Comicbook: The Multiversity
You think this is just a trope page, but it's bait
. You're bait for them. You!
's 2014 limited series exploring the post-New 52 DC Comics multiverse
. It comprises a two-issue framing story, a set of issues each taking place on a different Earth, and a guidebook to the multiverse.
The overarching story sees the rise of a threat to all reality, the demonic destroyers known as the Gentry, and the formation of the Justice League of the Multiverse in response, with the individual Earths' stories being self-contained, akin to the structure of Morrison's Seven Soldiers
Morrison's provided a map giving an overview of all the multiversal realms and the Monitors' "Shift Ships"◊
, plus a version focusing specifically on the Orrery of Worlds and the 52 Earths◊
. DC have put up an interactive guide to the 52
, adding information on the Earths as the series progresses.
- The Multiversity #1 (released on August 20, 2014)
- The Multiversity: The Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1 (released on September 17, 2014)
- The Multiversity: The Just #1 (released on October 22, 2014)
- The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1 (released on November 19, 2014)
- The Multiversity: Thunderworld #1 (released on December 17, 2014)
- The Multiversity Guidebook #1 (to be released on January 21, 2015)
- The Multiversity: Mastermen #1 (to be released on February 18, 2015)
- The Multiversity Director's Cut #1 (The Multiversity #1 with full-size poster of the multiverse map and new bonus material; to be released on February 25, 2015)
- The Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 (to be released on March 18, 2015)
- The Multiversity #2 (to be released on April 1, 2015)
This limited series contains examples of:
- Adaptation Expansion: Grant Morrison is featuring an ongoing theme of presenting Batman counterparts on each Earth who were all inspired by something besides a bat, as a reference to a short story by Martin Pasko from Batman #256. Morrison seeks to pose the question of how far the character can be stretched before they're no longer Batman.
- Two of the Batman counterparts from #256 have been confirmed already, with Iron Knight (inspired by a suit of medieval armor to become a literal knight) on Earth-36 and Scorpion (inspired by a scorpion) on Earth-41.
- A God I Am: In Pax Americana #1, Captain Adam of Earth-4 veers into this territory, but he also has plenty of humanity left to realize in horror when his actions cross the line, and opts to have himself put on heavier medication to limit himself.
- All Myths Are True: Well, the The DCU basically assumes this anyway, but the map of the Multiverse puts it up front, with Dream (the home of the Endless), Heaven, New Genesis, Skyland (the home of the various pantheons), Nightmare, Hell, Apokolips and the Underworld (also known as the Phantom Zone) all co-existing in the Sphere of the Gods. On another level, many of the Earths have heroes that are fictional in each other's worlds.
- All There in the Manual: The multiverse guidebook contains both information on the multiverse and a Multiversity story.
- Alternate Company Equivalent:
- While work on the series began a while before it was released, since then, Jonathan Hickman's New Avengers began, which deals with the collision of alternate Earths and the seemingly unstoppable death of the Multiverse.
- The characters of Earth-8 are all based off Marvel Comics properties. The Retaliators (The Avengers) consist of the American Crusader (Captain America), Machinehead (Iron Man), Behemoth (The Incredible Hulk), Wundajin (The Mighty Thor) and Bug (Spider-Man), as well as Expies of Hawkeye, Black Widow, The Falcon and Captain Marvel. There's also the Future Family (the Fantastic Four), the G-Men (the X-Men) and Lord Havok (Doctor Doom).
- Many of the Earths featured in the Multiverse are meant to be homages to the various DC pastiches created by other companies.
- Alternate Self: Being what it is, features a number of these, including Earth-4's versions of the Charlton heroes, Earth-5's versions of the Marvel Family, Earth-10's Kal-L, Earth-23's Kalel, etc. Taken to the next level in Thunderworld #1, which sees Sivanas from across the multiverse team up.
- Alternate Universe:
- The Earths that get their own individual issues are:
- Earth-4, where the Charlton Comics characters - The Question, Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, etc. - are the heroes of a Watchmen-influenced world.
- Earth-5, the world of Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family.
- Earth-10, a world where Kal-L was found by the Nazis, and grew up to become Overman. With the help of retro-engineered Kryptonian technology - and, when he was old enough, Overman himself - the Nazis won World War II. In guilt over the Nazis' atrocities, Overman turned his Earth into a pseudo-utopia; the last English-speaking rebels, Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters, fight Overman's Justice League.
