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The Main Sequence comprises the most important DC universes, from New
Fun Comics #6 (1935) to the present. At any point in time, the majority
of "DCU" comics being published occur in one universe on the Main
- Alternate Earth
- In general, any world other than the Earth. To be more precise,
an alternate Earth is separated from other Earths by its unique vibrational
frequency. In this sense, alternate Earths are considered different from
parallel dimensions and hypertimelines.
- Alternate Timeline
- A timeline which diverges from the main timeline at some point in the past.
- The DC Universe. Used to distinguish those comics which are clearly
connected to DC's other comics (Superman, Batman,
Sgt. Rock) from those which are wholly separate (DC's romance
comics, or the Helix imprint). The dividing line is not clear. Saying "DC's
superhero comics" is mostly accurate (especially these days), but wrong;
many of DC's war and western comics were and are DCU comics.
- A universe appearing in a comic marked with the distinctive Elseworlds
logo. (Gotham by Gaslight is also considered an Elseworld.)
Elseworlds involve familiar faces that have been altered in one or more of many
ways. They are the modern heirs to the "imaginary story".
Originally, these tales had no more internal connection to the DCU Universe
than, say, the world of "Baywatch". DC characters couldn't get there,
period. Today, many - if not all - of them are Hypertimelines, and
theoretically accessible. See the Elseworlds page
for more detail.
- Future Timeline
- A possible future of the current DC Universe. The most probable future is
the one leading to the Legion of Super-Heroes.
- "The vast, interconnected web of parallel timelines which
comprise all reality." The new multiverse. Formally, the locus
of all points that A) are owned by DC Comics, and B) that DCU characters are
theoretically capable of traveling to, via one form of travel or another.
- Hypertime Ghost
- When a great deal of interdimensional travel is occurring in one locale,
hypertime ghosts can manifest. They are intangible. It is not clear whether
they are actual images of the person they depict, or if they are somehow
separate, transient entities. The ghosts seen in The Kingdom: Planet
Krypton occasionally seem aware of Rose, and several of them are images
of people known to be deceased.
- A universe within Hypertime.
- Imaginary Story
- Many stories written before the Crisis involved events that could not be
allowed to happen in regular continuity (e.g., the permanent death of Superman).
These were usually labelled as "Imaginary Stories", and were
understood to be things that could happen, but didn't or wouldn't.
- The Interregnum
- The period between Crisis on Infinite Earths #10, 1986, and
The Kingdom #2, 1999 is called (by me) "The Interregnum".
During this period, there was supposedly only one DC Universe. This wasn't
quite true; parallel worlds are far too much fun.
- Parallel Dimension
- At the time of the Crisis, DC defined a parallel dimension as a separate
universe that was nevertheless part of one of the main alternate Earths. Thus,
Earth-C (a parallel dimension) was not destroyed by the Crisis, as it was part
of Earth-1. This is a fuzzy distinction at best.
- A universe seen only briefly, usually in only one panel.
- A generic term for all the universes, timelines, dimensions, and infinite
Earths discussed herein. Formally, a locus of points, such that one can journey
from one to another solely through space or time travel.
A Brief Discussion on Fictionality
Some of the universes are fictional to another universe. The clearest
example is Earth-1 vs. Earth-Prime. On Earth-Prime, the Superman of Earth-1 is
a fictional character. The following are some of the known relationships:
- A variant of Earth-2 is fictional on Earth-1. (Barry Allen read about Jay
Garrick's exploits, but the Superman he may have read about was different from
the Earth-2 Superman.)
- Earth-1, Earth-2, and several other Earths are fictional on Earth-Prime.
- A variant of Earth-1 is fictional on Earth-D. (It's unlikely that the
Earth-D superheroes would all have taken their names from comic book
- Earth-E and some other universes are fictional on Earth-1. (Superman has
this "Super Univac", you see, which can simulate "what if"
- Earth-C- is fictional on Earth-C.
- Earth-Sigma is fictional in the Milestone Universe.
- The Milestone Universe may be fictional on Earth-Sigma.
(Unproven, but suggested.)
- The Animated Continuity is fictional in the Marvel Universe.
- All known universes are fictional on Earth-Reality.
|Jonathan Woodward, firstname.lastname@example.org
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