Continuity-Related Comic Book Character
The 'Monitor'
The Monitor (Crisis 1).jpg
AKA: Guardian of the Multiverse
Species: Monitors
Homeworld: Moon of Oa
Universe: Multiverse
Relatives: Anti-Monitor (counterpart from the Anti-Matter Universe)
Apprentice: Lyla Michaels
Occupation: Observe
Collect Data
Base: Personal Satellite

The Monitor was an alien being who considered himself the Guardian of the Multiverse. He is the doppelgänger of the evil Anti-Monitor, from the Universe of Qward. The Monitor played a key role on the good side of the conflict known as the Crisis on Infinite Earths, which he gave his life to support the good fight to save the Multiverse.

Background Information

10 billion years ago,[1] the mad-scientist Krona, from the planet Oa (retconned to be Maltus) gazes unto the beginning of the universe. He unwittingly becomes the cause of the birth of the multiverse and the Anti-matter Universe, home of the planet Qward. Krona’s actions also cause the birth of the Anti-Monitor on the moon of Qward and the birth of the Monitor on Oa's moon. The Monitor spent his early existence in silent meditation learning the secrets of the universe. However, his solace was shattered when his doppelgänger engaged him battle. A million year war —- ending in a draw, with both rendered immobile and unconscious.[2]

They remained that way for nine billion years, until Pariah, a scientist from an unnamed earth[3] discovers parallel-universes and attempts to view the creation of the multiverse. Instead he sets off an anti-matter wave that consumes his entire ‘positive-matter’ universe while he bears witness. It also awakens the Anti-Monitor to the power found in the destruction of ‘positive-matter universes.’ The Monitor is also awakened, but instead of conquest, his desire is to protect the multiverse (of positive-matter universes). He observed Pariah and his gift to sense evil and realized that he would aid in the defeat of his evil twin.[4]

Knowing that he would not survive long enough to see his evil counterpart destroyed, the Monitor set in motion a complex series of events that would, perhaps, lead to the Anti-Monitor's defeat before his Anti-Matter universe devoured 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. He built a special satellite to aid him in this cause. Sometime prior to 1965,[5] in the parallel universe of Earth-One, the Monitor found young Lyla Michaels floating in the sea half dead (perhaps after a shipwreck). He took her aboard his secret satellite, raised her as his daughter, gave her powers[6] and trained her for the battle to come.[7]

The first (recorded) glimpse we catch of the Monitor is in space, orbiting the earth in his satellite gathering information on the New Teen Titans.[8]

The Monitor turns up again comfortably aboard his satellite. He is contacted by Anthony Scarapelli of the New York mafia, who is seeking to hire him for his protections services. The Monitor finds six men for his normal commission.[9]

Several months later, Congressman Bloch reaches out to the Monitor who is high above the earth in his ever changing orbit. He wants the Monitor to step up his campaign against Ferris Aircraft. The Monitor takes the job, and tells his assistant Lyla, that this could be interesting now that the Green Lantern is back on earth.[10] In a freak accident, the Green Lantern was knocked into a coma in a battle with the Shark.[11] Congressman Bloch, wanting to seize the opportunity, practically begs the Monitor to destroy Ferris Aircraft. The Monitor tells him that he has actually been expecting his call, but then urges him to reconsider. The Congressman refuses and tells the Monitor to get him in touch with someone who will do the deed. The Monitor calls on the Demolition Team. Soon the Congressman is waiting on a Los Angeles Pier to meet the people he hired through the Monitor. Unbeknownst to the Congressman, Carol snuck in the hospital with Hal's Battery of Power reviving him.[12] When the Congressman found out that Green Lantern was out of his coma, he called the Monitor in a panic. The Monitor tells him that is really not his concern, as his job was to put him in touch with various other clients of his and that what transpires beyond that is not his concern.[13]

By the end of the summer, the Rogues[14] (a collection of villains dedicated to bringing down the Flash) takes revenge on the Flash for breaking the Pied Piper's spirit by using armor supplied by the Monitor to turn a mental patient into a powerful super-villain called Big Sir and turning him against the Scarlet Speedster.[15] Back in the Monitor's satellite, Lyla is both amazed and appalled at how the Rogues are using the future-tech armor. The Monitor reminds her that once a client has paid for his goods or services he is not interested in how they are used.[16]

In October of 1984, Lyla informs the Monitor that the Titans, with an assist from Aqualad and Aquagirl, have defeated H.I.V.E. (a mysterious organization that specialized in high-level contract assassinations and mercenary acts of terrorism). He thanks her and updates his database.[17] High above the earth, the Monitor is observing Nebiros on a rampage in the village of Santa Guadalupe, Mexico. Zatanna and the Blue Devil teleport nearby to stop the menace. As Lyla and the Monitor observe the ensuing battle, Lyla comments on how the Blue Devil is strong and handsome.[18] The 2000 Committee contacts the Monitor to help them regain the Firehawk (aka Lorraine Reilly). With the help of Lyla, he sends the notorious Slipknot out to do the deed. Firestorm comes to her rescue. He defeats the villain all while the Monitor watches.[19]

