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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 ShomyCar092

Earth 3 and Kingdom Come... 

Posted by Eyz

I love how Elseworlds where brought back but now as so called alternated "universes" in the larger multiverse.
 
But wait...since when did the Tangent universe become part of the 52? (sorry but I missed it!)
Wasn't it supposed to be a "tanget" dimension like Hell is for the DCU? Not part of the 52??
That's why it appeared and crossed over with the main universe a couple of times before we had these 52 universes revealed!

Posted by Supreme Marvel

I love Earth 22, but what they've done so far, I don't want them spoiling it, so leave it the way it is. I would rather read something I don't know much about. Like Earth 32. Or Earth 3.

Posted by ironshadow

Posted by Illyana Rasputin

I enjoyed the Amalgam Universe. 

 
Posted by D34dM4n

Earth 32 sounds pretty cool, but i kind of like the Crime Syndicate stuff. big fan of evil

Posted by chalkshark

As far as villain run series go, DC also had Kobra. Over at Marvel, there was Super Villain Team-Up, which I believe grew out of the Dr. Doom feature in Astonishing Tales.

Online
Posted by kuma_far

I need more steampunk, bring a Gotham by Gaslight JLA

Posted by dondasch

Earth 32 is truly awesome.  I wouldn't mind seeing Dark Knight Returns (the original NOT that ghastly sequel) and Kingdom Come.  I think my favorites my be the Crime Syndicate or even Gotham by Gaslight, which, since I like historical figures, and it includes Jack the Ripper, had an extra appeal to me

Posted by MintBerryCrunch

Earth 3 and Earth 22

Posted by pinchpaker29

Kingdom come.

Posted by humanfly26

i really like kingdom come and DKR, but i think they need to be left alone...
 
I think the world with the best potential for an ongoing series would be Earth-3. It would be nice to see some of our favorite villains leading the underground resistance movement to topple the Crime Syndicate although they wouldn't ever succeed :-(
 
but i also think your idea for earth-32 sounds cool, i would check that one out

Posted by AMP - Seeker of Lost Knowledge
@spider-man 2996: Same here....Dick Grayson can also pull of a GL Look:
 
Also...I think that EARTH-3 would be has good is bad and bad is good (I was still surprised that DUELA DENT was from EARTH-3.....TALON's current where-abouts are still unknown, and ENGIMA's connection to DUELA is still a bit confusing...)
Posted by Metatron_Da_Don
@spider-man 2996 said:

" Earth 32 sounds cool I would get that if they give it an on-going "

  EARTH 32 
Posted by Final Arrow

Not sure why this happens but fixing, 

Posted by AskaniSon295

The world where Superman stayed dead Batman's back stayed broken and Paralax is the main villian and there are four Superman's and there's a blue lightning Superman. and Azrael is still Batman. basically just the best stuff dc has done up untill 52 and they should do it in a fifty two format. but not a book a week cause the story and art suffered at they end of the 52 series.

Posted by Lvenger

All of the ones I would want to see in a seires have been put here already. But yeah it's nice to see different spins on classic characters

Edited by queenfrost_

DC should do something like Age Of X

Posted by Soldier zero

I don't know if it's one of the official 52 Earths, but I loved the idea of Generations

Posted by leokearon

Any spin off will never be as good as the original, most Elseworlds like Kingdom Come and Justice were designed to be one-off series.
Posted by Fantasgasmic

 Where to start... I LOVE Elseworlds, and I'd love to see books that feature some of my favorite storylines, but I would NOT want there to be any crossover with other continuities. I like Elseworlds because they aren't complicated, they're self contained. You take your knowledge of the mainstream universe going in, and that makes it so the writers don't have to spell out every little detail. So with that proviso in place, I'd like to see these books get ongoing/miniseries runs. 
  
Gotham By Gaslight I like the almost steampunk, victorian aesthetic, and there's plenty of villains and other heroes to work in. How about Robin as a child laborer or a street urchin, instead of acrobat?  
 
