Is Every Door Really Open After Convergence?

A few months ago, Dan Didio said that “we’re leaving every door open” after Convergence. It’s easy to read that as suggesting that all those old versions of the characters are now officially out there somewhere in the multiverse….

…except they aren’t. Not according to Convergence #8 anyway.

Spoilers for Convergence #8 below

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A group of heroes retroactively prevents the collapse of the multiverse during Crisis on Infinite Earths. (Off-panel no less, which is a bit anticlimactic.) What follows is two double-page spreads showing us the heroes of several notable worlds in the Multiverse… and what they used to look like. “Each world has evolved, but they all still exist.”

Convergence Multiverse 1

A ghostly view of the pre-Flashpoint trinity appears with the New 52 heroes in the foreground. The Supergirl and Batgirl of Elseworld’s Finest have become the Superwoman and Batwoman of Countdown’s Earth-11. The pre-COIE Crime Syndicate has become their Forever Evil versions, the classic Justice Society has become the Earth-2 Society, and groups like the Freedom Fighters, Zoo Crew and Atomic Knights have become the versions seen in Multiversity.

Convergence Multiverse 2

On one hand, that’s fine – the current Multiverse has a lot of interesting worlds, and Grant Morrison and the artists of Multiversity did an amazing job showing its potential.

But that also means the older versions of those realities are officially off-limits, since they’ve been transformed into the current versions.

Pruning the Timeline

One thing that’s bothered me about DC’s various reboots and adjustments from COIE onward is that they always insist on rewriting their history in-place. It’s not enough to establish a new status quo and say, “This is what we’re following now. Your old favorites are still out there, we just aren’t going to see them.” They have to get rid of the old one. No trapdoors or escape hatches.

I figure some of it is the need to have, if not one reality (as Didio points out, they never stopped doing alternate-universe stories even after Crisis), at least one primary reality. Earth-One, New Earth, Earth-Zero, whatever you call it, the (current) main DC Universe is always central to the multiverse.

And some of it, I’m sure, is that when you don’t have the option of going back, you have to invest more in what’s in front of you now. That applies to the writers and artists all the way down the line to the fans. At least, until that connection finally breaks.

Possibilities

In theory, since they undid the collapse of an infinite multiverse, there must be realities out there that correspond to the previous versions. And while DC’s been focused since Countdown on a structured, 52-reality multiverse, there’s a line in the Multiversity Guidebook about it being “the local multiverse,” implying more realities beyond. So there’s nothing stopping DC from doing a classic Justice Society story and having it be in canon somewhere, or having Wally West as the Flash and Bart Allen as Impulse somewhere other than the fame-obsessed Earth-Me.

But the more I look at that article, the more I think Dan Didio wasn’t talking about the multiverse at that point. I think he was talking about ideas. Concepts from older versions of the characters that can be brought back and incorporated into the modern versions.

Tweaking elements that didn’t fit the initial New 52. Setting stories outside Earth-Zero (like Prez, for instance). Using shared-universe continuity where it helps a story, but not following it too closely when it interferes.

Those are the doors that are all open, not the doors to the older DCU.

6 thoughts on “Is Every Door Really Open After Convergence?

  1. Lee H

    Before Convergence we had the 52 Earths of Multiversity. After Convergence we now have… the 52 Earths of Multiversity.

    The confusing thing is how DC are presenting Convergence #8 as having “opened up” new possibilities – which isn’t presented in the series itself. Even Justice League #40, printed before the conclusion of Convergence, painted the Convergence event as being of little consequence.

    As for a universe with Wally as Flash and Bart as Impulse (for example) – the Kingdom Come universe is still around as Earth-22. Kingdom Come diverged from the regular DC Universe at some point before Infinite Crisis. Technically there’s nothing stopping them from making prequel stories about that universe.

    Another possibility is the unrevealed universe that Justice League 3000/3001 takes place in. Keith Giffen has said that the book is a sequel to “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Justice League”, featuring those exact versions of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. So that’s a universe that diverged from the main continuity shortly before Identity Crisis.

    It’s unlikely that they’ll delve into the histories of those universes too much. But there’s nothing from stopping them.

    Reply
  2. Lia

    I think you’re probably right. I keep my expectations low for DC these days and hope to someday be pleasantly surprised, but it hasn’t happened in several years and probably won’t happen for several more. I’m obviously not the type of fan they’re interested in.

    Reply
    1. Kyer

      I second that last. Saw the faded Justice Riders behind the ‘new’ versions and….nope. Not really interested so far. Probably won’t even be ‘Wally’ in that one either.

      Reply
  3. Greg Elias

    If the Wally West on “Earth-Me” is still Barry’s successor, married w/ kids to Linda, just with an extended sorta-Super-Sons history replacing Clark & Bruce…I am cool with that. I can see how the Flash Family storyline could be mostly intact on that world.

    I like stuff like the classic Marvel Family still having their place, even if it doesn’t necessarily include all of the Ordway stories or the Freddie-Cap, evil-Mary pre-Flashpoint stuff.

    I’ve honestly been a much happier DC fan since Multiversity kicked in.

    I just hope they at least try use the full potential of the DCU. that’s really all I care about.

    Reply
  4. Augie

    DC wants new readers, and if Multiversity attracts new readers then they will run with it, they don’t care if older readers like me, who’s been reading since the 70s, like Multiversity or “throw back story lines”. The past is the past, keep up or get left behind. Which is a shame, because I think they are loosing more older readers than attracting new ones.

    Reply
    1. veronica

      The problem with that attitude is that it’s the older readers who are holding up and supporting the industry. We’re the ones who don’t mind spending 5 bucks on a book. New readers are reluctant to do so. I can’t tell the last time I saw someone in a comic book store under the age of 20 who was buying a SH comic. They usually just get gaming cards etc.

      Reply

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