Following the events of The CW's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event, the heroes of Earth-Prime (where The Flash, Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Batwoman, and Black Lightning take place) are unable to reach or detect other Earths in the multiverse. While the final moments of "Crisis" established for the audience that other worlds do indeed exist -- you can see a rundown here -- the heroes who populate The CW's DC shows don't know it. On The Flash, a particular bone of contention is that Harry Wells (Tom Cavanagh) and his daughter Jesse (Violett Beane), denizens of Earth-2 who had gone home, are now (as far as Team Flash knows) dead.
That idea is further complicated by the fact that Earth-2 was a special case. While the rest of the multiverse died during the heroes' battle with the Anti-Monitor (LaMonica Garrett), Earth-2 was destroyed earlier, in the Arrow season eight premiere. Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) of that Earth remained as part of Earth-Prime, in part because Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) was instrumental in rebirthing the multiverse after the Crisis.
So when we saw the rebirth of the multiverse at the end of the Crisis, instead of the version we had seen in earlier seasons of The Flash and Arrow -- where villains essentially ruled the place -- we got an Earth where the Justice Society of America had been around in the '40s and DC Universe's Stargirl is about to launch in May. It appears, then, that for all intents and purposes the Earth-2 fans have seen in the past are gone. Does that mean Harry and Jesse are gone? Well, that remains to be seen, but we have an alternate theory.
What if the events of "Crisis on Infinite Earths" created a second "Earth-2," this one patterned after the JLA: Earth Two story by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely?
In the comics, following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, there was no canonical multiverse for DC. There was a single timeline, and any "imaginary stories" outside of that timeline were branded "Elseworlds" and did not cross over with the main timeline. This all stuck (with some rare tweaks, exceptions, and caveats) until Infinite Crisis re-established a limited multiverse twenty years after the original event.
In 2000, five years before Infinite Crisis, JLA writer Grant Morrison decided he wanted to use the Crime Syndicate of America, who had in the pre-Crisis timeline been the evil doppelgangers of the Justice League from Earth-3. That world was ruled by villains and defended by its sole hero: Lex Luthor. Unable to access the pre-Crisis Earth-3, Morrison created "Earth-2," which was very different from the Earth-2 that had existed in the pre-Crisis timeline.
Prior to the Crisis, DC had established that Earth-2 was actually the original, Golden Age DC Universe, where Superman debuted in 1938 and was a member of the Justice Society. There, Jay Garrick was The Flash and Alan Scott was Green Lantern. Generally speaking, it more closely resembled the Earth-2 seen at the end of "Crisis on Infinite Earths" than the one fans of The Flash had seen pre-"Crisis."
The pre-"Crisis" Earth-2 -- as it existed on TV -- actually kind of more closely reflected the Morrison version, which was inspired by Earth-3. In The Flash, actually, Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp) was the speedster who defended Earth-3, while Earth-2 was the villainous Zoom's dominion.
So what was the Morrison version of Earth-2? As alluded to, it had the Crime Syndicate of America rather than the Justice Society, and those villains found their way to the DC Universe to do battle with the Justice League. A twist, though: in a DCU with no multiverse, "Earth-2" was just a fancy name for a version of Earth found in the antimatter universe -- a location that had not been destroyed after the Crisis, but which allowed life to flourish once the Anti-Monitor was defeated and wasn't ready to kill anything he saw. The antimatter universe was used sparingly in the post-Crisis DCU, but came through with an "Earth-2" in a pinch.
What if -- somehow -- Oliver Queen brought back a version of Earth-2 in the same way he brought back various dead people from his past in his final moments? With no multiverse, it would not be unreasonable to believe that Oliver might try to use the antimatter universe to contain another world full of life, including some of the Earth-2 people he knew. It would also allow the post-"Crisis on Infinite Earths" Arrowverse to have a dark, mirror version of itself without the need for a multiverse proper.
One coudl also make the argument that having an antimatter universe opens up the possibility for a dark matter universe, which could give us The Red Death, a villain created for Dark Nights: Metal and referenced in passing last season on The Flash. These (along with the "mirrorverse" Iris (Candice Patton) is currently exploring on The Flash, would give he show an opportunity to once again define the cosmology of a DC multiverse -- something that The Flash has always done, in the comics and on TV -- even if in a much more specific and limited way. And, in a perfect world, maybe even bring back Harry and Jesse.0comments
What do you think? Could we see some version of the antimatter universe popping up to menace The Flash? Let us know in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter.
The Flash airs on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, before episodes of DC's Legends of Tomorrow.
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