The future of the DC Universe was once well-mapped terrain, but that map was torn apart by the Crisis on Infinite Earths—and DC’s future was hit harder than any other other aspect of its history by the events of Zero Hour, as well. In the intervening years, however, pieces have begun to fall back into place… some familiar, some never before seen.
Just to keep things interesting, though… it’s now clear that all the pieces aren’t necessarily supposed to fit into a single map. Originally, DC’s post-Crisis reality was said to have only a single unified timeline, from past to future; alternate futures may have been depicted as anomalies or potentialities (e.g., in Armageddon: 2001 <5-10.91>), but it was taken as inviolate that all those possibilities must ultimately collapse into a single “true” timeline. The Linear Men were especially firm on this point, and the events of Zero Hour seemed to cement the rule. Alternatives were “Elseworlds,” mere imaginary stories.
However… the events of Kingdom #2 <2.99> revealed to DC’s heroes, and its readers, that this “primary” timeline is but one of many in a much vaster realm known as “Hypertime,” in which alternative “hypertimelines” can branch off from the primary and continue to exist independently, under certain conditions even interacting with or rejoining the primary timeline. Suddenly all the possibilities we could imagine… were all true.
The full ramifications of this were never really explored in stories, however, before it was swept under the rug by a new editorial regime—and with the return of a Multiverse as of 52 #52 <5.07>, many former Elseworlds and Hypertimelines have been “recreated” as parallel worlds, their timelines distorted by the depredations of Mr. Mind. (For the sake of sheer speculation, to explain the coincidence, we may imagine that there are certain recurring patterns toward which timelines tend to gravitate in the greater DC cosmos, leading many of the new universes to “snap into place” with familiar patterns.) Nevertheless, hypertime still appears to be the best available operating paradigm for how time flows in the DCU, and it's a handy way to sort out alternative futures.
For my purposes, however, until there’s evidence to the contrary I’ll assume that the 30th-century future depicted in the current tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes is part of DC’s “primary” timeline, along with certain other periods and events conventionally treated as such. (This also appears provisionally true for the far future of DC One Million, but it remains to be firmly established.) All other possibilities are hypertimelines—some of which I’ve attempted to distinguish, informally, by using letters (“A”, “B”, etc.), although I’ve made no attempt to be exhaustive. Within the limits of mutual consistency, any of these may fold into the “primary” timeline, or they may not.
Note that the Legion of Super-Heroes, in the 30th-31st Century period, has existed in multiple canonical versions (apparently independent hypertimelines). I’ve dealt with them individually below.
For this period, I’ve once again stuck to listing fairly significant “milestone” events between which others can be interpolated—though that’s a judgement call, and where the Legion is concerned I’ve delved into considerably greater detail. All the other previously-established rules and methodology still apply. Enjoy!
The ever-popular Summary of Highlights!…
2.8 Billion CE
>100 Billion CE