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Which of DC's 52 Worlds Should Have A Series?

My top picks out of DC's multiverse.

 That's a lot of potential covers there.

They used to be called Elseworlds. If they were good, your interest was kind-of pulled two ways. Seeing your favorite characters in scenarios breaking from the norm was the initial appeal but, if they were especially good, you wanted that break to become the norm. Maybe you’d actually prefer to see a whole series about a semi-retired Superman or a vampire Batman or a cowboy Flash. Now that many of these Elseworlds have been integrated into DC’s official multiverse,  I figured it’d be fun to discuss which ones might be worthwhile settings for their own, ongoing series. We sort-of got to see this in 52 while it was running, but the featured worlds were still mostly what you'd call extended glimpses.  

Since 52 is far too high a number for me to address all of them here, I’ve pruned out obvious choices like Earth 2 (Golden Age DC,) Earth 4 (Charlton Comics,) Earth 5 (Fawcett Comics,) and Earth 50 (Wildstorm.) as those are all based on company lines that already got a shake.   

There are also a few worlds who came from mini-series I liked - - Earth 18 (JUSTICE RIDERS,) Earth 19 (GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT,) Earth 21 (NEW FRONTIER,) Earth 37 (THRILLKILLER,) Earth 40 (THE LIBERTY FILE) and Earth 43 (The Batman Vampire Stuff) - - but concluded  that the original premises would get stretched too far too quickly in any ongoing.  So which ones made my cut then? == TEASER ==

EARTH 3  
(CRIME SYNDICATE OF AMERIKA)   
  

As far as I know, the short-lived JOKER and SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPERVILLAINS titles from the 70s were the only time villains ever actually headlined their own comics. An entire series inverting every moral virtue (and even plot structure) we’ve grown so accustomed to is certainly an intriguing prospect. Imagine a comic that promotes ruthlessness instead of selflessness and betrayal instead of team-work. That territory might be too uncomfortable for most people, even if it were released as a mature readers book. Though, the CSA has been popular ever since its modern re-introduction (they’re showing up in full force in JUSTICE LEAGUE, now) and there's no shortage of fun to be had introducing morality-swapped mirrors of every hero and villain. 

 

EARTH 8  
(ANGOR)  

This world’s home to the lesser-known Meta-Militia and Lord Havok & The Extremists, who are blatant analogs for the Avengers and their villains, respectively. Considering that they got a special recently during COUNTDOWN, it might seem excessive to do an entire series about coy parodies. However, turnabout is fair play, and if we can have several series about the Squadron Supreme (Marvel’s JLA riff) then I don’t see why you can’t do the same for these guys. Hell, if you want to get absurdly meta, it might be wonderfully demented to have them face their world’s equivalent of the Squadron Sinister.

  

  

EARTH 9  
(TANGENT COMICS)
 

This actually did get a monthly follow-up with that TANGENT: SUPERMAN’S REIGN maxi-series. Beyond the "names are the same but the characters are different" gimmick, this had a strong premise for a sci-fi world with the heroes actually altering history and begetting a delayed (and even heightened) counter-culture. Still, let's not disregard that there's plenty of fun to be had playing with the different connotations names can evoke. You know, like a cheerful, heroic Joker, a crypt-keeping Green Lantern or a group of Metal Men who're actually grizzled commandos. This world was just recently been ravaged by the CSA in the aforementioned  JLA arc, so this might more than a little tricky to pull off, but when has death ever stopped anybody?

  
 

EARTH 22
  
(KINGDOM COME)  

If you’ve read any of the compendiums Alex Ross has done about the landmark mini-series, you’ll know that there’s a true wealth of material to draw from. Out of all the worlds listed here, this might be the one that’s nearly as fleshed out as regular continuity, if only by virtue of the sheer density of ideas and characters that were present in the first series. While the stressed message of KINGDOM COME is that’s the end point of the superhero saga, there are still many, many stories you could do about the decades leading up to the cataclysm. We've kind-of been seeing some of this in GENERATION LOST, as well as the senior Supes’ appearances in JSA but, again there' s just some much here that you could probably get away with a whole imprint featuring solo  OFFSPRING, NIGHTSTAR & MAGOG titles 


 
EARTH 31  

(DARK KNIGHT)  

ALL-STAR BATMAN & ROBIN THE BOY WONDER has been re-conceived as being part of a continuum that also includes THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and YEAR ONE. We’re already getting an ongoing set in this world with ALL-STAR (to be re-titled DARK KNIGHT: BOY WONDER) so this is the only case where my question has actually been answered. If it hadn't been, though, I don’t think this would be viable as a milieu that could be passed on to other creators. THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN featured plenty of future-twisted characters from the traditional staple, but anybody who's read these stories will agree that this is less of a cohesive universe than it’s Frank Miller’s wild, outrageous take on the DCU.