- Earth-16, with the children of the main DC universe's heroes and villains - Chris Kent as Superman's son, Damian Wayne as Batman's son, etc. - plus DC's '90s supers.
- Earth-20, a pulp-style world featuring Doc Fate and the Society of Super-Heroes, who include Abin Sur's Green Lantern, Immortal Man, the Mighty Atom, and the Blackhawks.
- Earth-33, a.k.a. Earth-Prime, which is basically our world, with the reader being its latest superhero.
- Other Earths mentioned by Morrison, or set to play some part, include:
- Earth-1, the world home to the Superman: Earth One and Batman: Earth One graphic novels. There is also a version of Wonder Woman living on this Earth.
- Earth-6, the world now home to the stories from Just Imagine Stan Lee Creating The DC Universe.
- Earth-7 is already destroyed upon the arrival of Nix Uotan, but appears to have been a Marvel pastiche like Earth-8, below. However, pastiches of DC characters can be seen among the dead, so it's likely this Earth was a mix-up in homage to the many DC and Marvel crossover stories.
- Earth-8, a Marvel Comics pastiche, for example featuring the Retaliators and the G-Men.
- Earth-9, the Tangent Comics universe.
- Earth-11, which includes female versions of the main DCU's heroes and villains, and male versions of its heroines and villainesses.
- Earth-13, home to a dark, magical Justice League called the League of Shadows, including Superdemon, Hellblazer and Fate. The world is in a state of perpetual twilight, there are 13 days in the week, and 13 hours in every day.
- Earth-17, an Earth ravaged by atomic destruction. Humanity lives in domed cities on the moon, and the Atomic Knights remain on Earth.
- Earth-18, a Western-style world featuring the Justice Riders, who ride on Steam Punk horses. On this world, the Time Trapper froze the state of progression so that, even with many 21st Century based technological advances, society is still a frontier world.
- Earth-19, a world currently in the era of Victorian England, home to the Bat Man, the Wonder Woman, the Accelerated Man, and the Shrinking Man.
- Earth-23, home of President Superman, where the world's greatest heroes are black (which can mean that they're black in the main DCU, as with Steel and Vixen; that a black holder of the legacy in the main DCU is Earth-23's primary holder, as seems to be the case with Green Lantern; that they're black versions of the hero, as with Superman; or that they're completely unique).
- Earth-26, an Alternate Tooniverse where Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! reside.
- Earth-29, the cube-shaped Bizarro Universe.
- Earth-30, the Superman: Red Son universe.
- Earth-31, a world home to Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.
- Earth-32, a world partially based on Batman: In Darkest Knight. Bruce Wayne is Green Lantern, and fights alongside heroes such as Super-Martian, Wonderhawk, and Aquaflash.
- Earth-34, an Astro City pastiche home to Good Guy.
- Earth-35, a pastiche of Rob Liefeld's Extreme Studios comics, including Supremo and Majesty, Queen of Venus.
- Earth-36, a world home to a team called Justice 9, based off Big Bang Comics.
- Earth-39, a world based off the works of artist Wally Wood that supposedly has no superheroes.
- Earth-40, an Evil Counterpart to Earth-20 where villains rather than heroes triumph, featuring Lady Shiva, Vandal Savage, Count Sinestro, Blockbuster, and Doctor Felix Faust as the Society of Super-Villains.
- Earth-41, home to Spore and Dino-Cop, a world where so many heroes differ in terms of style and ideology, it's as if they were each dreamed up by individuals who had specific images and ideals of their heroes.
- Earth-42, home to imp-like versions of the Justice League known as the Li'l Leaguers.
- Earth-43, which has a Vampire League and is home to the Batman Vampire Elseworlds trilogy.
- Earth-44, an Earth home to a robotic version of the Justice League.
- Earth-45, an Earth where Superman as a concept became perverted and corrupted by mass marketing and turned into the hyper-edgy Superdoomsday, whom later went on a homicidal rampage killing the Supermen of other Earths before being stopped by the Superman of Earth-0 in Grant Morrisons Action Comics.
- Earth-47, described as a world where The Sixties never ended.
- Earth-48, the new home to Lady Quark and Lord Volt.
- Earth-51, the world of Jack Kirby's DC creations.
- The guidebook is set to cover 45 of the Earths, leaving 7 over for other writers to develop: 14, 24, 25, 27, 28, 46 and 49.
- An unidentified Earth is home to the Thrillkiller series and the Twilight miniseries by Howard Chaykin. In Countdown Arena, Earth-37 was distinguished as the Thrillkiller universe, but it is unknown if this is still true.
