished the Anti-Monitor to an eternity of shrinking. This also resulted into a formation of a team in order to put down further threats to the new multiverse.
In the original timeline, the Crisis took place on the night of April 25, 2024, where the Flash fought his nemesis, the Reverse-Flash, with the help of his allies in an extreme street battle in Central City. The fight ended with the speedsters disappearing in an explosion of light. It is believed that they both traveled back in time to March 18, 2000, creating the current timeline, resulting in a temporal loop that allows the Crisis to happen in every timeline regardless, except the Flashpoint timeline.
Due to a change in the timeline in which Team Flash destroyed Cicada's dagger in 2019, the Crisis occurred much earlier, from December 10, 2019 to January 2020. However, it appears that the Crisis itself changed as well, as neither the fight with the Reverse-Flash or the vanishing of Earth-1's Flash happened in the current timeline.
Around 7980 B.C., on the planet Maltus, Mar Novu was experimenting with time-travel to witness the birth of the universe, only to accidentally end up in the anti-matter universe and reveal the multiverse's existence to his antimatter doppelgänger, Mobius. He learned that the Crisis was supposed to happen in 2024. In preparation, he built Quantum Towers on several Earths to defend against the attack. He began testing different Earths throughout the multiverse by bestowing the Book of Destiny to an individual from the Earth he was testing, and let them create their own Elseworlds.
Sometime in the 22nd century, a speedster named Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash began to study the life of his archenemy Barry Allen/The Flash, after he somehow discovered his true name and acquired knowledge of his parents and loved ones; Nora Allen, Henry Allen, Iris West-Allen and his daughter Nora West-Allen (in which was presumably named Dawn in his timeline). When he gained knowledge about everything from Barry's life, Eobard decided the best way to defeat Flash was to murder Barry as a child. However, before he did this, he wanted to have a last encounter with his arch-enemy.
Somehow the Anti-Monitor was freed and the Crisis began, prompting Novu to gather the heroes to help him save the multiverse. During this, Thawne having gained help from the Anti-Monitor's shadow demons, arrived to April 25, 2024 and gained the attention of the Flash and his allies; Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl and Ray Palmer/The Atom; according to Iris West-Allen in 2049, some sources describing the battle claimed that the Flash was instead aided by Kate Kane/Batwoman, Ralph Dibny/Elongated Man and Kara Danvers/Supergirl. They started fighting on the streets of Central City, causing the most destruction the city had seen since the Flash first arrived. The fight (and possibly the antimatter) caused the sky to turn a deep crimson color.
At some point during the battle, while Green Arrow yelled in the background, the Flash recorded a message for his daughter to see in the future, knowing that he had little time left.
The battle caused several trucks to start leaking their contents onto the streets and caused power outages spread over 20 blocks throughout the city. The Atom left the fight and aided the Central City Police Department in evacuating all the nearby buildings during the power outage. The speedsters then started battling over two overturned tanker trucks, and the lightning emitted from them caused the oil from one of them to ignite. While surrounded by smoke both speedsters had a very heated conversation on an unknown matter, and then the two sped off leaving Green Arrow, the Atom, and Hawkgirl behind. The two then continued their fight up and down an unknown avenue before they vanished in a flash of light.From here there is enough evidence to believe the Anti-Monitor was defeated by the Flash's remaining allies after he vanished, as there were shadow demons and Mar Novu was preparing for this Crisis just like the one in the current timeline.
Unknown to everyone, during the explosion, the Reverse-Flash traveled back in time to March 18 2000, to kill his nemesis as a child (like he planned before). However, the Flash followed his nemesis back through time. The two fought inside the Allen house around Nora Allen, each landing solid hits on the other, but their skills were fairly equal. Eventually, the future Flash proved to be the better of the two. When the 11-year-old Barry came into the room, Nora was in the center of it, surrounded by streaks of yellow and red lightning and caught a brief glimpse of the Reverse Flash's face.