  

EARTH 32  
(IN DARKEST KNIGHT)  

The world where Bruce Wayne's a Green Lantern might seem like it'd fit into the category I described above (where the premise is best left to a mini-series.) This is an exception, for a couple reasons. For one, judging by people’s responses to my piece about which GL has the best costume, many imaginations have been captured by the notion of Batman with a power ring. Also, with the added concepts of the War of Light, I can see a crazy story where all the villains get their own rings - - yellow for Scarecrow , orange for Catwoman, sapphire for Poison Ivy, red for Bane, etc. Finally, it’d be a hoot to see a whole world where all the heroes swap gimmicks. Like Oliver Queen linking to the speed force, Donna Troy getting adopted and becoming a Robin and, say, Arthur Curry finding a white dwarf belt in his civilian identity. 

 
So there you have it. Do you maniacs agree with my picks? If you disagree, what worlds would better warrant their own series, in your opinion?  Did I dismiss any too hastily? Make your voices heard in the talkback! Hit us with your own list. With 52 in total, it's not like there aren't plenty to choose from.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of  HYBRID BASTARDS!  &  UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here &   here. Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

84 Comments
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Posted by spider-man 2996

Earth 32 sounds cool I would get that if they give it an on-going
Posted by Doctor!!!!!

Owl Man, the man just freaks me out!
Posted by GraphicCasualFreak

I think any and all of them would make a good movie. But a series? I dunno.  

Posted by imaginaryman

Kingdom come, definitely I enjoyed that piece so much, I wish they'd make a more extensive series for that. Even tackling the younger heroes.

Posted by JairamGanpat

Earth 21 and 32 sound like fun

Posted by cbishop

Nice read, Tom.  I wished for a Tangent ongoing from the first set of one-shots.  I haven't read the JLA arc where CSA trashed it - I hope that's not for good.  As for the CSA universe, they're great characters, but for me, an ongoing would just kind of take away the "special" about them.  I like when they show up in Justice League titles, because you know this is gonna be a throwdown, as the JLA takes on their evil twins.  If they're around all the time, in their own book, the crossovers to butt heads with the JLA would be a bit lackluster.

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Posted by mickoreo_LZ

It's always fun varying from the norm so I would be all for the idea of one of these earths getting their own ongoing. I think the CSA would be interesting to read about. Plus I think it's time that some villains got their moment in the spotlight

Posted by Skaddix

Earth 50 should not be roled into DC proper seriously Wildstorm and DC do not go together although an invasion by Wildstorm could be awesome.

Posted by TheMess1428

Earth-3 and Earth-18 would be awesome. And I loved Earth-32.

Posted by Dr. Detfink

Definitely Earth 2...The recent popularity of the Crime Syndicate is a lot like the Miz, something people didn't take seriously but ultimately came around to appreciate much like the lesson Ayn Rand teaches us in the Fountainhead, "Society is slower to come around to a good idea..." 
 
A wait and see with Geoff Johns/JMS Batman/Superman Earth One.

Posted by cattlebattle

earth 22 was great
Posted by weapon154

Earth 2 hands down. Who doesn't want to see dark reflections of their favorite characters struggling to keep up with the continuing series of New Earth?

Posted by Silkcuts

a good story is a good story, don't matter to me.

Posted by Jake Fury

Earth 3 and the Crime Syndicate. Let Morrison do something besides Batman to keep him happy.
Posted by Emperor Gonzo Noir

An Earth-4 series (aka Charlton comics)

Posted by comicbikerscott

its all cool
Posted by Grendel

I love the Earth 2/3 Crime Syndicate but an ongoing would over-saturate  them and destroy their novelty.

Posted by SuperXAsh

I'd love to see a series based on Earth 3 (aka: Anti-matter Earth-2)
 
Though it seems they've been pretty much made un-usable  with the latest stuff surrounding Trinity and Final Crisis. Just remember enjoying just about everything involving them whenever they were used.

Posted by Bruce Vain

Dark Knight Returns and Kingdom Come definitely without a doubt deserve their own animated movie. But I want a full 2 hours or more. Cause I hated how they cut out some of the good stuff in Frontier just so they could shorten it. 
 
But I think the Crime Syndicate should get their own series. It be a nice change of pace.
Posted by Theodore

Earth 32 would be sick.

