At the centre of the beating heart of the world of DC Comics is the multiverse, and trying to figure it out is about as easy as trying to figure out how trees work. Imagine the Earth is a blue marble. Now imagine you have lots of green marbles. Now scatter those marbles across and around the blue marble. That’s the multiverse. Lots of Earths in lots of fictional universes often interacting with one another and affecting one another in a way that makes one’s brain turn to mush. Some of them don’t even have names, in which case, I’ll step in and give them names, like Earth-Biff. Anywho, today we’re taking a trip to Earth-9. This is a world where Superman took control of the world and ruled with an iron fist for decades, causing waves of destruction and making all other superheroes illegal, imprisoning many and driving many more underground. It’s also a world where you’ll find the wonderfully named Kid Psycho. I could tell you more about him, but I think it’s best we all just bask in the magnificence of that name…
Harvey Dent was a normal man until, one day, somehow, he fell off the tallest building on Earth. Maybe he was sightseeing. Maybe he was pushed. Or maybe a seagull tried to steal his chips and, being distracted, he tumbled off the edge. For most people, this would be the end. But, strangely, Dent walked away from this with only a few scratches. The fall had unlocked something in his brain. It started to evolve faster than any other human brain had evolved in history. He developed telekinesis and telepathy, and could do anything he wanted. Literally. He could think, ‘I fancy a bagel’ and boom, one would appear. That is a pretty cool ability, when you think about it. Bacon sandwiches on tap. Lovely.
He became a superhero known as The Superman, and it wasn’t long before he figured out why he survived the fall. In the 1970s, Joseph Chill was a geneticist working for the American government trying to create superheroes. As you do. His aim was to create an army of super soldiers. He found a vigilante known as Nightwing to drug the inhabitants of a South Carolina town with a highly experimental evolutionary accelerant wonderfully named, Miraclo Solution. Which I agree does sound rather like a carpet cleaner…
Dent was the only survivor of the experiments. And his abilities continued to develop and evolve at an alarming rate. He fought the lords of the slums, local thugs and worked his way up to taking down the super villains of Earth-9. He became so popular he, now and again, even teamed up with the Atom and Flash, the most popular superheroes on Earth-9.
The Flash was one Lia Nelson, and yes, I too thought that was Liam Neeson when I first saw it. Adam Thompson, meanwhile, was the Atom, and was raised on the Moon by his father, also a superhero. Like many things today, it’s best not to ask too many questions.
But Atom was suspicious. In a television interview with one Karl Ferris, he admitted he was having doubts about The Superman. What were his intentions? Was he as altruistic as he appeared? Or was he a total bastard? He didn’t use those exact words, of course. Even Earth-9 has a watershed. By this time, Dent was starting to go a bit mad. He had gotten engaged, and no, that’s not the mad part, to a woman named Lola and managed to recreate the Miraclo Solution, so Lola could join him on his mad journey. Madness was prevalent here, though. The American government had created a taskforce known as the Justice League of America, a team of hunters with powers of their own, tasked with hunting down citizens with superpowers. Why? Well, the Atom’s grandfather got involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis. What did he do? Look, the American government formed a super powered team to hunt down those with superpowers and execute them. It’s safe to assume what Atom’s grandfather did wasn’t great…
Meanwhile, over in the Soviet Union, they had created a super powered villain all of their own, the almighty Ultra-Humanite. He was defeated, albeit on the Moon. It’s best if you try not to ask why. The one who defeated him was, of course, The Superman. He ripped Ultra-Humanite apart, literally, and, feeling rather chipper with his win, turned his attention to solving the problems of Earth. He believed he could do so, so clearly not a man without an ego. The world was suffering. The electromagnetic pulse generated when Ultra-Humanite was destroyed took out much of the modern world’s electronics, causing utter chaos. Communication and energy grids were down, and The Superman felt he was the only one who could save the Earth.
