Tuesday's announcement that DC would be launching 52 new #1 comics in September had everyone asking: How will the DCNu be different from the former DCU?
Now that DC has been trickling out a little information, people are getting a few answers to the questions.
The clues we've seen so far:
- Familiar But New: This reboot of the DCU is not a horribly drastic change, according to the covers and solicitations for the September issues we saw today. Sure, costumes look tweaked. Teams have a little different make-up. Histories are presumably streamlined. But the Justice League International is still pretty much the JLI that fans know and love. The Justice League team has all the big-gun characters we'd expect (although, where's Martian Manhunter?). The Jason/Ronnie Firestorm from Brightest Day is still the duo that makes up Firestorm. Mr. Terrific has tattoos now, but he still appears to have the same power set. There are a few other changes, but one thing is clearly the same...- The Flash is still Barry Allen: This is expected, since he's starring in Flashpoint and will presumably be the star of Warner Bros.' planned Flash film. According to those bright blue eyes on the cover of his new series, it's Barry. (Of course, we all remember the little white lies DC told in 2007 when it continued soliciting a Flash series starring Bart Allen even though the character was to die. By June, Marc Guggenheim's issues with Bart in the starring role were quickly switched to Mark Waid's run on Wally West as the Flash. It could always happen again.) Plus, fans of other Flash characters (do we really have to say his name?) should take heart in the fact that Geoff Johns just confirmed to Newsarama in December that there will be a second Flash title called Speed Force. We can only assume that, if those plans are still in place, the series would be among the 52 titles launched in September.
- Aquaman's Still Here: Sure, Geoff Johns announced a while ago that he'd be on Aquaman with his old Green Lantern collaborator Ivan Reis. But Johns is also the guy who said he'd write All-Star Wonder Woman. So it's nice to see the solicitation confirm the book's release so fans can cheer, since most readers would agree that Johns' take on Aquaman worked well in Brightest Day. And best of all, we already know a few details about this one, because Johns talked to Newsarama about the series in March. Mera is in the comic, and so are Black Manta and Aqualad. But will Aquaman truly be starting from scratch?
- New Carter Hall?: Hawkman's title solicitation reads like it's an origin story. Does that mean Carter Hall will be completely rebooted? Or does this merely re-tell his origin story to simplify the character for new audiences?- Young Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman is wearing a costume similar to the costume she wore as a young, revamped hero in her own "time anomaly-surrounded" existence pre-Flashpoint. DC made it clear that the new, young Wonder Woman did exist in the regular DCU. If her younger version is back post-Flashpoint, complete with the alteration of her past (along with her pants), it points toward the rest of DC's "Trinity" -- Superman and Batman -- having very altered pasts as well.
- Big Justice League: DC said its first announcement of titles were series that "spin out of the pages of Justice League." The titles they labeled this way include heroes that we already knew were on the Geoff Johns/Jim Lee Justice League, like the Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. But there are also titles announced for Green Arrow, Mister Terrific, Firestorm, Captain Atom and Hawkman. If these series spin out of Justice League, does this mean those heroes are among the eventual 14 members? And if they are, then what about Mr. Terrific and Hawkman's roles in the Justice Society?
- No Justice Society?: Newsarama wondered yesterday if the Justice Society even belonged in the DCNu, which executives described as "brand-new and fresh." With the new comics for Hawkman and Mr. Terrific -- both fairly recent members and leaders of the Justice League -- now described as spin-offs from the Justice League, does that mean there's no Justice Society at all?
- Hal Jordan's Ring?: We don't know if this is an artist's mistake or if it means something, but in that Justice League cover, why doesn't Hal Jordan have on a ring? With the Green Lantern movie coming out soon, we've got to assume this is a mistake, because the new readers who come to DC from the movie will know -- Hal most definitely has a ring.UPDATED: Jim Lee has revealed why Hal is missing the ring. He posted his pencils, proving that he drew it. Apparently the inker just made a mistake. So no change there. See the image above.
- Gotham Still the Same?: There were no Gotham series announced today, but there is evidence that the world of Batman will experience few changes. First, David Finch just confirmed to Newsarama that his series, set in Gotham, would continue as a monthly.
Also, when Newsarama contacted J.H. Williams a few weeks ago about the status of his new Batwoman comic, he indicated the decision to push back the release of the first issue of his series was not because the issue wasn't finished. It was a DC decision. That implies that DC pushed back Batwoman so that it would be among the 52 new #1 issues released in September.
Williams told Newsarama months ago that he'd already written Issue #6, which artist Amy Reeder has already started drawing. So his series was presumably written in the pre-Flashpoint world of Gotham. And Finch's title started pre-Flashpoint as well, and it's allegedly in continuity. So we can only assume that their Gotham will still be the DCNu Gotham. And, of course, Finch's comic stars Bruce Wayne, which brings us to...- Batman in Two Places: It would make sense for DC to utilize Flashpoint to return Bruce Wayne to the status of being the only Batman in the DC Universe. But according to today's announcement, there's a Batman on the Justice League International, and a Batman on the regular Justice League. Are there still two Batmen? If so, are they still Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne, and which one is on which team? But before we assume anything, we also have to notice that there's no difference between the two Batmen costumes. So there could certainly only be Bruce Wayne as Batman. After all, Bruce Wayne could simply have two teams, like he has before with groups like the JLA and Outsiders.
- Do they remember Flashpoint?: While there's very little evidence in today's solicitations to support the idea that anyone remembers the Flashpoint universe, Geoff Johns might have given us a clue in an interview he gave Newsarama when his Aquaman series was announced. When we asked about environmental issues, Johns said Aquaman does care about the Earth. But then he added that there's something happening in the DCU that could allow Aquaman to approach the issue of the environment. "There are some twists and turns coming up that involve some of that, but I don't want to get into it just yet," he said, then added, "I'll just say this: It's all about responsibility." We already know that, within the world of Flashpoint, Aquaman and the Atlanteans destroy Europe, sending it underwater. Could the comments from Johns about Aquaman's approach toward the Earth being one of that's "all about responsibility" point toward him remembering his own actions against the Earth in Flashpoint?
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