Forget cards, cake and comfortable sweaters. DC Comics revealed the latest in must-have birthday gifts when the New 52 celebrated its second birthday: the introduction of the Justice League's counterparts from Earth-3. Admittedly, the Crime Syndicate's appearance didn't exactly turn out well for the Justice League if the proclamation of their death in <em>Forever Evil</em> #1 is anything to go by, but for those who've been waiting to see more of DC's Multiverse in the New 52 era, it was a welcome gift indeed. <p>Hopefully, it's also a sign that DC will explore more of the possibly Infinite Earths out there (or is it still just 52? Even that remains to be seen). Titles like <em>Earth-2</em>, <em>Worlds' Finest</em> and <em>Batman/Superman</em> have offered glimpses of the many alternate versions of favorite heroes out there -- and Grant Morrison's <em>Multiversity</em> is still out there, slowly coming towards completion -- but in case someone at DC is looking for potential parallel worlds to introduce, here are some suggestions for 10 Earths just crying out for a future Crisis or two.
This one, surely, is a no-brainer. Considering the success of the digital comic based upon the video game, the idea of bringing the superheroic dystopia into "canon" and offering the possibility of a crossover between that world and the main New 52 Earth could be something that would make many DC fans excited — and, perhaps, give the "regular" versions of Superman, Batman et al reason to consider their actions just a little bit more carefully, having seen just what could happen otherwise.
Remember when DC <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/620-sdcc-08-milestone-is-back-and-in-the-dcu.html>eagerly announced</a> that it was bringing the Milestone characters back, and firmly installed in the DC Universe proper? Aside from a handful of appearances, and the all-too-short-lived <em>Static Shock</em> series at the launch of The New 52, nothing has really come from that partnership, sadly. <p>If DC can't seem to find a place for the various citizens of Dakota in their mainstream line, perhaps it's time to give them their own world back, and allow them to shine once more — even if it's simply in occasional glimpses of a world in which Icon can once again be a world's greatest hero (as long as Rocket is around to keep him grounded, of course).
An Earth that may need renaming — or, perhaps, it's time that we just started calling the regular New 52 Earth "Earth Zero" or something, just to make it all easier — but considering the time and attention lavished on the original graphic novel series that has so far produced one <em>Batman</em> and two <em>Superman</em> releases (with a <em>Wonder Woman</em> book on the way), it's not impossible to imagine that there is another alternate Earth out there with all of these heroes emerging slowly into public view, preparing for a visit from their far busier, far more experienced counterparts who have already managed to form a Justice League and face off against Darkseid, A.R.G.U.S. and countless other threats already. <p><em>Crisis on Original Graphic Novel Territory</em>, anyone?
On a similar note, somewhere out there in the vast DC multiverse, (potential spoiler for <em>All-Star Superman</em> coming up) there has to be a world without a Superman, because he's building his grand machine in the sun, right…? <p>That would, in theory, be the same world on which the Goddamn Batman lives — let's chalk the discontinuity between Supermen away by saying that Frank Miller and Jim Lee's version of the character was a defective Superman Robot — and if there's anyone out there who doesn't want to see <em>that</em> particular version of the Justice League clash up against The New 52 incarnation of the team, then you're either lying to yourselves or unable to imagine The New 52 Batman's embarrassment upon meeting his All-Star counterpart, while watching The New 52 Wonder Woman's reaction to the All-Star version would likely be awkward. <p>How quickly would everything degenerate into violence — and could the All-Star version of the team pull everything back from the brink in time to save the day?
Re-reading both <em>Superman: Birthright</em> and <em>JLA: Year One</em> recently, it struck that Mark Waid had created two wonderful, timeless origins for some of DC's best-known concepts only to see them wiped from continuity within a decade, more or less (<em>Year One</em> was published in 1999). <p>The solution to this problem is obvious: Simply retcon them into having happened on a parallel Earth that has since evolved into something resembling the "classic" post-<em>Crisis</em> DCU before the days of <em>Infinite Crisis</em> — that way, fans of Wally West, Donna Troy and Stephanie Brown can also know that their favorite characters are definitely still around somewhere, fighting the good fight albeit on another Earth. Bonus points if the Waid/Barry Kitson <em>Legion of Super-Heroes</em> is retconned into belonging to this Earth as well.
