Hypertime, the overarching and interconnected web of timelines and realities, presumably existed for almost as long as creation itself. Events in the Central Timeline often create temporal ripples, creating divergent paths of history that exist on their own separate timelines. These timelines occasionally intersect, resulting in changes to history that are usually not even noticed by the inhabitants of a timeline. These changes range from minor (a momentary difference in a person's clothing or costume) to major (a complete rewriting of a person's history). If a being from one Hypertimeline spends too long in another, it can cause ghost-like "echoes" of other worlds to bleed through, as witnessed by Rose D'Angelo and Batman in The Kingdom: Planet Krypton. It is also possible to enter the space between Hypertimelines, where all possible worlds are visible through an endless series of dimensional "windows."
Hypertime first came to the attention of the DC Universe when it was discovered by Rip Hunter of the Linear Men. Fearing that his fellow Linear Men would destroy it in an attempt to preserve the "one true" timeline, Hunter kept his discovery a secret.
However, when the villain Gog began traveling through Hypertime killing various versions of Superman, his actions brought together the heroes of two Hypertimelines-- those of the Central Timeline (the DC Universe) and a world known as The Kingdom. At the conclusion of this conflict, Hypertime was revealed to Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman of the Central Timeline.
Following this revelation, various other heroes had brushes with Hypertime, such as Superboy, the Challengers of the Unknown, and W:C:DC:Wallace West (New Earth)The Flash, who was for a time replaced by a Hypertime duplicate called Walter West.
After the event known as the Infinite Crisis, a 52-Earth Multiverse parallel to the Central Timeline was brought into existence. Contact with all other timelines and worlds was cut off by the event and few inhabitants of the DC Universe even remember Hypertime. Mister Mind, while using the robotic Skeets as a host, referred to Waverider as "the seer of Hypertime," which indicates that Hypertime may still exist beyond the fringes of the Multiverse. It is possible that it accounts for the existence of other Multiverses, such as those parallel to the Marvel Universe and the WildStorm Universe. It may also encompass the mysterious "Mega-Verse" mentioned by Booster Gold.
Hypertime was a storytelling device created by Mark Waid in 1999 and primarily used in his then-comic, The Flash as well as the limited Maxiseries, The Kingdom. It was an early attempt to restore the DC Multiverse that did not take hold with other creators, presenting it as a multitude of alternate realities that somehow diverge from the "main timestream" in one way or another and sometimes reconnect with the "main timestream" briefly. In The Kingdom, the villain named Gog was believed to be traveling through time from a point after the Kingdom Come future era to destroy Superman, but was found to be actually traveling through Hypertime as his multiple destructions of Superman through time were discovered to have no effect on the "main timestream" reality.
Many derided Hypertime as a thin premise for Waid to correct very minor and insubstantial canon errors that had occurred in the Silver Age (such as what color Wally West’s eyes are), but it also served to solidify some fluid concepts in the DCU. One notable continuity fix was the actual geographic location Keystone City in the state of Kansas, where previously it had alternated between Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri.
The current DC editorial position is that Hypertime will no longer to be used in DC Comics stories. It was nonetheless mentioned briefly in the miniseries 52 and could explain the inconsistencies of worlds outside the 52-Earth Multiverse.
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