Multiverse (DC Comics)

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A depiction of several alternate Earths within the Multiverse and the variations of the Flash inhabiting each Earth. Art by Dan Jurgens and Art Thibert

The Multiverse, within DC Comics publications, is a "cosmic construct" collecting many of the fictional universes in which the published stories take place. The worlds in this multiverse share a space and fate in common and its structure has changed several times in the history of DC Comics.[1]

History[edit]

Golden Age[edit]

The concept of a universe and a multiverse in which the fictional stories take place was loosely established during the Golden Age. There was not a consistent continuity, many stories were forgotten or dismissed in order to tell new stories. In addition, stories in other publications had no influence nor relation between each other. With the publication of All-Star Comics #3 in 1940, the first crossover between characters occurred with the creation of the Justice Society of America which presented the first super hero team with characters appearing in other publications (comic strips and anthology titles) to bring attention to less known characters. Characters with their own titles became "honorary members".

In 1941, World's Best Comics No.1 showcased the first cover with Superman and Batman and Robin appearing together. However, it was merely in the cover, as these characters were considered to be worlds apart as the stories from Superman were filled with superpowers and Sci-Fi and Batman dealt with crime and mysteries in situations similar to the real world.
Later in 1952, in Superman #76, the first adventure with Superman and Batman working together was published. This story put the most important heroes of DC Comics in the same fictional world ipso facto.

Wonder Woman #59 (May 1953) presented the DC Comics' first story depicting a parallel "mirror" world. Wonder Woman is transported to a twin Earth where she meets Tara Terruna who is exactly like her. Tara Terruna means in the native language of that world, Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman describes this world as being a twin world existing alongside with Earth with duplicates of everyone but with a different development. It is not stated that the "twin" Earth was in a "twin" Universe, though. The concept of different versions of the world and its heroes was revisited in the pages of Wonder Woman several times later.

Silver Age[edit]

Led by editor Julius Schwartz and writer Gardner Fox, DC Comics' super heroes were given a "reboot" with the publication of Showcase #4 in 1956 where a new version of The Flash made its first appearance. The success of this new Flash led the creation of new incarnations of the Golden Age characters who only shared the names and powers but had different secret identities, origins and stories. Later, new versions of other heroes, namely, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, were also restarted by retelling their origins but keeping their secret identities.
Gardner Fox, who worked before in the creation of the JSA, where other heroes met for the first time, created the story "Flash of Two Worlds" in The Flash #123, where Barry Allen, the new Flash, is transported to the Earth where the original Flash, Jay Garrick, existed. To Allen, Jay Garrick's world was a work of fiction as it was in the real world. A key concept of the Multiverse was told in this story: each universe vibrates at a specific frequency which keeps them separated, by "tuning" to that vibration, an individual is capable of breaking the "barriers" between the universes, in the case of Allen, he "tuned" his entire body by vibrating and was capable to travel to the other Earth, in the case of Gardner Fox himself and other comic book writers in Barry Allen's Earth, their minds tuned to Jay Garrick's world and had dreams of the happenings of that world, which they later wrote as comic book stories.

The success of this story led to the first team crossover between the new Justice League of America and the Golden Age JSA, in the stories Crisis on Earth-One (Justice League of America #21) and Crisis on Earth-Two (Justice League of America #22). This story arc started a tradition of a yearly crossover between the JLA and the JSA and established firmly the concept of a Multiverse and the designation of names, being Earth-One the JLA reality and Earth-Two the JSA reality. The success of these crossovers spawned publications telling the further stories of the Golden Age heroes in the present day parting from many of the stories told, thus, establishing a more defined continuity for every Universe.

This concept of parallel Earths with differences in locations, persons and historical events became a very important ingredient within DC Comics' publications. It helped (among other things) to explain continuity errors, retell and retcon stories and incorporate foreign elements that could actively interact with everything else and allowing them to have an "existence". Continuity flaws between the established Earth-Two and several stories from the Golden Age, were given separate earths. "Imaginary" stories and some time divergences of Earth-One were given also separate realities (such as Earth-B and Earth-A). In addition to the stories appearing mainly in the pages of JLA that created new Earths, the acquisition of other comic book companies and characters by DC Comics, brought even more Earths to the Multiverse. By the 1970s, everything that was published or related officially to DC Comics' titles could become part of the Multiverse, although much of it remained largely uncatalogued.

The names of the worlds were usually in the format Earth, hyphen, spelled numeral/letter/name. In the case of worlds with numerals, the "rule" of spelling the number was not always followed, even within the pages of the same issue.

Crisis on Infinite Earths[edit]

As the 50th anniversary of DC Comics was close, major events were proposed for the celebration: an encyclopedia (Who's Who) and a crossover throughout the ages, characters and worlds appearing in DC Comics. As told in the letter section of Crisis On Infinite Earths #1, as the research started in the late 70's, it became evident the many flaws in continuity. The way used to circumvent some of these errors was the "Multiple Earths" which also showed a chaotic nature that brought even more continuity problems that were not easily explained or were simply left unexplained. Examples of this included, Black Canary of Earth-One being the daughter of the original Black Canary of WWII even though the original Black Canary was a resident of Earth-Two, and the existence of Golden Age comic books on Earth-One and the people not noticing that some of the characters in those comic books existed in "real-life". In addition, many universes had multiple alternate timelines, such as Kamandi and the Legion of Super-Heroes, both being form Earth-One.

