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The Multiverse consists of multiple versions of the universe existing in the same physical space, but separated from each other by their vibrational resonances.

The Original Multiverse was created as the result of interference in the Big Bang by Krona. It was destroyed by the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

An Interregnum Multiverse was created by Alexander Luthor during Infinite Crisis.

After the events of Infinite Crisis, the remaining Earths created collapsed back together, combining historical remnants to form one New Earth. However, the single universe was too small to contain the energy inside it and it began replicating -- into 52 identical Universes, the 52 Multiverse.

Location Template Location Template
Multiverse

Official Name
Multiverse
Location Details
Universe

First appearance

Contents

History

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The Original Multiverse

Main article: Pre-Crisis

History

In the Beginning

Krona was a member of the ancient race of powerful, blue-skinned humanoid immortals from the planet Maltus (they would later relocate to Oa and style themselves the Guardians of the Universe). He was a scientist obsessed with observing the creation of the universe, despite an Oan legend that said discovering that secret would cause a great calamity. Krona created a machine that allowed him to see into the moment of creation. Somehow, his experiment disrupted the process of creation, with terrible consequences -- it caused the creation of not a single universe, but the generation of an infinite number of universes.

Flash of Two Worlds
Earth-One Flash, Barry Allen
Earth-Two Flash, Jay Garrick

From the perspective of the Earth-One Universe, the first travel to another parallel universe occured when The Flash (Barry Allen) accidently changed his vibrational frequency to match that of Earth-Two, where he met Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash. That meeting resulted in years of interaction between the original super-hero team, The Justice Society of America, and their younger Earth-One counterparts, The Justice League of America.

As Barry Allen was the first traveller, the honor of naming the two earths fell to him - his universe's Earth was called Earth-One, Jay Garrick's became Earth-Two. As noted years later by the elder Superman, the JSA were too polite to mention that they were around first [3].

Over the years, various other Earths (i.e. an Earth part of another parallel universe) were visited by super-heroes (and villains).

Crime Syndicate

After Earth-Two, the next parallel world encountered by the JLA was that of Earth-Three, a partially "reversed" Earth populated by their evil "opposites", the Crime Syndicate of America. However the general populace of Earth-Three reflected a society based on laws and good values, despite the majority of their super powered beings having an evil nature. The Syndicate would eventually be imprisoned by the JLA and JSA, escaping at various times throughout the years to cause trouble.

The End of All Things
Main article: Post-Crisis
The Anti-Monitor

The Multiverse co-existed with an Antimatter Universe. The Anti-Monitor caused a wave of antimatter to sweep across the infinite universes in an effort to gain absolute power and remake existence to his liking. He was opposed by his opposite number, The Monitor.

The Monitor's plans did not completely work against the Anti-Monitor, ultimately costing the Monitor his life. Five universes remained. The heroes, at the Spectre's urging, pooled their resources and traveled back to the Dawn of Time where they confronted the Anti-Monitor. The villains, meanwhile (1,000,000,000 years later), traveled to Oa to try to stop Krona from peering back in time and creating the Multiverse (and the Antimatter Universe the Anti-Monitor came from).

The Anti-Monitor revealed to the assembled heroes that he lured them to him to absorb their life forces. He explained:

Only here, before creation can the future be changed! When Krona taps the cosmic forces, opening the door between matter and antimatter ... it shall be my hand he sees! My hand which shall destroy the positive matter multiverse for now and forever! My hand which shall make the antimatter universe supreme! ... The Multiverse will no longer exist! [4]
The Spectre

However, the Spectre, aided by Earths' mightiest sorcerors, managed to (apparently) defeat him.

Flashes and Supermen discover -- Earth-Two is Gone!

As Krona peered back through the cosmic veil, the Big Bang began:

In the beginning there were many. A Multiversal infinitude ... so cold and so dark for so long ... that even the burning light was imperceptible ... but then the light grew, and the Multiverse shuddered .. and the darkness screamed as much in pain as in relief. For in that instant a Universe was born. A Universe with mighty worlds orbiting burning suns. A Universe reborn at the Dawn of Time. What had been many became one.[5]

As explained later by Harbinger, in this reality, there only ever was one Earth with one history.[6]

From a functional perspective, the histories and peoples of Earth-One, Earth-Two, Earth-Four, Earth-S, and Earth-X were effectively merged to form one composite universe, the Post-Crisis Earth. Earth-One became a sort of template, onto which the other Earths were apparently added.

