SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1, by Scott Snyder, Grant Morrison, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, Jorge Jimenez Doug Mahnke, Jamie Mendoza, Hi-Fi, Alejandro Sanchez, Wil Quintana and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
Since its inception during the Silver Age of comics, DC’s Multiverse has undergone more than its fair share of monumental transformations. In fact, it even ceased to exist altogether following the events of the 1985-86 miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths, remaining a mere memory until it was eventually restored in the early 2000s.
Now, just two months into 2018, it appears as though another multiversal facelift is in order, and it comes to us courtesy of Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1. However, before we dive into that, we’d be remiss if we didn’t first discuss how the overarching Metal event has already changed what we know about the Multiverse.
In December’s Dark Nights: Metal #4, Morpheus – better known to most readers as Dream, or Sandman – recalls the origin of the Multiverse and its sinister counterpart, the Dark Multiverse. Obviously, portions of its history remain unchanged from what we first learned in the aforementioned Crisis, such as the spark of creation that spawned the positive matter and antimatter universes. However, in addition to the Monitor and the Anti-Monitor, who oversaw these two realms, respectively, we also learned of a third being -- the Forger -- who maintains the origin point of all worlds (aptly titled the World Forge).
From here, the worlds that are brought into existence can go one of two ways; those that are stable travel towards the Orrery, where they join up with the other worlds in the Multiverse, while those that are less desirable sink into the depths of the Dark Multiverse, where they await their eventual destruction at the hands of Barbatos. However, his compulsion for chaos couldn’t be satiated by widespread planetary genocide, alone – Barbatos also killed the Forger, effectively pulling the plug on the creation of any new worlds moving forward.
This certainly lends credence to the Multiverse consisting of just 52 Earths instead of… well, infinite Earths. But once again, our preconceived notions have been cast to the wayside with the revelation of the last thing we expected: a 53rd Earth, filled with rather... unique denizens.