Little did he suspect the Infinite Crisis would happen, which is so complicated I shan’t describe it. Suffice to say, shit really hit the fan…
Afterwards, the Earth was in a much, much worse state. The Superman decided to not only bring back the old world, but make it better than ever before. So, as you’d expect, he showed up at the United Nations and declared himself President of the World. Well, they loved him so much, they didn’t really stand in his way. He decided to centralise the world’s resources and instituted the Global Peace Decree, declaring it illegal for all super powered humans to display, utilise or even talk about their abilities. People weren’t overly happy about this, so The Superman did what you’d expect, and launched the Purge. This immediately doesn’t sound all too rosy, does it?
The Purge was designed to weed out those speaking against his decree and his ruler ship, and would go on to create The Question, capable of monitoring every camera and data port on Earth. Opposing this new direction were The Secret Six, former allies of The Superman, but he defeated that coup rather easily. This defeat even led him to capture Mary Marvel, the hero known as The Joker. Oh, yes. She was a hero, here. She was also The Superman’s first victim, torturing her for information and then, then, stopped her heart. Needless to say, this Superman was a far cry from our beloved hero…
Dent tumbled down the rabbit hole and he would go on to murder many more people, all in an attempt to further his plans to ‘fix’ the world. His wife, Lola, wanted no more a part of it, and probably went off to work in the Copacabana. Ahem. Dent, by this point a weird mix of Hitler and King Henry, quickly remarried, this time vowing his undying love for another superhero, Powergirl.
Powergirl, as you’d expect, was an artificial being created by the communist government of China. Basically China’s response to the super humans cropping up everywhere. She was extracted from China by the Americans in the hope that they could use her as a weapon, but she refused, also as you’d expect. She ended up siding with The Superman as his enforcer and occasional hitman. They spent a lovely honeymoon in Switzerland, in case you’re wondering.
The Superman launched the New Era Indoctrination Program for those captured during the Purge in an attempt to bring them back into the society he wanted. He finally achieved global domination. That was until a Green Lantern from another universe popped up, an occult heroine. She was expecting nothing but smiles, yet found nothing but… torture. The Superman captured her and dealt out a bit of enhanced interrogation, as he called it, coming to the conclusion that the Green Lantern’s world was a threat to Earth-9. So he did what you’d expect him to do. He decided to go to New Earth, this other universe that the Green Lantern came from, and… kick the shit out of them. Oh, Supes. Oh, dear…
He found New Earth teeming with atrocity, corruption and misused resources. He found New Earth’s Superman, believing he was a ‘peacemaker’ too. Realising he wasn’t and was nowhere near as powerful, he defeated him and, with his new wife, took control of the world. He declared he would bring about a new world order, a world of peace and harmony. But, unlike his world, New Earth resisted, and resisted hard.
Dent knew it would be hard but underestimated just quite how difficult it would be. He was struggling, and was struggling even more when a group of super powered beings from his own world showed up to aid the defenders of New Earth, The Outsiders. The Superman amassed an army of super villains to aid him in battle, giving him enough time to unleash Ultra-Humanite on New Earth, who, as it turns out, wasn’t quite so dead. Bizzarely, The Superman’s decision to do this was so he could defeat him, thus, like on Earth-9, cause an electromagnetic wave to wipe out all the electronics.
It wasn’t enough, though. The defenders of New Earth won. Even Lola showed up and declared that she would not let Dent destroy another world. New Earth’s Superman captured The Superman and the Green Lantern stepped in, locking Dent, Powergirl and others in a gateway. The Superman’s last words before he was jailed? “I…. I only wanted to help…”
In no reality would I even contemplate a visit to Earth-9. What kind of fresh hell is that? You basically get your very own Superman and he turns out to be the greatest supervillain in history, and when I say great, I don’t mean gnarly, I mean, oh my God, he’s about to vaporise me with his laser vision because I bought the wrong kind of bagel. There is no way I could tolerate such mayhem, but, you know, well done to the Green Lantern for putting an end to it. It’s not often one thanks her, mainly because she’s utterly useless, but there we are…
So no, I would not consider a trip to Earth-9, but would you, readers?
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