During the fight, the Flash saw his younger-self from 2015 during his first trip into the past and signaled him not to interfere, because of what would happen to the timeline if he did. As the Reverse-Flash moved in for the kill, the future Flash intervened and transported his younger self to safety 20 blocks away, much to the Reverse Flash's outrage. However, Reverse-Flash quickly theorized another way to achieve his goal: to kill Nora and frame Henry Allen for the crime in the hopes that such a tragedy would traumatize Barry enough that he would never achieve his destiny, and Eobard would be free to return to a future without the Flash, so he grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed Nora in the heart and fled the scene to return to his own time which he hoped would now be one without the Flash.
Originally, a newspaper from the Central City Citizen was published and written by Evan Gibson, and later its founder Iris West-Allen, which Eobard later used as the basis to see if the future remained intact.
When Farooq Gibran drained the Flash of his powers, the article changed to have no references of the Flash, although it still had the “Red Skies Vanish” section. After the Flash regained his speed and Blackout was defeated, it reverted back to normal.
After Flashpoint, Savitar killed Iris and continued the loop of his existence, causing Julie Greer to be hired and to replace Iris with writing the article. However, thanks to the efforts of Team Flash that caused Savitar to be erased from existence, Iris's name was once again restored as the author of the article.
According to an article from the Citizen in 2049 that Nora West-Allen presented to Barry, the Flash was still missing 25 years after the Crisis, leaving behind his wife (Iris) and infant daughter (Nora). Roger Hayden/Psycho-Pirate said that during this crisis, entire worlds lived and died, implying that the Crisis was more than just a fight between the Reverse-Flash and the Flash.
Fate of the Flash
While it is known that Eobard Thawne wasn't able to return to his time period after killing Nora Allen and thus had to spend the next 15 years of his life in the 21st century, the fate of the future Flash that followed him back to 2024 after saving his younger self from Thawne is still unclear.
- One possibility is that after saving his 11-year-old self, the future Flash ran back to 2024 where he stopped the antimatter wave by running fast enough but dying in the process, as seen happening in Barry's final vision in "" and to Earth-90's Flash in "", as well as the original Crisis on Infinite Earths comic.
- This possibility is supported by the fact that once the date of the Crisis was moved to 2019, Barry Allen could no longer travel past that point because of the antimatter wave, while previously he and other speedsters were able to travel past 2024. If the Flash had sacrificed himself in the original 2024 Crisis to stop the antimatter wave, all Earths, or at least Earth-1, would not have been destroyed and thus travel past the point of the Crisis would be possible.
- Roger Hayden/Psycho-Pirate's statement that entire worlds lived and died implies certain events that happened in the later iteration of the Crisis, such as Earth-2's destruction, still occurred.
- Another possibility is that after the future Barry Allen saved himself from his rival's wrath, Eobard's idea to kill Nora Allen to prevent Barry from becoming the Flash worked well enough that Barry was erased from existence.
- This is supported by the fact that Eobard lost enough contact with the Speed Force to travel back to his time, so he had to re-create the Flash who would no longer exist in this timeline.
- It's also important to note that in the erased timeline where the article was written by a Julie Greer and Iris West was killed by Savitar, when Barry vanished in that version of the Crisis after his fight with Reverse-Flash, he was definitely still alive as he was able to send a message to Rip Hunter about Flashpoint in 2056 when he was about 66-67 years old. So it's possible he wasn't killed or erased from existence and just lost his powers (because of Eobard's actions in the past), trapping him in some unknown point in time unable to harness the Speed Force to return to 2024.
In the newspaper that chronicled the Crisis, when the Crisis hit Earth-1, the battle to save it took place within Central City and included the likes of The Flash, Green Arrow, White Canary, Supergirl, Batwoman, and numerous other "legendary heroes" against the Reverse-Flash at midnight.
In an erased future, after his death, Oliver Queen was buried next to his father and his paternal half-sister, his tombstone will read that he was a "beloved husband, brother, father and son. Hero of Star City. The Green Arrow".
