How To Prepare For The DC Multiverse

Carl Waldron Carl Waldron
February 17th, 2016

Head of Super. Black. @ and host of the Super. Black. Podcast.

How To Prepare For The DC Multiverse

ComiConverse contributor Carl Waldron shares tips and tricks to prepare for the imminent arrival of the DC Multiverse on film and TV.

As DC prepares to flatten us with the weight of Batman vs. Superman (and Wonder Woman and Cyborg and Aquaman and...), I am beside myself. I have created a groove in my couch from all the evenings I have spent watching Flash and Arrow. All that time spent only to discover that the Oliver Queen and Barry Allen I have come to know so well will not be the same Green Arrow and Flash in the DC films. Oh the disappointment. Then I realized: the DC brand is known for having multiple versions of the same characters. Characters in the DC universe are so nice they drew them twice a whole bunch of times. It is called the multiverse. A wonderful, magical invention that allows the minds at DC to re-imagine our favorite character without mucking with the continuity of stories we have come to love.

After my epiphany, I quickly discovered that the internet already knew of this plan. Armed with this new old information, I went to work preparing for multiple Flashes and Batmen and Zatannas. How could I possibly reconcile seeing Grant Gustin on my TV as the Scarlet Speedster and Ezra Miller donning the red and yellow with Chuckie Sullivan and the guy from Immortals beating Doomsday and other CG monstrosities? Too much nerd stimulation for any man or woman to take in, if you ask me. Well guess what, I ain’t regular. And neither are you my friend. All that’s needed for successful multiverse immersion is proper preparation. So, I have fearlessly gone about compiling a way to get ready for DC’s multiverse. A guide to set your mind in the right place and cast off the shackles of continuity, "shared universes" and other ridiculous concepts.

Re-Watch DC’s Old Movies:

Batman and Robin, definitive proof of the DC Multiverse

Credit: DC Comics

Forgive and Forget: Batman & Robin. Forgive it for existing, then forget to watch it ever again.

With each new Batman film we are treated to 2 new actors getting gunned down in a brand new, dirty alley. I have witnessed this particular murder so many times I have at times found myself brooding in the mirror, and I think I said “I am the night” when my boss asked me to work overtime. My initial thought was DC was trying its hardest to remind us why Batman is who he is. Now that news of the multiverse has broken, I am pretty sure I was witnessing the deaths of multiple Wayne families on different Earths, all of them culminating in a grown man who dresses as a bat to fight crime. This explains all the differences between the Batmen over the years, and sheds a new, horrible light on whatever Earth George Clooney's Batman was from. Something bad happened there.

This applies to Big Blue as well. How else do you explain 3 vastly different Supermen. One creeping on his ex-girlfriend. Another destroying every goddamn thing in his way and then actual Superman. You know, the one who was friends with Richard Pryor.

Play With Your Action Figures:

Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the other members of the Justice League prepare for their places in the multiverse

Credit: DC Entertainment

Unpopular opinion: For the purposes of this entry, using figures like Epic Battle Superman can yield interesting story resolutions.

When you play with action figures, you make up stories as you see fit. Writers of comics and movies do that exact same thing, only without the dolls. I assume. Given the Multiverse theory, we can surmise that whenever a person thinks up a story for their sweet DC figures to participate in, it becomes a new ‘verse. The proof is all around us. Superman Returns was a movie for some reason. Someone wrote that after they thought it up, with their brain and then someone else gave them (a lot of) money and shot a Superman movie where nothing happens. That could not be any worse than the ridiculous nonsense I put my Superman toy through. I didn’t have villains so was usually reduced to fighting Panthro and a non-articulated Hulk Hogan. The good old days. But the only difference between Superman Returns and the Battle Royal I thought up was I didn’t get funding to put it on-screen. Play with the toys people, you are helping expand DC’s universe and they don’t even know it. Suckers.

