Since the DC Universe brought back its multiverse in 2006 with their year-long weekly series 52, we’ve seen surprisingly little of the multiverse as a whole. They’ve made a few appearances in mini-series and crossover events, but at a time when comics seem to be spinning off every few months, it seems strange we’ve seen so few series devoted to the myriad of possibilities in DC’s mapped out multiverse. Well, one of them, as it seems every medium has a different multiverse.
For this list, we’re looking at a collection of Earths we’d like to see more of. Not just in terms of simple guest appearances, but full-on mini-series or original graphic novels, or even complete ongoings. Full of potential to tell stories that wouldn’t be explored in the main comics; hopefully, one day, DC opens up the gates to some of these alternate Earths.
This is the least safe pick on the list, as there’s no obvious connection to the usual DC Comics characters. But Earth-48 feels like what we should’ve gotten coming out of Final Crisis. It’s an entire world made up of super-beings that were bred to protect the Multiverse.
They’ve been exposed to rapid evolution, resulting in the entire planet from the trees to the animals to the people being “super.” As silly as that sounds, there’s a great concept behind it. This is the so-called “Fifth World,” made up of beings who are meant to battle against Darkseid. The New Gods and the Forerunners, locked in an eternal struggle with the ultimate evil of the multiverse.
Obviously inspired by Batman: Red Rain, this was a world where the “Blood League” rules over everyone as super-vampires. While a bit absurd, it could be fun to experiment with a DC world where horror is the prevailing tone.
Perhaps, DC could take Grant Morrison’s version of Frankenstein - the ultimate monster hunter - and have him and S.H.A.D.E. fight an almost impossible battle against the World’s Mightiest Heroes. That should make for a compelling read. The story only becomes more compelling if we include the possibility of some of the League rebelling against their bloodthirsty nature, and trying to bring some form of light back to the world.
John Byrne’s “Generations” is probably one of the best usages of the Elseworlds branding from the era where that branding was still relevant. The core concept was that Superman and Batman both appeared in the 1930s and continued to age normally.
They had families and newer heroes appeared over time. Though Byrne’s storyline is pretty complete, both the designs and the basic idea are worth re-using. What would the DC Universe look like if it developed in real-time?
DC’s version of Waterworld. Taking place on an Earth where climate change forced everyone to pay the ultimate sacrifice, we’re left with a post-apocalyptic world drowning in the ocean. In this world, there’s a crew of heroes sailing the seas in the Flying Fox, as Captain Leatherwing and his partner Robin Redblade fight to keep people safe.
This probably doesn’t have the sea legs to run a full ongoing, but there’s no way this couldn’t work for at least a few OGNs - it’s literally Justice League, but with pirates. Why the League all look so vastly different remains to be seen, but that seems like the point of doing stories set in this world.
We’ve seen more of this version of the multiverse than any other from the worlds that have been established in the Post-New 52 landscape and aren’t just holdovers from the original multiverse. It’s a world where a young man named Calvin Ellis isn’t just Superman but he’s also the President of the United States of America.
Just as tends to happen in the real world, it seems fitting that Ellis would be forced to step down from the position, perhaps ceding power to someone who doesn’t necessarily have the Earth’s best interests at heart? Someone like Glorious Godfrey, Darkseid’s propagandist, sent from Apokolips to infiltrate a world that isn’t Earth-0 for once.
A while back, DC came up with an idea called “First Wave,” which was meant to cross Batman over with pulp heroes like Doc Savage and The Spirit. It didn’t last long, but during Multiversity, Morrison gave us another pulp world.
This time filled with characters like Doc Fate, Lady Blackhawk, The Immortal Man, and Green Lantern Abin Sur. This world gave off a perfect timeless pulp feel while still using characters long-time DC Comics fans might actually recognize. Though the big story was their battle against Earth-40, there’s still plenty to be done with the “Society of Super-Heroes.”
What’s fascinating about this Earth isn’t just that it’s basically “Western DC,” but that there’s a reasoning for it. The supervillain Time Trapper used his powers to freeze technology at a 19th-century level, forcing humans to come up with ways to advance which still feel rooted in the resources available during that era.
While they’re called the Justice Riders, the group doesn’t really have too many characters who are direct rip-offs of existing Leaguers. Instead, they rely on characters like Super-Chief, a Grant Morrison original, and Bat-Lash, a forgotten character who was created during the late sixties.
Also known as “Earth-Me,” this world relies on the superheroes known as the Super-Sons as well as other members of “The Just.” It’s a world where the heroes won their battle against evil, leaving 90s heroes to simply do re-enactments of prior battles, while the younger teens have become self-absorbed.
When we last saw this world it was a pretty heavy indictment against the younger heroes, but there’s far more potential to this place. A book set here could explore the imperfections of a so-called perfect world, showing how the young heroes can learn to surpass humanity by not just protecting them, but guiding them.
The pitch here is simple enough: Justice League Dark, only with A-Listers who solely go up against magic-based villains. Everything about this world leans in favor of magic - every day has 13 hours and every year 13 months.
The lead hero is Etrigan the Demon, who was sent to Earth from Kamelot to protect the planet. This book draws on all the mystic characters we’ve seen (and sometimes forgotten), and since the entire world is more magic-sensitive, they’re forced to be even more skilled and more sensitive towards potential threats, because they could literally come from anywhere.
This is a given. We’ve seen more of this world than any other, but we also should see more. It’s technically the “first” DC Earth, and it should be shown proper respect. Ideally, we could get a return to how the world was prior to the original Crisis.
One where the Justice Society was formed during World War II, protected America from the threat of Nazi-ism, then gradually vanished thanks to the concerns of masked heroes during the Red Scare. Then, at the height of the Cold War, bringing in their children as Infinity Inc. This world has the potential to constantly introduce new characters, but also inject superheroes into major parts of history, something which seemingly should’ve happened long ago.