On a similar note, Wonder Woman: Amazonia, in fact if it wasn't for the fact that they both use Jack the Ripper as the antagonist in VERY different ways, I'd think these worlds would look great together (see here). 
 
I was just reading Batman: In Darkest Knight last night, and thinking how much I'd love to see more development of the villains that are kinda hastily thrown in, same with the supporting heroes. 
 
Same thing with Superman: Speeding Bullets. The thing about this one is because of the ending, I'm not sure it would turn out how I'd want it. I want a lot more Kal-El as Batman, and without totally ruining it, I'm not sure that would be able to be worked in to the canon established just based on timeline. As a total side note, I really liked some of the details of the batsuit in this story. Like the padding around the neck, and the overall more durable look to it. Plus I'm a fan of the full face mask. It was the ONE part of the first Az-Bats redesign from the 90s I liked. 
 
Anyone who says Superman Red Son, you're wrong. Sorry. It wouldn't work. It was too perfect of a story to continue. It was a good length, sure it could've used a Flash cameo, or something, but it established all the characters really well, tied up all the loose strings related to the main characters, there's nothing more to do in that universe that wouldn't seem exploitative. It would be milking them for cash at the expense of quality. 
 
Batman: Year 100 was interesting. I feel like I'd want to get to know these characters BEFORE the storyline started. 
 
I didn't read much of 52, but I know there are a few universes that superficially look neat. Like the gender-swapped universe (Earth-11 according to Wikipedia), and maybe the universe where Batman avenged Jason Todd's death.

Edited by dr.x
Posted by waruikumo

Earth 3 (CSA), Earth 22(Kingdom Come), Earth 50 (Wildstorm) 
 
Although I like the idea of some elements of Wildstorm being written into DCU continuity.  I think the Kingdom Come and CSA are my 1 and 2.  

Edited by JonesDeini

Earth 3 & Earth 22 are no brainers. I'd like to see earth 3 as a mature, vertigo title though. That way they can really push the envelope. And if DC's ever gong to have an "ultimate" universe it should be firmly based in Kingdom Come. Such a wealth of rich characters and concepts that have yet to be mined. Great call on Earth 32, due to the Corps War stuff this could really, really work out well. I loved how The Batman & B&B series played with the idea of Bruce wielding a power ring and I think that series could more or less write itself. 

Posted by Grim

earth 3. If the last few years have taught us anything, its that villains are fun. E3 could get at least a good year out of a mature comic.

Posted by JonesDeini
@AskaniSon295:  
I heavily support this
Posted by Fantasgasmic
@AMP - Seeker of Lost Knowledge said:
" @spider-man 2996: Same here....Dick Grayson can also pull of a GL Look:
 
Also...I think that EARTH-3 would be has good is bad and bad is good (I was still surprised that DUELA DENT was from EARTH-3.....TALON's current where-abouts are still unknown, and ENGIMA's connection to DUELA is still a bit confusing...) "
Yeah, that is NOT "pulling off a GL look" that is just a really lazy character design. Considering how Dark Claw,or Hyena, or Iron Lantern, or Shatterstarfire, or even Spiderboy seemed to mix the iconic characteristics of 2 characters, that look is just a lame cop out.
Posted by astrophunq

I'd love to see Earth 32.

Posted by Grubich

definately the crime syndicate of amerika
Posted by crimsonfox69

I would buy a series of Earth 11 just love the idea of the change gender heroes... :D

Posted by electricv01
@Emperor Gonzo Noir:   I agree.  Simply because I want some Vic Sage Question stories.  Either in classic Ditko style or maybe in line with the JLU animated series. 
Posted by They Killed Cap!

I like the Crime Syndicate so from there world I might be interested in hearing more. And maybe the Kingdom come stuff pre and post Kingdom come.
Posted by Ms.Whisper

I can't remember it's number, but the Earth where all the genders were reversed. 

Posted by MrMiracle77
@crimsonfox69 said:
" I would buy a series of Earth 11 just love the idea of the change gender heroes... :D "
Me too.  And I'm dying to know where they put Powerboy's "hole".