UNIVERSES – The DC Universe part 2 (Earth-1/Silver Age on)

Getting into comics can seem difficult to the newcomer.  What are the different universes and why are there so many?  Lets look some more at The DC Universe…

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The Silver Age – Mainline (Earth-One)

1956 – 1986

JLA

[The DC Universe Part II – The Silver & Bronze Ages (Earth 1)]

Comics sales dropped during the 50s and DC was left with only three ongoing Superheroes, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.  This lead DC to revamp some of their older character creating an all-new version of The Flash in Showcase #4 in 1956, and heralding the beginning of the Silver Age.  Eventually Barry Allen, the new Flash got his own comic and The Flash #123 (the number continued from the previous Flash’s numbering) Barry Allen travelled to a parallel universe and met Jay Garrick, the original Flash.  Barry named Jay’s world “Earth-Two” and his own “Earth-One” and the DC Multiverse was born.

The Multiverse continued to expand, but DC felt the need to reduce everything back to a single universe and in 1985 released Crisis on Infinite Earths, a comic book series which did just that, naking Earth-One the only Earth and combining in some of the characters from other Earths (including Earth-Two).

Post-Crisis – Mainline

1986 – 1994

Invasion_TP

With no real forward planning, the new single Earth was similar to the old one, but with new characters added.  Eventually, more and more titles were revamped created a new continuity, but the staggered nature of the revamp caused problems in itself.  John Byrne’s revamp of Superman (in the mini-series The Man of Steel), for example, removed Superboy and Supergirl from continuity, leaving their time in the Legion of Superheroes an issue that needed to be addressed.

Post-Zero Hour – Mainline

1994 – 2006

Morrison JLA

The 1992 Zero Hour event was used to further tidy and revamp the universe and to once again remove alternate timelines.  It created a “10 year timeline”, the stories being set 10 years after Superman first appeared and the birth of the age of Superheroes (but acknowledging that the Golden Age heroes had been around in the 40s and 50s).  Later the idea of Hypertime was added to explain changes and different timelines, but it was quickly ignored.

Post-Infinite Crisis – Mainline (New Earth/Earth-0)

2006 – 2011

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 The series Infinite Crisis in 2006 left the main continuity pretty much alone (with minor changes) but re-added the multiverse – this time limited to 52 worlds.

The New 52 – Mainline

2011 – present

The New 52 - JLA

The 2011 storyline Flashpoint was again lead to a revamp of the DC universe, this time reverting to a 5 year timeline with some histories pretty much intact (especially Batman and Green Lantern), if somewhat compacted, and some rewritten to near starting points.  This universe is still generally called The New 52.

~ DUG.

First Issues:

[April 2014][May 2014]

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This blog is meant to iron out issues and help understanding of comic book terms and ideas.  However, it also uses many terms and ideas new readers may be unfamiliar with.  For clarifications or corrects, comment below.

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THE COMIC CODE – Earth One

Earth 1

Comic fans and companies have a jargon that is used all the time, even in comic book titles, that new fans may find confusing.  A “Comic Code.”  Let’s look at one of the terms…

Earth One (also Earth-1 or Earth 1) is a term used in the DC Universe (and in discussions of it) to identify a parallel universe.  It is also (especially prior to 2011) used as a descriptor too differentiate between versions of a character.  (The Earth-1 Superman, for example).  The term is usually applied to universes containing Silver Age DC Universe or versions of them.

Silver Age JLA

1.  The Silver Age Universe – When, during the Silver Age of Comics, DC reintroduced the Golden Age characters as coming from a parallel universe called Earth-Two and thus named the new Silver Age universe Earth-One.

Earth2

2.  The Evil Universe – After Crisis on Infinite Earths, other universes merged into mainline universe Earth-One, because of the changes this Universe was no longer named Earth-One.  Grant Morrison’s 2000 comic JLA: Earth 2, introduced a new parallel universe (resembling the one traditionally called Earth-Three), which the inhabitants called Earth 1.

Batman_Earth-One_Batman

3.  One of the 52 Earths – After the Infinite Crisis event, one of the new Earths, many people assumed that the mainline universe was called Earth-1 again, however, it was called “New Earth” and instead new comics were produced under the title of Earth One, those being the Original Graphic Novels Superman: Earth One and Batman: Earth One.

~ DUG.

First Issues:

[March 2014][April 2014][May 2014]

Other Comic Book Posts.

Other DC Comics Posts.

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UNIVERSES – The DC Universe part 1 (The Golden Age/Earth-Two)

DC Universe

The Golden Age – Main universe

1938-1956

Original JSA

[DC Universe Part I – The Golden Age]

Initially DC’s heroes remained separate, basically, until 1940’s All-Star Comics #3 brought many of them together as the Justice Society of America.  Heroes active in this era included Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the original versions of The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman and others.  Overtime superhero comics became less popular and Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman became the only characters published.

