Top 10 Questions Raised by Week 2 of DC's NEW 52

Yep, we're at it again. Following the first full week of DC's "The New 52" relaunch, we <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dc-new-52-week-1-questions-110909.html>compiled a list of the 10 most pressing questions</a> to arise after reading those comics. <p>The second week of books has proven to be no less mysterious, thought-provoking and (in one notable instance) controversial, so we've once again put our collective heads together to ask the most prominent questions lingering on DC's reconfigured landscape. And yes, the ubiquitous nature of the mysterious hooded woman continues to puzzle, but as you'll see there are plenty of other plot and character elements worth pondering. <p>Read on, and if you have any guesses as to the answers of questions of your own, feel free to let us know via the social network links below! <p>Click "start here" in the upper-left corner for the top 10 questions raised by week 2 of DC's The New 52. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>

IS SHE OR ISN'T SHE?

As the last person behind the featureless Question mask, former GCPD officer Renee Montoya has a big question mark (get it?) around her whereabouts when it comes to The New 52. A scene in the pages of <b>Batwoman #1</b> shows the titular character in civilian clothes inside a GCPD precinct looking over a wall of police officer photos. <p>Although not specifically dubbed fallen officers, Kate Kane does show sadness when seeing her picture as if she were gone. Add to that that typically a wall of photos like this at a police station is commemorating officers who died in the duty, and it begs the question: What happened to Renee Montoya? <p>Montoya was last seen as the Question under the auspices of Bruce Wayne's <i>Batman Inc.</i>, operating in Paris with Batman and the French vigilante Nightrunner. She also popped up in the final issues of Gail Simone's <i>Birds of Prey</i> run earlier this year. <p>If she's indeed dead, how did she die? And who's the DCnU's new/old Question?

A 'SMALL' MATTER FROM FRANKENSTEIN

Of all the surprise appearances in this third week of The New 52, the most surprising or, at least, the one that hadn't been teased or outright spoiled in advance - was seeing Ray Palmer show up as the tech guy in <b>Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.</b>. <p>Unsurprisingly, he was the man behind the shrinking technology that allowed agents to enter the miniature Ant Farm headquarters, but the real question is, has this Ray Palmer ever been the shrinking superhero known as the Atom? <p>He didn't show any sign of former superheroics during the entire issue, seeming noticeably disinterested during Father Time's mention of superheroes popping up all over the DC Universe recently. <p>Combined with talk from various DC creators and editors that we'll soon discover Ryan Choi under the Atom's cowl, is it possible that The New 52's Ray Palmer has never fought crime or ventured out from the relative safety of his laboratory? Does he have any connection to the new Atom at all and if not, how will he react when he discovers that someone else has taken his shrinking shtick and uses it to beat up bad guys?

SUPER BOY, THAT'S A LOT OF QUESTIONS

Possibly the most mysterious book of the entire week was the first issue of <b>Superboy</b>, which was filled with all manner of questions surrounding the origins of the new Boy of Steel. Amongst them: <p>Is Lex Luthor still the source of the human DNA used in Superboy's creation? There was a clear intent to disguise the human parent of Superboy in the issue, but we know that he's a narcissist with enough immorality to overwhelm Superman's inherent goodness, but does that necessarily make it Luthor? <p>What is Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E., and is it connected to Cadmus from last week's <i>O.M.A.C.</i>? When the previous Superboy first appeared, it was as part of a Cadmus project, after all, and we know that <i>O.M.A.C.</i>'s Cadmus has no problem with creating genetically modified living weapons... But if the two <i>are</i> connected, does that mean that there's some Fourth World connection to this Superboy? <p>Does "Red"s appearance mean that Project N.O.W.H.E.R.E. is also going to churn out a Gen 13 in the near future? Maybe the Teen Titans won't be the <i>only</i> team of superpowered teens that this particular Superboy will belong to... <p>And last but not least, if Superboy is in Tube 02, who's in Tube 01?

3 ... 2 ... 1?

As promised by writer Eric Wallace, Michael Holt has channeled his inner Amadeus Cho and proclaimed himself the <i>third</i> smartest person in the world. That's pretty humble stuff from a guy who constructed the T-Sanctuary at a Fixed Location in the 9th Dimension (suck on that, Hank Pym!). But it begs the question, who's uno and dos on the big-brain list? <p>Lex Luthor just got a train to crash into Superman, that does seem like playing in the same league. We'll be waiting for the answer to that one. <p>And whole we're at it, Mr. Terrific's apparent friend (with benefits) Karen Starr didn't say or do anything to hint at a career as Power Girl. Wallace and artist Gianluca Gugliotta even passed on the opportunity to put her in a low-cut white dress at the party scene so is she or isn't she will also be something to keep an eye on.

