It's time for the Linearverse. Bleeding Cool first mentioned that DC Comics, via Scott Snyder and DC Comics, was introducing the Omniverse to their superhero comics, a new way of looking at comics continuity in which everything happened.
This followed what Geoff Johns established as the Meta-Verse in Doomsday Clock, a comics continuity where everything happened, but then got rewritten.
This came a while after the DC New 52, Final Crisis, Infinite Crisis, Zero Hour, Crisis On Infinite Earths, Flash Of Two Worlds and many more rejigging of DC Comics continuity that had been happening for decades, and explained how characters that had been around since the thirties and forties hadn't aged in the current comic books. Often by shunting older stories into parallel worlds or attributing them to other characters (poor Supergirl and Power Girl, getting conflated like that).
Well, today's Generations Forged #1 has introduced a new way of seeing things, The Linearverse. The series has seen characters picked out of time and space, often continuity that no longer exists, or had been rewritten, and at the end of today's issue, puts them back in place – with a new understanding.
All stories now happened, but current characters have a different perspective, memories and viewpoints on them. And the Linearverse is one simple perspective line on what Douglas Adams called the "whole sort of general mish-mash" of reality in the novel Mostly Harmless.
"Any given universe is not actually a thing as such, but is just a way of looking at what is technically known as the WSOGMM, or Whole Sort of General Mish Mash. The Whole Sort of General Mish Mash doesn't actually exist either, but is just the sum total of all the different ways there would be of looking at it if it did. "
"The reason they [parallel universes] are not parallel is the same reason that the sea is not parallel. It doesn't mean anything. You can slice the Whole Sort of General Mish Mash any way you like and you will generally come up with something that someone will call home."
"You create a universe by perceiving it, so everything in the universe you perceive is specific to you."
So in the Linearverse, characters live for longer periods of time – immortal even – and hardly age. It's just that no one seems to notice unless they really need to. It's a rejection of the nailed down multi-generational DC Timeline with legacy characters that Dan DiDio spearheaded. Instead, it's a reworking of what was planned to introduce that, the Generations one-shots, but ending up in a very different place. The original plan would have seen the modern-day Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman and others replaced with new characters taking those roles. Death Metal #7 originally ended with all those characters aged up, and welcoming their 5G successors. But then publisher Dan DiDio was fired, DC lost two editors-in-chief and plenty of senior editorial executives and everything changed.
The Linearverse does all that – but no one gets aged up. And the replacement characters in those roles shunted over to the Future State titles such as Future State: Gotham. Might Future State: Metropolis or Future State: Paradise Island titles follow? Or will the be set in the future of the Linearverse in a place that will never be reached? Will there be other books set in the Linearverse, giving more experimentation, different tones and retro titles akin to Batman: Black And White? And will the be part of the whole… sort of… general mish-mash.
The Linearverse would be a lovely place to locate Darwyn Cooke's New Frontier, say…
GENERATIONS FORGED #1 (ONE SHOT)
written by DAN JURGENS, ANDY SCHMIDT, and ROBERT VENDITTI
art by BRYAN HITCH, MIKE PERKINS, BERNARD CHANG, PAUL PELLETIER, and others
cover by LIAM SHARP
variant cover by GARY FRANK
ONE-SHOT | ON SALE 2/23/21
$9.99 US | 80 PAGES | FC | DC
Dispersed through time by the villain Dominus, our ragtag team of generational heroes—featuring 1939 Batman, Kamandi, Superboy, Steel, Starfire, Sinestro, Booster Gold, and Dr. Light—must find a way to restore the timeline…and what they ultimately discover is something far, far greater. You'll have to read it to believe it as time dies…and generations rise!