- "In the beginning, there was only one. A single black infinitude. Then the infinitude found release, and, finally, the darkness broke, filling it with life. With the multiverse. Every existence multiplied by possibility. And spread out before space and time in infinite measure. Civilizations rose and fell. And rose again across reality's grasping expanse. Life. A precious gift persevering in the face of every obstacle, until, finally, the age of heroes was born. Chaos. The constant enemy of life kept at bay by champions from across the multiverse...joining forces to fight on behalf of all creation. They found each other just in time, because now, the entire multiverse is about to come under attack. There is a malevolent force at work, one driven by a singular goal. The destruction of all there is. I have planned, there are those who say I have schemed, but the time for preparation has passed. The Crisis is now upon us all."
- —The Monitor[src]
Mar Novu, better known as the Monitor, was the husband of the late Xneen and a Maltusian time traveler who had acquired cosmic powers after losing his whole family and universe. After learning of an oncoming crisis caused by the Anti-Monitor that would end the entire multiverse, he tested several worlds for the multiversal apocalypse; however, they all failed until he challenged Earth-1, who managed to pass the test and Mar Novu therefore chose said universe as the one that will fight in the crisis along with Superman and Supergirl of Earth-38 who helped the heroes of Earth-1 succeed in their challenge. He would proceed to recruit Oliver Queen to assist him in his preparations to prevent the destruction of the multiverse and prepared other heroes, such as Barry Allen and J'onn J'onzz, for their roles in the coming crisis and revived Lex Luthor to fulfill his destiny.
As the Anti-Monitor Crisis began, Novu sent his herald, Harbinger to gather the forces to Earth-38 to fight back the Shadow demons only for them to lose the battle, and to Novu's horror, Oliver, before his original death. As a backup plan, Novu had the heroes recruit the seven Paragons that would save the multiverse from destruction. He met his end at the hands of the possessed Harbinger, after a brief battle, but not before advising Pariah to send the Paragons to safety so they can defeat Mobius once-and-for all.
After the multiverse was consumed by anti-matter, Supergirl, Lex Luthor and Ryan Choi traveled back in time to his home planet of Maltus to prevent his experiment - thus weakening the Anti-Monitor. Supposedly, this earlier Novu was convinced and gave up his work, but according to the Anti-Monitor, there would always be a Novu to ensure his destiny.
Losing his family
Mar Novu was born on the planet Maltus, eventually meeting Xneen and falling in love with her. Novu and Xneen, at some point, had dedicated their work to peering into the beginning of the creation of their universe through the use of time-travel. Unfortunately, this would have disastrous effects as the antimatter within the temporal zone destabilised, causing Novu to unwittingly arrive at the antimatter universe, home to his antimatter doppelgänger, Mobius. This event would become a catalyst for Novu's preparation of Mobius' attack on the multiverse as well as the loss of his family. As a result of his exposure to chronal radiation in the temporal zone and the antimatter universe, he gained vast cosmic powers.
A coming crisis
Preparing for the end
At some point, Novu was able to seal Mobius away in an underground prison on Earth-1. However, he was aware that this was a temporary measure and that it would only be a matter of time before Mobius escaped. Novu spent the next ten thousand years preparing for this eventuality.
To insure the multiverse's survival, Novu set up Quantum towers on key Earths to protect them from the Ant-Monitor's Antimatter waves. These towers generated a quantum flux field that would reverse the exogenic state of the Antimatter wave, thereby dissipating the Antimatter energy.
Visiting the first Ra's al Ghul
Sometime in the year 1013, Novu paid a visit to Al-Fatih of Earth-1, and heavily implied to keep the balance or else the world would be in jeopardy. He also bestowed upon him knowledge not previously known to man. The man would do what he could to keep the balance by becoming the first Ra's al Ghul and founded an organization with the sole purpose of keeping the balance by eliminating threats.
Gateway to his realm
Centuries ago, after meeting with Al-Fatih, Novu installed a special gateway to his realm on Earth-1 lined with seven unique symbols at the end of the sewer system in Central City. He hid the entrance by fusing the rocky walls with Eternium to prevent anyone from discovering it. The only way to access the doorway to his realm is to use ultraviolet rays to penetrate the Eternium wall, then press the seven symbols in a certain order.
Recruiting Lyla Michaels
When Lyla Michaels was filled with survivor's guilt after her team was killed in Afghanistan, she prayed to any god or other godlike being that would listen. Mar Novu answered her prayers and saved her.
Years later, he contacted her, telling her he was the one who saved her that day, because she served a greater purpose. Lyla, at first, didn't believe Novu's claims of the apocalypse, but after he came to her again, he showed her a future between her and her family with John Diggle being wiped away from existence if she didn't assist him. Seeing that Novu was telling the truth, she agreed to help him find the heroes required to stop this threat. Novu made Lyla swear to secrecy so they wouldn't interfere with the journey of the other heroes and never gave her the specifics of his grand plan, only that when the time came, she would know what to do.
Testing different Earths
At some point in the past, Mar Novu, adopting the moniker "The Monitor", bestowed the Book of Destiny to individuals of different Earths across the multiverse to test them for the impending crisis, which Novu admitted to be beyond his abilities, by letting the chosen individuals create their own Elseworld by using the Book. Novu, as well as a coming crisis, came under the attention of the Crescent Order.
Traveling to Earth-90, Novu encountered numerous heroes, who opposed him. Engaging in an immense battle with them all, despite being outnumbered, Novu was able to single-handedly murder all of them, with the Flash barely surviving. As he crawled towards the Book of Destiny on the ground, Novu grabbed the book first and proclaimed their failure. As the Flash asked about his motivations behind his actions, Novu explained that they did this to themselves. He then opened the Book of Destiny, proclaiming they would all perish while the Flash ran away from the scene, proceeding to massacre the inhabitants of the world and presumably destroying Earth-90 itself.
