WARNING! The following article contains SPOILERS for Justice League #1.
A recent series of readings taken by Green Lantern Hal Jordan indicate that the DC Comics Multiverse has less than a year to live. This stunning news was discussed during a meeting of the Justice League, in the premiere issue of their new comic book.
It's hardly news that the current DC Comics multiverse is in dire straits on multiple fronts, though the establishment of a precise deadline drives home just how bad things have become in a short amount of time. The recent Dark Nights: Metal event saw reality redefined as it was invaded by a legion of Batmen from The Dark Multiverse - worlds where Batman fell prey to his own hubris.
And looking back at the crises facing the DC Universe recently, a ticking clock to total destruction isn't a shock.
Last month's Justice League: No Justice mini-series saw reality further damaged, as a group of the universe's greatest heroes and villains joined together to fight The Omega Titans - four beings who represented the cosmic forces that make up all of reality. All of this is on top of the events of Doomsday Clock, which has suggested that the current DC Comics Universe was either created by Watchmen's Doctor Manhattan or, at the very least, was heavily modified by him.
There have also been storylines in Detective Comics and The Flash which have hinted at odd goings-on in the multiverse. All of this pales, however, in comparison to the release of "The Totality" in Justice League #1. Born of the chaotic energies released by the events of Dark Nights: Metal, the Justice League is uncertain of what to make of this new entity.
Batman says that the being reminds him of a legend of New Genesis, which spoke of a messenger who carried a code that would evolve the universe when the time was right, perhaps creating the Fifth World hinted at in Jack Kirby's Fourth World comics. Unfortunately, The Justice League has no way of knowing The Totality's origins or intentions for certain. All they know for sure is that it is approaching the Earth and they have three minutes to decide if they should attack or let it pass.
As the team is casting their vote as to how to respond, Martian Manhunter is tormented by a psychic vision depicting horrible occurrences from the past as well as fleeting images of bad things to come. Unfortunately, by the time he is coherent enough to speak of what he has seen, his allies have broken off psychic contact from the virtual boardroom in which they met to conduct the vote.
It remains to be seen if J'onn J'onzz's horrific visions will come to pass, but if anyone can avert the end of the universe, it's the Justice League.
Justice League #1 is available now from DC Comics.