Top 10 Questions Raised by Week 3 of DC's NEW 52

Third verse, (sort of) same as the first... two: The third full week of DC's "The New 52" relaunch brought another dozen new #1s, lots of controversy, and plenty of questions about what's going in the revamped DC Universe. <p>Is one of the most famous female heroes in the DCU a murderer? Does Catwoman and Batman's already-infamous tryst have greater implications than the obvious? And honestly, truly, what is the deal with that red hooded woman? <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 3 of DC's The New 52. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>


Supergirl's arrival on Earth in <i>Supergirl #1</i> is monitored by an unknown group who reveal that the Russian authorities won't be investigating the same thing, because of something called "the Visitor Protocols." <p>Presumably something centering around aliens on Earth, how much of this if any is related to what we've already seen of Sam Lane's investigations into Superman in <i> Action Comics</i>? After all, Superman does have the nickname of "Strange Visitor From Another Planet," so there's arguably a connection there, in addition to the already existing Superman/Supergirl connection... <p>So are the Visitor Protocols specifically targeted at Kryptonians? Are they related to a U.S. Military mission, or something more internationally grounded? And what does this say about the new DC Universe's attitude towards alien races in general?


When Brian Azzarello told Newsarama "no cuddly gods" for <i>Wonder Woman</i> anymore, he wasn't kidding. These gods don't lie around in togas, flexing their muscles and eating grapes. Instead, they look and act like otherworldly, powerful beings that have little regard for mortal life. There's plenty of action and more than one truly disturbing scene of horror. <p>As issue #1 finished, the basic pieces are in place for Wonder Woman's role, as she helps a girl named Zora who has the misfortune of being pregnant with Zeus' lovechild. But why is Hera so intent on killing the girl? And what will Apollo do with the prophecy regarding the unborn child? It's all shaping up to be like one of those really messed-up Greek myths you were forced to read in high school, but with a much more modern sensibility. <p>So the key question is, what crazy, disturbing thing will these gods do next? And what are they up to?


There's no caption in <i>DC Universe Presents: Deadman</i> establishing that it, along with <i>Justice League</i> and <i>Action Comics</i>, takes place at some point in the fairly recent past, but does that mean that it's taking place in the present? <p>Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang's version of Deadman may seem more in tune with Arnold Drake's original version of the character, but he doesn't necessarily jibe with the Deadman that we've already seen in <i>Hawk & Dove #1</i>. Boston seems too bitter, too self-obsessed to be the type of good undead listener that Dove was spilling all her problems to in that issue. Does that mean that this <i>DCUP</i> Deadman run will end with Boston Brand <i>becoming</i> that calmer, more well-adjusted version or that we should all regard the <i>Hawk & Dove</i> cameo under the general "creative differences" clause?


Even though <i>Detective Comics</i>, <i>Batman and Robin</i>, and <i>Batman</i> are clearly telling different stories set at different times, is it possible that <i>Batman</i> and <i>Nightwing</i> are both telling the same story, from two different angles? <p>The first issues of both series have climactic revelations that suggest that someone is trying to frame Dick Grayson for crimes or, perhaps, that Dick Grayson is actually committing these crimes, somehow which is either an unfortunate coincidence or a sign of an unexpected (and unannounced) crossover between the series very early on, ala <i>Superboy</i> and <i>Teen Titans</i>. After all, it wouldn't be the first time <i>Batman</i> writer Scott Snyder and <i>Nightwing</i> writer Kyle Higgins have teamed up they collaborated on the <i>Batman: Gates of Gotham</i> miniseries earlier this year.


Speaking of <i>Batman</i> and <i>Nightwing</i>, you of course always allow room for individual artistic interpretation in comics books, but Greg Capullo's rendition of Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, Tim Drake and Damian Wayne in Scott Synder's flagship <i>Batman</i> title does open the question of exactly how old ... or <i>short</i> ... Dick Grayson is in the DCnU? <p>The former Robin/current Nightwing, comes off in comparative height <i>and</i> build as someone in his late teens compared to Bruce Wayne, unless DC has made the somewhat logical leap that someone coming from a circus family of trapeze artists would likely be on the Tom Cruise-side of six feet, even fully matured. Kyle Higgins <i>did</i> revisit that as a plot element in <i>Nightwing #1</i>. <p>Of course Tim seems to shrink about two inches from the top panel of the same <i>Batman</i> page to the middle panel in question (Damian's head is below Tim's shoulder in the first panel, and then up to his chin in the next), so maybe we're over-thinking this one. <p>But maybe DC can release a New 52 height/weight chart for fans on The Source?