- Anachronic Order: How Pax Americana #1 is told: one plotline follows the consequences of President Harley's assassination, while the other shows How We Got Here in reverse-chronological order.
- Animal Superheroes: Sees the return of Captain Carrot, who last appeared in Final Crisis.
- Antagonistic Offspring:
- Pax Americana #1:
- When he was a child, President Harley accidentally murdered his father thinking he was an intruder.
- Nightshade is like this with her father, Vice President Eden, who has no problem dissolving her career and treats her like a naive child. It's not helped that he treated her mother like she was insane.
- Mastermen #1's Overman, the adopted son of Adolf Hitler.
- Australian Aborigines: The Thunderer of Earth-7 is an Aboriginal thunder god, an Alternate Company Equivalent of Thor.
- Back from the Dead:
- Lord Volt had been killed in the first Crisis and stayed dead ever since. It seems that death had been undone at some point.
- In Pax Americana #1, Captain Atom is supposed to revive President Harley after the assassination, but this is prevented when scientists kill Captain Atom himself by putting a black hole in his head.
- Bald Woman: Alexis Luthor of Earth-16 in The Just #1.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: In The Just #1, Damian Wayne says that the world needs a genius supervillain like his mom or his grandad. It has one. He's sleeping with her.
- Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: In Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1, Doc Fate warns "Atom" Al Pratt away from reading the Ultra comic, citing it as the most dangerous object in his library.
- Eldritch Abomination: The Gentry are a group of evil entities that are roaming the multiverse and destroying every world they come across in really horrific ways. Just seeing them from another universe crippled Lord Havok and drove him mad. They're also powerful enough to trap Nix Uotan, the last Monitor, in the panels of the comic book he's appearing in and convert him into one of their own. On top of all that, it's implied that reading the series will let the Gentry into our universe.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Nix Uotan is assisted by Mr. Stubbs, a buccaneer monkey.
- Evil Counterpart:
- As shown in Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1, Earth-40 is this to Earth-20, with explicit comparisons between the members of their respective teams:
- Vandal Savage as compared to the Immortal Man, with the meteorite used to create their respective powers being used as the first murder weapon or made into a hallowed holy relic respectively.
- Felix Faust as compared to Doc Fate, in terms of magical prowess.
- Lady Shiva as compared to the Blackhawks, as highly proficient female fighters, albeit with her focusing more on swordplay rather than her good counterparts' gunplay.
- Blockbuster as compared to the Mighty Atom, in terms of Force And Finesse.
- Sinestro and Parallax as compared to Abin Sur's Green Lantern, with opposing powers of fear versus willpower.
- In Thunderworld #1, in the Sivannas of the Multiverse, there's a Hannibal Lecter-esque version who is far more bloodthirsty and depraved than the rest of them, who travelled back in time and violently murdered his universes' Billy Batson before he became the Wizard's champion, and as a result has become very bored.
- Evil Knockoff: Thunderworld #1:
- Sivana attempts to steal the power of Shazam by...creating a technological version of the Rock of Eternity that is twice the size of the original.
- And then he creates his own version of the Marvel Family using his children.
- Expy: Grant Morrison designed an Aboriginal version of The Mighty Thor called the Thunderer. This character and his group seem to be a nod to Mike Friedrich's Wandjina and the Champions of Angor, pastiches of Marvel Comics' Avengers. They get something of an updated appearance as "The Retaliators" when President Superman and the team arrive on Earth-8, one dimension shy of Thunderer's homeworld of Earth-7, indicating this world is connected to it in some way. The Fantastic Four and Dr. Doom receive similar treatment, becoming Earth-8's Future Family and Lord Havok respectively.
The Just #1 confirms that the relationship of Earth-7 to Earth-8 mirrors that of the Ultimate Marvel universe to the main Marvel universe, with Earth-7's versions being known as the "Essential" versions.
- Face-Heel Turn: The chief antagonist of the series is a former "cosmic defender."
- The Fog of Ages: In Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1, Immortal Man notes he's forgotten his own name over the ages. It's not stated if his Evil Counterpart, Vandal Savage, has the same problem.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You:
- A lot of the captions in issue #1 are threatening warnings along the lines of "You think this is just a comic, but it's bait. You're bait for THEM." In his human identity Nix Uotan is reading the same comic, including scenes from his own life, and that's how he's pulled into the pan-dimensional crisis.
