Updated 2/1 with a new cover image (below):The DC promotional folks have come up with a new angle to market April's comics. They're calling it "WTF Certified," announcing that all their New 52 issues in that month will "leave readers in a state of shock." With the official logo debuting on BuzzFeed, the "WTF Certified" month was teased by seven statements from DC.
• Booster Gold reappears while an entire team disappears
• One team is trapped in a bottle while another is changed completely
• Some heroes change their colors and other change allegiances
• Pandora battles to the death
• A close encounter of The Dark Knight kind
• There's a new, old Creeper and some old New Gods.
• One hero quits, and another hero dies
DC also suggested that fans consider these seven statements while taking a closer look at a few of the comic covers for April. That month will see gatefold covers, so fans are — for now — only able to see one half of the images.
So what does it all mean?
First, let's point out that we're sure DC's "WTF" acronym literally means "what the flip" or "frick" or some other non-offensive phrase. But symbolically, the use of an excitement-generating logo and promotional tease probably means DC is gearing up for an event-full summer, including a few prequel issues for its promised "Trinity War."
As for the seven statements, here's our best guesses at what those cryptic words might indicate:the REAL cover Booster Gold reappears... - This refers a hint we saw in August's Justice League International Annual #1. In that issue, an older Booster from the future traveled back in time to warn the current-day Booster that Superman and Wonder Woman have to be stopped. But young Booster and old Booster weren't able to stop them, because they faded just when Wonder Woman and Superman kissed.
We think there are three good possibilities:
1) All Star Western #19: The cover shows someone with gold-colored gloves pointing a gun at Jonah Hex, and the solicitation says "What type of gold means certain death for Jonah Hex?"the placeholder [Update 2/1: DC Comics has sent Newsarama the actual cropped cover to All Star Western #19, replacing the previously seen cover released with the April solicitations. This new version does nothing to dispel speculation that's Booster Gold holding a gun to Hex].
2) DC Universe Presents #19: The solicitation says, "In this final issue, what time displaced-hero has arrived on our world—and is the destruction he brings the herald to a great disaster?"
3) Both. After all, he's a time traveler, and they take place in two different eras.
... while an entire team disappears: The solicitation for Stormwatch #19 says "Team StormWatch is lost in a dimension shift—so what team will rise and take their place?" New writer Jim Starlin has been hinting about some new characters, so this will probably be the book where the team disappears.
One team is trapped in a bottle...: Well, it's hard to ignore that the Superman titles have just recently played with the Bottle City during the "H'el on Earth" crossover. So either a team gets trapped in that bottle, or Brainiac makes a new one.
...while another is changed completely: It's tempting to be a little sarcastic and say, "A team changes? Well, we've never heard that before..." But for the sake of maintaining the "WTF" excitement level, we're going to assume this isn't yet another reference to Stormwatch and guess that this refers to the Suicide Squad. The solicitation for Suicide Squad reads: "There's a new leader for the Suicide Squad -- but will the team stay or die?"
Some heroes change their colors: The color reference is probably Green Lantern related. Readers of Green Lantern: New Guardians know that Kyle Raynor (spoilers) just became the new White Lantern, but the cover to issue #19 shows that he's no longer "white." That means he changed color. And the cover of Green Lantern indicates there's trouble with the different colored Lanterns.
... and other change allegiances: We're not sure why the tease says "other" instead of "others." We're guessing this is a typo on the part of a news website (gasp!). As for who is "changing allegiances," there's dissent all over the place in DC's April solicitations. Justice League says, "Who is the one person dangerous enough to use Kryptonite against Superman?," which we can guess refers to a battle between Batman and Supes. On the cover to Catwoman #19, she's got two other heroes from the Justice League of America carting her off. And Teen Titans #19's solicitation talks about how a member "shows his true colors." Honestly, there are a lot of hints that teams are going to turn on each other in April. Maybe there's something in the water.
Pandora battles to the death: Phantom Stranger #7 has a solicitation that says "Do you dare ask who slayed the Stranger?" Maybe we shouldn't ask, but we'll take a guess and say the answer is Pandora.
A close encounter of The Dark Knight kind: This one's tough to guess, but the fact that "dark knight" is used makes us lean toward Batman: The Dark Knight. Solicitations indicate Batman is missing: "Where is Batman while Gotham City is being destroyed?" But really, until we know more, any of the Batman titles in April could fit this description.
There's a new, old Creeper... - The cover of Nightwing shows him fighting someone with "Ha! Ha! Ha!" in the background. So it's pretty obvious that's where we'll see a New 52 version of The Creeper in that book, and on that cover (as teased by Norm Rapmund on Twitter).
... and some old New Gods - Orion is already showing up in Wonder Woman, and Brian Azzarello has already talked to us at Newsarama about other New Gods showing up.
One hero quits - This is Batwing. It says so right in the solicitation for issue #19.
... and another hero dies - We're guessing DC doesn't want us to know the answer to this one. From covers and solicitations, it looks like it's Talon. But "death" is mentioned in a lot of comics, including the aforementioned "slaying" of Phantom Stranger. Another possibility: Keith Giffen promised Newsarama readers that "no one is safe" in Legion of Super-Heroes.
Whatever it all means, and whether we really do say "WTF?" when we read these issues, DC is indicating there's something special happening in April. So keep watching for more hints.Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's FACEBOOK and TWITTER!