After testing Earth-90, Novu traveled to Earth-1 and appeared before Arkham Asylum Doctor John Deegan in Gotham City. When he asked for his assistance, Deegan refused, referring to him as a "douchebag". To prove his seriousness, Novu destroyed Deegan's car. Having Deegan's attention, he gave him the Book of Destiny, telling him to do as he pleased with reality and watched as Deegan became amazed by the book.
Seeing that the Meta-human Cisco Ramon was observing this event later through a vibe, Novu turned to him and expressed interest, as he didn't believe Earth-1 had this capability. He then explained that things had already been set into motion that they couldn't prevent. He then observed Deegan change reality to where Oliver Queen is the Flash and Barry Allen is the Green Arrow.
Later, after the heroes had retrieved the Book of Destiny from Deegan, Novu appeared at a street in Central City, where he was promptly surrounded by police, and waited for the heroes to confront him. Novu was soon confronted by the Flash of Earth-90, The Flash of Earth-1, Green Arrow, and Supergirl of Earth-38. They demanded he help them use the Book of Destiny to set reality right, but Novu declared he had no intention of helping them. The Flash of Earth-90 proclaimed he would not let the massacre of Earth-90 repeat on Earth-1. After expressing admiration for The Flash's persistence, Novu made him disappear before he could take a step.
With the other heroes realizing they were outmatched, Earth-1 Flash asked Novu what he was testing Earth-1 for. Novu explained that he was testing universes to find the right heroes to stand against a being far more powerful than himself who threatens the multiverse. He compliments them for being the first to acquire the Book of Destiny, before retrieving the book from A.R.G.U.S. with a wave of his hand. Supergirl then tried attacking him, but he simply breached her back to where she started before she could even touch him. Stating they show potential, Novu then departed and returned to Deegan, returning the Book of Destiny to him and telling him to think bigger.
Balancing the universe
After Deegan had altered reality once more where he was Superman, Novu summoned Oliver and Barry to his realm to discuss their destinies. Novu expressed interest in how they were able to outwit the Superman powered Deegan with no powers or abilities. When Oliver demanded to get back to his test, Novu described his personality and was pleased with his willingness to die and save countless others. He then explained the only way to survive this trial was to know their true self, not by self-sacrifice, before sending them away.
Later, Oliver, after becoming Green Arrow once again, angrily demanded he come and face him and heeding the vigilante's desire to confront him, amused by his passionate bravery and willingness to challenge his god-like power, Novu teleported him to his realm. Knowing that Oliver wanted him to stop the test for killing Barry and Kara Danvers, Novu agreed, openly impressed by his bravery, that Earth-1 was the only universe to have ever challenged him like this and when Oliver insisted that he wasn't the one Novu needed as his true self was filled with darkness while Barry and Kara were true heroes and had the best chance at stopping the crisis, Novu relented and gave him a metaphysical arrow capable of overloading and destroying the Book of Destiny. But in order to maintain balance of the universe, Novu made Oliver promise he would join him to stop the crisis when the time comes.
Preparing for Crisis
After the Timeline changed when Team Flash destroyed Cicada's dagger, the crisis was moved up to December 10, 2019 instead of April 25, 2024. This forced Novu to alter his plans to adjust and gather the forces that will help him defend the multiverse much more hastily.
As the plinth in the Time Vault reflected this change, Novu destroyed it to prevent Team Flash from reading the changed newspaper so they would not know about the crisis until he himself decided to tell them, knowing they would want to change the timeline to prevent the crisis, which Novu knew was inevitable and would only be worsened by any of their attempts. In the process, he destroyed Nora West-Allen's message to her parents, which he was not proud of but believed was a necessary sacrifice, along with Gideon, although he left enough of her for Barry to later rebuild her.
Arrival on Earth-38
Testing J'onn J'onzz
After seeing J'onn J'onzz fight in Elseworlds he saw that he was a great warrior plagued by his past. To insure that J'onn was physically and mentally prepared for crisis, Novu traveled to Earth-38 to free his brother Malefic J'onzz from the Phantom Zone so he could confront his past and come out stronger. Once he freed Malefic, he urged him to avenge himself against his brother who betrayed him. When Malefic asked if Novu would assist him, he told him he had to walk his path by himself, as he had one last place to visit.
Resurrecting Lex Luthor
Hours after Lena Luthor killed her brother Lex Luthor and left his body in his hideout, he traveled to his location and proceeded to generate interdimensional energy from his hand and aim it at Luthor's body to bring him back to life as his intellect was needed to prevent the coming crisis. He brought him to his realm where he provided Lex with intergalactic chess to play with until the time was right to bring him in to the fold.
Visiting the Legends
Novu later visited the Legends to see what kind of team they were. He was holding the Book of Destiny inside Heyworld watching the Legends perform with magical creatures to show the people that they weren't a threat. He shook his head in disappointment with the rest of the audience when their performance was terrible. However, when a Dragon showed up, he is seen eating popcorn in amusement, using the book as a stool as the rest of the audience cheered. He then watched on sidelines as the Legends, magical creatures, and the audience sang to bring Nate Heywood back to life after Neron killed him.
Recruiting Oliver Queen
In 2019, after the birth of Oliver's daughter Mia Smoak, Novu returned to visit Oliver to collect his end of the deal and have him assist in preparing for the much faster than initially anticipated crisis due to the changes in the timeline. As Oliver had promised that he would give whatever the multiverse requires, he had no choice but to keep his word. After Oliver eased Felicity Smoak's worry, he asked Novu what he needed to do.