- Thunderer claims that The Gentry are "pitiless ones from behind the Invisible Rainbow". Given how he uses rainbows to refer to other universes, there's the implication that the fourth wall is incapable of protecting the comic book characters from The Gentry.
- Several pages in Pax Americana #1 seem designed to resemble an eye. The implication is... not promising.
- Ultra Comics #1, the Real World Episode of the series, has its hero warning potential readers that their universe will be endangered if this magazine is read.
- Franchise Zombie: In-universe, the Gentry use the power of the Anti-Death Equation to keep Nix Uotan alive so they can corrupt him, a likely allusion to companies refusing to let go of concepts they can squeeze profit out of.
- From Beyond The Fourth Wall: Earth-Prime returns with its own spotlight issue, where the reader becomes its latest superhero.
- Fun with Acronyms: The Society of Super-Heroes, aka S.O.S from Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1.
- Gag Boobs: In Thunderworld #1, one of Sivanna's children gives herself these with the stolen magic of Shazam, in order to get more attention from boys.
- Gender Flip: One of the major characters is Aquawoman, the Aquaman analogue of Earth-11.
- Genre Roulette: The series does this deliberately with each issue exhibiting the traits of a particular style of comic genre based on the setting.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In The Just #1, when Damian Wayne complains that his father and the other past heroes did their jobs too well, Alexis Luthor responds "'This Be the Verse'. Best poem ever." It's a Philip Larkin poem whose famous first line is "They fuck you up, your mum and dad."
- Groin Attack: The reaction of Doc Fate to Doctor Faustus' desire for a Wizard Duel in Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1.
- Hanging Judge: The corrupted Nix Uotan becomes this after his disastrous trip to Earth-7. The Earths that break his rules, well, the lucky ones are merely destroyed. Never mind how involved the Gentry were in the violation of those rules.
- Heel Realization: As put by Grant Morrison in one article regarding Mastermen #1, Overman spent years working for Adolf Hitler, then one day he realized "Oh crap it's Hitler!"
- Hemisphere Bias: In anticipation of the series, DC Comics released a map of the DC multiverse. Earth-23 is a world where most superheroes are black; the picture of the planet provided is centered on Africa. (Although note that all other signs point to the United States still being the center of attention there.)
- Historical-Domain Character: George W. Bush appears in Pax Americana #1. Since this universe seems to have had its own run of presidents, Dubya's appearance might be a symptom of inter-reality bleed.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Happens several times in Thunderworld #1. From Dr. Sivana and his counterparts across the multiverse foiling their own plans of creating a 8th day (Sivanaday) where they're allowed to win by cheating themselves out of suspendium to make it an 8-hour day, to Lady Sivana (Georgia Sivana) getting tricked into depowering herself by Captain Marvel Junior, out of her own desire to use her beauty to get her way.
- Hollow World: In Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1, Immortal Man mentions in passing that he just walked back from inside the Earth.
- Horned Humanoid: Abin Sur of Earth-20 in Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1. He is well aware this makes him look like a demon.
- Hypocrite: The Question towards Blue Beetle in Pax Americana #1. He chastises Ted for relying too much on technology and cool gimmicks, even though Vic has no problem using technology against Ted and leaving behind calling cards with badass slogans on them.
- It's All About Me: In The Just #1, Earth-16 is a world where the children of superheroes and supervillains are celebrity darlings since there's no more crime to fight (to the point where the contemporary Justice League roster has done nothing but battle reenactments). The solicits and cover refer to this world as "Earth-Me."
- It's All My Fault: In Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1, the Mighty Atom believes he was responsible for the arrival of the Earth-40 villains, citing that their invasion had begun not long after he looked into the cursed comic book Doc Fate warned him not to read.
- Just Shoot Him: Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1:
- Lady Shiva goes on about how the Blackhawk Squadron will never even realize she's cut them up and butchered them by the time she's done with them, when they decide to just shoot Shiva as she's gloating.
- When Doc Fate meets his counterpart Felix Faust, Faust attempts to pull a magical duel. Fate just kicks him in his balls.
- Last of His Kind: Nix Uotan is the last of the Monitors. Thunderer is the last survivor of Earth-7.
- Mad Scientist: In Thunderworld #1, Dr. Sivanna takes exception to being called 'mad'. He sees himself more as a radical genius.
- The Multiverse: Set in the post-New 52 multiverse, featuring characters from all across its expanse, and the creation of its Justice League.
- My Death Is Just the Beginning: In Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1, Vandal Savage corners Immortal Man and Immortal Man kills Vandal Savage in order to end the war. Then Savage reveals that "spilling immortal blood summons Niczhuotan - Destroyer of Worlds."
