Unlocking the History of the Multiverse

future year, Andy Muschietti ’ s The Flash will expose more people than always before to the concept of DC ’ s Multiverse—the sweep of differing “ Earths, ” each with their own unique makeup of superheroes and villains. The mind of the DC Multiverse international relations and security network ’ t newly, but at least until very recently, it besides wasn ’ thyroxine well known outside of the comedian book congregation. end year, The CW ’ s “ Crisis on Infinite Earths ” miniseries brought the Multiverse to the screen door for the first clock time, and with its cameo by Ezra Miller as the theatrical universe ’ s Flash, served as a sort of prologue for Muschietti ’ s approaching DC blockbuster. calm, not everyone saw “ Crisis on Infinite Earths, ” and even among people who did, we couldn ’ t blame anyone for being a bite lost or at least having a few questions .
For example, how many Earths are in the Multiverse ? Are they actually infinite ? Did the Crisis on Infinite Earths comedian create the DC Multiverse ? What ’ s the distributor point of the Multiverse ? And is the Multiverse we ’ ll be seeing in the movie the same as the one in the comics ?
The answers aren ’ metric ton always so childlike, but before we start getting into them, we should first gear explain what the Multiverse is for anyone out there who may be fresh to the concept .
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Infinite Possibility

The Multiverse is basically a storytelling device that exists within DC that ties a bunch of the comics we ’ ve published over the by 80+ years together. It ’ sulfur changed a bite since it was introduced, but the current DC Multiverse states that there are 52 different Earths in universe all occupying the lapp space, but vibrating at different frequencies. Each Earth shares a few similarities—for model, they all contain sentient, intelligent life, most often human—but other than that, they can be very unlike from each early .
however, that ’ s not everything. Along with the 52 Earths, there exist several other realms where DC ’ s menagerie of gods and early supreme, deity beings exist—think Jack Kirby ’ s New Gods, Wonder Woman ’ s Greek-inspired patrons, Lucifer Morningstar and his legions of Hell and Neil Gaiman ’ s Dream of the Endless. There ’ mho besides the Monitor Sphere, where the Monitors rest and conduct their supervision ( and yes, there are more than one of them ), the Source Wall, which contains everything in the Multiverse, and much more. The DC Multiverse, as presently mapped, is a complicate place .
And yes, you read that right. There is a map of the Multiverse ! In fact, if you ’ d like to dive right in and explore the current Multiverse, you can do that by using our interactional interpretation of the map or checking out the static adaptation below .
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Click above image to view a full-sized PDF

Connecting the Comics

Okay, but what does this complex, preferably strange thing have to do with our comics ? Which Earth do Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman live on ? That would be Earth-0, or “ Prime Earth. ” If you pick up a transcript of any current, ongoing DC amusing that ’ s bent within DC ’ sulfur shared universe—for exercise, Batman, Superman, Justice League, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, etc.—it ’ sulfur most likely set on Earth-0 .
On the early hand, if you ’ ve read any classic DC comedian script released anterior to late 2011, chances are it ’ south set on a different earth ( potentially one that no longer exists—we ’ ll catch to that in a consequence ). We ’ ra talking about books like our classical Golden Age comics, “ Elseworlds ” tales like Gotham by Gaslight, Kingdom Come and Superman : red Son or any of our popular “ Earth One ” graphic novels .
Of course, we ’ re hedging our statement a little because there are DC comics that are rightfully out of continuity and aren ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate jell within the Multiverse, so don ’ thyroxine expect every single DC comedian book to tie in. But many, many do .
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The Flash Gets There First…Naturally

so where did the DC Multiverse come from ? Well, it ’ second generally accepted that the idea of the Multiverse first took beginning in 1961 ’ s The Flash # 123, in a floor called “ The Flash of Two Worlds. ” In this Silver Age classic written by Gardner Fox and drawn by Carmine Infantino, Barry Allen was teleported to Keystone City and met the Golden Age Flash, Jay Garrick .
genuine, the Flash didn ’ thyroxine then go on to discover a bunch of different worlds with a crowd of unlike superheroes, but this consequence did establish a few key components to the Multiverse : Jay Garrick ’ s Golden Age Earth occupies the lapp space as ours but vibrates at a different frequency, and the superheroes in Garrick ’ mho global were the heroes found in the comics published in Allen ’ s world .

A Collection of Crises

Where the Multiverse truly comes in to play, however, is in a series of consequence comics that all share a identical winder parole in their titles. care to guess what that is ?
That ’ south properly, “ Crisis. ”
In 1963, Gardner Fox took his theme of surrogate Earths one footprint further in Justice League of America # 21 in a storyline called “ Crisis on Earth-One, ” which concluded in Justice League of America # 22 ’ mho “ Crisis on Earth-Two. ” Essentially a crossover comedian that teamed up the Silver Age Justice League of America with the Golden Age Justice Society of America, this storyline firm established that the Golden Age versions of DC characters still existed, barely on a unlike worldly concern .
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yet, cool as this concept was, as more and more comics were published, flush two Earths couldn ’ triiodothyronine explanation for all of the different takes on characters and storylines. Continuity became unwieldy and for many readers, it became intemperate to determine which storylines were considered canon and which were now irrelevant. Decisions were made to simplify it all into one square, connected universe, and Crisis on Infinite Earths was born !