Writer Marv Wolfman took this crossover event as an opportunity to reform all the fictional universe of DC Comics to avoid further continuity errors and update the DC characters to modern times. The whole Multiverse is destroyed except for 5 Earths (Silver Age Earth-One, Golden Age Earth-Two, Fawcett Comics Earth S, Quality Comics' Freedom Fighters Earth X and Charlton Comics Earth 4). Later, the universe is recreated as one single universe from those five.

Modern Age[edit]

DC Comics[edit]

After the conclusion of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the concept of a single Universe containing most elements of the "surviving Earths" was established and heavily enforced to avoid the continuity problems of the Multiverse. However, alternate realities affecting the new DC Universe made their appearance very quickly. In Superman Vol.2 #8, a Universe inside the Universe was revealed to have been created to preserve the Legion of Super Heroes' 30th century in New Earth. This world was used to allow crossovers with certain characters of the Legion of Super-Heroes and recreate characters that otherwise couldn't exist in the new continuity (such as Kryptonians as in the New Earth, Superman was the only survivor of Krypton). Alternate timelines were also used, being most notable the event Armageddon 2001 in 1991. An Antimatter Universe existed as well which had some "reversed" events in a similar way as the former Earth-Three. The Earth within this Universe was called "Earth 2". In addition, there was a Limbo, where some heroes and characters that could not be brought back to "existence" after the Crisis on Infinite Earths, lived outside the Universe.

An important rule in the new DC Universe was that there could only be one timeline, so any change caused by time travelers caused the destruction of their timelines of origin. Changes in the past were often "fixed" or have to comply with the present to prevent continuity errors.

Nonetheless, continuity errors appeared. The retold origin of Hawkman presented errors regarding the existence of the Golden Age version (Carter Hall) and the Silver Age version (Katar Hol) in the same continuity without a good explanation. The interaction of "possible timelines" also created continuity holes. This led to a new crisis to address the problem: The Zero-Hour. The resulting universe had a slightly re-written story with no continuity errors even though it was acknowledged that reality-shattering events did happen (including Crisis on Infinite Earths). This Universe kept the concept of one universe, one timeline. Such timeline was "mapped" from beginning to present (1994) at the back cover of Zero Hour #0, it also included certain key dates in the future.

The need to publish stories outside the strict DC Universe continuity led to the creation of certain DC imprints. Stories that set DC characters in different situations published by DC Comics after the Crisis On Infinite Earths, were considered "imaginary stories" under the Elseworlds imprint. None of these stories were ever to be included in the "real" continuity of the DC Universe.

Certain characters were reinvented in a mature context and were published under the Vertigo imprint. Most of the times, the tales depicted within the Vertigo imprint had no relation to the original DC Universe versions or the events in this imprint had no influence over the new Universe.

Later, DC Comics published under a special publishing deal with Milestone Media a new series of comic books that told the stories of the heroes living in Dakota City, formed mostly by African-American super heroes and other minorities. These characters lived in a universe separated from the DC Universe (known as the Dakotaverse or Milestone Universe). The event World's Collide presented one of the first modern intercompany crossovers within the established continuity of the Universes instead of being "imaginary" and showed that there could be other Universes or even Multiverses outside the new DC Universe.

In a similar way to World's Collide, the crossover event DC VERSUS Marvel Comics/Marvel Comics VERSUS DC showed another in-continuity crossover with another reality completely separated from the DC Universe and that has a Multiverse of its own: Earth-616 of the Marvel Multiverse.

In summary, from 1986 to 1999, everything not happening in the "mainstream" continuity appearing in DC Comics, was either an "apocryphal" story or happened in a completely different and separated reality/Universe/Multiverse that could not be easily crossed-over.
The universes were rarely referred to with specific names within the stories but were named in the "Real World" (both officially and unofficially) using the name of the editorial, imprint or even an element in particular.

While in the comic books the concept of a "real" Multiverse was avoided, the Multiverse played an important role in cartoon series and live-action shows (see Other versions).

In 1999, the unexpected and overwhelming success of Elseworlds: Kingdom Come and other stories, led to the creation of the concept known as Hypertime in order to publish crossovers with those characters and the mainstream continuity. This structure gave "existence" to alternate timelines, stories in Elseworlds, appearances in other media and any other appearance of DC characters in the past. The main timeline or "Central Timeline" was like a river and all of the alternate stories were branches of it. Hypertime was similar to the former Multiverse as it allowed each and every reality ever published to co-exist and interact as most branches tend to return to the original stream (explaining some retcons as well as crossovers). However, all realities existed within only one Universe.

WildStorm[edit]

Originally, the stories appearing in WildStorm Productions' comic books occurred in a Universe that was part of the Image Universe along with other characters appearing in Image publications. It was separated from it during the event Shattered Image consolidating the separate WildStorm Universe which had its own Multiversal structure. After the purchase of WildStorm by DC Comics, crossovers occurred with the new DC Universe which were still separated just like Milestone and Marvel.