Test for heroes of the multiverse
In 2018, Novu tested the Earth-90 and like many others, it failed. After this, he traveled to Earth-1 to test it by bestowing the book to John Deegan. He was genuinely impressed when the heroes of that Earth were able to steal the Book Of Destiny, something that had never happened before. He started to respect Earth-1 even more when Oliver Queen came to confront him, in his realm, without any sign of fear, demanding him to change the destiny of Barry Allen and Kara Danvers. Impressed by the heroes of Earth-1, with Queen in particular, Novu gave him the means to save the two, but in exchange for helping him deal with the Crisis when the time comes.
In mid-2019, Team Flash, with the help of Nora West-Allen from 2049 and the manipulation of Eobard Thawne, managed to destroy Cicada's lightning dagger. Those actions resulted in many changes to the timeline, including the change of the date of the crisis from 2024 to 2019. This forced Novu to take action to prevent the crisis far sooner, causing him to pick up Oliver much faster than he initially told Oliver he would in order to have him complete missions to delay the crisis until his preparations are fully completed. Around that time, Novu looked into the future and found out Oliver will die during the Crisis, which he told Oliver. He also destroyed the plinth in the Time Vault to prevent Team Flash from learning about the much faster crisis so that when the time came, he could tell them personally.
Novu also retrieved Lex Luthor's corpse and brought him back to life so he would use his intellect in the crisis but confined him in his realm apparently to prevent him from trying anything malicious.
Novu first sent Oliver to Earth-2 to retrieve Dwarf star particles. Although he experienced problems doing so because of Tommy Merlyn's mission to destroy the Glades using the Dwarf star particles, he eventually succeeded. However, due to him interfering with the events of the alternate Earth it was destroyed by a wave of anti-matter.
Displeased but still tolerating Oliver's tendency to let his feelings get over him, Novu brought Oliver, Diggle, and Laurel to Hong Kong and tasked them to find Dr. Robert Wong. Although Wong was retrieved, Oliver defied Novu by sending him to A.R.G.U.S but as Lyla Michaels was Novu's ally, the Monitor simply contacted her and she gave him Wong straight away.
Not concerned at all by Oliver's decision to defy and destroy him out a false belief that he was causing the crisis, Novu simply integrated Oliver's plans into his own and to reward Oliver's determination, he brought his kids and Connor Hawke from 2040 to the present day. Since Laurel was not supposed to have survived, Novu decided to test her next. He approached her and offered to restore her Earth if she betrayed Oliver. However, Laurel ultimately refused, which was Novu's plan originally. To reward Laurel, Novu put her and Oliver in an alternate reality where Laurel could say goodbye to Quentin Lance. The alternate reality also served to teach Oliver that he could not alter his fate.
Once both completed their tasks, Novu brought them to Lian Yu. Their goal on the island was to create a device to power a weapon. The device, however, only responded to Lyla's DNA. When she touched it, she suddenly had an epiphany and realized she had to go.
Team Flash's preparation
Around the same time, Novu went to S.T.A.R. Labs to inform Barry and Iris that Barry was now going to sacrifice his life on December 10, 2019. It was at this point they discovered the article changed. Now knowing about his upcoming death, Barry decided to prepare Team Flash for protecting Central City without him.
After preparing Frost, Barry put his focus on Cisco Ramon, who he decided is the perfect guy to replace him as team leader after he is gone. Although at the beginning Cisco refused to accept Barry's death, he eventually learned to do so.
After that, Barry decided to promote Ralph Dibny to his successor as the official protector of Central City after his death, which he did after a mission to get more information on Sue Dearbon's disappearance.
J'onn J'onzz's test
Having witnessed J'onn J'onzz fight but knowing that he was plagued by his past, Novu traveled to Earth-38 and released J'onn's brother, Malefic, from the Phantom Zone. After multiple encounters between Malefic and the Superfriends, J'onn learned to make amends with both his past and brother, which eventually resulted in Malefic forgiving him.
