At the close of DC Comics famously ground-breaking 12-issue maxi-series, Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1986, the publisher released a two-issue, prestige format “afterward” that sought to wrap up the revolutionary series with a neat little bow.
Crisis, after all, was a game changer.
It revitalized the entire DC Universe and its stable of popular heroes for a new generation of readers who would no longer be encumbered by decades of convoluted stories and inexplicable continuity that made little-to-no sense. Crisis eliminated characters and plot points and events from ever happening in comic book lore and streamlined the DC Universe into an intelligible (for comic books, anyway) and coherent place for protagonists, antagonists and stories to thrive.
The History of the DC Universe, a prose tale written by Marv Wolfman and illustrated by George Perez (who were the two creative forces behind Crisis on Infinite Earths) put that new narrative together in a digestible manner, beginning at, well, the beginning of time and weaving through the DC stable of characters of old Atlantis, the Wild West, World War II, the modern day and more.
In two 48-page issues, it told of the first appearances and exploits of Anthro, the rocket ship from a doomed planet carrying a newborn baby, the billionaire who lost his parents to gun crime, and continued all the way to the last boy on earth…and beyond.
History of the DC Universe was full of story.
Bur for something so streamlined, and yet so dense and detailed, so necessary, it missed something very, very important.
And that missing hole is what The Other History of the DC Universe hardcover compilation aims to fill.
Written by novelist, comic book writer and Academy Award Winning Screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years A Slave, Let It Fall, American Crime) and deftly illustrated by Giuseppe Camuncoli (The Amazing Spider-Man, Darth Vader: Lord of the Sith, Hellblazer), The Other History of the DC Universe turns its attention to those superhero characters on the margins of society and speaks of their existence, their truth, and their stories.
Published under the DC Comics Black Label banner earlier this year, a banner for more mature tales and takes, sometimes outside continuity, The Other History of the DC Universe ran for five prose-illustrated issues, much like the literary format of the original History of the DC Universe thirty-five years earlier.
Each issue/chapter reframes pivotal moments of the DC Universe by featuring a singular character alongside a unifying thread throughout the entire series: the sociopolitical observations of the disenfranchised.
Here you’ll find decades of history in the telling – from the civil rights movement to the modern day in the life experiences of: Jefferson Pierce, the man who will become the hero called Black Lightning; Karen Beecher-Duncan, the Teen Titan known as Bumblebee; Tatsu Yamashiro, the Outsider called Katana; Renee Montoya, the ex-Gotham City Police Detective who would become The Question; and Anissa Pierce, daughter of Jefferson, and a hero herself.
Not only is the highly acclaimed The Other History of the DC Universe wonderful reading, it’s also mandatory for any lover of comic books, historians, or those who have an interest in the sociopolitical machinations that have, and continue to, shape our world.
Those that are disenfranchised have a voice, too. And the superheroes showcased in The Other History of the DC Universe, are proxies for all of us.
Make the run to your local comic book shop or bookstore today and pick up The Other History of the DC Universe. Learn about all the things you didn’t know about the DC Universe.