Novu revealed that Oliver must help him avert the crisis and before that he will first assist him in halting the inevitable through several missions, but admitted regretfully that in exchange for countless deaths being prevented, Oliver would sacrifice himself and that future is inevitable and cannot be escaped. As Felicity vehemently opposed him, Novu calmly appeased her that in exchange for Oliver coming with him that night, she and her daughter would survive. Novu then gave them time to say goodbye before he took Oliver with him to start their attempt to prevent the crisis.
As Oliver's first mission, he sent him to Earth-2 to gather Dwarf star particles, which could only be found prominently on that Earth. He dropped him off on Lian Yu to fool the people of Starling City that he was their Earth's Oliver Queen. Before he departed he talked about one of the many misconceptions that humanity held dear was the fallacy that beings are created equal and that in truth there are those who are greater. He called those individuals heroes, but even among them, there are different echelons. He described the highest as Paragons; the only hope for all of creation.
Informing Barry of his fate
Around August to September 2019, Novu visited Barry and Iris West-Allen in the Time Vault. As Barry cautiously asked what he was doing here, Novu simply stated he was here to ensure the universe survived. Novu acknowledged destroying the plinth and Nora's message and claimed it was an unfortunate side effect but argued he had to discourage them from hoping they could avoid the coming crisis. When Iris argued they still had five years, Novu revealed it had since changed to December 10, 2019. When Barry demanded to know what he can do to both survive along with his family and stop the crisis, Novu firmly stated that there was no way for Barry to survive and the only way for the crisis to be stopped was for him to die before leaving.
After Novu gave Barry and Iris this devastating news, while Barry was left solemnly resigned to his fate, Iris, refusing to believe that considering how the article stated that Barry went to fight Eobard Thawne not a cosmic disaster and even if it had changed, still believed that the timeline could be changed and inspired Barry to get evidence of the Monitor's claims but Barry's attempts to time-travel did not work as an antimatter wall ejected him out of the Speed Force. Undeterred, Barry went to Earth-3 to ask for Jay Garrick's assistance. With his help Barry saw billions of timelines with all of them showing the multiverse being destroyed and the only one where they won was The Flash sacrificing himself, proving Novu was right about Barry's sacrifice crucial to averting the crisis, which deprived the Flash of any will he had left to fight his fate and ultimately caused Iris to give up as well. Barry and Iris then informed the rest of Team Flash of the coming crisis, who also at first believed Novu was lying, but came to believe what he said was true. Cisco even tried to prevent Barry's fate before finally accepting that it had to happen.
Harrison Nash Wells came to Earth-1 in search of the Monitor and Eternium and using a tracking device, saw Novu walking through a rocky wall inside the sewers of Central City. He later claimed that through the rock was a portal to Novu's realm and that the Monitor is a false god and a fraud who spreads fear through the multiverse, although considering Lyla noted the Monitor truly was trying to save the worlds, either Nash is lying or believes the Monitor's words to be lies. However, one confirmed truth of Nash was that Novu had protected the walls securely by fusing it with Eternium, which rendered Barry's intangibility useless and prevented any brute-force impact attempts less all of Earth-1 be destroyed. Either way, Nash is able to persuade Team Flash to help him fight against the Monitor and he then succeeds in overcoming the Eternium defenses Novu had erected.
When Oliver deterred from his mission on Earth-2, Novu confronted him. He found him in Queen-Merlyn Enterprises, about to confront Malcolm Merlyn of being the Dark Archer. After musing on humanity's capacity for invention, Novu reminded Oliver that his mission was to retrieve the dwarf star particles, not to interfere on Earth-2's events, and ordered him to focus on his mission. Scolding Oliver when he mused on how Novu was the one who sent him there in the first place, as the dwarf star particles can only be found on Earth-2 out of a multitude, Novu was unconvinced when Oliver explained that the Dark Archer had taken the particles and Oliver was simply attempting to retrieve them but let him continue after he made it clear that although he would not reveal why he needs those particles, they were nevertheless crucial to averting the crisis and to end the conversation, questioned Oliver on his loyalty to the mission, which Oliver affirmed he was dedicated to.
After Earth-2's destruction, caused by Oliver's interference, Novu, displeased with how Oliver's disobedience had destroyed an entire world, brought Oliver, Diggle, and Laurel Lance to Hong Kong. When Oliver woke up, Novu revealed what happened to Earth-2, which he made clear would happen to all Earths if they failed. He ensured Oliver that Diggle and Laurel are nearby and when Oliver in dismay asked how he failed to save Earth-2 as he had given Novu the Dwarf Star particles, Novu coldly rebuked him for interfering with the events of Earth-2 by stopping Tommy Merlyn, which he revealed led to the Earth's destruction. Oliver further interfered by saving Laurel. Making it clear that Oliver must obey his orders to avert the crisis, Novu instructed Oliver to find Dr. Robert Wong as his next task but refused to tell him why. As Diggle arrived, looking for Oliver, Novu teleported away with the particles before he could be discovered with a final warning to Oliver not to fail him again.
Novu later met with Lyla, who was angry at him for not warning her about Earth-2's destruction, or that John was on Earth-2 when it was destroyed. Novu solemnly remarked that Earth-2's destruction was a necessary sacrifice and dismissed Lyla's sympathy towards Laurel, noting that countless more like the ones Laurel cared for would die if Oliver was not prepared for what is to come. Novu then asked her if she had Wong. She replied that she did, and Novu responded by saying that they could proceed.
Changing the timeline
Sometime after meeting with Lyla in Hong Kong, Novu altered the current timeline by bringing Mia, William Clayton, and Connor Hawke from 2040 after they lost Zoe Ramirez to John Diggle, Jr. in their attempt to defeat him and his Deathstroke gang. He brought them to the present day Arrowcave where they met the present dat Oliver, Diggle, Dinah Drake, and Rene Ramirez. This was intended as a gift for Oliver to spend time with his children and make peace with them before his ineffable death during Crisis.