When Dinah "Black Canary" Lance meets with Barbara Gordon, it's safe to say there's some tension. Clearly there's a major history between these two, which would be a compelling enough question on its own. Would be, that is, if not for this line from Babs to Dinah: <p>"Doesn't being wanted for murder get in the way of being a hero?" <p>So... what the heck happened with Black Canary? We do get one other hint in this first issue. The reporter who has been investigating these new Birds of Prey says she's wanted specifically for "murdering a man with a punch." That's certainly something that our good old-fashioned Black Canary would have been capable of. <p>We also know that the new member of the team, Ev Crawford (aka Starling) also seems to have a record, and that despite the tension Barbara provides Dinah with another potential team member, the deadly Katana. <p>It's safe to say this is an actual plot point and we'll get the reveal sooner or later, but it's definitely a new wrench in Dinah's life.


A lot has been made of Starfire and Roy Harper's exchange in Scott Lobdell's <b>Red Hood and the Outlaws</b>, but it's actually a different earlier exchange that may have larger reboot implications. <p>Like his <i>Superboy #1</i> last week, Lobdell more than any other writer has aggressively left a ton of open questions in his first issue like, who is Essence, Ducra and the All Caste? What or who are the Untitled? What's with the Chicago dude in the hoodie tracking Kory? <p>But leaving the question of whether or not Lobdell, editors Bobbie Chase and Katie Kubert, co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee are all irredeemable sexist pigs aside for the moment, it does seem some version of Titans (Teen or otherwise) existed (part tense) and used to hang together. <p>Dick (Nightwing/Robin), Garth (Aqua Lad/Tempest), Vic (Cyborg), Gar (Beast Boy/Changeling) Lilith, Roy (Speedy/Arsenal) and Starfire are all plainly implied to have a history together, including a romantic and/or sexual relationship between Kory and Dick. <p>But Lobdell doesn't stop there. The gotta-be intentional non-mention of either Titans charter members Donna Troy or Wally West only exasperate fans' questions about their DCnU fates, and the mysterious Dustin (who?) reference in the same conversation might be one that dangles for a very long time.


Lobdell has made it clear in interviews that his <b>Teen Titans</b> series is about the formation of the team (and having read issue #1, we can confirm that's true). So what's with the reference to the Justice League <i>and</i> the Teen Titans as being established, public superhero teams in <i>Green Lantern Corps #1</i>? <p>Is <i>Teen Titans</i> taking place in the past a la <I>Action Comics</i> and the first <i>Justice League</i> story arc, and <i>GLC</i> in the present? Is this one of those comics book time disparities fans just have to roll with (or not)? <p>Or again, is there more to the Teen Titans place in DCnU history than we've been led to believe?


Reading through this week's <i>Legion of Super-Heroes #1</i>, it's hard to avoid wondering whether new Legionnaire Glorith is actually the mysterious hooded woman who's been appearing in all of The New 52 books to date. <p>After all, she's got the purple hood, facepaint that resembles the hooded woman's, and seems obsessed with the idea of changing time. ("I wish, somehow, I could turn back that moment... Make it as if it never happened," she says, at one point). <p>There's already historical precedent for Glorith becoming classic Legion villain the Time Trapper; what if this Glorith attempts to change the past and somehow becomes the woman we've been wondering about for the last four weeks?


In this week's debut issue of <b>Catwoman</b> (maybe you've heard something about it), Selina Kyle drops a bombshell in the middle of the now-infamous sex scene that you might just miss: Namely, that she doesn't know Batman's secret identity. <p>That's right, Peter Parker and Felicia Hardy no longer have a monopoly on cowl-only hook-ups. The Cat and the Bat smash with the masks on. <p>Besides shining a light on some uncomfortable bedroom habits, considering that in pre-boot continuity she's known Bruce Wayne's dual identity as far back as <I>Batman: Hush</I>, this brings up many questions about her relationship with the Bat. Is she still involved with Batman Incorporated? Was she ever taken into Bruce's confidence? Did she ever have a run-in with Hush, Bruce's childhood friend gone bad? <p>Only one thing's for certain: If Bruce's idea of "protection" is that they just leave their masks on, there could be more Robins to admit to the intern program via the nepotism clause soon enough. <p>Can anyone say "Bat-ernity test"?

Top 10 Questions Raised by Week 3 of DC's NEW 52

Date: 23 September 2011 Time: 07:57 PM ET