In many ways, Darwyn Cooke's <em>DC: The New Frontier</em> was less an original take on the DC universe than one that attempted to recreate the various characters' Silver Age concepts in a streamlined and more elegant fashion. <p>It was also, however, a world in which its main characters were allowed to age, and in which the story took place in a specific timeframe. What would that world look like today, 50 years on — and what new characters would have appeared to have taken the place of a now-retired Hal Jordan, Barry Allen, Bruce Wayne, et al? Bringing this world into the DC multiverse proper would allow The New 52 Justice League to visit it, and in the process, get a chance to perhaps glimpse their own futures — as well as a world in which the lines between good and evil were a little more clearly demarcated.
Somewhere, on a parallel Earth in some corner of the Multiverse, there's the first Earth that Darkseid visited, before he went to <em>Earth-2</em> and then faced off against the <em>Justice League</em>. <p>It's the Earth that is home to Jason Blood, demonologist, and one that will later become the World That's Coming, protected by the Global Peace Agency and OMAC, before the Great Disaster will leave Kamandi the Last Boy On Earth. It's a world in which all of Kirby's 1970s material for DC can exist separate and aside from the rest of the DCU (with the exception of Superman, of course, because <em>Jimmy Olsen</em>) in its own timeline and continuity, created to drive Kirby addicts mad trying to figure out how everything makes sense — as well as a destination for heroes from the other Earths when they want their adventures to be a little bit bigger and more dramatic.
Given DC's recent <em>Before Watchmen</em> line, it's surprising that we haven't seen more of those characters' Charlton Comics predecessors in the New 52. Sure, there are characters called Blue Beetle, the Question and Captain Atom in the current version of the mainstream DC Earth, but they bear only cosmetic connections to the original versions of the fondly-remembered heroes who first appeared in the Dick Giordano-edited Charlton Comics line of the 1960s. <p>In the pre-<em>Crisis on Infinite Earths</em> DCU, the Charlton heroes existed on Earth-Four -- and, as glimpsed for just one panel at the end of <em>52</em>, versions of those same characters were on Earth-4 of the 52 Earth Multiverse. Surely that means that, somewhere out there in the New 52 Multiverse, there's an Earth-4 complete with a Ted Kord keeping the legacy of his mentor alive as the Blue Beetle, a Question who's just a regular Joe instead of faceless egotist and a Captain Atom that doesn't need to worry about destroying the world with a stray thought. Who knows where the Pre-<em>Watchmen</em> Watchmen are these days -- and how long before some intrepid DC character gets on the cosmic treadmill and finds them?
The New 52 Earth 2 is certainly a variation on the classic concept, but for all its many charms — up to and including Jay Garrick's mom apparently becoming a central cast member — it still doesn't fulfill the original intent of the whole Earth Two idea: Giving the original versions of the DC Comics superheroes somewhere to exist and continue to fight crime all the way into old age (and, considering that WWII was never part of DC's sliding timeline, they certainly managed to get quite old towards the end of the pre-<em>Flashpoint</em> era there). <p>So why not create a new Earth Two — maybe renamed for simplicity's sake — that does that very thing? Just imagine an alternate Earth where it's still the 1940s, and the second World War is still raging — and America is defended by a bunch of grown men and women with amazing powers and a taste for colorful costumes.
It's possible for any attempt to create a new DC Multiverse to not bring in the much-adored, era-spanning animated universe headed up by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm and, later, Dwayne McDuffie and others — but why wouldn't you want to? <p>Having survived on television from <em>Batman The Animated Series</em> all the way through <em>Justice League Unlimited</em> 14 years later, and now continuing via DC's <em>Batman Beyond</em> and <em>Justice League Beyond</em> digital comics, what could be called the Timmverse has become a long-lasting mix of the best of many different eras of DC continuity, detailed and yet simple enough to draw new viewers (and today, readers) seemingly effortlessly. <p>Considering the already tangled webs of continuity and history that have been built up by the first two years of The New 52, how would the simpler — and, in many ways, purer — versions of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman et al deal with their New 52 dopplegangers - And could they teach them anything upon meeting?