Getting into reading and collecting comics can seem difficult to the newcomer. What are the different universes and why are there so many?
The Silver & Bronze Aged – Earth-One
1956 – 1986
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).
Characters from this era include:
- Superman & Supergirl
- Batman & Robin
- Wonder Woman
- Green Arrow & Speedy
- The Atom (Ray Palmer)
- The Spectre
- The Flash (Barry Allen) & Kid Flash (Wally West)
- Hawkman (Katar Hol) & Hawkgirl (Shiera)
- Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) & the Green Lantern Corps
- Martian Manhunter
Getting into comics can seem difficult to the newcomer. Introducing a character…
BARRY ALLEN – THE FLASH
In 1956 DC Comics decided to reintroduce new characters based on their characters that had been popular in the 1940s but had fallen out of print. The first character this happened to was The Flash, formerly Jay Garrick, but now Barry Allen who first appeared in Showcase #4. This issue, and Barry’s introduction is generally considered the beginning of the Silver Age of comics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
[March 2014][April 2014][May 2014]
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