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Meeting Myself: When Characters Meet Their Past Incarnation

AFA's resident comic-book fanboy Jeremy Harrison discusses cross-overs when animation characters meet previous of alternate versions of themselves, and its origins in comics.

With the recent release of Teen Titans Go vs Teen Titans fans got to see new vs old. The Titans of Today meet the Titans of Yesteryear. The new movie did disappoint fans of the original but that was to be expected. People wanted a season six or at the very least for the original Titans to be written like they were back in the good-old-days. A.K.A. with Respect!

There's an old Comic Book saying, "Every version still exists, just in a different universe"


The earliest such a meet-up occurred is with The Flash.

Flash of Earth 1 meets the Flash of Earth 2

The Flash has the power to "vibrate" to different realities.  Earth 1 is short for the Prime DC Universe. Earth 2 was its counterpart. But like in the Marvel Universe, there are many different Earths. And thus thanks to DC the concept of the Multiverse was born. (Whether it was before that I'm not 100 % sure) but I do know that DC was probably the first to really utilize the concept.

They usually do to big effect in an event called a Crisis (most famously Crisis On Infinite Earths, soon to be adapted in CW's TV Arrowverse)

Buuuttt... They have done smaller books where past and alternate versions have met themselves.






I think ... Teen Titans Go might have inspired that issue with the episode called "Team Robin"!

Team Robin -- Who is the best Robin; The fastest, the toughest, the strongest and the smartest

The Robin on the far left, belongs from a future dystopia and the Robin on the center-left is just our Robin but from the Silver Age of Comics. The Robin on the far right is Tim Drake. I know it's not Jason Todd because they refer to a Robin being killed casually in the episode.

Speaking of DC otherworldly travelers, the Turtles have also visited the DC universe more than once.

A recent direct-to-video animated movie, Batman Vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ... in the movie, the Turtles just drove to Gotham City but in the comics, the turtles built a teleporter that happened to go to different Earths as well.



Now, the Turtles are no stranger to interdimensional travel before that. The 2000's Turtles met the 1980s version in a special called "Turtles Forever" .While I didn't like the special because I thought they were being disrespectful to the 1980s version, I will admit it had a lot of good qualities.




My favorite line from that special is: "Different and yet still the same!" because that's what you hope to see from a reboot. The original drew people in because they liked the dynamic the original had. For any reboot to work, you have to change some things to make it feel like your not copying too much from the original but at the same time, it has to feel familiar. Not an easy balance. In the case of the 2000s TMNT they were more loyal to the original comic book version than the 80s version. The 2010s (CG) TMNT was actually loyal to both the comic book version and the 80s version. So the 2010s TMNT version did their own version of the Turtles Forever this time called "TransDimensional Turtles."




I loved this meet-up from start to finish. Not only was it respectful of the original animated source material but the 80s Turtles rubbed off on the 2010s Turtles. The big mistake for me was that Turtles forever implied the 80s versions were cowards and while they may have been goofy ... silly even, they weren't incompetent- nor were they cowards. Transdimensional turtles said yes, the 80s turtles was silly, but when things needed to get serious, so did they.

All future animated projects can learn a thing or two from this special of how to bring in the nostalgic fans like me and endear us to what's good about the new.

Which is what the movie writers of 2016 Ghostbusters should have done. The old meets the new and gives their blessing to each other. Luckily, the COMIC book Ghostbuster writers gave us exactly that.



A ghost or a God threw one team of ghostbusters into a different reality in a story called "The Ghostbusters get real." Oddly enough, I think in all of these meetups of past versions, this one is the most realistic. Which seems odd to say but the ghostbusters meeting their 80s counterpart wasn't forced. The writers didn't create a special throw-away character to bridge the two universes. Egon didn't invite a teleporter that just happened to take them to another dimension.

A ghost just happened to be playing with his powers which is completely pausable in the Ghostbusters universe and threw them into another reality. Egon and Ray with the help of their counterparts specifically built a teleporter that can cross the dimensional void to different earths.



I love that we live in an age when fans cannot only argue which version was better but we can have the new meet up with the old thanks to everything getting rebooted and remade, why not have various versions meet up with themselves. Like what just happened in the recent Scooby-Doo comic!








Interestingly enough Batman and his crew seems to be the focal point of interdimensional travel for the DC Universe and by the way, Batman -or rather Silver-Age Batman- does apparently inhabit the same universe as Scooby-Doo. No interdimensional portals or God-like beings required for him.

And while this is easy to do in comic book form because you don't have to call up any old voice actors. I suspect if Teen Titans Go vs Teen Titans is a hit then DC might do more alternate versions ... heck, the Ghostbusters comic book has laid the groundwork for the 2016 Ghostbusters meeting up with the Ghostbusters of 2020.

I would also buy a direct to video Scooby movie where they meet all their past versions of themselves! Even the Lego versions!


Yes, that exists! And all this talk about DC, let's not forget about Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse. Sony is working on turning it into a tv show/series, as well as the 2022 sequel.

And if I'm, right we're just at the tip of seeing a lot of amazing cross-overs and taking the audience to new heights. Hey maybe if DC and Marvel ever start to play nice. They can give us a movie where this happens?!



or this


Dear GOD ... someone turn that into an animated movie!!! But anyway, at the course we're moving at it's only a matter of time... because people who are asking themselves what big adventure can out do Avengers: Endgame ... well how's about a villain so big it requires multiple Avengers or even... GASP an Avengers/Justice League team up?

A little over ten years ago we could never imagine an Avengers movie would be possible... imagine what we could see in another ten!

Till next time, True Believers!

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