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Kyle Rayner discovers the Bleed in Ion #10,
artist Greg Tocchini.
|First appearance||Stormwatch vol. 2 #7|
The Bleed is a fictional interdimensional realm, a comic book construct that appears in books published by DC Comics. It first appeared in Stormwatch (vol. 2) #7 (May 1998), and was created by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch.
The Bleed is an interdimensional realm that first appeared in the Wildstorm book Stormwatch (vol. 2) #7 (May 1998), which was written by Warren Ellis, and illustrated by Bryan Hitch. The Bleed was depicted as a realm through which characters such as the Authority could travel between any two distant points much faster than in normal space.
After DC Comics acquired Wildstorm in 1998, the Bleed was explained as the space between the fictional DC Universe and Wildstorm Universe, across which characters could travel, which first occurred when the Wildstorm character Mr. Majestic was transported to the DC Universe in his self-titled 1999 miniseries, with which the integration of the Wildstorm Universe as one of many among the DC Multiverse was established.
There were several minor crossovers until Captain Atom: Armageddon, in which Captain Atom nearly inadvertently destroyed the Wildstorm Universe. Void saved him but decided the Wildstorm Universe was not worth saving in its current form, triggering the "soft reset" of every series, known as "WorldStorm". In Ion #10, the Bleed appears for the first time in a mainstream DC book.
The Bleed is not a universe in itself, but it is defined as the space between parallel universes. In the Wildstorm Universe, the most advanced beings can travel between parallel universes through the Bleed, or, simply, an arterial duct connecting to universes. Travelling through the Bleed is not without danger though and sometimes objects or beings get lost, appearing in times and places they were never meant to go. In addition, the Bleed has mutagenic properties that alter the make-up of any sentient being that enters it directly. The effects can be beneficial or detrimental, depending on the circumstances of the exposure.
The Bleed was officially discovered by a group of scientists working for Stormwatch. They managed to look through the Bleed at a parallel universe using an opening several atoms thick. This universe featured a Jack Hawksmoor in charge of Stormwatch and he observes the scientists. Later it would be revealed that the Bleed had been discovered before; Jenny Sparks had had contact with the Bleed-travellers from Sliding Albion in the early 20th century and Planetary had catalogued numerous Bleed incursions. In Planetary, Elijah Snow speculated that extraterrestrials have so much interest in Earth because they accessed The Bleed "too early."
When The Authority obtained the Carrier, a vessel capable of traveling through the Bleed, Bleed incursions became far more numerous. To oversee the negative effects of these incursions, the Monarchy was created.
The series Majestic has shown that the Bleed also connects the Wildstorm multiverse to the DC Universe, an idea that Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth presented, as well as Captain Atom: Armageddon, which thus makes the Bleed perfect for contriving crossovers.
The Authority/Planetary crossover, All Over the World, revealed that there is a hostile force operating within the Bleed that seeks out and exterminates Earths. Its first known attack on the Wildstorm Earth was in 1931 in Rhode Island, involving eggs specifically designed to spawn Lovecraftian monsters when touched by humans; a second incursion occurred in 1999 involving killer robots that could self-replicate. The leaders of this force were a hideous reptilian version of the Authority. A storyline in the Monarchy reveals that this team is called the High Power and the world-killing force are Chimaera, an army made entirely of evil alternate Authorities created by the Authority's frequent travels in the Bleed.
Bleed-spawned alternate Authorities would show up multiple times in the realm of the Easter Bunny. This realm was inadvertently created by the powerful Authority member Jenny Quantum after she read a violent comic book. Most of these doubles were killed.
After the reboot
After the Infinite Crisis (DC) and the Worldstorm (Wildstorm) events the Bleed is still connected to the rebooted universes and acts as the space between them. Captain Atom, after his stint in the Wildstorm Universe and brief return to the mainstream DC Universe, retreated into the Bleed. Upon this he discovered that the Monitors (still aware of everything about the universes and the Multiverse itself), are unable to know what happens in the Bleed.
In Blue Beetle #23, Jaime Reyes learns to shift into the Bleed using his Blue Beetle Scarab, and observing that time moves differently there uses this to his advantage, so he can be in several places at the same time.
In Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1, it is revealed that the multiversal Monitors refer to the Bleed as the Ultramenstruum, and that the Authority's Carrier is a piece of Monitor nano-technology. The void is later described as the "blood of life itself", that cannot be bottled or contained by anyone else but the Monitors, and that Mandrakk the Dark Monitor strives to consume, ending life in the whole Multiverse. There, the Captain Marvel of Earth-5 is granted the personal Carrier of Zillo Valla, named the Ultima Thule, to warn the 52 Universes in the DC Multiverse of the upcoming invasion.
- Multiverse (DC Comics)
- DC Universe
- Cynosure, a pan-dimensional city from the GrimJack comics
- Tanelorn, a similar city featured in the work of Michael Moorcock
- Sigil, The City of Doors, touching all planes of reality at once, featured in the Dungeons & Dragons' Planescape-Setting
- M'Kraan Crystal, a Nexus of Realities in the Marvel Universe