Novu then returned to Earth-38 once J'onn had completed his test, claiming that he was now ready for the Crisis.
Harrison Nash Wells's mistake
On December 9 in Central City, Harrison Nash Wells, after having been attacked by a Blood Brother outside a door to what he believed was the Monitor's realm, was saved when Allegra Garcia used her powers to spread a cure to the city. Wells, however, misattributed this to Novu himself. At 11:58 pm, just as Nash was about to open the portal to his realm, a voice that sounded like Novu noted on how he wished to know the truth and offered to reveal to him what he wanted to know in exchange for his help stopping the Crisis. The voice told him to stop his attempts to kill him and begin, a new life. When Nash asked the voice to show him, he was told that he already has "the knowledge" (probably to solve a code). After Nash solved the code in the cave, the rock opened and pulled Nash inside it in a flash of light before slamming down the rock wall again. However, in doing this, Nash accidentally released the Anti-Monitor instead and became a Pariah.
As the Crisis began on December 10, the skies above Lian Yu, Central City, and possibly the entire planet began storming and turned red. On Mar Novu's command, Harbinger arrived on Lian Yu to retrieve Oliver and Mia. At midnight in Central City, Team Flash watches the skies turn red and prepare themselves for the upcoming battle.
Lyla then warped all the greatest heroes of Earth-1 to Earth-38, where Argo City had just been destroyed by an antimatter wave, and the heroes worked with the rest of Earth-38 heroes to evacuate as much of the universe's population as possible. As the battle between the heroes and the shadow demons of the Anti-Monitor continued to prove fruitless as more and more kept coming, the Monitor arrived to announce that the battle was lost and they must escape. Novu breached all of the heroes away, with the exception of Oliver Queen, who immobilised him temporarily using an antimatter arrow and fought off the shadow demons long enough for 3 billion people to escape to Earth-1. Oliver's valiant act of heroism however caused him to sustain mortal injuries in process, until the Monitor teleported them to Earth-38, where Oliver said his last words to his comrades and daughter before dying, fulfilling Novu's prophecy of Oliver dying in the Crisis, but not the same way that Novu had foreseen. As the surviving heroes mourned the loss of their comrade, Harrison Nash Wells, now branded a Pariah for his actions, teleported in garbed in a suit of green and gold armor, declaring that all was lost. Meanwhile, the Anti-Monitor's anti-matter wave continued to flood across the Multiverse, sowing massive chaos and instability and even causing the Pillars of Magic to crumble, effectively robbing individuals like John Constantine of the ability to use magic on a continuing basis.
Finding the Seven Paragons
Unable to match the Anti-Monitor's armies or raw power, Novu and Harbinger set up the remaining heroes on the Waverider of Earth-74 as a base of operations with that Earth's Mick Rory while the Earth-1 Legends remained on the front lines. Novu informed the shaken heroes that there existed seven Paragons; seven special heroes who each exemplified a particular heroic trait above all others. He named Sara as the Paragon of Destiny and Kara as the Paragon of Hope. On Earth-18, Sara, Barry, Mia, and John Constantine take Oliver's body to a Lazarus Pit in an attempt to resurrect him, but the accumulating anti-matter across the multiverse prevents them from bringing his soul back. Eventually, the remaining Paragons were located, with Ivy Town resident Ryan Choi as the Paragon of Humanity, Barry Allen as the Paragon of Love, Kate Kane as the Paragon of Courage, J'onn J'onzz as the Paragon of Honor, and Clark Kent as the Paragon of Truth. Unbeknownst to everyone, Harbinger is secretly contacted by the Anti-Monitor.
