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Author Topic: The new Multiverse?  (Read 5603 times)
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Nape
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« on: January 31, 2004, 07:06:29 PM »

Mr. Majestic says he is from another Earth in the Multiverse.  Is the multiverse back?
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TriSaber
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« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2004, 08:06:28 PM »

Who can say anymore, Nape? At the beginning of the Post-Crisis, we were led to believe that the DC Universe was amalgamated into a single Earth with a single continuity ... which ultimately turned out to be a disaster in terms of overall DC continuity because everything was being rewritten and re-rewritten a zillion times over in an effort to fix the errors ... which wound up making things worse. Then we have the concept of Hypertime, in which divergent ocurrences in the DC Universe run their course. What are they if not parallel universes (which would constitute a multiverse). Then we have the reintroduction of the Crime Syndicate of America (or Amerika, if you wanna get picky), who are from ... you guessed it ... a parallel Earth! Gasp! And I won't even bring up the whole "Superboy Pocket Universe" crap. And on top of it all, we find out that the Golden Age (or Earth-2) Superman still exists in that "otherdimensional paradise" he entered at the end of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and finally found a way back to the mainstrean DC Universe, but refused to stay ... although I can't say I blame him.

In short ... you're guess is as good as mine. I don't think even the editorial staff at DC knows for sure.  :roll:
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nightwing
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2004, 03:19:07 AM »

Sounds like the first use of the word "Multiverse" in years, anyway.  Unless Parallax mentioned it by name in "Zero Hour."

As I understand it, the official name for multiple realities is now "Hypertime."  However, only a handful of characters in the official DCU know it even exists, much less what to call it.  So if Mr. Majestic is from one of those alternate realities, he might very well call it something else...like the Multiverse.

I kind of like this notion.  It suggests that the Multiverse never stopped existing, despite the claims of Crisis #12.  We just started watching the adventures of a new Earth in 1986, one where no one happened to know about the Multiverse, and so for them it did not "exist." When some of them did discover the Multiverse, they called it Hypertime (being ignorant savages and all), but it's still the Multiverse anyway.  Meanwhile Earths 1, 2, 3, etc continue to exist as they always did, and somwhere the JLA and JSA are still crossing over once a year and having great adventures.  But we, alas, are stuck reading the adventures of a "backwater" Earth that barely understands the concept of a Multiverse, the one Earth where it's very, very, very hard to get to other Earths, so no one bothers.

In other words, just because we aren't allowed to see it anymore doesn't mean the Multiverse doesn't still exist.  We just got stuck on "Earth-Crap" for 20 years.

At least that's the way I'm going to view it.  It's much more likely someone just decided "Multiverse" was a cool word, so they brought it back for this storyline never intending to reference the original "Multiverse" we remember.
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Super Monkey
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2004, 04:15:00 AM »

well, that's more like wishful thinking. Those Earths were clearly destroyed in that mini series. But, what happen to the Earth-1 Superman, aka the true Superman? He was around for a few months after crisis then just went away, unless you count "Superman: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow?" as a real story.

http://www.411mania.com/comics/reviews/article.php?reviews_id=905
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Brainiac44
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2004, 11:55:27 AM »

Multiverse back, to be later merged into one and then brought back...to be merged into one, from this one, multiverses will emerge...
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nightwing
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2004, 05:04:42 PM »

SuperMonkey writes:


Quote
well, that's more like wishful thinking. Those Earths were clearly destroyed in that mini series.


It's been awhile since I've read "Crisis" (thank Heavens!), but as memory serves, those other worlds were never shown blowing up, burning up, splitting in half, etc.  They just disappeared into a white nothingness.  So whether they could all still be around depends on your definition of "clearly destroyed."

More importantly we must not forget the ultimate paradox of the "Crisis"...because it happened, it can never have happened. (!) The final thing Crisis ret-conned away was itself, because no story involving multiple earths can possibly have taken place.

