Cosmic Odyssey

Date: 1988 (original material), 1992 (collection)
Writer(s): Jim Starlin
Artists(s): Mike Mignola, Carlos Garzon
Collects: Cosmic Odyssey 1-4
Storyline: Several of Darkseid's minions arrived in Gotham City via BoomTube. Superman and Lightray (who was there to warn Earth of the invasion) were there to greet them. They were victorious and the demons fled back to Apokolips. One was left behind with no way to return.
Five and a half months later, Metron landed on a desolate planet in his Mobius Chair. Darkseid's techno-chiefs captured him. Darkseid realized he needed more than what he had to continue his quest. He needed heroes.
A week later, Batman went undercover to find out who - or what - was causing people to disappear in a specific neighborhood in Gotham City. He heard a noise from a manhole and went into the sewer to investigate. He followed tracks to the abductor's hideout. There, he found alien items and the remains of several partially eaten people, including one of a missing cop. The demon returned; Batman surprised him. Batman, when the creature didn't stop, was forced to shoot him with his own weapon. As he died, he said "Darkseid." He returned with Gordon and a group of officers: the alien was missing and so was the body of the cop he'd seen.
A week later, an ambassador from New Genesis, Lonar, gathered some of Earths heroes: Martian Manhunter, Starfire, Superman, Batman, Green Lantern (John Stewart), and Jason Blood. He took them to Highfather. On New Genesis, they were told a truce had been formed between their planet and Apokolips. The heroes were told of an ancient war between two races. After over a century of fighting, one side developed what was called the "anti-life equation." They went to use their new weapon, but it instead destroyed their own planet. A darkness emerged, destroying suns. Though it appeared the entire universe would be destroyed, the darkness simply retreated inward and reduced its size to that of dust. New Genesis and Apokolips survived, but were tossed back into stone ages.
Metron had gained the knowledge of the anti-life equation and had become catatonic due to its nature. J'onn J'onzz touched Metron's mind to find out what had happened. He'd finished the equation, but tweaked it so that he could better observe and understand it. He unleashed it on an uninhabited section of space and was thrown into another dimension. He realized the anti-life equation's darkness was a living entity. As he rocketed away, the entity sent four aspects of itself with him.
Darkseid showed them his findings from Metron's data: the four aspects were headed toward four star systems in the Milky Way Galaxy: Sol (Earth), Alpha-Centari (Rann), Thalisus Minor (Thanagar), and Pegaron (Xanshi). He told them that if the galaxy were to be destroyed, the anti-life entity could gain passage to their universe. If any two of those star systems were destroyed, the entire Milky Way would fall in on itself. Darkseid armed the heroes with weapons he'd created which should be able to capture the entities. Teams were formed and sent out: Superman and Orion (Thanagar), Lightray and Starfire (Rann), Batman and Forager (Earth), and Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter (Xanshi). They were sent out via Boom Tube.
After the heroes were gone, Jason Blood was introduced to Etrigan (they had been split). Superman and Orion were met by hostile Thanagarians. Orion believed they were being mind controlled by the aspect. John and J'onn found Xanshi to be under the grips of a plague. John's power ring created an antidote. They found the aspect had taken over a weather control station and was controlling the planet seismographically. Batman believed Earth's aspect would attack computer systems. Madness gripped the citizens of Rann. Starfire and Lightray found Adam Strange.
Jason Blood reluctantly agreed to become host to Etrigan once more in order for the demon to be used by Darkseid. The anti-life catcher that had been given to GL and J'onn was destroyed by lightning, but John was able to construct one with his ring. The team on Rann found a doomsday device which would throw the planet into its sun.
John Stewert placed the Martian Manhunter in a protective bubble and moved it away so he could take the aspect alone. He headed into the weather station half-cocked and found it was rigged with a doomsday device. A yellow doomsday device. The planet was destroyed within ten seconds. As it burned, it crashed into its own sun, destroying both (the antimatter destroyed the star). John and J'onn survived.
Lightray returned to their makeshift base to find Starfire unconscious (she was staying behind with the injured Adam Strange). He was also taken down by the aspect, who then activated its doomsday device. Starfire awakened and used a native being to destroy Rann's doomsday device. The aspect escaped.
Elsewhere, Superman encountered his target. After a short battle, he captured it with Darkseid's device. He disabled the doomsday device and contacted New Genesis. When he got back to the planet's surface, he found Orion had killed dozens of Thanagarians. Superman stayed behind to bury the dead.
Batman and Forager arrived at their location (Moosejaw, Arizona) and awaited nightfall.
Darkseid attempted to sway Etrigan over to his side. He planned to take battle to the entity's universe to enslave it. Etrigan reluctantly agreed and joined him. Realizing what had happened, Highfather and Orion joined a shadowed man - sent by the Batman - en route to the anti-life universe.
In Arizona, Batman and Forager stopped the doomsday device, but the aspect destroyed the captivity gun and broke one of Batman's legs. The aspect restarted the countdown.
Darkseid and Etrigan faced the anti-life creature. It was more powerful than they'd calculated, and Darkseid opened up a portal for escape. An aspect of the creature brought them back. Dr. Fate pulled them out of the creature's grasp. Using his own magics and those of his four now-companions, Dr. Fate destroyed the threat by breaking the bridge into the anti-life dimension. They appeared back on New Genesis, but the threat to the galaxy was still real as long as the aspect on Earth survived.
Batman called New Genesis - the doomsday device had been destroyed (again) by Forager, but they were going to need another anti-life catcher.
John Stewart ordered his ring to go 20 light years away. He told it that he would contact it within one hour. If not, it was to present itself to Hal Jordan. J'onn appeared as John was about to kill himself. Using reverse psychology, he convinced him not to do it. Stewart called his ring back.
Superman brought Batman and Forager back to New Genesis. Forager was dead. When Orion made a racial slur against him, Batman punched him in the face.
Darkseid escaped with the anti-life aspects in containment.


notes

  • Issue 1 starts with a flashback"Gotham City, six months ago." It continues on with the bulk of the story taking place in the "current."
  • Jason Blood and Etrigan, who were separated previously, became one again.
  • The planet Xanshi and its solar system are destroyed by an aspect of the antilife equasion. Green Lantern John Stewart was blamed.
  • New God Forager was killed in defense of Earth.

    Return to continuity section 3.