DC Multiverse: The New 52

9 Dec
The New 52

The New 52 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Justice League Dark

Justice League Dark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Alternative versions of Barbara Gordon

Alternative versions of Barbara Gordon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

A while back, I discussed the problem of DC canon throughout its long run, and said I would continue on with examining DC’s titles in the New 52 era.

 

First, lets look at the initial New 52 titles.  All of these titles take place in what Dan DiDio and the DC staff are officially dubbing “Prime Earth”.  Unlike previous reboots, this version DiDio has said specifically does not incorporate any previous stories prior to the reboot, even though the universe starts five years into the debut of the heroes, is supposed to be the iconic versions of these characters, and has stories that seem to continue from pre-reboot stories, and has  been called a “soft reboot”.  But no pre-Flashpoint stories are part of this new Prime Earth.  Flashbacks are being told along the way to fill in the gaps for us about  the first five years of the super-hero age.

 

Here are the initial titles that started off the DCnU, aka Prime Earth:

 

Action Comics–The title was relaunched from issue #1, as part of the New 52 by the creative team of writer Grant Morrison and artist Rags Morales. As with all of the books associated with the DC relaunch, Clark Kent appears to be about five years younger than the previous incarnation of the character. Superheroes at large have appeared only in the past five years, and are viewed with at best, suspicion, and at worst, outright hostility. In the first issue of the new Justice League title (the first New 52 publication) and “opening shot” of the new DC Universe), Batman is pursued by the Gotham City Police Department while on the trail of an alien, revealed to be an agent of Darkseid. He and Green Lantern seek out Superman, who they think may have a better idea of what’s going on because he’s also an alien. The story in Action takes place about a year before the events of Justice League #1, and was referred to by DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio as “DC Universe Year Zero” while JL operates as “Year One.” The Man of Steel is not yet trusted by the citizens of Metropolis and wears a basic costume consisting of a caped t-shirt, jeans and work boots. The first issue has had five printings as of March 2012.  The first story arc of the relaunched series, titled Superman and the Men of Steel for the collected edition, begins very early in Superman’s career as he starts making a name for himself as a champion of the oppressed in Metropolis. He captures the attention of the military and scientists Lex Luthor, who are both interested in testing his capabilities as well as discovering what kind of threat he represents.  [This title seems to negate all prior Superman stories, except for stories of his youth that were recent pre-Flashpoint retcons.]

 

All Star Western–The series was revived as part of the line-wide The New 52 relaunch in September 2011, written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Moritat. The series follows the adventures of Jonah Hex and Amadeus Arkham in an Old West-version of Gotham City, with back-up tales featuring other Western characters like El Diablo and Doctor Thirteen.  [Note that in Prime Earth, Gotham is now located in the south western United States.  In the Pre-Flashpoint DCU, it was in New Jersey.  It seems that Jonah Hex's prior canon may still be intact.]

 

Animal ManDC Comics relaunched Animal Man with issue #1 in September 2011 with writer Jeff Lemire and artist Travel Foreman.  The relaunched Animal Man has been met with a great deal of critical acclaim. MTV Geek said, “I don’t want to oversell this, but if there is a better book put out by DC during the month of September, I will eat the other 51 comics. It’s just that good.” A.V. Club writer Oliver Sava wrote that the “first issue of Animal Man combines family drama, superhero action, and macabre horror into a cohesive story that is unique, yet still true to the history of Buddy Baker.” Read/RANT said, “Along with Action Comics, Animal Man is among the best the line has to offer” and gave the book an A+ overall, calling it the Must Read Book of the Week. Greg McElhatton at Comic Book Resources was less complimentary, giving the book 3.5 stars (out of 5) and saying, “The art might be uneven in “Animal Man” #1, but the script is dynamite.”.  According to ICv2.com, the relaunched Animal Man #1 sold over 55,000 copies, while Animal Man #2 was one of the 50 best-selling comics in October 2011. The storyline of the relaunched version essentially builds on previous Animal Man continuity with Baker as a happily married family man and super hero. Baker is forced to take his family on the run after he discovers that his daughter Maxine is the avatar of The Red, the force which sustains all animal life, and that agents of The Rot, the elemental force of decay, are seeking to kill her.  [It seems as though Animal Man's prior canon may be intact, despite DiDio's proclamation.]

 

Aquaman–As part of The New 52, DC’s 2011 relaunch of their entire superhero line, Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis and Joe Prado served as the initial creative team of the company’s new Aquaman series, the first issue of which was released September 28, 2011. The three creators remained on the title for the first 16 issues.  The relaunched series cements Aquaman’s status as the half-human son of Tom Curry and Atlanna, and sees him return to Amnesty Bay along with Mera. Greatly distressed by the harsh treatment given to the oceans during his time as ruler of Atlantis, Aquaman decides to abdicate the Atlantean throne and return to full-time heroics. However, he now struggles with his lack of reputation with the greater public, which views him as a lesser metahuman with less impressive powers than those of his peers. Also, in The New 52 universe, Aquaman is once again a founding member of the Justice League and is a main member of the team.  [It seems that most of the new DCU has been reset to the early 80s era of DC Comics, including Aquaman.  So despite DiDio's proclamation about not counting any previous stories, we probably can assume that most of the silver age Aquaman stories happened.]

 

