When a universe gets as big as DC’s, with stories going back to as early as 1934 (from DC’s earliest versions of itself), and involves countless writers, artists, and producers, it can be a wee bit difficult for even the owners of those stories to keep track of the timelines. Add to that the characters like The Flash who can time travel pretty much at will, Dr. Manhattan (from ‘Watchmen‘) who can literally change reality with a thought, and the whole business with multiple Earths, and it has become a quagmire that few can truly understand.
But wait! DC has shined a light on its own incontinuities and in a brilliant move, has established an official timeline to address all the main stories, characters, and how they interact. DC publisher Dan DiDio presented an enormous chart at the DC New York Comic Con panel with all the details. Unfortunately, DC hasn’t released an official version of it yet, but some enterprising attendees snapped some pics of it that are readable if you blow them up, squint really hard, and ask Alfred to read it for you.
At the panel, DiDio explained the need for the official timeline:
“The whole idea here right now is, from our standpoint, we’re trying to organize a sense of when the DC stories took place and how they all fit together.”
He expressed that the Timeline will allow the writers to maintain continuity and allow the fans to keep track of the varied and intersecting storylines. He admitted that DC’s 1011 ‘New 52‘ reboot failed where he and his team didn’t spend the time to ensure the stories’ continuity. Clearly he’s taking steps to remedy that.
In sum, the DC universe has been divided up into four eras, labeled as “Generations.” Generation 1 begins with Wonder Woman. Generation 2 starts off with Superman and the Justice League. Generation 3 features ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths.’ Leaving Generation 4 to begin with ‘Flashpoint‘ and continuing with all the comics and stories being created at present, including the ‘Legion of Super-Heroes.’
We’ll keep an eye out for the official timeline release so keep checking back here to ScienceFiction.com for more updates!