Written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by George Perez in 1985, Crisis on Infinite Earths is one of the most celebrated books in DC history and is normally what fans are talking about when you hear them refer to a series simply as “ Crisis. ” Crisis on Infinite Earths acknowledged a Multiverse of…well, infinite Earths. It acknowledged it, and then it largely destroyed it, eliminating all of the Earths except for one .
Of course, as people are adoring of saying, nothing is constantly in comedian books, and in 2005, Geoff Johns with the aid of artists including Phil Jimenez and George Perez brought a version of the Multiverse concisely back with the seven-issue event Infinite Crisis before taking it away again, leaving us once again with one single, lonely little Earth. But change was in the wind…
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Fifty-Two Worlds Strong

therefore, when did the Multiverse retort, and where did the concept of 52 Earths come from ? Well, we can say it was an mind a year in the make .
not hanker after the decision of Infinite Crisis, a writing team made up of Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid reestablished the DC Multiverse with a weekly amusing called 52. Told reasonably in real fourth dimension, each issue in 52 covered one week of the year following Infinite Crisis, and by the end it introduced us to a newfangled Multiverse made up of 52 different Earths. however, it ’ south worth noting that this was NOT the current 52-Earth Multiverse .
For that, we have to jump ahead a bite, and tint on a few more key comics .
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In 2008, the first publish of Final Crisis hit the stands. A spiritual companion to Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis is recognized by fans as the third in a trilogy of “ Crisis ” tales, and seeing how it was written entirely by Grant Morrison, it ’ mho hands down the most…well, let ’ s say “ out there. ” It includes a fatal bullet train film backwards through meter, reveals that the Monitors are actually cosmic vampires, features a phantasmagoric race between two Flashes and the Black Racer and shockingly kills off Batman. ( It besides ends with Superman defeating Darkseid with a song—like we said, it ’ mho pretty crazy. )
concluding crisis left us with 52 Earths, and 2011 ’ s Flashpoint, the world-changing Flash consequence that reset the DC Universe, altered them further. It was shortly after Flashpoint that our previously mentioned map of the Multiverse came into being, created under the guidance of Morrison as a function of The Multiversity, which was an imaginative, ambitious eight-comic consequence that helped to clarify and solidify the DC Multiverse of today .
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In writing The Multiversity, Morrison looked to DC ’ s past in defining precisely what Earths existed within in the Multiverse. Along with the Golden Age heroes of Earth-2 and the nefarious Justice League doppelgangers of Earth-3, we now had the pulp-influenced crimefighters of Earth-20, the tabloid-baiting next-gen heroes of Earth-16 and the very Watchmen-like heroes of Earth-4. The Multiversity besides gave us one of the best guides to the Multiverse ever created with The Multiversity Guidebook, which breaks the entire thing down Earth-by-Earth. If you truly want to level up your Multiverse cred, the Guidebook is the comic for you .
And yet, a bright as his words are, Morrison hasn ’ thyroxine had the last on the subject. The Multiverse has continued to change, grow and evolve. Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo ‘s Dark Nights : metal and Dark Nights : Death Metal introduced the idea of the Dark Multiverse, an stallion Multiverse of awful, mentally ill infinite Earths that were never meant to exist and that are wholly inappropriate with ours. ( The Dark Multiverse birthed the Batman Who Laughs, one of the most terrific and destructive DC super-villains in some prison term. ) Most recently, the Watchmen sequel Doomsday Clock ended with Doctor Manhattan apparently altering the DC Multiverse even again and the presently in-progress Infinite Frontier has found the heroes of the DC Universe thus concern with the volatility of the Multiverse that they ‘ve formed teams who are tasked with monitoring and maintaining it .
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A Legacy of Worlds

Which brings us to The CW ’ s “ Crisis on Infinite Earths, ” the approaching Flash film and the idea of a live-action DC Multiverse. The CW consequence greatly expanded DC ’ s live action Multiverse to an extent we ’ ve never seen before and The Flash seems probably to take this notion and blow it wide exposed. With both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck returning as Batman, Miller ’ s previous “ Crisis ” cameo and the creative team ’ sulfur comments about how the movie will give birth to “ the cinematic DC Multiverse, ” it ’ s clear that The Flash will at least clear the door to some big sieve world-hopping. And much like what we saw on “ Crisis, ” this won ’ thymine be the Multiverse of the comics, but its own singular choose on the idea with its own near-limitless creative electric potential .
so, now that we ’ ve broken down what the Multiverse is and discussed its storied comedian book history, you ’ ll be going in train when you dive into The Flash or any of the comics that helped define it. Beyond these basics, you very just need an imagination and a willingness to give some opinion to what you ’ ra see.

Though if you happen to be a Monitor, you may want to tread carefully…
DC FanDome returns on October 16, 2021 ! For more articles like this one, and to stay astir to date on all the latest newsworthiness, sojourn dcfandome.com .

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