Escaped convict (from Arkham Asylum), Maxwell Zeus contacts the Monitor looking for a band of miscreants to help him wreak havoc. The Monitor assures Maxwell that he'd be happy to help for his usual fee. Zeus and his new team call themselves the New Olympians.[20] The villainous team is stopped by Batman and the Outsiders.[21]

The Monitor has been watching with intrigue as research scientist Joshua Champion has discovered an 'alternate universe'. He explains to Lyla that as a result of his cosmic meddling, the scientist has been possessed by a malevolent entity who rules that dimension. He attempts to invade the earth, leading a horde of creatures and calling himself the Commander. It takes the combined effort the Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl and JSA members, Doctor Fate, Doctor Mid-Nite, Green Lantern and Starman. Together they free the scientist from the alien's control and exile the creature back to its home dimension.[22]

'John Doe' (aka Dave Sykes) contacts the Monitor after a stint in prison. He recently escaped from the Stryker's Island Maximum Internment Center and is looking for a weapons upgrade after an encounter with Superman. The Monitor is hesitant because Mr. Doe would have a difficult time coming up with the funds necessary for his services, because he has been incarcerated the last twenty years, Despite his concern, he complies.[23]

The Monitor turns up as a time-traveler in the 30th century. He is with Lyla observing the future super-hero team, the Legion of Super-Heroes. Before they leave, he expresses a keen interested in Dev-Em a Kryptonian former juvenile delinquent, who was able to survive Krypton's destruction by being in suspended animation. Upon his arrival in the 30th century, he turned over a new leaf and became a member of the Inter-Stellar Counter-Intelligence Corps.[24]

The Monitor is back in the 20th century (unclear as to whether its Earth-One or Earth-Two). He is observing the Huntress and marvels at her desire to keep going. He questions why she is so motivated. Lyla thinks to herself that its because of her desire for independence and freedom.[25]

High above the earth in orbit, Lyla informs the Monitor that he has a call from the Ultra-Humanite in the Earth-Two universe. He is calling to thank the Monitor for the equipment and how it helped further the mayhem. When the Monitor questions why he is telling him, the Ultra-Humanite tells him it was a courtesy to his silent-partner. The Monitor tells him that he needs to review the terms of his contract.[26]

The year is 1942 on Earth-Two and the ‘Emperor’, leader of the Phantom Empire contacts the Monitor using a strangely futuristic device. The Monitor, who is in a dimension far away (unclear whether it’s really a different dimension or Earth-One of the future), takes his call. He is in a panic, saying that the robot he purchased from the Monitor did not work against the All-Star Squadron and that he needs help. Correcting him, the Monitor says that it is an Android, and that it performed properly per his contract. It was the Emperor’s poor scheme that did not work. He then says that anything further is beyond the scope his contract, and terminates the call.[27]

In late 1984, from his cloaked satellite, the Monitor and Lyla observe Superman and Wonder Woman battle against the ‘living-clay’ creations of the evil villainess, Christina Cade.[28] On another occasion, Lyla excitedly tells the Monitor that she is picking up a reading in Louisiana that is topping out the supernatural scale. She asks if it could be the Spectre or the demon Trigon, but he reminds her that both are beyond this continuum. Together with keen interests they watch to see what will happen next.[29] The cause of the readings turns out to be the Swamp Thing as he engages Anton Arcane who has escaped Hell and possessed the body of Matthew Cable. The Monitor and Lyla watch as the Swamp Thing defeats Arcane and sends him back to Hell.[30]

The year is 2984 A.D. and a mysterious client contacts the Monitor asking him to procure a certain item or find someone who would.[31] The Monitor hires a professional thief known as Magpie to steal an artifact which happens to be aboard the headquarters of the Legion of Super-Heroes. The Legion is able to stop Magpie before he steals anything but manages to get away. The Monitor informs his client, Universo, of the failure but Universo informs the Monitor that he has moved on to new plans to destroy the Legion.[32]

