DCnU M.I.A. - Top Heroes MISSING From DC's REVAMP

Now that we've seen which characters are being featured in DC's 52 new #1 issues, some of the faces we've seen <a href="http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dcnu-10-biggest-surprises-110612.html">have surprised us</a>, but what's even more concerning to many fans is the faces that are <i>missing</i>. <br><br> And what's also surprising is that the "M.I.A. list" includes many heroes who seemingly fit well into DC's push for a more diverse roster of title-anchoring heroes. <br><br> Of course, there's always a chance that some of the absent heroes will show up in future months ... maybe even in their own #1 titles. Newsarama has heard talk about other new series being developed at DC for future months. And Dan DiDio, co-publisher at DC, said on his Facebook page: "As for other characters and series not part of the initial 52, there are plenty of stories to be told, and we're just getting started." <br><br> Nevertheless, Dan, there are still some conspicuous belles who didn't get invited to the ball. Here's Newsarama's look at the Top 10 Missing Heroes of the DCnU. Click on the <b>Start Here</b> button on the upper left of this box to take a quick look... <p>


DC is obviously making an effort to add diversity to its headlining roster, so why they didn't place a call to the guy who blazed trails for racially diverse heroes is curious to say the least. <br><br> While Marvel has made its earliest African-American hero, Luke Cage, a leader in the Avengers, DC's Jefferson Pierce -- the hero known as Black Lightning -- appears to be among the missing in September. <br><br> What makes it a little more perplexing is that the hero went through a recent revival -- Black Lightning had a key role in <i>Infinite Crisis</i> and became part of Brad Meltzer's <i>Justice League of America</i> title. He even got some Grant Morrison love during the <i>Final Crisis</i> event, as he played lead hero in the one-shot <i>Submit</i> tie-in. <br><br> DC's relaunch also doesn't appear to include Black Lightning's family, which includes two female African-American superheroes -- his daughters Thunder, a former member of the Outsiders, and Lightning, who was part of the Justice Society of America.


Okay, nobody is really surprised that the <i>First Wave</i> titles weren't DC's top sellers. But the concept and comics were critically acclaimed, and the books offer something to the DCU that doesn't seem to exist in the new #1s. <br><br> Does DC have a Western? Check.<br><br> War comic? Check.<br><br> Supernatural team? Check.<br><br> Vampire? Voodoo? Check. Check.<br><br> Street-level pulp hero? Uh.... whoops!<br><br> What's even more surprising about the overlook is that <i>the work has already been done</i>. Beloved pulp heroes like The Spirit and Doc Savage were just revamped by Brian Azzarello and artist Rags Morales for the <i>First Wave</i> universe -- something Dan DiDio told Newsarama had "knocked everybody's socks off here." Yet that time and effort wasn't utilized for the DC relaunch.


In March, DC launched a new title that added some much-needed diversity to the DCU, featuring Asian-American scientist David Kim as the hero <i>Xombi</i>. <br><br> Now that we know DC's plans for September, fans can't help but wonder why this series wasn't held a few months until it could be launched alongside other new heroes? After all, <i>Batwoman</i> and <i>Static Shock</i> got a delay to accommodate the big September push. <br><br> The series was one of those critical darlings that might have benefited from the extra marketing attention the relaunch offers. And its focus on the supernatural means it would help to round out a line still dominated by superheroes. <br><br> Writer John Rozum, who's launching the new <i>Static Shock</i> series with Scott McDaniel in September, appears to be holding out hope for Xombi's return in the DCnU. He told Newsarama he doesn't know if <i>Xombi</i> is returning of not, but asked readers of the series to write letters to the "powers that be" at DC about their desire to see more <i>Xombi</i>. After all, he pointed out, it was fan demand that led to the current run of Xombi in the first place.


After Adam Beechen's <i>Batman Beyond</i> comic launched last year, it was so successful that DC immediately upgraded it from a mini-series to an ongoing. So it's a bit of a head-scratcher to see no mention of the series in DC's September promotions. <br><br> DC also recently announced <i>Superman Beyond #0</i>, a one-shot for August, which seemed to imply the publisher was exploring the possibility for more comics based in the <i>Beyond</i> universe. <p>And it isn't like <i>Jonah Hex</i> or <i>Legion</i> aren't being relaunched under the post-<i>Flashpoint</i> revamp, despite being set in other time periods, including one <i>before</i> the time-altering events of <i>Flashpoint</i>.


