SPOILER ALERT (if you care about DC continuity and haven’t read 52, stop now!)
Ok, now that you're here, one more warning: this post is going to be extra nerdy. Still with me? OK, here we go... the Multiverse is back!!! DC’s epic, year-long series ‘52’ wrapped up this week, and I must confess that I am absolutely geeking out over the return of the Multiverse.
Some of you who have meandered over from the Movies page may be asking, “Multiverse? What the HELL is he talking about?!” Allow me to digress for a moment. For those unaware, by the mid-80s the DC Comics universe had become a very confusing place. Due to a number of factors, including storylines from characters such as Superman and Batman that had been ongoing since the 1930s, the acquisition of rival publishing companies such as Fawcett, etc, DC continuity was fractured amongst multiple, parallel-universe versions of Earth (Earth-1, Earth-2, etc). These Earths existed in parallel dimensions (crossover was possible), but you truly had to have an encyclopedic knowledge of DC history to understand everything that was going on. 1985’s landmark ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ undid the Multiverse and merged the entire continuity onto one Earth/universe, killing LOTS of people in the process.
And now, with the conclusion of 52, the Multiverse is back! I’m excited about this because, as a concept, I think the idea of parallel universes is one that lends itself very well to a continuity as rich and historic as DC’s. Since each Earth has it’s own iteration of Batman, Superman, etc (including Earth-3’s EVIL versions of these characters), writers will be free to take more risks and experiment with otherwise staid and stalwart characters. If a new character doesn’t work, just toss him onto one of the loser Earths.
My personal congrats to DC – great job on 52!