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The Source can be considered to be the consciousness of the DC Universe, where it is the non-religious equivalent to Buddha-nature or Purusha or the Presence. It is the source of all that exists. Mostly associated with the New Gods, the Source was the supposed origin of the Godwave that is believed to have been responsible for creating and empowering the "Gods" of the DC Universe with their divine abilities. It also seems to be partially responsible for the ability of DC residents to develop superpowers, especially those which defy physics. Lying at the edge of the known universe in the Promethean Galaxy is the Source Wall, which protects the Source, and traps all those who attempt to pass beyond it. DC Comics has kept the Source out of the main continuum of its storytelling; therefore, not much is known concretely about its many aspects. In the Superman-Batman graphic novel Torment (2008), Superman is sent into the Source by Desaad using Highfather's staff to create a boom tube there. Batman later uses the staff to break through the Source Wall.
Death of the New Gods
While investigating the death of the New Gods, Metron encountered the Source. The Source revealed it was behind the deaths to build a new "Fifth World." It revealed that the most powerful gods of three pantheons of the Second World (that were doppelgangers/aspects of deities of the Third World: Zeus, Odin, and Jove-Júpiter)--the "Old Gods"--attacked it and caused it to split into separate beings. The other being evolved into the Anti-Life entity. In retribution, the Source destroyed the Old Gods and created the New Gods. However, its diminished state caused the New Gods to be flawed. The Source sought to reunite with its other half and start anew. It took advantage of the actions of Alexander Luthor and Rip Hunter to create the 52 worlds of the multiverse to ease the reunion. Using its agent, the Infinity Man, to kill the New Gods and store their souls in a second Source Wall and Mister Miracle as the user of the Anti-Life Equation, the Source was able to breach the primary Source Wall and reunited with its Anti-Life other half. With all the New Gods dead but one, the Source traveled to Apokolips to confront the final god, Darkseid, and complete his task. However, Darkseid had devised a method to tap into the power of the souls of the New Gods which were being stored in the second Source Wall, giving him equal footing with the Source, until Superman intervened, allowing the Source to deploy his trump card, Orion, who shared Darkseid's access to this power. While Darkseid and Orion fought, with Orion eventually defeating him, the Source slammed New Genesis and Apokolips together creating a single planet, with one half similar to Apokolips and the other to New Genesis. When this was over, the Source told Superman that his work was done, and that he would be leaving this plane of existence.
In other media
In Chris Taylor's book How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise, he notes the similarity between the Source and the Force in George Lucas's Star Wars and suggests Lucas may have been influenced by the comic series.
In the episode "Twilight", when discussing possible military action against Apokolips, the Highfather says he "must commune with the Source" before making a decision of such importance. Later, he is shown kneeling in front of a stone wall with flames upon it. In Justice League Unlimited, passage beyond the Source wall could only be survived by a "12th level intellect". Lex Luthor was able to enter and exit the Source, stating to Metron that he was "overqualified". Behind the Source wall resided all the secrets to the universe including the Anti-Life Equation sought by Darkseid.
Brother Eye satellite is revealed to be equipped with the latest Source energy scanners to detect fluctuations in the Multiverse allowing it to detect potential crisis on various alternate Earth's in the introductory cutscene for Multiverse mode.
- New Gods #1 (Feb. 1971)
- Death of the New Gods #1-8 (2008)
- Taylor, Chris (2015). How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise. Basic Books. ISBN 0465049893.