Characteristics

Area/Dimensions: Infinite

Location Details

Universe: n/a
Identity: The existence of the Original Multiverse was unknown to the general populace of any one particular planet.

The Multiverse consisted of multiple versions of the universe existing in the same physical space, but separated from each other by their vibrational resonances.

As Allen explained to Garrick in their first meeting:

"..I vibrated so fast -- I tore a gap in the vibratory shields separating our worlds! As you know -- two objects can occupy the same space and time -- if they vibrate at different speeds!

My theory is, both Earths were created at the same time in two quite similar universes! They vibrate differently -- which keeps them apart! Life, customs -- even languages -- evolved on your earth almost exactly as they did on my Earth! Destiny must have decreed there'd be a Flash -- on each Earth!
" [7]
Passage of Time

The JSA and JLA would get together once a year when the temporal matrices of the two universes were at their closest point, using a dimensional transporter [8].

As Batman once explained about the differences between Earth-One and Earth-Two:

"This Earth (Earth-Two) rotates at a slower speed -- time passes less quickly than on our Earth!"

Green Arrow added:

"The idea is that Earth-Two is about twenty years behind because of some time flux." [9]

Miscellaneous

List of Original Universes

Below is a partial list of notable alternate worlds, and universes with known numerical designations. Beyond these, many other alternate worlds have been visited or explored by denizens of the DC Universe.[10]


Interregnum Multiverse

Main article: Infinite Crisis

History

Alexander Luthor

This Multiverse existed only during Alexander Luthor's attempts to recreate the Original Multiverse during Infinite Crisis. Luthor's plan to use the Multiversal essences of natives of the original Universes to recreate Earth-Two also required:

"the rest of the Multiverse back as well. I need thousands and thousands of worlds. Worlds I can sift through like sand, one grain at a time, combining and mixing until I find it. Until I find the perfect Earth." [11]
"... everything comes from Superman." - Alexander Luthor

Luthor further noted that:

"The Superman of Earth-Two is the key to the return of the rest of the Multiverse. For some reason I can't explain or understand, and probably never will ... everything comes from Superman." [12]

After activating his device and the program "Earth: Spawn", a multitude of Earths (and their respective Universes) appeared.

The elder Superman, Kal-L, explained to his younger counterpart that:

"your Earth [New Earth] has been splintered back into a multiverse made up of thousands of worlds. But the Multiverse is unstable. The Earths will become weaker and weaker as they're divided. And if they aren't brought back together soon, the entire universe will explode in a new Big Bang. Everything will be destroyed. We need to get back to Earth-One." [13]

That proved a difficult task, as the sky was filled with visions of multiple Earths, some mirroring Pre-Crisis Earths, others representing visions of past and future timelines, some known, some unknown.

The Earths collapsed back into a New Earth at the end of the Crisis.

Characteristics

Area/Dimensions: Presumably infinite in each of the created Universes, although may only have consisted of multiple versions of Earth separated by their vibrational resonances.

Location Details

Universe: n/a
Identity: The existence of the Interregnum Multiverse was seen by the general populace of New Earth.

List of Interregnum Universes

Luthor's "Multiverse"

Below is a partial list of alternate worlds created by Alexander Luthor in his attempt to create the perfect Earth.


52 Multiverse

Main article: 52
Main article: Monitors

History

In the Beginning

After the events of Infinite Crisis, the remaining Earths created by Alexander Luthor collapsed back together, combining historical remnants to form one New Earth. However, the single universe was too small to contain the energy inside it and it began replicating - into 52 identical Universes, a new Multiverse.

As Rip Hunter revealed to Booster Gold aboard his Time Sphere, in the few seconds after the creation of this new Multiverse, the Earths (and their corresponding Universes) "will occupy the same space, each on a different vibrational plane".[14]

Mr. Mind: Pre-Transformation
Doctor Sivana

During their efforts to stop the vastly powerful Mr. Mind from destroying every universe, Hunter described Mind's efforts as "eating years and events from this universe's history -- altering the Earth with every flap of his wings". This resulted in the Earths changing, becoming different from New Earth in varying degrees.

Mr. Mind post-transformation

Hunter further states that "the notion that there's a Multiverse beyond the reality we know -- that's too dangerous a secret to spread." However, he had let that very thing slip in front of Doctor Sivana.

Hunter also revealed that there is a coming Megaverse. How this may relate to other multiverses previously encountered (ex. the Marvel Universe), if at all, remains to be seen.

