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Multiverse

The Multiverse

MULTIVERSE

The Multiverse consists of multiple versions of the universe existing in the same physical space, but separated from each other by their vibrational resonances.

The Original Multiverse was created as the result of interference in the Big Bang by Krona. He was a member of the ancient race of powerful, blue-skinned humanoid immortals from the planet Maltus (they would later relocate to Oa and style themselves the Guardians of the Universe). Krona was a scientist obsessed with observing the creation of the universe, despite an Oan legend that said discovering that secret would cause a great calamity. Krona created a machine that allowed him to see into the moment of creation. Somehow, his experiment disrupted the process of creation, with terrible consequences – it caused the creation of not a single universe, but the generation of an infinite number of universes.

PRE-CRISIS

Pre-Crisis is a term used to describe characters, items, realities or events that took place prior to 1986.

All occurrences relating to the Golden Age, Silver Age or Bronze Age of comic book publishing are germane to the Pre-Crisis continuity.


Golden Age

The Golden Age of Comic Books was a period in the history of American comic books, generally thought of as lasting from 1938[1] until the late 40’s or mid 50’s. Typically ending with the release of more gritty stories.

During this era, comic books became more popular, with the concept of superhero created and firmly established. After this, the silver age began.

Earth Two

Earth-Two was a parallel universe and a designation attributed to the planet Earth, and the Universe it inhabited. This Earth-Two continuity includes DC’s Golden Age heroes, including the Justice Society of America, whose careers began at the dawn of World War II, concurrently with their first appearances in comics. The two Earths were closely linked in terms of parallel development, although Earth-Two individuals usually predated their Earth-One counterparts by a few decades.

Earth-2A

The Earth-2A universe is very similar to the universe known as Earth-Two. It has only been seen in comic books referenced in the Super Friends comics, as well as the Superman animated theatrical shorts.[2]

Earth-S

Earth-S is one of the infinite number of divergent realities that made up the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Multiverse. The predominant heroic teams were the Marvel Family, the Crime Crusader Club and the Squadron of Justice, while the main team of supervillains were the Monster Society of Evil. During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Earth-S was effectively merged with Earth-One, Earth-Two, Earth-Four, and Earth-X to form one composite universe, called the New Earth.

  • Earth-S first appeared Whiz Comics, Vol. 1 #2 (February, 1940).[3]
  • Earth-S is first named in Shazam!, Vol. 1 #1 (February, 1973).[4]

Silver Age

The Silver Age is the informal term applied to a specific period of comic book publishing history. It was a period of artistic advancement and commercial success, specifically for those in the superhero genre. It is generally understood as beginning in the early to mid 50’s and ending in 1970.

Many comic book historians cite its beginning with the introduction of the Flash in Showcase, Vol. 1 #4 in October, 1956.[5] However, there are several other characters commonly associated with the Silver Age that actually predate the Flash. Science-fiction adventurer Captain Comet debuted in the pages of Strange Adventures in August-September 1950,[6] and the Martian Manhunter made his first appearance in November of 1955 (a full year before the Flash) in Detective Comics, Vol. 1 #225 November, 1955.[7]

Earth-One

Earth-One was a parallel universe and a designation attributed to the planet Earth, and the Universe it inhabited. This Earth-One continuity includes DC’s Silver Age heroes, including the Justice League of America.

Earth-1A (Earth-Thirty-Two)

The Earth-1A universe (partly identified as Earth-Thirty-Two) is very similar to the universe known as Earth-One. Super Powers Volumes 1, 2, 3 and Super Powers Collection comics are all formally identified as happening on Earth-Thirty-Two so it seems reasonable to include Super Friends TV series and the Super Friends comic book series as also being set in that reality. According to the DC One Million 80-Page Giant #1 (Aug. 1, 1999), the universe is apparently part of Hypertime (which explains why comic stories set on Earth-Thirty-Two appeared after Crisis). Similar to the Post-Crisis Earth, Earth-Thirty-Two mixed elements from various Earths (for example, it had both a Justice Society and a Justice League). It may have even had its own version of the Marvel Family (but given that there is also a hypertime version of Earth-S this may have been the result of a brief merging of the two realities). Since Earth-Thirty-Two was most similar to Earth-One it may have been where the 1991 "Swamp Thing" animated series happened as Swamp Thing's portrayal is closer to the Pre-Crisis version of the character from the comics.