21st Century[edit]

52[edit]

In 2005, a new universal crisis story arc was published as a way to update once more the super heroes of DC Comics, bring together other "realities" (namely, Milestone and Wildstorm) and bring back the Multiverse, this time with a limited number of Earths instead of infinite.

During the event Infinite Crisis, the Universe was "splintered" and the original Multiverse was restored briefly, showing that the entire Hypertime and many other appearances of the DC characters, were part of the original Multiverse, including Tangent Comics which were published 12 years after the Multiverse was no more. In the end of Infinite Crisis, the multiverse is merged back as a New Earth with a new continuity with many stories re-written and many others from the Modern Age still happening.
In parallel, Captain Atom: Armageddon tells the story of how Captain Atom of the DC Universe causes the recreation of the Wildstorm Universe upon its destruction (and possibly its Multiverse as well). The recreated universe became part of the newly recreated DC Universe.
The aftermath of Infinite Crisis and Captain Atom: Armageddon (52, 'Countdown and Final Crisis) showed that a new Multiverse was created. The new Multiverse consisted of 52 positive matter universes, an Antimatter Universe and a Limbo. The main continuity still occurred in New Earth (also called Earth-0), Earths 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 resembled Earths One, Two, Three, Four, S, and X of the original Multiverse respectively. Earths 13 and 50 were Vertigo and the rebooted Wildstorm Universe. Many important stories from the Elseworld imprint were also given Earths within this new Multiverse.

In the miniseries, Milestone Forever, in a similar fashion as Captain Atom: Armageddon, the events that led to the end of the Dakotaverse and its integration to the new DC continuity are revealed. Most of the stories that were told in Milestone Comics publications now occurred in New Earth and the Dakotaverse ceased to exist as a separated Universe.

A naming convention was established and followed this time in the format Earth, hyphen, numeral, from Earth-0 to Earth-51.
Even with a new Multiverse, not every published or related work had an "Earth" within the 52 and there were no in-continuity intercompany crossovers.

Taking advantage of the fact that many of these universes were mostly unchronicled or merely glimpsed and that Final Crisis also changed the Multiverse slightly, many stories featuring alternate worlds and their interactions were published, which led certain inconsistencies and retcons to appear, such as Earth-1 being originally a "mirror" of Earth-One and later being the reality of J. Michael Straczynski's Superman: Earth One or Earth-16 being the home of an alternate Superman/Christopher Kent, the home of the Super-Sons, and later the reality of the Young Justice TV series. Also, some Universes appearing in the new continuity were never given a proper place within the 52 Universe, such as Prime-Earth.

The New 52[edit]

The new restored universe with only 52 worlds opened a myriad of possibilities for new stories and crossovers with different versions of heroes interacting with the main versions of heroes as well as the stories resulting from the new integrated characters from Milestone and Wildstorm. However, it became chaotic in just 5 years. Many stories and situations of other Universes were not followed well. The number designations could be completely disregarded from story to story and some universes were recreated over and over. In addition, as most of the history of the Modern Age was still being the main continuity, younger readers could not follow the stories of the mainstream versions of the DC Heroes, just as it happened prior to the original Crisis on Infinite Earths.

In order to overcome these new problems, a new event was created to restart the DC Comics' Universe. In the Flashpoint miniseries (May–September 2011), The Flash alters the timeline of Earth-0 creating a ripple effect that affected several past events, Earth-13 (Vertigo Universe) and Earth-50 (new Wildstorm Universe).[2] Similar to the end result of Crisis on Infinite Earths, a new mainstream Earth is created from the former three, with a whole new history.[3] Most of the stories have been retold anew but certain events of New Earth remain (such as Batgirl being crippled by The Joker). Since it was established after Infinite Crisis that if something ever happened to the main Universe, the whole Multiverse could be affected as well, a new Multiverse of 52 worlds was also recreated. This new Multiverse is called The New 52.

This time, not all universes were revealed right away, only a couple were revealed in the first two years of The New 52. In addition, in a similar fashion as the Elseworlds logo would appear in comics that did not occur in the "real" continuity, the logo THE NEW 52! would only appear in publications with stories occurring in the new continuity, while those taking place outside of this new continuity (such as Smallville: Season 11 or Batman Beyond Universe) would not bear this distinction. At first it seemed that there was not going to be a naming convention for the Earths as it happened with the 52. The mainstream continuity was known as Prime Earth, although it was not a similar world to the real world as Earth-Prime was. J. Michael Straczynski's re-envisioning of classic Batman and Superman stories was released as part of a series called Earth One. In Grant Morrison's The Multiversity (2014–), the Earths are named in the same format as in the former 52 Multiverse (Earth-6, Earth-7, Earth-8 etc.) Morrison intends for The Multiversity to reveal remaining universes of The New 52 multiverse, and the underlying structure for the multiverse was revealed in a detailed map in the back of several comic books, for which an interactive online version is being maintained and updated on the DC Comics website.

