Last week I wrote about the Top 10 Earths so far in Multiversity, so this week I'm following that up with The Bottom 10 Earths so far. It's always good to keep an open mind about these sorts of things, but it's also true that there are a lot of stinkers in the multiverse.
THE BOTTOM 10
This is the earth that was based on Marvel's Ultimate universe, and also it looks like Mike Mignola's Hellboy has been thrown in there for some reason? It's not that important, considering this entire Earth was wiped out in the first issue of Multiversity to show how bad and tough those tough bad guys, The Gentry, can be. Maybe it was a kind of cheeky/petty move having the analogues of everything wrong with the comics industry destroying the stand-in for the basis of the incredibly popular Marvel Cinematic Universe, but whatever, I'm glad it's gone. This Earth is here because on top of being a first issue casualty, it's a copy of a copy mashed up with an adaptation of a copy of a universe. It's like Walter Benjamin's nightmare vision, plus Hellboy is hanging out for no reason.
Throughout The Multiversity Guidebook, Grant Morrison includes entries for seven unknown worlds that were created by the seven "Monitor Magi" with no further information beyond that. It's a nice way to create some more mystery around the Multiverse, and I'm pretty interested in seeing what develops, though I have my own ideas. Earth-46, however, is the worst one of the mysterious bunch because it is listed as "The second most mysterious of the 7 UNKNOWN EARTHS." It's the second most mysterious because we actually know one thing about it: it apparently came SECOND PLACE in the mysterious Earth Olympics, which means it is the silver medal of mysterious Earths, and we all know that second place is just first loser. On top of that it's being proudly billed as "the second most mysterious?" Nobody cares about who's second most mysterious! You're either the most mysterious or you shut the fuck up about it and fall back in line with the other Unknown Earths.
I literally have no idea what this Earth is about. It looks like an Earth whose superheroes were influenced more by Ancient Greco-Roman theater than adventure pulps? Which, now that I'm thinking about it, could actually be a pretty interesting concept that, upon further reflection, would most assuredly fall flat on its grease-painted face. Who cares. Oh, also, shoutout to Piotr Rasputin hanging out in his overalls and boots in the back there.
I believe this one is sort of based around John Byrne's Superman & Batman: Generations Elseworlds stories, which I'll admit I've never read, but a quick look at this makes me think that the most interesting idea here is our two main superheroes aging in real-time. According to this entry the premise is about Superman and Batman being heroes in the 1930s and generations of their sons and daughters taking up the mantle after them, which means that this Earth is filled with a bunch of entitled, self-righteous prick superheroes that probably aren't as fun as my dudes in The Just. The idea of Superman and Batman in the 1930s just makes me think of Tom Brokaw and all his "Greatest Generation" horseshit, and their children, a group of asshole baby boomers enforcing the status quo in a world of coded racism and late-stage capitalism. I don't give a shit about John Byrne comics.
This appears to be an Earth populated with ripoffs of characters from Supreme or WildC.A.T.s or Youngblood? Maybe it's loosely based around Wildstorm properties (Although I think the Wildstorm properties were folded into the regular Earth-0 continuity)? Is it just a general Image superheroes dump? At any rate, it's another case of a copy of a copy being forced into a Justice League template, and I'm clearly not a huge fan of those. You know what while we're at it, what does it mean that the majority of these Earths feature a Justice League-type of configuration? I mean I know it's all about branding and legacy with DC, but I'm talking story-wise here. Almost every Earth seems to have a version of the Justice League and given Grant Morrison's interest in spirituality and mysticism perhaps there's something there about that Justice League configuration repeating itself throughout the Multiverse?
Is this a Gotham by Gaslight Earth? Whatever. Not interested. I've read Gotham by Gaslight, and it was a fine comic book that I certainly did not want more of. There are also some pretty steam punk-y looking designs here so *dismissive jacking off motion*
This is supposed to be our Earth. This is the Earth where you wake up and read twitter and facebook and get angry about some stupid bullshit and it bugs you for a good chunk of your shitty day and you wonder whether there's a specific point where everything went wrong or if it's just always been this bad and you just weren't smart enough to notice. And now that you are smart enough why can't anyone else figure it out? This is the Earth where you are reading a blog post about The Multiversity Guidebook. Thanks for reading, by the way. This is also the Earth where I truly do appreciate you taking the time to read any of this. Also this is the Earth with ISIS and anti-vaxxers. It sucks.
This is the Earth based around DC's line of Earth One graphic novels, the bulk of which JMS is largely responsible for. (I don't ever want to try to fumble my way through spelling Straczynski ever, so thank god for whoever came up with the ol' JMS.) I'll admit to having never read any of those books, but I will also admit to never really being that interested in them. Also, the thought of JMS setting the tone for an entire universe of stories is upsetting to me. I believe at some point this was supposed to be DC's attempt at an Ultimate-style version of their universe but with serialized graphic novels instead of monthly issues, but from what I've heard there is still some confusion about how this universe is supposed to function in the scope of DC's business model. Apparently none of the creators on any of the titles set in this Earth are sure whether they're bound to an official Earth One continuity, and to be fair the description in the Guidebook does playfully acknowledge this, but story-wise there are fifty one other Earths that seem to have figured out their shit. What's Earth-1's excuse?
Earth-36 just looks like another off-brand Justice League but not even with the twist of a different theme like most of the other Earths. It's lazy. This just looks like a straight up one to one copy of Earth-0's Justice League, but with some typical, boring redesigns. It'll probably fit in great with DC's lineup when it gets its own book and some asshole who claims that this is their favorite thing tries to revitalize it or whatever and make their own suitably derivative Justice League of Earth-36 stories to sell to other fans who keep whining about wanting something different and diverse but are still largely unwilling to look past superhero signifiers for that. I'm sorry if I'm being hard on all the brave work that went into giving Earth-36's Green Lantern a torch or whatever, but I'm using Earth-36 as an example of just how lazy superhero comics can be and how willing we are as fans to not only take this nonsense but to play our part in the hype machine for something as meaningless as a Justice League redesign, or worse, superhero movie casting news.