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Holy anachronisms, Batman!
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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. Consisting of an infinite number of Earths, it was destroyed by the Crisis on Infinite Earths, resulting in one universe, represented by New Earth.
- Zero Hour/Hypertime multiverse was a series of parallel timelines that briefly merged with the main reality due to the actions of Parallax. It was later revealed that these were part of the Hypertime Multiverse which was a series of parallel timelines with various "tributaries" that branched off and could return to the main timeline.
- An Interregnum Multiverse was created by Alexander Luthor during Infinite Crisis. Many members of this universe resembled Pre-Crisis Earths, but this version of the multiverse lasted only the duration of the Infinite Crisis event.
- After the events of Infinite Crisis, the remaining of the Interegnum earths 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, known as the 52 Multiverse via Hypertime. During 52, these worlds were changed and warped into extremely different worlds, that resembled Pre-Crisis and Elseworlds universes such as Kingdom Come, Red Son, and The Dark Knight Returns.
- At the end of Flash: Flashpoint, Pandora told Barry Allen that someone had broken reality into thirds to weaken it, requiring the restoration of the timeline to its proper course. However, Dr. Manhattan interfered with the merger of disparate timelines, resulting in 10 years being lost. The result was that some of the 52 worlds were drastically altered while others weren't producing the The New 52 model of the multiverse.
- At the end of the Convergence, Brainiac sent Supergirl, the Flash, and Parallax back to the first Crisis to prevent the destruction of the original multiverse. Their success resulted in the restoration of the pre-crisis multiverse, and all other versions of the multiverse to date co-existing in an "evolved" form.
The Original Multiverse
In the Beginning
Krona was a member of the ancient race of powerful, blue-skinned humanoid immortals from the planet Maltus. The Maltusians 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 that attempting to uncover the secret would cause a great calamity. Krona created a machine that allowed him to see into the exact moment of creation. Somehow, his experiment disrupted the process of creation, with terrible consequences -- it caused the creation of not a single universe, but of an infinite number of universes.
Flash of Two Worlds
From the perspective of the Earth-One Universe, the first transuniversal journey occurred when The Flash (Barry Allen) accidentally changed his vibrational frequency to match that of Earth-Two, where he met Jay Garrick, the Golden Age Flash and his childhood comic book hero. 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.
Despite the Earth-Two Wonder Woman having encountered an alternate Earth years ago, Barry Allen is given the honor of naming the two Earths - 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 .
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!
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 evil natures. The Syndicate would eventually be imprisoned by the JLA and JSA, escaping at various times throughout the years to cause trouble.
Over the years, various other Earths were visited by super-heroes (and villains).
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 .
As Batman once explained about the differences between Earth-One and Earth-Two:
Green Arrow added:
- The idea is that Earth-Two is about twenty years behind because of some time flux.
The End of All Things
When Krona accidentally created the Multiverse, an Antimatter Universe was formed at the same time. 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, by extension, 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!
However, the Spectre, aided by the mightiest sorcerers of five Earths, managed to defeat him.
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.
As explained later by Harbinger, in this reality, there only ever was one Earth with one history.
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.
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. The Crisis on Infinite Earths: The Compendium volume of the Crisis on Infinite Earths: Absolute Edition listed Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis Earths together.
- Antimatter Universe: The home universe of Oa's antimatter counterpart, Qward.
- Earth-One: The Modern Age of heroes including Martian Manhunter and the JLA.
- Earth-Two: The First Age of heroes including an elder Superman and Batman and the JSA.
- Earth-Three: Evil counterparts of Earth-One's heroes
- Earth-Four: The homeworld of Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, Nightshade, The Question, Peacemaker, Thunderbolt, Judomaster, and Sarge Steel.
- Earth-Five: A world with no Krypton or superheroes, the Phantom Stranger brings Earth-One's Batman to this universe to prevent the deaths of his parents and inspires this world's Bruce Wayne to grow up to become Batman.
- Earth-Six: The United States lost the Revolutionary War. Lady Quark and Lord Volt rule America as superpowered monarchs.
- Earth-Seven: Homeworld of Dark Angel.
- Earth-Twelve: Homeworld of the Inferior Five.
- Earth-Fourteen: Jack Kirby's Fourth World.
- Earth-86: Homeworld of the Atomic Knights defending a war-ravaged nuclear landscape.
- Earth-96: Kingdom Come.
- Earth-97: Tangent Comics.
- Earth-162: World where Superman was split into Superman Red and Superman Blue, each 100 times smarter than the original, who solved all their Earth's problems and created a New Krypton.
- Earth-276: The Home Universe of Captain Thunder.
- Earth-1191: Tales of the Multiverse: Batman-Vampire.
- Amalgam Universe : World created by the merging of the Marvel Universe and the DC Universe.
- Earth-A: The evil Johnny Thunder of Earth-One altered the history of the Justice League to create the Lawless League.
- Earth-AD: A wrecked future world where humanlike animals rule the Earth, and Kamandi is the last boy.
