On Tuesday, February 23, DC will introduce Linearverse, a new way of looking at the publisher’s 82-year history. Part of the new Expanded Multiverse concept introduced in Dark Nights: Death Metal # 7 January called Omniverse in which every DC story ever told is in continuity, the Linearverse ironically removes the need for why the DC Multiverse was created. in the first place.
Do you have any questions? Don’t worry, we’ll explain it to you in detail. But first…
Generation Spoilers for February 23: Forged # 1
Generations: Forged # 1 by writers Dan Jurgens, Andy Schmidt, and Robert Venditti is the second half of a story that began with a foreword in Detective Comics # 1027 and continued in Generations: Shattered # 1 on January. A sort of Avengers Forever-ish adventure, the story features a team of DC superheroes drawn from different timelines, including the original 1939 Batman, just a few weeks into his run, gathered to battle a villain who is erasing time (for reasons that are somewhat similar to what is happening in Disney Plus’s WandaVison).
A natural assumption about the history of Generations in the wake of the reveal that everybody The stories are now in continuity in the new Omniverse is that the heroes are torn from different Earths of the Multiverse that represent the different timelines. But that turns out do not to be the case.
Instead, in the final pages of Forged, readers learn that despite all the familiar embellishments of DC’s past and future in history, such as the original depictions of Superman’s homeworld of Krypton, it all takes place in his own new corner of the Omniverse called the Linearverse. in which the entire 80+ year history of DC takes place on a singular and, of course, linear timeline on one Earth.
In other words, the Batman-Bruce who started his career in 1939 is the same Batman-Bruce Wayne who just participated in 2020’s ‘The Joker War’.
There are no multiple Earths, there is no Crisis that modifies the timelines and continuity. Only heroes who live a long, long time.
In the Linearverse, “people age much more slowly, living much longer than anywhere else,” Waverider (a guardian of DC’s timelines) explains to Batman in the final pages of Forged. “Its youth and vitality will last for decades, allowing it to be effective much longer than the universal norm.”
The final pages also show depictions of multiple iconic versions of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Robin / Nightwing, and others, indicating that despite changes in styles, all of DC’s stories from their origin to the present day they happened to the same people.
It’s a simple and straightforward way of explaining why fashions and technology changed, contemporary characters who are active in 2021 experienced historical events like WWII, and the heroes had far more adventures than can be reconciled in the 10s. -15 years that DC and even Marvel Comics superhero races are generally considered.
Co-writer Dan Jurgens tells Newsarama that the Linearverse offers 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 during the 40s, 70s, 90s and into today. Despite being a lot, a lot. older, Batman would still have the physique of a much younger man, the same as Robin.
“That’s not just true for superheroes. Commissioner Gordon, for example, would have the same status.”
The Linearverse is the formalization of an approach that some writers like Grant Morrison took unofficially during their Batman days, but for the moment exists as a separate reality within the Omniverse.
“It’s fair to say that what we build here, the Linearverse, is its own universe that can fit into the larger context of the DC Omniverse,” explains Jurgens. “It is a place where unique and individual stories can be told.”
And while the methodology is simple, eliminates the need for Multiple Earths, alternate timelines, Crisis, and reconciles the enduring nature of iconic fictional characters with the passage of time in the real world, DC continuity is never. that simple.
Because so much of DC’s storytelling has been concerned with creating a coherent timeline for nearly 40 years, the Linearverse requires some creative ideas to make it all work, too.
“Whenever you try to build these things, you have to make some adaptations because they never fit perfectly,” responds Jurgens when asked about how stories like Frank Miller’s pivotal 1987 Batman: Year One (which assumes Batman’s early years had place in more contemporary times) fit the Linearverse concept.
“Did anything reasonably similar to happen in Frank’s first year? I’d like to think it did, and it would have been in the 1930s,” continues Jurgens. “Will we still get to the point where The Dark Knight Returns happens? That’s in the future, since Bruce hasn’t reached that general age yet.
“It’s not always the cleanest fit. But if you see it as a set of puzzle pieces where you are allowed to sand one edge a bit, cut and trim another while adding a little caulk to the next piece, you can put it together. everything to make it look great. “
Jurgens was very clear that while this new Linearverse “is a place where some unique and individual stories can be told,” it also fits within the “larger context of the Omniverse.” But close DC watchers can’t help but wonder what could have been and if this approach was ever scheduled to be DC’s official continuity.
Remember, Generations: Shattered and Forged is a somewhat reimagined version of what was intended to be, in early 2020, DC’s grand event that would redefine the universe and kick off the new decade in five monthly installments, along with a Day of the free comic (FCBD). Foreword.
Readers can recall almost a year before the Original Generations debuted in May 2020, then DC co-editor Dan DiDio began teasing the next definition of a new canon DC timeline that began with the appearance of Wonder. Woman during World War I (Generation One). , as first shown in a story written by Scott Snyder in Wonder Woman # 750 from January 2020.
“The Generation series of specials is designed to bring DC’s new timeline to life,” DiDio said in February 2020 of the original event. “We will highlight the over 80-year editorial history of the DC universe as we chart the course for the bright future of DC characters. All of our great stories and events will create the backdrop and context for the great new adventures we have planned. Everything counts, and we guarantee that there will be surprises on the way! “
A surprise along the way was DiDio’s abrupt departure from DC just days after this announcement. And while the FCBD special was officially scuttled and the series delayed because COVID-19 effectively canceled FBCD, the entire event was later removed from the DC schedule to this day without an official explanation before resurfacing as Shattered and. Forged.
When asked if the Linearverse was the end of the initial iteration of Generations 2020, or if it came about during the development process of what would become Generations, Jurgens tells Newsarama that its origins can be traced back to the original version.
“Ironically, this reflects a bit of what Generations was at the beginning,” says the writer. “There’s still a big difference, but the idea of telling a story that mirrors DC comics from the beginning to the present is where we started. The journey’s roadmap was full of directional changes, blocked roads, numerous flight changes. and a couple of wayward cruise ships that were lost at sea, but the project still has aspects of our early conversations.
“DC’s editorial history is generational. After all, it’s one of the reasons we take characters from specific points in time throughout DC’s history. It’s surprising that these characters have held out as long as they have. and it is extraordinary to see how they have adapted to the times, while retaining, in many cases, their original fundamental attributes. “
Whatever the original intention, the Linearverse now exists as a playground where new stories can be told within the Omniverse, and Jurgens and his co-authors ended the story by practically inviting DC to explore it further.
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 final words of the story are “The Beginning!”
“There are all kinds of stories and adventures worth exploring in the Linearverse,” concludes Jurgens. “If readers like what they have seen, react well to the concept and ask for more, it could happen.”
Speaking of crisis, Newsarama ranked every crisis in DC history from best to worst.