Brew’s Crew: The Anti-Monitor



(Editor’s note: This is another in a series of irregularly-scheduled columns by Managing Editor Byron Brewer, mainly dealing with cosmic comics and their many denizens. Mr. Brewer’s opinions do not necessarily reflect that of He welcomes both raves and opposing views.)

By Byron Brewer

Who is the Galactus of the DCU? With his history outside the New 52, I think most folks would agree it is the Anti-Monitor.

This galactic villain is an enemy not only of the Green Lantern Corps but also of the entire Multiverse. Billions of years ago, on the planet Maltus, there existed a race of blue-skinned and immortal beings later to be called the Guardians of the Universe (more on them next time, friend). One of these beings, Krona, was a scientist obsessed with the origins of the universe, even though a taboo existed amongst his people concerning the viewing of the origins of the universe.

Krona created a machine (bad smurf!) that allowed him to see into the moment of creation. Somehow, his experiment disrupted the process of creation, with terrible consequences. The exact consequences have been rewritten over the years; originally, it was the unleashing of evil itself in the universe; later, it was assumed to be the creation of the evil anti-matter universe of Qward.

During Crisis on Infinite Earths, it was also revealed to be the cause of the existence of all parallel universes in the Multiverse (see Grant Morrison’s coming Multiversity); several villains were sent back in time to stop him, but were defeated by Krona and the other Oans. In a final revision, it was established that it increased entropy in the universe, shortening its existence by a million years.

In any event, two beings were created, one on the moon of Oa and the other on the moon of Qward. On the moon of Oa, the being known as the Monitor was instantly aware of his counterpart, the Anti-Monitor. By this time the Anti-Monitor had quickly conquered Qward, as well as the rest of the anti-matter universe. In searching for other places to conquer, he also became aware of his counterpart. These two beings battled for a million years, unleashing great powers against each other, but to no avail. At the end of their stalemate, they simultaneously attacked one another, rendering both inert for nine billion years.

In Final Crisis, it was revealed that, in the wake of the birth of the original Multiverse, an unfathomable being of limitless imagination, the original Monitor, or “Overmonitor,” became aware of the life germinating in the budding Multiverse occupying the void space in which he resided, and which he encompassed.

Curious about it, and wanting to interact with and know better the lesser life-forms birthed by the Multiverse, he fashioned a probe, a smaller Monitor.

Unprepared to deal with the complexity of life and the passing of time, the probe-Monitor was instantly split into two symmetrical, opposite beings upon coming into contact with the Multiverse itself: the Monitor, embodying the positive matter and goodness, and the Anti-Monitor, embodying anti-matter and evil.

The Anti-Monitor, who appears monstrous, barely resembles the Monitor, who bears a physically near-human appearance. The Anti-Monitor has empty, sometimes luminous eye sockets, and a wide, wrinkled mouth, often mistaken for a mass of teeth. When his armor is destroyed by Supergirl, his form appears not dissimilar to that of the Monitor, but unstable, and surrounded by a coruscating aura of radiant energy — his life force, leaking out like water from a failing vessel, explaining the need for the armor. The Anti-Monitor himself refers to the armor as his “Life Shell”.

When the Manhunters re-build his armor, it is revealed his body is little more than a churning mass of energy. Much later, when his helmet is disintegrated by Firestorm, the Anti-Monitor’s head is revealed to be featureless except for his eyes and mouth.

The Anti-Monitor was one of the most formidable foes ever faced by the heroes of the DC Universe. He is directly responsible for more deaths than any other known DC super-villain, having destroyed nearly all of an infinite number of universes in pre-New 52 history. He was powerful enough to kill a distracted Supergirl almost effortlessly, though it could be suggested that when the universe “restarted,” most of the deaths attributed to him, in effect, never happened. He consumed thousands of positive-matter universes to increase his power, and was able to personally battle scores of the Multiverse’s strongest heroes simultaneously.

What damage will this monster wrought when he comes to the New 52 DCU?