Laurel Lance's test
Seeing as Laurel's fate was altered, Novu wanted to see if she would be tempted to betray Oliver to save her world. As Laurel was walking out of the Star City Police Department, he appeared before her. Brushing off Laurel's cold insult on his uniform and instant realization of his identity, he offered to restore Earth-2 for Laurel if she agreed to his terms. When asked what she had to do, Novu replied that she would need to betray Oliver. He later had Lyla instruct Laurel to retrieve the antimatter weapon that Oliver was planning to build to oppose him and having knew that Laurel could very well not betray Oliver and sell out Lyla, which was his plan in the first place, had Lyla knock them out.
He then placed Oliver and Laurel in a time loop where they would fail to save Quentin Lance from being killed over and over again until they learned why they were there; Oliver was there so he could see how he can't change his fate of dying in the coming crisis and to give Laurel the gift of saying goodbye to Quentin for remaining loyal to Oliver. He had Lyla in the loop to guide them if they didn't understand why they were there. After Laurel said goodbye to Quentin and Oliver accepted his fate, he released them from the time loop and sent them to Lian Yu with the rest of Team Arrow for the final mission: to build the weapon Doctor Wong has been constructing the schematics of by using the energy spikes of the island.
Passing J'onn J'onzz
After J'onn finally made peace with his brother and sent him to Mars with his ship to help M'gann M'orzz stop the war between the Green Martians and White Martians, Novu appeared before him to congratulate him on passing the test he gave him. J'onn deduced what he meant and figured out he was the one who freed his brother from the Phantom Zone.
Novu told J'onn that he saw him fight with his allies during Elseworlds and knew he was a great warrior, but was plagued by his past, which made him vulnerable. He knew that it was because of his dramatic past with his brother, not because he fled Mars, and needed him to figure it out. But now that J'onn had faced those demons, he realized his vulnerabilities are his strength and now is ready. When J'onn asked what he was ready for, Novu simply told him, the crisis. He then gave J'onn certain specifics of the crisis to tell his allies.
Bringing Lex into the fold
Once Novu finished talking with J'onn, he returned to his realm with the Book of Destiny where he saw Lex win yet another chess game against himself. Lex was pleased he finally returned and commented that his home was a bit "stale". Ignoring Lex's insult of his realm, Novu told him that he brought him back because the universe will need a mind like his to stop the crisis. When Lex questioned on what he meant, not answering directly, Novu simply used Lex's ego to manipulate him by telling him he can fulfill his destiny and finally become the hero he always thought he was. Though Lex already believed he was one, he agreed to help, but first he asked that they discuss how to handle his sister, to which Novu simply smirked victoriously.
Gathering the heroes
After Oliver completed his final mission on Lian Yu to unlock Lyla's inner powers, Novu remade her into his Harbinger of what's to come to message the ones he would summon to fight in the crisis. Not long after she breached to his realm and became Harbinger, the crisis finally began. Novu sent Harbinger to save Clark Kent and Lois Lane of Earth-38 as Argo City was destroyed and they sent their son Jonathan away to Earth.
Harbinger's next stop for the Monitor was to retrieve Oliver and Mia for the coming apocalypse. As they were finishing having a heart to heart about the time they've spent together, they saw the skies turn red. Harbinger appeared before them and told them that she has become a harbinger of what's to come, confirming to them that the crisis has begun. She then transported them with her to Earth-38.
Harbinger then traveled to Central City and Gotham to retrieve Barry and Kate Kane. She then recruited Sara Lance and Ray Palmer in Star City during trivia night at a bar. While she sent Oliver, Mia, Kate, Clark, and Lois to the D.E.O., she had Barry, Sara, and Ray scout out the Quantum Tower on that Earth to insure it was safe. Once they were united, Harbinger explained Novu's plan to halt the destruction of Earth-38 as long as possible so they can evacuate the people.
Speaking to Oliver
After the teams were united on Earth-38, Oliver learned from Barry that Novu told him he was supposed to die in crisis, which Oliver didn't except. He called out to Novu and was transported to his realm. Novu told him they were past the time for discussion, but Oliver didn't listen and reminded him of their deal last year that he would die and Barry and Kara would survive Elseworlds. Novu acknowledged this deal, but told him it was just to let them survive Elseworlds, not the crisis.
Oliver demanded Novu quit playing games with him and tell him why the Anti-Monitor wants to destroy all reality and how he can stop it. Novu refused, believing if he didn't know what he was fighting then he would be prepared for any possibility. He went on to remind Oliver that this threat brings the annihilation of all life and realities and asked if Oliver now comprehends the scope of the danger they all now face with the Anti-Monitor and then sent him back to Earth-38.
Destruction of Earth-38
As the battle between the heroes and the Anti-Monitor's Shadow demons soon proved to be unable to preserve the Quantum tower of Earth-38, Novu, realizing the battle had been lost, breached to them to tell them they must retreat and save their strength for the larger battle ahead. He breached all of them to Earth-1 but Oliver, who refused to leave until the entire planet had been evacuated and shot him with an antimatter arrow that disabled Novu for a while, leaving him unable to do anything but watch in amazement as Oliver fought off the Shadow demons even without his weapons.
After Oliver had sustained grievous injuries in his battle against the Shadow demons, Novu regained his strength and breached him to the Arrowcave on Earth-1 with the other heroes. As the others looked over his injuries, Novu informed them of his heroics. He told Supergirl and Superman that their universe has been destroyed, but of 7.53 billion, 3 billion souls made it to Earth-1 in the armada of ships thanks to Oliver saving 1 billion souls due to his noble sacrifice.
