The <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/20911-dc-releases-september-2014-futures-end-event-solicitations.html>advance solicitations for DC Comics’ September 2014 event month</a> hit today, giving us a glimpse four months into our future, and five years into the future of the DC Universe. <p>And it’s a doozy. <p>Whether it’s new aspects of the world joining the Green, Red, and Gray, or Harley and Joker getting married, or Catwoman taking on a second identity, Heretic’s return, or even something hopeful and unexpected like The Phantom Stranger being a single step from redemption, there’s enough in these solicitations to fill <i>two</i> columns full of hints. In fact, there were so many major hints, teases, and revelations that we had to forego our usual countdown posting time of 9pm to make sure this information was readily available as soon as possible. <p>Luckily, we only have to do one, and that means those things you see above just get their “honorable mention” in the introduction, and the ten we focus on are the <i>real</i> meat and potatoes. Read on to see the ten things we thought were most interesting, important, or world-shattering in these advance solicitations, and see what’s in store for the DCU. <p><i>Newsarama Note: All covers and images are of currently released materials, as covers for the September event have yet been revealed.</i>
Yes, Booster Gold is in a solo series! Or, at least for an issue. We saw the solicitation about Booster Gold “struggling to escape the fate that has held him and so many forgotten heroes captive” and guessed that, based on Dan DiDio’s earlier statements about this event tying into ongoing series, that meant he’s getting his own. But right now, a DC Publicity representative is saying simply, “At this point, <b>Booster</b> is just a one-shot.” <p>Now, that can very well just be PR speak for, “We’ll announce his series later,” or it could reflect a genuine sense of “we’re seeing how this goes first,” so it’s not necessarily a good or bad thing for <b>Booster Gold</b> fans. <p>As for his one-shot, he’s on a world out of time with other forgotten heroes - could this be how we see some of the last hold-outs from the pre-New 52 DC Universe come into the new continuity finally?
Well, well, well, could we be getting a tease about Connor Hawke somehow making his way into the New 52? After all, in <b>Green Arrow: Futures End</b>, the titular character is dead, “and his replacement finally stands revealed!” <p>Of course, that makes it seem like we won’t have to wait until September for our first hints. In fact, we’re likely to see a new Green Arrow show up relatively early in the <b>Futures End</b> weekly series, leading up to the character reveal here. It’s also worth noting that it doesn’t identify any gender. Oliver Queen <i>does</i> have a newly-discovered little sister, and she <i>is</i> very proficient with a bow. Emiko is also mentioned in the solicitation text for July's <b>Futures End #13</b>.
We know there’s some new Superman roaming around in the Five Years Later universe, with a dark mask and darker costume. But it would appear the original is still around in some way as well - and that’s not the only name that gets mentioned in the solicitations that’s of interest. <p>In <b>Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End</b>, “Kal” aka Kal-El aka Superman gets mentioned by first name. Of course, that’s interesting in itself as he’s apparently going by his Kryptonian name and not by his given Earth name of Clark Kent - but it’s also good to see that he’s still around in some capacity, even if it’s just as someone trying to reconnect Diana to humanity. <p>Probably the bigger name drop, though, is of “Kon” in the <b>Superboy: Futures End</b> solicitation. Last we saw Kon-El, he was being killed and impersonated by Jon Lane Kent, of whom he was a clone. Here, though, it says it’s Kon having a “final confrontation with his clones.” There is also a mention of “unlikely allies” so feel free to let that speculation bloom as well. As Kon had just finally started to progress into a more fleshed-out character, we’re sure his fans will be glad to see him back less than a year after his apparent death/disappearance.
It sure <i>seems</i> like the solicitation for <b>The Flash: Futures End</b> spoils the mystery of The Flash Annual and the first big story arc from the new creative team of the ongoing series. After all, we knew already that there was a mysterious Blue Flash from the future - but the phrasing of this solicitation makes it seem like he’s not merely “a future Flash” but a future <i>Barry</i>. <p>”It’s the final showdown between The Flash and <b>his future self</b>,” the solicitation reads. That sure sounds like the Blue Flash is actually just Barry Allen, The Flash from the future. It is interesting to see “With Wally West’s life hanging in the balance!” at the end of the solicitation though - apparently after Wally’s introduction he’ll remain a very important part of the book, and this being five years in the future, you’d <i>think</i> we’ll see him in costume, right? <p>But wait, what if The Future Flash, and the Flash fighting him five years from now, are both in fact Wally West after all?
