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"So, Jay is saying he's from, like, a mirror-world. Or a parallel universe that's very, very similar to ours."
"Multiverse would be a more apt description.
"
Cisco Ramon and Martin Stein[src]

The multiverse, briefly referred to as the manyverse by Ralph Dibny,[1] is a concept that refers to the existence of infinite universes that comprise everything that exists. Each universe within the multiverse is referred to as a different "Earth," and each vibrates at a different frequency so that they can't normally interact with or be seen by each other. If someone is able to travel fast enough, it is possible to breach the laws of physics and travel between these Earths,[2] although breaches can also be created by Vibers or through technological means.

There were originally 52 known Earths in the multiverse, with an additional one lacking a formal designation due to its horrific state, becoming known as "Earth-X".[3] However, the wider scope of the multiverse included at least 1938 parallel universes, which may or may not have be a part of a "local" 52-multiverse.[4] Theoretically, for every decision a person makes, there was a parallel universe where they didn't act on that decision in the same way, leaving the difference between alternate timelines and parallel universes vague.[5] Some universes, like Earth-666 and Earth-18, are known to have been further in the past than other universes. For others, such as Earth-99, the opposite holds true, with their respective timelines being further ahead than other universes.

In the Anti-Monitor Crisis, the multiverse was completely destroyed with all lives lost, except for the seven Paragons (who took refuge at the Vanishing Point), Jennifer Pierce (who took refuge in her "safe space") and the planet Earth of one universe (thanks to that world's Brainiac 5 bottling it to save it from the incoming antimatter wave), by the malevolent Anti-Monitor. It was replaced by a single antimatter universe. A month after the destruction of the original multiverse, Oliver Queen and the Paragons successfully created a new multiverse. For unknown reasons, some universes from the original multiverse (such as Earth-167 and Earth-666) were restored exactly as they'd been prior to the Crisis, while others (such as Earth-2) were replaced by completely new universes. Aspects of a number of the old universes from the original multiverse were merged into a new single universe, Earth-Prime.

History

Pre-Crisis

Birth of the multiverse

"In the beginning, there was only one. A single black infinitude. Then the infinitude found release, and, finally, the darkness broke, filling it with life. With the multiverse. Every existence multiplied by possibility. And spread out before space and time in infinite measure. Civilizations rose and fell. And rose again across reality's grasping expanse."
Mar Novu[src]

The original Big Bang.

Before the birth of the multiverse, an infinitude of darkness existed. This infinitude found release through the Big Bang, allowing for the creation of the multiverse. This gave rise to infinite universes with infinite possibilities through space and time.[6][7][8][9]

Rise of the Old Gods

Finding the power the Loom of Fate granted too great to be possessed, and wishing for mortals to determine their own destiny, Clotho broke it into three[10] pieces and scattered them across the multiverse, disguising them as rings.[11]

Age of heroes

"This is our Earth. Let's call it Earth-1. And this second Earth, let's call it Earth-2. This is where Jay claims to be from. And these other Earths, 3, 4, 5, to infinity, all of them, are nearly identical to ours. And they all exist at the same time, giving us endless alternatives to what we have here. For example, the Joe West on Earth-2, your doppelgänger, he might not be a detective. He could be a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. And you, the Barry Allen here is the Flash, but over there, he could be an electrician."
Martin Stein explaining the multiverse to Team Flash[src]

In January 2015, John Constantine and Ritchie Simpson investigated a case related to the Egyptian dream temple technique. The spell was originally created by priests of Ancient Egypt as a pathway to "the dream temple". It was rediscovered in the twenty-first century by philosophers and researchers of the occult, such as Jacob Shaw. Shaw, who already showed psychopathic tendencies in life by killing his assistant, created an alternate reality, in which he would lure curious students and hunt them down. Ritchie eventually managed to wrestle control over the alternate universe from Shaw, and wished to stay there and make it into something beautiful. However, he was convinced by Constantine to abandon such escapism and come back to his old life on Earth-1.[12]

The other heroes facing down the Dominators.