Batgirl–In September, 2011, following the company-wide relaunch, Barbara Gordon stars in a new Batgirl series—one of The New 52 titles featuring the company’s most iconic characters. The conclusion of the limited series Flashpoint (2011) establishes a new continuity within the DC Universe, with all characters regressing to an earlier age and stage in their careers, while remaining in a modern timeline. DC Senior VP of Sales, Bob Wayne, explained that with each of their titles reverting back to issue #1, “our creative teams have the ability to take a more modern approach—not only with each character, but with how the characters interact with one another and the universe as a whole, and focus on the earlier part of the careers of each of our iconic characters.” Wayne also stated that “The Killing Joke still happened and she was Oracle. Now she will go through physical rehabilitation and become a more seasoned and nuanced character because she had these incredible and diverse experiences. Dan DiDio, Co-Publisher of DC Comics explained the decision by stating that “she’ll always be the most recognizable [Batgirl].” Series writer Gail Simone stated: “For many years, I got to write the character as Oracle, and there is to this day, no character who means more to me. This is classic Barbara as she was originally conceived, with a few big surprises. It’s a bit of a shock, to be sure, but we’re doing everything we can to be respectful to this character’s amazing legacy, while presenting something thrilling that a generation of comics readers will be experiencing for the first time … Barbara Gordon leaping, fighting, and swinging over Gotham. Now, when citizens of that city look up, they are going to see BATGIRL. And that is absolutely thrilling.”  In the new, revised continuity, the events of The Killing Joke took place three years before the current storyline, and while it is established she was paraplegic during that time, Barbara Gordon is written as having regained her mobility after undergoing experimental surgery at a South African clinic. Although she resumes her work as Batgirl one year after her recovery, she continues to suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder, causing her to hesitate in battle when exposed to gunfire that could result in receiving new spinal damage. The character also exhibits survivor guilt due to the fact she has made a full recovery from her paralysis while others have not. Series writer Gail Simone stated that while the character is “one of the smartest and toughest women in comics … One thing the book is truly about, is that the after-effects of something like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) or other trauma-related syndromes, can strike even very smart, very intellectually tough people, even soldiers and cops”, a subject that is generally overlooked in comic books. She also explained the method of the character’s recovery is based upon real life experiences in that “some of the best real world work in the field of mobility rehabilitation is coming from South Africa. People have been talking about this as if it’s some sort of mystical thing like returning from the dead, but there are treatments and surgeries that can restore mobility in some cases. Barbara’s spine was not severed. That makes her a candidate.”  Prior to release, Batgirl #1 sold out at the distribution level with over 100,000 copies printed in its first run according to Diamond Comic Distributors. Along with Action Comics #1, Justice League #1, Batman #1, Batman and Robin #1, Batman: The Dark Knight #1, Detective Comics #1, Flash #1, Green Lantern #1, and Superman #1, retailers were required to order a second printing. Calvin Reid of Publishers Weekly states in a review of the first issue: “The artwork is okay though conventional, while Simone’s script tries to tie up of the end of the previous Barbara Gordon/Oracle storyline and setup up the new Batgirl. Her formula: murderous villains, blood splattering violence and high flying superheroics mixed with single-white-female bonding … plus a cliffhanger ending to the first issue that offers a nifty [segue] into the new world of Barbara Gordon and Batgirl.” The New York Times critic George Gene Gustines wrote: “Unlike some of the other DC comics I read this week, Batgirl achieves a deft hat trick: a well-shaped reintroduction to a character, an elegant acknowledgement of fundamental history and the establishment of a new status quo. This is a must-buy series.” Earning a B+ rating in a review from Entertainment Weekly, Ken Tucker writes that Simone “[takes] her Birds of Prey storytelling powers and focuses them on the newly revived Barbara Gordon as Batgirl. The result is a burst of exhilaration, as Barbara/Batgirl revels in her new freedom even as she encounters a so-far not-terribly-chilling villain called Mirror.”  Since the series relaunch in September 2011, Batgirl has remained within the top 30 of the 300 best-selling monthly comic book publications sold in North America. Monthly estimated sales figures are as follows: Batgirl No. 1 with 81,489 copies (ranked 12th overall), Batgirl No. 2 with 75,227 (ranked 14th), Batgirl No. 3 with 62,974 (ranked 18th), Batgirl No. 4 with 53,975 (raked 23rd), Batgirl No. 5 with 51,327 (raked 26th), and Batgirl No. 6 with 47,836 (raked 30th). The hardcover edition of volume 1, Batgirl: The Darkest Reflection, which collects issues #1-6, made the The New York Times Best Seller list, alongside Animal Man: The Hunt, Batman & Robin: Born to Kill, Batman: Detective Comics, Wonder Woman: Blood, Batwoman: Hydrology, Green Lantern: Sinestro.  Additionally, Barbara Gordon makes an appearance in Birds of Prey No. 1, where Black Canary offers her a spot on the new Birds of Prey roster. She declines Canary’s invitation, suggesting that Katana take her place instead. Series writer Duane Swierczynski has stated that Batgirl will join the team in issue #4. He commented that while she “is an essential part of this team”, she is not the focus of the series, as she is hesitant to be associated with the other characters because of their status as outlaws.  [It seems that we can assume that the silver age Batgirl stories happened, but only up to before she became a congresswoman, since she's now just out of college.  So following the silver age era, we get the Killing Joke in canon, then Birds of Prey, but not Suicide Squad or JLA, and her Oracle tales in Batman titles are probably mostly in, but see my comments on the other Batman titles for other retcons.]

 

Batman–In the 2011 The New 52, Bruce Wayne is the sole character to be identified as Batman while Dick Grayson returns to the Nightwing identity. Damian will continue to be Robin under his father’s guidance. The principal antagonists of the relaunched Batman series are the Court of the Owls, a shadowy organisation that has ruled Gotham for centuries. When Batman begins to interfere with their influence they go on the offensive, launching assassins against major figures throughout Gotham in the crossover event Night of the Owls, with Batman and his various allies racing to stop them.  [This is a weird one.  Apparently, Batman is the least retconned, as his pre-Flashpoint, post Infinite Crisis storylines are continuing on, including Grant Morrison's revelations that all Golden Age, Silver Age, and Modern Age Batman stories happened.  But then, Tim Drake was never Robin, only now starting his career as Red Robin in Teen Titans, so all Tim Drake stories with Batman are not canon anymore.]

 

Batman and Robin–In the wake of the time-altering Flashpoint event, DC Comics instituted a mandate that saw all of their ongoing super hero titles canceled to make way for new and relaunched series all starting with new #1 issues. Of The New 52, several were time-honored titles such as Action Comics and Detective Comics, in addition to titles like Batman and Robin.  The relaunched DC Universe features several notable differences from its previous incarnation, making all of the established heroes roughly five years younger than their previous versions before the relaunch. While much of Batman’s history from the previous DCU remains intact, Bruce Wayne is again the only hero serving as Batman and as such, he has replaced Dick Grayson in this title. Volume 2 features the exploits of Bruce and Damian, father and son, as Batman and Robin.  The team of writer Peter Tomasi and artist Patrick Gleason return to the title upon the relaunch, telling a story of a man from Bruce’s past arriving in Gotham as both a vigilante and enemy of Batman, as well as trying to seduce Damian away from a form of crimefighting that defies his lethal and unpredictable skill and nature. The series takes place between Justice League International and Batman: The Dark Knight.  Damian Wayne discovers it harder to work with Bruce and reveals that he prefers to work with Dick. When Bruce subjugates Damian to lessons he had his previous “sons” he ends up telling Damian that he does not trust him. Morgan Ducard then strains the relationship between Damian and Bruce and manages to sway Damian over to his side. Morgan then takes Damian to his base with a prisoner and Damian reveals their alliance to be a ruse and gives away their location to Bruce. When Bruce arrives, a brutal battle ensues which ends with Damian killing Morgan and passing out.  [This series seems to have absolutely no retcons and all previous Damien stories seem to still have happened.]

