I haven’t made a post in a while!  But I just had a weekend filled with ideas.  I’ll talk about just one of them.

For those of you who have been reading Countdown (you poor, unfortunate saps like myself), you know that the characters went through a war with Monarch, got an Earth destroyed, got trapped on Apokolips, and then ended up on another Earth, only to get that one destroyed–essentially–as well.

In issue #4, Bob the Monitor mentions how the second Earth was a recreation of the first.  Earth-51 was destroyed in the Monarch war.  Then, off-panel, and presumably while everyone was fighting on Apokolips, that Earth was restored.  The heroes of Countdown left Apokolips, ending up stranded on the new Earth-51, which led to a plague affecting almost all of the residents of the planet.  Earth-51 died twice.

So, I was hit with a moment of inspiration.  As I read Bob’s narration, I had an idea.

Imagine, if you will, that Earth-51 is an Earth doomed to disaster.  Every time it gets to the Heroic Age, a utopian version of pre-Crisis DC, some problem arises.  It all started with the Monarch war.  Due to the energies unleashed in that fight, the Earth is now trapped in perpetual doom.  Whenever it gets to that exact point, it faces some catastrophe.  The first in this loop would be the virus.  The world goes insane, eventually leaving only Kamandi as the sole survivor.  In time, though, the damage becomes worse and worse and the Monitors are forced to restart again.

Now, there’s a guy on this planet who is like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day and like Dream Girl of the Legion of Super-Heroes.  Every night, he dreams of disaster.  Initially, he only had the dream of the Monarch war, two nights before the virus was unleashed.  When Earth is reset anew, he gets two dreams.  One of the war, one of the virus.  Two nights.  There is a night without dreams, and then the world dies again.  He dies again.

He wakes up, just having had a dream of his own demise once again.  It is two days before the end of the world, and he doesn’t realize it.  Not yet.  That will take several more cycles.  But eventually, after numerous disasters, he will have enough dreams to piece it together.  In each dream, there is of a previous catastrophe.  In each dream, he sees his death through his own eyes.  He determines that his Earth is going to die and he must put a stop to it.  He doesn’t know what the disaster will be or what will be needed to stop it.  He can leave clues to himself, though.  Since he sees his own death, he simply has to make sure there are clues at his death scenes regarding his work for his next self to catch.

It is a story of a man who is trapped in never-ending disaster, knowing his world is on the brink of demise.  People think the man is crazy.  He thinks he’s crazy.  And he has to stop it from starting again by preventing the new random problem, sight unseen.  Every issue, a new catastrophe awaits.  Every issue, the man gets one step closer.  Every issue, the man wakes up, screaming in agony at having watched himself die once more.

It is the story of Earth-51.

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