- My God, What Have I Done?: This is Overman's primary characterization in Mastermen #1, as he's the Superman of a world where the Nazis took over the world, and he feels horrible knowing the utopia he built was founded on the crimes of Adolf Hitler.
- Mythology Gag: In Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1, Vandal Savage is heavily implied to be Cain, just as he was in that position during Final Crisis.
- Never Bring A Knife To A Gunfight: In the end of Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1, Lady Shiva is facing off against the Blackhawk Squadron, with them having pistols, and her having a Sinister Scimitar. They shoot her dead in a hail of gunfire while she is gloating about how she is going to kill them all.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1, Abin Sur of Earth-20 defeats Count Sinestro of Earth-40 completely off-panel.
- Oh, Crap: The wizard Shazam gets a rather darkly funny instance of this when he realizes that he's being overshadowed by Sivana's mechanical Rock of Eternity.
- Only Sane Man: In Thunderworld #1, one of the alternate Sivanas is much, much more restrained than the others, identifying himself as "a man with personal problems," and is greatly disturbed by his insane and violent (and violently insane) counterparts. There's also the fact that he believed the other Sivanas were going to save the world, not enslave it, so he's pretty much the good Sivana counterpart.
- Our Presidents Are Different:
- Kalel/Calvin Ellis, the Superman of Earth-23, is a black Kryptonian, and in his secret identity as Calvin, President of the USA.
- Earth-4's president is assassinated by Peacemaker at the beginning of the Earth-4 story.
- Punny Name: Earth-8's American CrUSAder.
- Race Lift:
- The new version of the Thunderer is Aboriginal.
- The Justice League of Earth-23 consists of black versions of the mainstream DCU heroes.
- In Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1, Doc Fate, the Doctor Fate of Earth-20, is a black gunslinger.
- According to one interview, in Mastermen #1, Earth-10's Freedom Fighters will represent ethnic, sexual, and religious minorities targeted by the Nazi Party. The Ray is homosexual, Doll Man is a Jehovah's Witness, Phantom Lady is Romani, and Black Condor is going to be African.
- Reality Ensues: In Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1, we have several in the finales of various villains of Earth-40.
- Doctor Faustus uses his high grade of magical prowess to make his way through to fight Doc Fate, and prepares himself for a Wizard Duel. Unfortunately for him, that is all he brought to the table, whereas Doc Fate brought his magical prowess, underhanded tactics, and a gun. He manages to hold off the zombies that come at him with the gun, and summarily defeats Faustus with a Groin Attack.
- Lady Shiva, upon losing her plane, prepares to fight the Blackhawks with her sword, her close combat skills things of legend. Unluckily for her, the Blackhawks have handguns, and prove that bringing a sword may not have been the best idea.
- Recursive Canon: In Issue #1, Nix Uotan is reading The Multiversity comics - specifically, The Multiversity #1 and Ultra Comics #1. Looking closely at the Ultra Comics issue Nix is reading, Grant Morrison and Doug Mahnke are residents of The DCU.
- Shmuck Bait: Ultra Comics #1. Its cover has the eponymous Ultra warning the reader that only they can save the universe and themselves by not reading this comic. Earth-20's Atom didn't heed the warning in Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors from the Counter-World #1. Will you?
- The Human Torch Expy from Earth-8 is African-American.
- It's mentioned that the heroes of Earth-8 appear in extremely popular movies on other Earths.
In The Just #1, Earth-16's Kyle Rayner vaguely remembers a Bug movie, although it's not clear which one he's thinking of.
- The Hulk Expy has the real name of "David."
- The House of Heroes is also called Valla-Hal.
- In Society of Super-Heroes: Conquest of the Counter-Earth #1, the Blackhawks of Earth-20 were designed with the Spice Girls in mind.
- The Just #1:
- Squishy Wizard: In Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1, Doctor Faustus proves to be this, concentrating so heavily on his magical skill that he has no defensive abilities whatsoever outside of those, and goes down in a single Groin Attack.
- Stuffed In The Fridge: Discussed in The Just #1, where Kyle Rayner has a traumatic flashback of his girlfriend's death at the hands of Major Disaster (Major Force in the main DC Universe). The issue even begins with Sapphire Mason, a.k.a. Megamorpho, committing suicide.
