Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tales of Earth-1

This post contains spoilers about 52 52, in case anyone cares anymore.

Anyway, the multiverse is back, as we all knew it would be since at least last November. A lot of folks are happy about the return of Earth 4, the Charlton Heroes, and Earth 5/S, the Captain Marvel-verse, Devon's excited about the Wildstorm books officially being incorporated as Earth-50, and Kalinara is excited about her proposed, gender-reversed Earth-25.

But the world I'm eager to see is Earth-1.

Rip Hunter explicitly states that there is "New Earth", the composite Earth most of the DC line are set in, and then there is "Earths 1-51". New Earth is the world we know; Earth-1 is something... else.

Presumably, it's the Silver-Age DC Earth. The world where the first superheroes were Batman and the Martian Manhunter. Where Hal Jordan was the first human called Green Lantern, and Jay Garrick is nothing but a beloved comic book character. It's a world where the Crisis on Infinite Earths never happened; where perhaps even Crisis on Two Earths never happened.

It would be a more stream-lined setting; almost entirely science fiction influenced, with most of its heroes receiving power from either lab accidents or alien sources. It would jettison a lot of confusing character history, so that Hawkman would finally MAKE SENSE! (also: Wonder Girl).

It wouldn't necessarily be a better place to set most of the stories. I prefer the crazy, mixed up jumble that is the Post Crisis universe, but Earth-1 would still be a fun place to visit, I think, for two main reasons:

1) Earth-1 would be far less shackled to the real world than even the normal DCU. This means you could explore how the world would be changed if an Atlantean, an Amazon, a Martian, a Space Cop, and a man who re-writes the laws of physics with every step have been policing the world since 1960.

and 2) It means that crazy, god-like bastard the Earth-1 Superman is still out there, playing tricks on his best friends to teach them lessons and winking at an audience that only he sees. I wonder what HE's been up to the last twenty years.


Richard said...

I also miss that Earth-1 Superman. Part of me wants to say that twenty years ago, he voluntarily exposed himself to gold kryptonite as punishment for deliberately taking a life, after which he adopted a new secret identity, married Lois, and the two of them raised a son who possesses all his father's Kryptonian powers. Right about now that son would be attending college, and maybe even preparing to start his public life as the new Superman...

Mind you, another part of me wouldn't mind having the Earth-1 Superman be the one who grows a beard and becomes best friends with a reformed Lex Luthor, as per Elliot Maggin.

Steven said...

Oh man, making "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow" official canon would be a PERFECT way for DC to establish that in the new Megaverse, EVERY story is canon.

Even ones that start, "This is an imaginary story."

Because, after all, "aren't they all".

Anonymous said...

Yeah...I'm for the Earth-1 you describe. Maybe that's where Morrison's All-Star Superman is set.

Will Staples said...

Yes, but what about the Swingin' Sixties Batman?

Unknown said...

Weird, I thought I read in an interview that New Earth and Earth-1 were the same? Maybe they were mistaken, and I haven't actually read 52 yet...