Characteristics

Area/Dimensions: Infinite in each of the 52 Universes

Location Details

Universe: n/a
Identity: The existence of the full 52 Multiverse is unknown to the general populace of any one particular planet.

The general populace of New Earth (Earth-0) is fully aware of various other populated Earths though are not fully aware of the exact nature of the 52 other realities as of the end of Final Crisis.

It remains unknown if the general populace of the other Earths in the 52 Multiverse are also aware of other existing realities in the 52 multiverse.

The parallel dimensions were separated by an an interdimensional sub-reality barrier called The Bleed. The Bleed was also spatially connected with the Source Wall, the Multiversal Nexus and the Nanoverse. The Bleed was completely collapsed in the Final Crisis event by Nix Uotan.

The Source Wall and the Anti-Life Equation exist between each matter universe. Knowledge and control of the Anti-Life Equation, the Speed Force, and quantum mechanics were needed to travel between universes. [15] Some have learned to travel the universes between the dimensions without knowledge of the Anti-Life Equation such as Professor Michael Holt of Earth-2 though on a limited basis.

The Multiversal Nexus is the reality in between known parallel matter based universes. Currently, the Nexus is occupied by the Monitors and their satellite station. From here, they observe and analyze variances within the Multiverse; specifically citing instances wherein individuals migrate from one reality to another.

According to the Guardians of the Universe:

... upon Earth now rest 51 more parallel Earths -- and beyond this universe, 51 parallel universes ... if Earth is ever annihilated, it will start a chain reaction that will destroy the others. The Multiverse will collapse, leaving only our opposite antimatter universe in existence. [16]

The Guardians' Book of Oa contains a prophecy called "The Blackest Night" which states:

A face of metal and flesh shall speak of the secrets of the 52. Fear will rise. Willpower will gather. And a wave of light will unleash the truth behind the power of the ring.[17]

The meaning, or truth, of this prophecy remains to be seen.

List of 52 Universes

The following is a list of the other Earths thus created, as seen for the first time:

Notes

52 Multiverse

  • Writer Grant Morrison had this to say in an interview with Newsarama:
And the parallel Earths you see in issue #52 are not the familiar pre-Crisis versions. If you think you recognize and know any of these worlds from before, you'd be wrong. We all wanted to do something new with the multiple Earths so what you've already seen in 52 is simply the tip of the iceberg - each parallel world now has its own huge new backstory and characters and each could basically form the foundation for a complete line of new books. If you like the ongoing soap opera dynamics of New Earth, you can watch Mary Marvel turning to the dark side as her skirt gets shorter and shorter, or you can buy the Earth 5 line of books featuring more iconic versions of the Marvel Family. If you miss Vic Sage as the Question, you should be able to follow the adventures of Vic's counterpart on the Charlton/Watchmen world of Earth 4. [48]
Why bring it back? Simple answer? It was a great idea in the '60s (tip of the hat to legendary DC editor Julie Schwartz) and it's a great idea now -- if managed properly. And that's what we plan to do, and believe it or not there is a plan in place for all the goings-on in the Multiverse. This new Multiverse has 52 (the magic number) distinct universes, half which are cataloged, half which are not. But as for the ones we know, you will be seeing glimpses of them throughout the year in several series like Countdown and Countdown to Adventure featuring the Challengers from Beyond. Which brings us full circle to the first group.
If you loved the original Multiverse then you will be happy to know that some of these new universes are close to the ones you remember (evil versions of the Justice League, Nazis winning World War II) and some new universes might seem vaguely familiar (Vampire Batman and Russian Superman?), but all of them will have the same level of thrills and excitement the old pre-Crisis Multiverse had.
  • Dan Didio:
What’s fun about all of that is that these are new interpretations of these worlds. It’s not the Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths multiverse, but something that is much more contained, and will hopefully be well managed as the months and years go by so that people will clearly understand the differences between the worlds. Of course, the 52 monitors help with making sure that the rules are followed among the earths…or do they? [49]

Footnotes:

See Also

Links and References

Recommended Readings

Related Articles

External Links

  • Cosmic Cataloguing at Comics Ate My Brain
  • Multiverse article at Wikipedia
  • Atlas of the Multiverse based on the article "Comments on a Finite Number of Earths" in the OFFICIAL CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS CROSSOVER INDEX by Lou Mougin and Mark Waid.
  • THE 52 EXIT INTERVIEWS: GRANT MORRISON from Newsarama - discussions regarding the nature of the 52 Multiverse
  • Too Many Earths? A MoviePoopShoot Article on DC Multiverse
  • And Then There Was One MoviePoopShoot Article, Part 2
  • Multiverse 101:"Alternate Timelines For Dummies" by Quentin Long
  • Hembeck History of the Multiverse publishing-wise

