Let’s talk about Infinite Crisis.
Now I’m as big a fan of Crisis on Infinite Earths as is allowed in a post-Crisis universe. I have the $99 hard cover, the 6 foot long, Ross-Pérez poster and I make the “Are you talking about the pre-Crisis [any character from any piece of fiction]?” Joke at least twice a month. But I agree that it’s time to go back to a multiverse.
The post-Crisis retcons did a really good job of bringing in the Fawcett, Charlton and other licensed characters DC had acquired over the years into the same light as their original line of stars. But from day one the editorial staff wasn’t up to the task of forming a seamless, integrated continuity (>cough!< >cough!< >Hawkworld!< >cough!<). Hence, Zero Hour, which still didn’t do the job.
Continuity is tough. Even for a single writer. For example, at one point Robinson Crusoe strips naked, leaves his clothes behind, swims to a neighboring island and then fills this pockets with rocks. Don’t believe me? Go read for yourself (I know you won’t).
IMHO continuity in a massive shared universe is impossible. So screw it, don’t bother. What’s really important is that one author’s run on one title is consistent within itself without worrying too much about what’s going on in the other titles. This is called “super consistency”, the reader treats ever title as a separate universe.
Thinking like this helps one relax and not get worked up over what happens in a comic book: Like when The Mist killed the entire JLE in the pages of Starman and none of the “heroes” in the JLA seemed to notice.
OK, that still bugs me, but I don’t get worked up over it any more.
The universe was an illusion anyway. John Byrne brought back a multiverse within two years after Crisis when he introduced a new General Zod.
DC tried, ham-handedly, to bring back the multiverse with Hypertime. But if you’re going to undo an event like the Crisis, you need an event as big as the Crisis. And from what I’ve been reading, and liking, in the limited series’ that are fore-shadowing Infinite Crisis, it’s gonna be really big.
And a multiverse will allow writers a lot more creative freedom, beyond Elseworlds. I think we’re going to see that with the All-Star line; Miller’s Batman and Morrison’s Superman.
Where does this leave the editors?… Well they had a good run.