38. More of the Multiverse “Webcomic”

Five more pages from “Multiverse Comics and Stories” for your perusal.

Previously I posted that the title, “Multiverse Comics and Stories” was a homage to an old comic title, “Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories,” that always featured a Donald Duck story by one of my comic book heroes, Carl Barks. But why “Multiverse” anyway?

There are seven different universes mentioned in my comic by my count. The only alternate universe that gets much attention (besides ours), however, is the “Looneyverse,” which also will have at least a bit part in my new “Pause & Reflect Comics” series. “Virtual Man” the main protagonist of the Multiverse comic’s feature story, “The Case of the Renegade Refrigerator,” has the ability to travel to other universes and to send others to them.

I’ve always loved the idea of a multiverse  -multiple universes, a concept that has been prevalent in comic history. Superhero comics have had a blast with the concept because it allowed them to explore all kinds of possibilities. “What if Superman married Lois Lane?” Instead of resorting to the dorky “it was just a dream” notion, they could fantasize all kinds of improbable things about their characters and any sort of crazy event and then wriggle out of the consequences by saying it all took place in an “alternate” universe. Science fiction writers have explored hundreds of such possibilities. “The Man in the High Castle,” Philip K. Dick’s novel, which describes a world where the Axis powers won World War II, is just one of many examples.

There are also at least three hypotheses in theoretical physics that suggest a multiverse, from quantum theory, from “inflation” in the Big Bang theory, and from string theory. I just finished an interesting book that discusses some of this, What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics, by Adam Becker.

In this case, I think fiction came before physics. According to Wikipedia, the first book may have been by Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, written ‘way back in 1666! You could argue that myths of alternate realities go back even further.

But the strangest of all may be Hugh Everett’s hypothesis, in which every decision, leads to the simultaneous existence of an entire universe. Adam Becker describes the theory and so does this article in New Scientist.  According to this respected but so far unproven theory (that Niels Bohr hated), there are an infinite number of universes created down to every variable on the quantum level. Talk about mind-boggling!

Even the craziest comic book could never match the wild possibilities in theoretical physics!

In an upcoming post I intend to look briefly at a work of fiction describing a two-dimensional universe, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, by Edwin A. Abbott, published in 1884.

Categories Alternate universes, Comic book history, Comic books, Fiction, Multiverse, Physics, Science, Science Fiction, Uncategorized, Writing

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