Continuity-Related Comic Book Character
Lyla Michaels
Lyla (DC Comics Presents 76).jpg
Real name: ‘Lyla’
AKA: Harbinger
Species: Metahuman
Homeworld: Earth
Universe: Unknown (perhaps Earth-One)
Occupation: Observe
Collect Data
Base: Monitor's Satellite

Image from Crisis on Infinite Earths, #3 (June 1985).

Lyla Michaels
Image from Crisis on Infinite Earths, #1 (April, 1985)

Lyla and the Monitor
Image from Tales of the Teen Titans, #58 (October 1985).

Young Lyla was rescued from a shipwreck by the Monitor, who made her his herald and assistant. Together, they gathered information on super-powered beings across the multiverse.

Background Information

Sometime prior to 1965,[1] in the parallel universe of Earth-One, the Monitor found young Lyla Michaels floating in the sea half dead after a violent storm sunk her ship. He took her aboard his secret satellite, raised her as his daughter, gave her powers[2] and trained her for the battle to come.[3]

With Lyla at his side, the Monitor set in motion a complex series of events that would, perhaps, lead to the defeat of his doppelgänger's plan to have the Anti-matter universe devour the entire span of the multiverse. In pursuit of this end, the Monitor began to observe and catalogue the powers of all the super beings on all known surviving worlds, learning all he could about their vast and varied abilities, seeking those who would help save the multiverse.

After years of observing and cataloguing the powers of super beings across the multiverse,[4] the Monitor encounters one individual to aid in the initial part of his plan. It is the leader of the villainous Fearsome Five, Psimon. They teleport him to the Monitor’s cloaked satellite. In fear, he demands to know where he is and who they are before him. Lyla answers and says that she is the Harbinger and that he is aboard the Monitor’s satellite. She goes on to say that in three months the Crisis on Infinite Earths will begin. The Monitor then says that he needs him or this universe and all others will be destroyed![5]

A few months later, in July 1985, the Monitor turns to Lyla and states, that he believes the time has come to cancel all observations to earth’s criminals. They have all been tested. We know their strengths and weaknesses. The sham of providing council is over. He turns to Lyla and tells her that their true purpose has begun and that it is now time to scan Earth-Three, because the trouble they have been sensing begins there.[6] What the Monitor has been sensing is the impending cataclysmic destruction of the multiverse by his evil double, the Anti-Monitor. To thwart his brother’s conquest, he has already set into motion a series of events, beyond the cataloguing of super-powers. He has established mammoth 'vibrational fork' devices to stop the collapse and eventual destruction of the multiverse.[7]

As the two observe the death of Earth-Three, they see that just before its destruction the planet's sole hero, Lex Luthor and his wife Lois are able to place their son Alex Luthor, Jr. in an experimental rocket capsule. The capsule pierces the ‘vibrational wall’ separating dimensions. It lands on the abandoned Justice League Satellite orbiting Earth-One.[8] Meanwhile, as the Anti-Monitor's antimatter wave began approaching the main Earths of the Multiverse, the Monitor directs Lyla to track down an initial force of fifteen specific heroes and villains the Monitor needed to fight his foe. Lyla enters a womb-like chamber which energized her and allowed her to create a series of duplicates. Her original body would remain within the Monitor machine and the duplicates would collectively call themselves ‘Harbinger.’ These duplicates recruited a wide variety of heroes and villains. This initial group featured Superman of Earth-Two, Doctor Polaris, Dawnstar, Firebrand, Geo-Force, Obsidian, Cyborg, Killer Frost (with her mind temporarily altered to make her more accommodating), Firestorm, Psycho-Pirate, Solovar, Blue Beetle, Psimon, Green Lantern (John Stewart), and Arion. As they gathered aboard the Monitor’s satellite, he explained to them what was happening in the multiverse and sent them to fight the Anti-Monitor's Shadow Demons and protect a series of ‘Anti-Tuning Fork’ (mentioned above) dispersed across space and time. These ‘Anti-Tuning Forks’ were designed to protect the multiverse, by merging the five surviving Earths (One, Two, S, X, and 4) into a single one that could resist the Anti-Monitor's on-coming wave of anti-matter.[9]

This plan was almost uprooted, when one of Harbinger's duplicates was taken control of by the Anti-Monitor and killed her mentor, the Monitor. However, the Monitor was prepared for this possibility and was able to use his death to create a ’pocket universe’ to contain the remaining realities from the Anti-Monitor's attack.[10] His plan worked as his 'life-force' was able to thrust Earth-One and Two into this netherverse.