- Earth-C: Home to anthropomorphic animals including Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew.
- Earth-D: Consisted of the Justice Alliance of America and other analogues of heroes from Earth-One, but were more ethnically diverse.
- Earth-Prime: Homeworld of Ultraa and Superboy-Prime.
- Earth-S: The Marvel Family's Earth.
- Earth-X: The adopted home of Earth-Two natives, the Freedom Fighters.
- Limbo: A dimension inhabited by long forgotten DC characters.
These infinite Earths were restored with the reconstruction of the Multiverse in the events of Convergence
Zero Hour/Hypertime Multiverse
It quickly became clear that Harbinger's claim that there was only one Earth, one history wasn't true.
The Legion of Super-Heroes were acting like Crisis hadn't happened but this discrepancy was quickly discovered by Cosmic Boy and it was explained the past the Legion thought they knew was in reality Pocket Universe created by the Time Trapper. However, this still left the issue of where did Mon-El come from or all the times the Legion had visited the time of Superman.
Then the events of Armageddon 2001 happened but since post-Crisis Barry Allen had still faced Professor Zoom from the 25th century and Abra Kadabra from the 64th century those futures had to be part of "history" therein raising the question of where these alternate 2001s had come from.
Then Hal Jorden devastated by the lost of Coast City and angered by the callousness of the Guardians went mad and devastated both the Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians. Calling himself Parallax, Hal would later use his new power to use Krona linkage of the End of Time with the creation of the universe to collapse time itself and rewrite history from the Big Bang forward.
However, this collapse caused various alternate timelines to temporarily merge with the main reality again raising the question of if Crisis had retroactively wiped out all alternate timelines then where were all these alternate timelines coming from.
At the end of Zero Hour Waverider claimed that all alternate timelines had been retroactively wiped out but in the timeline presented Armageddon 2001 still happened...which required alternate timelines to have happened. Moreover, Supergirl was still Matrix who came from an alternate timeline (if only a manufactured one).
Eventually it would be revealed these alternate timelines were part of Hypertime as the Superboy who had briefly appeared in the main timeline during Zero Hour still remembered meeting the mainline Superboy.
Also the Crisis on Infinite Earths: The Compendium volume of the Crisis on Infinite Earths: Absolute Edition would list both Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis Earths (such as the Pocket Universe) as part of the Pre-Crisis multiverse
Many years later, survivors of the first Crisis, consisting of Alexander Luthor of Earth Three, Superboy of Earth Prime, and Superman & Lois Lane of Earth-Two, set out to remake the Multiverse and create "the perfect Earth", after witnessing atrocities and catastrophes that had befallen the heroes of New Earth.
They intended to fabricate a machine that would recreate the multiverse and allow them to fuse and combine Earths until the perfect Earth was found. A chain of events was set into motion, including the takeover of Batman's Brother Eye satellite, the unification of Earth's villains under the Secret Society of Super-Villains, the manipulation of the Spectre, and the movement of planets to spark war and unrest. The magic destroyed and recreated by the Spectre would serve as fuel for the machine, Brother Eye would give the machine programming and directive, the villains united under the Society would bring people who had been merged into New Earth at the conclusion of the Crisis on Infinite Earths that still contained the genetic code of their former Earth, and the wars throughout the universe would shift the center of the universe away from Oa to where Earth-Two's center was, allowing the tower to open an access point. Though their effort failed, the consequences of their actions fundamentally altered New Earth via Hypertime, and gave birth to 51 additional identical universes, which were later altered by the malevolent Mister Mind to become entirely separate realities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These subset of Hypertime Earths collapsed back into a New Earth at the end of the Crisis.
Area/Dimensions: Infinite in each of the created Universes.
Identity: The existence of the Interregnum Multiverse was seen by the general populace of New Earth.
List of Interregnum Universes
Below is a partial list of alternate worlds created by Alexander Luthor in his attempt to create the perfect Earth.
- Earth-0: A Bizarro Earth.
- Earth-One: New Earth with the elements of the other Earths removed.
- Earth-One + Earth-Two + Earth-Three: Combined elements of these Earths.
- Earth-25G: Unseen.
- Earth-97: The Tangent Earth.
- Earth-154: An Earth where Superman and Batman both had sons carrying on their legacies; combined by Luthor with Earth-462.
- Earth-247: The Legion of Super-Heroes' future.
- Earth-462: Various alternate versions of World War II superheroes fighting Nazis; combined by Luthor with Earth-154.
- Earth-898: Western heroes of the 19th Century.
- Earth-3181: Unseen.
- Earth-Prime: Unseen.
- Earth-Q: Unseen.
- Earth-S: The original home of the Marvel Family
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 via Hypertime 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".
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.
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.
Area/Dimensions: Infinite in each of the 52 Universes
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.  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. The Nexus was formerly occupied by the Monitors. From here, they observed and analyzed variances within the Multiverse; specifically citing instances wherein individuals migrated 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.
