Earth-One

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Earth-One
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance The Flash #123 (September 1961)
Pre-Crisis version: Showcase #4 (Oct. 1956)
52 version: 52 #52 (May 2, 2007)
Created by Gardner Fox
In story information
Type Dimension
Notable people Silver Age Justice League of America
Notable races Humans

Earth-One (also Earth-1) is a name given to two fictional universes (The Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis versions of the same universe) that have appeared in American comic book stories published by DC Comics. The first Earth-One was given its name in Justice League of America #21 (August 1963), after The Flash #123 (September 1961) explained how Golden Age (Earth-Two) versions of characters such as the Flash (Jay Garrick) could appear in stories with their Silver Age counterparts (Barry Allen). This Earth-One continuity included the DC Silver Age heroes, including the Justice League of America. Earth-One, along with the four other surviving Earths of the DC Multiverse, are merged into one in the 1985 miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths. This Earth's versions of characters were primarily the Earth-One versions (i.e. Superman, Batman), but some characters from the four other worlds were also "folded" in. In Infinite Crisis, Earth-One was resurrected and merged with the primary Earth of the publication era to create a New Earth that brought back more aspects of Earth-One's original history. In 2007, a new version of Earth-One was created in the aftermath of events that occurred within the 52 series.

Pre-Crisis version[edit]

Flash of Two Worlds[edit]

The Flash (September 1961) cover art by Carmine Infantino and Murphy Anderson

Characters from DC Comics were originally suggestive of each existing in their own world, as superheroes never encountered each other. However, this was soon changed with alliances being formed between certain protagonists. Several publications, including All-Star Comics (publishing tales of the Justice Society of America), Leading Comics (publishing tales of the Seven Soldiers of Victory) and other comic books introduced a "shared-universe" among several characters during the 1940s until the present day.

Alternative reality Earths had been used in DC stories before, but were usually not referred to after that particular story. Also most of these alternative Earths were usually so vastly different that no one would confuse that Earth and its history with the so-called real Earth. That would change when the existence of another reliable Earth was established in a story titled "Flash of Two Worlds"[1][2] in which Barry Allen, the modern Flash later referred to as Earth-One (the setting of the Silver Age stories) first travels to another Earth, accidentally vibrating at just the right speed to appear on Earth-Two, where he meets Jay Garrick, his Earth-Two counterpart.

Major events[edit]

  • More Fun Comics #101 (1944): the first appearance of Superboy.[3] According to canon, the Superman of Earth-Two did not fight crime until reaching Metropolis as an adult, therefore this is the first appearance of Earth-One in comics.
  • Superman #47 (1947): an adventure of Superman that mentions his time as Superboy, which means that it is unofficially the first story written about the Earth-One Superman.
  • Superman #76 (1952): the first appearance of the Earth-One Batman, teaming up with what must be Earth-One Superman. The two crime fighters meet for the first time in this story.[4] Their Earth-Two counterparts knew each other from their time in the Justice Society of America in the 1940s.
  • (1954): Superman and Batman books unofficially make the switch from the Earth-Two characters to the Earth-One characters, though it wasn't apparent at the time.
  • Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 (1954): debut issue of spinoff title for supporting character from the Superman series.[5]
  • Detective Comics #225 (1955): the first appearance of J'onn J'onzz, the Martian Manhunter.[6]
  • Showcase #4 (1956): popularly the first Earth-One comic (though not mentioned in text as such), featuring the introduction of Barry Allen as The Flash.[7]
  • Adventure Comics #229 (1956): unofficially the first appearance of Earth-One Aquaman.[8]
  • Adventure Comics #246 (1958): unofficially the first appearance of Earth-One Green Arrow.[9]
  • Wonder Woman #98 (1958): unofficially the first appearance of Earth-One Wonder Woman.[10]
  • Showcase #22 (1959): the first appearance of Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern of Earth-One.[11]
  • The Brave and the Bold #34 (1961): the first appearance of Katar Hol, the Hawkman of Earth-One.[12]
  • The Flash #123 (1961): "The Flash of Two Worlds" Barry Allen meets Jay Garrick. This is the first story to explain the concept of the Multiverse, namely that the actions of Barry Allen and Jay Garrick took place on separate but similar Earths.[1]
  • Showcase #34 (1961): the first appearance of Ray Palmer, the Atom of Earth-One.[13]
  • Justice League of America #21 (1963): "Crisis on Earth-One" The first team up between the JLA and the JSA, which became a yearly feature in the Justice League of America comic. This is the story in which both Earth-One and Earth-Two were first given names.[14]
  • Green Lantern (vol. 2) #85 (1971): "Snowbirds Don't Fly" A story focusing on drug addiction, showing Green Arrow's ward Roy Harper addicted to heroin.[15] The story won the 1971 Shazam Award for Best Original Story.
  • Swamp Thing #1 (1972): the first adventure of Alec Holland, the Swamp Thing.[16] The story won the 1972 Shazam Award for Best Original Story.
  • Justice League of America #244 and Infinity, Inc. #19 (1985): the final team-up of the Justice League and the Justice Society before Earth-One and Earth-Two are merged.[17][18]
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths #10 (1986): The issue in which Earth-One, Earth-Two, Earth-Four (the home of the Charlton Comics heroes), Earth-S (the home of the Fawcett Comics heroes), and Earth-X (the home of the Quality Comics heroes) were combined into one reality, hereafter known as New Earth.[19]
  • DC Comics Presents #97 (1986): "Phantom Zone: The Final Chapter" The last official Earth-One story.[20]
  • Superman #423 and Action Comics #583 (1986): "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?": The last story of the Superman of Earth-One,[21] though it is technically classified as an Imaginary Story and not an official Earth-One story. It features cameos by all the other heroes of Earth-One.[22][23]