 

Batman:The Dark Knight–DC Comics relaunched Batman: The Dark Knight with issue #1 in September 2011, as part of the 2011 DC Universe reboot. While David Finch was originally supposed to be the writer on the series permanently, Paul Jenkins was later announced to be co-writing issues. It was then announced that Joe Harris and Judd Winick would have guest appearances before Gregg Hurwitz would take over the series.  The second volume of the series bridges the gap between the first arc of the relaunched Detective Comics and Batman and Robin. As Bruce is unable to keep up with the various legal conspiracies involving Batman Incorporated, he decides to investigate a breakout in Arkham. There he finds criminals being fed a modified fear toxin that is mixed in with venom which makes the criminals extremely strong and immune to fear. He finds it being given to criminals by a new foe named the White Rabbit, when Batman approaches her she quickly defeats him and injects him with the fear toxin which she then gives to the Flash. Bruce then finds Bane to be behind the new fear toxin and combats him, Bruce manages to burn the fear toxin out of his and the Flash’s body’s by getting pushed to the limit. Bruce manages to defeat Bane, but is left confused by the White Rabbit.  [See my comments for Batman.]

 

Batwing–Batwing has since gained his own monthly ongoing series as part of the 2011 DC Universe reboot, featuring art by Ben Oliver and written by Power Girl and Justice League: Generation Lost writer Judd Winick.  According to fellow Batman Incorporated artists, Chris Burnham told iFanboy that he designed the character first, while Paquette was the first to draw him in interiors. In line with Morrison’s use of obscure continuity throughout his Batman stories, the character seems to be based visually on a minor character which appeared in Batman #250 in a story called “The Batman Nobody Knows”. In this story, a young African-American boy tells his friends how he imagines Batman to be, and gives him the name “Batwings”.  [Batwing debuted very shortly before the reboot, and his pre-Flashpoint stories seem to still be in.  The obscure Batman # 250 is probably still in as well.]

 

Batwoman–DC announced that Batwoman will star in a series with art by J. H. Williams III who will also co-write the series with writer W. Haden Blackman and artist Amy Reeder Hadley for later art duties. The series’ introductory “zero issue” was released on November 24, 2010. The launch of Batwoman #1 was originally scheduled for February 2011, then delayed until spring; in early March 2011 it was announced that Batwoman #1 will be released sometime in Fall 2011.  Unlike many other titles that were released as part of DC’s relaunch, Batwoman’s backstory and history has not been altered. All the events of Batwoman: Elegy still occurred, and there has been no indication of any alterations made.  Batwoman #1 was released with DC Comic’s relaunch of The New 52. The first story arc, Hydrology, featured J.H. Williams III as artist and writer with W. Haden Blacksmith and Amy Reeder also on the creative team. Amy Reeder took the helm as artist with issues 6-8. Originally, Reeder was set to provide art through issue 11, however, it was announced in March 2012 that Reeder would no longer be completing through issue 11.  [Not only is Batwoman's pre-Flashpoint stories still intact from her 52 retcon forward, but the silver age version seems to still have existed as Katy Kane thanks to Grant Morrison.  It's funny how Morrison loves to both take things retconned out and bring them back in, but then goes and does reboots that erase decades of history elsewhere.  A very complex fellow, he is.]

 

Birds of Prey–DC Comics relaunched Birds of Prey with issue #1 in September 2011 for The New 52 relaunch. Novelist Duane Swierczynski replaced Andreyko as the writer, with Jesus Saiz handling the art. Noted Batman villain Poison Ivy was announced as one of the new characters joining the team.  The book’s first storyline begins shortly after Barbara regains the use of her legs due to the events of Flashpoint. Dinah approaches her old friend with an offer to join the new Birds of Prey team she is putting together, but she declines, instead suggesting that Katana take her place. The gun-toting vigilante Starling is also recruited into the team, along with Poison Ivy.  [It seems that for the most part, Birds of Prey canon remains intact, except for the comments I made regarding Batgirl above, and also, regarding Black Canary.  Black Canary is now Dinah Drake Lance.  Since there was no "golden age", Black Canary here is the first and only Black Canary.  Daughter has been replaced by mother, and there is no daughter.  All silver age Black Canary tales can be attributed s being the one and only Dinah.  In a way, this reverts to the early 80s and earlier belief that the Canary dating Green Arrow was Dinah Drake Lance.]

 

Blackhawks–In September 2011, DC launched a new Blackhawks monthly series with no direct ties to the previous incarnations. The book is set in the present day with no appearances by or mention of prior Blackhawks, although there is a new “Lady Blackhawk”. The book shares the setting of the rebooted DCU continuity set up by the Flashpoint miniseries and is a part of DC’s The New 52 initiative. In January 2012, DC revealed that the Blackhawks comic would be retired in April to make way for the “second wave” of the New 52.  [This one is a complete reboot, that erases all previous Blackhawk story history.]

 

Blue Beetle–Following DC’s Flashpoint event, Blue Beetle was one of 52 monthly titles launched in September 2011, again starring Jaime Reyes.  [It's unclear to me if Blue Beetle continued or was a fresh reboot.]

 

Captain Atom–Following the rewriting of history due to the Flashpoint event, the mainstream DC Universe is altered considerably. Captain Atom is reintroduced with altered powers, appearance and origin. He is still USAF pilot Nathaniel Adam. In the new reality, Adam volunteers to participate in an experiment conducted by a research facility called the Continuum. At this facility, Dr. Megala’s research is focused on the quantum field and on “dimensional transfer through M Theory”. Adam is asked to pilot the dimensional-transfer vessel but is seemingly atomized during the experiment. Soon afterwards, he reappears, now an energy-based life form. According to Dr. Megala, Captain Atom’s abilities are largely nuclear in nature and involve tapping into the strong nuclear force, the energy that binds protons and neutrons in the nucleus. Adam’s physical atoms are constantly splitting apart, giving him incredible power. His body maintains integrity by instantly re-merging these atoms, but extreme use of his powers can interfere with this process and cause Captain Atom’s form to become unstable. This leads to a fear that at some point Captain Atom’s brain might lose its molecular stability and he won’t be able to fix it before it impairs his consciousness or causes him to suffer some form of brain death.  In the new reality, Nathaniel Adam has only been Captain Atom for a few months and is still exploring his abilities, constantly learning new facets to them such as his ability to perceive wireless transmissions from cell phones and computers. He frequently returns to the Continuum so that Dr. Megala and the staff can help him further understand his abilities and occasionally so they can stabilize his body when he seems to be having problems. The world at large looks on Captain Atom with suspicion due to uncertainty about his agenda and the nature of his abilities. Some fear that he is leaking radiation and potentially poisoning those he comes into contact with. Several have remarked that the Justice League may have rejected Captain Atom for membership due to suspicion of how dangerous he is. Despite this, Nathaniel chooses to try and use his powers to help others on Earth, clandestinely if need be.  [Captain Atom has been completely rebooted, removing all prior story canon.]