Posted by Namor1987

Earth 3 & Earth 32 sound like a lot of fun

Edited by NightFang

Earth 3, 22 and 31should all have ongoing series. 

Posted by MrMazz

Kingdom Come needs to happen regardless but Dark Knight Returns could be really interestingly 

Posted by RemyLeBeau

3, 31 and 32.. although any of the earths mentioned above can also be good as long as the writing is well thought off and well written.

Posted by chowy

Save for Powergirl, I really don´t like characters/storylines from alternative universe in mainstream stories

Posted by Vixen

I'd be happiest with Earth 3. But Earth 22 or 32 would be fine also.

Posted by Midnight Monk

Whichever Earth contained Batman Beyond deserves it's own ongoing....nevermind the gods have spoken and it has come to pass that Terry Mcginnus is getting his own ongoing book
Posted by greenenvy

Do batman in darkest knight because that is a story I wanted to get so a new series of it instead would do just fine. Green lantern batman with his world mixed with the green lantern myths hell yeah! Thrill killer would be my second choice or actually maybe some of the tangent characters like joker/green lantern. 

Posted by Top Flight Security

I'd love to see an ongoing CSA comic. Like you say, to see the flip side of morality would be sweet!

Posted by TSCTH

I've been "lusting" for some earth-3 comics for some time. ^^ It would be nice to see the evil versions of old favorites as well as good version of old favorites, plus i think it could prove to be a good challenge for the writers to come up with new, reversed or even unforeseen versions of origin stories.

Posted by Augustus Freeman VI

Earth 9 seems really cool! I wish there was a tpb.

Posted by pikahyper

Tangent:Superman's Reign was nowhere near as good as most of the Tangent one shots, I found it to be a huge let down and really boring. More Kingdom Come would be cool but only if it is done by Alex Ross, those Kingdom one shots that came out were pretty bad in comparison.

Moderator
Posted by Mbecks14

Earth 3 please! As long as its well done. 
 
Please tell me nobody voted for earth 8

Posted by CrimsonInuTears

Earth 3, deffinatly.

Posted by obscurefan

Are there still 52 worlds even? At the end of Final Crisis didn't that all change? I could be wrong because in all honesty I still have no idea what happened throughout most of Final Crisis, but still I think something got shifted up during that. 
 
Also, why not an ongoing series where different creators come on board to just take on a different World for 6 issues or so and tell contained stories through them? Just an idea of a way to explore them all.

Posted by johnjcoe9198

I think the best approach to the CSA isn't a book from their perspective, but from the opposition.  We've all seen the evil version of the JLA, but no nearly as much focus on mirror versions of Luthor, Joker, Sinestro, etc.  Not only does it highlight these underused concepts, but since the CSA rules Earth 2/3, then we get to see what it's like to be on the losing side.  I always thought having HOGAN'S HEROES as a comedy wasn't nearly as cool as the drama that unfolds when you're not the establishment, but the resistance!

Posted by anarchcorp

I wanna see Earth 52 (Wildstorm) but back in the hands of the people that made it truly great. Warren Ellis comes to mind.

Posted by Danial79

I don't read alternate reality stories. I'm a Marvel fan, and only read 616, so if I read DC, I'd be the same. Is the main continuity called Earth 1?

Posted by Primmaster64

Red Son?

Posted by difficlus
@Primmaster64 said:
" Red Son? "
this is what i was thinking... 
I like KC the best though...
Posted by X

they should give series like smallville and the dc animated universe an earth

Posted by Sambobo

Bruce Wayne as a Green Lantern sounds baller!

Posted by Man of Lengend

earth 32 and kingdom come would be so so so epic

Posted by Hadez

i would like to see more of earth 3 or kingdom come

Posted by lastdrag0n89

CSA could make a badass series

Posted by Zghost

I would love to see the  "The Super Seven" revamped a little and set as a DC animated movie.  I vote for a Series on the based on Earth 19, Victorian era with a bit of steampunk added.  All the Metas could have their powers tuned down a bit and the tech weapons would be fun to see.  Plus without the instant media of todays world there would be mystery, rumors, and legends to be born.  Kinda like it  was in the older days where the heros worked outside normal society and the villains were stories that scared children and adults alike and when people talked about them it was only whispers.  Thats my take anyways

Posted by jrh7925

Being a Legion geek, I'd have to go with Earth-247 (if it still exists). Earth-3 and Earth-32 would also rock.

Posted by Meteorite
Posted by Benuben

Earth 3.
Posted by GraveSp

I would like to see like a countdown arena series were there is just fighting between characters of different universe.  

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