Fictional history, structure and worlds of the DC Multiverse[edit]

Infinite Multiverse[edit]

As told in Crisis on Infinite Earths #7, the DC Universe was a single positive matter Universe until a scientist named Krona from the planet Oa, altered the very moment of the creation of the Universe, causing it to split into countless similar universes and an antimatter universe. Oa, however, had no duplicates in the Multiverse but did have a twin in the antimatter universe: Qward. A satellite on each of these planets was created in the cataclysm and it was there where the embodiments of the Multiverse were born: The Monitor and the Antimonitor.
The Multiverse had countless duplicates of planet Earth. Every Earth had a different history from one another but they always developed heroes and inspired heroic ages (which, according to Harbinger, it somehow made them a focal point among all the worlds in every universe). Some of the heroes of Earth knew about other Earths and their own counterparts and fought side by side in many occasions.

Later, a scientist from Earth named Kell Mossa (known initially only as Pariah)) created another device that would allow him to the same thing Krona had attempted before. His actions allowed the antimatter universe to enter and "devour" his universe and start the destruction of the positive Multiverse. Pariah thought that he had awaken the Antimonitor in the process, but it was later revealed that the Antimonitor simply used him to enter the Multiverse. The time period of Earth when this take place or the name of the Earth are never revealed.

The Monitor is awakened by the destruction of the positive matter universes and starts a plan to save the Multiverse but his efforts and later those of his protégé, Harbinger, with the help of the heroes of the Multiverse, only manage to save 5 universes. In a desperate effort to save all existence, heroes and villains unite in order to stop Krona from splitting the Universe and stop the Antimonitor from altering the moment of creation and make the Antimatter Universe the only one. They succeed in saving all existence but in the process, the Multiverse, its countless duplicate worlds and its history ceased to exist.

All the Universes existed within the same space but had a unique vibration that kept them separated. Only by "tunning" to the specific frequency of a Universe, a person could leap to another Earth, as Barry Allen discovered as he tried to perform disappearing act by vibrating his molecules at super speed (Flash #123). The "speedster" later developed a machine called "Cosmic Treadmill", which when it was used by people who controlled the Speed Force, it allowed the users to trespass the "vibrational barriers". Magic and cosmic incidents also made many people to travel to other universes.
Every Universe could have its own dimensions, such as the fifth dimension (where Mr. Mxyztplk, Mr Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite came from), alternate timelines (Kamandi and the 30th Century of Earth-One) and realms (Hell, Heaven, Gemworld, etc.). Additional to the unique Antimatter Universe, the dimension of the New Gods (Fourth World) existed aside of the Multiverse and was also unique, although there's evidence that there could have been alternate versions of them (as those appearing in Earth-17 and Earth-Crossover).

Even though the interaction between multiple Earths was common in the 20th Century with relative safety and ease, most of the population of Earth was unaware of the Multiverse until Crisis on Infinite Earths.

The following is a short list of the most notable universes in the Multiverse.

DC Universe and The Megaverse[edit]

15 billion years ago, a single Universe with a single timestream was created. 4.4 billion years ago, Krona, the renegade Maltusian (a race of highly evolved beings) creates the Antimatter Universe and releases entropy in the universe by linking the beginning and the end of the timeline in his attempts to reveal the secrets of the creation of the universe.
In this single universe, the timeline was destroyed in the early 1990s by Hal Jordan (possessed by Parallax) and created an slightly changed timeline (Zero Hour, 1994). It was later revealed that this Central Timeline was like a river with branches. This branches were like different realities, the history of Earth was different in every branch and everything could be possible in them. They could affect the Central Timeline as they return to the mainstream and the heroes could encounter with different versions of themselves. However, they where somewhat ephemeral as the Central Timeline is the only one that could prevail (The Kingdom, 1999).

After Crisis on Infinite Earths, there was no place for alternate realities, although they could exist in the form of ephemeral timelines (Hypertime), dimensions (such as the fifth dimension or the Fourth World) or Universes inside the Universe (Legion of Super-Heroes' Pocket Universe, Amalgam Universe).

However, there was contact with realities that existed outside the Universe such as those from Marvel, Milestone and Wildstorm. The collection of universes, multiverses and others that are unrelated, is most of the times called Megaverse. Some also call it the Omniverse but tend to include the Real World when using this denomination.
The contact of these worlds usually brought cataclysms, being the most common, the amalgamation. Traveling between these realities was extremely hard, only two characters were capable of doing so with natural abilities: Rift, who existed in both the DC and Milestone Universes, and Access, who had the task of keeping DC and Marvel separated to prevent amalgamation.
Most of the times, these events were either forgotten (as shown in the Unlimited Access miniseries as Access has the power to annul or restore the memories of heroes) or believed to be "dreams" (as shown in DC/Milestone: Worlds Collide and DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar), which in the end left few traces of the events in the respective continuities.

The Wilstorm Universe was part of a larger multiverse but was separated after a multiversal cataclysm, forming a multiverse of its own (Shattered Image). Organizations known as Planetary and The Authority were capable of traveling across the Multiverse and were also able to map it. Its structure was described as a web of 196,833 universes arranged in a pattern resembling a snowflake, each universe separated from its neighbors by a medium called the Bleed. The Bleed prevented the Universes from colliding and was inhabited by "fauna" that despised all different Earths.