List of 52 Universes
The following is a list of the other Earths thus created, as seen for the first time; In the aftermath of Flash: Flashpoint (2011) some of these Earths would be changed drastically while others would exist virtually unchanged. The later type are noted by Earth-number (Earth number) because for all practical purposes they are identical.
- Earth-0 aka New Earth aka The DC Universe: The Earth existing in the primary reality following the Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis events.  Specifically referred to as Earth-0/Zero in Final Crisis #7.
- Earth-1 (Earth 1): home to fledgling versions of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman and the Teen Titans in a world unprepared for their arrival. A newly formed Earth, it is still 'cooling', and time and space are in flux here, all things being possible. It is parallel to Earth 13
- Earth-2: This Earth is defended by Justice Society Infinity, a successive version of the original Justice Society whose members include Batman's daughter, the Huntress, and an older Robin. Reminiscent of Pre-Crisis Earth-Two.
- Earth-3 aka Crime Society Universe: Criminal versions of Earth-2's JSA. 
- Earth-4 aka Charlton Universe: Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, and the Question, among others, are the heroes of this Earth. Reminiscent of Pre-Crisis Earth-Four. 
- Earth-5 (Earth 5) aka Fawcett or Thunderworld Universe: Reminiscent of Pre-Crisis Earth-S.  The home of the magical Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family. It is parallel to Earth 10.
- Earth-6: World including version of Ray Palmer who becomes The Ray. This Earth contains heroes similar to those of Marvel Comics. 
- Earth-7: World including version of Courtney Whitmore who becomes known as Starwoman.
- Earth-8: Home world of Lord Havok and the Extremists. This Earth contains heroes similar to those of Marvel Comics. Its Hypertime equivalent was destroyed when a scheme to blackmail the world with nuclear missiles went wrong.
- Earth-9 (Earth 9): The Tangent Universe where bizarre superhumans carryi the names of the heroes of other Earths. It is parallel to Earth 18.
- Earth-10 (Earth 10) aka Earth-X Universe: this world is home to Overman, a version of Superman who landed in Czechoslovakia in 1938, where Nazi scientists reverse-engineered the technology of his rocket to win World War II; a guilt-ridden Overman leads his world’s New Reichsmen against Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters.  It is parallel to Earth 5.
- Earth-11: A reverse gender Earth.
- Earth-12 (Earth 12) aka The Next Generation Universe: Essentially the same as the DCAU, home of a future defended by Bruce Wayne's successor Terry McGinnis as the Batman, alongside an aged Superman and the rest of the Justice League Beyond. It is parallel to Earth 50.
- Earth-13: World of dark and arcane heroes.
- Earth-14: Unknown
- Earth-15 (Earth 15): A utopian Earth whose people have evolved to become "nearly perfect beings"  of their own personal development.  Earth-15 was completely destroyed by Superboy-Prime resulting in graveyard universe with the sole surviving artifact lost somewhere in the Multiverse is the mysterious Cosmic Grail. It is parallel to Earth 17.
- Earth-16: Originally intended for the Super-Sons of Earth-154, it later became the source Earth of Christopher Kent, the alternate Superman. This has since been changed into the home dimension of the Young Justice TV Series.
- Earth-17: A post-apocalyptic world where the Atomic Knights protect the last signs of life.  On this Earth, science and magic apparently co-exist - this Earth's greatest hero is Superdemon
- Earth-18 aka The Justice Riders Universe: A world where the JLA are a group of lawmen who ride the Wild West. 
- Earth-19 aka Gotham by Gaslight Universe: Batman fights Jack the Ripper in the 1880s. 
- Earth-20 (Earth 20): Home to a rollicking pulp adventurers of the Society of Super-Heroes, led by 'Doc' Fate, and including Lady Blackhawk, the Immortal Man, Green Lantern Abin Sur and the Mighty Atom. One of the few Earths that remember pre-New 52 events. It is parallel to Earth 40.
- Earth-21 aka DC: The New Frontier Universe: A world where the Cold War has recently ended, and a new age of heroes has begun.  
- Earth-22 (Earth 22) aka Kingdom Come Universe: A near-future world brought to the brink of apocalypse by warring superheroes. Starman confirms that before he came back to the 21st Century during the Lightning Saga, he was accidentally shunted to Earth-22 ("No one liked each other there very much!").  No reference is made to events of The Kingdom when Superman is transported to Earth-0 by the nuclear explosion that destroyed the prison he had build. Earth 22 is parallel to Earth 7.
- Earth-23 (Earth 23): Home to a primarily black superhuman community, led by a Superman who additionally leads the Multiversal team Justice Incarnate, and in his secret identity as Calvin Ellis serves as President of the United States. It had a mirror Earth in the 52 Multiverse of unknown designation, but unlike some worlds such as Earths 20 and 26, the inhabitants of this Earth explicitly have no recollection of events prior to the formation New 52 Multiverse. Earth 23 is parallel to Earth 41.