 

Catwoman–In September 2011, DC Comics relaunched all titles, deemed The New 52, which rebooted the DC Universe continuity. Catwoman’s monthly title now focused on Selina’s earlier days as Catwoman, but not her origins. The series begins with Selina frantically escaping from unknown masked men who are invading her apartment. After flitting from rooftop to rooftop, Selina looks back just in time to see her apartment blown apart by explosives. She turns to her informant, Lola, who often supplies Catwoman with information and various jobs. In this instance, Lola tips Selina off to an unoccupied penthouse where Selina can lay low for a few weeks, as well as a job stealing a painting from Russian mobsters. For this job, Selina infiltrates a Russian club by posing as the bartender. There, she recognizes a man from her past, who murdered her friend as a teenager, and Selina quickly takes her revenge. Once her cover is blown, Selina dons her Catwoman outfit and fights her way out of the club, making quick work of the Russians. Back at the penthouse, Batman visits concerned about Selina’s well being. It is revealed through Selina’s inner monologue that she and Batman have had sexual encounters with one another before, and the premiere issue ends with yet another of these encounters. Selina’s age is revealed as being twenty-three in issue #2.  [Despite her being rebooted to being only 23, meaning she became Catwoman at age 18, Grant Morrison would have us believe practically all of her golden, silver, and modern age stories still happened.]

 

DC Universe Presents–This series presents multi-issue stories about different DC characters, each by a different creative team, was released in the First Wave of new comics that DC released under the New 52 banner.

 

  • Issues 1-5: Deadman  [Canon seems intact]
  • Issues 6-8: Challengers of the Unknown [I'm not sure about thier canon]
  • Issues 9-11: Vandal Savage  [Not sure about this character's canon.  Clearly had no involvment with the JSA.]
  • Issue 12: Kid Flash  [This is the Bart Allen version.  See my Teen Titans comments.]
  • Issue 0: OMAC, Mister Terrific, Hawk & Dove, Blackhawks, Deadman.  This issue featured characters from titles cancelled when the Second Wave of The New 52 was announced.  [See my comments for those titles.]
  • Issues 13-16: Black Lightning and Blue Devil  [Not sure their status.]
  • Issue 17: Arsenal  [See my comments for Red Hood and the Outlaws.]
  • Issue 18: Starfire [Ditto.]

 

Deathstroke–Within the post-Flashpoint DC Universe, Deathstroke is known as a top mercenary around the world. Deathstroke is hired by a man named Cristoph for a mission that forces him to work with a team of younger mercenaries known as the Alpha Dogs. Their target is Jeffrey Bode, an arms dealer traveling on a plane. Despite managing to uncover that the weapons Bode is trafficking in are clones of the villain Clayface, Deathstroke and the other mercenaries are able to dispatch of them, killing Bode in the process and retrieving a suitcase he had in his possession. Afterward, Deathstroke subsequently betrays and kills the Alpha Dogs, feeling enraged by the notion that his employers feel he is unable to accomplish his tasks alone. Deathstroke then begins to take on increasingly more dangerous missions in an effort to prove his worth but is also spurred on by the contents of the suitcase he retrieved from Bode – namely the mask and knife belonging to his son, Ravager, both of which were stained with fresh blood indicating that he may yet be alive. During this time, Deathstroke is pursued by a new villain known as Legacy.  [Considering the Teen Titans reboot, we should consider that Deathstroke's prior canon is all erased as well.]

 

Demon Knights–In the planning stages of the New 52, Paul Cornell was asked to write an Etrigan title. At his request this became a team title set in the medieval times as this was of more interest to him, and a more fitting period for Etrigan to operate. Cornell also stated that a love of the film The Magnificent Seven is an influence on the title, and that it is a team title as he is more interested in the interactions between characters, rather than any scene or period. It’s confirmed that this team is the ancestral version of Stormwatch.  [The Demon and Madame Xanadu seem to have a mostly unretconned canon.]

 

Detective Comics–DC Comics relaunched Detective Comics with issue #1 in September 2011, as part of The New 52. The series was written and drawn by Tony Daniel until the twelfth issue. The team of John Layman and Jason Fabok will work on the series beginning with issue #13. DC Comics is referring to Detective Comics as its new “flagship title”. In the first arc of the series, Batman, while in pursuit of the Joker, encounters a new enemy known as the “Dollmaker” who had cut off the Joker’s face. The search for the Joker would be continued in the Batman title, beginning with issue 13. The second arc delved more into the past of the Rivers character while having Batman take down the operations of the Penguin and his new allies. It additionally introduced the new characters of Mr. Toxic, Mr. Combustible, and Hypnotic. The series then featured stand alone stories on the Scarecrow and a “Night of the Owls” crossover issue which reintroduced Roman Sionis as the Black Mask. After the “Night of the Owls”, the series returned to the format of three issue arcs with Batman battling Mr. Toxic and Hugh Marder.  [See my comments on Batman.]

 

Flash–After Flashpoint, the Flash reboots the DC Universe. In this new continuity, Barry’s marriage to Iris never happened, instead, he is in a relationship with longtime co-worker Patty Spivot, however it is hinted that Iris has a romantic attraction to Barry. The Flash is currently in a new Flash volume, which began in September 2011. The new ongoing book is drawn and written by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato. In this new series, the Flash draws deeper into the Speed Force, enhancing his mental abilities.  Also, as was revealed in #0 of the reboot, Barry Allen’s father was placed in prison for the murder of Barry’s mother, who died at knife point. While the evidence seems to point the guilt towards Barry’s father, it is his mission to prove his father’s innocence. The occurrence happened shortly after Barry returned victorious from a school spelling bee, and Barry places his trophy on his mother’s grave in her memory.  Barry will also be used as part of the main cast of the relaunched Justice League series, making his debut in a story written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Jim Lee.  [It seems as if we have to consider all Flash history void prior to the reboot.  Jay Garrick never existed.  Barry's altered relationship to Iris negates his entire history.  Wally never existed, and Bart is just appearing for the first time over in Teen Titans.]

