The DC Universe in 2022 explained

DC is now well into its current ‘Infinite Frontier ‘ condition quo, in which every narrative that has ever been told in a DC comedian is considered to be canon in some means, form, or corner of the Multiverse – or should we say, ‘Omniverse. ‘ Infinite Frontier was besides the identify of a March 2021 special Infinite Frontier # 0 ( opens in fresh check ) which was itself the prelude to a follow-up six-issue Infinite Frontier limited series later in 2021. That history established that DC ‘s Multiverse can now be considered an ‘Omniverse, ‘ where many unlike aspects of reality come in concert. More recently, in April 12 ‘s Flashpoint Beyond # 0, a new condition for the entirety of DC comedian reserve continuity was coined : the ‘Divine Continuum. ‘ ( Get it ? DC ? ). The ‘Divine Continuum ‘ seems to be a term to encompass the Multiverse, Omniverse, Linearverse, and all other aspects of DC continuity in a larger sense.

As we first base detailed in 2021, ‘Infinite Frontier ‘ raised far more questions about the current nature of the DC Universe and the status of the heroes that inhabit it than provided answers, apparently by blueprint. And what appeared to be huge developments in the final pages of Dark Nights : Death Metal to seed raw stories for the most part have however to be followed up on to any meaning degree. But we ‘ll get to that in a moment. There are still a few data points about the condition quo of the stream version of the DCU that seem to be on solid ground worth detailing. once a multiverse, filled with 52 surrogate Earths, the DCU is now an omniverse, basically a Multiverse of multiverses. Although that said, DC has n’t precisely gotten to very exploring the new DC Omniverse concept however. so for those of you who passed over 2020-2021 ‘s Dark Nights : Death Metal, Newsarama has an overview of the condition quo of the DC Universe in 2021 and immediately 2022, until at least that gets all rewrite again in what we expect will be a newly large-scale DC Crisis event sometime this year. But we ‘re getting ahead of ourselves. Infinite Frontier # 0 excerpt ( image credit : direct current ) ( opens in new tab key )

1. The DC Multiverse is now a DC Omniverse

As we were saying … Briefly recapping Dark Nights : Death Metal, the events of the series more or less destroyed the bulk of what was the known DC Multiverse – basically 52 universes that each contained an earth reasonably different than the independent Earth ( Earth-0 or Earth-Prime ) most direct current titles like Batman and Action Comics takes put on. Most of the 52 Earths contained twists on familiar DC touchstones. Earth-3 for model was screen of a mirror earth in which Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman are supervillains preferably than superheroes. Earth-22 is the home of the events of the landmark 1996 series Kingdom Come ( opens in newly check ). not lone were all of the 52 Earths of the previously-known multiverse destroyed during Dark Nights : Death Metal restored, in some cases, they were besides reborn as raw versions ( including Earth-3 that features in a new iteration of The Crime Syndicate ) and fresh Earths were/are being created expanding upon the 52 that ‘s been more or less canon since Grant Morrison ‘s The Multiversity ( opens in new tab key ). At least, DC readers were told modern Earths were being created. none have very been seen in a big fib since then. Dark Nights : Death Metal # 7 excerpt ( persona credit : district of columbia ) ( opens in new tab key ) And not alone that, there are now multiple multiverses in what ‘s nowadays a DC Omniverse. A wall that used to section off the 52 known universes from the greater Omniverse of countless universes no longer exists and there are no long any boundaries. In other words, where there was once one Earth-0 in the Multiverse, there is now theoretically multiple Earth-0s in the Omniverse, which may require fresh terminology ( Multiverse-0 ? Earth-0a ? ) But again, as of April 2022, annual later-plus, DC readers have n’t seen much of a virtual lotion of a larger DC Omniverse versus a bare DC Multiverse. And oh yea … the people who live in the DC Universe – even some of the average citizens – are now mindful they live in a multiverse, although some of them are either unaware or are in denial of the fact, another modern continuity wrinkle that actually has n’t been exploited. What ‘s more, April 10 ‘s Flashpoint Beyond # 0 introduced the term ‘Divine Continuum ‘ as a way to refer to all the overarching aspects of DC comedian book continuity as an across-the-board concept. so where that goes precisely still remains to be seen as of April 2022 .