52[edit]

Alexander Luthor Jr. of Earth-Three, and Superboy of Earth-Prime grew tired of their exile. After successfully escaping their prison, they seek to restore their worlds and search for a perfect new world as they believe the happenings at New Earth after the Crisis make it a flawed reality. The whole Multiverse is restored but with great instability that could cause the end of all existence (Infinite Crisis). In parallel to this events, Captain Atom arrives in a different Multiverse, jeopardizing the very existence of it, in the end, Void destroys the now corrupted universe in order to recreate it (Captain Atom: Armageddon).
The heroes of Earth manage to merge back the Multiverse into a single universe but it could not hold so much energy. 52 identical worlds are created to liberate such energy. Mister Mind, finally in his ultimate form, has the power to devour parts of the time continuum, literally eating parts of the Earths' history creating major differences between each other(52[4]) [5]
In the Universe where the city of Dakota existed, a man known as Dharma, foresaw the final demise of Earth and searched for a way to avert it. His very efforts were responsible for that apocalypse he tried to prevent. He managed to salvage the remains of his Earth by merging them to the main Earth of the new Multiverse that was reformed after the death of the New Gods (Milestone Forever, Final Crisis).

This Multiverse consisted of only 52 worlds, 51 resting upon Earth. According to Rip Hunter in 52 #52, every universe occupied the same space, each on a different vibrational plane (as it was in the original Multiverse). However, it was stated later that the universes were also separated by a fluid known as the Bleed (just like in the former Wildstorm Universe). The Bleed is interconnected to the Source Wall (which separates existence from the force that created it or "The Source") and the Multiversal Nexus, where the 52 Monitors watched over the Multiverse and had the task of avoiding contacts between the universes that could cause cataclysms. If the main Earth should be destroyed, it would cause a chain reaction, destroying the rest of the 51 universes and leaving the opposite Antimatter Universe in existence. Each of the alternate universes have their own parallel dimensions, divergent timelines, microverses, etc., branching off them.[6] The Monitors originated in a world called Nil and were a sort of descendants of the original Monitor, who was created by Overvoid, a limitless intelligence who investigated the Multiverse at the beginning of time. Nix Uotan, the Monitor of Earth-51 erased the Monitors as they self-proclaimed the judges of what happened in the worlds of the Multiverse.

The New 52[edit]

The Flash wakes up in an altered timeline. As he tries to find the cause, he discovers that he was responsible for the alteration and attempts to fix it. In doing so, it is revealed that the timelines of Earth-0, Earth-13 and Earth-50 were originally one but were splintered. The result is a new timeline formed by those three and along with it came a new history for the other 52 worlds within the Multiverse (Flashpoint, 2011).
Years later, The Harbinger Program at the House of Heroes gathers several heroes of the "Orrery" to fight against a force known as the "Gentry" who have already decimated Earth-7 and threaten the rest of the worlds of the Multiverse. As the story unfolds, Earths within the Orrery are visited and reveal the new nature of them after the Flashpoint event. Also, mysterious comic books published by DC and Major (Marvel) appear and are believed to be cursed or to be messages from parallel earths (The Multiversity, 2014).

Several stories and even the structure of the entire Multiverse have been retold after the events of Flashpoint. As it has been revealed so far, most of the 52 worlds suffered drastic changes such as Earth-2 which is now a reboot in the present day of the heroes that formed the Justice Society or Earth-3 which reverted to be the opposite of the main Earth (Earth-0 in this case), instead of the opposite of Earth-2. Others retain most of what they were in the 52 multiverse such as Earth-5, Earth-10 or Earth-23. The Monitors are now described as a race of countless members and only 52 remained after the CRISIS event, suggesting that there were Monitors for every world in the original Multiverse instead of just one. Several elements that have appeared across the history to what now is DC Comics have also been actively incorporated in the new structure, such as The Source (The New Gods), The Bleed (Wildstorm's The Authority), the Speed Force and the vibrational barriers (The Flash) and the Rock of Eternity (SHAZAM!).

This new Multiverse has a sphere-like structure with several levels (or Vibrational Realms) as described in the map:[7]

  • The Source Wall: the limit of existence, beyond lies the Source and the Unknowable. The Overvoid is shown in the map to exist outside it as well.
  • Monitor Sphere: origin of the Monitor race who preserve and study the universe.
  • Limbo: "where matter and memory break down". Place were the lost and forgotten go.
  • Sphere of the Gods: within it, the realms of old and new gods, demons and even dreams exist.
  • Speed Force Wall: also known as the Speed of Light and is the limit to matter. Within it is the Orrery of Worlds and certain worlds exist in it (such as Krakkl's world).
  • Orrery of Worlds: realm where the 52 universes exist in the same space, vibrating at different frequencies, within the Bleed. In the center of it are the Rock of Eternity and the House of Heroes.

Print collections[edit]

Contact between the universes (or stories set on the other Earths) have been reprinted in the following graphic novels.