- Earth-24: unknown
- Earth-25: unknown
- Earth-26 (Earth 26): Home of the cartoon animal superheroes Captain Carrot & The Zoo Crew. Inhabitants remember pre-New 52 events; it has even been speculated that these and Earth-C are in fact a singular Earth, its "cartoon physics" allowing it to survive Multiversal upheavals ultimately unscathed), home to anthropomorphic animals defended by Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew. It is parallel to Earth 39.
- Earth-27: unknown
- Earth-28: unknown
- Earth-29: unknown
- Earth-30 aka Red Son Universe: Superman is a champion of Cold War-era Soviet Russia. 
- Earth-31: A "darker version of the future;" AKA Frank Miller's Batman universe 
- Earth-32 aka In Darkest Knight Universe: Bruce Wayne becomes Green Lantern instead of Hal Jordan. 
- Earth-33: A mystical earth where all of the heroes have magic-based powers, including Bat-Mage, and Kal-El, wielder of Kryptonian Magicks. Ruled by the multiversal seer Oracle.
- Earth-34 aka The Amazonia Universe: Wonder Woman frees Britain from oppression under the reign of King Jack.  
- Earth-35: unknown
- Earth-36: unknown
- Earth-37: aka Thrillkiller Universe: Robin and Batgirl fight crime in a darker, much different Gotham City.
- Earth-38: Homeworld to a Captain Atom who leads the Atomic Knights.
- Earth-39: Homeworld of Daniel Garrett who became Blue Beetle the same way as Jaime Reyes.
- Earth-40: The Liberty Files world, where costumed heroes and villains have joined World War II. 
- Earth-41: unknown
- Earth-42: unknown
- Earth-43: A world of vampires and the supernatural, inhabited by a vampire Batman. 
- Earth-44(Earth 44): Unknown, but its main heroes were a group of robots called the Metal Men, led by "Doc Tornado". In the New-52 the Metal Men are robotic versions of the heroes of Prime Earth. It is parallel to Earth 8.
- Earth-45: unknown
- Earth-46: unknown
- Earth-47: unknown
- Earth-48 aka The War World Universe: Native home of the Forerunners, creatures bred by the Monitors from all the alien races of the solar system after the destruction of all human life on Earth in a war against other planets. This universe's counterpart of J'onn J'onzz is a general in the Martian army.
- Earth-49: unknown
- Earth-50: The Wildstorm Universe. 
- Earth-51: "A near perfect world. No mention of crime, war, poverty, disease .."  Universe-51 was later destroyed as a result of Monarch's Containment Suit being destroyed at the hands of Superman-Prime.
Earths of unknown designation known to have existed in this Multiverse include an Earth similar to that of Justice League: The Nail, a dimension home to a black President Superman that would be continued after Flashpoint in the form of Earth 23, a recreated Earth-Prime, and the home universe of Hot Pursuit, as well as possibly the world of All-Star Superman. The Antimatter Universe is additionally present, with its incarnation of Ultraman appearing in Final Crisis.
Following the company-wide reboot in 2011 (see below), this multiverse ceased to exist. However, DC still published stories set on Earth-16 and Earth-40 after the reboot, as well as an Earth 1 functionally indistinguishable from Earth-1, and the events of Convergence fully restored these worlds.
At the vulnerable moment of a reality-altering Flashpoint caused by The Flash, Pandora and Dr. Manhattan altered the timeline, such that the state of the multiverse was changed significantly - for the greater good according to Pandora, though Wally West believes it may in fact have been to weaken it for an upcoming attack. The result was 10 years being taken from the main timeline, as well as a merger of three disparate universes; the DC Universe, the Wildstorm Universe, and the Vertigo Universe, the latter of which was comprised of those characters who began their existence within the mainstream DCU, but continued on under the Vertigo imprint beginning in April 1993. Other Vertigo properties remain disconnected from this multiverse. There are 52 Earths in the local Multiverse home to the DCU Prime Earth, though due to the time-traveling interventions of Brainiac, the Hal Jordan of the pre-Zero Hour New Earth DCU, and Superman of the pre-Flashpoint New Earth altering the course of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, an infinite number of universes from previous incarnations of the Multiverse exist beyond these 52. This new model of creation involves multiple incarnations of the Multiverse suspended within a "Multi-Multiverse", with individual Multiverses existing as 'bubble' sets of grouped universes such as the local 52, with mention of a destroyed "Multiverse-2" by the Empty Hand.
The Multiverse is constructed on a central axis of the House of Heroes, former headquarters of the Monitors rotating through the Fifth Dimension, now headquarters of the team Justice Incarnate, and the Rock of Eternity, connected to the cornerstone Earths 0 and 33, aka Prime Earth and Earth Prime. The Orrery is structured that the position of universes within it relative to certain realms in the Sphere of the Gods denote aspects of their nature: those closer to New Genesis are often kinder and nobler, those close to Apokolips often far darker, while the proximity to the realms of Dream or Nightmare denote Order and Chaos, respectively. Additionally, each Earth is parallel another Earth; in at least once instance with Earths 20 and 40, these parallel Earths have been seen to phase into a state of being capable of interaction.