In early 2015, Barry Allen and the rest of Team Flash accidentally opened a singularity above Central City; though they succeeded in closing it,[13] a series of 52 breaches between Earths-1 and 2 were opened throughout the city as a result of their actions.

Between mid to late 2015 and early 2016, an evil speedster from Earth-2 known as Zoom began exploring the multiverse[14] before using the breaches created between Earths-1 and 2 to launch an assault on Earth-1's Central City in an attempt to steal that world's Flash's speed. Zoom sent numerous meta-humans through the breaches, each tasked with killing The Flash, but none succeeded. Team Flash, in an effort to stop Zoom's onslaught, systematically sealed each of the breaches, leaving only one open on a lower level inside S.T.A.R. Labs. Barry, Cisco Ramon, and Harrison Wells used the breach to travel to Earth-2 in order to rescue Jesse Wells,[15] sealing the breach upon their return.[16]

Attempting to increase his speed, Barry used a tachyon device, which in turn caused him to run so fast that he accidentally created a breach between Earth-1 and Earth-38.[2]

During his travels, Zolomon discovered that Earth-1 happened to be in the center juncture of the entire multiverse and that from there one could travel to any of the other infinite numbers of Earths. Enthralled by the idea of conquering all of existence, in May 2016 he attempted to use the Mercury Labs Magnetar to instantaneously destroy every Earth in the multiverse besides Earth-1; using its central location as a means of targeting every other universe at the same time. Through the sacrifice of his own time remnant, Barry Allen was able to stop the device moments before it destroyed the multiverse, and also managed to defeat Hunter in the process.[14]

Crisis on Earth-X

Earth-X villains crash Barry and Iris' wedding.

The New Reich from Earth-X organized an invasion on Earth-1 during the wedding of Iris West and Barry Allen in 2017. They were looking for Supergirl so that they could steal her heart for her Earth-X doppelgänger. However, the Team Arrow, the Legends, and the Team Flash, along with Supergirl, and her adoptive sister Alex Danvers, managed to prevent the attack.[17][3][18][19]

Coming Crisis

Sometime prior to late 2018, Mar Novu began testing various Earths across the multiverse, stating that he was testing them for an impending crisis. He tested an unknown number of Earths, but after testing and decimating Earth-90, Earth-90's Barry Allen, a speedster known as The Flash, managed flee to Earth-1 to warn its heroes that their universe would be next to be tested.[20]

The Crisis begins

Between 2018 and 2019, Jay Garrick detected a number of antimatter signatures throughout the multiverse. By October 2019, he had marked multiple antimatter signatures on his map, as he detected them near Earths-2, 6, 7, 17, 21, 26, 32, and X.[21] In that same time frame, antimatter was unleashed upon Earth-2, killing its population and ultimately destroying the universe.[22]

Complete destruction

"It is done. The infinite Earths are gone. Soon only the antimatter universe will remain."
Mobius[src]

Antimatter wall destroys Earth-1.

During the Anti-Monitor Crisis, all of the multiverse, as well as all life contained within it, was systematically destroyed by the Anti-Monitor (though the transmultiversal multiverse was unaffected by the Crisis). Moments before her Earth's destruction, Jennifer Pierce unwittingly teleported to her "safe space" and survived the Crisis. On the Waverider, at the final moment, Pariah sent Kara Danvers, Kate Kane, Sara Lance, Barry Allen, Ryan Choi, J'onn J'onzz, and Clark Kent to the Vanishing Point; a point outside the space-time continuum, putting them outside the Anti-Monitor's reach. However, Lex Luthor re-wrote the Book of Destiny and replaced Clark as the Paragon of Truth, thus killing him.[23]

Post-Crisis

Rebirth

The new Big Bang.

With the rebirth of the multiverse, some things changed. Earths were now separated by different vibrational frequencies. As such, the residents of Earth-Prime with knowledge of the pre-crisis timeline appear to be unaware of the new multiverse's existence and still believe it is destroyed. Survivors of some universes began popping up on Earth-Prime; a new universe with aspects of Earth-1, Earth-38, and Earth-TUD5.[24]

Consequences

For more information, see List of changes caused by the Crisis.
"Thank God J'onn gave me my memories back."
"Yeah, I know, I wish he could do it for everyone."
"Well, according to him, restoring the world's collective memories would reconfigure relationships on such a massive scale that everyone's minds would literally be blown."
"Ugh, gross.
"
Alex and Kara Danvers[src]

The portal to the fractured Phantom Zone.

