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Author Topic: A question about multiple universes...  (Read 15999 times)
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MatterEaterLad
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« on: July 13, 2005, 03:05:22 AM »

I have a feeling that many have no problem appreciating and critiquing the concept of the multiverse...there is some good talk of it over at Batman through the Ages...

My question is more to generate some discussion -- was the IDEA of the "Crisis" a good one?  Not that is was subsequently handled well, but was it a novel idea?

It happened WAY past my comic reading days, but the idea of it and its scope still impress me...
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Genis Vell
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2005, 02:43:58 PM »

I like the post-Crisis Universe, but I think that DC could mantain its Multiverse. It wasn't so complex... And I likd to see different versions of the superheroes (see for example the Earth-2... He killed enemies and married Lois... This made him very different compared to the Earth-1 version).
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nightwing
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2005, 04:26:55 PM »

Was the idea of Crisis a good one?

Well, let's take it from the POV of the "official" reason given; that readers could not keep up with all the twists and turns and complicated baggage of multiple Earths.  This is patently false.  First, I not only kept up with it as a kid, I loved the concept...it was one of the main draws for me that DC had over Marvel.  I loved tracking down all the details of this Earth versus that one, just as I'd later enjoy figuring out the huge roster of the Legion or who was who in Marvel's ever-burgeoning world of mutants.

In point of fact, it was a non-issue. Only a handful of books even hit on the "Multiverse" theme with anything like frequency: the Flash, Justice League of America and Brave and the Bold.  For all the other DC books, the multiple Earths were only an occasional plot device, if at all.  It's not like you had multiple Hawkmen, Batmen, etc running into each other every month.

But then that whole notion of "we're making it simpler for the reader" has long since been exposed as a fraud.  The real reason for the Crisis was because Marvel was kicking the stuffing out of DC on a regular basis, and DC editorial's solution was to "make us more like Marvel."  Was THAT a good idea?  Again I say no...one Marvel is enough, and DC will never beat them at their own game.

Now, was the Crisis story, as told, a good idea?  Again, not really.  What I've heard of Marv's original concept might have been intriguing...destroy the Multiverse in the last issue and then reboot every monthly in the DC line the following month.  This would have given the DCU a fresh start, but it would also have been a Hurculean feat of editing prowess and in the end DC didn't have the skill or guts to do it.  Instead, some characters were rebooted months later (Superman), some years later (Wonder Woman and Batman, sort of) and some not at all (Green Lantern).  This created a hopeless mess of a "continuity" that's been far more confusing and chaotic than anything that came before 1986.

So was Crisis a good idea from a storytelling point of view?  No, it took away more story possibilities than it created, and that's never a good move.  Was it a good idea from a marketing/editorial standpoint?  Maybe in principle, but the execution was a misfire.  

I have to say at the time my reaction was "wait and see." I was quite prepared for the "crossover to end all crossovers" and I was interested to see where they'd go with it.  But in hindsight, now that we can see how it all panned out, it was a disaster.  The idea itself may have had merit, but not enough thought went into pulling it off.[/i]
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dto
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2005, 04:29:35 PM »

Even though DC insisted that the Multiverse died in Crisis on Infinite Earths, we've seen clear evidence otherwise:

1.  The Time Trapper created an Earth and Krypton "Pocket Universe" in order to produce a Superboy for the Legion of Super-Heroes.

2.  Earth-2, home of the Crime Syndicate of AmeriKa in the Qwaad Antimatter Universe.

3.  Ocassional interactions with Earth-616 in the Marvel Comics Universe.  Usually these crossovers were never part of mainstream continuity, but the recent JLAvengers definitely left its mark.

4.  A couple years ago Superman was seen intercepting "a dead Earth from another dimension" and removing it from a potential collision with Earth by VIBRATING it until it disappeared!

5.  In the last Supergirl arc, "Many Happy Returns", Supergirl Linda Danvers replaced Kara Zor-El in a variant Earth-1 (or possibly THE Earth-1 until her prescence caused a timeline diversion from the recorded history).

6.  In the ongoing Rann-Thanagar War, Rann was shifted to an otherwise empty universe.  Perhaps this universe was once swept clean by an antimatter wave?

And then we have alternate timelines (current, past and/or future) which were seen very recently in both Teen Titans and Superman/Batman.  Hypertime, the Post-Crisis equivalent to the old Multiverse (where everything that could happen exists, INCLUDING old Pre-Crisis continuity) figured prominently in The Kingdom and Zero Hour.  The catch is that one cannot remain in an alternate Hypertimeline without unravelling Reality, so you can't take up permanent residence in another timeline like how Black Canary emigrated from Earth-2 to Earth-1.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2005, 04:45:19 PM »

I'd really like to argue points here, just to get a debate going but I can't... Cool

1. I completely agree that the so called rationale was probably faked, it WASN'T hard to keep track of the multiverse and it gave a richness, re-introduced history without always having to write it new (i.e, many Golden Age stories) and it was a damned clever use of sci fi when it was first introduced (a time when sci fi and concepts of time and parallel mirror universes and dimensions were taking hold)

2. It seems inescapable that DC was trying for an epic and to become more like Marvel...

But it seems almost too tempting to want to try for a grand coalescence of all time and space going back to the creation of the the original universe, what an opportunity for writers and fans who followed the multiverse...I could imagine myself being excited by it because you would have to test your knowledge and memory of the multiverses to understand how they might be destroyed...

Which may defeat DC's so-called rationale for doing it, or at least imply that they weren't honest about why they were doing it...
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llozymandias
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2005, 08:22:57 PM »

It's ironic that DC thought it needed to eliminate its multiverse, for it to be more like Marvel.  Marvel had its own multiverse all along.  A multiverse setting is better for a company like DC or Marvel.  Several reasons for that:

   1.)  Licensed characters;  if they are on their own earth(s) they can still crossover with the publisher's characters.  If the license is not renewed that earth is simply not used again.  


   2.)  Revamps/retcons/reboots;  just say that the new version of the character is his/her counterpart on a newly discovered earth.  The new version can still interact with the character in the other titles.  You don't need to alter everyone's past to do it that way.


   3.)  Acquired characters;  just imagine that DC kept its multiverse, & continued buying out other comics lines.  Here are a few universes they could have added to their multiverse;  Valiant/Acclaim,  Malibu's ultraverse, First Comics, Hero Alliance, Power Factor, & many others.
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2005, 09:03:56 PM »

Quote from: "llozymandias"
3.)  Acquired characters;  just imagine that DC kept its multiverse, & continued buying out other comics lines.  Here are a few universes they could have added to their multiverse;  Valiant/Acclaim,  Malibu's ultraverse, First Comics, Hero Alliance, Power Factor, & many others.


Unless there was a feeling that wasn't going to work as a business model anymore...it was a dawn of blockbuster effects movies, music videos and cable TV, video games, etc.  and it may have led DC to think that an epic followed by a re-boot and then carefully marketed special editions was the way to go....

I still have to think the challenge of combing everything would have been hard to resist, and the potential for dealing with a huge subject, poignant lines, and tragic and shocking deaths..
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2005, 09:50:30 PM »

Quote from: "llozymandias"

3.)  Acquired characters;  just imagine that DC kept its multiverse, & continued buying out other comics lines.  Here are a few universes they could have added to their multiverse;  Valiant/Acclaim,  Malibu's ultraverse, First Comics, Hero Alliance, Power Factor, & many others.


Which is what they were doing:

Earth-4 - Charlton Comics
Earth-S - Fawcett Comics
Earth-X - Quality Comics
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