New Earth and 52

15 May

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Infinite Crisis ended with the recreated pre-Crisis Multiverse once again merging into a single universe (allegedly), but not the same universe that had existed prior to Infinite Crisis.  This was New Earth.

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Following Infinite Crisis, all DC titles jumped a year ahead in time, and then also launched a series called 52, which was a weekly year long title (thus 52 weeks, 52 issues), that told the story of what was happening during that missing year.

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Let’s first talk 52.

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At the end of Infinite Crisis, Superman had lost his powers, Batman was taking a sabbatical,Wonder Woman was an outlaw, and the Justice League of America had disbanded.

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So what goes on in the DCU when the big three are gone and the greatest team of iconic heroes is inactive?

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52 directly spun-off of Infinite Crisis and featured several second string heroes, putting them in the spotlight.  It was co-written by several authors and it was a superb series in my opinion.

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I’m not going to go into all the sub-plots.  This is a series of blog posts about DC multiverses and continuity, after all, and that is relevant here.

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One of the storylines involved Skeets, the robot assistant of Booster Gold using Booster Gold’s ancestor (as Booster was from the future) while the real Booster was secretly operating as Metropolis hero SuperNova.  This storyline leads to the revelation that there is a multiverse!

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In the wake of Infinite Crisis, 52 duplicate Earths were created, not just New Earth.  And New Earth was Earth-0.

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All the Earths were exactly the same, until a mega-powered worm named Mister Mind started eating the realities (really!) which altered them so that now Earth-2 was a world where Superman existed in the 1940s and Earth-10 was a world where the Nazis ruled.

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So now the DC Multiverse had 52 Earths, and only 52 Earths.  Some were set up as alternate versions of previous pre-Crisis Earths, and some were set-up to be the homes of Elseworlds, or different alternate futures.

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Some titles had fun with this new multiverse during it’s brief five year existence.

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In Justice Society of America, the Superman of Earth-22 (Kingdom Come) joined the Earth-0 JSA.   It was also revealed that the Starman seen in Kingdom Come was actually Starboy of the Earth-0 Legion of Super-Heroes.

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Power Girl visited Earth-2 and thought this was her Earth-2, but she discovered that this Earth-2 had its own Power Girl.  She was from the pre-Crisis Earth-2, but this was not the pre-Crisis Earth-2.   (I’ll speak more on the complications of Power Girl through the reboots in a later post.)

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They also did some weird stuff where Degaton revealed that the old multiverse still existed sort of and somehow following Infinite Crisis, the JSA now had memories from their pre-Crisis Earth-2 adventures and their New Earth history.  It was all somehow related to Hypertime still, even though we no longer were allowed to speak of Hypertime.

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And speaking of Hypertime, it was also revealed during this fiver year period that Booster and Rip Hunter were tasked to destroy the Hypertimelines that still existed, and that they had successfully wiped out Hypertime.

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One of the coolest and weirdest bits were when the Legion of Super-Heroes of New Earth teamed with the Legion of the last short lived reboot just before Infinite Crisis, which turned out to be Earth-Prime (!) or Earth-33 in the new numbering system, and the Legion from the post-Zero Hour period, which was found to be Earth-247 in the pre-Crisis multiverse (!).  (I’ll also speak more on the complications of the Legion through the reboots in a later post.)

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The culmination of the use of this new multiverse came with Final Crisis, which included a few spin-off and prequel series, including one that led several heroes to hop around the multiverse, and another that had heroes from different universes doing battle for reasons.

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This multiverse which included New Earth as Earth-0 began in 2006 and ended in 2011 with another universe altering event called Flashpoint, which led to the NEW 52.  And more on that next time.

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