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  1. #1
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Default In the current DCU, how much should they remember of their past incarnations?

    Obviously, Scott Snyder's idea that, post-Death Metal, everyone would remember everything of their past history hasn't actually been put into practice because no one really understood what that actually meant. Instead, it's ended up that creators are now more free to reference a lot more stories that were previously off-limits.

    That said, I still think the residents of the current DCU are more aware of how much their lives have been mucked with my various Multiversal time shenanigans than at any prior point in DC history. For the vast majority of people, it's made absolutely no difference in their lives. Their lives are exactly the same as they were before the time shenanigans as they were after them. In other words, they have no past incarnations to remember so it makes no difference to them whether or not there are or have been other versions of themselves existing somewhere out there in the Multiverse.

    For those in the metahuman community, I think it's importance and impact varies wildly.

    Superman, for instance, is pretty much used to the crazy events of his larger than life existence in which 5th dimensional imps and cosmic beings endlessly mess with him and his family and being split in two (whether red/blue or young & single/married with a kid). Being lost in time or meeting various alternate versions of himself is so commonplace for him, Lois & Jon by this point, I think they all take it all in stride. They remember all their past incarnations, but they simply view it the way we view old vacations or bad jobs we worked for a few months or years, then moved on from. I'm sure Clark is well aware that Ma & Pa have died at various points in his past lives, too. However, I don't think the Kents are necessarily aware of that fact, nor would Clark ever tell them.

    Batman is similar in the sense that he's fully aware of all the myriad changes to his history in regards to his formative years, but he views it as unimportant to his present. His Uncle Phillip may have raised him in one version of his life, but his memories of being raised by Alfred are the ones that supersede those because Alfred is the man he considers to be his father.

    Wonder Woman is the one who unleashed all of these memories upon the DCU, so she's absolutely aware of everything that transpired in her past lives. The real question is how they're going to handle Steve Trevor moving forward. Was he around in the 1940s and died, only to be resurrected in the present? Or is the modern day Steve a descendant of that guy? I have no idea how they're planning on unravelling all that.

    The Flash family is also at the heart of all these Multiversal events thanks to Barry Allen & Wally West being so pivotal in shaping the current DCU. The changes made to their lives by the altering of history is part of their own journeys towards becoming the heroes they are today. I think they remember it all.

    The Green Lanterns were, up until a few months ago, run by billions year old immortals fully aware of and sometimes responsible for the changes within the Multiverse. While not every GL is fully briefed on this stuff, it's a foregone conclusion that Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner's past histories as cosmic beings had made them privy to all these events even before Death Metal let everyone else in on the deal.

    Aquaman & Mera are a trickier matter. I honestly don't think they're aware of their first son's death, but it's a subconscious choice on their parts. Much like the Kents' various deaths, I don't think anyone will be reminding Arthur or Mera about it either. It's a past event that has thankfully been wiped away by the revisions in history and it'll likely never be brought up again...or at least until their new daughter is grown up.

    Green Arrow & Black Canary already discussed this in Infinite Frontier #0. They remember their past lives, but those memories are fading and unimportant to their present now that they've found each other again. And much like the death of Arthur Jr., Ollie's history of cheating on Dinah will be forgotten and never brought up again.

    The Teen Titans seem to have all their memories back and Cyborg has decided that he'd much rather spend time with his friends at Titans Tower than pull monitor duty at the Watchtower. I'm sure he and everyone else remembers him being a remember of the League, but he was a Titan first and foremost.

    Billy Batson and his family are a little less clear. Due to the requirements of keeping them forever as kids, they kind of have to be rebooted periodically, otherwise there's no plausible justification for them not getting older. The wizard Shazam, however, is clearly aware of all their previous incarnations (and his own). I've long suspected that the wizard is the one responsible for Billy & company's perpetual adolescence, as he wisely believes that his champion always needs to stay a child at heart.

    What do you guys think?
    Last edited by Bored at 3:00AM; 09-26-2021 at 02:38 AM.

  2. #2
    Leftbrownie Alpha's Avatar
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    I don't think the idea is that these people have lived all these different moments. For the most part, we are still in the New 52 universe, but a lot of people came back to life and they have memories of their other lives. So even if Arthur and Mera remember Arthur Jr dying, it's something that happened in another life. Or at least I think that's the idea, but I'm not sure as far as it goes with Justice Society for example.
    Last edited by Alpha; 09-26-2021 at 05:05 AM.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member Jekyll's Avatar
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    All of it............ except the New 52. Everyone should forget that mess
    AKA FlashFreak
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    Current Pulls: Daredevil, Amazing Spider-Man, Immortal Hulk, & The Flash.

  4. #4
    Extraordinary Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    While Wonder Woman unlocked those memories, after the timeline realignment, Barry said those memories will show only in flashes, so it's going to depend on the writers if they want to incorporate them in the story or not.

