Hypertime is a fictional concept in DC Comics which first appeared in the 1999 The Kingdom limited series. It is a variation of the Multiverse concept that existed in DC Comics before 1985's Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series and was created by Mark Waid and Grant Morrison.
Hypertime, described in The Kingdom #2 as "the vast interconnected web of parallel time-lines which comprise all reality", was an attempt by Waid to resolve the various tangled continuity issues that were supposed to have been solved by Crisis on Infinite Earths. Keith Dallas and Jason Sacks write, "Through Hypertime, Waid sought to resolve the contradictions in DC's continuity once and for all. Indeed, Hypertime allows for contradictions because anything that didn't make sense can be attributed to overlapping timelines."
Hypertime is a network of alternate timelines that branch off from the DC Universe. These timelines sometimes overlap with each other, causing alterations in reality. Characters can cross from one timeline to another if needed. It has been analogized to a river network that branches out and then runs 'up stream' to feed back into itself before splitting of again.
Hypertime has been used as a device to explain continuity errors. Some fans welcomed the idea as an explanation for earlier continuity errors while others criticized it for being a license to create more narrative problems.
Writer Mark Waid stated that "The possibilities are endless. Hypertime is an unashamed reaction to nearly 15 years of comics being made ‘more realistic,’ less ‘larger than life.’ As far as we’re concerned, DC Comics shouldn't be about rules and regulations and ‘can’t happen’s and ‘shouldn’t be’s; they should be about anything and everything that tells a good story and gets fans excited."
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