[Spoiler warning: This story is filled with spoilers for Convergence #8.]
Convergence has eliminated the collapse of the multiverse in the original Crisis on Infinite Earths — and has apparently undone every DC reboot since.
Because of the events in Convergence #8, just about every Earth that was ever published in DC history appears to now "still exist" — and stories from those worlds can now be told in continuity.
Yes, you read that right. Previously eliminated universes are back, including the pre-Flashpoint multiverse and every Earth from before the 1985's Crisis. Although there may be slight tweaks (because of events in Convergence), DC's formerly rebooted-and-destroyed Earths appear to be back in regular continuity.
This development fulfills the promise made by DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio on Newsarama in January, that Convergence is leaving "every door open everywhere." DiDio said the Earths being revisited during Convergence would be available to writers after the story concluded.
In coming months, according to DiDio's statement, readers could see comics about everything from pre-Crisis Earth 2 Justice Society to pre-Flashpoint Question.
Confused? The explanation came in Convergence #8, the conclusion to the two-month event that brought characters from various DC universes together on a planet called Telos, after they were kidnapped by Brainiac.
In the first seven issues of Convergence, the characters had been fighting each other, but ended up mainly fighting against (or for…) a power-hungry DC character named Deimos.
When Parallax killed Deimos in Convergence #7, the temporal energy he'd stolen from the Time Masters was unleashed. According to Dr. Fate, that power was returning to the core of the planet and was about to ignite, becoming a "proverbial bullet" that would "shatter the multiverse."
Speaking of Time Masters… Booster Gold, Waverider and Goldstar show up, and Waverider claims that the only being who can absorb this "unleashed" temporal energy (before it destroys all of reality) is Brainiac — the big, nasty villain who started this whole thing.
Waverider frees Brainiac (who had been imprisoned), and although he initially wants to kill everyone, Brainiac comes to his senses as he realizes that, if he doesn't do something to help, all of reality will be destroyed — including his homeworld of Colu and Brainiac himself.
Brainiac explains his origin — that he was basically created by all the DC reboots over the years, as he sought knowledge and traveled through time. "My body lost to the cancerous growths caused by exposure to the multiverse," Brainiac claims. "I wish to return to what I was."
Brainiac begins severing Telos' tie to the planet and taking it for his own. He tries to channel the temporal energy within it to return all the characters to their homes, attempting to reset the multiverse.
However, he says "the first Crisis" blocks him from succeeding. "It's too strong," he says. "If it's not changed, the multiverse will once again collapse into one universe."
Brainiac says that he must send pre-Crisis Flash and Supergirl back to their world — back to their deaths — and they agree to sacrifice themselves to save the multiverse.
But there's a twist —Parallax volunteers to go with the pre-Crisis heroes. "I don't want to go back to my universe," he says. "I want a chance at redemption." Other heroes volunteer to go, including married-to-Lois-with-a-kid Superman. Brainiac tells all of them that they must prevent the collapse of the multiverse that happened in Crisis on Infinite Earths. "Then everything will reset and return to what it was before I brought you here."
And Holy Multiverse, Batman – they succeed!
Crisis on Infinite Earths is now undone.
As a result of the Crisis prevention, Brainiac says all worlds from the past still exist.
Everyone that was "stolen" to set up the Convergence story is sent home by Brainiac — except the heroes from Earth 2 (from the New 52 multiverse). That planet was destroyed before Telos pulled those heroes away from it.
Still standing on the Convergence planet with Brainiac are the following Earth 2 heroes: Alan Scott (Green Lantern), Val-Zod (Superman), Jay Garrick (Flash), Yolanda Montez (Avatar of the Red) and Dick Grayson (who's now wearing the Batman costume and will presumably replace the former Earth 2 Batman, who died during Convergence).
Brainiac goes back to the Earth 0 universe, hoping to return to his "former self." But just before he leaves, he severs his ties with the former Telos planet. He destroys all the cities that he'd brought there.
As this destruction happens, Alan Scott protects the remaining Earth 2 heroes, then he returns the "Green" to the desolate planet, and the ground sprouts new growth.
According to Jay, "the vibrational frequency of this reality has changed" and the entire Convergence planet has been transported back to their universe — something Telos himself confirms. As Telos heads off to find his home world — having remembered who he was before Brainiac mind-wiped him —the planet basically become the new Earth 2.
Green Lantern finds Earth 2's refugees, who are on spaceships nearby. And the Earth 2 character have a new home, which will be the setting of the new Earth 2 Society comic launching in June.
As the comic ends, it becomes clear that every Earth from DC's history is up for grabs — any creative team can create stories on any former DC Earth.
And if DC's June solicitations are any indication, DC also seems willing to create new continuities, such as the separate universes presumably occupied by stories like Prez and Bryan Hitch's Justice League of America.
As DiDio explained it: "I think one of the things we talk about is this need to catalog or number every world. Or understand where they sit next to each other, and that's something that people push for more these days.
"But what we do is, if there's an important story to tell with our characters that can't be told in the normal confines of the way people perceive them right now, then we want to be able to give our writers and artists as much freedom as possible to tell those different interpretations."