The DC multiverse was created entirely by accident, to cross over Jay Garrick with his successor, Barry Allen. Sixty years later, things are a lot more complicated… Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Supers of Earth-D!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and Marv Wolfman, one of the primary architects of modern DC Comics, Presents:
TEN THINGS: TEN SUPERS OF EARTH-D!
10) THE FLASH
Though set during the events of 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, the first appearance of Pre-Crisis Earth-D came nearly fifteen years later, in 1999. Just as The Flash of Two Worlds did back in 1961, the story began with dimensional vibration. When his new home in the future was overwhelmed by anti-matter, Barry Allen fled back to the 20th Century, only to land in the home of Tanaka Rei, a different Flash entirely. Just as Barry read “fictional” stories of Jay Garrick, Tanaka was inspired by comics featuring Barry himself to become a scarlet speedster.
9) GREEN LANTERN
The events of Crisis on Infinite Earths were felt across the entire universe, causing an alien ship to crash-land on Earth. Its pilot, Tagin Sur, was fatally wounded, and instructed his ring to find a suitable replacement among the people of this strange world. It found José Hernandez, a pilot in Brazil’s Força Aérea Brasileira, making him the new protector of his sector. Green Lantern quickly found himself knee-deep in battle, but proved himself to be fearless when he went to his death to allow the heroes of Earth-1 and Earth-D to save civilians from certain doom.
A founding member of the world’s most powerful super-team, the Justice Alliance of America, little is known of this Aquaman. He was able to save the rest of the JAA from an antimatter wave that destroyed their headquarters, thanks to a force of dolphins, then stood beside the rest of his team as they rallied to battle the Anti-Monitor’s attacks.
7) WONDER WOMAN
It’s not clear how the Amazons of Earth-D differed from their counterparts, but what is clear is that this Wonder Woman looks more ethnically Hellenestic than the Diana Princes of Earths 1 or 2. She is no less noble or courageous, serving as a leading force in the field as her planet faced an increasingly hopeless wave of enemies from another reality. She never forgot her Amazonian creed, battling to her very last breath to defend her world.
6) THE MARTIAN MANHUNTER
This J’onn J’onzz has a pointy head!
That’s… really most of it?
Based on some of the stories about his Earth-1 counterpart, that seems to imply that this Martian Manhunter didn’t have to work quite so hard to be accepted, and was thus more comfortable with a hero form resembling his true Martian state. Earth-1 J’onn was only comfortable showing this form to his most trusted friends.
5) GREEN ARROW
A Native American hero, Green Arrow’s real name was never revealed during his only appearance. His dialogue certainly reminded me of Oliver Queen (“Don’t look back, kid!”) and his bravery in the face of superhuman opponents was certainly the same. It takes a certain kind of man to fight intangible demons of shadow with nothing but a bow and a quiver of trick arrows.
A much less grim version of the Caped Crusader, this Batman actually clashed with his Earth-1 counterpart when Batman-1 tried to upbraid his son, Robin, for not taking things seriously. Batman-D explains that he and his son aren’t merciless destroyers, and that they were going home to see their family before continuing the battle. Batman-D also pointedly hoped that Batman-1 had someone to say goodbye to, if the worlds were indeed ending, which has caused speculation that writer Marv Wolfman didn’t like the grimdark Bat-jerk.
Though her full name is never revealed, Shay and her brother Kator both seem to be ethnically Egyptian (yes, that strange coloration is a Bronze Age abstraction to differentiate Mediterranean skin tones from Black, and it was uncomfortable then, too), but otherwise similar in M.O. to their Earth-1 counterparts. When she was injured in battle with Shadow Demons, Kator leapt to protect her, only for both heroes to be disintegrated. The story calls this out as the first time any of the heroes of Earth-D have ever died.
It won’t be the last.
2) THE ATOM
Though his name is never given in-story, this Atom might be a counterpart of Ray Palmer from a different background. He has the same shrinking abilities, but uses a lot more technology, including a jet pack, an unidentified energy cannon, and some sort of scanning array built into his helmet. As the membership of the JAA continues to fall in battle, he refuses to give up to the very last.
The measure of any alternate reality is, in some way, the measure of their Superman, and this Kal-El measures up. When his wife, Kara, is ambushed by Shadow Demons, Superman rushes in to save her life, dying to protect the woman he loves. His last words are an entreaty for his friends and the visiting heroes to save their world. Sadly, as you’ve probably realized, that wasn’t to be, and when Earth-D was overwhelmed by The Monitor’s forces, Flash-D realized that they couldn’t save their world. With the heroes of Earth-1 having taken millions of people to safety, Tanaka tells them they have to flee. The Justice League offers to take them along, but the surviving Justice Alliance members refuse to let their planet die without fighting, whether they can win or not.
They do not survive.
Some have taken this story, which appeared in Legends of the DC Universe: Crisis On Infinite Earths, as what Marv Wolfman wanted the post-Crisis world to be like, and while it’s true that he wanted to see more representation among the heroes of New Earth, I don’t know that what we got is 100% what he wanted. That said, if you’ve never heard of Earth-D, you are missing out.
Once again, this week’s topic, Ten Supers of Earth-D, is all me, but feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra to suggest a topic of your own! There’s always more Ten Things madness on my Twitter or check out the full Twitter archive here! As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, if only because every third story in the year 2022 is united a multiverse. I can’t wait for ‘Crisis on Infinite Flintstones’ to explain The Schmoo. Either way, the comments section is below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!