 

Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.–In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Frankenstein was awakened during World War II and attacks Nazi soldiers to save Lt. Matthew Shrieve. Later, Frankenstein is invited by Project M to join the Creature Commandos. Leading a raid with the Creature Commandos, Frankenstein personally killed Adolf Hitler. After the end of World War II, however, Project M was deemed obsolete by Robert Crane’s government services. Frankenstein refuses to accept, but is subdued and put into stasis by the G.I. Robot. Later, Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos revive and escape from their prison and discover they have been awakened over 65 years later. Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos travel to Gotham City, where Dr. Mazursky might live and believe him to be alive. The Creature Commandos found Dr. Mazursky’s cabin, however they discover that Dr. Mazursky has moved to Romania, when Creature Commandos are ultimately ambushed by Matthew Shrieve’s granddaughter, Miranda and a group of soldiers. Frankenstein attacks the soldiers, but he was sprung by the G.I. Robot to be subdued again. Creature Commandos saved Frankenstein by tearing the G.I. Robot apart. During the attacks, Creature Commandos are saved by Frankenstein’s wife, who is eventually alive. Bride explains to her husband that she is working as an agent of S.H.A.D.E.. Later, Frankenstein and the Creature Commandos then travel to Romainia with Miranda, who was being manipulated by General Sam Lane, who is revealed to be the one truly responsible for the deaths of Miranda’s family. They arrive in Romania, where they found a small village populated by monsters. The village is then attacked by a giant G.I. Robot. After they destroy the G.I. Robot, Frankenstein, Bride and Miranda depart from the Creature Commandos and participate in the Atlantean/Amazon war.  [This series seems to complety reboot the history and canon of Frankenstein, the Creature Commandos, and G.I. Robot.]

 

Fury of the Firestorms:The Nuclear Men–After the events of the 2011 “Flashpoint” storyline, as part of The New 52, reality is altered so that Firestorm’s personal history is completely restarted. Ronnie is now introduced as a high school senior and the captain of the football team. During a terrorist attack on their school, Ronnie’s classmate Jason Rusch produces a vial given to him by Professor Stein, which contains the “God Particle”, one of Stein’s creations. The God Particle transform both Jason and Ronnie into Firestorm, and the two teens briefly battle each other before accidentally merging into a hulking creature known as the Fury.  [This completey reboots and erases all previous Firestorm history and canon.]

 

Green Arrow–In DC’s 2011 launch of the New 52, Green Arrow was given his own ongoing series. Oliver Queen is Green Arrow and he balances his own breaking of laws with his efforts to bring outlaws to justice across the globe.  Roy’s memories in Red Hood and the Outlaws bring to the surface that when Ollie cut their partnership ties, he publicly took all of Roy’s stocks in his company and left Roy to his own devices, leading Roy to an attempted assisted suicide by the hands of Killer Croc. Roy also comments how he steals from Ollie’s company to get the arrows for his adventures.  [Green Arrow seems to have been returned to a point in the silver age before he lost his fortune, like around the late 60s.  His silver age canon may be intact still.]

 

Green Lantern–Hal Jordan is featured as a part of Justice League series relaunch following the universe-altering of The New 52. The initial issues of the title take place five years prior as Jordan assists Batman against a mysterious threat. It is shown he is already friends with Barry Allen and each know the other’s secret identity.  Hal also believes with the ring he can overcome anything by himself by sheer force of will. This leads to reckless behavior that almost gets him killed. It’s only when Batman reminds him of his mortality by revealing his own identity as Bruce Wayne does reconsider his approach.  Green Lantern resigns from the Justice League in an effort to keep the group functioning after his behaviour put the team in peril during their fight with Graves.  [It seems that Hal Jordon has an intact history for the most part pre-crisis and post crisis, except for his whole evil/dead period.  Coast City may have been destroyed by Cyborg Superman and Mongul.  He was Parallax, but didn't cause Zero Hour, which never happened.  He did sacrifise himself, but not during Final Night, which didn't happen.  He was brought back in Brightest Day.  He wasn't the Spectre.]

 

Green Lantern Corps–The status of the Green Lantern Corps remained unchanged by the reboot applied by the Flashpoint series. As of 2011, Sinestro is still an unwilling Green Lantern, Hal remains exiled (although he has been forced to assist Sinestro’s activities with a ring created and powered by Sinestro) while Kyle has gone AWOL alongside six members of the other Lantern Corps. John was recently forced to kill a Green Lantern who was about to give in to torture the access codes to the Oan defense network from the Keepers. Guy remains the only main character with a stable position on the Corps.  The Guardians currently consider the Green Lantern Corps a failure and are planning to replace it with a mysterious “Third Army”, which will be led by the equally unknown “First Lantern”. The Third Army consists of beings with no free will that are made out of the Guardians’ bio-tissue, and the First Lantern was guarded by the older Guardians because he was deemed too dangerous. In the mist of the chaos, Sinestro gave Hal Jorden a temporary ring to help him out on missions, but the Guardians attacked them and both rings merged and became faulty and thought Sinestro and Jordan apparently dead so it went in search of a new Lantern, Simon Baz. It is unknown what role Simon Baz plays, and he is a Muslim-American Green Lantern first shown in Green Lantern #0 (vol. 5).  [The Corps' history seems intact.  John Stewart and Guy Gardner's histories may not have changed at all following the reboot.]

 

Green Lantern:New Guardians–Green Lantern: New Guardians debuted as part of The New 52 in September 2011. It is part of the Green Lantern family of titles that includes Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, and Red Lanterns.  The series crossed over with Blue Beetle vol 8 #9 in May 2012, and will be a part of the Rise of the Third Army storyline running through all four lantern books beginning in October 2012.  [Kyle Raynor's still exists, but his history has to be drastically altered.  His first girlfriend couldn't have been killed by Major Force, who hadn't become a villain yet.  His other two girlfriends, Donna Troy and Jade, don't exist any more.  And he wasn't a member of the New Titans or JLA, as those teams didn't exist in those forms anymore.]

