SPOILERS ARE ON!
This is your last warning, there are MAJOR spoilers that change the entire face of DC Comics within...
DC co-publisher Dan DiDio teased heavily that the pages of Booster Gold: Futures End #1 and Superman: Doomed #2 would have massive effects on the DC Universe, implications to the April 2015 event, and revelations out the wahzoo. It turns out he wasn’t just teasing or blowing smoke - there is too much in the pages of those two comics to wait for our regular Futures End spoiler column.
First and foremost: yes, the pre-52 universe, or at least one (or a few) that are very similar, exists out in the multiverse. In Superman: Doomed, the Brainiac of the New 52, Vril Dox, is defeated, and sent into a black hole, where he is pulled out by a mechanical voice calling him an “asset.” It “acquires” him, deems him a failure, and says, “collection in progress,” which sounds a lot like the classic Brainiac. It pulls him into a light-filled chamber where he can view shards of multiverses - does this mean these worlds are shattered?
But let’s focus on what we see here, shall we? A non-blue OMAC, Harley Quinn in the classic old bells-on-the-head costume, the original New Teen Titans lineup with Disco Nightwing, shorts-Cyborg, Donna Troy, and Jericho all present (alongside Starfire and Beast Boy), a classic Ted Kord Blue Beetle (more on him in a bit), Plastic Man and Uncle Sam with a nazi swastika in the background, the Legion, the classic JSA with old-school looking Alan Scott and Huntress and Jay Garrick, a smiling, shining Captain Marvel (Shazam for the new 52-ites), what sure looks like Nightmare Batman (elseworlds), and the Flashpoint Aquaman and Wonder Woman fighting. Phew.
Oh yeah, and there’s Superman. In red trunks.
So that’s just one page of Superman: Doomed, and it all clearly sets up the DC Comics event coming in April 2015 - because Booster Gold flat-out tells us that’s where we’re headed. In the pages of that comic, a non-New 52 Booster Gold, quite possibly the Pre-52 one, in fact, as he talks about living with Rip Hunter at Farpoint, and when we revisit the scene of Booster seeing the screens with Superman and Wonder Woman kissing on them, he says, “That’s wrong. Not my Univer— How—?”
Yes, this Booster Gold is special, and he’s being sent, against his will, through time and through other universes. He and Rip discovered the existence of the Multiverse, and he even recognizes some of them. He stops in what seems like Gotham by Gaslight to kick it off, then to a version of the 31st Century and the Legion, then to what he identifies as Earth-4; and it’s the classic version. There’s old-school Captain Atom, there’s a fight with Doctor Spectro, and there’s a cameo by Blue Beetle there. He goes to Kamandi’s version of the end days of Earth.
Interstitials show a young New 52 Booster being interrogated by robots who have Brainiac’s telltale 3 dots on their heads. He’s hooked up to a cable virtually identical to the ones seen with Vril Dox in Doomed, too. The older Booster is then “finally home,” where he sees his sister Michelle in her pre-52 status and costume. She explains what others seemed to be saying, that the city (their version of Metropolis) is “cut off,” “isolated, no one can enter or leave the city!” The pair get teleported to the cell where New 52 Booster is being held, and the hero of the story says, “I’m not the older you. I’m an older version of you. From a place… a Universe… you’ve never known.”
The clearly-associated-with-Brainiac robots begin interrogating them all, revealing that it wants one thing: Vanishing Point. They threaten to kill Michelle, and while Older Booster is willing to reluctantly let her die in order to protect the multiverse, young Booster gives in. Finally, it says, simply, “To be continued where Worlds and Futures End!” meaning the story next starts up in April, after those two weeklies are done.
So, this all means some major implications for DC Comics. One: the pre-52 universe, or at least a version of and aspects of it, is alive and well. It seems like the pre-52 Brainiac is in control, and will be the big bad of the new event - the “collection” word is key, and the cities being cut off (and powerless) from the rest of the world is a textbook definition of his bottle cities. In the New-52, it’s clear that Vril Dox, that world’s Brainiac, has some basic levels of power transfer, and bottling (just of people, not whole cities or mulitverses), as well as universe-altering. It’s also clear that he’s working for someone else, and the implication sure seems to be that the pre-52 Brainiac is actually the big bad of the New 52. Go ahead and take that in for a moment.
But we won’t have to wait all the way until April for more. No, indeed, Superman: Doomed said that there will be follow up in the pages of Action Comics #35 and Futures End #22, which is next week’s issue. So, more to come soon.