Earths ∑ and τ

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Re: Earths ∑ and τ

Postby dataweaver » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:54 am

Thanks for the suggestion. I don't have time to give a detailed response right now, as I'm on the road to family for Christmas; but I liked what I saw in the once-over I gave it. Please keep the suggestions coming, and I'll respond when I can.

Well wishes.

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Re: Earths ∑ and τ

Postby Libra » Fri Dec 23, 2011 3:25 pm

Goodness me, Grey Crusader, you've contributed a great and magnificent pageful right there! :mrgreen:

Please accept my congratulations. :D
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Rule Brittania! Praise the Hoff and the Grin!

Warning!: May cause Thread Drift.

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Re: Earths ∑ and τ

Postby greycrusader » Sat Dec 24, 2011 5:25 pm

Merry Christmas, my friend!
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Re: Earths ∑ and τ

Postby greycrusader » Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:56 pm

A question for dataweaver:

How did you handle the issue of the Earth-One Golden Age heroes who had counterparts? Technically speaking, it was canon at one time in DC editorial history that the Guardian (Jim Harper), the Paul Kirk Manhunter, the Robert Crane/Paul Dennis version of Robotman, and (possibly) TNT and Dynamite existed in the 1940s on Earth-One and Earth-Two (oh, almost forgot, Sargon and Giovanni Zatarra as well).

Also, Wildcat and the Greg Saunders Vigilante had Earth-One duplicates who were contemporary-era heroes, adventuring alongside Batman and the JLA on occasion; the same applied to the Blackhawks and Plastic Man (who were also Earth-Xers).

Of course, Roy Thomas complicated this more than a little by writing a story in All-Star Squadron where all the Freedom Fighters and associated characters travelled from Earth-Two to Earth-X. As Mr. Thomas officially stated in his own book's lettercolumn he later regretted the story and should simply have left well enough alone, I would stipulate the Quality heroes and villains should be considered Earth-X natives integrated into Earth-Sigma, to simplify matters.

I might take the easy out the heroes alleged to exist in Earth-One's Golden Age actually dwelled on Earth-B, a rather odd parallel which was detailed to exist during the late Silver/early Bronze Age of DC Comics. There were numerous distinctive features of Earth-B, including a Batman who started his career during WW II, accidentally achieved unusual longevity/vitality, and continued fighting crime into the modern era.

All my best.
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Re: Earths ∑ and τ

Postby dataweaver » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:05 pm

Heroes that weren't at the dawn of time at the end of CoIE#10 probably aren't Crisis Anomalies — although a few of them may be, when there's a reason for it. In the case of Golden-Age heroes who existed on both Earth-One and Earth-Two, it only really matters if there were significant differences between the two: if they were virtually identical already, there would be no way of knowing which one survived the Crisis — especially since only a select few have personal memories of the pre-Crisis world: everyone else is taking their word for it, based on the fact that something big happened in the Crisis and that it's readily apparent that there's more to the story than most people can recall.

Where there are differences, my bias is to preserve the Earth-1 version of the character; but it's only a rule of thumb: if there's reason to keep the Earth-2 version instead, keep the Earth-2 version instead.

Golden-Agers who have contemporary counterparts are generally resolved in favor of the contemporary counterpart, as in the cases of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Violate this only if more would be lost by losing the golden-age version than would be lost by losing the contemporary version.

Uncle Sam remembers Earth-X; but most of the other Freedom Fighters don't: they only remember fighting in WWII alongside the rest of the All-Star Squadron.

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Re: Earths ∑ and τ

Postby greycrusader » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:40 pm

Makes sense. Most of the Earth-One/Earth-Two Golden Age hero problem came about because Roy Thomas wanted to use all the Golden Age heroes available to DC when he was writing ALL-Star Squadron, not just the JSAers and other established Earth-Two characters such as Johnny Quick. This led to the Guardian, Paul Kirk Manhunter, the Freedom Fighters and others appearing, though they had been established as existing on other parallel Earths.

Since I don't think any of the above mentioned were even involved in the Crisis (not was the GA Aquaman-yes, there was one, and he was significantly different), I'd go with your explanation-the characters were so similar, they basically "merged" in the Earth-Sigma reality. The contemporary Blackhawks, Plastic Man, Vigilante, and Wildcat had only tangential appearances in Earth-One stories, so I would consign them to the now destroyed Earth-B timeline.

