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  1. #1
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    Default DC introducing a new wrinkle to classic continuity

    https://www.gamesradar.com/dc-introd...ic-continuity/

    In DC's new Linearverse, the Batman from '40s, '70s, '90s, and 2021 are all the same guy

    On Tuesday, February 23 DC is introducing the Linearverse - a new way to look at the publisher's 82-year-old history. Part of the new expanded Multiverse concept introduced in January's Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 called the Omniverse in which every DC story ever told is in continuity, the Linearverse somewhat ironically does away with the need for why the DC Multiverse was created for in the first place.

    Got questions? Don't worry, we'll explain in detail. But first...

    Generations: Forged #1 by writers Dan Jurgens, Andy Schmidt, and Robert Venditti is the second half of a story that began with a prologue in Detective Comics #1027 and which continued in January's Generations: Shattered #1. A sort of Avengers Forever-ish adventure, the story features a team of DC superheroes plucked from different timelines including the original 1939 Batman just weeks into his career assembled to battle a villain who is erasing time (for reasons that are somewhat similar to what's going on in Disney Plus's WandaVison).

    A natural assumption about the Generations story in wake of the reveal that all stories are now in continuity in the new Omniverse is that heroes are plucked from different Earths from the Multiverse representing the different timelines. But that turns out not to be the case.

    Instead, in Forged's final pages readers learn the despite all the familiar trappings of DC's past and future in the storyline like the original depictions of Superman's birth world of Krypton, it all actually takes place in its own new corner of the Omniverse called the Linearverse, in which all of DC's 80+ year history takes place in one singular and, of course, linear timeline on one Earth.

    In other words, the Batman-Bruce that began his career in 1939 is the same Batman-Bruce Wayne who just took part in 2020's 'The Joker War.'

    No multiple Earths, no Crises that rework timelines and continuity. Just heroes that live a very, very long time.



    In the Linearverse, "people age far more slowly, living much longer than elsewhere," Waverider (a gatekeeper of DC's timelines) explains to Batman in the final pages of Forged. "Your youth and vitality will endure for decades, enabling you to be effective far longer than the universal norm."

    The final pages also show renderings of multiple, iconic versions of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Robin/Nightwing, and others, indicating that despite the changes in styles, all DC stories from their origin to the present day happened to the same people.

    It's a simple, straightforward way to explain why fashions and technology changed, contemporary characters that are active in 2021 lived through historic events like World War II, and the heroes had far more adventures than can be reconciled within the 10-15 years that DC and even Marvel Comics superhero careers are generally regarded to be.

    Co-writer Dan Jurgens tells Newsarama the Linearverse gives readers "a place that embraces a different concept of DC history."

    Because people age differently in the Linearverse, Jurgens explains, Batman is "still young and vivacious enough to have operated as Batman through the 40s, 70s, 90s and all the way up to today. Despite being much, much older, Batman would still have the physique of a much younger man. Same with Robin.

    "That isn't true for superheroes alone. Commissioner Gordon, for example, would have the same status."

    The Linearverse is the formalization of an approach some writers like Grant Morrison unofficially took during their Batman days, but for the moment exists as a separate reality within the Omniverse.

    "It's fair to say that what we built here, the Linearverse, is its own universe that can fit into the larger context of DC's Omniverse," explains Jurgens. "It's a place where some unique and individual stories can be told."


    And while the methodology is simple, eliminating the need for Multiple Earths, alternate timelines, Crises, and reconciling the enduring nature of iconic fictional characters with the real world passing of time, DC continuity is never that simple.

    Because so much of DC's storytelling has been preoccupied with creating a cohesive timeline for nearly 40 years now, the Linearverse requires some creative conceits to make it all work as well.

    "Whenever you try to build these things, some accommodations have to be made because it's never a clean fit," answers Jurgens when asked about how stories like Frank Miller's seminal Batman: Year One from 1987 (which assumes Batman's early years took place in more contemporary times) fit into the Linearverse concept.

    "Did something reasonably close to Frank's Year One happen? I'd like to think so, yes, and it would have been in the '30s," Jurgens continues. "Will we still get to the point where The Dark Knight Returns happens? That's in the future, as Bruce has not yet reached that general age.