2. Earth-0 is no longer the center of the Multiverse

Meaning ‘Multiverse-Prime ‘ ( our terminus, not DC ‘s ). That designation belongs to two cryptic sources of energy, one of which is referred to as a probable Earth – an “ Alpha universe ” – given the name ‘Elseworld, ‘ a familiar term to DC readers, of course, that refers to alternate DC realities and futures like Kingdom Come and ( opens in modern tab key ) Justice League : The Nail ( opens in new check ). Elseworld was apparently supposed to be at the center of a new championship DC announced in February 2021 it would publish that year, although no title called Elseworlds or a entitle that seems like it would have been called Elseworlds was released in 2021 or has however to be solicited. so since January 2021, short else has been revealed about Elseworld, other than it has an opposite populace, Earth Omega. Earth Omega was meant to be kind of a prison world where the Universe ‘s greatest threats are contained and held in check – “ a place of endings. ” Infinite Frontier # 1 excerpt ( double credit : district of columbia ) ( opens in fresh tab key ) And yes, Earth Omega, as the term implies, was meant to be a prison for DC ‘s once leading cosmic menace Darkseid, with the Quintessence, a group of higher DC beings including the greek idol Hera, Phantom Stranger, the Wizard, Highfather, Ganthet, and the Spectre that oversee the DC Omniverse – its wardens. But there was an immediate defect in the Omega Earth design. Darkseid apparently murdered them all the Quintessence, then delivered a two-page meta-textual soliloquy declaring that he was made into lesser forms of himself since the first Crisis of Infinite Earths, but the parentage of the new Omniverse resulted in all of his past aspects merging into one, his true imprint, and his power now exceeds what it was before the original Crisis. While acknowledging the fresh DC Multiverse is infinite, Darkseid declares to himself that he is finite and that he is final. As we mention several times in this report, that seemed to be the drive force behind an approaching new Crisis event. But there ‘s been a new development. We ‘ll get to that in a consequence .

3. The new super-SUPER team

The newfangled DC Universe has a raw superteam called the Totality – a sort of DCU all-star roll of superheroes and supervillains that is described as “ a shield protecting our earth from future threats, manned by its greatest minds. ” The team is housed in a headquarters on the black side of the Moon and is “ the adjacent stage of the Halls of Justice and Doom. ” double from Dark Nights : Death Metal # 7 – the Totality headquarters ( visualize credit : district of columbia ) ( opens in new tab ) Its members include Hawkgirl, Mr. Terrific, Martian Manhunter, Talia al Ghul, Vandal Savage, and Lex Luthor. And Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern with a newly lease on life sentence, serves as a “ Sentinel ” – a sort of head of security – for the team. The Totality was featured – albeit not prominently – in the Infinite Frontier limit series. That said, the Totality, despite what seemed to be the promise of its high-profile line-up and the telescope of its mission, was not a outstanding presence in the DC Universe in 2021 or so-far in 2022. It, like much of what came out of Dark Nights : Death Metal, was a seed that has n’t sprouted yet.

But hold the Bat-phone, DC has declared nine of the ten-spot effect Justice Leaguers including the ‘trinity ‘ of Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman will die on a mission in space associate to this upcoming next crisis in the pages of April ‘s Justice League # 75, and that their deaths and the disband of the League as a consequence wo n’t be equitable a irregular blip and could be condition quo for a small while. This will leave a power vacuum in the DCU and as Newsarama has already speculated, the Totality is one of the more legitimate candidates to fill the invalidate and ultimately deliver on its promise as a significant newly entity on Earth-Prime .

