Guest Post: The Ring of the Mastermen

I love writing this blog but I also love reading other people being brilliant. Eventually I’d like to see this site expand to include multiple writers (multiple Historians!) but for now I’m glad to introduce our first ever guest post! It come to us via The Qing (/u/The-Qing on Reddit) and you can find their Tumblr here and the original post here.

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Richard Wagner

Less my usual style of ranting about comic history this is a instead really great breakdown and analysis of imagery and themes used by Grant Morrison in his latest maxi-series, The Multiversity, especially focusing on the the connections between Wagner’s epic opera cycle, Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) and the seventh issue The Multiversity: Mastermen #1. He even broke up the analysis into sections named after the four operas that make up Wagner’s ring cycle: Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold), Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), Siegfried and Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)

It goes without saying that you should not read the following without having read The Multiversity: Mastermen #1 first – it will spoil the whole joy of the book. Also, don’t forget you can click any image in this post to see the large version.

So, without further ado, here’s The Qing’s post. Enjoy!

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What’s the deal with the Fourth World?

On December 30th, 2014, /u/rustbucket2010 asked the following on /r/DCcomics:

What’s the “Fourth World”? I was reading Kingdom Come and it’s mentioned.

What the deal with the Fourth World?

The Fourth World is a term used both within the DC Universe to refer to a place/period of time and in ours to refer to a collection of titles written by Jack Kirby. That may sound simple but there’s a huge amount to it! As I enjoy ranting about comic book history, let’s get right down to it.

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What’s with speedsters, like the Flash, creating energy constructs like Green Lantern does?

On December 8th, 2014, /u/Hippieslayer555 asked the following on /r/DCcomics:

So, I read up on Flash on the DC Comics wiki, and it is stated that Speedsters have an ability called Energy Construct Creation that allows them to create objects like Green Lantern can, not exactly the same but the principle is still the same.

I’ve got to ask, I’ve read all of the New 52 series and Rebirth and I’ve never seen this ability demonstrated, do speedsters actually have this ability and how often do they use it?

Before I saw it, /u/harryboom offered this:

it was in rebirth, when barry and the rest all created new costumes out of speed force energy. it hasn’t shown up in N52

Then came my answer:

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What is the origin of Flash Facts?

On December 5th, 2015, /u/Hugostigglitz asked the following on /r/DCcomics:

Have been wondering when these were brought about and by who? Was it Gardner Fox with Jay Garrick? Broome and Infantino with Barry in the Silver Age? If it was in the Silver Age was it just to promote education in comics or was it to distance the comic from other comics that were being blamed for causing juvenile delinquency? Both? (Therefore was it a push by Julius Schwartz?).

So, normally I like to have a lot more reference material to work with when answering these types of questions, but the internet has let me down! It seems that nobody has really cared much about the history of ‘Flash Facts’ before – certainly not enough to fight the copious blogs and news stories that use it for headlines and make the search much harder.

Still, I’ll try, so here we go:

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What’s up with Earth-D?

On October 15th, 2014, /u/switchfade asked the following on /r/DCcomics:

Can someone help me? I’m trying to read about earth D! I found the concept amazing but I have no idea how to find out more

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DC history nerd here! I think I can probably help :)

First we need to go way way back to the 60’s. The decision to explain how the the 1940’s Flash (Jay Garrick, the guy with the metal hat) and the new Flash (Barry Allen) could both exist was to say they existed on parrallel Earths, and the two finally met in the seminal story Flash of Two Worlds (1961). This lead to the establishment of Earth-One, where the modern characters lived, and Earth-Two, where Jay Garrick and the Justice Society hung out. The JLA and the JSA the had annual adventures where they’d team up for, basically, the next two decades.

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