In trying to locate the Anti-Monitor's base of operations, Cisco Ramon, Caitlin Snow, and Barry, with the help of Pariah, discovered a hidden room within the Central City sewers that contained a treadmill which was the source of the antimatter wave. Barry soon realized that his counterpart from Earth-90 was powering the treadmill with his super-speed, being forced by the Anti-Monitor to do so against his will. After he was removed from the device by Cisco, Barry-90 warned that the multiverse would be destroyed entirely if he failed to continue powering the treadmill. In order to offset this destruction, Pariah brought Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning to Earth-1, having him use his powers to temporarily contain the process. After it was revealed that in order to permanently stop the antimatter wave, a speedster would have to run in the opposite direction of the treadmill and die in the process, Barry-90 transferred Barry-1's speed to himself and did the deed, stopping the wave and averting Barry-1's foretold sacrifice albeit at the cost of his own life. Meanwhile, Constantine, Mia, and Diggle visit Lucifer on Earth-666 to get his help in entering Purgatory and retrieve Oliver's soul. Before they can leave, Jim Corrigan appears so he can bestow onto Oliver the Spectre's power. Oliver accepts, and Constantine's team is sent back to the Waverider without him. While the heroes regroup, the Anti-Monitor sends a brainwashed Harbinger to kill the Monitor so he can absorb his power and finish destroying the multiverse. Before the remaining heroes and Earth-1 are destroyed, Pariah sends the Paragons to the Vanishing Point to keep them safe, where they witness Lex replace Superman-96 with himself using a page from the Book of Destiny.
In the months since the multiverse was destroyed, the Paragons have struggled to survive. Once Corrigan teaches him how to use the Spectre's power, Oliver heads to the Vanishing Point to rescue the Paragons and strengthen Barry's powers. With his increased speed, Barry drops off Kara, Choi, and Lex on Maltus, but gets attacked by the Anti-Monitor, losing everyone else across the Speed Force. Despite an expected double-cross from Lex, Kara, and Choi convince Novu not to go through with his plans. Once Barry retrieves everyone, they arrive at the dawn of time, only to learn the Anti-Monitor will always learn of the multiverse's existence no matter what, as there will always be a Novu in the multiverse who cannot give up his ambitions. The Paragons battle the Anti-Monitor and his shadow demons until Oliver uses the Spectre's power to restore the multiverse, with the Paragons providing additional assistance via Lex's Book of Destiny page. As a result however, Oliver dies a second and final time in Barry and Sara's arms.
Rebirth of the multiverse
- "When we restarted the universe, our worlds combined, and only we Paragons know it was ever any different."
- —J'onn J'onzz to Sara Lance and Ray Palmer[src]
Waking up in the newly recreated universe, the Paragons discover they are the only ones who remember the Crisis and that both Earth-38 and Jefferson's Earth have been merged with Earth-1 into a composite universe later designated as Earth-Prime; among other changes throughout the multiverse. While J'onn uses his psionic powers to bring their allies up to speed, Sara attempts to find Oliver, though without success; not even Oliver's corpse existed.
- "I am destiny incarnate. Immeasurable and inescapable. You are nothing; insects, fates to be crushed beneath my heel without a moment's thought. Fighting is useless. Surrender."
"Not today; not ever. Oliver died so we could continue to fight. He sacrificed everything for this new world and we will not fail him. We will not fail this world. For Oliver."
- —Anti-Monitor, Sara, Kara, Barry and Diggle
Later that night, the Paragons are attacked by shadow demons. Upon finding a restored and remorseful Nash, he discovers that the Anti-Monitor is still alive and plotting to renew his destruction of the multiverse. Supergirl, Superman, J'onn, Dreamer, Flash, Wild Dog, Spartan, Batwoman and White Canary fight off shadow demons until they converge into the Anti-Monitor. After failing to break their wills, he fights them until it becomws vexing. Growing to gigantic size, Anti-Monitor was delayed by rhe Supers and J'onn to allow their allies to devise a way to get rid of him. To stop him once and for all, Nash, Ray, Barry, and Choi work to develop a bomb capable of shrinking the Anti-Monitor for eternity while the other heroes distract him. Once it's finished, Kara uses it on the Anti-Monitor and sends him to the microverse.