It should be noted that not all animated versions of the characters existed in this reality. For example, 1988 "Superman" animated series has [Lex Luthor]] as a corrupt businessman who utilized a ring fastened with a small piece of Kryptonite as a means of defending himself rather then the wanted criminal seen before Crisis and a Superman with an origin the same as his Pre-Crisis one and his costume (including his cape) remains indestructible.

Bronze Age

The Bronze Age is the informal term applied to a specific period of comic book publishing history. Following the Silver Age era, DC's Bronze Age is largely recognized as beginning in early 1970’s and ending with the 1985-86 crossover maxi-series, Crisis on Infinite Earths. The Bronze Age retained many of the conventions of the Silver Age, including Earth-One, with brightly colored superhero titles remaining the mainstay of the industry. However darker plot elements and more mature storylines featuring real-world issues, such as drug use, began to appear during the period.

Many characters and events from the Bronze Age are said to be germain to the continuity of Earth-One.

Interestingly enough, the SuperFriends Universe encompass this entire time-frame. However, much of the series (TV show and comicbook) are more consistent with the Silver-Age.


CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS

In the mid 80's, the Crisis on Infinite Earths series effectively re-booted the internal DC universe from the dawn of time onward.

A new history was written – one that rendered many of the older DC stories apocryphal. Characters, timelines, and events from the varying alternate realities were condensed into one modernized mainstream reality, excising many characters that would otherwise be construed as redundant.


POST CRISIS

After the events of Infinite Crisis, the remaining Earths created collapsed back together, combining historical remnants to form one New Earth.

HYPERTIME

It was later revealed that the Pre-Crisis multiverse was only part of an even larger multiverse called [hypertime] which had copies of Earths destroyed in Crisis. The main difference from the Pre-Crisis multiverse is these realities can briefly merge together forming a new third reality with a distorted/altered history before diverging again.

Modern Age

The Modern Age is the informal term applied to a specific period of comic book publishing history. Following the Bronze Age era, DC's Modern Age is largely recognized as beginning with the 1985-86 crossover maxi-series, Crisis on Infinite Earths. Crisis yielded not only the end of an era, but also the an omniversal reboot of the internal history of most of their major projects. In this period, comic book characters generally became darker and more psychologically complex, creators became better-known and active in changing the industry, independent comics flourished, and larger publishing houses became more commercialized

Most of the Modern Age continuity occurs on New Earth.

New Earth

New Earth is the mainstream reality of the DC Multiverse since the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

From a functional perspective, the histories and peoples of Earth-One, Earth-Two (and many others) were effectively merged to form one composite universe, the Post-Crisis Earth. Earth-One became a sort of template, onto which the other Earths were apparently added.

References

  1. The era was kickstarted by the publishing of Action Comics #1 in June, 1938, which featured the first appearance of Superman and the superhero. Superman became extremely popular. Soon, superheroes dominate the pages of comic books from both DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and Fawcett Comics.
  2. This is conjecture based on the fact that the Superman cartoons were made during the '40s, which was the time that Earth-Two stories were showcased, and also based on the fact that the same voice actors from The New Adventures of Superman voice the characters in that show as well.
  3. Go to the DC Database for more on Whiz Comics, Vol. 1 #2 (February, 1940).
  4. Go to the DC Database for more on Shazam!, Vol. 1 #1 (February, 1973).
  5. Go to the DC Database for more on Showcase, Vol. 1 #4 (October, 1956).
  6. Go to Wikipedia.org for more on Strange Adventures (August-September 1950).
  7. Go to the DC Database for more on Detective Comics, Vol. 1 #225 (October, 1956).

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