Here's the story in USA Today:

 

I've been hanging onto the DC train for years waiting for a clear opportunity to jump off, and here it is. Anything they publish from that point on, I'll read the reviews and, if it seems like something I'll like, I'll buy in trade paperback. I've been waiting for the classic Justice League lineup to return, and that's happening, so I'll get that. My son has been a Green Lantern fan all his life, so I'll continue to get those titles for him. Unless Manhunter from Mars or Adam Strange get their own series, we'll just have to wait and see what else they do.

 

Hoy

 

 

 

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And the Earth-2 isn't really Earth-2. 52 universes and there's no room for the original JSA in any of them? They don't think it would be interesting for these new guys to meet the originals? That's not Jay or Alan. I grew up on Jay and Alan and that ain't them.

I still want to know how Batman can remember his past and not be confused about doing something with, say, Superman, that his continuity says it still happened but Superman didn't experience it because his continuity was wiped out. It would be like Batman remembering Kara and Superman insisting "You're crazy! I never had a cousin!" "Of course you did! I saw you hold her body in your arms and cry when she died!" "Batman, I think you've been working too hard!"

 

What happened to respect for your elders? You're a superhero, your reaction to seeing old heroes you grew up reading about when you were a kid is to be disgusted they're still around because they're old? When did that become normal behavior? The current heroes should be treating the JSA (the REAL JSA) like Dr. Strange treated the Ancient One, not "Ew, gross! Old men smell! Open the windows!"

And the Earth-2 isn't really Earth-2. 52 universes and there's no room for the original JSA in any of them? They don't think it would be interesting for these new guys to meet the originals? That's not Jay or Alan. I grew up on Jay and Alan and that ain't them.

We don't know what's on the majority of the 52 worlds, so never say never.  But now that you've mentioned it, I'd be surprised if Morrison's Multiversity doesn't address the gap you are discussing here.

The only problem is that if the adventures of the original DC heroes were written today, they'd probably be wriiten by the people who wrote the new Suicide Squad, or Catwoman, or by the guy who gave us the new Shazam!  They still wouldn't be the old heroes.  To that extent, they are really gone.  :-(

To either clear up or add to the confusion, the following is a list of the KNOWN 52 Earths, at least pre-Flashpoint, since most of the data was revealed in books leading up to the Final Crisis.

PRIME: Not assigned a number, home to the evil Superboy. Based upon "our" Earth, where everything involving superheroes only happened in comic books

NEW Earth; Home of the DC Comics characters, post Crisis on Infinite Earths, pre Flashpoint.

00. The Bizarro Earth, according to Infinite Crisis # 6.

01. Silver Age to before the C. on I. E. Now home to the post Crisis Earth One graphic novels.

02. Original home of the Justice Society and the Golden Age heroes (Pre-Crisis on I. E.) Unknown if it’s the same one Power Girl visited during ‘One Nation, Under Gog’. DEFINITELY not the same one in the current Earth 2 title.

03. The Crime Syndicate (Pre-Crisis on I.E.) Now Terra in the Anti-Matter Universe

04. The Charlton Heroes (Pre-Crisis on I. E.)

05. Fawcett heroes (Pre-Crisis on I. E.; originally Earth-S)

08. Lord Havok and the Extremists

09. Tangent Universe’s Earth

10. Home of Quality (Freedom Fighters) heroes (Pre-Crisis on I. E.; originally known as Earth X)

11. Reversed genders of known characters

12. Batman Beyond

13. Dark/arcane heroes (A “Vertigo” take, although that imprint is not part of the DC multiverse itself)

15. Donna Troy and Jason Todd’s ‘original’ home(?) and allegedly a super-hero utopia before being destroyed by Superboy Prime during Countdown to Final Crisis.

16. Home of the Super-Sons and the animated version of Young Justice

17. Home to Silver Age versions of Tales of the Great Disaster: Atomic Knights, Hercules, Kamandi, etc.

18. Elseworld’s Justice Riders

19. Elseworld’s Gotham by Gaslight

20. Pulp genre versions of characters

21. Elseworld’s New Frontier

22. Elseworld’s Kingdom Come

26. Captain Carrot, His Amazing Zoo Crew, and other funny animals (Pre-Crisis on I. E.; originally known as Earth-Z)

30. Elseworld’s Superman: Red Son

31. Elseworld’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns/Strikes Again!

32. Elseworld’s Batman: Darkest Knight (Bruce Wayne with a Green Lantern ring)

33. All the major characters have magic

34. Elseworld’s Amazonia

37. Elseworld’s Thrillkiller

40. Elseworld’s Justice Society: Liberty Files

43. Elseworld’s Batman: Red Rain, etc; world with a vampire problem

48. Forerunner’s Earth

50. Wildstorm Universe’s Earth, pre-"New 52"

51. The “Perfect” World, where the heroes defeated the villains and allegedly were to live “happily forever after” before being destroyed during the Monitors/Monarch/Darksied war during Countdown to the Final Crisis. Now allegedly the earth where Jack Kirby’s Kamandi takes place.

Unlisted Earths have yet to be revealed, although technically there are 55 with Prime, New and 00, unless they have been assigned other numbers since the Final Crisis.

