In 1985 DC Comics in the US had taken the commercial decision to unify the complex and contradictory character stories arcs from its various strips such as Superman, Batman and Green Lantern. The resultant crossover series, Crisis on Infinite Earths, saw the heroes attempting to align all of the surviving Earths into one single reality that would then make DC Comics continuity more straightforward so as not to confuse potential new readers.
In 1987 Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell’s Zenith, a politically-engaged superhero comic strip originally published in British weekly 2000 AD, brought together a group of superheroes from across multiple realities to battle a mysterious Lovecraftian threat. This threat is intent on aligning all the universes, or ‘Alternatives’, into one, simple universe. Rather than reduce the complex and the inconsistent into a formal dialectic, the heroes ofZenith attempt to defend and maintain multiplicities. They meet on a world in Alternative 23.
Alternative 23 is curated by Mark Jackson.
Alternative 23 will be touring to Gallery North, Newcastle in spring 2015.
Alternative 23 is supported by the Arts Council England and the Goethe Institut