Earth-2 is the original setting for most of DC’s Golden-Age comics, starting with Action Comics #1 in 1938 and running through the mid 1950s. Many of these stories are now part of the history of the DC Universe, but with a few key differences. In particular, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were original members of the JSA. (Wonder Woman has since been restored to this place through a time travel story.)
One of the reasons DC’s Golden and Silver Age characters are so distinct is that super-heroes had faded from popularity in the early 1950s, and only the “big three” were still in publication. In 1956 DC relaunched several characters, starting with the Flash, and began to add new ones.
Where Earth-2 diverges the most from the present-day DCU is in its Silver Age history. In 1961, the Golden and Silver Ages collided in “Flash of Two Worlds.” The then-modern Flash, Barry Allen, found himself in the world of the original Flash, Jay Garrick, and brought him out of retirement. This story established the multiverse, the names Earth-One and Earth-Two, and the idea that on Earth-Two, time could actually pass.
Over time, JLA/JSA crossovers became an annual event (now collected in the Crisis on Multiple Earths books), and more Earth-2 stories were written. Because Earth-2 was not the mainstream DCU of its time, changes could happen: Superman could marry Lois Lane without changing the status quo. Superheroes could raise families (or occasionally discover someone else had raised them). By the 1980s, there were comics dealing with the children of the JSA (Infinity, Inc.), while the JLA was still stuck in the perpetual present.
End of an Era
After Crisis on Infinite Earths, some of these new characters were folded into the new combined universe. They tended to be those whose existence did not conflict with Earth-1 characters: the original Green Lantern’s children, Jade and Obsidian, survived, but Batman and Catwoman’s daughter, the Huntress, vanished. (Huntress’ costume and name were later reused.)
Infinite Crisis created a new multiverse, as revealed in 52 Week 52 (2007). Among the new worlds is one called Earth-2, which appears very much like the original. It has been speculated that the alternate world on which a number of Flashes imprisoned Superboy Prime may have been this new Earth-2.Text by Kelson Vibber. Do not copy without permission.
- Who’s Who (first series) #8 (October 1985) - Eduardo Barreto