The Infinite Atlas


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No promises are made as to content. More than likely, this page is a mess, or even empty. Further bulletins as events warrant.

The Universes

Main Sequence

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 Sequence.

Major Pre-Crisis Universes

Minor Pre-Crisis Universes

Interregnum Universes

Elseworlds

Imaginary Stories

Future Timelines

Hypertimelines

Other

Glossary

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.
DCU
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.
Elseworld
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.
Hypertime
"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.
Hypertimeline
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.
Throwaway
A universe seen only briefly, usually in only one panel.
Universe
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:


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Jonathan Woodward, woodward@prismnet.com

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