Except for some odd comments from this or that character every few years (like Hal Jordan in "Zero Hour"), it seems that those who remember the Crisis at all remember it as something altogether different from what we saw.  For them it went like this:  the skies turned red, some cosmic threat loomed, the Flash died but the good guys won.  No multiple nothin', no "I used to live on Earth-2 but now I live on this merged Earth," no "wasn't there a Supergirl who died too?"...nada. Yes, there was that period when Superman remembered Kara (who now never existed), a period of a few months before he was rebooted.  And there was that mini-series where the JSA buried the Earth-2 Dick Grayson and Helena Wayne, but there are signs that never happened, either.  And starting with "Man of Steel" no. 1, we are dealing with a different Superman than the one published the month before.  The current Superman did not participate in the Crisis we read, even though the current Hal Jordan MAY have. (?)

My point is, nothing in "Crisis" is particularly binding on the DCU, since the entire Crisis has itself been effectively ret-conned away in the months and years since, and now according to DCU continuity it's something that never could have happened.  Even if I had seen those Earths "destroyed" in Crisis, it wouldn't matter, since by editorial decree, they never existed in the first place!  

If I want to believe the Multiverse still exists, who's to say I'm wrong?  Indeed, "The Kingdom" and various issues of "Superboy" tell us the Multiverse does indeed exist, just with a different name.  

Let's face it, "Crisis" is a terrible story that goes on for six issues too long and ultimately collapses under its own weight.  I still have an "Amazing Heroes" magazine from the time which details just how many times Wolfman contradicted himself and broke his own rules.  The series may have been pretty to look at (sometimes), but in the end it was just a corny gimmick; a way to make editorial changes via an actual "event" in the characters' lives.  It's kind of like that cartoon where Daffy Duck breaks the fourth wall and talks to his animator until he finally gets erased off the page.  And for my money, it should be taken with the same seriousness.  Whether or not you agree with the decision to wipe the slate clean in 85, the choice to do so in the form of a company-wide cross-over event was nothing more than a marketing gimmick, a case of bean-counters pulling the strings of writers and artists. (And in that regard, a sad harbinger of things to come)

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unless you count "Superman: Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow?" as a real story.



If that doesn't qualify as a "real story," then I don't know what does! As far as I'm concerned it's the last real story ever told about Superman, written by the last real writer to ever work on the character.  And DC seems determined to keep it that way.




[/quote]
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Continental Op
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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2004, 08:29:55 PM »

I know it's an cranky old overreaction on my part, but the guy who wrote that review of "Whatever Happened" has me rolling my eyes.

He perfectly represents the knows-much-less-than-they-think-they-do-about-comics-history, WIZARD Magazine-worshipping crowd of trend-jumpers. The kind who delude themselves into thinking that EVERYTHING between ACTION COMICS #1 and the John Byrne revamp was a vast wasteland of childish garbage... "oh wait, except for those Alan Moore stories, of course, THOSE were good! Too bad he was the ONLY writer in fifty years who did anything good with the character."  

How could Superman possibly be so hugely popular for so long if poor writers spent all those decades making the concept WORSE? This question never occurs to them, for some reason.

Everyone has the right to their opinion, but I would really prefer that it be an INFORMED opinion. That guy doesn't seem to have done any of his homework at all before splattering his incorrect assumptions into the review.

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By the middle of the 1980s, the Superman franchise had become a sad and pathetic joke. The childish stories, one-dimensional villains, the reduction of Lois Lane to the status of being an insane stalker of Superman who’s entire life revolved around becoming Superman’s wife, the constant influx of Krypton survivors which gave the impression that only Superman’s Kryptonian parents and their neighbors died when the planet exploded, and Superman/Clark Kent becoming a totally unrelatable character which made him the hero everyone avoided reading. DC Comics, desperately wanted to revamp the franchise, hired disgruntled ex-Marvel Comics writer/artist John Byrne and announced that they were going to reboot the Superman franchise from the ground up and disregard the franchise’s storied history in favor of a more streamline and realistic portrayal that people could relate to.