Pose With A Cosplayer:

Pro-Tip: Be less creepy than your normal self, so as not to spook the human wearing the costume.

Have someone take a picture of you giving a thumbs up to The Question, or rough-housing with Jonah Hex. Perhaps swooning over Captain Atom? Whatever you want chief, it’s your life. Now, take that snapshot and really look at it. It’s a moment in time where you are sharing space with that pictures version of **INSERT CHARACTER HERE**. Bet you will never look at cosplayers the same way again.

Play DC Online:

The DC Universe Online is a great place for fans to engage with the multiverse.

Credit: DC Online

Best DC Movie Alert: The opening to this game is the best DC movie ever created. That is a fact. 

Detective Comics seems hell-bent on creating Infinite Earths. So much so, in fact, that they built a game employing millions of new heroes to fight the same battles over and over again, but with different outcomes each time. Those mad geniuses. Right now there is an instance where my created hero defeated a number of nameless assailants outside a police station. He saved the hell out of that day. At the same time, in a separate instance, a different hero did the same thing and was crowned a hero as well. And so on, and so on, ad infinitum. Are you a fan of DC? Have you not played DC Online? Go play DC Online and join the multiverse. If you can jump into that game and follow along, you are more than ready to hop on board DC's infinite Earths train.

Watch DC Animation:

The animated Justice League is also part of the DC Multiverse

Credit: DC Entertainment

Boob Tube: Let go of the hope that your favorite DC cartoon will stick around. The best ones get canned way too early (see: Young Justice, Justice League, Teen Titans etc.)

With the creation of the Vixen animated series, we were treated to versions of the CW’s Arrow and Flash in 2d, animated glory. Vixen is set to make her debut on Arrow, in live action. Which version is the real version? Does the live action set of heroes see the world in animated form? Can Flash travel through the multiverse to an animated earth? Oh boy, I am losing the thread again. Just breathe…

DC's amazing animation has been giving us glimpses of multiple earths for years. From Justice League Unlimited, To Crisis on Two Earths, to Batman Beyond. Theses cartoons give numerous views of your favorite characters. Ingest them all and enjoy.

Also, cartoons are dope.

Do Some Fan Art / Fan Fiction:

Felicity Smoak as rendered by a fan eager to be part of the multiverse.

Credit: DC Comics

Pro Tip: When writing fan fiction, be aware that one day your kids might find it. Please write responsibly.

Do those big fancy Hollywood writers and drawers and painters and computerers think they are better than you just because they are better than you at what they do? Guess what, they aren’t better than you. You can draw or write or paint or computer better than anyone other than them. How’s that fan fiction where Lex Luthor rides a bolt of Lightning to Oa where he becomes the first Teal Lantern who controls the power Heavy Optimism coming along? I bet it’s freakin' great. How's that picture your daughter drew of Wonder Woman with what looks like a pizza slice for a body fighting some kind of smiling amorphous shape she claims is the family dog? A-goddamn-dorable, that’s how. Both instances are creative endeavors utilizing DC’s many heroes. Sounds like a multiverse entry!

Read “Crisis on Infinite Earths”:

The Crisis on Infinite Earths is a major part of the DC Multiverse

Credit: DC Comics

Full disclosure: I haven't actually read this. Does that make me a bad person? No, Crossfit makes me a bad person

You have to start here right? It’s literally right there in the book’s title. It's a pretty big gimme so read up folks, this was DC’s way of telling us they recognize the problem, and they are taking steps to make it worse. I mean better.

Realize It's Not A Big Deal:

When you stop and think about it, none of it matters. Why? Because they didn't "plan" a multiverse. They just gave their mistake a name. It's clever marketing, pure and simple. I respect them for it. Turn your greatest weakness into a  strength. Marvel just changes the name of the books. DC embraced it and said "No, they all totally exist at the same time on different versions of earth."

The balls.

Have any other tips to prep for this impending multiversity?

Share with us!

Carl Waldron is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @superblackpc

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