SPOILER ALERT: The following article contains spoilers for the end of "Superman: Doomed" and "Futures End: Booster Gold," on sale this week.
While DC Comics' "Futures End" tie-ins may have dominated September for the publisher, another major storyline comes to a close today -- though its finale feels more like a prelude to something even bigger.
The "Superman: Doomed" crossover released its closing chapter this week, and the final page may be the most exciting development longtime fans of the DC Universe have seen in years, offering a glimpse of the DC Multiverse. The image includes 12 shards, each one filled with various pre-New 52 characters and Earths, including a Post-Crisis Superman, Marv Wolfman and George Peréz's "New Teen Titans" team, the original Earth 2 Justice Society, the Vampire Batman of Earth 1191, what appears to be a Timm-verse Harley Quinn and more. Even "Flashpoint" is represented, with Wonder Woman and Aquaman throwing down in a battle of supremacy.
"Superman: Doomed" wasn't the only comic to tackle some of the pre-New 52 concepts this week -- "Booster Gold: Futures End" #1 starred a version of the character clearly not from the New 52 as he journeyed to -- in order -- Gotham by Gaslight, the New 52, post-Crisis Legion of Super Heroes, Earth 4 (Charlton), the Earth of Jack Kirby's Kamandi and a mystery Earth that includes a different Booster Gold and his sister, Michelle, in her Goldstar costume.
The developments in this week's comics, plus the upcoming appearance of a non-New 52 Booster Gold (again!) and Blue Beetle in "Justice League 3000," indicate that the cracks are beginning to show -- quite literally -- in the New 52, as the pre-"Flashpoint" realities begin to appear in the DCU's main continuity. It's possible that the shards of the former realities have something to do with DC's rumored April 'fill-in' event, or perhaps we're seeing some far-reaching fall-out from Grant Morrison's "Multiversity" saga.
When reached by CBR News, DC Comics representatives declined to comment.
Check out the final page of the "Superman: Doomed" story below, and weigh in with your thoughts in the CBR Community.