DC Versus Marvel: Inter-Company Crossovers

25 Apr

Robert E. Wronski, Jr.

Image result for Zero Hour

I left off last time with Zero Hour, the Crisis followup that had very little effect on things despite it’s purpose of fixing the things that were messed up after the last Crisis.

Image result for DC's "only one universe"

A year and a half after Zero Hour, DC’s “only one universe” policy was seriously rejected again when DC decided that it was a good thing to collaborate with other comic book companies.  (I’m not arguing against this.  I wish they would still do it.)

Image result for Green Lantern and Silver Surfer

But before I get to the biggie, let’s start with the prequel.  In December 1995, Green Lantern and Silver Surfer teamed up in a crossover that had them both coming from their own separate universes.  This was different than the crossovers of the late 1970s and early 1980s, which placed Marvel and DC characters in the same universe, a universe that both DC and Marvel considered to not be part of their…

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DC Versus Marvel: Inter-Company Crossovers

25 Apr

Source: DC Versus Marvel: Inter-Company Crossovers

DC Versus Marvel: Inter-Company Crossovers

25 Apr

Image result for Zero Hour

I left off last time with Zero Hour, the Crisis followup that had very little effect on things despite it’s purpose of fixing the things that were messed up after the last Crisis.

Image result for DC's "only one universe"

A year and a half after Zero Hour, DC’s “only one universe” policy was seriously rejected again when DC decided that it was a good thing to collaborate with other comic book companies.  (I’m not arguing against this.  I wish they would still do it.)

Image result for Green Lantern and Silver Surfer

But before I get to the biggie, let’s start with the prequel.  In December 1995, Green Lantern and Silver Surfer teamed up in a crossover that had them both coming from their own separate universes.  This was different than the crossovers of the late 1970s and early 1980s, which placed Marvel and DC characters in the same universe, a universe that both DC and Marvel considered to not be part of their main canon.  Here, though, Green Lantern was from the DC Universe and Silver Surfer from the Marvel Universe.  We might have presumed that this story was still not canon, but…

Image result for DC Versus Marvel

Then came DC Versus Marvel in 1996.  Some might call it Marvel Versus DC, but I don’t.  DC Versus Marvel was an event that displayed that the DC Universe and Marvel Universe were universes that were… created?… by two cosmic being brothers, despite what DC and Marvel origins for their universes were already, and that these universes were linked, despite DC saying their universe was a singular universe with no multiverse and Marvel had a multiverse at this point.

Image result for Amalgam Universe

These brothers pitted heroes from both worlds against each other, and readers got to vote on some of the winners.  This universe spawned a temporary Amalgam Universe where Superman and Captain America merged to become Super-Soldier and Batman merged with Wolverine to become Dark Claw.  This Amalgam Universe ceased to exist at the end of the event, but its popularity would bring about it’s later return.

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In this series, the previous GL/Surfer crossover was referenced as having happened, so we the readers were aware that that series and this were in canon.  But, did that make DC Versus Marvel canon?  Yes.

Image result for access dc vs marvel

A character was introduced in DC Versus Marvel named Access who was co-owned by DC and Marvel.  This character would return in regular titles from both DC and Marvel, establishing that DC Versus Marvel was canon for both companies.

Image result for DC Intercompany Crossovers

DC during this period and the following years have many more crossovers with Marvel and other companies.  Some of those were placed on a post-Crisis version of the “Crossover Earth”, which still seems to exist in the Marvel Multiverse but not the DC Multiverse, since there was no DC Multiverse.  The Pre-Crisis version of Crossover Earth was part of the Pre-Crisis DC Multiverse.  Some other stories were part of the multiversal concept where characters from the DC Universe interacted with characters from the other companies, and those were canon for both universes apparently.  And then there were some stories that were shared universe, but the DC Universe was the shared universe.

Image result for Superman/Aliens

One example of this is the Superman and Batman meeting Aliens and Predator.  These were a series of crossovers involving Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and the JLA meeting Aliens and Predator.  These stories were tied together and part of the same canon.  The first Superman/Aliens crossover was referenced on Superman’s regular magazine later in what was a story that was tied into the Final Night crossover event, so Aliens and Predator exist in the DC Universe of that era!