Thanks to the solicitations for the pair of <b>Aquaman</b> titles, we know a few things about where Atlantis stands in the five year future of the DCU. <p>Arthur has cheated on Mera, Mera is the queen, and the Dead King is still (or back) around, leading a revolt against the Queen’s rule - alongside The Others. <p>It may not seem like the most momentous thing, but this does place Mera firmly at the forefront of 70% of Earth, and should serve as a warning to a possible love triangle on the way.
Well, it sounds like things are about to get much more interesting for the Manhunter from mars, as it’s revealed in the solicitation for <i>Justice League: Futures End</i> that he has a “decades-long plan for world domination.” <p>This is one of those things in these solicitations that doesn’t just have implication for the world of the “five years later” DC Universe, but for the present day, as well. From here on out, everything we see Martian Manhunter do, and everything he’s done so far in the New 52, we have to assume falls into his long-stewing plan for domination. Basically, he’s Palpatine towards the end of the Republic, and he’s been on his secret Rule of Two mission all along. He’s also raising an army of hidden Martians for another one-shot, which is more interesting for a whole different reason…
That’s right, the Legion of Super-Heroes get a name drop in <i>Justice League United: Futures End</i>! Now the question is, just what Legion is this? Is this the one that we saw launch the New 52, and apparently were tied to the future of Earth 2? Is it a whole new Legion, a lost Legion, a prototypical Legion formed just five years in the future? <p>It’s impossible to tell without any cover image or any other information, but this is certainly enough to make Legion fans happy after the demise of their two ongoing series.
While we’re excited to see Guy Gardner in Blue, and see the Black Lanterns return, one thing that may have a little more immediate consequence in the present-day DCU is the revelation that the White Light is killing Kyle Rayner. <p>In just this month’s issue, Kyle’s power was revealed to be <i>far</i> more than anyone thought possible - and that’s a few months after he gave the entire universe a cosmic jumpstart. If that high level of power is actually harming, and even killing Kyle, we may see those negative effects start to creep into the present-day stories as well. Either way, it doesn’t look good for Kyle Rayner, whether it’s now or (five years) later.
Well, if there was any doubt that the multiversal war was going to include the New 52 “main” Earth and Earth 2, then the <b>Earth 2: Futures End</b> solicitation erases it. <p>In it, the text intimates that Michael Holt “has survived the war between the two worlds he’s called home.” So there you have it, those two Earths are most definitely going to war. <p>Is this it though? Is this the war that leads to Brother Eye’s domination, and is the war told in <i>Earth 2: World’s End</i>, or is this just <i>a</i> war on the march to more? Could either or both wars still be recruiting allies from other dimensions, and hey, why are they going to war in the first place? <p>Like the best storytelling answers, this one really just asks more questions.
Guy Gardner is a Blue Lantern. Black Canary is leader of the League of Assassins. Hal Jordan and Relic working together against Black Lanterns. Batwoman a Vampire (it says creature of the night)? Batgirl using Venom (it says she’s part Batman part Bane now)? Luke Fox: head of Leviathan. The Riddler is Batman’s “Greatest Ally.” Grayson the Russian Hero. Constantine has the helmet of Fate. <p>Yes, when you think about everything that happened in the first five years of the New 52’s continuity, it makes sense that the next five years would shake things up considerably, especially with wars and technological overlords and missing heroes in the background. <p>One of the old standbys of “What If?s” and “Elseworlds” is to change the allegiance/status quo of characters, and <b>Futures End</b> looks to get into that in a big way. How any of this directly affects the present day New 52 is yet to be seen, but it does offer up plenty of questions about “how they got here” to consider.