Since you are trying to avoid the post-COIE revisions in your setting, I'd suggest there was no "Young All-Stars" as far as Iron Munroe, the GA Fury, and (maybe) Flying Fox are concerned. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman's exploits with the JSA are instead replace with Mr. Terrific (who otherwise had a palltry few adventures with the team), the GA Superman with either a longer-serving Hourman or (more likely) Captain Marvel, and Wonder Woman with her mom, Hippolyta (but not adopting the WW name, and not as a result of Byrne's time travel storyline), who serves almost a "Namor" role among the All-Stars. If you really wanted to push matters, Mr. Scarlet and Pinky could take over for Batman and Robin in the 1940s (yes, the guy's sidekick was named Pinky.)

I'd guess the Quality character The Spider does replace Green Arrow in the Seven Soldiers of Victory, but likely not as a stealth villain/crimelord (which was a 1990s revision).

All my best.
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Re: Earths ∑ and τ

Postby dataweaver » Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:26 pm

The rough outline of Earth-∑'s timeline is provided in CoIE#10, and a more detailed version is given in the two-issue "History of the DC Universe" that was published shortly after the end of the Crisis. (I suspect that "History" was originally supposed to be the final two issues of CoIE before it was decided that a final showdown with the Anti-Monitor was needed.) I don't mind the occasional historical inconsistency, such as there being an All-Star Squadron adventure that originally featured Superman in a prominent role, but on Earth-∑ happened without him, even (or possibly even especially) if it doesn't make sense without his presence.

Earth-∑ has a patchwork history that doesn't always make sense if you put it under a microscope, which provides supporting evidence to the claims made by the likes of Harbinger in the wake of the Crisis. By the ten-years-after point, the origin of Earth-∑ is common knowledge, despite most people lacking "eyewitness" memories of the pre-Crisis Multiverse.

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Re: Earths ∑ and τ

Postby greycrusader » Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:53 pm

Dataweaver, I am wondering if any of the Post-COIE characters do have a place on Earth-Sigma? I know you've stated the Earth-Sigma counterparts to Cassie Sandsmark, Jamie Reyes, Connor Hawk and the like either exist only as non-powered/costumed people or not at all, but what about the Helena Bertinelli version of the Huntress, any of the Batgirl or Batwoman successors (since I still picture Barbara Gordon returing to politics, not crimefighting on Earth-Sigma), Mr. Terrific II (not the terrible 52 version, the JSA one), Stargirl, and the like? Characters whose existence as heroes wouldn't be precluded by the fact that Earth-Sigma's signature heroes mostly did not retire or die?

Kyle Rayer never became a GL, as Emerald Twilight never happened (Hal Jordan vanishes in the battle against Mongul to save Coast City, but the Guardians don't assing another Earth GL); Bart Allen may exist in the 31st century future, but has not returned in time to the present day; and so on. But what about Booster Gold, who might still be a time traveling adventurer, though perhaps of a diferent sort in a timeline that includes "What Ever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow"? Likewise, I can John Henry Irons rise as an armored hero with the fall of Kal-El, even without the presence of Doomsday. A Superboy could be engineered by the DNA Project as an attempt to replace the Man of Steel-or maybe the Silver Age superboy counterpart Hyperboy (Kwirk Quentin), an alien hero from Trombus, loses his own family/home world and relocates to the planet of his now (erroneously presumed) dead childhood friend?

Love to see your thoughts and developments on your intriguing setting.

All my best.
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Re: Earths ∑ and τ

Postby dataweaver » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:42 pm

In general, Earth-∑ is the wrong place for what Infinite Crisis called Earth-8 characters: people that made their first appearance in the DCU after the Crisis. Some exceptions can be made, such as your Coach Raymond/Jason Rusch Firestorm; but they should be exceptions. Introduce too many, and you start to lose the Silver/Bronze Age feel of the world. This very definitely includes Booster Gold, who (AFAICT) holds the status of being the very first post-Crisis superhero — a status that I intend to play to the hilt in 52 Pick Up. Incidently, one of the things that I want to play up in 52 Pick Up is that Earth-∑ is not a better world than Earth-0: yes, it has preserved most of what has been lost on Earth-0; but the trade-off is that it didn't gain most of what Earth-0 ended up developing over the years. The main criterion for being an exception to this rule is if you can come up with an interesting tweak that makes the Earth-∑ version substantially different from the Earth-0 version.

