Earth-Whatever

I went back and looked at the comments on the Earth One announcement at The Source. Big mistake. There’s an argument over whether it’s the same as Earth-1 in the 52 Multiverse, what Earth-1, Earth-2, Earth-0, etc. all are in this universe or the previous DC Multiverse, etc.

In short, the title alone drags the new, streamlined books into the realm of continuity-heavy fanboy debates.

In general, I don’t like numbering alternate realities. It can be useful for cataloging, but it’s much clearer to refer to “the Smallville version,” “Mainstream DC,” “Ultimate Marvel” or “Tangent Universe” instead of tossing around terms like “Earth-616” and “Universe Designate Zero.”

And isn’t the point of this new line to make things less confusing?

DC needs a banner they can put on these books, so that readers can look for “XYZ Superman Volume 1” on the shelf. But “Earth One” is already causing confusion, just hours after it was announced.

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7 thoughts on “Earth-Whatever

  1. Kirk Warren

    Yup, that’s one of my main concerns with it. Typically, the 52 Earths are numeric, like Earth-1. Pre-Crisis, they were all Earth-One and such. It’s also saddening to see them spend years remaking the Multiverse and then, the first opportunity they get to use it for something huge, they make a new naming sequence for the line that contradicts years of stories. Is it game breaking? No, people will still buy this. Was it a mistake? Yes.

    Personal choices? Not a moniker, but I’d have gone with a Superman Begins and Batman Begins for the titles to these origin issue to draw parallels to the Batman movie franchise and its immense goodwill and popularity since these are OGNs that appear to be aimed at book store crowds more than direct markets.

    The All Star line is still well received by many, but for the most part dead in the water currently, so maybe the All Star tag would still be useful for these books.
    .-= Kirk Warren’s latest blog post: DC Announces Yet Another Superman & Batman Origin Retellings =-.

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  2. Lex

    I think the “Earth One” titles are only causing confusion with us fanboys and fangirls. I don’t think it’s going to be very confusing to the target audience for these which is the bookstore crowd. It’ll just be another branding label to them, like “Ultimate” Marvel.

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    1. Andrew

      Agreed, but I don’t see why it is even causing confusion with fanboys/girls as ‘Earth One’ has been explicitly stated to be a new continuity altogether (“a new earth with an all-new continuity”). Nuff said. Debating where it fits or does not fit in the DC multiverse seems kinda pointless.

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  3. Lee H

    “Earth One” is just going to seem like an odd title to anyone unfamiliar with the DC Multiverse.

    I really love the idea of self-contained graphic novels aimed at a mainstream audience, but isn’t creating a whole new “universe” to do it in practically just admitting that the main DC Universe is perhaps bloated, confusing and nigh-inpenetrable? This seems like side-stepping that problem, rather than adressing it directly. It also comes very soon after the much hyped “All-Star” line, which had a very similar premise.

    Why not simply tell clear, self-contained and accessible stories with the regular versions of the characters?

    It should probably also be noted that Superman: Earth One will be hitting the shelves around the same time as the hardcover edition of Superman: Secret Origin.

    What’s the point of releasing two new and contradictory 100+ page retellings of Superman’s origin so close together?

    Add in the fact that it’s the Superman: Secret Origin creative team behind Batman: Earth One and the whole thing becomes even more bizarre.

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    1. papa zero

      Comic book companies are focusing on the characters as license material and fodder for the big screen. If the idea is to usher in new readership – I don’t think these stories will do a whole lot more than lay out a composite of the “best elements” already inherent with any particular character. Alternatively, the stories will take a character in a direction perceived to be the most commercially viable. In the long run – they can’t move too far with the continuum since (as mentioned earlier) they’d only be establishing a seperate mythology which will ultimately be in competition for the cannon status. Movie and cartoons franchises are relaunched enough that a company focused on license potential will ultimately make such continuums the equivalent of comic book dry erase boards.

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