Again, DC's efforts at introducing diversity -- as well as its focus on "young, fresh" heroes -- raises questions as to why there's no sign of former Batgirl Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown. <br><br> Asian-American Cassandra Cain was once among DC's most prominent minority characters. And despite DC's reader-inciting effort to "turn" her bad a couple years ago, the character has recently shown up again as a hero in titles like <i>Red Robin</i> and <i>Batman: Gates of Gotham</i>. <br><br> Young college student Stephanie Brown was primed by DC to be a leading hero as well, having launched a new <i>Batgirl</i> series with her fresh, young face and attitude. <br><br> Now that Barbara Gordon is Batgirl, there's no mention of either Cass or Steph in September's titles. Apparently, there's enough room for three former, and a fourth current Robin, but only room for one female Batgirl?


Sure, she was once the character whose history nobody understood. But during the last year, she was so popular that DC was featuring her in three titles: <i>Justice Society of America</i>, <i>Justice League: Generation Lost</i>, and her own title, <i>Power Girl</i>. <br><br> In September she's... gone. And with her goes another of DC's leading female heroes. <p>It couldn't have been the trademark outfit that did her in. You've seen Harley Quinn, right?


Writers like James Robinson and Geoff Johns worked so hard over the last 10 years to incorporate DC's Golden Age characters into the DCU. Thanks to their hard work, characters like Jay Garrick and Alan Scott are now beloved by readers of all ages. <br><br> But now, they're nowhere to be found. Even a lot of those who have passed down their mantle are M.I.A., like The Spectre, Dr. Fate, Hourman (all three of them), or Sandman. And of course, there's that superhero who ruled the Golden Age... <p>But then if Superman is now (again) the world's first superhero in the DCnU, then we're talking square peg in a round hole.


DC has told Captain Marvel fans again and again that the Marvel family characters would be getting lots of attention... "someday soon." Yet beloved characters like Mary Marvel, Billy Batson and Black Adam are nowhere to be found in DC's relaunch announcements.<br><br> Johns gave the Marvel family a new twist in <i>Flashpoint</i>, approaching the concept as a teen-filled team called S!H!A!Z!A!M! <br><br> But that incarnation -- or any version -- is missing in September.


There's a little friction among fans of The Flash. The "rebirth" of Barry Allen is in full-force as he headlines DC's <i>Flashpoint</i> event, but as a result, there's been little (or no) attention paid to Wally West, the man who was the Flash for more than 20 years.<br><br> Geoff Johns, who is guiding Barry Allen's return, promised fans earlier this year that DC was launching a second Flash series called "Speed Force." Wally West fans were hoping their favorite speedster might headline the new comic. But DC's new #1's don't include anything called Speed Force, nor any mention of Wally.<br><br>


Not only is the Justice Society of America nowhere to be found in September's solicitations, but it looks like DC may add insult to injury by giving its title of first superhero team to the Justice League. While Marvel has been paying homage to its earliest superheroes in titles like <i>The Marvels Project</i>, DC is apparently downplaying their historical role ... or maybe even continuity whitewashing it. <br><br> Just five years ago, Geoff Johns relaunched <i>Justice Society of America</i> to critical acclaim and high sales, giving the team a slew of new, diverse, young characters and eventual spin-offs.<br><br> What does that get the JSA now? <br><br> A "rest." <br><br> <a href=http://blog.newsarama.com/2011/06/13/dan-didio-dc-decided-to-rest-jsa/>DiDio told fans on his Facebook page</a>: "As for JSA, we have decided to rest this concept while we devote our attention on the launch of the three new Justice League series." <br><br> Missing from September's relaunch are fan-favorite superheroes like Stargirl and Wildcat, diversity-adding characters like Obsidian and Manhunter, and young, new faces like Cyclone and Citizen Steel. Mr. Terrific, who served as the JSA's leader for years, has <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dcnu-mr-terrific-goes-solo-110614.html>his own comic in September</a>, but there's no mention of the rest of the sizable JSA. <br><br>

DCnU M.I.A. - Top Heroes MISSING From DC's REVAMP

Date: 14 June 2011 Time: 09:21 PM ET