Continuity Punches, Earth-Prime, and Plotting Power

While writing an article on Earth-Prime yesterday, I had an interesting thought linking Superboy Prime’s “continuity punches” from Infinite Crisis with the early appearances of Earth Prime.

DC Comics established Earth-Prime as the reader’s world. It was basically the same as the real world, with no super-heroes, and allowed DC characters to interact with a world in which they were fictional characters. It also allowed the comics’ writers and editors to write themselves into stories. In 1985, as DC was dismantling the multiverse concept with Crisis on Infinite Earths, they established the existence of a Superboy on Earth-Prime, just before they destroyed the universe. This Superboy returned after a 20-year absence as one of the main villains in Infinite Crisis.

Flash #228 (1974), “How I Saved the Flash,” featured writer Cary Bates traveling to Earth-1 and meeting the Flash. Up until this point, the conceit had been that on Earth-Prime, comic writers would dream about super-heroes’ adventures on Earth-1, just as Earth-1’s writers would dream about heroes on Earth-2. In this story, the connection went the other way, too: Earth-Prime’s Cary Bates was able to influence events on Earth-1 by sheer force of will, which he called “plotting power.”

Now, Infinite Crisis Secret Files (2006) revealed that many of the seemingly random changes in DC continuity over the last 10–20 years were caused by Superboy-Prime trying to escape from limbo. Every time he punched the barrier separating them from the DCU, something would change. The Doom Patrol would appear out of nowhere, Donna Troy would get another origin, Jason Todd would come back to life, Lex Luthor would have grown up in Smallville, etc.

Notice, though: Superboy-Prime and Cary Bates-Prime are from the same universe, and both were able to alter reality in the mainstream DC universe.

I’m not sure what’s scarier: the fact that I noticed the connection, or the possibility that Geoff Johns, Marv Wolfman, or someone else involved with Infinite Crisis may have deliberately used this Superboy because of it.

2 thoughts on “Continuity Punches, Earth-Prime, and Plotting Power

  1. Pingback: Earth-Two is dead, long live New Earth-Prime « Any Eventuality

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