Rebirth's Unsolved Mysteries1 of 10
As DC gets closer to the beginning of Doomsday Clock, the 12-issue series by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, fans are anticipating a resolution of many of the lingering mysteries introduced in May 2016's DC Universe: Rebirth #1.
But several mysteries have already seen conclusions, with the past two months particularly packed with revelations. Who is Diana's brother? Readers have now seen him. Where is Ray Palmer and what did he find? Now we know. And who is the mysterious Mr. Oz? That question has been answered.
With the DCU about 18 months into the promised "two-year story" that started with Rebirth's mysteries, Newsarama explores the answers we've gotten so far for the questions raised by the original Rebirth special, and what we're hoping to see next.
Justice Society of America2 of 10
What was hinted: Although the Justice Society of America was eliminated from continuity when DC rebooted its universe as the "New 52" in 2011, the May 2016 DC Universe: Rebirth #1 hinted that the team might return.
DC Universe Rebirth #1 included an elderly Johnny Thunder trying to summon Thunderbolt, his super-powerful genie. As Wally West tried to communicate with Johnny, he implied that the Justice Society could return if Johnny could reach them. And Wally described the JSA as a covert team of “mystery men” that helped end World War II - a continuity that hasn't been in place for years.
What we've learned since: Not much; and not for a long time. Johnny showed up in April 2017's The Flash #21 during DC's "The Button" crossover. He was sorry for what he did to the JSA, implying that their disappearance was his fault. And in a repeat of the Rebirth scene, Johnny still couldn't summon his Thunderbolt.
A couple weeks later, in The Flash #22, JSA founder Jay Garrick was shown to be trapped (along with, we assume, other JSA members) but searching for some type of link to the present-day DCU. His struggle to reach a familiar face seemed similar to how Wally West returned in Rebirth #1. Dialogue from Barry Allen implied that JSA members can't return to existence unless someone remembers their names and serves as a tether. And Barry Allen, not recognizing the original Flash in the story, is obviously not Jay Garrick's tether.
What's Expected: Doomsday Clock writer Geoff Johns is associated with the JSA by most DC fans, having written the team for more than 100 issues in the mid-2000s. So that miniseries is probably where they'll return. Two things that help tie the JSA story to Doomsday Clock: 1) Their entrapment was already associated with Dr. Manhattan during "The Button," and 2) Jay's helmet was equated to "hope" in one of the Flash scenes, and Doomsday Clock has a theme of "hope" versus despair.
There's also a chance that the mention of Johnny Thunder's great-grandson in Rebirth will play a part, with JSA fans hoping the boy might be a version of JSA legacy character Jakeem Thunder.
Legion of Super-Heroes3 of 10
What was hinted: Saturn Girl from the future Legion of Super-Heroes was shown in Rebirth, requesting an audience with Superman. She ended up being sent to Arkham Asylum ('cause, I guess, people who think they're from the future are assumed to be cray cray.) The Legion hasn't been seen in years, so this hinted a possibly significant return.
What we've learned since: Saturn Girl showed up again as a cameo in Batman and then in April 2017's "The Button," predicting that "our friends will die" and "the Legion will die." But she's not been seen since, presumably rotting away in Arkham.
What's Expected: This is another thread that will probably be picked up in Doomsday Clock by Johns, an admitted fan of the Legion who was not only responsible for the Legion's last revival, but has written the team for live action.
Atom's Entrapment4 of 10
What was hinted: In DC Universe: Rebirth #1, Ray Palmer sent a message to his assistant Ryan Choi, stating that he was in "big trouble" and needed rescued from the "Microverse." He was investigating "a disruption deep within the temporal nanostructure of the time line" and "a few historical robberies within the very essence of time."
What we've learned since: In this month's Justice League of America, Choi and the JLA found Ray in the Microverse. They discovered that the tiny world was in crisis from quantum storms. And at the end of the story, those storms were linked to a giant blue hand (presumedly Dr. Manhattan) "punching a hole" into the universe.
Even though Ray had been rescued and the worst of their threats had been eliminated, Ray chose to stay behind with his new Microverse girlfriend, Preon. He's hoping to repair that world's decay.
What's Expected: The story pointed out that the "Microverse might connect the Multiverse itself," and at the end of the story, Batman gave Ray Palmer a secret mission related to his investigation of "The Button" and the time anomalies. So we'll probably see more of Ray and the Microverse at some point during Doomsday Clock or related stories.
Superman's Split5 of 10
What was hinted: After the “New 52” Superman died, the mysterious Mr. Oz told the post-Crisis Superman that he and his family were not what they believed they were. And neither was the dead Superman.
What we've learned since: Oz was right. In March 2017's "Superman Reborn" crossover, readers found out that someone (probably Dr. Manhattan) effectively split Superman in two, causing him to live two distinct lives - one as the “New 52” Superman and the other as the post-Crisis version. Lois Lane was similarly split.
In "Superman Reborn," the characters' two lives were put back together, creating one new version of Superman and one new Lois Lane, as well as a new continuity to go with them.
