It’s not easy jumping into comic books these days, thanks to just about any title from any publisher having to deal with continuity and the ramifications of stories that came before. Sometimes it’s rewarding, other times confusing to find yourself flipping through the pages of a comic that references events that happened more than a decade ago.
DC Comics have always had a somewhat workable solution to decades of baggage: Reboots. Kicking off with Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985, DC would flip the switch again with soft tweaks in Zero Hour: Crisis in Time in 1994, Infinite Crisis in 2005 and the larger ramifications of 2011’s Flashpoint Paradox that led to the birth of the New 52 universe.
A universe which has now been rebooted once again, with very little fanfare or announcement in the latest issue of Action Comics. Spoilers on Infinite Earths below:
Right, quick summary: Mr Mxyzpytlyk is back, and he happens to have been up to shenanigans as usual. The Fifth-Dimensional imp hasn’t just been masquerading as a powerless Clark Kent and helping Superman reclaim a secret identity that was just lost, but he also managed to somehow bring the energy of the New 52 Lois Lane and Superman back to life, placing them in the bodies of their Pre-52 counterparts?
Still with me?
Thanks to their son Jon, the Pre-New 52 Lois Lane and Superman energy fields don’t just return to their original bodies: They merge with their New 52 essences, creating one Superman and one Lois Lane, rebooting reality along the way and sending Mr Myxyzpytlyk packing as he escapes the strange limbo dimension where he was hiding from a bigger threat. In simpler terms?
The New 52 universe is gone, rewritten and cosmically reshuffled to now be a hybrid reality that includes the Post-Crisis and Pre-Flashpoint continuities as well. Or as the ever-vigilant mystery man Mr Oz puts it:
A new, existence-wide, single reality, rebuilt from two
That, true believers, is massive. This is the kind of Silver Age insanity that I’d expect from Grant Morrison, but the end result is a new universe that still feels fresh and familiar. Will there be ramifications?
Yes, yes there will be as Mr Oz realises that a certain chronal god on Mars will undoubtedly begin turning his attention towards the Man of Steel, who just stole back a decade worth of history from this puppet-master.