Yes, I know the Impossible Man is also Mr. Mxyzptlk, this post is already complicated enough.

§ July 29th, 2022 § Filed under dc comics, marvel, multiverse talk § 6 Comments

In response to your many emails, comments, Tweets, phone calls, faxes, certified letters, numbers stations broadcasts, and telegrams, I will discuss the upcoming 30th Anniversary “Death of Superman” comic, probably next week in my usual timely “ripped from yesterday’s headlines” fashion.

But today, we’re back to the Marvel mutliverse! When we last met, I was talking about two specific questions that had some to mind regarding it. In that post I was curious as to the origins of the designation “Earth-616” for Marvel’s “main” Earth. That was something I’d been wondering about for a while.

The next question is one that popped into my head relatively recently, which is “does the Marvel Multiverse have a specific Earth for the heroes of DC Comics?”

The answer it seems is “no” — it looks like the idea is that Marvel’s multiverse and DC’s multiverse are two separate multiverses, comprising part of a larger Omniverse, if you will. I mean, it’s something like that…a little handwaving to create a mutually-beneficial metafictional construct that ensures one company isn’t a specific subset of another company’s milieu. That said, as per DC’s Multiversity, there are a couple of Earths with characters obviously based on Marvel properties. And Marvel of course has their Justice League analogues the Squadron Supreme, but each of the main Marvel and DC Universes remain separate from each other’s multiverses.

Sort of.

I was perusing the Wikipedia list of Marvel’s multiverses and there is an Earth-7642 where both Marvel and DC’s characters live and can crossover with each other. So Superman/Spider-Man, Batman/Hulk, all those intercompany events where, like, Superman’s all “ah yes, I’ve heard of this Spider-Man fellow out in New York” but the two characters never got around to meeting before…that’s this Earth.

This is presumably separate from those between-company events where characters specifically travel between universes in order to meet, like in Superman/Fantastic Four. I’m assuming in this case it’s presumed that Superman is traveling from the prime DC Universe to the prime Marvel Universe. Unless each universe has an Earth with their company’s characters that spefically cross over into the other company’s universe, versus the regular “prime” Earths doing so, and does anyone else here have a nosebleed or is it just me?

I probably should mention Earth-9602, Marvel’s designation for the alternate universe created when the Marvel and DC universe were merged together during the Marvel Vs. DC mini-series. That’s the Amalgam Universe, effendi, where Iron Lantern and Spider-Boy hang out, probably never to be seen again.

Now on the other side of the aisle, Doomsday Clock, which all of you out there read and enjoyed, posits a future intercompany event between Marvel and DC. The couple of caption boxes describe the perfectly named “Secret Crisis,” mentioning the non-copyrightable name of Thor and references a “green behemoth,” presumably the Hulk and not, I don’t know, the Impossible Man maybe. I’m assuming this is supposed to represent another breach between the main Marvel and DC multiverses, though it could be a specific Marvel Earth within DC’s own multiverse…it’s vague enough. It might even be that Marvel-inspired Earth from Multiversity. Who knows.

I’m making this more complicated than it already is, and I’m sure you’re as sick of the world “multiverse” and I am of typing it. And look, I know I didn’t even mention Access, the character created specifically to travel between Marvel and DC. Or that Earth-7642, Crossover Earth, also has other characters that crossed over with Marvel, like the Archie characters.

So to reiterate: from all appearances the Marvel and DC Multiverses are each their own thing, and do not exist within each other’s multiversal array. Each universe contains analogues of the other’s characters, however Marvel has an Earth where all characters of all the companies coexist. But some stories explicitly use a multiversal crossing of some sort to allow Marvel and DC to team up.

I think I’ve got that right. If I got any of that wrong, please send all corrections to pal Ian.

Before Marvel started cataloging all these separate Earths (more of which I’d like to talk about…I’ve got questions about the Earth where the Marvel LEGO video games take place), the Watcher in What If? #1 wasn’t even sure where that first Superman/Spider-Man hoohar took place:

…though to be fair, he didn’t say he didn’t know, just that doubts exist as to what universe that meeting belonged. It’d be just like Uatu to not tell us. …Actually, it wouldn’t be, this dude blabbed a lot in this series.

