“Post-Crisis doesn’t count.” So the saying goes. But I maintain Flashpoint was more destructive to previously-established continuity than Crisis on Infinite Earths. Yes, the Adventures of the Justice Society of America and Infinity, Inc. were said to have taken place on “New Earth” rather than “Earth-2” post-Crisis, but their overall continuity wasn’t affected all that much. Let’s look at the titles whose continuities were.

CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS:

SUPERMAN: The way it was originally spun, John Byrne’s Man of Steel limited series didn’t rewrite Superman’s history, just his origin. That’s not true, of course. You can’t rewrite “just” his origin without affecting his history as well. But there was a gap written into the new continuity between Man of Steel #6 and Superman #1 in which Superman’s pre-Crisis adventures were to have happened. As pre-Crisis villains were reintroduced one by one, that “gap” became smaller and smaller as pre-Crisis stories faded away until only Superman’s “history” with the JLA was left. But even that was different as we shall see.

BATMAN: As with Byrne’s Man of Steel, Miller’s Batman: Year One was not to have changed Batman’s history, only his origin. But, also like Superman, Batman’s backstory was changed. For example, whereas his current partner was still Jason Todd, post-Crisis Robin was a street urchin rather than a circus performer. And so on.

WONDER WOMAN: Wonder Woman was, arguably, the hero changed most by Crisis. She was not only given a different origin, but her first appearance in “Man’s World” was moved forward to post-Crisis. (Superman’s Golden Age roots were eliminated, too, but at least his Silver Age backstory was still set pre-Crisis.) That was problematic, especially as it relates to the…

JLA: Pre-Crisis, Wonder Woman was a charter member of the Justice League of America; post-Crisis, that role was relegated to the Black Canary. It has since flip-flopped back and forth so many times I have lost track.

LSH: With there no longer being a “Superboy” in Clark Kent’s past, his place was taken by a Superboy from a “pocket universe” created by the Time Trapper. I, personally, liked this concept (still do); others may (and certainly will) disagree.

FLASHPOINT:

The post-Flashpoint DCU was centered around the formation of the JLA meeting Darkseid for the first time. Right off the bat, all of Jack Kirby’s “Fourth World” continuity: gone. Every story that ever used those characters: gone. Because the origin of the JLA was set a mere five years in the past (and because the role of the Martian Manhunter was relegated to Cyborg), all of Teen Titans continuity: gone. And on and on and on. Whereas (I maintain) much if not most of pre-Crisis continuity was still valid post-Crisis>, Flashpoint wiped the entire slate clean and started, in effect, an entirely new universe with an entirely new continuity.

It is my understanding that DC has kind of backed away from that but, I stopped buying DCU (or “DCnU”) titles pretty much cold turkey eight years ago, I wouldn’t know. Maybe the conclusion of the current Watchmen series will clear that up. We’ll see. In the meantime, I leave you with the following question: Which series, Crisis on Infinite Earths or Flashpoint, did more harm to the DC Universe?

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Superboy Prime was the kind of petulant villain I find insufferable.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

“I've washed my hands of keeping track of all that stuff long ago.”

I can’t help myself.

Yesterday I re-read Infinite Crisis – Secret Files & Origins 2006, one of my favorite DC comics of the 21st century, just to get a better handle on how “the pounding of Superboy’s fists” thing works (“worked,” whatever). From limbo, Alexander Luthor of Earth-3 created a crystal which allowed the Superboy of Earth Prime to observe events on post I-Crisis New earth, but he didn’t like what he saw and began pounding the crystal wall. According to Luthor…

“I don’t know how, but he’s altering reality out there. Creating conflicting truths. People are changing without explanation. New events are superseding what had always been. Each strike he takes is rupturing the continuity of life without reason or purpose. In this place we can alter our own reality, but now we’re changing theirs, too.”

I really like the Superboy of Earth Prime, but apparently not everyone feels the same. Superboy himself explains in Adventure Comics #4(507), Jan 2010): “People already hate me enough as it is. I’m more than a joke. I was more. I will be more.” Later in the story, the resurrected Alexander Luthor describes a computer as: “This box. It’s a conduit for the rage of the people on this Earth.”* He goes on to say, “And you continue to evoke quite a bit of rage from them, Prime. They really do hate you.” Speaking for myself, I really liked the arc of Superboy-Prime, but I’m glad it has run its course.

*(This one, too.)

