Thursday, February 5, 2015

Return of the Quickie: Comics to Screen Part I: DC Comics

This blog post is about DC Comics characters that have been adapted to the screen...as it relates to the multiverses of DC Canon.  My upcoming TELEVISION CROSSOVER UNIVERSE:  WORLDS AND MYTHOLOGY will cover how DC Comics characters and series fit into the Television Crossover Multiverse, and my other upcoming book, the Cartoon Crossover Encyclopedia, will do the same for DC characters and series in the Cartoon Multiverse.  But DC over the years has also established that their own shows and movies exist within their own multiverse.  And so that's what I'm talking about today, since this is a blog about shared realities of television and film.

Omniverse

Originally according to The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe 2004, "the omniverse is the collection of every single universe, multiverse, dimension (alternate or pocket) and realm."

Original Multiverse

Cataloged

Originally there was no consistency regarding "numbered" Earths—they would be either spelled out as words or use numbers even within the same story. For example, "Crisis on Earth-Three!" (Justice League of America (vol. 1) #29, August 1964) uses "Earth-3" and "Earth-Three" interchangeably. However, a tradition of spelling out the numbers emerged in "The Most Dangerous Earth" (Justice League of America (vol. 1) #30, September 1964). This convention was disregarded in Crisis on Infinite Earths, and it became common practice to refer to the various Earths with numerals instead. Infinite Crisis reverted to the original practice, but 52 and Countdown have referred to the alternate universes with numerals.

Earth-One A

Pre-Crisis
Earth-1A is the unofficial name of the universe that the Super Friends live in.
We have also learned from the Super Friends Comic Book that the Justice League of America of this earth have made contact with the Justice Society of America of Earth-2A and have even shared some adventures together.
  • When the heroes of the Justice League gained their own cartoon show in the form of the Super Friends it was inevitable that they would in turn spawn a spin off comic called THE SUPER FRIENDS. Written by E. Nelson Bridwell the stories while possibly meant to be in Earth-One were a little too different for inclusion there. This Earth saw the first appearance of the various heroes that would go onto become the Global Guardians (a real Earth-One group). This Earth was set aside from Earth-One by the inclusion of Earth-Two characters such as Plastic Man and T.N.T and Dyne-Mite.
Batman
Earth-TwoPre-CrisisDC's Golden Age heroes, including the Justice Society of America, whose careers began at the dawn of World War II (concurrently with their first appearances in comics): Chemistry student Jay Garrick as the Flash; radio engineer Alan Scottas Green Lantern; archaeologist Carter Hall asHawkman; pint-sized powerhouse Al Pratt as the Atom; and Clark Kent (Kal-L), who began his career as Superman as an adult.
  • Politically, Earth-Two was different from the Earth-One template modeled after Earth-Prime. For example, Quebec was an independent nation autonomous from Canada,South Africa had abolished apartheid sooner, and the Atlantean countries of Poseidonis and Tritonis were ruled by a queen, not a king, their inhabitants displaying surface-dweller features and no capacity for underwater survival, as the Atlantiscontinent had been raised to the surface (the model was the Atlantis seen in Golden Age Wonder Woman stories).
  • First described as a distinct Earth in Flash (vol. 1) #123 (September 1961), first named in Justice League of America #21 (August 1963)
New Fun Comics#1 (February 1935)
Earth-2APre-CrisisEarth-2A is the unofficial name of the universe that the Justice Society of America live in. The universe is very similar to the universe known as Earth-Two. In fact, the natives of that earth refer to it as Earth-Two. Superman
Earth-66numerical designation from Captain Marvel Adventures #66.Adventures of Captain MarvelSpy SmasherBatmanBatman and Robin
  • A tangential Earth to Earth S, which also has some Earth-1 elements, is Earth-66.
Adventures of Captain Marvel
Earth-462Infinite CrisisWonder Woman, Per DegatonBaron Blitzkrieg,Captain Nazi, and the original Teen Titans (Robin, Speedy, Kid Flash, Aqualad, and Wonder Girl) Infinite Crisis #6 (May 2006)
Earth 988Numerical designation by John Wells from Superboy V2#1, other info from Superboy V2# 5, 15, 16,Superboy
  • a world whose only super-hero was a college-age Superboy. Also in the future year 2240, Superboy encounters rowdy metahuman teens named Shift, Wildstar, Tara, Romo, Glyder, Tarot, Diamond, and Screamdreamer (the first three of which had visited him in his own era).
Superboy
Earth 992Numerical designation by John Wells after the month and date -- September, 1992 -- thatBatman: The Animated Series went on the air.Batman: The Animated SeriesThe Superman/Batman AdventuresSuperman: The Animated SeriesThe New Batman AdventuresThe New Batman/Superman AdventuresBatman BeyondGotham GirlsLoboStatic ShockThe Zeta ProjectJustice LeagueTeen TitansZatannaJustice League UnlimitedKrypto the SuperdogLegion of Super HeroesBatman: Mask of the PhantasmBatman & Mr. Freeze: SubZeroBatman Beyond: Return of the JokerBatman: Mystery of the BatwomanTeen Titans: Trouble in TokyoSuperman: Brainiac Attacks
  • An Earth populated by less dark incarnations of the heroes of the present-day DC universe.
Batman: The Animated Series
Earth 1001Numerical designation by John WellsSmallvilleBirds of PreyAquamanBruce WayneBlue BeetleBatman OnStar commercials
  • a world where the infant Kal-El came to Earth in the midst of a meteor shower that permanently altered the lives of Jonathan and Martha Kent, Lana Lana, Lex Luthor and others. The near future of this Earth will sport adventurers such as Batman, Batgirl, Black Canary and Darkstrike. Batman's daughter eventually allies with Oracle (previously Barbara Gordan/Batgirl) and Black Canary's daughter as Birds of Prey. Numerical designation by John Wells, from Smallville: the Comic #1. The Birds of Prey comic book adaption of the tv series was announced, but placed on indefinite hold following the cancellation of the series.
Smallville
Earth 1278Numerical designation by John Wells after the month and date -- December, 1978 -- that Superman The Movie had its theatrical release.The FlashHuman TargetBatman Diet Coke, Swamp ThingSupermanSuperman IISwamp ThingSuperman IIISupergirlSuperman IV: The Quest for PeaceThe Return of Swamp ThingBatmanBatman ReturnsBatman ForeverBatman & RobinSteelCatwomanThe Vigilante
  • The home of the theatrical incarnations of DC's heroes as shown in comic book adaptions
The Vigilante
Earth-TVPre-CrisisAdventures of SupermanBatmanShazam!Wonder WomanLegends of the SuperheroesSuperman Kellogg'sBatgirl Equal Pay Public Service AnnouncementSuperman and the Mole MenStamp Day for SupermanBatman: The Movie
  • According to the DC editorial staff circa the 1970s and early 1980s, usually mentioned in the letters pages and other DC columns, Earth-TV was the world in which television programs based on DC Comics series existed.
Adventures of Superman