NOTE: My info is accurate pre-Flashpoint. Am unaware of any current changes to this list since.

Last I heard the Crime Syndicate had somehow ended up on Earth-2, although that was pre-New 52.

 I do miss Demon Knights, All-Star Western (despite having to tie Jonah Hex into the Batman mythos) and the Legion of Superheroes.

I tried a bunch of the new52 out of the block to see what they could do with a totally blank slate. It was pretty disappointing overall. I didn't find much to like, but I took it to mean I should go read something else, as those superheroes weren't aimed at me any more. And I guess the people they're aimed at like them well enough.

I liked A-SW, both the Hex stories and the backups (mostly), which meant it wasn't going to last, and it didn't. But it tends to come back after a couple beats, so I don't know that it's down and out. I didn't realize how closely some of the issues tied into the ongoing Batman event, because I'm reading Hex specifically because I don't need all that continuity junk to enjoy it.

I can accept the basic concept of a hero starting from "Day 1", but a universe where almost all of them are?

I agree, they think that starting over with a #1 meant that they had to start the hero on Day One. That doesn't make much sense that suddenly all these people had super-powers by various means totally unconnected. I'd have Barry get hit by lightning and realize he could become a superhero like all the others running around. 

To some extent they did that with Superman, having ACTION tell his first days and having SUPERMAN ahead of that. It's fun to tell the first days of a superhero--it's why the Silver Age is so resonant--but it's less fun if another writer is telling stories about the same character in the current day somewhere else. We know how he'll turn out.

In these days of smaller page counts per issue versus cover prices and "writing for the trades", I fear for the future of the comic book industry.

You're conflating Marvel and DC's superheroes with the comic book industry. I don't think there's a great future for a $4 slice of a superhero story that may or may not show up this month. But with the diversity I see in Previews every month (who is BUYING all that stuff?) and the popularity of Comixology, I don't really fear for the industry per se.

Especially with things like digital-first comics, we have a lot of choice in how we get our comics. I'm finding digital comics have a number of benefits if i can just get over my destructive habit of thinking I have to read and store away all the comics I buy.

Even superheroes are doing well, given all the movies that pump people up. In fact, the Beat said that July set a record for most profitable month EVER for comics. So it's not really gloom and doom out there. It may be for us if we want to keep reading the Superman we grew up with, but that's not fair to later generations.

DC and Marvel too many times make the mistake of trying to hold onto the customers they've got as sales drop by marrying a superhero off or adding kid or making some other big, hard-to-fix change.. I've got no problem with them changing the characters to appeal to the latest generation of Millennials or Gen Yers or whoever. They did it for us in the SA, so why not? I'll go read something else--like the SA Superman Dailies that just came out.

And the Earth-2 isn't really Earth-2.

That took me by surprise. You started a universe with new characters with the same name, and part of that involves a new comic book with new characters with the same names? Why is that interesting? Are you sure you can keep it straight if you have a whole different Earth running around? It's pretty confusing!

I still want to know how Batman can remember his past and not be confused about doing something with, say, Superman, that his continuity says it still happened but Superman didn't experience it because his continuity was wiped out. 

Eh, they just ignore that. Why didn't Kandorians come out to help Superman all the time instead of the few times they did it, even when there weren't sunspots to prevent it? The problem becomes we don't know what they know and what parts of their past are relevant. Confusing the readers (or taking vast amounts of time to explain what we thought we already knew) isn't a strong story position. For the most part, I'd expect they'd avoid bringing up the past too much.

What happened to respect for your elders? 

Says a guy who is an elder. I think respect for elders went out about the first time Archie took his jalopy out for a spin. I don't know exactly how they're showing disrespect, but it creates some conflict and personality. In a conflict between old heroes demanding respect and younger heroes looking to stretch their wings, the readers probably relate to the young ones. Which is when I know it's time to move along.

The following is a list of the KNOWN 52 Earths, at least pre-Flashpoint,

And that's the big problem they've got right now. Who knows if any of that is accurate? OTOH, what difference does it make? None of those worlds might exist, or they all might. Until they tell a story on one of them, or bring over a character, we no longer know. But it doesn't affect our enjoyment of any comic right now, but some of the other gaps we're unsure about could affect that. Starting everything over haphazardly --and it always seems to be haphazard--makes as good of a jumping off point as a jumping on point.

-- MSA

Our good Captain Andrew raises an interesting point with his last paragraph.

Even if the "new 52" universe is one of the previously unlisted Earths, whose to say the alternate Earths don't have access to their own alternates? Which would make the multiverse a LOT bigger than DC has been claiming.

Either that, or the inhabitants of "new 52" Earth are calling the current Justice Society's home Earth 2, not realizing just how big the multiverse really is.

Back when the Infinite Crisis established the limit of 52 universes, one of those 52 was established as the Wildstorm Universe, and the characters there, especially the Authority, continued to have access to an infinite number of universes via The Bleed, just like they always did.  Infinity remains too big for the DC editors to whittle down to size.

And surely infinite is big enough that somewhere there's a pre-Code multiverse we just haven't seen yet.

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