 

The Silver Age – Earth-Two

1961 – 1986

Justice Society of America - Earth 2

After introduction of self-regulation via The Comic Code, superhero comics became one of the only viable genres and a completely new version of The Flash was introduced in 1956’s Showcase #4.  In it, Barry Allen, the new Flash named himself on his comic book hero, Jay Garrick.  Other older hero names were reused and the Silver Age was born.  Eventually, in 1961, in The Flash #123’s “The Flash of Two Worlds”, Barry discovered a way to travel between worlds and discovered the universe of the old Flash and named that world “Earth-Two” (and his own “Earth One”).  Earth-Two features now older versions of the Golden Age characters.  Superman had gone grey around the temples and married Lois, Batman had married Catwoman and had a daughter Helena Wayne (The Huntress) and been killed.  The children of many of the heroes became Infinity Inc and even an Earth-Two version of Supergirl, called Power Girl was created.  Coming into the 80s, the Justice Society of America would annually team up with their Earth-One counterparts the Justice League of America.

Over the years a number of other universes were created, and it was decided to reduce the “multiverse” back down to a single universe in a 1985 mini-series called Crisis on Infinite Earths.  In Crisis on Infinite Earths the Earth-Two Wonder Woman faded away and the Earth-Two Superman travelled to “paradise”.

Post-Crisis – Main universe

1986 – 2011

ordway-justice-society

With the multiverse destroyed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, the was to combine many of the existing universe into the main DC universe.  The Golden Age heroes became the past of the new timeline, being active heroes in the 40s (with the exception of Superman, Batman & Wonder Woman).  Without an Earth-Two Superman and Batman, the Earth-Two Superman’s Cousin (Power Girl) was left without an origin, and had one that shifted and changed over the years, while the Earth-Two Batman’s daughter, similarly without an origin, became Helena ertinelli the vengeful daughter of a Gotham crime boss.  Later, Wonder Woman’s mother would time travel back to the 40s and become the Wonder Woman of that era.  Although the Justice Society were for a long time said to be stuck in limbo, they returned and got a series of Justice Society titles (the initially one being cancelled because management decided that older heroes were bad for DC’s image) and were successful until cancelled because of the changes created by the Flashpoint event.

Post-Infinite Crisis – Earth-2

2006 – 2011

Earth-2-tease

Eventually, as part of her changing origin, Power Girl grows to remember that she came from a universe called Earth-2 just before the heroes (partially due to the actions of the Earth-Two Superman in “paradise”) discover that there are actually 52 universes, not one.  She visits Earth-2 (which is missing it’s Superman and Power Girl) only to find that it is not the universe she comes from and this Earth-2 has a Power Girl.  Soon after the 52 new universes appeared an event called Flashpoint would again change the DC Universe.

The New 52 – Earth 2

2011 – present

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After the Flashpoint event the DC universe was against (partially) restarted, this time with the Earth 2 Characters removed from the timelines, leaving only The Huntress and Powergirl, who (appearing in Worlds’ Finest) discuss the fact that they have known all along that they were from Earth 2 and had created fake backstories for themselves, and begin make plans to return.

A new title Earth 2 introduces a new version of Earth 2 with the heroes as young modern heroes just starting out with new origins, costumes and back stories, an in which Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman have died and Batgirl and Supergirl have disappeared to another universe…

~ DUG.

Other Comic Book Posts.

Other DC Comics Posts.

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This blog is meant to iron out issues and help understanding of comic book terms and ideas.  However, it also uses many terms and ideas new readers may be unfamiliar with.  For clarifications, just comment below.

THE COMIC CODE – Earth Two

earth-2-logo1

Earth Two (also Earth-2 or Earth 2) is a term used in the DC Universe (and in discussions of it) to identify a parallel universe.  It is also (especially prior to 2011) used as a descriptor too differentiate between versions of a character.  (The Earth-2 Superman, for example).  The term is usually applied to universes containing Golden Age DC Universe or versions of them.

JLA_v.1_22

1.  The Golden Age Universe – When, during the Silver Age of Comics, DC reintroduced the Golden Age characters as coming from a parallel universe called Earth-Two.

JLA - Earth 2

2.  The Post-Crisis Universe – The mainline universe, ostensibly the Earth-One/Silver Age universe combined with elements from other universes.  Grant Morrison’s 2000 comic JLA: Earth 2, introduced a new parallel universe (resembling the one traditionally called Earth-Three).  People from that universe discovered the main DC Universe and called in Earth 2.  If that didn’t cause confusion enough, many fans confused the issue more by calling this new Earth Earth 2 instead.  Morrison loves creating confusion.

Justice Society of America Annual 1-6

3.  One of the 52 Earths – After the Infinite Crisis event, one of the new Earths resembling the traditional Earth-Two was named Earth-2.

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4.  One of the New 52 Earths – After the Flashpoint event, the previous Earth-2 was rebooted, featuring very different versions of the Golden Age characters that appear in a post-New 52 comic called Earth 2.

Words vs Numerals

In the early years both “Earth-Two” and “Earth-2” were used but as time went on, Earth-Two became the standard.  When Infinite Crisis reintroduced multiple Earths, numerals were used exclusively, causing some to denote the old Earth-Two with the word and the new Earth-2 with the numeral.

~ DUG.

Other Comic Book Posts.

Other DC Comics Posts.

tumblr_mxvod6Sufs1sfge52o1_500

This blog is meant to iron out issues and help understanding of comic book terms and ideas.  However, it also uses many terms and ideas new readers may be unfamiliar with.  For clarifications, just comment below.