With the multiverse being reborn, a tremendous number of changes were caused onto the new Earths and while a number of people kept or regained their memories through various means, the majority of the population are not aware of the changes.[24]

A handful of doppelgangers made it to Earth-Prime, including one Beth Kane, Al and Winn Schott Jr, four Brainiac 5s and a trio of Kryptonian Witches.[25][26][27]

Once scattered throughout the multiverse, the rings of the Fates were now on one Earth and able to create the Loom of Fate;[28] the deities were able to rewrite reality as Loomworld,[29] but were ultimately stopped by the Legends.[30]

During the Anti-Monitor Crisis, the Phantom Zone became fractured,[31] but the Superfriends used the Tower as a ship to travel the Phantom Zone and free Supergirl, in which they succeeded.[32]

Possibly, the crisis destroyed Earth-TUD22, causing John Henry Irons and his daughter Natalie to take refuge on Earth-Prime.[33][34]

The Inverse World

The Inverse Society tries to merge with their shadow selves.

Ally Allston wears her family pendant as a way for her followers to go to the Inverse World, a "bizzare" alternate dimension to Earth-Prime. It differs from Earth-Prime in a number of ways, such as having a red sun. After stealing the pendant of the dictator Ally Allston, Bizarre Kal-El went to Earth-Prime to destroy her pendant before both versions could merge together.[34][35]

Known parallel universes

Jay Garrick's map of the original multiverse, illustrating each Earth's proximity with one another.

Original multiverse


New multiverse

Unseen universes

Transmultiversal multiverse

Known extra-dimensional planes


Pocket dimensions

Known parallel timelines/realities

Known constants in the multiverse


Appearances

Constantine

The Flash

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7


Supergirl

Season 1

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6


Arrow

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7

Season 8


DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Season 3

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7


Freedom Fighters: The Ray

Season 1

Batwoman

Season 1

Season 2

Black Lightning

Season 3

Season 4

Superman & Lois

Season 1

Comics

Crisis on Infinite Earths Giant

EARTH-PRIME

The Chronicles of Cisco

Trivia

  • In "Untouchable", Barry Allen asks how Cisco Ramon is going to vibe Flashpoint, if it no longer exists. Cisco and H.R. Wells then explain that there might be a different Earth where Flashpoint was never undone, because the daughter universe theory in quantum mechanics says "for every decision you make, a universe exists where you don't". However, this is inconsistent with how Cisco's powers work, as he was previously able to vibe the timeline where he was killed by Eobard Thawne, which also didn't exist anymore. Therefore, it is unknown if the Flashpoint timeline Cisco vibed was truly a different Earth or not.
  • According to Barry and Cisco respectively, following the events of the Anti-Monitor Crisis, the multiverse no longer exists, as Earth-Prime is the only parallel universe in existence. However, unbeknownst to anyone, when the late Oliver Queen as Spectre created Earth-Prime, he also rebooted the multiverse, by restoring many of the old parallel universes and also creating new ones as well; thus, the multiverse still exists.