The shock of what she did caused Lyla to revert to a version of her normal form. She would go on to sacrifice all of her powers to help save the last three alternate universes (Earths S, X, and 4). During the process of saving the remaining universes, Supergirl is killed while destroying the Anti-Monitor’s massive cosmic tuning fork and the Flash (Barry Allen) gave his life while destroying the anti-matter cannon.[11] Then, following a battle at the dawn of time, the five remaining positive-matter universes finally merged, and the universe reset itself into 'one universe' with 'one history'. This only served to enrage Anti-Monitor further. Consumed with conquest, he drew this new Earth into the antimatter universe, intending to destroy this last bastion of positive matter once and for all.[12]

What followed was the Shadow Demon War, wherein many heroes and villains lost their lives against the Anti-Monitor's forces. Finally, the combined efforts of various superheroes and villains (the new Doctor Light, the heroic Alex Luthor of Earth-Three, Superboy of Earth Prime, Superman of Earth-Two and the self-serving Darkseid) were able to weaken the Anti-Monitor enough for the Earth-Two Superman to deliver the final blow, destroying the Anti-Monitor by punching him into a star. The star went nova and caused an antimatter waves to erupt, threatening to destroy the entire antimatter universe. Superman of Earth-Two and Superboy-Prime were willing to resign themselves to their final fates (since their home-universes had been destroyed) until Alex Luthor, using his power to open dimensions, revealed that he had created a "paradise dimension", which he had safely tucked Lois Lane Kent of Earth-Two. Realizing that they do not have a place in the new Post-Crisis universe, our heroes decide to accompany Alex into the paradise-like dimension. The foursome vanish seconds before the exploding sun would have reached them.[13]

Meanwhile, as the ‘Crisis’ has drawn to a close, Lyla explains to Lady Quark (from Earth-Six) and Pariah (from an unnamed earth)[14] that: (1) Earth-One’s Wonder Woman has returned to the clay which Aphrodite and Athena had given life. The clay was then spread over Paradise Island. As time continued to reverse itself, the Amazons were returned to the Grecian Island they had fled. (2) Zeus, from his home on Mount Olympus sees that a grave injustice has been dealt. He decides to rectify this by sending Apollo’s Chariot to bring the homeless Wonder Woman of Earth-Two and her husband Steve Trevor to Olympus, where they could live peacefully. (3) The bodies of Kole from the new Teen Titans and Earth-Two heroes, Robin and the Huntress were never found. Batman, Robin, Batgirl, Mary Marvel and others were on hand to conduct a memorial service. (4) In Atlantis, Aquaman, Mera and Aqualad mourned the loss of Lori Lemaris and Tula. (5) Across the breadth of time, the world remembered those now gone. (6) Amidst the sadness, there is good news. In Keystone City, Jay Garrick is able to tell Wally West that the blast from the Anti-Monitor has changed his body chemistry and that he can use his super-speed without fear because the diseases is in remission. Wally then dons Barry’s costume and calls himself the ‘new’ Flash.[15]

Lyla concludes her tale stating that she still has more to learn, more to write and share once she finishes going over the Monitor’s research tapes. Lady Quark and Pariah ask her to help them explore their new homeworld -- this new earth. They leave with her, remembering the past but excited for the future.[16]

In this New Earth, Lyla learns that she can now use her duplicating-power unaided by a machine.[17]

Powers and Abilities




Lyla Michaels.jpg



  • Lyla / Harbinger was created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez.
  • Her first appearance as ‘Lyla’ was in New Teen Titans, Annual #2 (July 1983).
  • Her first ‘actual’ appearance as ‘Harbinger’ was in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #1 (April, 1985).
  • Her first ‘chronological’ appearance as ‘Harbinger’ was in Tales of the Teen Titans, #58 (October 1985).
  • It was never actually revealed which Earth the Monitor rescued the young Lyla from, though History of the DC Universe #2 implied it was Earth-One.

External Links


  1. In issue Crisis on Infinite Earths, #12 (March, 1986) we are told his gathering of info was more than a year. Twenty years is speculation from Issue #1 of the mini-series (April, 1985) were we find out he was on earth when Lyla was a little.
  2. As revealed in New Teen Titans, #13 (October 1985).
  3. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #1 (April, 1985) and #12 (March, 1986).
  4. In issue Crisis on Infinite Earths, #12 (March, 1986) we are told his gathering of info was more than a year.
  5. As revealed in Tales of the Teen Titans, #58 (October 1985).
  6. As revealed in DC Comics Presents, #78 (February 1985). The Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline begins with Earth-Three's consumption. This is revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #1 (April 1985).
  7. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #1 (April 1985).
  8. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #1 (April 1985).
  9. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #1 (April, 1985).
  10. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #4 (July, 1985) and #5 (August, 1985).
  11. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #7 (October, 1985) and #8 (November, 1985).
  12. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #11 (February, 1986).
  13. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #12 (March, 1986).
  14. The numerical designation (Earth-?) of Pariah's home universe has never been revealed. Fans often dubbed it "Earth-Omega" as it was the site of the "beginning of the end" (Woodward, Jonathan. "Infinite Atlas: Minor Pre-Crisis Universes"). Post-Crisis, his home universe was retconned as an alternate dimension rather than a parallel Earth (The DC Comics Encyclopedia, 2006).
  15. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #12 (March, 1986).
  16. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #12 (March, 1986).
  17. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #12 (March, 1986).
  18. This image was taken from the Super Powers Collection action figure from Industrial Toy Werks (2009).
  19. As revealed in Green Lantern, #194 (November 1985).
  20. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #1 (April, 1985).
  21. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #1 (April, 1985).
  22. As revealed in Green Lantern, #194 (November 1985).
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