This week, DC Comics’ two month mega-event Convergence finally ended. Convergence was an incredibly hyped up event that was said to be the culmination of over 75 years worth of storytelling, and would feature characters from every aspect of the DC history. And every world was featured, since the basic plot of Convergence involved every timeline and Earth from DC’s history being brought together on on one patchwork world where they had to fight each other for survival. Unfortunately, the main eight-issue series was a hot mess, with poor plotting and dialogue, somewhat haphazard art, and no clear concept of who the main villain was supposed to be. (Was it Brainiac? Telos? Parallax? Deimos from the old Warlord comics? I read the whole thing and I’m not sure I know.) Some of the two-issue tie-in books were pretty great, namely Shazam, The Atom, New Teen Titans, and a few others, but the main event series was pretty much a huge letdown.
(WARNING: SPOILERS lie ahead, so consider this your last chance to abandon ship or else.)
Even the much-hyped ending didn’t make sense on the page. At the climax of the final issue, Brainiac decides to return each fragment to its proper timeline in the Multiverse, and has the heroes of Crisis on Infinite Earths go back and undo the ending of that story (which, by the way, we don’t actually see; we’re just told they succeeded), thereby restoring the Multiverse. The artwork indicates that the old worlds of the DC Multiverse have now “evolved” into the 52 worlds of the post-Flashpoint DC Multiverse, as seen in Grant Morrison’s Multiversity. This means that the old versions of those worlds had said their final goodbyes. A series of two-page spreads shows the older versions of the classic parallel Earths fading into the background as their New 52 counterparts emerge. The meaning, to this reader anyway, was pretty clear.
But wait! According to an interview with Convergence writer Jeff King with, it’s the exact opposite of that ending. King clarified by saying, “In Convergence #8 we reference Multiversity and show you some of the Post-Convergence worlds that make up the reconstituted DC Multiverse. In many ways, the number of worlds is now infinite. There may even be more than one Multiverse.” He adds “Post-Convergence, Superman, Lois and (baby) Jonathan Kent are on an Earth somewhere, right now, resuming their lives that were on hold since Flashpoint.”
Well now, that changes everything. DC now has their entire history available to them again to tell stories in, and they should start doing so as soon as possible. The idea of alternate worlds is hardly that confusing to modern nerds-even the Flash TV show, which is meant to play for general audiences, is going to be playing in that Multiversal sandbox soon. So while Convergence might have been a lemon, here’s the sweet lemonade that can come from it. The following are four series that DC should get to work on right away in this new DC Multi-multiverse they’ve created, comics that would bring a lot of lapsed DC fans back into the fold.
JLA: Justice League Alpha
Setting: Pre-Flashpoint, Post-Crisis Earth
This book would be set on an Earth resembling the pre-Flashpoint DCU, but with one significant difference: seeing as they no longer have the burden of having to be the “prime” versions of these icons, characters like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest are allowed to age, at least somewhat. As seen in Convergence, Superman and Lois now have a child, and Nightwing and Oracle are married now too. The classic JLA characters don’t have to be stuck at age 30 forever anymore, and former Titans like The Flash/Wally West and can finally age beyond 24/25.
With Superman now having to juggle fatherhood on top of everything else, he knows he’s going to need more help than ever, so he decides to consolidate most of the big DC teams — the Justice Society, the Titans, and the Justice League — into one giant mega-team, similarly to what was done on the Justice League Unlimited animated series. This new mega-team would be called Justice League Alpha, a precursor to the Justice Legion Alpha in the 853rd Century, as introduced in Grant Morrison’s run on JLA in the ’90s.
JLA would be a book that allows fans a window into the continuing lives of characters that don’t exist in the New 52 anymore, or ones who exist in drastically different forms, like Wally West, Donna Troy, Miss Martian, Superboy (Conner Kent) The Question (Renee Montoya), and many others. It would also offer a glimpse at older, more established versions of Superman, Batman, etc., that are allowed to age and grow in a way that the “main” DCU versions really aren’t allowed to, because the editorial edict is that they have to seemingly remain young and single forever.
Obviously the right person to write a book like this would be Geoff Johns, whose love of DC history is boundless, but he’s a bit busy these days. Regardless of who the creative team would be, this is one book that most old school DC fans would eat up with a spoon the minute it was announced.
Setting: Pre-Flashpoint, Post-Crisis Earth
Another book for the pre-Flashpoint DC Earth, Gotham Knights would highlight the characters that don’t exist in the same form in the regular New 52 world anymore. This book would feature an older Batman (think George Clooney older, not Clint Eastwood older. OK, I know it’s dangerous to say Batman and Clooney in the same sentence, but you know what I mean) along his former sidekicks, like the now-married Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown as Batgirl, Huntress, Black Bat, and more.
With Bruce Wayne often busy with the whole global Batman Inc. initiative, which was set up not long before Flashpoint, his partners have to pick up the slack in Gotham City. Grant Morrison’s take on Dick Grayson as Batman with Damian as Robin was classic, and many people loved Stephanie Brown as Batgirl. Of course, the very vocal following Barbara Gordon has as Oracle is pretty legendary too. Considering the amount of Batman-centric books DC publishes, why not one set on an alternate Earth?
Justice Society Infinity
Setting: Pre-Crisis Earth-2
This concept was introduced briefly by Geoff Johns in a Justice Society of America Annual a couple of years prior to the New 52, where Power Girl finds that her old home, the pre-Crisis Earth-2, is still out there. Unfortunately, Flashpoint happened not long after, and we got an all-new Earth-2 in the process. Well, thanks to Convergence, we now know that the old Earth-2 is back, and it’s out there somewhere.
This Earth-2 is akin to the classic Pre-Crisis one, where Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman fought alongside the Justice Society of America in World War II. Eventually, the JSA would disband, Superman and Lois would get married; Batman and Catwoman would marry and have a daughter, Helena, who would grow up to be the Huntress; and Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor would also have a daughter, who would grow up to become Fury. These kids of the JSA would grow up to become the team Infinity, Inc., and later join up with their Justice Society parents and become Justice Society Infinity.
Justice Society Infinity would be set in modern day, with a team not just composed of the surviving members of the original JSA (if there are any left) but their children and now grandchildren too. One thing the current New 52 DC Earth doesn’t have nearly enough of is the concept of heroic legacy, which was once an important part of the DC Universe. A book like Justice Society Infinity would be all about legacy.
Tales of the Multiverse
Setting: The Multiverse (duh)
This wouldn’t be a regular ongoing comic so much as a series of comics, similar to what DC did with Elseworlds in the ’90s and early 2000s. With Grant Morrison having created so many cool new alternate Earths for his recent series Multiversity, they shouldn’t just sit there and collect dust just because he’s not working on them anymore. A mini-series about the Freedom Fighters of Earth-10, or the Watchmen-esque Pax Americana of Earth-4, or even the gender-swapped Justice League of Earth-11 from the right creative teams could all be spectacular.
So what do you guys think? Want to see some of the old worlds from the pre-Flashpoint DCU make a comeback? Or are you content with the New 52 Earth and feel we should all just get used to it? Let us know in the comments below!