    This is still unclear, just my interpretation, but for Deathstroke here, it seems he remembers skinny Waller and the New 52 Suicide Squad. In the death of his son Grant, they both wear a more advanced armor that's more similar to the New 52 version compared to the 80s, but he remembers the classic Teen Titans.



    Those seems to be the flashes. The past that he actually went through in this timeline is the one where he's injected to be super strong. The rest is still unclear.

    Whether he continues Grant's contract to take out the Teen Titans, or he took the Lazarus Contract that promised that he won't harm them as long as Dick teaches Rose to be morally good, or whether Grant died in the New 52 present day, 3 years ago, instead of the past, 10 or so years ago, I don't know yet.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Factor's Avatar
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    Nothing. They should only remember their current lives.
    Key characters should know about how the Metaverse keeps changing, so they'd be aware of the existance of past versions.
    This way, it would be known that Superman is the Oninverse's first hero (and that version would be lreserved in another Earth) but the current version wouldn't be tied to a 1930s origin.

  6. #6
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    I don't think the idea is that these people have lived all these different moments. For the most part, we are still in the New 52 universe, but a lot of people came back to life and they have memories of their other lives.
    I'm sorry, could you explain how is the current DCU for the most part still the New 52 universe?

  7. #7
    Leftbrownie Alpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bored at 3:00AM View Post
    I'm sorry, could you explain how is the current DCU for the most part still the New 52 universe?
    Is there, or was there, such a thing as New Krypton in the current universe?

    Over on Wonder Woman we have pretty much established that the New 52 and Rebirth were set in the same planet, but what she experienced in new 52 was mostly an illusion whenever she returned to Themyscira. I'm pretty sure all these worlds that existed in Atlantis pre flashpoint no longer exist.

    Is there a Keystone City?

    The multiverse has changed, as have the characters in the main universe, but not the main universe itself. It's still the same earth from Flashpoint, at least as of now

  8. #8
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    Is there, or was there, such a thing as New Krypton in the current universe?

    Over on Wonder Woman we have pretty much established that the New 52 and Rebirth were set in the same planet, but what she experienced in new 52 was mostly an illusion whenever she returned to Themyscira. I'm pretty sure all these worlds that existed in Atlantis pre flashpoint no longer exist.

    Is there a Keystone City?

    The multiverse has changed, as have the characters in the main universe, but not the main universe itself. It's still the same earth from Flashpoint, at least as of now
    So, you think this is still the New 52 Earth because one storyline that no one liked from Superman was retconned away, Wonder Woman now remembers her pre-Flashpoint life and that the entirety of her New 52 existence was a lie, and you haven't heard anyone mention Keystone City (they have) or some parts of Atlantis nobody cared about?

    I mean, Doomsday Clock explicitly saying that the New 52 was backed up by the Metaverse as its own distinct Earth doesn't feel like a pretty big indicator that the DCU is no longer that incarnation any longer?

    By your logic, if the current DCU is still the New 52 Earth except for the erasure of the 5 year timeline and the vast majority of the new retconned histories & origins, then the New 52 Earth was still the Post-Infinite Crisis Earth, except for the 5 year timeline, and all those new retconned histories & origins. And the Post-Crisis Earth was actually still the pre-Crisis Earth except for the whole Multiverse and all those new histories & origins.

    95% of what defined the New 52 has been erased, retconned away, or back-pedaled. Some stuff stuck, certainly, but the idea that this is still mostly the New 52 version of the DCU is pretty ridiculous.

  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member John Venus's Avatar
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    I think the memories of their past lives will fade for most characters except for a few.

    I think it will just turn into a case of 'those old stories still happened in some shape or form but we were wearing clothes more hip to the times and our characterization aligned more closer to our modern ones than the older ones'.

  10. #10
    Mighty Member Primal Slayer's Avatar
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    This was DCs most lazy attempt at settling all the chaos they brought upon us. Reboots aren't hard. Instead of just flipping the switch, how about you and your entire team sit down to draw a general timeline of when everything happened or just start a new from X point and build on it!

    Except very few, majority don't need to remember anything and half of those that do remember should be driven a little cray cray.

  11. #11
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    We are not in the NU52 universe era(which was just the same universe with stuff subtracted), also characters are recalling stuff and events that are back in history.

  12. #12
    Extraordinary Member John Venus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Primal Slayer View Post
    This was DCs most lazy attempt at settling all the chaos they brought upon us. Reboots aren't hard. Instead of just flipping the switch, how about you and your entire team sit down to draw a general timeline of when everything happened or just start a new from X point and build on it!

    Except very few, majority don't need to remember anything and half of those that do remember should be driven a little cray cray.
    They tried that with 5G and it didn't make much sense either.