Nash then appeared next to Novu in green and gold attire. When Barry referred to him by is name, he simply told him he wasn't Nash anymore, but a Pariah serving his penance for releasing the Ant-Monitor from his confinement. At that moment, Sara, Querl Dox, Lois, and Jonathan arrived from Earth-16 and Novu then watched in horror as Oliver bid farewell to the people he loved. When Oliver finally died of his wounds Novu became confused as this wasn't Oliver's death that he saw. Pariah told Novu that things are turning out differently then expected, but the one thing that is certain that everything they know, everything there is, and everything there ever was is doom.
Acquiring a Waverider
With the surprising death of Oliver, Novu went back in time and retrieved the Book of Destiny intact. He then consulted with Felicity about the seven Paragons that could stop the Anti-Monitor. She was granted access to the Tome of the Guardians which revealed the identities of the Paragons of Hope and Destiny: Kara and Sara. But, it only provided descriptions of the Paragons of Truth and Courage: a second Kryptonian who has lost more than most mortal men and the "Bat of the Future".
After the destruction of Earth-38, the team were given a chance to grieve at S.T.A.R. Labs before they plan their next move. As Harbinger arrived, Ray and Novu were in a disagreement about using the Waverider. Novu argued that if they were to survive the crisis they would need the time ship's technology. Sara, unfortunately, told Novu that she promised her crew no more crossovers so they couldn't use it. Harbinger came up with another idea: there were infinite Waveriders in the multiverse, so she traveled to Earth-74 and took the Waverider of that Earth, along with that Earth's Mick Rory.
Finding the paragons
With the Waverider of Earth-74 in their possession, Novu summoned the team to the bridge, acknowledging that they lost a great hero in Oliver. When Barry bitterly mentioned they lost the wrong hero, Novu agreed, but told them they have every reason to keep fighting; seven reasons. He tried to explain that across space and time existed seven heroes that could defeat the Ant-Monitor, but was constantly interrupted by Jonathan's crying. After Mick took the baby away to quiet him down, Novu was finally able to tell them that the seven beings capable of saving the multiverse were known as Paragons.
Barry questioned why he's just telling them this now, but Novu told him that he only recently learned of their existence after consulting the Book of Destiny. Barry asked how he was able to do that when they destroyed it last year, only for Novu to project a hologram version of the book. He told them that after Oliver's early death at the hands of the Shadow demons, he went back in time and retrieved it intact and placed it in the ship's library. Barry wasn't that hopeful since this was Novu's Plan B.
Kara asked Novu if the book could rewrite destiny, could it bring back Earth-38 and all the other destroyed universes. Novu, unfortunately, told her that trying to bring back an entire world would drive one to madness. Mia then spoke up and questioned if could bring back her dad, but though Novu wished it could, he deemed it was impossible. He went on tell them that while Oliver was destined to die in this crisis, this wasn't how he foresaw it and believed with the Anti-Monitor growing stronger, he grows weaker, and that they must find all seven Paragons.
Lois asked if he could give them a hint, and he had four. He named Kara as the Paragon of Hope, though she didn't really believe. He then named Sara the Paragon of Destiny, to which Ray believed made since because of her being the captain of a time ship. He then gave the descriptions of the Kryptonian who's lost more than most mortal men as the Paragon of Truth and the Bat of the Future who was the Paragon of Courage. Kate questioned where he gets these names and he told them that received them from Felicity who earned the wisdom of the Tome of the Guardians.
When Lois began to speculate who the "Future Bat" was, Novu told them that Earth-99 was in a future time where that Earth's Bruce Wayne as dedicated himself, body, and soul to fighting crime and that the journey to that Earth would lead them to the Paragon of Courage. With their objective clear, Lois and Clark set out to find the Kryptonian and Kate was to get Bruce. Novu also had Ray bein work on a Paragon detector that would lead them to the final three.
As Kara watched Earth-38's destruction the multiverse map, Novu brought Lex to the bridge, who mocked the destruction of that universe with it being distilled down to a computer graphic. When Kara attempted to attack him, Novu stopped her, revealing he was the one who revived, claiming Lex had a role to play. Kara questioned how he could bring Lex back, but not Oliver, only for Novu to tell her that he revived Luthor long before the crisis caused his power to wane. Kara, not believing what Novu did, refused to trust him and stormed off.
With time running out, Novu used Lex's obsession to kill Superman to his advantage and manipulated him into stealing the Book of Destiny to track down every Superman in the multiverse and kill them, knowing that by Clark and Lois tracking him, he would lead them to the Paragon of Truth. When he entered the library, he found Harbinger there just as Lex took the book and breached away and worried that if Lex kills the wrong Superman they were all doomed. But she soon realize that was what Novu wanted and demanded to know what he did. He simply reminded her that everyone has a role to play. He then sent Iris to assist in Clark and Lois's hunt for Lex and the Paragon.
After Clark, Lois, and Iris found the Paragon of Truth in the form of Earth-96's Clark Kent, and captured Lex and placed him in the ship's holding cell, Novu congratulated them on completing their mission and acknowledged the role Lex played in helping track him down. Kara and Kate then entered and Kara accused Novu of not being one of the good guys because of his actions in letting Lex kill innocent people to accomplish his goal.
After being distracted by the resemblance of Earth-96's Clark Kent and Ray Palmer, Kate told them that the Bruce of Earth-99 tried to kill Kara so they had to kill them, leaving them without their Paragon of Courage. Novu remained calm in the face of this news and asked Ray to activate his Paragon detector. Once powered on, it displayed the location of one the ship they were on. Ray believed it still had bugs, but Novu disagreed and told them that light to be the Paragon of Courage. Kate reminded him that Bruce's body wasn't on the ship, only for Novu to reveal Kate was the Bat of the Future and that he only told them that the path to Earth-99 would lead them to the Paragon.
