Multiversal Geography: Earths 0-10

So you've probably seen the map of the Multiverse being used to promote Grant Morrison's Multiversity series (click to enlarge). Well, I thought it might be fun to look at it from a little closer, Earth by Earth (and eventually going outward). What do you think? Because each of those Earths swimming in the "Bleed" (lovely, that's why the skies go red during each Crisis) is drawn differently. Are there clues to their particular properties? Obviously, some are known, but that doesn't mean Morrison won't change things around...
Given its location on the map, dead center on top, with a bright glow and 4 stars as per the original DC bullet, Earth-0 is Earth-Prime, which used to be THIS Earth, where the readers live, give or take the rare superhuman, like Ultraa and Superboy-Prime. Today, it's where the New52 abides, Earth-1 having merged/Flushpointed with Earths 13 (Vertigo, sort of) and 50 (Wildstorm). May it blow up soon.
So what's on Earth-1 these days? Would you believe those crappy graphic novels by JMS and Johns, with the Superman "for the Twilight generation" and whatever the heck they did with Batman? So why is it all yellow unless Morrison plans to MELT IT DOWN, THANKS? I'm just guessing. No, not guessing, what's the word I'm looking for? Ah yes, HOPING.
No-brainer. Earth-2 is currently a series and we know exactly what's going on there. Basically, instead of the original Earth-2 concept of older heroes who were involved in World War II, those same characters have been reinvented as YOUNGER heroes just now emerging after a long occupation by Darkseid's forces. Funny, I'd have thought it would be pock-marked with firepits.
Earth-3 has always traditionally been "opposite-Earth", and it's where the Crime Syndicate comes from, and they've really ruined the place. Just look at it.
According to a Morrison interview (and the 52 series), Earth-4 is, as it was during the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, where the Charlton heroes come from. The plans seems to be to have those versions of Captain Atom, Blue Beetle, the Question, etc. still living on an Earth, intact. But what's the stark shadow in the upper left-hand corner? Is that world in danger? Because guys, this is our shot at getting Ted Kord back. Or will it be an in-continuity Watchmen? This is likely to be featured in the Pax Americana book.
In the same interview (and the 52 series), Morrison tags Earth-5 as a world for the Fawcett heroes to live untouched. Given how horribly the Marvel Family has been mangled since at least Infinite Crisis (anything after Power of Shazam, basically), it would be great to see a lighter take still out there (perhaps even one where the all-ages books are in continuity). Maybe that's why the colors are so soft on this one. A gentler Earth Morrison has called "Thunderworld".
Earth-6 has never been seen in the New52, but Morrison did use it during Final Crisis: Superman Beyond, so maybe it hasn't changed since then. Except I don't really know what it was all about either there or in Countdown: Arena. All I know is that Ray Palmer was the Ray there, and that versions of the Demon, Offspring, Rex Tyler and Ted Kord existed there. From the pic, it's got a special glow. Does that mean it will be important in Multiversity? It could be a world of plain old variants. Do we know where the promoted pink-skinned alien Green Lantern is from? Of course, since Lady Quark has been said to appear, this could be her Earth as it once was, but that would be boring. Morrison has also said this was where Stan Lee's Just Imagine version of DC's heroes would be. I'd love to revisit these concepts, so I hope that's still true.
Looks pretty normal. Post-52, it had older versions of teen heroes. More of the same?
This one is special. It's got the original DC bullet right around the number 8. Could it be the pre-Flushpoint Earth? Or even the pre-Crisis Earth of the Bronze Age? It's probably the one I'm most excited about! See, when the multiple Earths were originally conceived, it was already the Silver Age, so they spun off the Golden Age heroes onto their own Earth. But we're way past that now, and there could be a Silver/Bronze Earth, a post-Crisis Earth and so on. There SHOULD be. Post-52, of course, this was the home of the Extremists and the Heroes of Angor, i.e. an Earth filled with Marvel analogues, and Morrison did once use the phrase "the rampaging Retaliators of Earth-8" (not that the DC bullet deserves to be on 8 if that's still the case). Whatever the case may be, there's another heavy shadow on this one, which I don't like to see.
Earth-9 has a hypnotic swirl covering it. What could that mean? Post-52, this was Tangent Earth (which I wouldn't mind seeing again), but I don't see what the pink vortex has to do with it. The logo looked more like an open bunch of arrows. Does its proximity to Earth-Prime mean anything? I bet all those orbits do. There's usually a method to Morrison's madness.
Earth-10 AKA Earth-X is a classic and won't likely be touched. It's still got the X on there, see? So this is where the Quality Comics properties live untouched, collectively known as the Freedom Fighters. The Earth-X concept usually has the Nazis winning the war, so the heroes really are freedom fighters. According to interviews, the FF would be up against the Mastermen, fascist versions of Earth-Prime heroes (how will we tell the difference, HAY-HO!!!).

More to come. I'm willing to suspend a couple of others features to get this done in a convenient amount of time if you are.


Anonymous said...

