Demythify: Dan DiDio’s 5 Things You Didn’t Know About DC’s Multiverse (Earth One, Earth 2, Prime)

With the advent of social media, comic companies and their executives have other forums to engage with fans. Corporate websites and select staging of news with comic blogs and sites are more prominent marketing tactics. However, with Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms, there are more unscripted news tidbits that flesh out further news that has been formally announced or in some cases the social media quips becomes news in their own right.

Following my previous journey through DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio’s Facebook in the 3rd Quarter of 2011-12, comes the first of a few 4th Quarter reports.

This one looks at DiDio’s multiverse related musings. There are a few surprises in his keystrokes. Before I get into that, here’s how DiDio sets the stage for his Earth 2 and Worlds’ Finest projects (with a bit of Shazam thrown in):

The main goal fo the New 52 has always been to present contemporary take on our classic character while staying true to the core that made them great. We’ve had a lot of success, and some misses, since our September launch and we knew both Capt Marvel and JSA were going to be a challenge. That’s why we took our time to get to where we are today with these two projects. We are not trying to alienate everyone, quite the opposite, these books are being created to attract the widest audience possible for the long time health of the characters, comics and company.”

Now, what are the surprises? Take a look at the Top 5:

    FIVE: Due to the success of Earth One Superman, DC Comics appears to be quite open to an Earth One Wonder Woman one-shot in addition to the Earth One Batman already announced and Earth One Superman 2. Maybe we can finally get that old All Star Wonder Woman by Adam Hughes, but in Earth One one-shot format?

    Also, while not multiverse related, DiDio did have other Wonder Woman news indicating that while there were no immediate DC plans for Ben Caldwell of Wednesday Comics’ Wonder Woman fame, there may in fact be plans for an all-ages Wonder Woman title in the works.

    FOUR: Despite Shade being solicited as part of DC Comics ‘Beyond New 52’ grouping which includes a very non New 52 Smallville Season 11, DiDio has confirmed that Shade takes place ‘inside’ the New 52.

    Now, the character is so closely tied to the pre-Flashpoint Justice Society and its Golden Starman lineage that no longer exists, legacy wise anyway in the New 52, it’ll be interesting to see if DiDio meant the main Earth that the New 52 books take place on (sans Earth 2 naturally). We understand that the Shade maxi-series was planned pre-New 52 (it was mentioned years before after all) and likely prior to DC finalizing its Earth 2 series plans.

    So, with Shade scribe James Robinson on board for the Earth 2 series, will Shade now miracioulsy be an Earth 2 set mini-series? That becomes a harder sell with the New 52 Deathstroke having stopped by the mini-series and because IMHO the mini-series has done a lot to add diverse international heroes to the DC Comics pantheon. I’d like that diversity in the main universe.

    On one hand I want Shade mini-series to be set on the main Earth, but on the other I’d also wouldn’t mind seeing it on Earth 2, but that Earth has a brand new Justice Society. Will Jack Knight / Starman be on Earth 2 or is he another casualty of the relaunch? And, to make matters even less clear, Dan DiDio has also indicated that [it is] Just a matter of time [before Stargirl (Courtney Whitmore) pops up in the DCU]“. On Earth 2, Prime Earth… who knows?

    THREE: “Surprise” seems to be the watch word with Earth 2. With DiDio indicating that: there are a lot of surprises in store for the first issue of EARTH 2“. In addition, in talking about DC’s multiverse plans he indicated that: [it is] Best to move slowly and see how things work before expanding [into books featuring other multiverse Earths], here’s hoping that people love the plans for earth 2 first. There are a lot of surprises with that series alone.

    Well, we know from the variant cover to issue #1, this new Earth 2 features a Justice Society with a Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. What other surprises could be in store? DC surprised fandom with that Earth 2 variant cover.

    We also already know this is a younger Justice Society, a la the rest of the New 52 books, and noticeably on the cover of issue #2 with a brand new Flash.

    I’m intrigued on one hand, and dreading on the other, further surprises. πŸ™‚ Maybe there will be some non-traditional JSA “surprises”? Too bad DiDio continually indicates DC Comics has no plans for Wally West. He’s still a big Flashpoint casualty.

    TWO: DiDio was confirmed what DC Comics creators call their “main” New 52 Earth: Our Earth is identified as the Prime Earth“. Prior to the Crisis of Infinite Earths and in more modern times with the villainy of Superboy-Prime, DC Comics has indicated that Earth Prime (a different ordering of the two words) existed and it basically was the real world we all actually live in that somehow produced a Superboy who turned heel in his quest to find his way back home to Prime. So, with the main New 52 Earth being called Prime Earth, is Superboy-Prime another casualty of the post-Flashpoint DC Comics relaunch?

    ONE: There was a short line on DiDio’s facebook that has BIG implications: we see it as the entire multiverse has started anew. Prior to this bombshell, many fans had assumed that Flashpoint exclusively impacted DC’s main pre-Flashpoint Earth. A natural extension of that would be the changes to Prime Earth and Earth 2, the latter because that world features the return of the Justice Society; a very different version of which existed pre-Flaspoint.

    While I initially thought this would impact Grant Morrison’s Multiversity project, I soon recalled DC Comics creator hierarchy in the New 52: Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns can do whatever they want. Green Lantern and its ancillary books were not really changed post-Flashpoint. And Grant Morrison’s Batman Inc. picks up in May 2012 where the pre-Flashpont series left off (likely sans Stephanie Brown as Batgirl – another Flashpoint casualty). It isn’t a stretch then to believe that Grant’s Final Crisis multiverse explorations will be continued relatively as-is in this New 52 muliverse with his long awaited Multiversity.

    However, while much of DC Comics’ multiverse remains a mystery, we do know one pre-Flashpoint Earth won’t been seen any time soon as DiDio indicated that DC has no plans to… follow up the [Superman / Batman alternate Earth] Generations series [by John Byrne]. πŸ™ John Byrne and even Peter David really SHOULD be doing more DC Comics projects IMHO.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens once May 2012, but I am excited!

Lastly, I was pleased – in a fanboy way I guess – that Dan DiDio commented on my previous multiverse column which was published before DC Comics’ Earth 2 news and before the nuggets in this column’s Top 5 were revealed. My previous thoughts were pretty much speculative with Dan indicating: probablities, speculation and rumors. the stuff from which blogs are made of.

So, I learned my lesson and am sticking with DiDio’s own words this time with this column. πŸ™‚

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