DC Universe and The Megaverse

15 billion years ago, a single Universe with a single timestream was created. 4.4 billion years ago, Krona, the renegade Maltusian (a race of highly evolved beings) creates the Antimatter Universe and releases entropy in the universe by linking the beginning and the end of the timeline in his attempts to reveal the secrets of the creation of the universe.
In this single universe, the timeline was destroyed in the early 1990s by Hal Jordan (possessed by Parallax) and created an slightly changed timeline (Zero Hour, 1994). It was later revealed that this Central Timeline was like a river with branches. This branches were like different realities, the history of Earth was different in every branch and everything could be possible in them. They could affect the Central Timeline as they return to the mainstream and the heroes could encounter with different versions of themselves. However, they where somewhat ephemeral as the Central Timeline is the only one that could prevail (The Kingdom, 1999).
After Crisis on Infinite Earths, there was no place for alternate realities, although they could exist in the form of ephemeral timelines (Hypertime), dimensions (such as the fifth dimension or the Fourth World) or Universes inside the Universe (Legion of Super-Heroes' Pocket Universe, Amalgam Universe).
However, there was contact with realities that existed outside the Universe such as those from Marvel, Milestone and Wildstorm. The collection of universes, multiverses and others that are unrelated, is most of the times called Megaverse. Some also call it the Omniverse but tend to include the Real World when using this denomination.
The contact of these worlds usually brought cataclysms, being the most common, the amalgamation. Traveling between these realities was extremely hard, only two characters were capable of doing so with natural abilities: Rift, who existed in both the DC and Milestone Universes, and Access, who had the task of keeping DC and Marvel separated to prevent amalgamation.
Most of the times, these events were either forgotten (as shown in the Unlimited Access miniseries as Access has the power to annul or restore the memories of heroes) or believed to be "dreams" (as shown in DC/Milestone: Worlds Collide and DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar), which in the end left few traces of the events in the respective continuities.
The Wilstorm Universe was part of a larger multiverse but was separated after a multiversal cataclysm, forming a multiverse of its own (Shattered Image). Organizations known as Planetary and The Authority were capable of traveling across the Multiverse and were also able to map it. Its structure was described as a web of 196,833 universes arranged in a pattern resembling a snowflake, each universe separated from its neighbors by a medium called the Bleed. The Bleed prevented the Universes from colliding and was inhabited by "fauna" that despised all different Earths.

