Re: Flash#164 jay garrick

In my opinion, to be considered a “Hypertime story,” it would have to make use of some facet of Hypertime that cannot already be explained by traditional understanding of time travel. Even if what’s really going when you change the past is the splitting off of a new hypertimeline, you can still interpret it as an alteration of a single timeline. After all, under most circumstances the time traveler has no way of breaking out of the timeline he creates – as far as he can tell, there *is* only one timeline.

One of my favorite quotes about scientific paradigms is “You can’t build a bridge with Relativity.” Gravity is a relativistic effect (or a quantum effect), but if you try to use relativity or quantum mechanical equations to design a bridge, you’ll never accomplish anything. You build a bridge with Newtonian physics, even though the underlying causes of the stresses that you’re trying to distribute are relativistic or quantum in origin. You can argue that a bridge is not a quantum object, because it doesn’t matter whether the electrons in its molecules are in clouds, orbitals, or tiny cardboard boxes.

So if a story confines itself to the main DCU timeline and could be told without knowledge or existence of Hypertime (just as we’ve been building bridges for centuries without knowledge of relativity, quantum physics, or whatever the next paradigm is that will come along), I think it can safely be considered “not a Hypertime story” in the same way that a bridge doesn’t involve relativity.

It’s possible to interpret any time travel story within the realm of Hypertime – I went to a great deal of trouble to figure out how Chronos, Team Titans, Armageddon 2001, Zero Hour, Bart Saves the Universe, Crisis and other stories could fit within Hypertime – but I would argue that none of these stories were Hypertime stories, because they could all be told within a traditional time-travel or multiverse framework. (I even had someone complain of this when I originally posted the Hypertime article on my site, which was why it was quickly retitled “Time and Hypertime.”).

If “Wonderland” turns out to use classical time travel without
branching, crossing, or mingling timelines, then it doesn’t use anything that is uniquely Hypertime. If it does, we can call the writer on it. Otherwise, it’s like calling “The Fugitive” a story about DNA. Yes, both pursuer and pursued have it, but it’s irrelevant to the actual story, which could just as easily be told about humanoid silicon-based lifeforms or sentient robots with only a few changes in dialog and none to the plot or setting.

That’s the whole point. As an engineer, you don’t need to know all the hardcore physics details. When you build a bridge, it’s an engineering process, and all you need to deal with are things like gravity, wind, strength and elasticity of the material, etc. All that other stuff, even though it’s going on at subatomic level, is irrelevant to the bridge. In the same way, I see the underlying structure of Hypertime as being irrelevant to a plain time travel story, unless it involves something that can only be explained with Hypertime.