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  1. #1
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    Default Some general post-crisis continuity questions (mostly Superman)

    Hi folks,

    Old time reader here, hoping to clarify some general questions about continuity. I'm sure this has been asked to death but, I'm very lost with regards to whether the version of some characters I consider to be 'mine' still exists or not.

    I basically got into comics at the Superman Byrne relaunch point, and that was my Superman. Now, I recently bought massive Crisis box and just finished the last volume. I had always been under the impression that Crisis just meant blank slate right after it, with full reboots and full new world (hence that Superman reboot). However after reading the crisis + crossovers, it doesn't really seem that way, it looks like earth 1 just became the primary earth, but that earth 1 superman was still there - therefore.. where does the Byrne Superman come in? What happened to the previous earth 1 superman?

    Now, after the new 52 reboot, my understanding is that the new 52 Superman was a brand new one, whereas the 'old' Byrne-born Superman was still around, living in hiding. Then new-52 Superman just died, and Byrne-Superman became Superman again - and continues to this day. Is that more or less correct?

    Oh and this is just a completely random question after reading some of those Crisis books, this time in regards to Black Canary. So, it looks like the earth 1 Black Canary was essentially the daughter of earth 2 Black Canary (that's how they explained the age difference), who had just been given her mother's memories, up until the point she was magically forced to remember. Now, does that mean the 'new' Black Canary had her mother's memories, in theory even intimate memories so... she'd just remember having sex with her own father? I'm hoping this was retconned at some point?

    Thanks,

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by al-f View Post
    Hi folks,

    Old time reader here, hoping to clarify some general questions about continuity. I'm sure this has been asked to death but, I'm very lost with regards to whether the version of some characters I consider to be 'mine' still exists or not.

    I basically got into comics at the Superman Byrne relaunch point, and that was my Superman. Now, I recently bought massive Crisis box and just finished the last volume. I had always been under the impression that Crisis just meant blank slate right after it, with full reboots and full new world (hence that Superman reboot). However after reading the crisis + crossovers, it doesn't really seem that way, it looks like earth 1 just became the primary earth, but that earth 1 superman was still there - therefore.. where does the Byrne Superman come in? What happened to the previous earth 1 superman?

    Now, after the new 52 reboot, my understanding is that the new 52 Superman was a brand new one, whereas the 'old' Byrne-born Superman was still around, living in hiding. Then new-52 Superman just died, and Byrne-Superman became Superman again - and continues to this day. Is that more or less correct?

    Oh and this is just a completely random question after reading some of those Crisis books, this time in regards to Black Canary. So, it looks like the earth 1 Black Canary was essentially the daughter of earth 2 Black Canary (that's how they explained the age difference), who had just been given her mother's memories, up until the point she was magically forced to remember. Now, does that mean the 'new' Black Canary had her mother's memories, in theory even intimate memories so... she'd just remember having sex with her own father? I'm hoping this was retconned at some point?

    Thanks,
    I can't answer the Black Canary question as I don't follow that character well enough but I will discuss Superman.

    When Crisis concluded DC still didn't know what the post-Crisis universe was going to look like so Wolfman just ended it with the original Earth-1 universe's history in tact more or less, with the heroes who were at the dawn of time remembering the prior multiverse but no one else.

    When it was decided that the Crisis would cause wholesale changes to Superman's history, it was later retconned that the Crisis "wave" of sorts was being held back but eventually took over the DC universe, causing the eventual changes to DC's and Superman's history. There are a portion of fans who believe that post-Crisis Earth is a completely separate entity from Earth-1 and the latter still existed somewhere but DC's stance had always been the post-Crisis Earth was the newly formed Earth-1 resulting from the Crisis.

    Post-Crisis Superman existed in a separate universe/timeline from New 52 (New 52's creation initially thought to be caused by Flashpoint but later found to be caused by Doctor Manhattan) as revealed in Convergence, where he was without powers and Lois was pregnant with Jon. He and his family wound up on New 52 Earth following Convergence and remained there in secret until New 52 Superman was thought to be dead. Mister Mxyzptlk was revealed to be keeping New 52 Lois and Clark in a kind of spiritual prison and once released they merged with post-Crisis Superman & Lois but generally his post-Crisis history is the dominant timeline.
    Last edited by kingaliencracker; 10-12-2020 at 06:59 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply.

    So then, post Crisis would be a different earth 1 altogether then (whether you call it earth 1 or something else)? Simply because the pre-crisis earth 1 superman history is gone so, that was a different Superman, right?

    I did read Convergence as well but I just found it very convoluted and disjointed, didn't quite follow what transpired there. But then, that means the current book Superman is a weird fusion of pre-52 and new 52 (as is Lois)? Is that the same with other heroes (like Batman), or do others have a 'clearer' (using the term very loosely) split?