What's Expected: The story seems to have ended, but readers still don't understand the motivation for Superman being split into two, nor has it been confirmed that Dr. Manhattan did it. Since the answer hasn't been revealed during the current Mr. Oz story in Action Comics, it will presumably part of the Doomsday Clock story.
Mysterious Mr. Oz6 of 10
What was hinted: Mr. Oz was stalking Superman before and during DC Universe: Rebirth #1, wearing a hood and refusing to reveal his true identity.
What we've learned since: Mr. Oz is allegedly Jor-El, Superman's Kryptonian father. He's scarred on one side of his head because he was transported out of Krypton just before it exploded - probably by Dr. Manhattan.
Jor-El was imprisoned by an all-powerful being (that we assume was Dr. Manhattan), and he was forced to view all the worst moments from the history of humanity. As a result, he hates humans and wants Superman and his family to abandon Earth and travel with him to a place called Bliss. He says the Earth will soon end because of an all-powerful threat (again, presumedly Dr. Manhattan), so there's no hope for humanity anyway.
The character also explained that he imprisoned Superman villains like Doomsday and Mxyzptlk, and killed Metallo, because his son's survival is "everything" to him. However, in recent Detective Comics issues, it was implied that he didn't necessarily choose to imprison Tim Drake - that someone else called the shots on that one. And we've learned that Oz is able to transport himself due to technology — not superpowers.
What's Expected: There are a couple more issues of "The Oz Effect" in Action Comics, and Superman has some choices to make about whether he has hope for the future (particularly since his son Jonathan is defending grandpa). We also haven't learned why Jor-El called himself "Oz" in the first place, and why he carries around that sharp-tipped staff. How did he know about Superman being split in two? Why did he help the all-powerful being imprison people? And who else did he have in the prison?
Watchmen Involvement7 of 10
What was hinted: In DC Universe: Rebirth #1, Wally said that someone had "infected" the DCU for a "long time." He said "someone outside of time watched [Flashpoint] happen. And when history was coming back together, they attacked … [and] stole ten years from us." The book strongly implied Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen was behind it.
Batman also found the blood-spattered smiley face button from Watchmen, and it was implied that Dr. Manhattan vaporized Pandora in a flash of blue (and did the same to Metron and Owlman at the end of Justice League #50).
What we've learned since: Johns has confirmed multiple times that Dr. Manhattan is the figure who was shown in Rebirth messing with DC's timeline. During "The Button" crossover, Manhattan killed Eobard Thawne in another flash of blue. Batman and Flash discovered that all histories of the DCU still exist somehow, somewhere.
Readers have been told time and again by Mr. Oz (as we wrote earlier) that a character only referred to as "him" is on Mars and is preparing to attack the DCU, and this character is ultra-powerful. It's assumed that this is Dr. Manhattan.
And as mentioned above, the JLA discovered that a blue hand (presumedly of Dr. Manhattan) has been manipulating time via the Microverse.
What's Expected: Doomsday Clock will definitely explain this mystery. The story will feature Dr. Manhattan versus Superman, according to Johns, and the writer strongly hinted that Ozymandias will be part of the story. Rorschach was also confirmed in a preview for Doomsday Clock #1.
Wonder Woman's Brother8 of 10
What was hinted: The end of "Darkseid War" in Justice League indicated that Wonder Woman has a twin brother, and his name is Jason. The Rebirth special also emphasized that Darkseid, who died, has returned as a baby and is being cared for by Darkseid's half-Amazon daughter Grail.
What we've learned since: Baby Darkseid was stolen from Grail in Dark Nights: Metal #2, then recent issues of Wonder Woman have shown Grail killing the offspring of Zeus to give their power to baby Darkseid, who's using that power to grow up and get stronger.
In current continuity, Wonder Woman and her twin Jason are both offsprings of Zeus. And that means they're both targets of Grail and Darkseid.
At the end of October's Wonder Woman #32, Diana met her alleged brother, who's a fisherman in Greece.
What's Expected: We'll learn more about Jason in upcoming issues of Wonder Woman, which will also continue the story of Grail, Jason, and Darkseid.
Three Jokers9 of 10
What was hinted: During the "Darkseid War" storyline in Justice League, Batman sat in the Mobius Chair and learned the secret identity of the Joker. While readers never learned a name, Batman was shocked to find out that there are three Jokers. Later images investigated by Batman showed images of Jokers from three different eras of DC history.
What we've learned since: The character was featured in a flashback story in Batman, but since it took place some time ago, it wasn't particularly relevant. However, in the prequel issues for Scott Snyder's Dark Nights: Metal mysteriously showed up in the basement of the Batcave.
This Joker was strangely knowledgeable about Batman's motivations and the history of Duke Thomas, the character now known as the Signal.
What's Expected: Dark Nights: Metal writer Scott Snyder, who's been helping guide Batman stories for years, told Newsarama that although the Joker appeared in his Metal story (and, he hinted that he might show up again), the "three Jokers" plotline is a story that Johns will tell. So although Dr. Manhattan and Superman are expected to play a central role in Doomsday Clock, it's likely that the event series will also pick up the three Jokers thread and reveal the meaning behind this mystery.
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