(CBR) It might be becoming a cliché to say it, but now’s a pretty good time to be a comic book fan. Just 15 years ago, fans had one super hero franchise — Batman — that had gone off the rails completely, and movie studios seemed content to only greenlight movies based on little known properties like “Tank Girl” or Golden Age classics like “The Phantom.” The live-action television landscape was an even more barren place, unless David Hasselhoff’s “Nick Fury” TV movie satisfied your hunger for Marvel adaptations. That’s not the case anymore, and 2014 and 2015 are shaping up to be the biggest years comic books have ever had on both the big and small screen. And with that comes, as we’re starting to learn, a big multiverse problem.
If we take all of Marvel and DC’s current and future live-action properties into account, we’re looking at seven simultaneous universes telling ongoing stories. There’s the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Marvel/Fox Universe, the Marvel/Sony/Spider-verse, the “Man of Steel”-verse, and the “Arrow”-verse. Pretty soon we’ll see the birth of both Fox’s “Gotham”-verse and NBC’s “Constantine”-verse. For the first time in a long time, possibly ever, multiple live-action versions of super hero characters are appearing simultaneously. This is real uncharted territory, and it could prove to be treacherous terrain.