Image result for Hypertime

So that was a lot of information about DC Versus Marvel, and there will be some more DC/Marvel stuff coming up that completely contradicts what I just wrote here!  But first, next week, we’ll get to Hypertime, the multiverse Dan DiDio wants you to forget.

Pre-Crisis/Post Crisis

14 Apr

Robert E. Wronski, Jr.

Image result for original DC Multiverse

The original DC Multiverse was first acknowledged in 1961 in the pages of the Flash but retroactively, it existed from as early as 1935 with the first DC Comic, but technically could really be said to have first appeared with the first bit if fiction that ever existed or even as far back as the dawn of time.

Image result for krona green lantern

The original Multiverse was not actually the original multiverse.  Confused?  Well, in DC lore, there once was one singular universe.  Then a guy named Krona looked back to the dawn of time and that caused the universe to split into an infinite number of universes that made up the original multiverse.

Image result for Earth-Prime

This original multiverse consisted of every comic ever published by DC Comics, every comic ever published by a company that was bought by DC Comics, and every adaptation of a DC Comic or other property owned by DC.  It also included…

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Pre-Crisis/Post Crisis

14 Apr

Source: Pre-Crisis/Post Crisis

Pre-Crisis/Post Crisis

14 Apr

Image result for original DC Multiverse

The original DC Multiverse was first acknowledged in 1961 in the pages of the Flash but retroactively, it existed from as early as 1935 with the first DC Comic, but technically could really be said to have first appeared with the first bit if fiction that ever existed or even as far back as the dawn of time.

Image result for krona green lantern

The original Multiverse was not actually the original multiverse.  Confused?  Well, in DC lore, there once was one singular universe.  Then a guy named Krona looked back to the dawn of time and that caused the universe to split into an infinite number of universes that made up the original multiverse.

Image result for Earth-Prime

This original multiverse consisted of every comic ever published by DC Comics, every comic ever published by a company that was bought by DC Comics, and every adaptation of a DC Comic or other property owned by DC.  It also included a version of the real world, called Earth-Prime.

Image result for silver age

While fans like me liked the idea of a multiverse, where everything happened somewhere, writers and editors found it confusing and often made continuity mistakes.  So in 1985, DC decided to do the first major reboot.  I say major because technically over the previous 50 years, DC had done minor continuity changes with certain characters with the dawning of the silver age being the largest set of reboots prior to 1985.

Image result for Crisis on Infinite Earths

DC explained the reboot with a 12 issue mini-series called Crisis on Infinite Earths, which spilled over to many other DC Comics titles.  In the end, the original DC Multiverse ceased to exist, allegedly, and was replaced with a merged Earth.

Image result for DC Comics Presents 1986

This merged Earth that people often forget only lasted about eight months, depending on the title.  The initial universe that emerged from the Crisis was a world where now golden age and silver age DC characters co-existed on the same Earth along with characters from Fawcett, Quality and Charlton, but it still maintained the pre-Crisis/silver age elements of continuity.

Image result for 1986 DC Comics

This was in my opinion based on poor editorial decisions.  It was decided by DC that following the Crisis, there was a great opportunity to reboot the canon of many of its major characters, to update them for a modern era.  But they weren’t quite ready in February 1986, so for eight months, we had this “merged Earth” before we got what is now commonly known as the real Post-Crisis era.

Image result for John Byrne's Man of Steel

In the slow roll-out of this Post-Crisis era, we got John Bryne’s Man of Steel, Frank Miller’s Batman:  Year One, and George Perez’s Wonder Woman # 1.  The Justice League was now filled with a membership of characters who previously existed on different Earths.  Shazam got a lame reboot.  Captain Atom was also drastically rebooted.  Hawkman had a complicated retroactive reboot three years after the Crisis, leading to an awkward explanation of his appearances during those previous three years.  And Secret Origins was putting out two or three post-Crisis retcon origins per month.