Behind the scenes

  • The number of breaches that opened in Central City being 52[52] is a reference to both the multiverse crisis storyline known as 52 and The New 52 imprint in the DC Comics.
    • Harrison Wells and Jay Garrick both stated that there were an infinite number of Earths in the multiverse. On the other hand, Kara Danvers claimed that there were only 52 of them but Wells himself corrected her, describing Earth-X as a 53rd Earth, indicating that, aside for Earth-X, there were 52 known Earths in the multiverse.[3] Since then, these have expanded to at least 1,938 universes.
      • In the DC Comics, this has been explained with the introduction of a "local multiverse" concept, consisting of 52 universes, and infinite universes outside of the [[prime multiverse.
  • During an interview, the producers of the NBC television show Powerless, jokingly referred to the multiverse by saying that their show takes place on "Earth-P" as it was a DC Comics comedy. This is of course, unofficial and they actually revealed, at the time of the interview, that there were no plans to crossover with any other DC property; the show has since been canceled.
  • In the mobile version of the Injustice 2 game, Black Lightning is named "Multiverse Black Lightning" just like the rest of the Arrowverse characters, indicating that he could possibly exist in the Arrowverse.
  • The official young adults' novel series, written by Barry Lyga, starting with The Flash: Hocus Pocus, and including the Supergirl trilogy novels written by Jo Whittemore, take place in a multiverse that had splintered from the main "Arrowverse" during Flashpoint. Lyga refers to this multiverse as the "Barryverse".[53] The Barryverse follows a version of Arrowverse history where the Flashpoint event never took place.
    • When Cisco Ramon of Earth-1 meets the Cisco from the Barryverse, he explains that the splintering Flashpoint created Earth-1 and Earth-1A, respectively.[54] Furthermore, the characters of the Barryverse refer to the original multiverse as the "TV world", thus differentiating the novel canon and the television canon. The characters of the Barryverse also learn of the Infinite Earths Crisis, which does not affect their multiverse but is happening simultaneously to their Anti-Matter Crisis.[55]
    • Just as the Infinite Earths Crisis resulted in the merging of multiple Earths into Earth-Prime, the Anti-Matter Crisis resulted in the creation of Earth-∂ from numerous Earths from the transmultiversal multiverse, including Earth-1A and Earth-38A. Due to the acknowledgement of Green Lantern, it is possible that Earth-12A (an as-of-yet unconfirmed Earth) also became part of the foundation of this Earth.[55]
    • The Time Trapper from Earth-1A is aware of both multiverses co-existing. He refers to both of them as being halves of a "megaverse".[55]

References

  1. "Nora"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Worlds Finest"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Crisis on Earth-X, Part 2"
  4. "Infinite Luthor, Part 1"
  5. "Untouchable"
  6. "Non Est Asylum"
  7. "The Devil's Vinyl"
  8. "The Saint of Last Resorts"
  9. "Fellowship of the Spear"
  10. "Zari, Not Zari"
  11. "Romeo V. Juliet: Dawn of Justness"
  12. "A Whole World Out There"
  13. "Fast Enough"
  14. 14.0 14.1 "The Race of His Life"
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "Welcome to Earth-2"
  16. "Escape from Earth-2"
  17. "Crisis on Earth-X, Part 1"
  18. "Crisis on Earth-X, Part 3"
  19. "Crisis on Earth-X, Part 4"
  20. "Elseworlds, Part 1"
  21. 21.0 21.1 "A Flash of the Lightning"
  22. "Starling City"
  23. "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Three"
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 "Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Five"
  25. "The Bottle Episode"
  26. "An Un-Birthday Present"
  27. "Back From the Future - Part One"
  28. "Ship Broken"
  29. "The One Where We're Trapped On TV"
  30. "Swan Thong"
  31. "A Few Good Women"
  32. "Fear Knot"
  33. "Through the Valley of Death"
  34. 34.0 34.1 "Into Oblivion"
  35. "Tried and True"
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 "'Crisis on Infinite Earths' boss answers burning questions about Earth-Prime, Ezra Miller, and more" - Entertainment Weekly
  37. "Smallville's Superman Is Still Alive Post-Crisis, Confirms Arrowverse Producer" - Screen Rant
  38. "Tom Ellis Explains When Crisis Fits Into Lucifer's Timeline" - CBR.com
  39. "Goldfaced"
  40. "Past Sins"
  41. "Elseworlds, Part 3"
  42. 42.0 42.1 "The Death of Vibe"
  43. "Marathon"
  44. "Shade"
  45. "The Adventures of Supergirl"
  46. "Tribute"
  47. "Tell Me the Truth"
  48. "Revenge of the Rogues"
  49. "Livewire"
  50. 50.0 50.1 "Dead or Alive"
  51. "Running to Stand Still"
  52. "Flash of Two Worlds"
  53. Barry Lyga interview
  54. The Flash: Johnny Quick
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 The Flash: The Legends of Forever


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