  4. #4

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    And this is the exact problem with Dan DiDio. He had a lot of big ideas, but could never stick the landing. More on that in a second.

    Yes, I was there in the mid-1980s before and after Crisis, and, yes the ending to Crisis doesn't really line up with what happened after. Some characters like Hawkman and Aquaman got their reboots years after Crisis.

    However, with Superman, the Man of Steel miniseries was said to have taken place in the past, so there is a Post-Crisis version of the Crisis event that happened AFTER the Man of Steel miniseries. It didn't involve the multiverse, but it involved the Anti-Monitor, red skies, and whatever else could be said to have taken place in a single universe. Again, this was occasionally mentioned, but not really delved into.

    However, the whole Flashpoint / New 52 / Rebirth fiasco took continuity confusion to a whole new level with dramatic changes being done and undone in a matter of a few years.

    Superman should always be thought of as a gateway character into the world of DC Comics. His continuity should NEVER be difficult to explain to people -- so when you have two versions merging into one and other nonsense, something has gone horribly wrong. It's ok if Hawkman and Donna Troy have messed up continuities because they're not A-listers who represent the entire line. It's annoying as hell, but it's ok.

    When Superman has a whole complicated backstory, it's just bad leadership. Keep Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman as simple as possible to explain to potential new readers. Same goes for Spider-Man over at Marvel, and since One More Day, I've lost my feeling of connection to the character.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by al-f View Post
    Thanks for the reply.

    So then, post Crisis would be a different earth 1 altogether then (whether you call it earth 1 or something else)? Simply because the pre-crisis earth 1 superman history is gone so, that was a different Superman, right?

    I did read Convergence as well but I just found it very convoluted and disjointed, didn't quite follow what transpired there. But then, that means the current book Superman is a weird fusion of pre-52 and new 52 (as is Lois)? Is that the same with other heroes (like Batman), or do others have a 'clearer' (using the term very loosely) split?

    Yes, the Post-Crisis Earth should NOT be considered to be Earth-1 just with heroes from other Earths living there.

    In the Post-Crisis reality, they (e.g. the JSA, Shazam Family, etc.) were ALWAYS there on that same Earth.

  6. #6
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    Was rebirth a continuity change? I thought it was just another #1 relaunch of all titles, still in the same universe.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by al-f View Post
    Was rebirth a continuity change? I thought it was just another #1 relaunch of all titles, still in the same universe.
    Yes because right at the start they extend the backstory timeline from 5 years to 10 and rewrite Wonder Woman and Donna Troy's origin
    Last edited by Restingvoice; 10-12-2020 at 07:48 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by al-f View Post
    Thanks for the reply.

    So then, post Crisis would be a different earth 1 altogether then (whether you call it earth 1 or something else)? Simply because the pre-crisis earth 1 superman history is gone so, that was a different Superman, right?

    I did read Convergence as well but I just found it very convoluted and disjointed, didn't quite follow what transpired there. But then, that means the current book Superman is a weird fusion of pre-52 and new 52 (as is Lois)? Is that the same with other heroes (like Batman), or do others have a 'clearer' (using the term very loosely) split?
    Post-Crisis Earth has some elements of the previous Earth-1 history that didn't really change, such as the Teen Titans, Legion of Super Heroes, Green Lantern, and Flash (although the latter two had tweaks done to their continuity as a result of Crisis). But Post-Crisis Earth is generally considered an amalgamation of all the prominent Earths from the prior multiverse with an entirely different history than that of Earth-1. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman (the latter to a lesser degree of the three) had major changes implemented to their continuity, some of which caused major continuity issues with the things that didn't change. For example, Superman never being Superboy had ramifications on the Legion, while Donna Troy lost her connection to the Amazons and Wonder Woman (the latter debuting AFTER Donna was already active with the Titans). Wonder Woman debuting much later also impacted JLA, who had Black Canary replace her in the early stories. Also, some pre-Crisis stories were still considered canon but required the reader to reinterpret them within the post-Crisis template. And again, originally only the characters present at the dawn of time were supposed to remember the multiverse, but then DC made the decision that no one remember the Crisis or multiverse. Then after that, DC decided that the heroes would remember a Crisis in which the Anti-Monitor tried taking over the positive matter universe with his anti matter universe but nothing relating to a multiverse. Very weird time for sure!