Everyone returned to the bridge where they waited for Ray's machine to spit out the remaining three Paragons. Barry then breached in with Cisco, Elongated Man, and Frost to help. Novu listened as they planned to save as many people as they can from other Earths and bring them to Earth-1 for safety and as Lois planned to run comms on the Waverider. At that moment, Ray and Cisco fixed the Paragon detector which displayed J'onn, Barry and a man named Ryan Choi as the Paragons of Honor, Love, and Humanity. Now with all the Paragons identified, Novu told them they're next priority was finding a way to stop the antimatter wave. They were then informed by the Waverider's A.I. Leonard that Diggle had arrived.
In the midst of the Crisis, the Anti-Monitor lured Harbinger over to his side and possessed her. She was missing for hours. She returned as the multiverse was eradicated, with seemingly nothing wrong.
As Cisco headed to the cargo bay, Novu appeared before him, terrifying the scientist. Ignoring Cisco's question of just leaving him in the bridge, Novu told him that while he's not a Paragon, he still has a purpose; Vibe must live again. Cisco, however, refused and reminded him that his powers were gone due to him taking the Meta-human cure. Ignoring him, Novu told him he must answer the call whether he wished to or not and restored his powers and put him in his Vibe suit as he continued to protest. He then ordered Vibe to go and serve his higher purpose and walked away.
Talking about his family
Novu remained on the bridge with Lois and saw that Earth-73 had been destroyed by the antimatter wave, leaving only seven Earths left in the multiverse. When Lois talked about how ironic it is that she is witnessing the biggest story in history, the destruction of every Earth, yet no one will be around to read it, Novu revealed that these Earths were not the only ones destroyed; that his world and family were destroyed as well.
Lois asked what they were like and Novu fondly described them as full of life and that they meant everything to him. However, he regretted not prioritizing them over his work, and complimented Lois on her journalism skills with her ability to get him to open up. They were interrupted by Superman breaching in and informing them that he was unable to save the inhabitants of an Earth and listened why he put black on his crest: that even in the darkest times, hope cuts threw and that it is hope that lifts us out of darkness. After he left to save more lives, Novu vanished as well, leaving Lois alone on the bridge.
Though Harbinger initially revealed that nothing was, it was soon realized that she was corrupted, then the Anti-Monitor spoke through, and used her power to kill Mar Novu.
Taking Felicity to Oliver
At some point between the crisis in 2019 and 2040, Novu promised Felicity that he would reunite her and Oliver once she prepared William Clayton and Mia to take care of themselves. In 2040, after she said goodbye to her children, Felicity ran into him, saying she was ready, and he indeed take her to Oliver. Novu warned her that the place he was taking her, possibly Heaven, was where there was "no return" and upon seeing Felicity having accepted it, Novu reunited them.
- "Fascinating. I wouldn't have thought the men of this Earth had this capacity. But it won't avail you. None of you can stop what's been set into motion. You're best off giving up now, because nothing you can do can alter what's about to happen."
- —Novu to Cisco Ramon[src]
Novu is a calm, level headed, and focused person, as shown by how he continued to look for the Earth that could save the multiverse from the coming crisis. He is quite capable of being ruthlessly demanding and strict, as he left a trail of destruction while testing other Earths, like Earth-90 and showed no regret or remorse for it and instead blamed the heroes for failing to save their Earths. He is also extremely confident in his power, as he didn't see the heroes of Earth-1 despite their abilities as true threats to him. This is best shown when Oliver Queen, Barry Allen, Kara Danvers, and Barry Allen from Earth-90 confronted him but he remained calm and made Barry Allen from Earth-90 disappear while stopping all of their attempts to attack him took back the book and gave it back to John Deegan. When dealing with his allies, Novu can be outright strict, harsh and firm both in the execution of his plans and the secrets he keeps, going to lengths to keep Team Flash from trying anything to change Barry's fate to die in the crisis, even destroying Nora's message and the plinth that showed the newspaper along with it, despite how it deprived Barry and Iris of what was left of their connection to Nora, before proceeding to coldly and firmly drive it home through Barry that no matter how hard he try, he will die sacrificing himself to stop the crisis, and despite his sympathy for Oliver's sacrifice, he would still strictly demand Oliver's dedication to any mission he assigned him to without revealing anything to him, both when he had him search for the dwarf-star particles and collect Robert Wong. In addition, when Oliver meddled with the fate of Earth-2, Novu coldly scolded him for not heading his orders and ordered him never to disobey him again. He also dismissed Lyla's sympathy for Laurel despite moments before showing some somberness at Earth-2's destruction with yet another cold reminder that countless more like the ones Laurel cared for would perish if the crisis is not averted.
However, Novu's actions, while ruthless, are not for malevolent purposes and instead to prepare for the crisis to find the heroes capable of saving the multiverse from the crisis, which Novu openly acknowledges to being far more powerful than himself, showing he could still feel fear. His confidence do not make him truly arrogant, being fully capable of respecting others, as he openly acknowledged to be impressed by the capabilities of the heroes of Earth-1, and remaining calm even in the face of insults, as he was utterly unfazed when Oliver coldly told him he wasn't a god, merely saying that as there isn't a name to what he is, a god would do and then when Laurel insulted him, along with also being quite flexible when the situation has truly garnered his respect and impress, as after seeing how persistent Earth-1 was against his test and how brave and self-sacrificing Oliver was, Novu ultimately decided that Earth-1 would be the earth to fight for the fate of all universes and gave Oliver the metaphysical arrow needed to save his friends from the test after Oliver revealed Barry and Kara are the best chances to stop the crisis and not him, although he asked that Oliver provide whatever the multiverse requires to survive the Crisis in order to maintain the balance of the universe by creating another change in place of Barry and Kara being saved.