- Symbolism: Of particular note with the Earths on the multiverse map. Earth-10, based on Earth-X, has a red 'X' on it; Earth-11, a Gender Flip of Earth-0, is upside-down relative to the other Earths; Earth-43, home of the Vampire League, is a blood-red shade; Earth-26, an Alternate Tooniverse, has a face; and so on.
- Take That:
- The most distinguishing feature of Earth-8, based on Marvel Comics, on the interactive map is that its heroes "fight with each other as much as they fight the bad guys". Notably, the Behemoth (its version of the Incredible Hulk) transforms into a raging, giant, blue baby◊ instead of a jade titan when aggravated.
- The Gentry appear to be manifestations of the stagnation found in mainstream comics. Intellectron, a one-eyed bat-winged creature, in particular is seen as a parody of DC Comics, representing the company's obsession with Batman, a singular vision, and lack of depth perception.
- In Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1, Abin Sur's fight with Count Sinestro and Parallax, as well as Abin Sur beating both of them on his own, may be criticism at DC dragging out the emotional entity concept in Green Lantern and how Parallax has become a diminished threat in recent stories. As well, the use of Parallax to power the Transmatter Engine for Doc Fate can be a reference to how Parallax himself has been used as a tool rather than an actual villain in his own right in his stories since the advent of the New 52.
- Earth-41's Nimrod Squad is a blatant shot at Youngblood.
- Thunderworld #1 feels like a huge shot at how DC has handled the Marvel Family in the last few years, due to the fact that the Billy, Mary, Freddy, and Wizard of Earth-5 are much more wholesome and well-adjusted compared to their main Earth counterparts. There's also the fact that Sivana, who is still a Card-Carrying Villain, is disturbed by an Ax-Crazy counterpart who makes very unsavory comments about what he did to his world's Marvel Family. Said villain feels sadly similar to the villains who've become common in Earth-0's universe.
Thunderworld #1 also comes off as a Take That to the New 52 as a whole, seeing how its lack of Darker and Edgier elements seems to be what allowed it to repel the Gentry's invasion in the first place. It goes to show that you don't need hyper-realism and grim elements to create a good story, and that the optimism and fun of Pre-New 52 DC still has a place in comics. And, given how well-received Thunderworld has been, it's something that hasn't been lost on the general comic-book readership either. Captain Marvel even lampshades how silly the darker and edgier stories are when it comes down to it, and asks just what's wrong with a happy ending.
Captain Marvel Junior: S.O.S.... They cancelled that book.
Captain Marvel: No wonder. What happened to happy endings? "I'll get out and destroy everything..." HA! I don't know about you. But, that sounds to me, like tomorrow's big adventure!
Crumples up the Gentry's cursed comic-book, chucks it into the trash, and flies off with Mary and Junior to their next big adventure with smiles on their faces.
- Thanatos Gambit:
- In Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1, Vandal Savage hoped to spill an immortal's blood to summon Niczhuotan, the Destroyer of Worlds, to Earth-20. Vandal was not picky if he killed Immortal Man, or if Immortal Man killed him.
- In Pax Americana #1, President Harley planned to have himself killed and resurrected to rid Earth-4 of the Gentry's curse, simultaneously making him pay for murdering the first superhero and redeeming him for the crime.
- That Man Is Dead: In Society of Super-Heroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1, Doc Fate's greatest fear lies in how he fears nothing because his superhero persona has gradually made him more detached and ruthless, replacing the man he originally was.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In The Just #1, the older heroes of Earth-16 have no issue with re-enacting major battles for fun, regardless that some of their closest friends and allies actually died in those battles. For example, they have Red Amazo (the combination of Red Tornado and Amazo) participate in the recreation of the event that actually created him, but pretty much killed the Red Tornado in the process.
- Tragic Hero/Villain Protagonist: Overman from Mastermen #1, or he may count as a Tragic Villain depending on your point of view. He began as a Nazi Superman, but he's actually incredibly guilt-ridden over what he did in their name, and realizes the world he created needs to be destroyed.
- Ultimate Universe:
- The aim of Thunderworld is to be this in regards to Shazam.
- Earth-7 was this to the Major Comics characters of Earth-8.
- Victory Is Boring: The heroes of "earthme" in The Just have so little to do with Superman's army of robots on constant patrol that they do nothing but recreate past victories or throw wild parties.
- Wizard Duel: Amusingly subverted in Society of Superheroes: Conquerors of the Counter-World #1. The issue appears to set up a Mirror Match between Doc Fate and Doctor Faust, but when Faust shows up before Fate, Fate just kicks him in the balls and drags him away.