    And yes, Superman is a weird fusion of post-Crisis and new-52 Superman but generally this has had no impact on the greater DCU that's been revealed except that Wonder Woman and Clark were never in a relationship. There have been changes to continuity as a result of Rebirth but that is somewhat separate from what occurred with Superman and Mxyzptlk (although very tangibly connected I guess).
    Last edited by kingaliencracker; 10-12-2020 at 07:46 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingaliencracker View Post
    Then after that, DC decided that the heroes would remember a Crisis in which the Anti-Monitor tried taking over the positive matter universe with his anti matter universe but nothing relating to a multiverse. Very weird time for sure!
    That I must have missed.. I'd assume they would not remember anything if it was a new earth, although I am aware Green Lantern, lots of Batman, for example, just sort of continued as normal - and I assume it was up to the reader which stories from earth 1 and/or earth 2 were part of the 'new earth' character continuity?

    Quote Originally Posted by kingaliencracker View Post
    And yes, Superman is a weird fusion of post-Crisis and new-52 Superman but generally this has had no impact on the greater DCU that's been revealed except that Wonder Woman and Clark were never in a relationship. There have been changes to continuity as a result of Rebirth but that is somewhat separate from what occurred with Superman and Mxyzptlk (although very tangibly connected I guess).
    This just seems like an unnecessary sort of move, if the character is just basically the same as the post-crisis Superman. Is there an acknowledgment of other 'new 52' Superman actions here (other than the relationship with WW), or is all that sort of gone as well? What about the supporting cast (Jimmy, Kat, Perry, Lana, etc.), is that also a weird merger of post crisis and new 52?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Comic-Reader Lad View Post
    And this is the exact problem with Dan DiDio. He had a lot of big ideas, but could never stick the landing. More on that in a second.

    Yes, I was there in the mid-1980s before and after Crisis, and, yes the ending to Crisis doesn't really line up with what happened after. Some characters like Hawkman and Aquaman got their reboots years after Crisis.

    However, with Superman, the Man of Steel miniseries was said to have taken place in the past, so there is a Post-Crisis version of the Crisis event that happened AFTER the Man of Steel miniseries. It didn't involve the multiverse, but it involved the Anti-Monitor, red skies, and whatever else could be said to have taken place in a single universe. Again, this was occasionally mentioned, but not really delved into.

    However, the whole Flashpoint / New 52 / Rebirth fiasco took continuity confusion to a whole new level with dramatic changes being done and undone in a matter of a few years.

    Superman should always be thought of as a gateway character into the world of DC Comics. His continuity should NEVER be difficult to explain to people -- so when you have two versions merging into one and other nonsense, something has gone horribly wrong. It's ok if Hawkman and Donna Troy have messed up continuities because they're not A-listers who represent the entire line. It's annoying as hell, but it's ok.

    When Superman has a whole complicated backstory, it's just bad leadership. Keep Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman as simple as possible to explain to potential new readers. Same goes for Spider-Man over at Marvel, and since One More Day, I've lost my feeling of connection to the character.
    Hawkman didn't have to be screwed up. A really, really bad and inexplicable decision to make Hawkworld set in the present versus being akin to MAN OF STEEL or YEAR ONE and set in the past is what screwed up Hawkman's continuity. Which is a shame because Hawkworld is an amazing story but how DC handled it wound up putting Thanagarian Hawkman in limbo for years.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by al-f View Post
    That I must have missed.. I'd assume they would not remember anything if it was a new earth, although I am aware Green Lantern, lots of Batman, for example, just sort of continued as normal - and I assume it was up to the reader which stories from earth 1 and/or earth 2 were part of the 'new earth' character continuity?
    When DC went forward with a "clean slate" of sorts with much of their universe following Crisis, initially the edict was not to reference a Crisis or multiverse but things kept slipping by. The Superman/Superboy/Legion story John Byrne did, for example, had Superman mention meeting a Superboy (Superboy-Prime) during the Crisis. These gaffs were later explained as being time remnants caused by entropy infecting the time stream from Crisis (revealed in Zero Hour) and even later explained as Superboy-Prime punching a dimensional reality wall (revelaed in Infinite Crisis). Ultimately DC revealed that yes, a Crisis DID occur but it only involved the positive matter universe and anti matter universe. This was revealed in Zero Hour as well as the JLA: Incarnations mini series, among others.

    This just seems like an unnecessary sort of move, if the character is just basically the same as the post-crisis Superman. Is there an acknowledgment of other 'new 52' Superman actions here (other than the relationship with WW), or is all that sort of gone as well? What about the supporting cast (Jimmy, Kat, Perry, Lana, etc.), is that also a weird merger of post crisis and new of post crisis and new 52?
    Much of this has yet to be revealed. We know that initially the Kents remained dead as they were in New 52 but this was reversed in Doomsday Clock. Also things like his death has been reestablished as canon and more or less how it was originally depicted. But it's very convoluted.

  12. #12
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    I thought the Doomsday Clock metaverse explanation was the most elegant version of what happened to the Earth-1 Superman.