Where to begin? He's obviously using third-hand information here... he thinks that Mort Weisinger was editing Superman right up until after CRISIS, apparently. Lois Lane was a stalker obsessed with becoming Superman's wife in the mid-Eighties? Really? There were MORE Kryptonians around, instead of FEWER? Classic villains like Luthor, Mongul, Vandal Savage and Brainiac WEREN'T being written as more three-dimensional and threatening? No one could relate to Superman/Clark (for unspecified reasons, I notice)?

How curious. All these mid-Eighties comics in MY collection apparently don't exist. In reality, the Seventies through the mid-Eighties seem to have been all hokey Silver Age reprints... except those great Alan Moore stories, of course!

Quote
To bring an end to the “Silver Age” Superman era,


Which, if you MUST use the concept of "Ages", had already ended in 1970...

Quote
in favor of a more streamline and realistic portrayal that people could relate to.


Our spelling-challenged  reviewer goes on to describe how Superman has one final battle with his "rouge" gallery, including Lex "Luther".

Sigh. I know Mr. Baker's heart was in the right place, and I've got to admit that if someone had given ME ultimate power over the Superman mythos in 1986, I would have made my share of changes too... but he does himself a disservice by thinking that a few tired old cliches are all he needs to know about the pre-Moore history of Superman, in order to pass judgment on it.
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India Ink
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2004, 09:12:30 PM »

We know that "Crisis" as it eventually came to be known was in the planning stages for a few years, and went through many didn't different rewrites until we ended up with the 12 issue event.

My feeling is that Wolfman didn't throw out all the earlier drafts, but kept some of them in the final script.  So in the final issues of Crisis we go through the different concepts for what might happen to the "infiinite universe(s)" before we get to the penultimate one at the end of issue 12 (but not the ultimate one which would take form after Crisis).

We get the five essential Earths that survive--a perfectly good concept, which would allow most of the continuities to survive--then we get an Earth where all the previous alternate histories did happen, but now everyone who has survived is living on Earth 1, the final last Earth out of all the Infinite number that had existed.  And then we get the idea of rebooting the universe so that there's only one pro-matter universe and one Earth (but also an anti-matter universe, I hasten to add), where the heroes remember the multiple Earths and those who died in the Crisis.

But this isn't the actual Earth we ended up with.

Also, remember the wierd nature of the Crisis, where it would hit a universe's entire existence--not just at some point in its timeline.  So the universe ended up never having existed at all.  This is why the Legion are involved in the event, because the Crisis hits in their time at the same "time" it hits the 20th C. Earth.  All of the universe and every moment of the universe is destroyed by the "Crisis."

So it is possible to tell stories that take place after the Crisis, but not really after the Crisis--if you can follow the wierd logic.  The Legion stories all take place after the Crisis happened in the 20th C.--so all these stories happened, but didn't happen.  And by the same logic any stories in the past happened, but didn't happen.  So the Superman stories after Crisis are still in a continuity which would eventually be destroyed and therefore (from a post-C DCU perspective) never have existed.

During the OWAW event a few years back there was a scene where some scientists (albeit comic book scientists) went on about the multiple universe theory, but I don't know if they actually used the word "multiverse."

However the Hypertime concept of the mulitverse is fundamentally distinct from the Gardner Fox multi-universe theory.

Mark Waid's concept of the Kingdoms--which seems to borrow heavily from Harlan Ellison--describes a bunch of timelines that grow together and grow apart, sort of like a tree.  In the Gardner Fox world these universes were each distinct from one another--their timelines were parallel, meaning the lines never came together.

Imagine a bunch of paved roads all headed in the same direction and all coming from the same direction, and all parallel to each other.  This is the Fox multiverse.  Now imagine some crazy guy with a steamroller who paves a path that zigs and zags and dispsey doodles across the medians between these roads.  This is the Waid multiverse.
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