Image result for Post-Crisis Continuity DC Comics

This was an exciting and confusing time.  Some stories no longer existed.  Others remained pretty much intact.  Some heroes had been operating for some years with the same history as before, others had been operating for years but their history was now changed and unsure, and others who had previously had a long history were being re-introduced as brand new heroes with no history.

Image result for DC One History

So DC wanted us to accept this was now the new reality, where some old stories still happened, some didn’t, and some happened slightly differently, and we’d figure it out as we go along.  And there was just one universe with one history.

But…

Image result for Pocket Earth Superboy

In 1987, DC started having to explain some problems.  Superman had been rebooted.  He was never Superboy in his new origin.  But the Legion of Super-Heroes had not been rebooted.  And yet, the Legion’s history is tied to Superboy.

Image result for Superboy and the Legion

And so, a “not a multiverse” started to appear.  It was revealed that the Time Trapper had decided to mess with the Legion by creating a Pocket Earth where Superboy existed.  When they went back in time, they were shifted each time to this pocket Earth.

Image result for Crisis II in Animal Man

Then in 1988, Grant Morrison messed with DC and us by creating Crisis II in Animal Man.  The pre-Crisis multiverse returned briefly before disappearing again.  Including the real world, where Animal Man met Grant Morrison.

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In 1989, we got the Hawkworld reboot three years late, and the 30th century got a reboot of sorts where Glorith changed time, basically barely making any real effect on the DC Universe other than that now Superboy had only two meetings with the Legion instead of a longer history, and many Legion characters had tweaks especially where their relationship to the Superman mythos were concerned.

Image result for Milestone Comics

Then in early 1994, DC decided that even though there was just one universe… and a pocket universe… and those phantom ghosts of the pre-Crisis multiverse, there was still another universe!

Image result for Worlds Collide Milestone

DC had created a more diverse comics imprint called Milestone.  If you haven’t heard of it, you probably know it’s most famous product, Static Shock.  The Superman Family of titles had a crossover with all the Milestone comics, demonstrating that the Milestone Universe was a separate reality in this “not a multiverse”!

Image result for Post Crisis Continuity problems

A few months later, DC decided that their continuity was too complicated… again, and decided to create a Crisis event… again… to solve the problem.

Image result for Zero Hour:  Crisis in Time Batman animated

This was Zero Hour:  Crisis in Time.  Turns out that the effects of the original 1985 Crisis had ripple effects, which is why those reboots and retcons were slowly rolling out.  But all the other versions of DC continuity still existed.  Not only did we see a return of pre-Crisis DC characters during this event, but we also so incorporated the Elseworlds series of non-canon stories, and newer post-1985 adaptations to screen such as Batman:  The Animated Series.

Image result for Power of Shazam

The story ended with one single universe… again, and though it was supposed to allow for a new, new timeline, really very little changed.  Shazam and the Legion of Super-Heroes were the only ones to get major reboots.

Image result for Glorith's Reality

And not only did Pocket Earth still exist, but it was now revealed that the Pre-Zero Hour Legion also had existed in another Pocket Earth!

Image result for Hypertime

But wait, there’s more.  I will continue next time around talking about the thing called Hypertime and Infinite Crisis…  Plus, DC Versus Marvel!

Hal Jordan of Earth-2!

4 Apr

Robert E. Wronski, Jr.

A lot of people have been telling me I should start using this forum to start telling people that Trump is bad.  But, I think we all know that and there’s lots of people writing about that.  I just don’t know what more I could add to that.

But what nobody is talking about is a major potential continuity flaw that existed in DC Comics continuity, beginning in 1984 and ending in 1986.

Guy Gardner was the one, true Green Lantern of Sector 2814 after all.

So let me back track.

Air Wave was a character created in 1942, debuting in Detective Comics # 60.

Image result for Air Wave golden age

He was law clerk Larry Jordan.  He was a non-powered costumed vigilante, or “mystery man”.  His series ran from 1942 to 1948 in Detective Comics.  The character had no crossovers with any other DC Comics character during his golden age run.  Though there’s an assumption by…

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