 

Grifter–In June 2011, DC Comics announced that Grifter would be incorporated into the DC Universe in a new ongoing series written by Nathan Edmondson and drawn by CAFU as part of its September 2011 relaunch of its comics properties.  In the new post-Flashpoint DC Universe, Grifter is a former U.S. Army Special Ops soldier who deserted and became a con-artist. During one of his latest cons, Cole Cash is assaulted and abducted by Daemonites, aliens who can “possess” human bodies. Cash is held for 17 days, while a Daemonite attempts to take possession of his body. For unknown reasons Cole wakens prematurely, aborting the transfer and leaving him with the ability to overhear the telepathic communication of Daemonites. He subsequently hijacks a plane and kills several Daemonites disguised as humans resulting in him being wanted for crimes and terrorism. Cash is now wanted by several intelligence agencies and his brother Max, also a military special operative, is tasked with apprehending him. Furthermore, the Daemonites also wish to retrieve Cash in order to maintain their secrecy. On the run from his many pursuers, Cash dons a costume from a costume shop in order to conceal his identity.  Beginning with Grifter #9 in May 2012, series writer Nathan Edmondson was replaced with Rob Liefeld, who was also given writing responsibilities on Deathstroke and The Savage Hawkman.  Sales for Grifter struggled. Despite a strong launch that found the series debut selling 37,100 issues, sales quickly plummeted. According to Comics Beat, the series had lost nearly 60% of its readership in only six months. Edmondson’s final issue sold under 15,000 issues.  Critical reception for the series was mixed. The A.V. Club’s Keith Phipps and Oliver Sava disagreed on the debut issue, with Phipps saying: “It reads like a book that could turn into something, but as a jumping-on point, this didn’t really work for me,” while Sava called it “a solid action thriller with a sci-fi twist.” The reviewers at read/RANT were similarly divided, with one reviewer calling it “an exciting, genre bending superhero story” that “could easily become one of the coolest titles of the relaunch,” (though he warned, “it could just as easily devolve quickly into melodrama and camp”), while another said it tied with Hawk and Dove for the worst book of the relaunch. MTV Geek largely panned the opening issue, giving it a score of 10/52 and saying “Grifter feels like a series of sort of clever action beats that never got put together as a proper story”.  [Though Wildstorm charactes were incorporated with the reboot, the characters' histories did not come along and all the Wildstorm characters are rebooted.]

 

Hawk & Dove–DC relaunched this title as part of their company-wide reboot of their 52 major titles. It was released on September 7, 2011, written by Sterling Gates and art by Rob Liefeld.  In this new series, Hawk and Dove are Hank Hall and Dawn Granger, who resume their superhero activities in Washington, DC, with assistance from Deadman. They encounter Condor and Swan, a new pair of supervillains who possess superpowers similar to theirs. Hawk and Dove fight Condor and Swan after they try to kill President Obama and Hank’s father. Swan escapes, but Hawk and Dove manage to defeat Condor, who is revealed to be an old man, likely as a reference to the Marvel Comics supervillain the Vulture.  In the new continuity, Dawn Granger has a tenuous romantic relationship with Deadman, and has appeared in the team comic Justice League Dark. The series was cancelled after issue 8 (released April 4, 2012).  During the first issue, the origins of Hawk and Dove are recounted – Don and Hank were Dove and Hawk for at least two years, until three years before the start of the series, when Don perished during the “worst crisis the world has ever seen” (referencing Don’s death in the original canon in the Crisis) and Dawn became the next avatar almost immediately. It is also said that Dawn had a connection to Don, known only to herself and Deadman, but unbeknownst to Hank.  [This series retains all previous Hawk & Dove stories prior to Armageddon 2001.  Note this story seems to indicate the Crisis on Infinite Earths happened, but it didn't.  It's been replaced by some other event in which Don was killed.]

 

I, Vampire–The title was relaunched as part of DC Comics September 2011 company-wide title relaunch, The New 52. The initial creative team is Joshua Hale Fialkov writing and Andrea Sorrentino as penciller. The first issue was very well received critically, and was the 78th best selling comic in September 2011 by units. In this version, Andrew Bennett is an older vampire (about 600 years old) but has the physical appearance of a man in his twenties. His former lover, Mary Queen of Blood, gathers an army of vampires to take over the world. Wounded, trying to stop her, Andrew seeks out help from his old ally Professor John Troughton. They are soon joined by a young vampire hunter Tig whose father had been turned into a vampire. Traveling to Gotham City they, along with Batman confront Mary’s horde. However, Tig kills Andrew and unwittingly releases Cain, the original vampire, from extradimensional captivity. Cain takes command of the horde of vampires from Mary and begins absorbing magic. Tig, Troughton, Batman, and the Justice League Dark are almost overwhelmed by the vampires when Madame Xanadu manages to resurrect Andrew Bennett, who proceeds to kill Cain and claim leadership of the vampire horde for himself, promising a new era free from conflict with humans.  In the New 52 reality vampires still possess superhuman strength, speed, agility, endurance, healing, and senses but no longer are destroyed or killed by sunlight but are instead greatly weakened by it, to the point where they become nearly completely human in nature. They have shown the ability to shapeshift to a greater extent than before, being able to become a variety of different forms, none of which have been completely defined. Vampires have also shown the ability to create clothes through shapeshifting. While all vampires can turn into wolves, Andrew has shown to be able to combine his wolf form with his natural ‘human’ form to create a monstrous werewolf-like creature. Andrew has also shown that he is able to change into a mist and back, being able to do this in combat as well to avoid strikes in the ‘nick of time’ rendering him intangible. He has also shown to be able to mist all of his clothes as well as the weapon he was carrying. Andrew can also turn into a bat colony or sprout large bat wings from his back in order to achieve flight. In addition, Andrew also has the ability to “sway” humans to do his bidding and can alter their memories. Besides his vampiric superpowers, Andrew has been shown to be an expert tracker and master swordsman with unparalleled combat skills.  [This seems to reboot I, Vampire, and Cain.  Based on the nature of vampire abilities here, we might be able to assume the existence of Bram Stoker's Dracula in the DCnU.]

 

Justice League Dark–Justice League Dark is an ongoing DC Comics series, announced as part of the universe wide overhaul, announced on May 31, 2011. The title follows the adventures of a more supernatural team than traditional Justice League titles, and is written by Peter Milligan, with art by Mikel Janin. The title launched on September 28, 2011. From issue nine, Sweet Tooth and Animal Man writer Jeff Lemire will become the principal writer on the series.  While the initial team has been confirmed, Peter Milligan has confirmed that he is, “Ruling no-one out” for future appearances, amid speculation that both Ragman and The Spectre may feature in future comics.