In addition, Novu isn't entirely without empathy, as he did have cause to show genuine sympathy towards Oliver and Felicity Smoak as he revealed that in exchange for the Crisis being averted, Oliver would die and leave his wife widowed and daughter fatherless, assuring them he meant no harm for Felicity and their child and Oliver's sacrifice would allow them to live, and sincerely apologizing to Oliver for his inevitable death, nor is he so tactless as to callously shrug off things he did that emotionally hurt people or discriminate them for holding on to their flaws, even able to apologize and compliment on said flaw, as he noted that destroying Nora's message was not something he was fond of doing and was unfortunate but necessary as well as Barry's fate being set to die saving the multiverse and openly acknowledged its boundlessness to be his greatest quality despite deeming it to be a flaw on the Crisis. In addition, he was also generous and decent enough to reward Oliver's acceptance of his fate by allowing him to meet his children and would later reward Laurel for remaining loyal to Oliver by allowing her to say goodbye to Quentin Lance. Upon seeing Oliver fight to his last breath against the Shadow demons to save as many people of Earth-38 as possible, Novu was left amazed by his heroics and for the first time since meeting the heroes, horror, as the way Oliver died wasn't the one he had foreseen. He was also capable of love and regret, as he had a family that he described as meaning everything for him and when they died, he felt enormous grief and regretted not showing them enough love. He also proves himself to be honorable, as he would keep the end of his deal to Felicity to reunite her with Oliver in a possible future, despite having no actual reasons to do so and before doing this, he warned her that she can never return.
Powers and abilities
- "You're not a god."
- "Yet there isn't a name for what I am so I suppose god will have to do."
- —Oliver Queen and Novu[src]
- Cosmic-empowered Maltusian physiology: Originally, Novu was a Maltusian with no special powers. After being transported to the dawn of time, he was exposed to chronal radiation; his suit prevented it from killing him, but couldn't block it all, causing his body to absorb the cosmic energies around him, altering his physiology. After his transformation, Novu's capacity for power could not be understood by humans. He also wields tremendous superhuman fortitude and might, as he was able to single-handedly kill almost all of Earth-90's residents seemingly without any injuries and effortlessly survive the destruction of the universe. Novu is also one of the most powerful beings in the entire multiverse. However, despite this, Novu admits that his powers does have its limits and states that the Anti-Monitor in the Anti-Monitor Crisis is far more powerful than himself.
- Longevity: Novu was alive for over ten thousand years.
- Cosmic knowledge: After his phisiology was altered, Novu gained an immense knowledge of the multiverse, more than any other beings.
- Dimensional awareness: Novu also has a form of dimensional awareness, as he was able to perceive Cisco Ramon vibing him, and communicate with him through the transdimensional energy of the multiverse. His dimensional awareness allows him to watch over other universes to remain knowledgeable of current events, as he was able to detect Lyla Michaels's prayer to any god and could sense Oliver Queen was after the Dark Archer and immediately detect the destruction of Earth-2 and Oliver, Laurel and John's escape to bring them to Hong Kong as well as sense that Oliver passed over Wong to A.R.G.U.S., allowing him to still retrieve Wong anyway. Despite not knowing Team Flash, he knew that they would want to change the timeline if they noticed the alterations in the future newspaper which caused him to take drastic action in destroying the plinth in the Time Vault. He also knew from the beginning that Oliver and his team intended to destroy him, but allowed them to proceed as their plan was all part of his larger plan to stop the destruction of all existence.
- Electrical distortion: Novu's presence interfered with street lights when he confronted Dr. John Deegan. He also temporarily disabled the lights in the Time Vault when he went to speak to Barry Allen and Iris West-Allen about the former's destined death during crisis.
- Interdimensional travel: By a simple wave of his fist, Novu is able to breach himself, other people, and/or items to any place he wishes. He can also teleport others into his realm in an instant. In 2040 he took Felicity Smoak to a place that there is no return from to be with Oliver.
- Molecular Manipulation: Novu was able to manipulate matter, as he was able to fuse the rocky walls to his portal with Eternium to prevent anyone from entering.
- Telekinesis: Novu was able to exert enough pressure on John Deegan's car to instantly smash its windows and crush the hood without moving a muscle.
- Resurrection: Novu was able to resurrect Lex Luthor so that he may help stop the crisis.
- Precognition: Novu has the power to see the future, as he was able to see that Oliver and Barry would sacrifice themselves inevitably to stop the crisis. Though he can sometimes foresee the wrong outcome, as Oliver didn't die the way he foresaw it.
- Chronokinesis: Novu has the ability to manipulate time. He can make a mortal run in a continuous loop in time until he sees fit to bring them out of it, or the mortal figures out what they need to do in order to break the cycle. He also can displace himself and others in different time periods that is not their own. He is also able to travel through the timestream freely and can prevent repercussions from alterations, as he successfully retrieved the Book of Destiny by traveling back to the time before it was destroyed without disrupting any of Elseworlds events.
- Power bestowal: Novu has the ability to bestow powers on anyone he wishes such as when he gave Lyla the power to travel instantly between universes. He was also able to restore Cisco's Vibe powers, even though the latter had taken the meta-human cure.
- Energy Projection: Novu was able to clash against Lyla Michaels possessed by the Anti-Monitor for a while by firing a powerful golden blast of energy that managed to hold off Mobius's blue energy blast for a time before being ultimately overpowered and killed by his antimatter counterpart.