HISTORY LESSON

Now, there is the obvious answer to this question of Madame Xanadu, who since returning to the DCU from Vertigo has been involved in nearly everything magical. But, like the other The New 52 #1s, the Hooded Woman from <i>Flashpoint #5</i> also shows up in the pages of <b>Demon Knights #1</b>. <p>Does that mean this past age, shortly after the fall of Camelot, is more connected to modern day than we initially thought? It wouldn't be a shock to see a couple of these other characters, like Vandal Savage and Jason "The Demon Etrigan" Blood show up in the "current" books, so that possibility is always looming. But with the Hooded Woman's presence, and that panel in <i>Stormwatch #1</i> that seemed to show the same timeframe, we can't help but wonder if events in <b>Demon Knights</b> could have much farther reaching consequences first seemed possible.

BLUE MAN GROUPTHINK

Since "War of the Green Lanterns," it's been clear that something's not quite right with the Guardians, the council of blue-skinned, big-headed dudes that founded the Green Lantern Corps and preside over them. <p>This week's <b>Green Lantern #1</b> makes it even clearer. Not only are they insistent that Sinestro remains a Green Lantern something baffling to even Sinestro himself they also speak obliquely of a "new mission," which certainly sounds suspicious. Even more suspiciously, when Ganthet (traditionally the most reasonable of the Guardians) speaks up and rightly calls them out on their wacky behavior, he gets mindwiped (or something to that effect), being told "our minds must be one." <p>And on the subject of Sinestro, how long is he going to be starring in the book, anyway? At first, it seemed like it may be more of an open-ended shift and the few pages where we see him in action in this issue are certainly compelling but the last scene very much implies that it'll be wrapped up sooner rather than later.

'THE WALL,' SCALED DOWN

Amanda Waller in <b>Suicide Squad</b>: Weight Watchers? Jenny Craig? <i>The Biggest Loser</i>?

JUST HOW BIG A BADASS IS HE?

Yeah, we could focus on what the hell was in the briefcase, <i>Pulp Fiction</i>-style, but we doubt that will have major ramifications in the DCnU. But <b>Deathstroke #1</b>'s final sequence does raise the question just how far does his badassery extend? <p>Focusing a title on a villain is always a risky proposition, and the rub is injecting <i>some</i> redeeming or at least relatable quality in the star. But Deathstroke murdered a bunch of teenagers (murderers themselves, but that's nitpicking) just 'cause he doesn't like his employment prospects. That's cold, man. <p>Will readers be hooked by just how hardcore Slade can be, or will writer Kyle Higgins introduce a more traditional element to get fans behind the Terminator?

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

DC's <b>The New 52</b> is designed to attract new readers, right? So what are new readers gonna think when they turn to page 2 of <b>Red Lanterns #1</b> and find a double-page spread of a angry, superpowered housecat all up in their face? <p>Most of us comic book readers know who Dex-Starr is, and are in on the joke. But won't new readers be like, "What the f***?!"

HOW DEAD ARE THEY?

When Newsarama <a href="http://www.newsarama.com/comics/dcnu-take-2-legion-lost-110819.html ">interviewed writer Fabian Nicieza about <i>Legion Lost</i> a few weeks ago</a>, he said "maybe a couple of deaths, maybe not." <p>The interview was filled with Nicieza's jokes to try to win readers, so it was easy to assume the writer was just talking about deaths to get a few people to pick up the first issue. <p>But it turns out he was actually revealing this week's Legion shocker. <p>In <i>Legion Lost #1</i>, there were indeed "maybe a couple of deaths." But... maybe not. There weren't actually any bodies found, and in comic books, that means resurrection is not only possible, it's likely. However, this <i>is</i> the new DC Universe. And presumably, anything can happen, including the death of a couple Legionnaires. <p>While new readers who are unfamiliar with the Legion might not care about the apparent demise of Gates and Yera in the first issue, long- time Legion fans surely do. So maybe the question is not: Are these two characters really dead? Maybe what we should be asking is: Will Fabian Nicieza and DC survive the wrath of Legion fans if they are?

Top 10 Questions Raised by Week 2 of DC's NEW 52

Date: 16 September 2011 Time: 08:50 PM ET