"Purification Day": With Animal Man arrived at Arkham Asylum, he and the revived Pre-Crisis characters explore the nature of a strange anomaly: a breach in the continuum. Physicist Dr. James Highwater explains
- We have a right to live, just like anyone else. We could fit in. Why couldn't we fit in? What's wrong with us that we had to be killed?
- -- Ultraman
Appearing in "Purification Day"
- Overman (Erased)
- Medusa Mask
- Comic Books
- Doomsday Bomb
Synopsis for "Purification Day"
With Animal Man arrived at Arkham Asylum, he and the revived Pre-Crisis characters explore the nature of a strange anomaly: a breach in the continuum. Physicist Dr. James Highwater explains that all of them are merely minor characters in a story meant to entertain.
Before anyone can step through the breach, Overman appears with a doomsday bomb, having been released along with the other retconned characters from the mind of the Psycho-Pirate. The assembled characters panic, and Ultraman attacks Overman in an effort to maintain his dignity. Unfortunately, he and all of the other heroes who try are easily defeated by the villain.
Dr. Highwater discovers comic books depicting the events at hand, and comes to a realization about the nature of space-time. Before he can reveal his epiphany, Animal Man enters the breach. Psycho-Pirate explains to Dr. Highwater that the comic books likely came from Earth-Prime, and hints at the nature of the Crisis. He claims that as the only person who remembers the Crisis on Infinite Earths, this second crisis is the result of his having pulled the dead characters back into continuity, hoping for total chaos.
From outside of the comic panels, Animal Man taunts Overman, as the timer on the doomsday bomb runs down. The fight continues until Animal Man pulls Overman into the breach where he is overwhelmed by the truth about reality. Animal Man traps Overman inside a comic panel which slowly shrinks until the villain is destroyed within it.
Meanwhile, Dr. Highwater attempts to convince the returned characters that despite the fact that they were erased from continuity, they live on eternally through comic books. Faced with this fact, the characters are still angry, but they all disintegrate, as they are absorbed into the Psycho-Pirate's Medusa Mask spontaneously. The aliens that gave Animal Man his powers convince Highwater to don the mask and take the role of mediator between man and the forces of creation.
Psycho-Pirate becomes increasingly agitated as the doomsday bomb reaches 30 seconds to detonation. The aliens remain detached, and refuse to intervene. Fortunately Animal Man returns just in time to simply switch the device off.
Later, Animal Man watches as Psycho-Pirate begins to fade from continuity. He realizes that being taken out of continuity isn't so bad after all, but wishes that the old characters could have stayed longer, to make the world more interesting.
Back at home Animal Man switches back to his old costume, refusing to wear animal skins again. He demands of his alien benefactors to know who writes the world. However, they disappear before revealing anything. After they go, Buddy hears a voice which leads him to the front door. When he opens it, the world outside has become a surreal landscape.
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