    "It isn't always the cleanest fit. But if you look at it as a set of puzzle pieces where you're permitted to sand a little off one edge, cut and trim another while adding a little putty to the next piece, you can pull it all together so it looks pretty damn good."

    Jurgens was very clear that while this new Linearverse "is a place where some unique and individual stories can be told," that it also fits within the "larger context of the Omniverse." But close watchers of DC can't also help but wonder what may have been, and whether this approach was once slated to be official DC continuity.

    Remember, Generations: Shattered and Forged is a somewhat reimagined version of what was intended to be, in early 2020, DC's big, universe-redefining event kicking off the new decade in five monthly installments, along with a Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) prologue.

    Readers may recall nearly a year before the original Generations was to debut in May of 2020, then DC co-publisher Dan DiDio began teasing the upcoming definition of a new canonical DC timeline that began with Wonder Woman's appearance during World War I (Generation One), as first depicted in a Scott Snyder-written story in January 2020's Wonder Woman #750.

    "The Generation series of specials are built to bring the new DC timeline to life," DiDio said in February 2020 of the original event. "We'll be shining a spotlight on the 80-plus-year publishing history of the DC universe while charting the course for the bright future of DC's characters. All of our greatest stories and events will create the backdrop and context for the great new adventures we have planned. Everything counts, and we guarantee there'll be surprises along the way!"

    One surprise along the way was DiDio's abrupt exit from DC just days after this announcement. And while the FCBD special was officially scuttled and series delayed because COVID-19 effectively canceled FBCD, the entire event was later removed from DC's schedule to this day without an official explanation before resurfacing as Shattered and Forged.


    Asked if the Linearverse was the endgame of the initial 2020 iteration of Generations, or if it came about during the process of developing what Generations would become, Jurgens tells Newsarama its origins go back to the original version.

    "Ironically enough, this does reflect a bit of what Generations was in the beginning," the writer says. "There is still a fair amount of difference but the idea of telling a story that reflects DC's comics from the beginning on through the present is where we started. The journey's roadmap was filled with changes of direction, blocked roads, numerous flight changes, and a couple of wayward cruises that got lost at sea, but the project still retains aspects of our earliest conversations.

    "DC's publishing history is a generational one. It is, after all, one of the reasons that we took characters from specific points in time through DC's history. It's amazing that these characters have endured as long as they have and it's remarkable to see how they've adapted to the times, while still retaining, in many cases, their original, core attributes."

    Whatever the original intention, the Linearverse now exists as a playground in which new stories can be told within the Omniverse, and Jurgens and his co-writers ended the story practically inviting DC to explore it more.

    Generations: Forged ends with Waverider gifting 1939 Batman with a time-travel device to be used only as a last resort in a "true Crisis" and the story's final words are "The Beginning!"

    "There are all sorts of stories and adventures worth exploring in the Linearverse," Jurgens concludes. "If readers like what they've seen, react well to the concept, and ask for more, it might just happen."

  2. #2
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    DC's new Linearverse explained


    A field guide to the new corner of the Omniverse with a different approach to DC continuity


    https://www.gamesradar.com/dcs-new-l...rse-explained/

    DC's new all-story encompassing new universe they're calling the Omniverse debuted in January's Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 and readers will be getting a much closer look at it in March 2's Infinite Frontier #0. But a week earlier on Tuesday, February 23 it is already in expansion mode with a new corner of the DCU within the Omniverse called the Linearverse.

    What is the Linearverse? We explain the background of it here and get some comments from Dan Jurgens, one of the co-writers of the story it's debuting in, Generations: Forged #1.

    But for a more straightforward explanation of the Linearverse, you've come to the right place.

    DC readers might want to duck out now if you're planning on reading Generations: Forged #1 and want to wait.

    [That's a spoiler warning, FYI.]

    So what is the DC Linearverse? First, you have to understand what the DC Omniverse is.

    Because DC comic book history began in 1938 with the debut of Superman in Action Comics #1, official DC Universe canonical history - what comic book readers refer to as continuity - has been officially rewritten over and over again to explain how superheroes like Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman that have published adventures dated to real-world events like World War II can still be active in new adventures that take place in the here and now.

