We're only a week away from the conclusion of every current storyline in every single DC comic, so surprises are coming hard and fast as the company prepares for its Convergence break.
And although some of this week's cliffhangers and story resolutions aren't quite as surprising now that we know the solicitations for June, there are still some pretty significant changes to DC's characters.
Among the biggest changes we noted:
New Batman Beyond
As we we predicted after Terry McGinnis died in The New 52: Futures End #46, the weekly's next issue confirmed that Tim Drake is now wearing the Batman Beyond costume.
And it looks like he's already been thrust into the definitive future of the DCU.
As readers of Futures End know, Batman Beyond Terry McGinnis jumped back in time to try to stop Brother Eye from taking over the world. But it looked like he had failed, when the five-years-from-now future of the DCU saw Brother Eye beginning his world domination. And in issue #46, Terry was killed after a battle with a cyborg from Brother Eye's future.
In issue #47, Tim immediately dons the Batman Beyond costume. He ends up traveling into the past (to the current DCU present — yeah, it's confusing, but that's time travel for you). Once he's in the present-day, Tim not only stops Brother Eye from bringing the Earth 2 refugees to Earth 0, but he actually convinces Brother Eye to destroy himself, pointing out that the satellite's actions are going to lead to the death of the humans and the planet he's supposed to protect.
So Earth 2 characters will not be coming to Earth 0. And Brother Eye is not going to dominate the world.
However, before Brother Eye is destroyed, it somehow sends Tim Drake into another time.
Although it isn't clear where (or when) Tim Drake is by the end of Futures End #47, according to Newsarama's interview with the creative team behind the June-launching Batman Beyond title, the series will take place 35 from now, in the "definitive" future of the current DC comics universe.
So it's probable that Tim's 35 years in the future. And if Brother Eye's mention of his love interest Madison means anything, Tim might have company wherever he is…. whenever he is.
What's completely unknown is whether the five-years-in-the-future timeline even exists anymore. Did Tim Drake erase everyone and everything we've been reading about in Futures End? There's one more issue, and the solicitation is vague, so it will be interesting to see where the writers take it next.
Depowered Damian, Scholar
Damian Wayne, who was brought back to life only a few months ago, is going through more than one transition.
Not only did he lose his superpowers (which resulted from the residual effect of the Chaos Shard that gave him life again) in the final moments of Batman and Robin #40, but he was shown signing up for classes at Gotham Academy in that comic's issue #6.
The loss of his powers isn't really a huge surprise — I mean, come on… a Robin with heat vision? — since the character is going to be starring in his own book in June titled Robin: Son of Batman. The comic implies that he's traveling on a journey of atonement, sans Batman.
The lack of Batman (and the lack of even a Batman and Robin comic in June) is probably related to the strange "all-new Batman" that is debuting in June. Of course, readers won't learn what that's about until Batman #40 comes out in late April, and the new Batman debuts in a story for Free Comic Book Day.
Damian Wayne is also going to be appearing in Gotham Academy, and it looks like daddy Bruce might have him there for a reason, since he's already absconded with the Diary of Mary Jean Cobblepot that Olive and friends have been researching.
And as long as we're on the subject of Gotham Academy, Damian's registration at the school isn't the only revelation in the March issue — it seems that Olive has some type of superpowers. She can make fire with… well, her mind? Her eyes? It's not clear. But it's related to her mom, the events of this summer, and the reason that Batman put her mom in Arkham Manor. More mysteries to be solved once the comic picks up in June — with Damian in the mix.
The Owls Have It
We already wrote a whole article on this reveal, but it's worth mentioning that Batman Eternal has mixed things up a bit for Batman fans. Although Cluemaster was the big bad in the weekly series, it appears that the real person pulling the strings, the villain who's been behind the plan, is none other than Lincoln March, the rogue from "Court of Owls" who claims to be Bruce Wayne's brother.
Even though Cluemaster went down hard after brother Wayne sliced his throat, he had a point — Bruce was so busy looking for a complex plot that he overlooked the D-villains who apparently put the plan in motion. And it looks like there was someone hiding behind the little guys.
Now the biggest mystery appears to be how the writing team is going to wrap this up in only one issue, since the comic's taking a long-term hiatus after next week's Batman Eternal #52.
World's End Escape
Earth 2 is on its last leg, having been ravaged by the forces of Apokolips. And with only one issue of Earth 2: World's End left, it doesn't look like that's going to change.
However, the alternate world's young heroes have saved several ships filled with citizens of Earth 2 — refugees in search of a new home and a new story, one that will pick up when the new Earth 2: Society comic kicks off in June from the weekly's main writer, Daniel H. Wilson.
Although none of that was really surprising, there's been one development that made things interesting — the Green Lantern of Earth 2, Alan Scott, now has the power of "The Multiversal Green." So that funky costume he's wearing on the cover of June's Earth 2: Society #1? That's the new look for Alan Scott and his stronger "Multiversal Green" powers.
In fact, he's so powerful that he's about to face Darkseid, as the series wraps up. Will he save Earth 2 after all? Or will he just give Earth 2's residents enough time to get away?
Another Lantern Down
In all the news about June's Green Lantern books, there hasn't been much about Guy Gardner.
We've seen indications that Kyle might be dead — even though he survived this month's issue of Green Lantern: New Guardians just fine. John Stewart is leading a displaced band of Lanterns in Green Lantern: The Lost Army, and Hal Jordan is a renegade who's wanted by the Green Lanterns and not actually wearing a Corps ring anymore.
So what's up with Guy, who's been leading the Red Lanterns lately? It turns out that, in this month's issue, the "hate" that's been burning inside him is "tainted by humanity" and poisoned by Guy's "hope."
And what happens when your hate isn't hate anymore? And it's replaced by the power of hope? Well, in Guy's case, he's simply not a Red Lantern anymore. His ring drops off, and the last time he's shown in the final issue of Red Lanterns, he's wearing street clothes. So it's not clear what his future is, but he's without a ring now.