    Black Canary did indeed think she was her mother, then realise she was her daughter, but only for a few years until Crisis wiped all that nonsense away in lieu of the more interesting raised in her mother and the JSA's shadow origin.

    Time in the DCU is so fluid and elastic, almost anything can be ignored if it doesn't fit...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by al-f View Post
    Was rebirth a continuity change? I thought it was just another #1 relaunch of all titles, still in the same universe.
    Yeah, Rebirth was a reopening of the floodgates that the New 52 closed. It's always been the same universe, just one whose history is forever revising itself, making new backups of old incarnations.

    I always loved Morrison's Hypertime explanation of DCU continuity being a giant main river with my side streams and tributaries existing alongside it. You've got the main DCU, but you've also got all the various Elseworlds streams like DCeased, the CWverse, the DCEU, Injustice, and the various realities of the DCAU, but they all just feed back into the main river sooner or later, like Harley Quinn or Superman having a crystal fortress.

  14. #14
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    I like to add a question: What was the behind-the-scenes stuff with Wonder Woman?

    Like, why did they decide to have Diana debut concurrently with her title instead of making her first storyline and her confrontation with Ares as a sort of Year One story like Man of Steel and Batman: Year One? That would have saved Donna from having another confusing recon and saved Diana's spot on the JLA as a founding member. With Legend no withstanding, it wasn't like she interacted with the other heroes before the Invasion story, or am I not remembering it right?
    They simply could have made Vanessa younger during the beginning and once Diana saved the Earth from Ares, they could have aged her up as a teenager in a time-jump. With Donna it would have been simpler to have one of the Greek goddesses save her from the fire (or a sinking ship off the coast of Themyscira) and have her raised as Diana's sister. Or would seeing a young girl in the background during her first few issue been too much to explain for the readers? I for one would have liked to see this young girl hiding behind the Amazons' legs as Diana prepared to leave with Steve.
    That would have left Marv and George to expound on Donna's story in the Titans, explaining how, why, and when she made it onto Themyscira and how she got her powers. Because it never was explained to my satisfaction how Donna had appeared in Man's world with the same aesthetics as Diana years before her, even down to a golden lasso.


    As for the Superman/Superboy LoSH stuff. All they could have done was have Clark do his teen super-heroics in the future as sort of a training course and simply not do it in his present. John could have done that in one page. It could have explained how and why he was such an exemplary hero, not because of his vast powers, but through his experience with young heroes -- he could led because he seen how super-teams worked. He could defend because he learned how to best use his vast powers with moderation. And DC could have said it wasn't for that long if the had to recon his stay in the future -- maybe for four summers while he was out of school. Four years is a long time in comic-time.

    As for Supergirl, she's a harder save. I can see how DC wouldn't want to make her heroic death a vain one and how Byrne thought Kal-El should be the only surviving Krytonian (even if I didn't agree). All I can say is I liked Laurel Gand, especially when she became Andromeda with that fly costume in the early 90s.
    Last edited by Alphaxman; 10-13-2020 at 11:09 AM.

  15. #15
    Extraordinary Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by al-f View Post
    This just seems like an unnecessary sort of move, if the character is just basically the same as the post-crisis Superman. Is there an acknowledgment of other 'new 52' Superman actions here (other than the relationship with WW), or is all that sort of gone as well? What about the supporting cast (Jimmy, Kat, Perry, Lana, etc.), is that also a weird merger of post-crisis and new 52?
    Umm...

    Lana's character is New 52. A tough engineer who became Superwoman.
    Jimmy, same, since he's unmarried, no child.
    Supergirl is continuing where New 52 left off.
    Kat is not an airhead she was in New 52. She's more like the Supergirl TV version.

    Post Crisis Superman and Lois are like this right, they're married and so on until the Post Crisis end, but they didn't have a biological child. Just Chris Kent. Who died.

    Reborn Superman is like this
    10 years ago, after the marriage, Lois gave birth to Jon, Perry is his godfather (I think), then Lois and Jon went into hiding
    They emerged out of hiding because now Jon has powers so he can protect himself.
    Soon enough, Zod attacked The Fortress and released Ursa and Lor-Zod from the Zone. There's never a Chris Kent, and Lor-Zod is evil.

    So just those things are already different. Rebirth is a whole new universe, combining elements of old and new, but also making up new things.

    Honestly, I'm annoyed that they even bothered combining the two when the result is a whole new reboot, but they need to make sure both New 52 and Post Crisis fans feel like they're not forgotten I guess, because if they're announcing making a new one, people will groan because the protest back then was they want Post Crisis Superman back.
    Last edited by Restingvoice; 10-13-2020 at 12:01 PM.

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