During the spring of 1985, the Monitor observes the Detroit faction of the JLA deal with the Overmaster and his Cadre.[33] During this time, the Monitor exchanges information on earth with the ‘Thief-Master’, for information on his homeworld of Ramox.[34] Wanting to test the merit of Superman and Batman, the Monitor provides access to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude to a teenage computer hacker. As the teenager explores, he ‘accidentally’ unleashes monsters from Superman's zoo and giant combat robots from his storehouse. Working together Batman and Superman manage to contain the emergency as Superman deals with the monsters and robots and Batman finds the source of the problem – the teenage hacker. The Monitor is displeased, believing that the so-called heroes temper their justice with far too much mercy.[35] Soon after the Monitor’s displeasure, he observes an immense power reading over Hudson, New York. Surprised, he asks Lyla to check the database for any record of a super-powered being living there. As he hones in on the reading, he discovers a sleeping child. It is young Amy Winston (aka Amethyst from Gemworld).[36] As the Monitor continues his global observations, he is contacted by Dr. Psycho who asks the Monitor to supply him with a new ectoplasmic extractor. The Monitor gets the Cheetah to steal him one.[37] Carl Draper (aka the Master Jailer) contacts the Monitor with a scheme to imprison Superman and steal his powers. The Monitor tells him that his plans are of no concern to him. He does however have a device that may fulfill his needs. This device will cause him to lose his memory. He warns the Jailer that Superman must not be exposed to anything that may jog his memory for the next 48 hours. (The Monitor may have taken on this task as another way to test Superman’s merit).[38]

The Fearsome Five appear on the New York waterfront to lay claim to the city. They are confronted by the police and the "new" Teen Titans. As the battle rages, the leader of the Fearsome Five, Psimon is teleported to Monitor’s 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![39]

As spring draws to a close, the Monitor is still testing the merits of various heroes. This time he is aiding the remaining members of Dr. Fang's gang. They have asked the Monitor for a match for Batman. He puts them in touch with the Calendar Man. As the villains descend on Gotham with the intent of killing the Dark Knight on March 21st, Batman and Robin (Jason Todd) are there to stop them.[40] The duo soon finds out the Calendar Man’s plans. In retribution, Robin wants to kill him, so Batman forbids Robin from going on missions with him until Calendar Man is captured. Angry at this decision, the Boy Wonder takes off on his own.[41] As Batman continues his search, he is wounded and learns from the Gotham City Police Department that the man was one of Dr. Fang's thugs who was also responsible for hiring the Calendar Man. Batman and Robin confront the thugs and learn that there is a middle-man between them and Calendar Man, someone called Monitor.[42]

The Enchantress and Kraklow form a triad. Kraklow uses his sorcerer's might to conquer the past, while the Enchantress dominates the present. Meanwhile, Superman and the Forgotten Heroes attempt to stop the Triad from controlling the universe. As feared, the Enchantress turns against her "allies" in the Forgotten Villains, and begins to conquer the world solely for herself. With the Triad now broken, all three sorcerer's suffer an immense loss of power. Moments away from defeat at the hands of the Forgotten Villains, the Enchantress uses the last of her fading magic to teleport away. Superman flies the Forgotten Heroes back to 18th century Poland, to retrieve Rip Hunter's Time Sphere, and Cave Carson's Mighty Mole. There they find Kraklow's castle fortress in ruins. Having watched the entire affair, the Monitor, with his assistant, Lyla observe that both Kraklow and the Enchantress have disappeared – beyond the reach of their sophisticated computers. The Monitor then 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.[43]

The Crisis Begins

What the Monitor has been sensing is the cataclysmic destruction of the multiverse by his evil double. He has already set into motion a series of events to thwart his brother’s conquest. He established mammoth 'vibrational fork' devices to stop the collapse and eventual destruction of the multiverse. As he observes Earth-Three, he sees 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. As Earth-Three dies, Alexander's capsule pierces the vibrational wall separating dimensions. It lands on the abandoned Justice League Satellite orbiting Earth-One. He sees the baby’s survival and prepares to gather Alexander Luthor's space capsule, believing he would be of invaluable assistance.

Meanwhile, as the Anti-Monitor's antimatter wave began approaching the main Earths of the Multiverse, the Monitor directed Harbinger to track down an initial force of fifteen specific heroes and villains the Monitor needed to fight his foe. 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. He explained to them what was happening in the multiverse and sent them to protect the giant "vibrational fork" devices that he had created and dispersed across space and time. His plan was to merge the surviving Earths into a single one that could resist the Anti-Monitor's attack.[44]

When the Harbinger returned, one of her replicants had been attacked by one of the Anti-Monitor's Shadow Demons, and that corruption caused her combined self to attack and kill the Monitor. However, he had foreseen the attack and used his death to power the "vibrational fork" devices that would pull Earth-One and Earth-Two into a netherverse created from the energies liberated by his own death, saving them from the Anti-Monitor's antimatter wall. Lyla then discovered a recorded message explaining this, and his trust in her and the Multiverse's heroes to complete the job and preserve the worlds before they would destroy each other by existing in the same place simultaneously.[45]

Harbinger followed the Monitor's legacy, using up her powers to draw the last three Earths (Earth-Four, Earth-S, and Earth-X) into the Netherverse. With help from Pariah, Alexander and all the surviving heroes and villains from the various Earths, she eventually defeated the Anti-Monitor at the dawn of time, and then in his own antimatter universe, saving the reborn universe from his predations. These actions resulted in a "reboot" of the multiverse as a single universe, creating an amalgam of the five surviving Earths which possessed the strength to resist the Anti-Monitor's attack.