The 52

A new Multiverse was revealed at the end of the 52 weekly limited series. Unlike the original Multiverse, which was composed of an infinite number of alternate universes, this Multiverse is composed of a predetermined number of alternate universes, which were originally referred to as New Earth and Earths 1 through 51, although erroneously in Tangent: Superman's Reign #1, New Earth is referred to as Earth-1; however, in Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1, New Earth is instead designated Earth-0. Dan Didio has since explicitly denied that New Earth is Earth-1. The alternate universes were originally identical to New Earth and contained the same history and people until Mister Mind "devoured" portions of each Earth’s history, creating new, distinct Earths with their own histories and people, such as the Nazi-themed version of the Justice League that exists in Earth-10. Each of the alternate universes have their own parallel dimensions, divergent timelines, microverses, etc., branching off them.
The Guardians of the Universe serve as protectors of the new Multiverse. Each universe within the Multiverse is separated by a Source Wall, behind which Anti-Life keeps the universes apart. The Bleed permeates the Anti-Life in unpredictable places behind the Source Wall, allowing for transport between the universes. The destruction of New Earth would set off a chain reaction that would destroy the other fifty-one alternate universes at the same time, leaving only the Antimatter Universe in existence. As a consequence of Alexander Luthor's attempts to recreate the Multiverse, fifty-two new Monitors were created to oversee the fifty-two universes created afterwards. The Monitors seek to protect the Multiverse from people who crossover from one alternate universe to another, through the Bleed or through innate ability, who the Monitors have labeled "anomalies".
A partial list of some of the alternate universes that make up the new Multiverse was revealed in late November 2007.
Earth-12Post-52Characters and settings shown in the DC animated universe, such as the Batman Beyond television series
  • The Green Lantern of Earth-12 is a descendant of Hal Jordan. In Countdown: Arena #1, it is explained that seven Green Lanterns patrol the "seven primary galaxies" and that Hal Jordan's descendant patrols the Milky Way Galaxy.
Countdown #21 (December 2007) and Countdown: Arena #1 (February 2008)
Earth-16Post-52Characters shown in the Young Justice (TV series) .Young Justice (TV series) Episode 1:"Independence Day" (January 7, 2011)
Earth-23Post-52Characters shown in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold television series Batman: The Brave and the Bold Episode 1: "Rise of the Blue Beetle!"

The New 52

The Flashpoint story arc ended with a massive change to the Multiverse; to what extent it's entirely new, and to what extent it's as it was formed in the wake of 52, has not fully been established. Some worlds, like Earth-1 and Earth-23, appear to be entirely untouched, while others, like Earth-0, Earth-2, and Earth-16, have changed drastically. In July 2014, a map of the Multiverse was released, in promotion of Grant Morrison's The Multiversity series.
Earth-12The Justice League Beyond Batman Beyond #1 (February 2012)
Unknown
  • According to one YouTube video, the Lego Universe is part of the New 52 multiverse.
Lego Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite

Beyond The New 52

BATMAN ‘66
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse_%28Marvel_Comics%29
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_DC_Multiverse_worlds
  • http://www.reocities.com/TheTropics/1185/atlas2.html#e1a
  • http://superfriends.wikia.com/wiki/Earth-1A
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_television_series_based_on_DC_Comics
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_based_on_DC_Comics
  • http://blaklion.best.vwh.net/time_links.html
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse_%28DC_Comics%29
  • http://www.dccomics.com/blog/2014/10/20/1020-beyond-the-new-52-group-solicits-january-2015

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