Title Material collected
Crisis on Multiple Earths: The Team-Ups
Volume 1 The Flash #123, 129, 137, 151
Showcase #55-56
Green Lantern vol. 2, #40
The Brave and the Bold #61
The Spectre #7
Volume 2 The Atom #29, 36
The Brave and the Bold #62
The Flash #170, 173
Green Lantern vol. 2, #45, 52
The Spectre #3[22]
Crisis on Multiple Earths
Volume 1 Justice League of America #21-22, 29-30, 37-38, 46-47
Volume 2 Justice League of America #55-56, 64-65, 73-74, 82-82
Volume 3 Justice League of America #91-92, 100-102, 107-108, 113
Volume 4 Justice League of America #123-124, 135-137, 147-148
Volume 5 Justice League of America #159-160, 171-172, 183-185
Justice Society
Volume 1 All Star Comics #58-67
DC Special #29
Volume 2 All Star Comics #68-74
Adventure Comics #461-466
Miniseries
Crisis on Infinite Earths Issues #1-12
Infinite Crisis Issues #1-7
Lord Havok and the Extremists Issues #1-6
Countdown: Arena Issues #1-4
One-shots
Power Girl Showcase #97-99
Secret Origins #11
JSA Classified #1-4
(contains a few plot-related pages from JSA #32 and #39)
Showcase Presents: Shazam Shazam #1-20, 26-29, 33
(stories are set on Earth-S)
Huntress: Dark Knight Daughter DC Comics Super Stars #11
Batman Family #18-20
Wonder Woman #271-287, 289-290, 294-295
Weekly
52 Issues #1-52
Countdown to Final Crisis Issues #51-1

Other versions[edit]

Teen Titans Go![edit]

Teen Titans Go! #48 introduces its own multiverse. Each world pays references to various incarnation of the Teen Titans. The worlds shown are:

  • The majority of the story is set on a world which is menaced by the Teen Tyrants (evil Teen Titans), and is defended by the Brotherhood of Justice (heroic versions of the Brotherhood of Evil). Similar to Earth-3.
  • Malchior's (from the Teen Titans episode "Spellbound") homeworld.
  • A world similar to the past from the Teen Titans episode "Cyborg the Barbarian".
  • A world containing the teen Lobo.
  • A world consisting of the animalistic Teen Titans (from the Teen Titans episode "Bunny Raven").
  • Another future timeline with Nightwing (from the Teen Titans episode "How Long Is Forever").
  • A world consisting of the Chibi Titans.
  • A world in which the Teen Titans (as depicted in the Silver Age comics) consist of Robin, Speedy, Wonder Girl, Aqualad, and Kid Flash.
  • The home of Larry the Titan.
  • A futuristic world where the Teen Titans consist of Nightwing (a vampirish version, based on Dagon of the Team Titans), Battalion (who resembles Cyborg), Mirage (who resembles Raven), and Killowat.

Amalgam Comics[edit]

  • Some issues in the series (such as Spider-Boy Team-Up #1) state that a Crisis event known as Secret Crisis of the Infinity Hour, occurred and was related to alternate realities and timelines. The event is an amalgamation of four DC and Marvel major crossover events (Secret Wars, Crisis in Infinite Earths, The Infinity Gauntlet and Zero Hour).
  • In Challengers of the Fantastic #1, Reed "Prof" Richards is seen watching the parallel Universe-Two. It is hinted that this world is an amalgam of DC's Earth-Two and Marvel's New Universe.
  • Unlimited Access #4 shows glimpses of many amalgamated universes.
  • The fictional letter sections in the issues of first volume hint to an Amalgam Prime Earth, were the editor Stan Schwartz (amalgam of Stan Lee and Julie Schwartz) and the film company Fox Bros. (amalgam of 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros.) exist.

Super Friends[edit]

In the animated television series Super Friends, the superhero team has encounters with other universes, including the world of Qward. In the episode "Universe of Evil", a freak accident causes Superman to switch places with his evil counterpart.

DC Animated Universe[edit]

The DC animated universe (DCAU) has depicted the Multiverse many times. Several characters from the main DCAU have visited parallel universes that were similar to the DCAU.

  • In the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Brave New Metropolis", Lois Lane fell into a parallel Earth where Superman and Lex Luthor had taken over Metropolis, turning it into a fascist police-state.
  • In the Justice League episode "Legends", several members of the League were accidentally sent to a parallel universe where John Stewart's comic book idols, a pastiche of the Justice Society of America named the Justice Guild of America, live. One member of the Justice Guild hypothesized that there are an infinite number of parallel dimensions.
  • In the Justice League episode "A Better World", the Justice League were held captive by their authoritarian counterparts from another universe, the "Justice Lords". In this universe, Lex Luthor had risen to the U.S. Presidency and had started a war which had killed the Flash, sparking the Lords' takeover of the world. Later in the series, the regular Lex Luthor ran for President solely to enrage Superman.
  • In the Justice League Unlimited episode "Question Authority", the Question is surfing through Cadmus's files on a computer. One of the files is titled "Multiverse" and another file shows footage from the episode "A Better World" where the alternate Superman murders Lex Luthor. Ironically, after viewing files on the Justice Lords, he initially believes that instead of looking at an alternate universe, he is looking at the future of the universe in which the League lives. The exact means by how Cadmus came into possession of footage from the death of President Luthor seen in "A Better World" remains unknown.

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman[edit]

In Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, the show's primary protagonists, Lois Lane and Clark Kent, encountered an alternative version Clark Kent from a parallel universe in the episodes "Tempus, Anyone?" and "Lois & Clarks". In the episode "Tempus, Anyone?", the dimension included these differences:

The primary version of Lois, who was abducted by the villain Tempus and taken to this dimension, helped the alternate Clark become Superman, only to have Tempus expose his secret identity to the world on television. Despite Clark's alien origin, the world embraces him as their champion.

