Please join me in hoping that this turns out to be true…because all at once, I have hope that maybe Infinite Crisis wasn’t just pointless continuiwank after all. The promise of pattern, of structure leading to possibility, makes me more interested in DC than I have been since the first appearance of Buddy Baker’s yellow aliens, and I’ve gotta say…
There are two types of continuity, you see: the good kind, and the bad kind.
And I thought this was going to be the bad kind.
But maybe I was wrong…
If by “true” you mean “intended by the original authors of the story” then I would suspect it is almost certainly not…but the connotation of “true” as meaning “faithful to previously established conditions” or “striking the target” (as in “my aim is true”) certainly does apply. It’s an elegant theory that would do a lot to rationalize a totally arbitrary choice that was most likely driven entirely by marketing considerations. As I’ve said, I don’t much care for the idea of singling out any one alternative in a continuum of possibilities as being the special unique one — it ignores the whole appeal of parallel Earths and alternate universes for me, i.e., that different outcomes and different versions of characters are equally valid. However, this model could turn that shortcoming into a springboard for future stories, and that’s a good thing.
On the other hand, given how badly the concept of “hypertime” was mangled in the telling — I’m sure it was much more interesting when it sprung out of Morrison’s brain — I don’t think any good theory or strong rationalization is immune to the corrosive effects of bad or misguided storytelling.
I definitely prefer this to Hypertime (at the very least, it makes for a better insignia!), because it supplies a “top” layer of cosmology that lets us as readers start figuring out things about the DCU’s rationalized multiversal/historical structure that Superman et. al. can never access. Hypertime’s great, but it’s too great — like the many-worlds interpretation of QM, it answers all questions so comprehensively in a single sentence that there’s little point in even asking them anymore. Whereas Scipio’s elegant new structure holds out the possibility of problematizing the multiverse as well as simplifying it…the idea of a structured ordinal “nearness” or “farness” in inter-multiversal space alone suggests some storytelling possibilities to me right away, that I don’t think have ever really been available to “alternity”-based comics or straight SF up ’til this point. Bold statement, but I think it’s true. The question “how come this structure, instead of another structure, or no structure at all” seems to me to be worth asking, too…
Also love that the Fourth World is outside the 52 completely — that seems fitting, as well.
Of course, they’re gonna wreck the Fourth World now, aren’t they? Damn.