Anyway, thanks to Twitter pal WormDrive PRO, we have these samples of letter column concern in regards to that first Superman/Spider-Man team-up from Amazing Spider-Man #158 and #159 (1976):

I don’t know what the ultimate resolution or response was to that editorial “what do YOU think?” but boy, that letter writer sure was mad about the guy logically bitten by a radioactive spider and thus given spider powers meeting an alien arbitrarily sent from an exploding planet. I suppose it’s a tribute to Marvel’s construction of a shared universe that some readers would get so upset about the intrusion of elements that would seem to disrupt it. I mean, it’s only just a comic book, they should really just relax…the very idea that maybe the two companies just wanted to have some fun and see what happened when they paired their heroes (and also make a ton of cash in the process) was a distant second to the threat that the Marvel Universe might be “diluted” by this most unnatural contact.

But the question was eventually answered. It’s Earth-7642. There you go, long ago letter writer, that’s the solution. See, wasn’t that easy?

6 Responses to “Yes, I know the Impossible Man is also Mr. Mxyzptlk, this post is already complicated enough.”

  • Michael Grabowski says:

    I love the thought of a comics universe where the Daily Planet and Daily Bugle are both published, analogous to our distinct Posts of Washington and New York.

    Also, multiversal crossover moments would be a fun theme for Bully to explore for a month! (Hint, hint.)

  • Chris V says:

    Well, at one time DC had an Infinite number of parallel Earths, which implies an Omniverse rather a Multiverse, so therefore, everything that has ever happened or will ever happen must be part of DC’s multiple Earths. In that sense, eventually somewhere in the DC Omniverse, the Marvel Universe must exist.
    I’m unsure if the Marvel Universe was once considered as Infinte and, therefore, an Omniverse or not though.

  • Chris V says:

    That last sentence should obviously read as *Marvel Multiverse, not just “Universe”, of course.

    I thought of something to add in regards the letter. Marvel had introduced at least one Superman analogue in Wundarr, from the pages of Steve Gerber’s Man-Thing comic. That makes the letter writer’s intention that a DC character like Superman/Krypton could never exist in the Marvel Universe. I guess a parody of said character fits in one universe, but the authentic character could never work in the Marvel Universe, even if visiting from a parallel Earth. Which, I need not bring up the Squadron Supreme, I’m sure.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “Aunt May, Monty Python fan.”

    Blessed are the cheesemakers!

  • Sean Mageean says:

    I can’t say I’ve read everything DC has published since Multiversity, but it feels like there is still so much that they could do with some of the Earths which Grant Morrison cataloged in The Multiversity Guidebook. I’d love to see a mini-series or crossover or battle between the Justice League, or Justice League Dark, or Doom Patrol, or Suicide Squad and the Agents of W.O.N.D.E.R. from Earth 39– “Home of the United Nations superspies the Agents of W.O.N.D.E.R. (World Organization of National Defense and Emergency Reserves), utilizing the miracle technology developed by boy genius Happy DaVinci (the Cyclo-Harness, the Accelerator Circuit, the Ghost Chamber, the LightWing and the Cypher Suit) to grant them incredible abilities–though repeated use of the technology may have addictive and ultimately mind-destroying side-effects.”