The universes are capable of communicating with each other through comic books, chronicles of the adventures of the heroes of the universes being published on various different worlds, similarly to the relationship displayed between the pre-Crisis Earth-Two and Earth-One, and Earth-One with Earth-Prime. These publications include DC Comics (representing multiple Earths), Quantum Comics (Earth 4), Keystone Comics (Earth 5), Essential Major Comics (Earth 7), Major Comics (Earth 8), Spire Comics (Earth 34), Blue Stamp, and Victory Comics. Earths 14, 24, 25, 27, 28, 46 and 49 are Unknown Worlds, created by an Inner Chamber of 7 Monitor Magi for an as yet unknown purpose.
Orrery of Worlds
The current Multiverse is home to an infinite number of universes, including those of previous incarnations of the Multiverse. The "local Multiverse" Earths different from their Pre-Flash: Flashpoint counterparts are noted below:
- Prime Earth aka Earth 0 aka New Earth: Home of the main DC Universe. It is parallel to Earth 33.
- Earth 2: Formerly home to the Wonders of the World, including Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, who fell in battle saving their world from the forces of Apokolips. Now defended by the likes of Doctor Fate, the Flash and Green Lantern, as well as Huntress, the daughter of Batman and Catwoman, Power Girl, the cousin and adopted daughter of Superman, and successors to Batman and Superman, among others. After its destruction and the events of Convergence, Earth 2 itself has been replaced by the Blood Moon by Telos, on which the inhabitants now live. It is parallel to Earth 3.
- Earth 3: A relentlessly malevolent world of villains mirroring the heroes of Earth 0 ruled by the Crime Syndicate until its devastation at the hands of the Anti-Monitor. It is parallel to Earth 2.
- Earth 4: Largely the same as Earth-4 of the 52 Multiverse and thematically inspired by Watchmen, this world is home to the Charlton characters such as Captain Atom, the Question, Blue Beetle, Nightshade and Peacemaker, with America having gone horribly wrong as a result of superheroes' use as living weapons of the government. It is parallel to Earth 42.
- Earth 6: Home to the Just Imagine Stan Lee Created the DC Universe characters. It is parallel to Earth 51.
- Earth 7: Former home to a host of superheroes similar to those of Earth 8, as well as analogues such as Devilfist (Hellboy). It was annihilated by the Gentry, its sole survivor being the weather deity Thunderer. It is parallel to Earth 22.
- Earth 8: Home to numerous heroes and groups acting as pastiches of Marvel Comics characters, including the mighty Retaliators (the Avengers), the incredible Future Family (Fantastic Four), the “neo-human” G-Men (X-Men), and the Battlin' Bug (Spider-Man), as well as the megalomaniacal villain Lord Havok (Doctor Doom). It is parallel to Earth 44.
- Earth 11: Similar to Earth-11 of the 52 Multiverse, home to the same heroes and villains as Prime Earth, but reversed in gender, with Amazon philosophies dominating the world; it is protected by the heroes of the Justice Guild, such as Superwoman and Aquawoman, as well as Wonderous Man, champion of the men of Elysium Island. It is parallel to Earth 46.
- Earth 13: A mystical twilight world guarded by the terrifying League of Shadows, led by Etrigan, aka Superdemon. It is parallel to Earth 1.
- Earth 14: Unknown Universe. However, this world may be capable of breeding new universes. It is parallel to Earth 29.
- Earth 16 aka Earth Me: Home of the children and successors of the original Justice League, who live a pampered, celebrity culture-driven lifestyle after their predecessors secured a permanent peace. It is parallel to Earth 45.
- Earth 17: Similar to Earth-17 of the 52 Multiverse, home to the Atomic Knights of Justice led by Captain Adam Strange on a post-apocalyptic Earth wrecked by nuclear war in 1963, including versions of Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg, Green Arrow and the Challengers of the Unknown. It is parallel to Earth 15.
- Earth 18: Somewhat resembling the 52 Multiverse Earth-18, a frontier world trapped technologically in the 19th century by the intervention of the Time-Trapper, defended by Superchief and his Justice Riders. It is parallel to Earth 9.
- Earth 19: Somewhat resembling Earth-19 and Earth-34 of the 52 Multiverse, home of Bat Man, the Wonder Woman, the Accelerated Man and the Shrinking Man in a 21st century where King Edward rules in the wake of Queen Victoria's death, and "electric technology" has begun to emerge. It is parallel to Earth 34.
- Earth 21: Essentially the same as Earth-21 of the 52 Multiverse, home to a new generation of heroes appearing in the 50s and 60s after the retirement of most of the Justice Society of America, including Green Lantern, Flash, the Martian Manhunter and Aquaman. Along with Wonder Woman, these five heroes are the Justice League of America, working alongside the likes of Superman and Batman to defend a spacefaring America where Kennedy was never assassinated. It is parallel to Earth 48.
