In the final moments of Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt, this week’s tie-in to Dark Nights: Metal, DC’s multiverse gained an expansion: Earth 53.
In Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt, a creative team made up of writers Scott Snyder, Grant Morrison, James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson with artists Howard Porter, Jorge Jimenez, Doug Mahnke, and others, tracked the story of Detective Chimp, beginning with the events that gave him enhanced intellect and following through to the present day, where he was beginning to lose it.
In the final page of the book, though, he got reinforcements — from a world populated with beings much more like him.
Specifically, ape versions of Batman, Superman, The Atom, and Aquaman come and reveal that on their world, they are immortal and have solved this problem already — in the year 2067. The Superman, by the way, appears to be the giant, kryptonite-powered gorilla Titano, given his stature and the giant “T” on his chest.
Whether this means it’s a Planet of the Apes kind of scenario where Earth 53 was at one point ruled by humans and the apes took over later, or just that they are time-traveling alternate-universe-ape-superheroes is anybody’s guess, at least so far.
They seem to have been located by The Flash, Raven, and Cyborg, who were searching the multiverse for clues to defeating the Dark Knights, a team of evil Batmen from the Dark Multiverse.
The issue featured the death of one of those Dark Knights — but it does not seem to be slowing things down much. Perhaps with a little luck, these JLApe-types can lend a hairy hand.
(Note: These are not, at least we assume, the same apes from the actual JL Ape storyline from the ’90s, in which Grodd turned all of the DC superheroes into apes for a while. On the other hand, back when Marvel had a more workable multiverse, they had a world of apes…so this is apparently a pretty pervasive idea in superhero comics generally.)