Destruction[edit]

Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985–1986) was an effort by DC Comics to clean up their continuity, resulting in the multiple universes, including that of Earth-One, combining into one. This involved the destruction of the multiverse, including Earth-One and the first appearance of the post-Crisis Earth.

Post-52 version[edit]

At the end of the Infinite Crisis limited series, the realigned world is called "New Earth". There are now 52 universes: "New Earth", and Earths-1 to 51. In the final issue of the 52 weekly series, it is revealed that fifty-two duplicate worlds have been created and all but New Earth have been altered from the original incarnation.[24]

An unrelated Earth-One is featured in the Batman: Earth One[25] and Superman: Earth One[26][27] graphic novels.[28]

In other media[edit]

Batman's Earth-One costume is available for download in Batman Arkham City.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1960s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. This classic Silver Age story resurrected the Golden Age Flash and provided a foundation for the Multiverse from which he and the Silver Age Flash would hail. 
  2. ^ Fox, Gardner (w), Infantino, Carmine (p), Giella, Joe (i). "Flash of Two Worlds!" The Flash 123 (September 1961)
  3. ^ Siegel, Jerry (w), Shuster, Joe (p), Shuster, Joe (i). "The Origin of Superboy" More Fun Comics 101 (January–February 1945)
  4. ^ Hamilton, Edmond (w), Swan, Curt (p), Fischetti, John; Kaye, Stan (i). "The Mightiest Team in the World!" Superman 76 (May–June 1952)
  5. ^ Irvine, Alex "1950s" in Dolan, p. 73: "Jimmy Olsen got his own adventures in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #1. A comic remarkable for its inventiveness and longevity, it ran for 163 issues."
  6. ^ Irvine "1950s" in Dolan, p. 77: "The Martian called J'onn J'onzz debuted as a regular feature in Detective Comics #225. 'The Strange Experiment of Dr. Erdel', by writer Joe Samachson and artist Joe Certa, gave the origin for the lonely Martian Manhunter."
  7. ^ Irvine "1950s" in Dolan, p. 80: "The arrival of the second incarnation of the Flash in [Showcase] issue #4 is considered to be the official start of the Silver Age of comics."
  8. ^ Fradon, Ramona (p)Fradon, Ramona (i)"Aquaman's Undersea Partner" Adventure Comics 229 (October 1956)
  9. ^ Herron, France (w), Papp, George (p), Papp, George (i). "The Rainbow Archer" Adventure Comics 246 (March 1958)
  10. ^ Irvine "1950s" in Dolan, p. 90: "Wonder Woman's origin story and character was given a Silver Age revamp, courtesy of writer Robert Kanigher and artist Ross Andru."
  11. ^ Irvine "1950s" in Dolan, p. 95: "DC had decided to revamp a number of characters to inject new life into the genre. Writer John Broome and artist Gil Kane ensured that Green Lantern got his turn in October [1959]'s Showcase #22."
  12. ^ Fox, Gardner (w), Kubert, Joe (p), Kubert, Joe (i). "Creature of a Thousand Shapes!" The Brave and the Bold 34 (February–March 1961)
  13. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 103: "The Atom was the next Golden Age hero to receive a Silver Age makeover from writer Gardner Fox and artist Gil Kane."