    I think Johns had the right idea but questionable execution. Just say that the various 'reboots' were actually different earths. Pre Crisis, Post Crisis, Rebirth and Nu52. That's the most sensible explanation. Although that makes me wonder how that will affect Jeremy Adams current Flash run. Will Wally be on the 'Rebirth' earth or the Post Crisis Earth?

  13. #13
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    There's also mixing and matching eras together.

  14. #14
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    I see it this way: the past and the future are destined to be fluid and to change according to the wishes and needs of the writer who can use whatever he wants even with some changes, major ones too especially for the older stories.
    What matters is only the present

    The accumulation of Crisis Events is just the "in-universe"reason this happens and even the last one is not an exception.
    Characters remembering everythig of every timeline is a way to say:everything count, everything can be used...

  15. #15
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    Obviously, Scott Snyder's idea that, post-Death Metal, everyone would remember everything of their past history hasn't actually been put into practice because no one really understood what that actually meant. Instead, it's ended up that creators are now more free to reference a lot more stories that were previously off-limits.
    I didn't really find it confusing. They should simply remember every published story they've been in and their various backstories. I personally don't have a problem with the concept, and it didn't seem like too bad of an idea to me as an attempt to c;ean sate and embrace all of DC's history. In fact I'd say the the introduction of the idea combined with the lack of consistent application is adding to the the problem. For example I'm personally disappointed Cassie and Artemis are treating each other like strangers instead of at least remembering their previous universe relationship. But I digress.

    I think a better term for why people don't like the idea and oppose it is when they think about it to it's full extent, it presents a possible major crisis of identity and existence. For the characters to be aware their reality and the nature of their existence is not fixed, but can and has been completely changed and altered multiple times without even their knowledge, understandably comes across as a terifying concept. I'm actually thinking a kind canon acknowledgement. In Shazam: A new Beginining, the Wizard shows he remembers the Pre-Crisis Earth S and gets nostalgic before shoving aside his thoughts.

    RCO020_1469241003.jpg

    If one can consider it "maddening" to remember and long for one past universe, it's not hard to see how it could be considered even more so when you have at least three major mutually exclusive lifetimes inside your head. Another issue is how do characters who've underwent an alteration such as race or gender in the course of the universe rebooting handle it in their minds. I'm able to see how the concept can get very messy when taken to it's full extent of thought. Likewise one can see there logically being mass panic if this applied to all the inhabitants of the DC Universe, and not just the heroic and villainous characters.

    But to get back to the problem, we don't know what the current universe's history actually is. The everybody remembers everything I assume was intended as a handwave cheat, but I think it could have kind of worked, at least as far as providing a foundation for the future that embraced the Pre-crisis, Post-crisis, and New 52 spiritually equally. There would still be situations where you would need to address what is the objective past history of the reality the characters live in, in which case they may still need to make hard choices about the continuity however.

    They tried that with 5G and it didn't make much sense either.
    Technically, the 5g timeline died in the development phase, and was supposed to be replaced with the everybody remembers everything model. Which then proceeded to fall apart. Though it did have a lot of problems, the biggest one being it's highly decompressed semi-real time nature.

    I don't think a comprehensive timeline is necessary(and I don't think the people at DC are up to it), but something akin to the timeline released in at Zero hour would be nice. Or as brought up somewhere on these boards, simple two or three page character history recaps that were included as back ups of 52 and Countdown. At least for characters whose origins and histories are major points of contention between the Post Crisis and New 52 universes.

    I think Johns had the right idea but questionable execution. Just say that the various 'reboots' were actually different earths. Pre Crisis, Post Crisis, Rebirth and Nu52. That's the most sensible explanation. Although that makes me wonder how that will affect Jeremy Adams current Flash run. Will Wally be on the 'Rebirth' earth or the Post Crisis Earth?
    While John's Metaverse back up idea is nice from a fluff point, it really doesn't make a difference at the end of the day. It's nice to be told that you're favorite version of the DCU exists somewhere in perpetuity, but unless new stories are being told in those universes, it doesn't really matter much to people who miss those universes. Likewise, we are still left with the questions regarding the current main universe we are reading.

    I see it this way: the past and the future are destined to be fluid and to change according to the wishes and needs of the writer who can use whatever he wants even with some changes, major ones too especially for the older stories.
    What matters is only the present

    The accumulation of Crisis Events is just the "in-universe"reason this happens and even the last one is not an exception.
    Characters remembering everythig of every timeline is a way to say:everything count, everything can be used...
    I agree and belive this was the intent. The objective history of the universe would be secondary to the spiritual histories of the characters having experienced and remembering their full publication histories. However, an inconsistent application of the concept (See my example about Cassie and Artemis acting like total strangers to each other instead of former mentor and apprentice), combined with the understandable uneasiness from thinking out the concept to it's full extent, has lead to it being undermined thus bring back the question of "just what is the actual in universe objective history of the universe and characters we're reading about?".

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