Friday, January 19, 2007

This post is a clue

It is as I (among others!) deduced, demanded, and dreamed:

the Multiverse is back.

Or, perhaps, was never gone to begin with.

As previously mentioned
, I think the original undoing of DC's multiverse was a serious error. I hold this opinion not because I'm some Thomasian fanboy who has to believe that everything he's ever read in a comic book "really" happened. I hold this opinion because the multiverse is a firm yet flexible structure for helping readers and writers handle the long-term problems of a 70 year old and growing storyline with some characters that are fixed in time and some that aren't.

Don't get me wrong. I'm delighted that many characters previously kept separate on other earths -- such as the Marvels, the Freedom Fighters, and the Charltons -- are now part of the DCU proper. But the hard truth is, one universe just isn't big enough to contain the DCU. And that's a high quality problem, one I enjoy having.

You can -- and I'm betting some of you will -- comment on how much easier, healthier, and sensible it is to have a monoverse. Don't waste your digital breath. For the sake of argument, I'll even concede all your points are valid. It just doesn't matter.

A monoverse created through the contributions of many people over many years focusing on many different characters will inevitably lead to continuity conflicts. What begins as a fresh start will tighten every year as the storylines expand, and wind up as a confining straightjacket. A multiverse allows you to either parcel storyline out into various parallel worlds or reboot occasionally, starting on a "new earth".

The multiverse is back. The more you struggle against it the more it hurts, so just relax and enjoy it.


Nick said...

Ah, but didio MIGHT just be bringing the multiverse back for an issue, make us fall in love with it all over again, and then have 'mazing man shoot it in the head on the last page.

BTW, the appearance of Buddy's yellow skinned friends in 52 got me to reread Morrison's run on Animal Man- to my amazement, The Red Bee shows up late in the run. I'd always thought this very blog was my first exposure to the character.

Sleestak said...

But exactly how *much* of the multiverse has returned? Billions of Earths or just a few?

Anonymous said...

Probably 52 Earths.

ZC said...

Honestly, I could give two craps about the multiverse.

I just wish they would bring Hypertime back (or make it canon in the first place). That always made more sense to me than the multiverse, for storytelling purposes.

Chance said...

zc (or anyone): what is the difference? really, I want to know.

Jon Hex said...

Hypertime was specifically created to be easier to use than a multiverse. I'm just guessing, really, but I'm 98.99967% sure that's the only difference.

Julio Oliveira said...

While the Multiverse is easily accessed by anyone with a dimensional portal, Hypertime is both dangerous and difficult to access. And the idea of Hypertime is that all the discrepancies on the DCU central universe "bleeds" on to other earths changing the past, present or future of this earth. Long dead people suddenly are alive again, some obscure character is remembered. So in practice every time two pieces of cannon are conflictant it would mean they both exist on new, just created or changed parallel earths. The multiverse dimensions are a lot more independent of each other and a lot more static.

Bully said...

Is it true that if you read the first letter of every third word of your post and then scramble 'em up, it says "Dan Didio has way too much time on his hands?"

The Fortress Keeper said...

I don't mind the multiverse returning, as I never thought it really needed to be destroyed.

That said, I don't think we're returning to the Earth-1/Earth-2 split of old - which is what old fanboys like myself really miss.

Used to make the JLA/JSA team-ups more special.

SamuraiFrog said...

If they're undoing the monoverse, does that mean they can finally just bring back Barry Allen? They've brought back everyone else! If there's a monoverse and it carries on as though there was never a multiverse, it's like Barry's death never happened, anyway.

Scipio said...

You know, I was just thinking that myself.

If there's still an Earth with a Barry Allen and a Ted Kord, they could migrate to "Earth 1", and Bart and Jaime could be shipped off to Earth-8, where, frankly, they belong.

Chance said...

Earth-8? More like earth-LAME! Who's with me?! Right?

randy said...

Maybe all the exposure from the Treadmill guys will get us a return of Earth-Haney. That's a groovy Batman.

Jeff Albertson said...

Hypertime is good for explaining why your new story has an element added to the backstory (either from old comic books that were ignored, or movie continuity, or some other source like "Superfolks." - "it came from a hypertime flux"); the Multiverse is good for explaining why your new story excludes an element of the backstory (like the fact that Superman never was Superboy, or that Flash is Barry Allen, and Jay Garrick only appeared in comics books "that was a different earth").

So yeah, the distinction is a fine one.

I say keep them both: They both offer possibilities for stories, and why in the world would DC want to cut down the possible stories they can tell?

But the Fortress Keeper is right -- even if a multiverse is back, Earth-1 and Earth-2 are gone. you can't go home again.

Shawn L. said...

Scipio, I take it you're essenitally saying that the existence of the multiverse allows for more consistent monoverses?