 

  • John Constantine – A working class, Liverpudlian magician. Originally from Swamp Thing and protagonist of long running Vertigo title Hellblazer.  [It seems that Hellblazer, still ongoing at this point, is part of the prior pre-Flashpoint canon.  However, there is nothing indicating that the Vertigo series is retconned out post Flashpoint.]
  • Shade, the Changing Man – A hero with the power to warp reality. Originally featured in his own title, by Steve Ditko, and was later ‘rebooted’ in Peter Milligan’s run on the series in the late 80s and early 90s. He was featured in a crossover event in Hellblazer in 2010, also written by Peter Milligan, although it is unclear if this will affect events in this title. He is tasked with bringing the team together at the behest of Madame Xanadu. He was also a member of the Secret Seven during the Flashpoint storyline. Left the team in issue #8.  [This is likely the Vertigo version, still canon.]
  • Madame Xanadu – A mystic and fortune teller. Originally featured in Doorway to Nightmare. More recently featured in One Year Later and Flashpoint. She has previously dealt with John Constantine in the plot of Neil Gaiman’s Books of Magic mini-series, where their relationship is fraught, as he has deceived her in the past.  [Doesn't seem as if she's been retconned.]
  • Deadman – The ghost of an assassinated acrobat who can possess the bodies of the dead. Originally featured in Strange Adventures #205. More recently featured in Blackest Night and Brightest Day.  [Seems as though prior history is intact.]
  • Zatanna – A stage magician. She was featured in Justice League of America as a member of the team. Recently she starred in her own title written by Paul Dini and was part of the Secret Seven during Flashpoint. She has previously been romantically involved with John Constantine.  [She doesn't seem to be retconned, though the search for her father from her pre-crisis intro probably never happened.  Since Zatara technically wasn't a costumed hero, he escapes the clause about golden age heroes.  But he probably didn't operate in the 1940s, but more likely, about "30 years ago."
  • Mindwarp – An original character created by Peter Milligan for Flashpoint. In the event, he was a member of the Secret Seven. Jay Young is a man who possesses the powers of telepathy and astral projection. He may be aware of the Fourth Wall as evidenced by his reading Peter Milligan's Secret Seven mini-series and the Flashpoint title Deadman and the Flying Graysons.  [He has no prior stories to really worry about.  His Flashpoint stories didn't happen.]
  • Enchantress – A witch. Originally featured in Strange Adventures, and later a member of the Suicide Squad, she has more recently been featured in Shadowpact and the Flashpoint event as part of the Secret Seven. When the Enchantress seemingly goes mad and the Justice League is unable to stop her, Justice League Dark comes together to face her.  [She wasn't in the Suicide Squad or Shadowpact or any other team, but otherwise her history is intact.]
  • Timothy Hunter – boy destined to wield an open the books of magic.  [History is intact.]
  • Black Orchid – A new, shapeshifting Black Orchid.  [Retcons all previous history out.]
  • Doctor Mist – The A.R.G.U.S supernatural expert and consultant, he is task alongside Black Orchid to keep watch on Constantine. Later revelead to be a spy working for Felix Faust.  [Seems as if he is totally rebooted.]
  • Andrew Bennett – A century old vampire from the title I, Vampire. Become member as a favor to Constantine and is forcibly induced permanently by him. Left the team after becoming a villain.  [See my comments for I, Vampire]
  • Frankenstein – An erudite creature created by Viktor Frankenstein. He chooses to stay with the team out of a sense of responsibility toward Zatanna and Tim Hunter.  [See my Frankenstein comments.]
  • Amethyst- A fantasy princess. She is summoned to earth in a effort to reconnect Tim Hunter with magic. Remains in the team in order to recover the portal stone Constantine has stolen.  [Unclear if her history is intact or not.]

 

Justice League International–The Justice League International title was relaunched in September 2011 after the conclusion of the Flashpoint storyline. The title was written by Dan Jurgens and drawn by Aaron Lopresti.  The Justice League International is formed by United Nations director Andre Briggs as a UN-controlled counterpart to the original Justice League and is based out of the Hall of Justice. The founding lineup of the team consists of Booster Gold, Fire, Ice, Rocket Red (Gavril Ivanovich), Green Lantern (Guy Gardner), Vixen, August General in Iron, and Godiva, who are recruited to the team due to having their identites publicly known. Batman is denied membership due to having a secret identity, but is allowed to accompany the group as part of an effort to foster good relations between the JLI and the original Justice League. The team goes on to defeat the Signal Men and the alien conqueror Peraxxus.  During a press conference outside the Hall of Justice, Rocket Red is killed when a bomb explodes, while Fire, Ice and Vixen are hospitalised and become comatose. This leads Booster Gold to recruit Batwing, OMAC and Firehawk to the team.  In May 2012, DC announced the cancellation of Justice League International. The series concluded with issue 12 and the Justice League International Annual in August 2012.  [All prior Justice League history is negated by Justice League and Justice League International.]

 

Legion Lost–The second series depicts seven Legionnaires (Chameleon Girl, Dawnstar, Gates, Timber Wolf, Tellus, Tyroc and Wildfire) trapped in the twenty-first century pursuing a villain releasing biological weapons, and is ongoing.  [In Legion Lost, a group of Legionnaires is trapped in the past, after the events of Flashpoint when a barrier of time seems to prevent time travel.  When they do finally get to the future, they see a future where Earth is dead.  Meanwhile, it's not in Legion of Super-Heroes.  I suspect that the Legion being seen in the New 52 is actually in the pre-Flashpoint reality.  See this great website that helps explain the canon of the New 52 Legion.]

 

Legion of Super-Heroes–Legion of Super-Heroes was relaunched in September 2011 with issue #1. Simultaneously, DC Comics cancelled Adventure Comics and replaced it with a new volume of Legion Lost. While Legion of Super-Heroes continues the adventures of the team from that title’s previous volume, Legion Lost features Wildfire, Dawnstar, Timber Wolf, Tyroc, Tellus, Gates and Chameleon Girl stranded on 21st century Earth on a mission to save the future; however, they must remain there after they fear they have contracted a pathogen that could destroy the 31st century if they return.  [Note that Legion has continued with it's pre-Flashpoint canon.  Brainiac 5 mentions time travel difficulties due to the Flashpoint event.  I think that this Legion is actually on the pre-Flashpoint DCU, but the Flashpoint event has caused them to shift when time travelling to the DCnU Prime Earth.  See this site for the post-Flashpoint Legion canon.]

