Since the first days of the Silver Age of comics, DC has contained a vast, sprawling multiverse that encompasses numerous versions of Earth. Whereas some of these worlds have only been glimpsed through short stories, others have been given some greater depth. These alternate worlds all have something to offer alongside the main Earth, and even some with the most comics can never have too much ground covered. Whether certain worlds return in an ongoing format or as shorter miniseries, there’s always more that can be done and explored with alternate versions of iconic characters.
DC’s multiverse is as diverse as it is interesting, and ranges from the worlds of companies acquired by DC to dystopian alternate history. Each of these worlds reimagines Prime Earth in its own way, and all appeal to a different type of comic book fan. DC have shown interest in deeper multiversal explorations, especially with the resurgence of its Elseworlds imprint. Alternate worlds will always have great potential, and some variations of Earth prove this better than others.
10 Earth-2 Is The Original Alternate Earth
Writer Robert Venditti returns to the Christopher Reeves Superman Cinematic Universe to portray the rise of a Soviet rival to the Man of Steel.
After DC abandoned its Golden Age continuity for the Silver Age’s new, redesigned heroes, they relegated the world of the 1940s to Earth-2. This version of DC continuity offered up plenty of familiar faces, such as Batman and Superman, but in a notably grittier and more grounded style. Rather than the epic scale of current comics, these heroes were more vulnerable and experienced adventures that could make them more relatable and flawed.
Recent attempts by DC to explore more of Earth-2 have seen mixed results, but these old school versions of beloved heroes shouldn’t go by the wayside. Whether it’s giving Golden Age Batman the happy ending he deserves or exploring more of the almost populist, WWII-era Superman, more Golden Age books will always be welcomed. Earth-2 gives DC a chance to explore their classic heroes without affecting current continuity.
9 Dark Knights of Steel Took The DC Universe To A Medieval World At War
Batman’s life of misadventures comes back to haunt him and the Bat Family in Batman #139. Here’s CBR’s review.
Tom Taylor’s Dark Knights of Steel can best be described as Game of Thrones presented through the characters of DC Comics. Set in a medieval fantasy land, the story reimagines the origins of characters like Bruce Wayne, Diana Prince and Clark Kent as knights and princes in a land of warring kingdoms. It even explored some of the political intrigue that goes so well with high fantasy.
The world of Dark Knights of Steel is perfect for people who love a world of knights and dragons, and feels like the perfect combination of DC and a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. Seeing how each Justice Leaguer was reimagined for this high fantasy world made it a treat, and further comics exploring how other aspects of the DCU translate into the medieval are in-demand.
8 Earth-ABC Contains Alan Moore’s America’s Best Comics Creations
Created by comics legends like Alan Moore and Rick Veitch, the world of America’s Best Comics — later acquired by Wildstorm — presented some of the best books of the 2000s. Specifically, Tom Strong and his adventures as the hero of Millennium City offer up something not typically found in comics. Rather than capes and cowls, this world is defined through scientific invention, exploration and alternate history.
Earth-ABC combines aspects of steampunk, pulp, action and retro science fiction to create one unique world of wonderful adventure and Alan Moore’s unique style of creativity. The world incorporates elements of alternate history, retrofuturism, mythology and sci-fi into one fantastic universe of fun, family and exploration.
7 Earth-50/Wildstorm Is Home To Some ’90s Legends
Earth-50 began as Jim Lee’s Wildcats universe, later being one of several independent properties acquired by DC Comics that they rolled into their multiverse. This world combines the distinctly ’90s Image style of comics and high-octane action with some familiar superhero archetypes, such as some seen in the X-Men and Superman.
Earth-50 has played a role in some great stories, such as when Captain Atom found himself stuck on the world after a disastrous mission. Recently, the world and its Stormwatch heroes found themselves on the wrong end of Amanda Waller, leading to a battle between the two. It was also on this world where the Authority made their debut.
6 Injustice Brought Readers A War Between Superheroes
Kara Zor-El has a crisis of role and identity in the pages of DC’s Supergirl Special #1! Here’s CBR’s review.