Later, in the episode "Lois & Clarks", the alternate Clark visits the primary L&C dimension to aid Lois in stopping Tempus while the Clark Kent of her world is trapped in a time vortex. After Tempus's defeat, it is implied that the alternate Clark would travel to the past with H.G. Wells and take his world's Lois Lane to his own time thus, under a predestination paradox, explaining her disappearance.

Smallville[edit]

The live-action television series Smallville also featured the Multiverse concept. In the season 5 episode "Lexmas", Lex Luthor visits an alternate timeline where Lionel cuts Lex out of the family fortune while Lex is married to Lana and has a son named Alexander. Clark Kent is a reporter with the Daily Planet, Chloe is publishing a book exposing LuthorCorp with Lex's help, and Jonathan Kent is a state senator.

In the season 7 episode "Apocalypse," Clark is taken to an alternate timeline where his counterpart had not arrived in Smallville and is killed by Brainiac. In that dimension, Clark Kent encounters another version of himself who is a human biological son of Martha and Jonathan and never met Lana Lang (who is a cheerleader with a different group of friends). Also in this dimension, Chloe Sullivan is engaged, Lana Lang is a married woman living in Paris, Sheriff Nancy Adams left Smallville and works as a member of the government, and Lex Luthor became president of the United States. While this dimension's Earth is destroyed by President Luthor, Clark travels back in time and sends his infant self to Earth, thus restoring his timeline.

In the season 10 episode "Luthor", Clark Kent travels to an alternate universe dubbed Earth-2 with the help of a Kryptonian mirror box. There, Lionel Luthor is his adopted father instead of Jonathan Kent. Clark is a blood-thirsty tyrant whose persona is Ultraman. He has a relationship with his step-sister, Tess. Clark Luthor killed his brother Lex. When Clark Kent travels to the alternate earth, his counterpart, Clark Luthor, travels to his. Lois Lane is engaged to Oliver Queen, who bought land in Smallville for its kryptonite. Lionel lures Clark into Oliver's kryponite trap and beats him. With the help of Oliver (who closes the kryponite portal), Clark uses the mirror box and returns to his world. Unbeknownst to him, Lionel comes with him.

Earth-2 is featured again later in the season in the episode "Kent", as Clark Luthor returns to his counterpart's world once more, and Clark Kent meets Earth-2's Jonathan Kent. After Clark Kent interacts with his deceased adoptive father's counterpart, he returns to his own world and lures Clark Luthor to the Fortress of Solitude, where he sends his counterpart back to his world.

In the fourth issue of the television series' comic book continuation Smallville Season 11, an alternative version of Chloe Sullivan from Earth-2 arrives to Clark Kent's world and reveals that her universe is destroyed before her death.[23] In issue #11, it is reveals that the Monitors are responsible for Earth-2's destruction.[24]

Batman: The Brave and the Bold[edit]

In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, a kind of "multiverse" is referenced in the episodes "Deep Cover for Batman!" and "Game Over for Owlman!", which feature several references to alternate incarnations of DC Comics heroes and villains, including Batman and Owlman. The Multiverse is briefly revisited in "Night of the Batmen!", with a large group of Batman gathered from across various Earths coming together to help an injured Bruce Wayne protect Gotham. The army of Multiverse Batmen contained various iterations of Batman from different media adaptions, such as from The Batman, the DC Animated Universe, the 60's Batman TV series, and Batman Beyond.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths[edit]

The direct-to-video feature Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths deals with the Multiverse as part of its story. The main story deals with a good Lex Luthor from his Earth (based on the pre-Crisis Earth-Three) coming to the Earth where the Justice League are located to help fight their counterparts, the Crime Syndicate. While the two Earths inhabited by the Justice League and Crime Syndicate are not named, names of other Earths are mentioned. These names are not from the official pre-Crisis nor post-Infinite Crisis Multiverse, but are nods to a degree. Examples include: "Gamma F-1", "Theta-Alpha", "Zeta-Pi", which are all Greek numbers. Earth-Prime is featured in the film, but is not the same Earth-Prime from the comics where it was "our" Earth. In the film, Earth-Prime is shown to be the cornerstone of all reality, and that decisions made by humankind on this world caused alternate Earths where the opposite decision was made to come into being. This world is shown to be a desolate barren wasteland of a planet, with ruins as far as the eye can see. It is unknown what exactly caused its desolation, though Owlman reasons that it was mankind who destroyed itself.

DC Universe Online[edit]

In the video game DC Universe Online, Brainiac decides to conquer New Earth in order to know the secret of the multiverse. After he was defeated, the heroes have to face the Council of Luthors, who wants to take control of the Nexus of Reality and rule existence through the achievement of ultimate power. But the Council of Batmen wishes to stop the Luthors and undo the damage that has been done.