- Earth 22: Essentially the same as Earth-22 of the 52 Multiverse, home to a violent new generation that force Superman and his allies to come out of retirement to attempt to reign them in, an event potentially heralding the apocalypse until the superheroes lay down their uniforms and agree to work alongside humanity to solve the problem. It is parallel to Earth 7.
- Earth 24: Unknown Universe. It is parallel to Earth 30.
- Earth 25: Unknown Universe. It is parallel to Earth 31.
- Earth 27: Unknown Universe. It is parallel to Earth 32.
- Earth 28: Unknown Universe. It is parallel to Earth 37.
- Earth 29 aka Htrae aka Bizarroverse: A universe of Bizarro counterparts of the heroes of Prime Earth, embarking on pointless non-adventures as the Unjustice League of Unamerica. It is parallel to Earth 14.
- Earth 30: Essentially the same as Earth-30 of the 52 Multiverse, home to a Superman who landed in the Ukraine in 1938, and ultimately became President of a worldwide Soviet Union before seemingly perishing and leaving the world in the hands of the Luthor dynasty. It is parallel to Earth 24.
- Earth 31: Somewhat resembling the pre-Crisis Earth-494, a post-apocalyptic waterworld ravaged by environmental catastrophe, defended by seafaring heroes like Captain Leatherwing and the crew of the Flying Fox.
- Earth 32: Somewhat resembling Earth-32 of the 52 Multiverse, home to a number of 'merged' heroes, including Bat-Lantern, Super-Martian, Wonderhawk, Aquaflash and Black Arrow of the Justice Titans. It is parallel to Earth 27.
- Earth 33 aka Earth Prime: Our Earth, similar to the original intent of the pre-Crisis Earth-Prime, and origin point to the Multiversal haunted comic book Ultra Comics. It is parallel to Prime Earth.
- Earth 34: An Earth home to pastiches of Astro City characters banded together as the Light Brigade, including Savior (Samaritan), Goodfellow (Gentleman), Herculina (Winged Victory) and Cutie (Beautie). It is parallel to Earth 19.
- Earth 35 aka Pseudoverse: Home to pastiches of Awesome Comics characters banded together as the Super-Americans, including Supremo (Supreme), the Owl (Professor Night) and Majesty (Glory), intentionally constructed in "ideaspace" by the Monitors using concepts drawn from other universes for an unknown purpose. It is parallel to Earth 47.
- Earth 36: Home to pastiches of Big Bang Comics characters acting as Justice League analogues joined together as the superteam Justice 9, including Optiman (a parallel version of Superman who was slaughtered and devoured by Superdoom, a pastiche of Ultiman), Iron Knight (a parallel Batman and pastiche of Knight Watchman), the wielder of the "power torch" Flashlight (Green Lantern and The Beacon) Red Racer (the Flash and The Blitz) and War-Woman (Wonder Woman and Venus). It is parallel to Earth 38.
- Earth 37: Based on the works of Howard Chaykin, home to the characters of Thrillkiller in the 1950s seen on the previous Earth-37, including Batgirl and Robin, with technology evolving at such a rapid pace that 2015 is home to the Tommy Tomorrow of Twilight and Ironwolf. It is parallel to Earth 28.
- Earth 38: Essentially the same as the pre-Crisis Earth-3839, home to a Superman that debuted in 1938, a Batman in 1939, and their descendants throughout the generations, including the scion of both dynasties Knight-Wing. It is parallel to Earth 36.
- Earth 39: Home of the United Nations superspies the Agents of W.O.N.D.E.R., utilizing the revolutionary but dangerous super-technology of boy genius Happy DaVinci. It is parallel to Earth 26.
- Earth 40: Home to the monstrous Society of Super-Villains, counterparts to the science-champions of Earth 20 which it parallels, including Vandal Savage, Doctor Faust, Blockbuster, Count Sinestro and Lady Shiva, rulers of their Earth.
- Earth 41: Home to heroes acting as pastiches of Image Comics characters, including Dino-Cop (Savage Dragon), Spore (Spawn) and The Nimrod Squad (Youngblood). It is parallel to Earth 23.
- Earth 42: A universe of 'Chibi' versions of the heroes of Prime Earth, similar to the "L'il Leaguers" in the Superman/Batman arc of the same name. Its Superman and Batman were butchered by Superdoom, though Batman would be seen again, learning the terrible secret this world hides. It is parallel to Earth 4.
- Earth 43: Similar to Earth-43 of the 52 Multiverse, home to a group of heroes corrupted into vampires known as the Blood League, including Batman, Robin, Ultraman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash and Cyborg. It is parallel to Earth 49.
- Earth 45 aka Earth 45™: A world dominated by the tyrannical mega-company Overcorp, creators of a thought-powered demonic Superman known to the Multiverse as Superdoomsday. It is parallel to Earth 16.