- Genius-Level Intellect/Master Strategist/Master of Deception and Manipulation: With eons worth of immortal live experience, Novu is an extremely intelligent individual, with extraordinary perception, strategical, manipulation and deception abilities and emotional wisdom that allows him to effortlessly see through even the strongest-willed optimists and cunning strategists and manipulate them into doing his bidding near-flawlessly, instantly calculating his analysis of said people to create perfect psychological tactics to make them submit. He easily deduced that Team Flash would want to alter the timeline to prevent the crisis and simply destroyed the plinth containing the newspaper foretelling the future along with Nora's message before appearing before them and successfully manipulating Barry Allen into accepting his fate, which was so effective that only the claims of Harrison Nash Wells and powers of Bloodwork proved able to make Barry fight against the fate the Monitor stated will inevitably happen. He also effortlessly deduced that Oliver Queen, despite his obedience, was in fact still wishing to defy his fate and wanted to oppose him and was able to ultimately inspire him into accepting his fate and their alliance while keeping his true intentions completely covert and outsmarting and manipulating him and the others around him subtly, effortlessly seeing through Oliver's claims of his intention to confront Malcolm Merlyn with the suspicion that he was the Dark Archer was purely to retrieve the Dwarf star particles and proceeding to use his seeing the destruction of Earth-2 first-hand to further drive home the fact that he must stop the crisis and then created a successful plan to exploit both Laurel Lance's feelings of loss over her Earth and her loyalty to Oliver, easily manipulating her into not betraying Oliver without her even realizing it and even successfully depriving any will Oliver had left to reject his fate. This marks him as one of the very few to have ever outsmarted Oliver and among the only three, the others being Slade Wilson and Adrian Chase, to cause him to lose his will, which he did to an even greater extent than those two. Novu even effortlessly manipulated the tremendously intelligent Lex Luthor by appealing to his ego and promising that he could become the hero he always wanted to be, and used him successfully to open the path to finding the Paragon of Truth, which Lex did not even suspect to be his motives until he revealed it.
- Master Scientist/Engineer: Novu was an exceptionally brilliant scientist and engineer with a deep understanding of spatial, temporal, and interdimensional physics. Along with his wife Xneen, he was able to construct a machine that would transport him to the dawn of time.
- Stealth: When Novu gave John Deegan the Book of Destiny, John didn't see or hear him until he spoke to him. Using his breaches, he could appear before his targets as if he came out of thin air. He also repeatedly displayed the ability to just seamlessly appear without the sound caused by him opening his breaches, as shown by how when Oliver just woke up, Novu appeared before him so fast Oliver didn't even hear or see him until he spoke to him, and was later able to appear before Laurel the moment she set her eyes forward. When he came to visit Oliver, he purposefully let Oliver sense his presence by causing the noise of opening the door of his house but Oliver was not able to follow his movements, being unable to see him the first time he set his eyes forward and having to turn backwards to lure Novu.
- Intimidation: Novu commands an intimidating presence that both scared and impressed Deegan. This was demonstrated when he used his telekinesis to damage John's car, which resulted in him doing anything Novu asked of him.
- "The universe is a complex piece of machinery and balance must be maintained. One change requires another. How would you propose I keep the balance?"
- —The Monitor to Oliver Queen on what must be done to maintain balance within the multiverse.[src]
- Universal equilibrium: Novu must maintain balance between universes. If he alters something without the Book of Destiny, he must take something to compensate for the alteration to reality. To prevent Barry Allen and Kara Danvers deaths in Elseworlds so they can be their best hopes during the impending crisis, Oliver Queen offered his life to Novu in exchange.
- Anti-matter arrow: After collecting some anti-matter during Earth-2's destruction, Oliver had Curtis Holt and William Clayton work on a weapon that could stop the Monitor. It was put to use during the crisis to stop the Monitor teleporting Oliver back to Earth-1 when the battle on Earth-38 was lost in order to save as many people as possible.
- Mobius: As Mobius grows stronger, Novu grows weaker. It is because they are polar opposites it stands to reason that if one of them grows stronger than the other should grow weaker. The cause is that the energy created when the anti-matter wave collides with matter makes the Anti-Monitor stronger and therefore; making Novu weaker.
- Power dependent on size of multiverse: The less universes/matter in the multiverse, Novu grows weaker. At full power, Novu is capable of restoring someone to life without any trouble.
- Book of Destiny: The book is able to manipulate reality, and is used by Novu to test the inhabitants of each Earth to see if they're worthy for the coming crisis. He would bestow the book to one individual of each Earth to allow them to create their own Elseworlds for the heroes to fight and see if they can succeeded. He would also use the book for unimportant things, such as using it as a stool to eat popcorn off of.
- The Monitor suit: Novu wore a suit of an unknown material created by his wife as a means of protecting him from being exposed to chronal radiation during his travel to the Dawn of Time. He would continue to wear the suit as The Monitor.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Crisis on Infinite Earths
- Novu appears to enjoy popcorn.
- Novu inadvertently helped Mobius execute the Crisis, having acted recklessly when removing the Barry Allen of Earth-90 from Earth-1 and leaving Barry within Mobius's reach.
- Novu was responsible for the Crisis as a whole as he was warned by others that his work to see how the multiverse was born would have adverse effects, only to later learn that they were right as it lead to Mobius escaping the netherverse who would begin his plans for the Crisis.
Behind the scenes
- In the main DC Comics continuity, the original Monitor was a prominent figure in the years leading up to the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline, as he gave weapons to villains in order to test the heroes as he did on the show. When the time came he gathered heroes and villains alike to combat the threat of the Anti-Monitor, the Monitor's antimatter counterpart, set on destroying the multiverse in Crisis. Decades later during the Rebirth era it was revealed his name was Mar Novu, after the Arrowverse's version.
- Dax Novu, whose name is referenced by Mar Novu's, was a villain also known as Mandrakk the Dark Monitor and the first of the subdivided Monitors born out of the original solitary Monitor after his death.
- Nix Uotan, the last survivor of said Monitors, dubbed the Superjudge of the multiverse, bears a close physical resemblance to Mar Novu.
- Novu is the second main character of who debuted in , after Nora West-Allen, and the fifth to debut on another Arrowverse show.
- Novu served as one of the two main antagonists of the crossover, alongside Dr. John Deegan.