Injustice: Gods Among Us[edit]

The storyline of Injustice: Gods Among Us features an alternate reality where the Joker has tricked Superman into killing Lois Lane and their unborn son and destroying Metropolis with a nuclear explosion. This tragedy completely ruins Superman's moral compass to a point of no return and the Kryptonian murders the Joker in retaliation. As time passes, he establishes a new world order as the High Councilor. Soon enough, Superman's iron-fisted rule triggers a war between the Regime and those allied with Batman's Insurgency. Five years into the war, the Insurgency discovers an alternate universe where the Joker's plan did not succeed and transports several of its super heroes (Wonder Woman, Batman, Aquaman, Green Arrow, and Green Lantern) to their world in order to help them defeat the Regime. Also in this universe, Lex Luthor never becomes a criminal and instead he is a selfless business man, best friend of this world's Superman and cares for the people of Metropolis.

Infinite Crisis (video game)[edit]

The video game Infinite Crisis (which is unrelated to the comic book of the same name) features a multiverse with 52 different worlds. This multiverse is threatened by a sudden assault and all realities stand on the brink of annihilation. Now, the last hope for Earth lies in the powers of the DC legends.

During the events of the tie-in comic book Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse, it's said that the Monitors were a race of beings native to the world of Nil that resided outside all realities in the Overvoid. Their existence came following the creation of the Multiverse and the Bleed where they watched the infinite Earth's and sought to protect the infinite strands of creation. It was claimed that they were a people that cared little about the existence of the inhabitants of these universes and more for the preservation of their grand order. Such was their existence until one of their kind turned against the others and became the Anti-Monitor. A Crisis emerged as a result whereby many universes were destroyed but the Anti-Monitor was defeated but at the cost of almost the entire Monitor race. From this Crisis, there existed only 52 universes left in the Multiverse that were kept in perfect balance. The only survivor of their race was Nix Uotan who detected a new Crisis emerging from an unknown menace who made use of corrupted Monitor technology and struck at Earth-48. Nix Uotan returned to his peoples homeworld in order to reactivate the machinery to help contain the damage from the Crisis. As a result, he began to seek out champion's and even villains to help combat this menace from across the Multiverse. These individuals would be charged with recovering artifacts from across the many Earth's that were being taken by the mysterious enemy to aid in their assault. Among his agents was a human female from Earth-48 who went by the name of Harbinger.

In this reality, the Monitors had access to energy constructs that were able to record messages and transmit communiques across the Multiverse. They also forged orbs that glowed with light and served as a guide across the alternate universes as well as serve as a communicator with the Monitors. On their homeworld of Nil, there were spatial engines that could be used to help prevent large scale universal breaches that would damage the Multiverse.

Parodies[edit]

  • Bongo Comics published a comic book series featuring characters from The Simpsons and Futurama titled Futurama/Simpsons Infinitely Secret Crossover Crisis. One of the conventions of DC's Multiverse that the series parodies is the existence of one universe's characters as fictional comic book characters in another.
  • IDW's Super Secret Crisis War!, parodies DC's Crisis in Infinite Earths and Marvel's Secret War in their logo as this is a major crossover event featuring several charcters and their worlds from their Cartoon Network-based publications.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wallace, Dan (2008). "Alternate Earths". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. London: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 20–21. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. 
  2. ^ http://ifanboy.com/articles/features/the-definitive-guide-to-the-dc-comics-reboot/
  3. ^ The New 52 FAQ: Answering Your Questions about the Relaunched DC Universe
  4. ^ Wizard Entertainment: '52' Roundup Week 52 (archived)
  5. ^ "WW: Chicago '07: Dan DiDio on 'Countdown: Arena'". Newsarama. Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Baltimore Comic-Con '07: DC Nation Panel Report". Newsarama. Retrieved February 4, 2011. 
  7. ^ http://media.dcentertainment.com/sites/default/files/Multiversity_Map_2400_53ee6b4c22d9a9.11031355.jpg
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k http://www.dccomics.com/characters/earth-0
  9. ^ "Earth-7". DC Comics. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Earth-8". DC Comics. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i Rogers, Vaneta (July 28, 2014). "Grant Morrison on Multiversity: It's Going to 'F' People Up". Newsarama. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  12. ^ Brettauer, Kevin M. (May 15, 2013). "All Becoming Starchildren: An Evening With Grant Morrison". MTV. Retrieved June 15, 2014. 
  13. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (April 15, 2014). "Everything We Know About Grant Morrison's Multiversity From Years of Hints". Newsarama. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  14. ^ The Multiversity 8: Ultraa Comics (March 2015)
  15. ^ a b c d e f g Appleford, Steve (August 20, 2014). "‘Multiversity': Grant Morrison maps other Earths for DC event series". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  16. ^ http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/10/20/grant-morrison-to-issue-his-own-guide-to-multiversity/
  17. ^ The Multiversity 1 (August 2014)
  18. ^ http://www.dccomics.com/characters/earth-23
  19. ^ http://www.dccomics.com/characters/earth-26
  20. ^ Multiversity 1: Hall of Heroes (August 2014)
  21. ^ http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/10/20/grant-morrison-to-issue-his-own-guide-to-multiversity/
  22. ^ "DC Comics Solicitations for Product Shipping February, 2007". Comic Book Resources. November 13, 2006. 
  23. ^ Smallville Season 11 vol. 1 #4 (August 2012)
  24. ^ Smallville Season 11 vol. 1 #10 (February 2013)

External links[edit]