- Earth 46: Unknown Universe. It is parallel to Earth 11.
- Earth 47 aka Dreamworld: Home to Sunshine Superman, Magic Lantern, Speed Freak, Shooting Star and Brother Power the Geek, banded together by the eternally youthful Prez Rickard as the Love Syndicate of Dreamworld; all is groovy. It is parallel to Earth 35.
- Earth 48 aka Warworld: Somewhat resembling Earth-48 of the 52 Multiverse and Earth-Six of the original Multiverse, it is the home of the Forerunners, bred to be used as protectors of the Multiverse, resulting in a world where everyone and everything is a superbeing, including animals and bacteria. The royal family includes Lady Quark and Lord Volt. It is parallel to Earth 21.
- Earth 49: Unknown Universe. It is parallel to Earth 43.
- Earth 50: Home of the despotic Justice Lords led by Lord Superman after having murdered President Lex Luthor, corrupted versions of the heroes of Earth 12 that they are parallel to.
- Earth 51: Essentially the same as Earth-51 of the 52 Multiverse, home to the creations of Jack Kirby, including Kamandi, Tuftan of the Tiger Clan, and Ben Boxer, aka BiOMAC.
In the infinite Earths known to exist beyond the borders of the local 52 universes, including the infinite pre-Crisis Earths and the 52 post-Crisis Earths, those additionally indicated as being included in the scope of the "Multi-Multiverse":
- Flashpoint: A darker universe accidentally created by the Flash where Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war, Thomas Wayne is a murderous Batman after his sons' death, Cyborg is America's greatest hero, and Kal-El was experimented on by the government after crash-landing in Metropolis, among other differences.
- Futures End: A grim future to Prime Earth where its heroes have been converted into murderous OMACs; the final stronghold of Neo-Gotham is protected by the Batman, a time-displaced Tim Drake taking the place of Bruce Wayne's deceased latter-day protégé Terry McGinnis.
- Injustice: A world where, after being tricked by the Joker into murdering Lois Lane and their unborn child, a grief-stricken Superman goes power-mad and conquers the Earth alongside his allies to form The Regime, with only Batman's Insurgency fighting to free the Earth.
- All-Star Superman: A near-future universe somewhat resembling Earth-One and New Earth where a virtually all-powerful but slowly dying Superman must perform his final tasks to protect his adoptive world and prepare it for his absence, guarded in the future by his descendants in the Superman Squad.
- Earth-M: Home to the characters of Milestone Comics such as Static and Icon.
- Marvel Universe: A parallel universe of heroes similar to those of Earth 8 such as Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four in a separate Multiverse that has crossed paths with incarnations of the DC Universe in the past.
- Watchmen: A world with generations of vigilante costumed crimefighters hiding dark secrets and pathologies largely forced into retirement by the government, with humanity as a whole on the brink of nuclear war. This worlds' sole superpowered being, the reality-warping Dr. Manhattan, eventually left this Earth and is apparently responsibly for radically altering the timeline of the main DCU.
On the border of the Orrery of Worlds containing the universes (the border itself composed of the Speed Force Wall) are several other realms, at least half of which are currently unknown. Those known include:
- Wonderworld: Former home to a host of godlike superheroes, such as Adam One, Nightmare, the Glimmer and the Mote, banded together as the Theocracy to defend reality. Now an abandoned cosmic graveyard in the wake of the attack of the Old God war machine Mageddon.
- Blood Moon: Formed by Brainiac opposite Wonderworld, home to cities from various realities altered or destroyed in the wake of the various Crisis events. Following the events of Convergence, this world has been moved into the universe of Earth 2 by Telos to replace its shattered Earth, leaving the status of this dimension unknown.
- Kwyzz: Radio universe embedded in the Speed Force Wall formed as one of the Monitor Bleed Siphons punches through Skyland in the Sphere of Gods to enter the Orrery, home of the super-fast champion Krakkl.
Sphere of the Gods
The metaphysical reality just outside the physical Orrery of Worlds. This reality is home to 8 realms--6 of which connect to Earths in the Orrery--that include:
- Dream: Domain of the dream-king Morpheus; home to Gemworld, Oberon and Titania, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, as well as the Halls of the Endless.
- Nightmare: Reverse side of Dream, home to the Corinthian, the Land of Nightshades and the Boogeyman, amongst other haunts.
- Heaven: Home of the four Guardian Angel hosts of the Pax Dei (Bull, Eagle, Lion and Adam), as well as the Spectre. It is connected to Earths 30 and 49.
- Hell: Home of Demons and Djinns, as well as the likes of Neron. It is connected to Earths 24 and 43.
- Skyland: Home of various pantheons, including the Olympian gods, as well as the Norse, Mayan and Egyptian gods. It is connected to Earths 11 and 25.
- Underworld: Reverse side of Skyland, home to the likes of Hades, Pluto and Erishkagal; also known as the Phantom Zone, dwelling place of various Kryptonian criminals. It is connected to Earths 31 and 46.