- "I figure we could all use this to gather if anything ever happens again."
"Don't see why we need it. I mean how often does rhe universe nearly come to an end?"
"Oh. It's like that?"
- —Barry Allen and Jefferson Pierce[src]
Sometime later, Barry, Kara, Sara, Kate, Clark, J'onn, and Jefferson hold a memorial service for Oliver before agreeing to come together as a league of heroes to protect their new world in Oliver's memory.
Changes caused by the Crisis
The following list includes participants of the Crisis before the Battle at the Dawn of Time.
The following list includes the participants of the Crisis on Earth-Prime.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
The Chronicles of Cisco
- While it is well-documented that Eobard Thawne wasn't able to return to his time period after killing Nora Allen and thus had to spend the next 15 years of his life in the 21st century, the fate of the future Flash that followed him back from 2024 is still unclear after saving his younger self from Thawne.
- Whether he was erased from the timeline or even still alive is unclear, but what is known is that he did not return to 2024, thus leaving behind his wife and infant daughter, Nora, who later traveled back in time in order to meet her father.
- One possibility is that after saving his 11-year-old self, the future Flash ran back to 2024 where he stopped the antimatter wave by running fast enough but dying in the process, as seen happening to Barry in one of his visions in "" and to Earth-90's Flash in "", as well as the original Crisis on Infinite Earths comic.
- This is supported by the fact that once the date of the Crisis was moved to 2019, Barry could no longer travel past that point because of the antimatter wave, while previously he and other speedsters were able to travel past 2024. If Flash had sacrificed himself in the original 2024 Crisis to stop the antimatter wave, all Earths would not have been destroyed and thus travel past the point of the Crisis would be possible.
- It is unknown how this timeline still exists as Eobard was reduced to a spectral state during the crisis and Barry never ran back to save his younger self.
- The photograph depicting the Flash on the newspaper article shows the Flash's suit in 2024, with a bright red suit with red earpieces and a white outline on the emblem. In an erased future of 2024, the Flash's suit bears a closer resemblance to his fourth suit. However, that future was erased when Team Flash erased Savitar from existence on May 24, 2017.
- In the original time of the Crisis, meta-humans like the Flash still operated in 2024, despite the Anti-Meta-human Act of 2021, which apparently makes it illegal to even be a meta-human.
- Due to Oliver Queen and his team being deputized by the SCPD in 2018, it stands to reason that they and several of the other heroes present were working alongside local law enforcement and possibly even A.R.G.U.S. and were no longer considered "vigilantes".
- The only individuals who weren't affected by the changes created in the new multiverse and have retained their memories are the Paragons (Barry Allen, Kara Danvers, J'onn J'onzz, Kate Kane, Lex Luthor, Ryan Choi) and others such as Jennifer Pierce and Lena Luthor, along with several orphans from other Earths who survived the destruction of the old multiverse through other means.
- However, J'onn did use his powers to restore the original multiverse memories of some key individuals who were affected including Alex Danvers, Nia Nal, Ray Palmer, Cisco Ramon, Caitlin Snow, Harrison Nash Wells, Querl Dox , Kelly Olsen, and presumably others.
- Cisco Ramon created a device that mirrored J'onn's ability. These rings were presumably given to a select few such as Laurel Lance, however, a hooded figure also possessed one.
- Deities naturally retain their memories, such as Charlie.
Behind the scenes
- Nora West-Allen traveled back to the present day and revealed more about this crisis event by bringing in a newspaper from 2049. This newspaper shows that this crisis event is similar to the comic book event Crisis on Infinite Earths. This is due to the appearance of characters such as Roger Hayden a.k.a Psycho-Pirate and shadow demons, both of which appeared and played a relatively important role in the DC comic book event.
- The episode, "", features a title card that calls this event "Crisis on Infinite Earths."