History of the DC Universe

History of the DC Universe is a two-issue comic book limited series created by writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez which was published by DC Comics following the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

History of the DC Universe
The cover to the History of the DC Universe trade paperback. Art by Alex Ross.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
FormatLimited series
Publication date1986
No. of issues2
Main character(s)Harbinger
Creative team
Created byMarv Wolfman
George Pérez
Written byMarv Wolfman
Penciller(s)George Pérez
Inker(s)Karl Kesel
Colorist(s)Tom Ziuko
Editor(s)Mike Gold
Collected editions
History of the DC UniverseISBN 1-56389-798-9

Publication historyEdit

History of the DC Universe was an attempt to summarize the new history of the DC Universe to establish what was canonical after Crisis on Infinite Earths reformed the multiverse into a single universe.[1] In the original planning of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the History would have formed the final two issues, following the destruction of the Multiverse at the beginning of time, but this was changed. History of the DC Universe had been one of the working titles for Crisis on Infinite Earths.[2]

The loose plotline of the series involves the character Harbinger chronicling the past, present, and future of the post-Crisis DC Universe. The history is mostly told through one- and two-page splash pages, accompanied by brief prose. At the end of the series, Harbinger places the history in a capsule and launches it into space. In the subsequent series Millennium, this history is intercepted by the Manhunters and used against Earth's superheroes.


The Next Men characters made a prototypical appearance as "Freaks" in a lithography plate that was published within the History of the DC Universe Portfolio in 1986.[3] Writer/artist John Byrne had originally pitched the series to DC Comics but it never surfaced there.[4] With some changes, Byrne changed the concept to fit in with his work on the graphic novel 2112, to become the John Byrne's Next Men series. Two characters from the "Freaks" artwork somewhat retained their physical looks and became the lead characters of the Next Men series: heroine Jasmine and villain Aldus Hilltop.

The other plates in the portfolio included art by Stephen R. Bissette, Brian Bolland, José Luis García-López, Keith Giffen, Dick Giordano, Joe Kubert, Steve Lightle, Jerry Ordway, George Pérez, Curt Swan, and John Totleben. The cover was painted by Bill Sienkiewicz.

Collected editionEdit

The series was reprinted in hardcover by Graphitti Designs in 1988 with a painted cover by Bill Sienkiewicz. It featured additional material not included in the original series[5][6] including an introduction by Wolfman and the following:

The series was reprinted as a trade paperback in 2002. It had a new cover painting by Alex Ross but did not include the bonus material from the 1988 hardcover edition.[8] In October 2015 the series was collected once again when it was included as an extra in the Crisis on Infinite Earths Deluxe Edition hardcover collection.[9]

History of the DCUEdit

After the events of Infinite Crisis, DC included a backup feature titled "History of the DCU" in 52, running in issues #2–11 and written by Dan Jurgens. In this version, Donna Troy, now in possession of Harbinger's orb, tells the story of the history of the DCU up to Infinite Crisis.

History of the MultiverseEdit

The backup feature, History of the Multiverse, appears in issues #49–38 of Countdown, as told from the perspective of the Monitors. It was written by Dan Jurgens as well.


  1. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 220. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. In an effort to organize the status quo of the DC Universe after the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths maxiseries, artist George Pérez and writer Marv Wolfman collaborated on a two–part prestige–format history of the DCU. {{cite book}}: |first2= has generic name (help)
  2. ^ Crisis on Infinite Earths Compendium, pg. 4, Crisis on Infinite Earths: The Absolute Edition.
  3. ^ Cooke, Jon B.; Nolen-Weathington, Eric (2006). Modern Masters Volume 7: John Byrne. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing . p. 87. ISBN 978-1893905566.
  4. ^ Cronin, Brian (August 6, 2009). "Comic Book Legends Revealed #219". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  5. ^ Wolfman, Marv; Pérez, George (1988). History of the DC Universe. Graphitti Designs. ISBN 0-930289-26-9.
  6. ^ History of the DC Universe (1988) at the Grand Comics Database
  7. ^ Cronin, Brian (March 15, 2019). "Celebrating the History of the DC Universe Jam Poster". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on March 16, 2019.
  8. ^ History of the DC Universe (2002) at the Grand Comics Database
  9. ^ Wolfman, Marv; Pérez, George (2015). Crisis On Infinite Earths Deluxe Edition. DC Comics. p. 400. ISBN 978-1401258412.

External linksEdit