Barbara Gordon did indeed return to politics. If Cassandra Cain exists on Earth-∑, she never met Barbara; and I'm inclined to say that she doesn't exist at all: I don't want David Cain on Earth-∑, and I'm inclined to go with the notion that Lady Shiva never had children. With Jason Todd around, Tim Drake never became Robin; and without Tim as Robin, Stephanie Brown's crime fighting career was short to nonexistent. From an Earth-∑ standpoint, Helena Bernatelli is a retcon of Helena Wayne, and so does not exist here. Kate Kane and Michael Holt might exist on Earth-∑, but probably not as Batwoman and Mr. Terrific — although the latter is more likely than the former, depending on what has happened with the Spectre. Courtney Whitmore never became the Star-Spangled Kid, because Sylvester Pemberton never died.

John Henry Irons is around; and rather prominently, too: when he was working at a construction site, there was an accident that resulted in him being in freefall. He was saved by Superwoman; they hit it off, and today they're married. He has done the Steel thing, in part by reverse-engineering some of his wife's gadgets.

Remember that Superboy already exists on Earth-∑ — in the past, living in Smallville; and in the future, fighting alongside the Legion of Superheroes. It's only in the present that there is no Superboy.


What about the villains? Superman's rogue's gallery got decimated by "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow"; did anyone take their place? What about the other heroes' rogues' galleries?

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Re: Earths ∑ and τ

Postby greycrusader » Wed Jan 11, 2012 9:41 pm

This is quite a good question. Superman had ho shortage of spacefaring enemies who would vie for Brainiac's interstellar territory, including Amalak (a smuggler and crime boss with advanced psionic techology), Grax (a four-armed humanoid who was a rival to Brainiac, and once stole the latter's force field device), and the Space Viking (a galactic raider and plunderer).

The Superman Revenge Squad (extraterrestrial villains who had all had run-ins with the Man of Steel) would likely set their sights on any heroes stepping up in place of Kal-El; this would include Superwoman, John Henry Irons (whom I think would adopt the codename "Armor" since Steel II is alive on Earth-Sigma), and the "Starguard" heroes, such as Vartox and Luma Lynai (kind of a proto-Supergirl of the planet Staryl).

Luthor's confirmed death might start a war between other would-be masterminds and criminal scientist-supremes vying for Lex's reputation and any leftover tech; this would include Dr. Sivana, Dr. Cyber, T.O. Morrow, Prof. Ivo, and many others, from real menaces to lightweights like Dr. Cyclops, Drabny, and Mr. Poseidon.

While Bizarro #1 committed Blue Kryptonite induced suicide after destroying Bizarro-World, there were other superpowered Bizzaros fully capable of surviving the planetary explosion. One or more could cause mischief (or major havoc) on Earth. And while Metallo, Parasite, and Terra-Man are dead, enemies such as Neutron, the Protector, and Radion remain (the latter two only appeared in one multi-part story arc, which is a shame-they were two of the coolest Bronze Age Superman villains).
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Re: Earths ∑ and τ

Postby dataweaver » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:22 pm

That bit about John Henry Irons' codename? That's the problem with trying to keep as many pre-Crisis heroes as possible while also trying to introduce post-Crisis heroes into the mix: you never know when you're going to have a collision of names. Well, so be it: I'm not going to kill off the pre-Crisis Steel so that Mr. Irons can use his codename, nor am I going to abandon he idea of him as Kristen Wells' new husband because his preferred codename is alread in use.

Problem is, I don't like Armor as a codename. It just doesn't feel right. A key element of John Henry Irons' concept is the literary reference to John Henry, the steel-driving folk hero. So instead of Steel, how about calling him Steeldriver?

In general, it looks like even with the villain deaths in "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow", Superwoman and the Starguard will still have plenty of villains to foil. Good.


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