Geoff Johns talks THE FLASH and WB/DC's Multiverse

6 min read


Ha, who’s the crazy one now, suckers?!

Just over a week ago, I posted a really crazy theory on Facebook that perhaps answered the question of why Warner Bros can’t just seem to get all their DC Comics properties in a row, but instead keep having all these different versions of their characters, on TV and in movies, all existing in their own separate continuities. My crackpot deduction was that while we were busy being frustrated by what seems to be the left hand not even knowing that there are other limbs much less what they’re doing, Warner Bros was in fact being very sneaky, laying the groundwork for possibly the most ambitious studio undertaking yet.

See, if there’s one thing that sets the DC Comics universe apart from the Marvel universe, it’s that DC Comics have a multiverse – a collection of parallel universes – where characters and events are just slightly different from each other. So what if all those TV series and movies where you had different versions of the same character running around were all in fact existing in their own reality in this multiverse, and could potentially cross over with each, just like what has been happening in the comics for decades?

That first crossover, between what was the Golden Age WWII-era characters and the “modern” characters of the 1960’s, actually came about when superfast superhero the Flash aka Barry Allen accidentally vibrated his molecules to the same frequency of a parrallel universe. You know The Flash, right? That TV series that WB just recently spun out of Arrow, with Barry Allen being played by Grant Gustin? Not to be confused with the same Flash being played by Ezra Miller in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman movie and eventually his own solo film.


All those different versions of the characters in separate continuities sound awfully familiar, something that DC comics writer/architect and current Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns is very aware of and spoke to Buzzfeed about:

“We had talked about it previously being distinct, but I can’t really talk about the films. We haven’t really gone into detail about what that stuff is so I don’t want to get too detailed yet. You have to have conversations about what’s happening in TV and film between everybody because you don’t want to do the same thing. That’s super, super important.”

And if that wasn’t clear enough for you, Johns went on further to explain how the “Arrow-verse” – for lack of a better term – is in fact part of this Multiverse.

“‘Arrow’ and ‘Flash’ are the same universe, and we get a lot of great story out of that – especially when we have episodes that cross them over, but that’s also where our superhero universe lives. We look at it as the multiverse. We have our TV universe and our film universe, but they all co-exist. For us, creatively, it’s about allowing everyone to make the best possible product, to tell the best story, to do the best world. Everyone has a vision and you really want to let the visions shine through… Maybe one day we’ll link a show to a film if it makes sense, but the creative process we’re going through right now is to let the stuff live and breathe and be its own thing and own it.”

So no solid plan in place for a big multiversal crossover, but they’re certainly leaving their options open and are planting all those seeds so long.

“We’re trying to utilize as many characters as we possibly can, but there is a conscious effort to explore the DC universe. Like on ‘Constantine,’ we already have Jim Corrigan, we put Dr. Fate’s helmet in the pilot; that wasn’t just a easter egg. I like the term easter egg, but I prefer all our easter eggs actually lead somewhere, that they’re foreshadowing… There might be someone out there who sees Dr. Fate on an episode of ‘Constantine’ and suddenly they love that character and they become a creator later on and tell me they have a great take for a Dr. Fate TV show. That’s what we want to happen. Like, I can’t believe Gorilla Grodd’s gonna be in a ‘Flash’ TV show. That’s insane.”


This multiverse is also not the only place where DC has one-upped Marvel. The Avengers studio, as successful as they have been, have taken lots of flak over the years due to their lack of diversity. We’re about to end their Phase 2, and still we haven’t seen any movies headlined by females or persons of colour. DC’s recently announced slate on the other hand boasts a variety of not just skin colors/cultures, but also sexual orientations. And this diversity of characters is something that DC is keenly aware and proud of.

“We have ‘Supergirl’ and ‘Lucifer’ in development, and they’re both very different than everything we’re doing now. It’s well past time there’s a female superhero out there, both in film and on television, and it’s awesome that we’re on the forefront of that… ‘iZombie’ was like this dark horse that showed up because Susan Rovner [co-president of Warner Horizon Scripted Television] and Rob Thomas had been talking about doing something new and we had been talking to Susan about ‘iZombie,’ and she helped champion that.”

So in essence, if you thought my theory was silly – yes, I’m looking at you, Tracy – then I’d like you to know that I hear that chutney goes well with humble pie. Now if only Warner Bros and DC were to actually follow through on all of this and actually pull off what I theorized: the big screen version of Crisis on Infinite Earths. I can guarantee that on the day that should get announced, the internet will be promptly washed away in tsunami of geekgasms.

Last Updated: October 24, 2014

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