Back in Infinite Crisis, Earth 8 was identifed as the the earth on which Kyle Rayner was supposed to become Green Lantern, Helena Bertinelli was supposed to become the Huntress, and so on. Which is not to say that it will necessarily still be that way, but Morrison does love tradition.

I think the big problem with Captain Marvel (you can't make me call him "Shazam") is that he's not a comic book character, not by modern standards. Comic book characters have complicated personal lives. Comic book characters have issues. Comic book characters have arcs that put them through hell and yet somehow return them to their status quo.

Captain Marvel doesn't work when they try to make him a comic book character. So what is he then? He is a comic STRIP character. Different set of expectations, where all anyone is asking of Captain Marvel is to go on adventures and fight weirdos.

Ever read the "Dr Mcninja" Web comic? It's all about fun and action, with ninjas, pirates, dinosaurs, gorillas, banditos, vampires, and the like. It keeps from getting bogged down by normal superhero tropes, and that's the only way to do Captain Marvel right. This, I opine!

Siskoid said...

I like that interpretation of Captain Marvel, though it's really all just semantics. Have you seen the cover art for the Thunderworld book? Looks like it'll be the Captain Marvel we used to love.

I've seen McNinja, sure, and I like a lot of comics that are exactly like that. It's incredible how much I prefer comics designed for "all-ages" as opposed to "Teen+".

Unknown said...

Great post, as always, Siskoid. Don't know if you've read this or not, but it is a good overview of the worlds with info from past interviews w/Morrison. Interesting dynamic dealing with "opposites" and whether a world is closer to the dark side of the map vs the light.

Siskoid said...

Methinks Earth-Prime should sit all the way deep into the dark side then! ;-)

It does help my theory on Earth-8, if nothing else, but I'm also surprised to see Red Son Earth on the light side, albeit farthest from New Genesis which may or may not the ultimate lightness. It's all very D&D, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I just looked at some Thunderworld drawings on display at that Multiversity panel. Looks promising, though the big question is, CAN Morrison do a fun comic that is simply fun? I certainly can't accuse the guy of a lack of talent, but I also know he's at his happiest when he's being clever.

Then again, I bet he can come up with some gloriously goofy villains that challenge Captain Marvel, so maybe he's not such a bad pick.

Madeley said...

Re. Red Son being on the light side, as I recall isn't it only the US that ends up as a dystopia in the story? Issues of politics aside, from that perpective, Superman solving the problems of every other country in the world makes it a "light" side utopia, perhaps?

Siskoid said...

I'm thinking the closest he's come would be The Human Race in the Flash, or Animal Man's lighter, but still thoughtful, elements.

Siskoid said...

Madeley: Perhaps. I haven't read it in a while; it may be that I just think of all of Mark Millar's work as corrosively dreary.

Madeley said...

It's definitely a dark story, but I believe quite strongly it's also nuanced, and not grim for the sake of being grim. Alongside his early 90s Swamp Thing run it's actually pretty sophisticated compared to modern Millar, and it's genuinely one of my favourite Superman stories simply by the way it illuminates what's so great about OUR Superman by way of contrast to such a different version.

As for Mark Millar, I cannot stand anything he wrote after Red Son. I find his work wholly devoid of compassion, from the Authority onwards notably different in attitude from his early work. Maybe his own attitude towards his work changed, maybe it's a result of the end of his collaborations with Morrison, or maybe he just cynically noticed that the colder and more distasteful his work, the more is sold. Either way, I love Red Son and can't stick almost everything else.

Siskoid said...

I've read somewhere Millar's Swamp Thing was practically ghost-written by Morrison, even after Morrison's name was off the credits. I don't want to get into the Morrison-Millar feud, who's right or who's wrong, but the tenor of the work almost bears this out.

Like you, I did enjoy Red Son, and Millar did some good all-ages work (if you can believe in) on DC's animated universe line. The rest is the pits, from Civil War on, and I'll gladly include whatever he says in the media in that statement. He's one of the industry's most outspoken jerks.

Unknown said...

Awesome work on this Siskoid! Thanks...really helps get my mental gears going!

abc said...

Loving the snark directed at the New52. Just the right amount to not turn me off of the whole thing. :)

But it makes me wonder...did Flushpoint remake the entire multiverse, or just Earth-0? (ie, maybe Wildstorm 'verse is still on Earth-50...?)

Siskoid said...

Earth-2 was changed a great deal, so it's not just Prime/1.

Which doesn't mean 50 isn't still a stand-alone Wildstorm.

Bubbashelby said...

I was at the Multiversity panel at Comic Con and we all got a large print of this map. I can't wait to get mine framed and hung on the wall (much to my wife's chagrin!)

And the pink skinned Green Lantern - Morrison said he is Abin Sur. He explained that the reason Abin Sur never appeared to humans even though he was our sector's Green Lantern for years before Hal got the ring, is because he looks a bit like Satan, so he kept himself out of the limelight.

Unknown said...

I looked REALLY closely at Earth-9 and was pretty disappointed that Florida clearly still existed there, whick would mean it isn't Tangent verse


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