    As T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents analogues, the Agents of W.O.N.D.E.R. team includes: Cyclotron (Dynamo analogue), Doctor Nemo (NoMan analogue), Psi-Man (Menthor analogue), Accelerator (Lightning analogue), and Corvus (Raven analogue). Considering that the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents were created by Wally Wood during the Silver Age of comics for Tower Comics (a long defunct comics company)–and how far modern DC Comics have shifted from the Silver Age storytelling aesthetic, it might actually be more fun to have the Agents of W.O.N.D.E.R. battle the JSA in as much of a power set for equal power set match up as possible: Since Wally Wood loosely based Dynamo’s look/face on the Golden Age Superman a la Joe Shuster, it could be fun in a Gardner Fox JLA/JSA team up trope kind of way to see Earth-2 (Golden Age) Superman take on Cyclotron (or maybe Golden Age Hourman would be a better match up for Cyclotron if each of them has super strength for an hour?). Doctor Nemo could battle Dr. Fate; Psi-Man could battle Golden Age Alan Scott Green Lantern (in a contest of who has greater will power); Accelerator would battle Jay Garrick Flash in a speedster showdown; and Corvus would battle the original G.A, Hawkman, of course. To add to the mix, and go even more meta, the JSA and Agents of W.O.N.D.E.R. could also interact with the Justice Guild of America (from the Justice League Animated series–have they ever appeared in a comic yet?) on whatever Earth they live on, since Streak is a Jay Garrick Flash/Lightning analogue, Tom Turbine is a G.A. Superman and Dynamo mashup; Green Guardsman is an Alan Scott Green Lantern and Gray Lensman mashup; Cat Man is a Wildcat/Batman mashup; and Black Siren is a Black Canary analogue.

    And, although the Champions of Angor (Mighty Avengers analogues) have popped up from time to time since they first appeared in Justice League of America no. 87 (February 1971), and, more recently, the Rampaging Retaliators (more Mighty Avengers analogues from Earth 8), one wonders why DC doesn’t actually give these characters their own mini-series (either to parody Marvel or just to take these analogue characters in a new direction) …especially considering how often Marvel has had its JLA analogues Squadron Supreme and Squadron Sinister feature in limited series.

    And, going all the way back to Freedom Fighters no. 8 and no. 9 (June and August 1977), the villain the Silver Ghost pretended to be patriotic superhero Americommando (Captain America analogue), and convinced four comic nerds who were heavily implied to be surrogates for Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, Roy Thomas, and Archie Goodwin to undergo transformations and become The Crusaders (Invaders analogues): Barracuda (Namor analogue); Rusty (Bucky analogue); Fireball (Jim Hammond Human Torch analogue); and Sparky (Toro analogue). Of course, this was all done in the spirit of fun, and Roy Thomas similarly created his own Crusaders team (as analogue characters for DC’s Freedom Fighters, which featured in a few issues of The Invaders over at Marvel)…but…I’d argue that somewhere in DC’s multiverse the true iterations of these Invaders analogue characters do exist…now, maybe the team should be rechristened (since Archie Comics has The Mighty Crusaders) as “The Destroyers,” “The Destructors,” or (if they were to add analogues for Timely/Marvel Comics characters The Whizzer and Miss America) as “The All-Champions Squad” (in homage to The All-Winners Squad)–or, if DC wanted to be really blatant and cheeky, it could dub the team “The All-Marvels Squad”…anyway, it would be great fun to see the Golden Age original Earth-2 J.S.A. slug it out with these Invaders analogues on Earth-whatever during the 1940s…G.A. Superman vs. Barracuda; G.A. Wonder Woman vs. Americommando; Jay Garrick and Alan Scott vs. Fireball and Sparky…G.A. Robin or Sandy vs. Rusty…

    And speaking of Archie Comics…DC definitely needs an Earth in its Multiverse that has analogues for all the MLJ/Archie superheroes–considering that DC licensed those characters twice! And a lot of readers fondly recall the Impact Comics imprint.

    Oh, and The Uncanny X-Men/New Teen Titans crossover published in 1982 was my favorite Marvel/DC crossover. It would be great if the two companies would actually see fit to let Chris Claremont (maybe with some co-plotting by Marv Wolfman), Walt Simonson, and Terry Austin create a sequel–also set in the early 1980s–to that story. Or a Grant Morrison scripted Doom Patrol/X-Men crossover. Or a Walt Simonson Tales of Asgard/New Gods crossover…

  • Snark Shark says:

    “I know I didn’t even mention Access, the character created specifically to travel between Marvel and DC”

    Does he have a brother named EXCESS who REALLY likes to party?

    “The Whizzer”

    STILL might be the worst super-hero name, ever.