STILL EXPECTING1 of 9
Earlier this month, Booster Gold showed up after being missing from the DCU since before “Rebirth” began. Although a slew of other heroes and villains returned in classic form with the beginning of “Rebirth,” Booster was among a short list of beloved characters who hadn’t been seen quite yet.
A surprising number of other long-missed characters and concepts have also been showing up in recent months thanks to the universe-spanning nature of DC’s Dark Nights: Metal event, although a few have only made cameos so far and one is still trapped in the shape of an egg.
But there are still a few we haven’t definitively seen return — at least not in their classic forms. Here’s a list of a few we’re hoping to see soon.
CASSIE SANDSMARK2 of 9
A future version of Cassie from an alternate timeline just showed up this week in the “Super Sons of Tomorrow” crossover, emphasizing just how much this character is missed in the DCU and how strangely missing she is from current continuity.
A fan-favorite character from DC’s Young Justice era, Cassie was introduced in 1996 as a new version of Wonder Girl. She eventually became Conner Kent/Superboy’s girlfriend, and during the early 2000’s, she matured into a powerhouse of the DCU.
Before the "New 52," Cassie was the daughter of a human archaeologist and the Greek god Zeus. Then during the "New 52," a new version of the character was introduced who was still related to Zeus, although a little more distant. And with the "New 52" changes to Wonder Woman’s history (with Zeus added as her father), the two Wonder ladies were finally related.
But with “Rebirth,” Cassie all but disappeared, apparently still existing somewhere in the DCU but not seen in any titles. Now that a future version of her is being featured in “Super Sons of Tomorrow,” hopes are high for a return of the original. But with the “Rebirth” versions of other characters morphing into their post-Crisis selves, it’s not clear just which version of Cassie might one day show up.
THE QUESTION3 of 9
Introduced in the ‘60s and made even more popular during his Denny O’Neill-authored title in the ‘80s, The Question was the secret crime-fighting identity of investigative journalist Vic Sage. A street-level hero who wore a blank-faced mask, the Question served as the inspiration for Watchmen’s Rorschach character.
In the mid-2000’s, The Question went through another revival, featured in the hit weekly series 52. In that story, Sage knew he was dying, so he trained his replacement, Renee Montoya.
In 2011, readers were presented yet another Question, this one a mysterious part of the “Trinity of Sin.” But since “Rebirth” began, there’s been no mention of the character. And with a new Rorschach getting involved in the DCU during Doomsday Clock, it might be fun to see him meet his original predecessor.
MARTIAN MANHUNTER4 of 9
J’onn J’onzz was one of the last survivors from the planet Mars who came to Earth and became the super-powerful crime-fighter Martian Manhunter. Over the years, the character has become well-known as a member of the Justice League, although much of that history was eliminated for the "New 52."
Although Martian Manhunter had his own title series during the "New 52" and was part of the two-page spread that ended DC Universe: Rebirth, his character hasn’t been utilized during “Rebirth.”
And with Doctor Manhattan allegedly taking up residence on Mars in the lead-up to Doomsday Clock, one has to wonder how J’onn could let that happen.
BART ALLEN5 of 9
“Super Sons of Tomorrow” also features a grown-up, alternate-timeline version of Bart, highlighting the character’s missing status in his youthful, Kid Flash form.
Another fan-favorite from the Young Justice era, Bart Allen was the kid speedster (known as “Impulse” and later “Kid Flash”) of the ‘90s and 2000’s. When he was originally introduced, he was Barry Allen’s great-grandson who had traveled back from the future (something particularly endearing at the time because Barry had sacrificed himself years before to save the Earth).
But during the "New 52" (with Barry now a very-much-returned young man again), Bart’s history changed to being a young criminal from the future that was sent to the past as punishment, no longer related to Barry.
With “Rebirth,” Bart is missing from the present-day DCU - possibly because DC has a new Kid Flash named Wally West. But DC also has two other Flash characters (Bart Allen and the other Wally West), and they’re teasing the return of Jay Garrick, an even earlier version of The Flash.
So with all the Flashes running around already, wouldn’t there be room for one more speedster in the “Rebirth” era? Does Bart’s alternate self showing up in “Super Sons of Tomorrow” mean anything? If so, would a new “Rebirth” version of Bart be the "New 52" character or the Young Justice version who’s related to Barry, perhaps wearing his Impulse mantle again?
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES6 of 9
The Legion of Super-Heroes, a group of superpowered teen heroes of the distant future, have been missing from the DCU for awhile, but there are signs they’ll be returning soon.
In May 2016’s DC Universe: Rebirth one-shot and a few issues since, readers have been shown that Saturn Girl — a founding member of the Legion of Super-Heroes — is imprisoned in Arkham Asylum and rambling about how “the Legion will die.”
There’s been no indication from DC that they’re going to bring back the Legion of Super-Heroes, but the appearance of Saturn Girl and her association with other “Rebirth” stories indicates the Legion of Super-Heroes might play a part in either Doomsday Clock or another “Rebirth” story.
Besides, how long can Imra stay in that jail, waiting, before the Legion comes from the future to rescue her?
JUSTICE SOCIETY7 of 9
The Justice Society of America, the Golden Age superhero team that evolved into a training ground for young heroes, had one of the best-selling titles in the DCU before disappearing during the "New 52" reboot.
They were eventually reintroduced during the "New 52" — sort of — as young, inexperienced heroes on an alternate earth known as Earth 2. That series continued into the “Rebirth” era and included a version of the popular hero Power Girl.
A recent mention of Earth 2 by Mr. Terrific during Dark Nights: Metal means that alternate Earth apparently still exists (with, we assume, most of its last-seen heroes still intact).
However, several teaser images and DC spokespeople have promised that the older, post-Crisis version of the JSA would be returning to the DCU during “Rebirth.”
There’s already been some evidence of their eventual return in-story. JSA member Johnny Thunder remembers the team, and Jay Garrick made a recent cameo, indicating that he was trying to come back to the DCU and only needed a tether to help him return.
But more than a year after “Rebirth” launched, there’s still no definitive sign of the old JSA. With Jay’s helmet already associated with “hope,” will Doomsday Clock’s battle between hope and despair be the place where the JSA will return and once again save the Earth?
CONNER KENT8 of 9
The Superboy of the ‘90s and 2000’s, Kon-El (whose secret identity was Conner Kent) was introduced after Superman’s death, but became a beloved hero during his tenure on the Young Justice and Teen Titans teams.
During the "New 52," a new Kon-El was introduced to replace the old one, although this version had a very different and more convoluted history — and had lost all the evolution the original had experienced as he grew up in the post-Crisis continuity.
With the launch of “Rebirth,” even the new Kon-El disappeared, a move that made sense to most fans because Superman now had a son. Jonathan Kent, Superman’s little boy, now wears the mantle of Superboy. And there can only be one Superboy, right?
Not so fast. DC recently got fans talking about Conner Kent again by mentioning his name during Detective Comics and featuring a future version of him during the current “Super Sons of Tomorrow” arc. If DC is using the character’s name again and again, and post-Crisis characters like Wally West can return, couldn’t the classic version of Conner Kent?
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