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For the behind the scenes concept, see Arrowverse.
"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 could not normally interact with or be seen by each other. If one 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 by 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 an 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 shown to be further in the past than other worlds. On others, such as Earth-99, the opposite holds true, with their respective timelines being further ahead than other universes; clearly not all co-existing within the same time periods.

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, 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, by restoring many of the old parallel universes and creating new ones as well.

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]

In the beginning of time, there was only God. He then created Heaven and the angels, one of which would later be known as Satan, God then made the Big Bang which led to the creation of the multiverse. The multiverse gave rise to infinite universes with infinite possibilities through space and time.

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 21st century by philosophers and researchers of 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.[6]

In early 2015, Barry Allen and the rest of Team Flash accidentally opened a singularity above Central City; though they succeeded in closing it,[7] 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 Earth-2 speedster known as Zoom began exploring the multiverse[8] before using the breaches to launch an assault on Earth-1's Central City in an attempt to steal The 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,[9] sealing the breach upon their return.[10]

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.[8]

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.[11]

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.[12] In that same time frame, antimatter was unleashed upon Earth-2, killing its population and ultimately destroying the universe.[13]

Complete destruction

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

During the Anti-Monitor Crisis, all of the multiverse, as well as all life contained within, was systematically destroyed by the Anti-Monitor. 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 realm outside the multiverse. However, Lex Luthor re-wrote the Book of Destiny and replaced Clark with himself, thus making himself one of the last survivors of the Crisis.

Post-Crisis


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Rebirth

With the rebirth of the multiverse, some things changed. Earths were now separated by something other than 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; the reborn Earth-1 merged with Earth-38 and Earth-TUD5.

Consequences

For more information, see List of changes caused by the Crisis

With the multiverse being reborn, a tremendous amount 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.

Known parallel universes

Multiverse map

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

Original multiverse


New multiverse

Known extra-dimensional planes


Pocket dimensions

Known parallel timelines/realities

Original multiverse

Earth-1

Earth-90

Known constants in the multiverse


Appearances

Constantine

The Flash

Season 2

Season 3

Season 4

Season 5

Season 6


Supergirl

Season 1

Season 4

Season 5


Arrow

Season 5

Season 6

Season 7

Season 8


DC's Legends of Tomorrow

Season 3

Season 5

Freedom Fighters: The Ray

Season 1

Batwoman

Season 1

Black Lightning

Season 3

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 fact that the number of breaches that opened in Central City is 52 is a reference to both the multiverse crisis storyline known as 52 and The New 52 imprint in the DC Comics.
    • 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.
    • 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. Since then these have expanded to at least 1938 universes. In 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.
  • 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.

References

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