4. The map is back

In explaining the new social organization of ‘Multiverse Prime ‘ ( again, our term ) the map of the Multiverse circa 2014 and Grant Morrison ‘s The Multiversity made a cameo appearance in Dark Nights : Death Metal # 7 and again in Infinite Frontier # 2, along with The multiversity : Guidebook ( opens in fresh check ), which is a comic book template to the DC Multiverse that actually exists in the Multiverse as a guide to the heroes that inhabit it. Got that ? The House of Heroes is the home base of the aforesaid Justice League Incarnate, a sort of Justice League all-star team made up of heroes from around the Multiverse, including Calvin Ellis ( otherwise known as President Superman ), the Man of Steel of Earth-23, and presently Flashpoint Batman – a Thomas Wayne from the Flashpoint world who became Batman after Martha and Bruce were murdered in Crime Alley. And Flashpoint Batman joined to search for Barry Allen-the Flash, who in Dark Nights : Death Metal # 7 accept Justice League Incarnate ‘s offer to be Earth-0 ‘s representative on the team whose tax it is to explore and map the fresh Omniverse. due to Barry ‘s fresh committedness, he told Wally West ( apparently in full recovered from the events of Heroes in Crisis ( opens in new check ) and his time as a new almighty being up until the stopping point of Death Metal ) that Wally should once again take over the blanket of Central City ‘s the Flash, which he ‘s done since as the star of The Flash monthly serial since. As to that ‘search for Barry, ‘ his tenure in the Justice League Incarnate lasted about a minute, which you can read more about in our retread of Infinite Frontier # 1. Briefly, Barry ‘s lost beyond the know DC Multiverse, a plot component in the approaching ‘Death of the Justice League ‘ and subsequent ‘Dark Crisis ‘ stories. The Map of the Multiverse ( image credit : district of columbia ) ( opens in fresh tab key ) And while we have n’t seen it much since the conclusion of Dark Nights : Death Metal, the Dark Multiverse is besides hush present in the Omniverse. The Dark Multiverse is slightly akin to Earth-3. It features night, twist versions of familiar DC heroes and concepts. A female The Batman Who Laughs made a holocene appearance in the Justice League Incarnate series. The Dark Universe remaining a bearing is not much of a surprise given how it is still commercially ripe for versions of DC heroes and classic stories with a screen of depraved Elseworlds wind, although DC has yet to revisit that concept in any contingent since Death Metal. But do n’t be surprised to someday see DC heroes team up with their Dark Multiverse counterparts against an even greater threat. That ‘s kind of how comic books go. And the Dark Multiverse was joined by another new wrinkle to the Omniverse – the Linearverse. Introduced in the January and February Generations : Shattered ( opens in new pill ) and Forged ( opens in newfangled pill ) two-issue series, the Linearverse is more or less an option answer to the column necessity of a Multiverse. It features a about identical ground to Earth-Prime but on this Earth DC characters age very slowly, so the Superman and the Batman who debuted in 1938 and ’39, respectively, are the like Superman and Batman of today who are chronologically 80-to-100-something years old but physically still new men in the prime of their careers. Those singular heroes experienced about all of the adventures depicted in DC comics since their original appearances, without any multiple Earths/alternative timelines/Crises shenanigans. We get into the mechanics of the Linearverse in greater contingent here. For you newer DC readers, we ‘d recommend checking out DC ‘s own synergistic Map of the Multiverse ( opens in raw yellow journalism ) or the aforementioned The multiversity : guidebook .

5. Bring out your dead

As mentioned previously, not lone are “ some ” of the characters that lost their lives during Death Metal alive, but DC has left the door open to just about any quality who was dead now being alert. “ not barely those who fell in struggle, but people who died before recent events… ” We dive into more detail about that revelation here. The beginning such character who returned from the dead ( who died before Dark Nights : Death Metal ) is Roy Harper, who was killed by Wally West in Heroes in Crisis. adolescent Titans Academy # 8 excerpt ( image credit : direct current ) Roy has returned, and despite some questions about how alive he in truth was in the Infinite Frontier series, seems to a normal, living person again And Roy ‘s dead person daughter Lian is besides alive again, but apparently much older than the Lian who died as a child. That said, despite it being mentioned as something of a significant growth in the final examination pages of Dark Nights : Death Metal, DC has n’t truly taken advantage of the death back door. Besides Roy and Lian, there have n’t been many to any previously deceased characters that have reappeared ( good-for-nothing, fans of Alfred Pennyworth ) .