Footnotes:

  1. in a story entitled The Flash of Two Worlds
  2. In current DC Comics policy, Barry Allen was the first visitor to a parallel Earth, although Wonder Woman (Earth-Two) had actually done so earlier, in 1953. see Wonder Woman #59
  3. Infinite Crisis #2
  4. Crisis on Infinite Earths 10 (1986)
  5. Crisis on Infinite Earths 10 (1986)
  6. Crisis on Infinite Earths 11 (1986)
  7. The Flash #123, "Flash of Two Worlds", September 1961, by Gardner Fox.
  8. Justice League of America #123, "Where on Earth Am I?", October 1975, by Cary Bates and Elliot S! Maggin.
  9. Justice League of America #123, "Where on Earth Am I?", October 1975, by Cary Bates and Elliot S! Maggin.
  10. The Pre-Crisis designations for the various Earths were usually spelled out as "Earth-One", "Earth-Two", etc., rather than "Earth-1", Earth-2", etc. as the hand lettered text in the comics made no distinction between a lowercase "L" and the numeral "1". With the advent of the new 52 Multiverse, this distinction becomes worth noting, to keep the designations coherent.
  11. Infinite Crisis 5 (2006)
  12. Infinite Crisis 5 (2006) - likely a metafictive comment on all superheroes originating from Superman
  13. Infinite Crisis 6 (2006)
  14. 52 #52
  15. Countdown #40
  16. Green Lantern Sinestro Corps Special #1
  17. Green Lantern Sinestro Corps Special #1
  18. Geoff Johns sidebar in Wizard Magazine #189:"[There's] New Earth and then there's Earths 1 through 51. New Earth is our main Earth in the DCU, and [there are] 51 on top of it. There are 52 in total."
  19. Geoff Johns sidebar in Wizard Magazine #189:"A pulp world where the Justice Society of America fights to protect its country against the threats of sabotage and incurring evil. Among their members are Robin; Batman's daughter, the Huntress; and the Green Lantern and his daughter, Jade. We'll be seeing more of Earth-2 in Justice Society of America in 2008."
  20. referred to as another Crime Society according to Crime Society #1
  21. Geoff Johns sidebar in Wizard Magazine #189:"A world full of evil dopplegangers of Earth-2. I'd wager they have an annual team-up with the Anti-Matter Earth's Crime Syndicate as the Justice Society had a team-up with the Justice League back in the day."
  22. Geoff Johns sidebar in Wizard Magazine #189:"A film noir planet populated by the Charlton characters. Greg Rucka's perfect planet."
  23. Geoff Johns sidebar in Wizard Magazine #189: "A world of magic where Captain Marvel and his family's adventures [happen]. Think Harry Potter meets the classic Fawcett Comics. Mark Waid's perfect planet."
  24. Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1
  25. Pastiche of the Marvel Universe.
  26. Geoff Johns sidebar in Wizard Magazine #189: "A world where the Freedom Fighters represent something much different on an Earth embracing fascism. Grant Morrison wrote up an amazing concept for this one in particular, and he could write a hell of a series or line of books on this."
  27. Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer: Superwoman/Batwoman #1
  28. Countdown: Arena minisite
  29. Countdown: Arena minisite
  30. Countdown #30
  31. Geoff Johns sidebar in Wizard Magazine #189
  32. DC Nation #77
  33. Countdown: Arena minisite
  34. DC Nation #77
  35. Countdown: Arena minisite
  36. Justice Society of America #6
  37. Confirmed by Geoff Johns in Wizard Magazine #189
  38. [Confirmed at Wizard World 2007]
  39. Countdown: Arena minisite
  40. "as seen in the Superman/Batman series" Countdown: Arena minisite
  41. Countdown: Arena minisite
  42. DC Nation #77
  43. Countdown: Arena minisite
  44. Countdown: Arena minisite
  45. Countdown: Arena minisite
  46. Confirmed by Geoff Johns in Wizard Magazine #189
  47. Countdown #19
  48. THE 52 EXIT INTERVIEWS: GRANT MORRISON Interview on Newsarama
  49. THE 52 EXIT INTERVIEWS: DAN DIDIO
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Multiverse was a monthly Main Page Featured Article on the DC Database Project for its degree of quality, excellence, and general not-suckiness.

DC

This article uses material from the "Multiverse" article on the DC Comics wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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