Created for the videogame Injustice: Gods Among Us, the Injustice universe tells the story of a version of Superman who, after being tricked by Joker into killing Lois, falls into evil. From there, the story follows the descent of Earth into fascistic rule at the hands of a power-hungry, vengeful Superman.
The world of Injustice was one of the most entertaining universes of 2010s DC, with Tom Taylor delving deep into the dark, alternate Earth. As an idea, this universe is DC’s most evergreen alternate world, and could easily run as a full ongoing alongside other titles for as long as readers will buy it.
5 Earth-3 Is The Home Of The Evil Crime Syndicate
Best known for being home to the evil mirror image of the Justice League, the Crime Syndicate, Earth-3 was one of the first, best-explored universes of the multiverse. Led by Ultraman, Owlman and Superwoman, this Earth operates closer to a gangster movie than a superhero universe. It’s this unique style that makes the world so intriguing, especially as it likewise casts classic DC villains as this world’s greatest heroes.
Earth-3 could make for a superhero Goodfellas world, one that follows all the politics of the “made men” and gives a deeper look at the heroes of its world. Typically, Earth-3 is explored through clashes between the JLA and Crime Syndicate, and the world itself hasn’t been given as much room to grow as it deserves.
4 Earth-51 (Kamandi’s Earth) Takes Readers To A Wrecked World
Earth-51, better known as the world of Jack Kirby’s Kamandi, tells the story of a version of Earth that was all but destroyed in the wake of a Great Disaster. Due to the experiments conducted by humanity before the disaster, new species of humanoid animals rose up as the dominant force on Earth. This left Kamandi and his friends, the Tiger Prince Tuftan and canine scientist Doctor Canus to explore the new world together, meeting new faces along their journey.
Closely based on Planet of the Apes, Earth-51 should be DC’s premier adventure world, one that follows Kamandi in his travels and explores the various civilizations. Kirby’s own writing borrowed from a range of Greek mythology, Roman culture and science fiction, creating a great world that matches Planet of the Apes and then some. The series could benefit a great deal from some new world-building and a look at the monsters, perils and cultures of this future.
3 Earth-X Is A World Where The Nazis Won
Alan Scott’s past returns to haunt him when the FBI blackmails him back into the JSA. Here’s CBR’s review.
Earth-X is best known as the world where Hitler and the Nazis won the Second World War, ushering in an era of fascist meta human control. On this Earth, all of DC’s heroes have Nazi counterparts, such as Overman being the resident evil Superman and Leatherwing standing in for Batman.
The heroes of Earth-X, the Freedom Fighters, are what make this world shine as they’re led into battle by the embodiment of American patriotism himself, Uncle Sam. This universe rarely gets its own title, but certainly deserves one, especially in a world where series like The Man In the High Castle renew interest in alternate history.
2 The MillerVerse Contains Frank Miller’s Alternate Universe Batman Stories
Beginning with The Dark Knight Returns, the so-called MillerVerse is the combined works of Frank Miller on various DC heroes, namely Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Despite Miller’s entries being largely hit or miss, this alternate Earth with a darker Justice League is a fan-favorite of the multiverse.
The MillerVerse primarily focuses on older versions of treasured heroes, with a Batman who loves his job as he takes on the dregs of his future, dystopian Gotham. The more Miller leaves his mark on DC, the more fans enjoy it, and even the less-liked of his works have found their own place among fans.
1 Watchmen’s Earth Has Become More And More Important
Created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, the world of Watchmen borrows from a variety of comic history, from the Charlton heroes to the Justice Society of America. The original series told the story of a team of flawed heroes who came together to investigate the murder of one of their own, leading them into a massive conspiracy.
The Watchmen universe is known for being a place of dark character deconstruction, and exists in a prolonged state of pessimism as the world exists on the brink of nuclear war. Since Doomsday Clock, fans have wanted to get some comics that explore the team in their prime, rather than the solo miniseries of Before Watchmen.
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