- New Genesis: The shining home of the magnificent New Gods, such as Orion, Highfather and Lightray. It is connected to Earth 51.
- Apokolips: Reverse side of New Genesis, a fiery planatasm enslaved by the tyrant deity Darkseid and his acolytes. It is connected to Earth 6.
- Limbo: Home of heroes lost from the Multiverse, waiting to fade back into the immensity of the Overvoid. Limbo serves as the border between the Sphere of the Gods and the Monitor Sphere.
Beyond either the Orrery or the Sphere of the Gods. Former home of the Monitors, abandoned in the wake of the Final Crisis. The Source Wall on the border of the Monitor Sphere is the border between the Multiverse and the massive cosmic consciousness known as the Overvoid.
An inconceivably massive cosmic consciousness, the infinite, timeless white void within which the Multiverse floats, also known as the Over-Monitor. Upon discovering the existence of Creation within itself, the Overvoid extended a probe into the Multiverse, which upon reporting back the concept of events, irreparably altered the Overvoid's awareness. The probe (having been split in two) withdrew, and left behind as a result of the contact was a titanic entity in the shape of one of the inhabitants of the Orrery; the Overvoid itself remains implacable, though the presence of the giant would infect its mind with perpetual questions, and thereby the concept of 'story'.
Links and References
- DC Comics Official Interactive Map of the Multiverse
- John Wells' Index of the Pre-Crisis Multiverse from Absolute Crisis on Infinite Earths
- 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
- [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Opoc-AjMlww DC All Access' explanation to how the New 52 Multiverse is set up.
- ↑ Infinite Crisis #2
- ↑ The Flash #123
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Justice League of America #123
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Crisis on Infinite Earths #10
- ↑ Crisis on Infinite Earths #11
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ In Marvel Comics, this earth is given the designation Earth-9602
- ↑ Superboy Vol 4 61
- ↑ The Multiversity Guidebook Vol 1 1
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Infinite Crisis #5
- ↑ Infinite Crisis #6
- ↑ 52 #52
- ↑ Countdown #40
- ↑ Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special #1
- ↑ 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."
- ↑ referred to as another Crime Society according to Crime Society #1
- ↑ 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."
- ↑ Geoff Johns sidebar in Wizard Magazine #189:"A film noir planet populated by the Charlton characters. Greg Rucka's perfect planet."
- ↑ 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."
- ↑ Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1
- ↑ Pastiche of the Marvel Universe.
- ↑ http://www.dccomics.com/comics/the-multiversity-2014/the-multiversity-mastermen-1
- ↑ 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."
- ↑ Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer: Superwoman/Batwoman #1
- ↑ Countdown: Arena minisite
- ↑ Countdown #30
- ↑ Geoff Johns sidebar in Wizard Magazine #189
- ↑ DC Nation #77
- ↑ Countdown: Arena minisite
- ↑ DC Nation #77
- ↑ Countdown: Arena minisite
- ↑ Justice Society of America #6
- ↑ Confirmed by Geoff Johns in Wizard Magazine #189
- ↑ Confirmed at Wizard World 2007
- ↑ Countdown: Arena minisite
- ↑ "as seen in the Superman/Batman series" Countdown: Arena minisite
- ↑ Countdown: Arena minisite
- ↑ DC Nation #77
- ↑ Countdown: Arena minisite
- ↑ Countdown: Arena minisite
- ↑ Countdown: Arena minisite
- ↑ Final Crisis #7
- ↑ Confirmed by Geoff Johns in Wizard Magazine #189
- ↑ Countdown #19
- ↑ http://www.dccomics.com/comics/countdown-arena-2008/countdown-arena-1
- ↑ Final Crisis Vol 1 7
- ↑ Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds Vol 1 5
- ↑ An interview with Grant Morrison revealed that this universes' Superman 2 was intended to appear in Final Crisis.
- ↑ http://comicbook.com/2015/05/27/decoding-convergence-with-jeff-king-the-finale/
- ↑ http://www.newsarama.com/25243-morrison-reveals-weird-stories-for-batman-black-white-and-multiversity-too.html
- ↑ http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/sdcc-morrison-dc-announce-multiversity-too-batman-black-white-ogns
- ↑ The Multiversity Guidebook Vol 1 1
- ↑ http://www.dccomics.com/characters/earth-16
- ↑ http://www.dccomics.com/comics/the-multiversity-2014/the-multiversity-1
- ↑ http://docshaner.tumblr.com/post/109422022086/justice-9-earth-36-since-everybody-else-seems-to
- ↑ [[http://www.comicbookresources.com/article/milestone-media-returns-to-dc-comics-as-earth-m
- ↑ Morrison on Finishing Multiversity and What's Next at DC "These (bubble universes), there's so many of them out there that there's the Marvel multiverse and there's the DC multiverse and over there's the Archie multiverse."
- ↑ DC Universe: Rebirth Vol 1 1