Over at DCUO, SOE has started a contest where people can describe their character’s origins. This confuses me cuz up until now it was assumed that everyone’s origins starts in the Brainiac ship. You were a normal person on planet Earth in Metropolis or Gotham, and an exobyte (little mechanical bug from the future with stolen powers from dead heroes it’s a long story) bites you which gives you superpowers. Then Brainiac kidnaps you and holds you in his spaceship for assimilation. You break out. Your breaking out is your origin story. That’s how the game starts for all player characters.
Now, with a new DLC called Origin Crisis, I guess that’s changing? I doubt by much. The game can’t really program itself to cater to every single player’s little internal monologue. I assume every other player besides me has also expanded upon the storyline for our little avatars in the game. I’ve got a running loop of stories in my head about the characters I generated for the game, but since you can’t REALLY ‘role play’ in a MMORPG of this sort, and since other players don’t really seem to care about each other’s backstories, what each player brings to the table is pretty much just nibbled on by oneself.
If DCUO has found a way to change that, I’m all ears, but thus far it sounds like the new content consists of us player characters going up against random versions of future Batman or future Lex Luthor depending on if you’re hero or villain. There’s like four or five different future versions of these characters, each from different alternate realities.
My characters are from an alternate reality too. I grew up reading comics by Marv Wolfman so I’m into the whole Crisis On Infinite Earths thing. Only I’ve never felt limited in my mind to the idea of there being just one alternate Earth or three or even one infinity. I imagine many infinities of alternate Earths. An infinity of infinities if you will, which is completely insane and impossible but hell DC threw logic out the window back in 1938 so why stop now? The DC Multiverse gets very complicated if you explore it, but last I heard the current editorial staff has tried to rein in the madness by putting this arbitrary limit of fifty-two alternate Earths down. Why 52? That’s the number of weeks in the year and apparently how far ahead in weeks they thought with regards to this thing.
So I set the “true” origin of all my characters in Earth Forty-Two E. aka E42e. This alternate Earth got destroyed to make way for an interplanetary bypass, and soon after that Brainiac destroyed the entire universe to make way for an interdimensional bypass. The sixteen characters I invent for this game are the only living survivors of that alternate reality, and fought a variant of Brainiac who came from E42e, and was trying to connect himself to the Brainiac in DCUO’s universe as well as others that have already been completely assimilated into Brainiac.
Some of the E42e survivors don’t remember it at all. Others do. Then there’s Zach Arlen who currently goes by the name of SubGenius. He’s trying to save that reality and many others, with the help of THE PARLIAMENT OF “BOB”s, and the key to saving E42e lies inside the souls of the other surviving inhabitants of E42e who accumulatively can kickstart the universe if taken back to before its dawn of time. However, before they can do that, they have to save the DCUO game reality from paradox reapers and paradoxes in general. If the DCUO alternate reality is destroyed, E42e’s chance of being resurrected will go with it, because the two are inextricably intertwined. E42e is already gone, but if the paradoxes that threaten the DCUO reality can be untangled or somehow stabilized, E42e can be rebooted, hopefully this time without the Vogons.
So the DCUO universe is just a temporary way station for the E42e survivors. Some of them have counterparts in this other reality. Some of them don’t. SubGenius was his reality’s Ambush Bug (it didn’t have a Superman). SlackMan is a variant on Batman. CaptainWonder is an amalgam of Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel, and perhaps other super heroes that didn’t survive physically in the E42e cataclysm but may have survived in spirit inside CaptainWonder. The Beast Boy of E42e and the Starfire of E42e have mutual counterparts in the DCUO universe, but they’re not exact duplicates. Koriand’r aka Starfire of E24e never met Garfield Logan aka Beast Boy or the Teen Titans in her universe. She was defeated by her sister Blackfire and was imprisoned. She was rescued by the Green Lantern Kilowog of her reality, and they fell in love. Starfire was born with powers inherent to her people but Blackfire had stripped her of them during her imprisonment. Kilowog taught Starfire the ways of the Green Lantern, and when he died in battle, his ring chose her to continue on in his stead.
She went on many adventures both before and after Kilowog’s death, and then she learned of a place called Earth that was to be demolished by Vogons. She went there to save the planet. Despite her power and the efforts of several others, a vast majority of heroes and villains were killed in a battle first with the Vogons and then with Brainiac’s forces when he entered the fray to prevent the Vogons from destroying Earth before he could bottle it. However, the Vogons managed to destroy it anyway, which caused Brainiac to dramatically change his tactics. The few surviving heroes and villains of Earth 42e were captured by Brainiac’s forces and given an ultimatum: Help Brainiac cause the nonexistence of all Vogons by going back to before they achieved spaceflight and destroy their homeworld, or be assimilated into the Brainiac consciousness and he’d use them to help him end the Vogons anyway. Brainiac reasoned that if he could go back in time and prevent the Vogons from ever existing as a spacefaring race, he could still bottle up Earth. The survivors just wanted to save Earth. So they negotiated a temporary truce and went back in time to end the Vogons once and for all.
This of course failed. Well. They defeated the pre spacefaring Vogons and Brainiac then bottled up the Vogon planet and its people, but this created a paradox, and paradox reapers showed up through holes in the spacetime continuum and began tearing at the fabric of Space-Time throughout Earth 42e. The Brainiac of that reality began talking about the collapse of the waveform and grew quite desperate. He launched probes past the paradox reapers into the holes of reality from where they came, and that’s when this Brainiac discovered the secrets of the multiverse, and vowed to become the conduit of Brainiacs between worlds, so that he could connect between universes that Brainiac had already assimilated and merge them with ones that his counterparts in those realities had not yet assimilated.
The Brainiac of E42e grabbed CaptainWonder, StarFire, BeastBoy, SubGenius, SlackMan, a villain named LaughGirl (who was an artificial energy being created by this reality’s Sinestro who kinda has a soul now, and having spent a time in the hands of The Joker on Earth 42e has gone quite mad), and a few others (sixteen in all) and said he was going to send them to the beginning of time to reboot this universe. However, he lied. Instead of going back in time to save their world, the Brainiac of E42e tethered the E42e surviving heroes and villains interdimensionally to the world some of these paradox reapers leaked into his universe from: The DCUO universe.
They each materialized in pods in the DCUO universe, and escaped. Whether this was Brainiac E42e’s plans or not is anyone’s guess. The ‘lives’ that have played out for each of these characters since their arrival in the DCUO universe is inconsequential to the destiny that still befalls them. Will they be able to thwart Brainiac’s plans and return to their original goal of rebooting their universe at the dawn of time, or will they be forever trapped as refugees from an alternate reality that may or may not exist so long as the DCUO universe remains in chaos?
My point is, DCUO can’t possibly program their MMORPG to accommodate the imaginations of all its players.
That is it’s real origin crisis.