Compounding many longtime DC Comics fans' confusion with respect to the revised histories of the publisher's superhero characters, Co-Publisher Dan DiDio confirmed that tent-pole storylines Crisis On Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis and all such universe defining Crises did not occur in DC's New 52 universe. In a posting to his Facebook page, DiDio explained that "major events" like the Crisis stories are "difficult to place" in the compressed history of the new DC Universe timeline, particularly with so many characters' histories beginning from scratch. Originally published in 1985-1986 DC's Crisis On Infinite Earths by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez was an epic storyline whose function was to consolidate the characters and continuities of the DC publishing line into a single, simplified universe with an eye towards relaunching series and welcoming new readers. In that way, it was not dissimilar to the publisher's New 52 initiative. However, the events of Crisis On Infinite Earths -- specifically, the extinguishing of the Multiverse, the narrative apparatus by which DC published stories about Supermen and Batmen from alternate realities, among other such fantastical concepts -- have been referenced explicitly by subsequent comics, including 1994's Zero Hour: Crisis In time, 2005's Infinite Crisis and 2008's Final Crisis, all of which put forth new universe-defining paramaters for the DC line, including details that led directly into the recently completed Flashpoint, itself a Crisis-like saga that reconfigured the previous DC timeline and whose conclusion established the universe of the New 52.

"Brace yourself," DiDio said in response to a reader's question on Facebook. "But after further review, there have been no Crisis events in the New DCU." DiDio followed up later:

For those in crisis over Crisis, let me clarify. The topic of Crisis was much discussed among the editors and talent working on The New 52. With so many characters and histories restarting, major events like Crisis are harder to place when they work for some and not for others. (that was one of the problems coming out of the original Crisis). While we are starting aprx five years into our heroes' lives, we are focused on the characters present and future, and past histories will be revealed as the stories dictate. Yes, there have been "crisis" in our characters lives, but they aren't exactly the Crisis you read before, they can't be. Now, what this means for characters seen and unseen...... well, that's the fun of The New 52, infinite stories, infinite possibilities, with the best yet to come.

As referenced many times in ComicsAlliance's roundtable reviews of the New 52 and in David Uzumeri's weekly New 52 continuity tracking, the imposed five-year history of the new DC Universe has inspired more questions than it's answered, at least for some longtime readers. The events of Final Crisis seem especially crucial to the New 52, as that series depicted the return of Barry Allen, the long-lost Flash whose subsequent Flashpoint storyline is indeed the origin of New 52 itself. Final Crisis also temporarily removed Bruce Wayne from the field, facilitating his former sidekick Dick Grayson's promotion to Batman, as explicitly referenced in Nightwing #1.

In any event (no pun intended), DiDio's erasure of DC's famous Crises would seem to make that five-year timeline a lot less compressed.

For more on this development, stay tuned for David Uzumeri's next continuity report right here on ComicsAlliance.

More From ComicsAlliance