  14. ^ McAvennie "1960s" in Dolan, p. 109: "The two-part 'Crisis on Earth-One!' and 'Crisis on Earth-Two!' saga represented the first use of the term 'Crisis' in crossovers, as well as the designations 'Earth-1' and 'Earth-2'. In it editor Julius Schwartz, [writer Gardner] Fox, and artist Mike Sekowsky devised a menace worthy of the World's Greatest Heroes."
  15. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 146 "It was taboo to depict drugs in comics, even in ways that openly condemned their use. However, writer Denny O'Neil and artist Neal Adams collaborated on an unforgettable two-part arc that brought the issue directly into Green Arrow's home, and demonstrated the power comics had to affect change and perception."
  16. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 153: "Following his debut in House of Secrets #92 in 1971, the Swamp Thing grew into his own series, albeit with a reimagining of his origins by writer Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson."
  17. ^ Thomas, Roy; Thomas, Dann (w), McFarlane, Todd (p), Montano, Steve (i). "Last Crisis on Earth-Two" Infinity, Inc. 19 (October 1985)
  18. ^ Conway, Gerry (w), Staton, Joe (p), Machlan, Mike (i). "The Final Crisis" Justice League of America 244 (November 1985)
  19. ^ Wolfman, Marv (w), Pérez, George (p), Ordway, Jerry (i). "Death at the Dawn of Time" Crisis on Infinite Earths 10 (January 1986)
  20. ^ Gerber, Steve (w), Veitch, Rick (p), Smith, Bob (i). "Phantom Zone: The Final Chapter" DC Comics Presents 97 (September 1986)
  21. ^ Manning, Matthew K. "1980s" in Dolan, p. 220: "In 'Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?', a two-part story written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Curt Swan, the adventures of the Silver Age Superman came to a dramatic close."
  22. ^ Moore, Alan (w), Swan, Curt (p), Pérez, George (i). "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" Superman 423 (September 1986)
  23. ^ Moore, Alan (w), Swan, Curt (p), Schaffenberger, Kurt (i). "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" Action Comics 583 (September 1986)
  24. ^ Johns, Geoff; Morrison, Grant; Rucka, Greg; Waid, Mark (w), Giffen, Keith; Barrows, Eddy; Batista, Chris; Justiniano; McKone, Mike; Olliffe, Patrick; Robertson, Darick (p), Geraci, Drew; Lanning, Andy; Ramos, Rodney; Robertson, Darick; Wong, Walden (i). "A Year in the Life" 52 52 (May 2, 2007)
  25. ^ Johns, Geoff; Frank, Gary (July 2012). Batman: Earth One. DC Comics. p. 144. ISBN 978-1401232085. 
  26. ^ Straczynski, J. Michael; Davis, Shane (October 2010). Superman: Earth One. DC Comics. p. 144. ISBN 978-1401224684. 
  27. ^ Straczynski, J. Michael; Davis, Shane (November 2012). Superman: Earth One Vol. 2. DC Comics. p. 136. ISBN 978-1401231965. 
  28. ^ "DCU in 2010: Welcome to Earth One". DC Comics. December 7, 2009. Archived from the original on September 1, 2012. Retrieved September 1, 2012. 
  29. ^ Jackson, Leah (August 1, 2011). "New Batman Arkham City Bonus Costumes Revealed -- Earth One, The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, And More". G4. Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved September 8, 2012.