6. It all matters … but how? 

The fine mechanics of DC continuity/canon are either distillery to be defined or left open-ended on determination, and as the months passed, open-ended on determination seemed to be the intent. As DC has already detailed, the leave of Death Metal is that everything is now continuity in some respects. The clearly deduction of Death Metal and Infinite Frontier was that hard reboots like the master Crisis On Infinite Earths ( opens in new check ) and Flashpoint ( opens in modern tab key ) / ‘ The New 52 ( opens in new yellow journalism ) ‘ are irrelevant and DC is no long going to attempt to cram continuity into a cohesive timeline resembling the real global passage of fourth dimension. Barry explains to Wally in Dark Nights : Death Metal # 7 that “ the timeline was unknotted once and for all and all our memories returned. ” Hawkgirl then explains to Wally that Hypertime is healing and that characters will probable experience flashes of events that happened in Hypertime and alternate pasts “ in pretty epic manner. ” Infinite Frontier # 0 besides contains exposition suggesting DC characters are now more wholly, that bequest taken away during the ‘New 52 ‘ along with their belief in themselves has been restored. For the moment, this is all identical meta-textual and has n’t been defined in a particular way nor have any characters experienced what Hawkgirl described. The DC Universe has more or less moved on from those conceptual ideas to new storylines not much different in scope and nature than former to Dark Nights : Death Metal-the Infinite Frontier “ earned run average. ” Unlike the Linearverse, which DC says is its own particular thing and does not represent the core timelines, how the lives of the ‘current ‘ Superman and Batman and Flash, etc. are distinguished between the lives of previous versions – meaning how or if a narrative canon that does not rely on the Linearverse conceit of heroes that old age lento is established remains to be seen, if those questions will ever be answered. Will every major DC character basically become Hawkman – a complex conglomeration of by lives ? reasonably subtly, DC seemed to be dropping clues with a blink of an eye and a nudge that the Linearverse interpretation and the core continuity adaptation of the DCU are alike. Whereas the Linearverse spelled out the aging/timeline issues specifically, the DCU is kinda-sorta saying everything happened to the core characters excessively just like in the Linearverse, it ‘s just no longer trying to explain precisely how. For a while, after 35 years of being preoccupied with making its continuity make sense in a real-world timeline, DC seemed to want readers to decide for themselves how the puzzle pieces fit together and how those questions are answered, or if it matters to you if they fit together or are answered at all. Dark Metal ‘s meta-elements may by design have been more of a room to stop having to answer those questions at all rather than provide any particular answers to them. But there ‘s been a new development that might finally shed light on this subject .

The DC Omniverse has a new biggest bad (spoilers for Justice League Incarnate #4)

While post-Dark Nights : Death Metal it appeared DC was reestablishing the leveled-up Darkseid as the Omniverse ‘s most dangerous threat … “ Darkseid is … the end ” ( as he says in Infinite Frontier # 0 ) … it turns out there is something worse than the end – nothing at all That ‘s how DC is rebranding the Great Darkness, a concept first introduced in the germinal Legion of Super-Heroes : The Great Darkness Saga, as a nihilistic entity that ‘s been behind all the significant threats to the DC Multiverse and now Omniverse since well, forever, retroactively speaking, of course. The Great Darkness ‘s right world the Empty Hand, from Justice League Incarnate # 4 ( trope credit : district of columbia ) ( opens in new tab key ) In other words, before there was a multiverse, there was nothing at all, and angstrom explained in February 1 ‘s Justice League Incarnate # 4, the sentient ( and badass ) shape of that absolute nothingness the Great Darkness has been trying to get second to that original submit for all time, with brand name DC villains like Darkseid, the Anti-Monitor, Superboy-Prime, the Batman Who Laughs/Darkest Knight, and evening Watchmen ‘s Doctor Manhattan all being unintentional pawns in its schemes. But the Omniverse has a natural immune system defense ; antibodies to fight off being returned to nothingness – meaning superheroes, of course, and specifically the “ choice ” versions of superheroes on Earth-0/Prime.

interestingly, this brand-new rejiggering of DC Crisis and significant events reads as something of another and the latest attack by the publisher to make its long and frequently confuse and contradictory history all fit together as partially of a single narrative, slightly in contradiction to what seems like a more meta and individualistic stance on canon/continuity in the wake of Dark Nights : Death Metal. indeed at the here and now, it seems like this could go either way and that the modern approaching major ‘Dark Crisis ‘ expected this summer featuring the Great Darkness will identical likely be DC ‘s next meta-event to address some of these issues. Death Metal was what Scott Snyder calls an anti-Crisis. Check out all of DC ’ s Crises from best to worst .

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