    That has resulted in a series of retcons (retroactive continuity) and reboots (introducing a new version from scratch) that attempt to explain how a character like Batman can still be somewhere between 30 and 40 years old in 2021, despite chronologically being no less than over 100 if you assume he was in his 20s during his 1939 debut.





    This led to the creation of the Multiverse concept in the '60s, specifically in 1961's 'The Flash of Two Worlds,' which explains how two versions of the speedster character the Flash - one created 1940 (Jay Garrick) and one created in 1956 (Barry Allen) can co-exist.

    The popularity of superhero comic books waned in the post-World War II years and characters like the Flash, Green Lantern, and Hawkman disappeared while Superman and Batman endured.

    A superhero revival in the '60s caused DC to bring back the Flash, Green Lantern, and Hawkman, and others but in new, updated versions unrelated to the previous ones.

    But 'The Flash of Two Worlds' established the premise the previous versions of the characters existed on a second Earth, Earth-Two.

    Earth-Two eventually became the home of other versions of classic characters that aged and whose lives moved on more than their mainline counterparts, like a gray-templed Superman who was married to Lois Lane decades before they were married in the main DC line, and a much more grown-up Robin, who by the '60s was still in his mid-teens 40 years after his debut in the core Batman titles.

    Years of stories taking place in different eras and the expansion of Multiverse to include more Earths including worlds DC acquired from other comic book publishers like Fawcett's Captain Marvel (who you know as Shazam) resulted in DC's first attempt to try to juxtapose all their stories into a single, cohesive timeline.


    1985's iconic and very meta Crisis on Infinite Earths (recently loosely adapted to a DC superhero CW crossover) attempted to do away with the Multiverse, but the gravity of trying to turn what was then 50 years of stories into a 10-year timeline resulted in DC having to publish recurring maintenance storylines (most with the word 'Crisis' in the title ) to try to fix the logical inconsistencies Crisis introduced, but to no avail.

    In 2011 DC tried again more definitively with the full reboot 'The New 52,' which again attempted to streamline all DC history in a manageable timeline. But again the weight of its full history and the fact that many of its editors and writers revered much of the history that was done away with resulted in the Multiverse concept slowly making a return throughout the '10s.

    Apparently recognizing the folly of trying to defeat the passing of time, DC's new approach is to stop trying to make it all make sense and to simply acknowledge it ALL happened. All timelines and multiverses and alternate realities and futures exist in an Omniverse.

    While the current iterations of the classic DC heroes like Batman and Superman exist in an approximation of real/current-time, they're also meta-aware of the Omniverse's existence and somewhat aware that their own lives, memories, and history are part of an intricate tapestry and patchwork of time and reality.

    And because it's still so new, we don't know yet how much DC will try to explain how it fits together narratively, or if they'll even try at all.



    This brings us to the newest wrinkle (and thanks for bearing with us), the Linearverse.

    A separate reality within the brand-new Omniverse, this way of looking at DC's history takes a much simpler approach DC never tried in earnest ... until now.

    In the Linearverse, characters simply live longer lives than people who don't live in the Linearverse, and this is true for aliens from other worlds like Superman, mythological characters like Wonder Woman, and normal human beings like Batman.

    So the same Bruce Wayne whose parents were killed in Crime Alley in the late '20s or early '30s and first took to the streets of Gotham City as a vigilante in 1939 is the same guy still fighting crime in 2021.

    Technology advanced, fashion changed, world events like wars and presidential terms passed normally in realtime, but the characters only aged a few years and lived through it and experienced and remember it all.

    Like DC's past attempts to make linear of its history, it's not a perfect solution. The aforementioned Barry Allen from 1956 (who is the current Flash) first took the name as an homage to '40s Jay Garrick, who in Allen's world was a comic book character and not a real person.

    In the Linearverse, Barry Allen would have to be aware that Jay Garrick really existed when he took the name the Flash because of course, Jay Garrick had adventures with the same Superman Barry did.



    And the events like the original Crisis on Infinite Earths wouldn't make sense at all in a reality where there isn't a Multiverse.