Thanks. I remember thinking that about Superboy Prime and Zoom, since they came so close together. But then with Doomsday Clock, at some point I realized, "Holy cow, he's doing it again!" 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Interesting. I never looked at it that way before.

I remember Earth-Prime as being established as our Earth. This is where Julie Schwartz, Cary Bates and presumably present company exist. How did they come up with a Superboy on Earth-Prime?

They introduced Clark Kent of Earth Prime during the Crisis. He came from Krypton-Prime but didn't manifest powers until Superman appeared in his universe.

It's not unreasonable. Earth-Prime already had the superhero Ultraa (who relocated to Earth-One) and apparently humans on Earth-Prime have some degree of latent psychic power (they were able to transport several Justice Leaguers there unintentionally). Plus of course, the Crisis demonstrated it only looked like our Earth as obviously we didn't disintegrate in a wave of anti-matter.

Richard Willis said:

I remember Earth-Prime as being established as our Earth. This is where Julie Schwartz, Cary Bates and presumably present company exist. How did they come up with a Superboy on Earth-Prime?

"Superboy Prime was the kind of petulant villain I find insufferable."
 
What I like is his eventual transformation into the Time Trapper (one incarnation of him, anyway).

"I remember Earth-Prime as being established as our Earth."

"Crisis on Earth-Prime" pretty much wrote finis to that notion.

Good point, I'd forgotten that crossover.

I do wonder what Edmond Hamilton originally had in mind for the Time Trapper. He really deserved a better Silver Age finish that Jerry Siegel's silly super-babies story.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"Superboy Prime was the kind of petulant villain I find insufferable."
 
What I like is his eventual transformation into the Time Trapper (one incarnation of him, anyway).

"I remember Earth-Prime as being established as our Earth."

"Crisis on Earth-Prime" pretty much wrote finis to that notion.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"I remember Earth-Prime as being established as our Earth."

"Crisis on Earth-Prime" pretty much wrote finis to that notion.

That explains my confusion. This 1982 issue of JLA was during my 10-year break from buying comics. I have the set of TPBs covering the JLA/JSA team-ups but hadn't yet read this one. I will read it this week.

I rather like it. We have the All-Star Squadron, the Crime Syndicate and one or two good lines.

Richard Willis said:

Jeff of Earth-J said:

"I remember Earth-Prime as being established as our Earth."

"Crisis on Earth-Prime" pretty much wrote finis to that notion.

That explains my confusion. This 1982 issue of JLA was during my 10-year break from buying comics. I have the set of TPBs covering the JLA/JSA team-ups but hadn't yet read this one. I will read it this week.

Now I'm going to throw DC's upcoming Generations series of one-shots into the mix.

The appearance of "The Council of Supermen" in the recent CoIE Giants got me thinking about continuity again. Many of the Supermen shown, rather than being from different universes, were different versions of the Superman from the same universe. That got me thinking that maybe, in retrospect, every differentversion of the same character is from a different universe. For example, I have a hard time rectifying Grant Morrison's leonine "secondary mutation" Beast with the "blue furry" version which preceeded him (or thge "balding" version in current continuity). It is becoming increasingly easy for me to relegate those versions into different universes, continuity be damned.

But that's not really what I came her today to post about.

I came to post about some comments Dan DiDio made at last year's Comic-Con International regarding DC's continuity. (Even though DiDio is out, the plans he spear-headed are pushing through.) I have been down on the no-longer-quite-so-New 52 Universe ever since it was launched. Say what you will about the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, the History of the DC Universe which immediately followd it put the new status quo in perspective. DC never did that with the New 52... until now.

DiDio:"One of the things we're working on in the DCU is we're building an ultimate timeline. We're building this so we have a better idea where our stories connect. That's where we made our mistake during the New 52--we didn't understand which stories matter, which ones didn't. Once we understand how these characters connect, then we'll be in a place to give youthe true history of the DCU."

I'm very excited about this.

There are infinite universes, and every story is true somewhere.

If I believed it I might be excited. Then again, how long will it last before they decide to reboot it all over.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

DiDio:"One of the things we're working on in the DCU is we're building an ultimate timeline. We're building this so we have a better idea where our stories connect. That's where we made our mistake during the New 52--we didn't understand which stories matter, which ones didn't. Once we understand how these characters connect, then we'll be in a place to give youthe true history of the DCU."

Not wanting to throw water on this, but how much of this was DiDio's plan? He's gone.

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