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New Term for DC Comics Lexicon: Tween-Crisis

Crisis on Infinite Earths

Until a few years ago, the terms “Pre-Crisis” and “Post-Crisis” were commonly understood and used frequently by DC comics fans.  Since the publication of Infinite Crisis in 2005, the definitions of these terms have become confusing.  Previously the term “Pre-Crisis” clearly described events that were published in DC comics prior to 1986.  The term “Post-Crisis” was used to describe any story published after the Crisis on Infinite Earths mini-series was finished in 1986.

While there were many changes from Pre-Crisis continuity to Post-Crisis continuity, there is one change that is considered to be the most significant.  In Pre-Crisis continuity, the stories took place in a “multiverse”; meaning that there were an infinite number of parallel worlds.  So you might read about the Justice League of America on Earth-1, and then read another story about the Justice Society of America that took place on a completely different (yet similar) world referred to as Earth-2.  Each Earth typically had their own version of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and other numerous characters.  In Post-Crisis continuity all stories took place in a shared universe; gone were the parallel Earths and duplicate characters.  So in this Post-Crisis universe, the Justice League of America and Justice Society of America both existed and often interacted, yet there was only one Superman.

The reason the terms are now confusing stems from the 2005 mini-series Infinite Crisis. During this mini-series the infinite Earths were re-introduced.  Many of the old concepts not seen since 1986 were brought back.  So with the return of the multiverse in a new mini-series with “Crisis” in the title, what exactly does Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis mean nowadays?

I propose a new word be entered into the DC comics lexicon: Tween-Crisis.

The term “Tween-Crisis” describes the DC Universe continuity for comics published from 1986 – 2005.

For example, the Superman established in John Byrne’s mid-80s Man of Steel mini-series would be referred to as the “Tween-Crisis Superman”.  Personally, I used to describe myself as a “Post-Crisis” DC fan.  However, I haven’t been thrilled with the recent changes (or reversions) that DC has been doing.  So using this new definition, I would be considered a “Tween-Crisis” fan.  Following this logic, the term “Post-Crisis” could be redefined to mean stories published after Infinite Crisis or Final Crisis.

If you like the term, please feel free to use it and spread the word. Given my age, I never thought I’d refer to myself as a Tween, but with the current state of continuity in DC comics it just makes sense.

Infinite Crisis

6 thoughts on “New Term for DC Comics Lexicon: Tween-Crisis

  1. When Infinite Crisis came out, I started using the term, “Crisis Era” to apply to everything from COIE to IC. Then they announced Final Crisis, and it seems like “Crisis Era” would apply better to the Identity-Infinite-Final Crisis series. I tried to figure out a better term for this, and came up with “Legacy Era” to refer to the period between COIE and Infintie Crisis, since DC was big on passing the torch during that period, and has since been busy handing the torch back to the previous incarnations and downplaying their successors.

  2. I just call post-Infinite-Crisis continuity “New Earth.”

    Tween-Crisis sounds like it applies to someone who needs a hug or something.

  3. Good article and a worthwhile discussion.

    Like others, I too am hung up on the Tween connotation as it is applied to pre-teens these days (when applied the reference 19-year era between Crisis events).

    The other nitpick is the plural of Crisis is ‘Crises’, so it would be more accurate to say ‘Tween-Crises’, which doesn’t roll off the toungue as easily as ‘Intra-Crises’. 🙂

    Congrats on the spotlight!

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