Powers and Abilities

Super powers

  • Alien Physiology: Monitor is a native of a moon that orbits the planet Oa. Because of his alien DNA, he has special abilities that humans do not have, such as:
    • Longevity: The Monitor lived for millions and millions of years. His race's lifespan is very long, perhaps nearly eternal, and had he not been killed, it's possible that he would have still lived many aeons longer.
    • Cosmic Awareness: He was able to sense his counterpart's existence in the Anti-Matter Universe and fight with him from Oa's moon using energy powers (though the feedback of the attack placed him in suspended animation for aeons).
    • Energy Manipulation: He can manipulate energy in a wide variety of ways, he can even create objects made of pure energy.



  • Power Loss: The Monitor's level of power depend in the number of positive matter universes. If the number reduces, his powers will also reduce.


Coming soon!


  • The Monitor made his first appearance in The New Teen Titans, #21 (July 1982).[46]
  • He was created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez

External Links


  1. The date of 10 billion years in the past is given in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #10 (January, 1986).
  2. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #7 (October 1985) and The Multiversity Guidebook (March 2015). The nature of the Monitors was expanded upon in the 7-part story revealed in Final Crisis, #1 -- #7 (July, 2008 -- March, 2009 ) and The Multiversity Guidebook.
  3. 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).
  4. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #7 (October 1985).
  5. 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.
  6. As revealed in New Teen Titans, #13 (October 1985).
  7. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #1 (April, 1985) and #12 (March, 1986).
  8. As revealed in The New Teen Titans, #21 (July 1982).
  9. As revealed in The New Teen Titans Annual, #2 (1983).
  10. As revealed in Green Lantern, #173 (February, 1984). STORY ON WHY HAL JORDAN LEFT EARTH
  11. As revealed in Green Lantern, #175 (April, 1984).
  12. As revealed in Green Lantern, #176 (May, 1984).
  13. As revealed in Green Lantern, #178 (July, 1984).
  14. The Rogues include: Captain Cold, Trickster, Captain Boomerang, Mirror Master, Pied Piper and the Weather Wizard.
  15. As revealed in the The Flash, #338 (October, 1984).
  16. As revealed in the The Flash, #339 (November, 1984).
  17. As revealed in Tales of the Teen Titans, #47 (October 1984).
  18. As revealed in Blue Devil, #5 (October 1984).
  19. As revealed in Fury of Firestorm, #28 (October 1984).
  20. As revealed in Batman and the Outsiders, #14 (October 1984).
  21. As revealed in Batman and the Outsiders, #15 (November 1984).
  22. As revealed in Justice League of America, #232 (November 1984).
  23. As revealed in Action Comics, #560 (October 1984).
  24. As revealed in Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes, #317 (November 1984).
  25. As revealed in Wonder Woman, #321/2 (November 1984).
  26. As revealed in Infinity, Inc. #8 (November 1984)
  27. As revealed in All-Star Squadron, #40 (December 1984).
  28. As revealed in DC Comics Presents, #76 (December 1984).
  29. As revealed in Saga of the Swamp Thing, #30 (November 1984).
  30. As revealed in Saga of the Swamp Thing, #31 (December 1984).
  31. As revealed in Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes, #319 (January 1985).
  32. As revealed in Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes, #320 (February 1985).
  33. As revealed in Justice League of America, #234 (January 1985).
  34. As revealed in Superman, #403 (January 1985).
  35. As revealed in World's Finest Comics, #311 (January 1985).
  36. As revealed in Amethyst – Princess of Gemworld, #2 (February 1985).
  37. As revealed in Wonder Woman, #323 (February 1985). As an aside, we learn in this issue that the Monitor has only one counterpart. This suggests that Monitor is not from a race of Monitors, as later post-crisis stories claim.
  38. As reveled in Action Comics, #564 (February 1985).
  39. As revealed in Tales of the Teen Titans, #58 (October 1985).
  40. As revealed in Batman, #384 (June 1985).
  41. As revealed in Detective Comics, #551 (June 1985).
  42. As revealed in Batman, #385 (July, 1985).
  43. 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).
  44. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #1 (April, 1985).
  45. As revealed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, #4 (July, 1985).
  46. For more information about that DC comic book, click here.
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