    As Jurgens explains to Newsarama, the Linearverse is its own unique playground for now. DC's regular ongoing series starring Superman, Batman, the Justice League, Green Lantern, and more will still exist in the greater Omniverse where time theoretically passes normally for the characters despite the fact it doesn't really pass for readers at all.

    The Linearverse seems to exist as a storytelling option, to tell specific tales that require or benefit from the premise (for example) the current very serious Batman actually had and remembers his wackier, kid-friendlier science fiction-inspired adventures from the '50s, or that Superman and Batman have been friends for nearly 80 years.

    As of now, DC has not announced any plans for more stories set in the Linearverse, but it is a new club in the bag for writers with a story to tell.

  3. #3
    Extraordinary Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    I literally just said yesterday to a new fan that we're heading a combined timeline, so I gave them Batman Year One and Batman Zero Year, with Golden Age debut story specifically for Catwoman, to start since they're all considered canon even before Metal.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member John Venus's Avatar
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    This is stupid but I will endure it if it means we get something more coherent in the future.

  5. #5
    Incredible Member witchboy's Avatar
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    This is the most bizarre idea I've ever heard and seems really unworkable.
    So youngish middle aged people in 2021 would be WWII vets?
    Trying to make everything count is of course unworkable. All the different Crisises and stories where different realities meet, every pre Crisis JLA and JSA story wouldn't work.
    Characters with very different versions of themselves wouldn't work. How is Lex Luthor who was a teenage super-villain in and out of prison all his life the same Lex who was Byrne's CEO and pillar of the community?
    How are Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle married and the parents of Helena Wayne also having all their other stories where they're not married and parents?
    At least it's not the main reality but I feel like DC really would like it to be, these kind of everything counts discussions keep coming up even though it can't work. They have to keep picking at their continuity like a scab.

  6. #6

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    This sounds needlessly complicated not only for new readers but for long-time fans as well. The more DC tries to fix their continuity the more disastrous they make it.

    I really don't know what the answer is to fix it at this point either. I don't think there is a solution.

  7. #7
    DC Comics Forum Mod The Darknight Detective's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchboy View Post
    This is the most bizarre idea I've ever heard and seems really unworkable.
    It only seems that way to you, because... well, because it really is unworkable. Seriously, does anybody think this is a good idea?
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  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Nite-Wing's Avatar
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    DC has officially ruined its continuity
    expect another crisis/reboot to wipe all this away soon

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nite-Wing View Post
    DC has officially ruined its continuity
    expect another crisis/reboot to wipe all this away soon
    I would argue DC officially ruined its continuity well before this.

  10. #10
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    The Linearverse is only worth all the hassle and convolution if we get new stories out of it that aren't rehashes.

  11. #11
    Astonishing Member Factor's Avatar
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    This is such a mess. It defies any in-universe logic to believe these characters would have experienced all those changes and yet still act like they do in the present. Bruce Wayne would be broken if he remembered all his past iteractions. And he somehow is around since the start of last century but didn't age at all.
    It has bad idea written all over it and it's even worse than Death Metal's idea of everyone remembering past continuities.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingaliencracker View Post
    I would argue DC officially ruined its continuity well before this.
    Continuity stopped being viable as writers kept contradicting each other, adding unnecessary stuff and rectoning stuff(some things needed to be rectoned, but DC never rectons the stuff that SHOULD be discarded).

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Factor View Post
    This is such a mess. It defies any in-universe logic to believe these characters would have experienced all those changes and yet still act like they do in the present. Bruce Wayne would be broken if he remembered all his past iteractions. And he somehow is around since the start of last century but didn't age at all.
    It has bad idea written all over it and it's even worse than Death Metal's idea of everyone remembering past continuities.
    Maybe Linearverse Bruce is nicer and more well adjusted than mainstream Batman? I find it hard to believe you would create an entirely new continuity and kept the same characterization. Then again, current DC is does not act with common sense.

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member HsssH's Avatar
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    Whoever came up with this should be fired. I don't remember when was the last time I saw something this stupid.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member Killerbee911's Avatar
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    This is pretty stupid BUT it is exactly the same thing as Marvel sliding timeline except Marvel pretends we don't notice it is changing or they aren't holes. And apparently, I use to think that was stupid but I have learned today that trying to explain that process even more stupid.

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