When did multiverses become the new hotness?
I mean they’re not new. The idea of a multiverse, of nigh-infinite alternate Earths, dates back to Greece in the 3rd century BCE (that we know about), and in terms of pop culture goes back at minimum to that time the current Flash met the previous Flash.
But all of a sudden multiverses are everywhere. The infinite possibilities of multiple worlds are popping up all over popular media. Sure they’ve been in comics for a minute and a half, but now they’re in movies and TV. The Flash brought the multiverse into the Arrowverse back in season two…
…multiversal shenanigans are a big part of Marvel’s post-Endgame movie/TV plans, Rick and Morty is so tuned into alternate universes as an idea there’s an entire episode with dozens of characters who are either Rick or Morty. How long will it last? Probably until the day before Jerry O’Connell announces he’s signed a deal for a Sliders revival.
Come on you know he’s gotta be at least considering it.
But like the multiverse offers many possible variations on the world we know, the narrative concept of the multiverse can be used for many, many purposes. Some good, some interesting, others… less so.
So what I’d like to do today is look at a few properties using the multiverse as a storytelling tool and what they’re using it for, and along the way, who’s doing it best.
Starting with who’s doing it worst.
Next page: multiversing irresponsibly