Justice League Incarnate affirms Superman’s central role in the multiverse as the blueprint upon which reality’s immune system is based.
Warning: contains spoilers for Justice League Incarnate #4!
In an epic summary of DC’s recent history and reality-distorting crises, the powerful Doctor Multiverse has affirmed: Supermanthe true purpose. This will be in the opening pages of Justice League Incarnate #4which was written by Joshua Williamson and Dennis Culver, with art handled by Chris Burnham, Mike Norton and Andrei Bressan.
Even regular DC readers have come into contact with the company’s infamous Crisis events. These are big, blockbuster crossovers where a cosmic force usually threatens the very existence of the universe or even the multiverse. In Justice League Incarnate, a crisis of sorts ensues when the Flash is tricked into ripping a hole in the multiverse, allowing the darkness from outside to spread inward and start the universe back to the beginning. A team of heroes from across the multiverse band together to prevent that, and a new hero named Doctor Multiverse is essential in that task.
She explains that during a crisis event, the multiverse activates its immune system: superheroes. The benchmark for this unprecedented effort is the milestone Crisis on Infinite Earths event that forever reshaped the DC universe. But during the event last crisis, it was also revealed that Superman is the archetype for the ultimate hero. Combined, these two revelations make it clear that he is the blueprint for how the multiverse has expressed its immune system in every reality. From an external perspective, this also makes sense as Superman was one of the first modern superheroes and is often credited with popularizing the genre.
According to this explanation, the heroes of each reality exist as a natural way for the Light (explained here as the cosmic will to exist) to repel attacks from the Great Darkness, which wants to erase existence and enjoy lavishly of the nothing that existed before. any previous crisis or version of reality. Another major DC crossover event seemingly confirms this. In Doomsday Clock, Doctor Manhattan enters the DC Universe and sees the arrival of Superman as a fixed point in time. As Superman’s arrival on Earth shifts forward in time, so does the unraveling of the timeline of events in the DC Universe, creating his own kind of multiverse.
It’s cool to think of Superman’s true purpose as the foundation for the multiverse’s immune system, but this is also an interesting way to look at DC’s villains. While the vast majority of them do not reach the level of a crisis threat, they do challenge the heroes who are supposed to stop a crisis. In that case, these villains could be seen as the multiverse’s way of testing and strengthening its immune system before it’s needed.
The idea that Superman acts as the fundamental unit of the multiverse’s immune system, does not diminish his choices as a hero of his home reality, but rather reinforces the sense that he is a bastion of light and hope – one whose essential decency echoes through reality so that there is always a chance to save the day.
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