The first sustained study of the DC Comics Multiverse, this book explores its history, meanings, and lasting influence. The multiverse is a unique exercise in world-building: a series of parallel and interactive worlds with a cohesive cosmology, developed by various creators over more than 50 years.
In examining DC's unique worlds and characters, the book illustrates the expansive potential of a multiverse, full of characters, histories, geographies, religions, ethnographies, and more, and allowing for expressions of legacy, multiplicity, and play that have defined much of DC Comics' output. It shows how a multiverse can be a vital, energizing part of any imaginary world, and argues that students and creators of such worlds would do well to explore the implications and complexities of this world-building technique.
Andrew J. Friedenthal has crafted a groundbreaking, engaging, and thoughtful examination of the multiverse, of interest to scholars and enthusiasts of not just comics studies, but also the fields of media studies and imaginary world studies.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – A Brief History of the Multiverse
Chapter 2 – The Multiverse in Crisis
Chapter 3 – Cartographers of the Multiverse
Chapter 4 – Beyond the Multiverse
Andrew J. Friedenthal is an independent scholar, writer, and critic living in Austin, Texas. His previous publications include Retcon Games: Retroactive Continuity and the Hyperlinking of America, chapters in the collections Crossing Boundaries in Graphic Narrative: Essays on Forms and Transgressive Tales: Queering the Grimms, and articles in the scholarly journals ImageTexT and The Journal of Comics & Culture. Additionally, he is a regular theater critic for the Austin American-Statesman and pop culture columnist for the online magazine Sightlines.