The Golden Age – Main universe
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
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
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
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
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…
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.