 

Men of War–Men of War vol. 2 was launched in 2011 as part of The New 52 initiative; the series was written by Ivan Brandon. In January 2012, DC announced that Men of War would be one of six titles cancelled following its eighth issue, to be replaced by a “second wave” of six new titles.  [This series features Rock in the modern day, retconning out all previous Sgt. Rock stories.]

 

Mister Terrific–In September 2011, Mister Terrific was chosen to receive an ongoing series written by Eric Wallace and drawn by Roger Robinson as part of DC’s massive reboot ‘The New 52.’ Holt began sporting a new costume designed by Cully Hamner. He is also in a relationship with Karen Starr.  On January 12, 2012, DC announced that they will be ending six of the lowest selling New 52 titles in April and replacing them by six different titles in the revamp’s second wave. Mister Terrific will be one of those discontinued titles. Mister Terrific #8 will be the final issue in the series’ New 52 incarnation, and will be released on April 11. Though his series has been cancelled, Mister Terrific will be appearing in DC’s Earth-2 series.  [Mister Terrific was a complete reboot.  I will discuss Karen Starr and Earth-2 in a future blog.]

 

Nightwing–On September 21, 2011 DC Comics relaunched Nightwing with issue #1 as part of The New 52, in which Dick Grayson resumes the role of Nightwing following the return of Bruce Wayne. The new costume has changed the color of the “Nightwing symbol” from blue to red, and the emblem rolls over the shoulders, rather than traveling down the arm onto the middle and ring fingers. The costume has also shifted from a skin-tight unitard look to an armored, full body suit, with spiked gauntlets such as Batman’s rather than simply long gloves. The new series, written by Kyle Higgins, opens with Grayson having returned to Gotham, when Haly’s Circus comes to town. Through a series of events, Grayson inherits the circus and is working through internal struggles with his past as he investigates the secrets the circus has brought about.  [Nightwing's history is mostly intact, except that his Titans history is gone.]

 

O.M.A.C.–Following the events of Flashpoint and the events of The New 52 a Cambodian-American man named Kevin Kho is introduced as the new OMAC. Maxwell Lord is revealed to have had a hand in Kevin’s transformation. The series has been cancelled as of issue 8, as part of DC’s ‘Second Wave’ of new titles, with OMAC joining Justice League International for the title’s closing issues.  [I am unsure of the prior story history of O.M.A.C. in current canon.]

 

Red Hood and the Outlaws–Red Hood and the Outlaws is a DC Comics superhero team title launched as part of The New 52 event in 2011. It is a team title featuring Red Hood, Arsenal and Starfire. Its initial writer is Scott Lobdell, with art by Kenneth Rocafort.  [Red Hood (Jason Todd) hasn't really had any retconns.  Roy Harper's silver age canon is intact.  However, his heroin problem has been altered to alcoholism.  His post crisis history is completely gone, having never had a daughter.  With the Titans history gone, Starfire's history is completey rebooted.]

 

Red Lanterns–After the company-wide relaunch of the DC Universe, the Red Lantern backstory, despite having not been radically altered, was explained and expanded in the long awaited eponymous series written by Peter Milligan, ultimately released after the end of the Flashpoint event.  After the end of the War of the Green Lanterns, disappointed at the fact that he was not the one who killed Krona, the culprit of the Ryut Massacre, Atrocitus, feeling his rage dimming, is left without a purpose and faced with the drawbacks of leading an army of devolved, animalistic underlings driven by rage only. His soul-searching attempts end in the idea of a new kind of Red Lantern, a single individual chosen to be his equal and right hand, to whom bestow his or her full mental faculties. He ultimately settles for Bleez, however Atroctius soon believes she may have set up the whole thing. At the same time on Earth after watching his brother being beaten to death, a human being becomes a Red Lantern, subsequently helping Atrocitus when other Red Lanterns turn on him due to his rage having lessened.  Bleez has also become the Red Lantern ‘representative’ in the New Guardians ‘team’ of seven representatives from the seven different Corps working together to investigate a mysterious Orrery in the Vega System, travelling back to Earth with Kyle Rayner to recover his power battery after he is officially discharged from the Green Lantern Corps- while retaining his ring and access to the Oan network- in order to protect him if the Guardians should try and capture him.  [The Red Lanterns' canon remains intact following the reboot.]

 

Resurrection Man–In 2011, DC editor Eddie Berganza asked Abnett and Lanning to revive Resurrection Man as an ongoing title. The new series debuted in September 2011, with Fernando Dagnino Guerra as the artist, but was cancelled in September 2012 after 13 issues (numbered 1 through 12 with the final issue being numbered 0) due to mediocre sales.  [I'm unsure if this is a reboot or if the original canon is intact.]

 

Savage Hawkman–As part of DC’s 2011 company-wide title relaunch, The New 52, Katar Hol was re-established as the DCU’s Hawkman, using the name Carter Hall. His origin has yet to be fully explained since he appears to not know his alien heritage, believing himself to be human. Issue 0# explains that once Katar Hol was a proud member of the Thanagarian race adopted by their king Thal Provis and becoming lover of the princess Shayera Thal. Unlikely others he was a pacifist, desiring to find a end to centuries of war he convinced the king to make a peace conference. However the Daemonites took advantage of this to spread a deadly disease that quickly destroyed all Thanagarians wings and killed their king. The new ruler son of Provis and Katar adoptive brother, Corsar, came to believe that only the Nth Metal could save them, but this desire for power sacrificed hundreds of lives, which was apparently rewarded when Katar was accidentally fused with it creating a full body armor and regenerating his wings. But seeing his brother increasing insanity Katar refused to let the the metal power be distributed leading to fight between them and the somehow death of Corsar. Shayera them vows to hunt down Hawkman also blaming him for her father death, he runaway in a stolen ship that ends up crashing on earth.  [All previous Hawkman history, from all eras and all Hawkmen, are erased.]

 

Static Shock–Following the reality-warping events of the 2011 “Flashpoint” storyline, Virgil and his family leave Dakota for New York after an unspecified incident. The vigilante Hardware gives Virgil a new costume and modified flying disk, which enables the two to remain in contact despite living in different cities. Hardware also gives him an internship at S.T.A.R. Labs as an after school job. During his first major battle, Static defeats the villain Sunspot and earns the attention of a criminal syndicate known as the Slate Gang.  Static Shock was cancelled as of issue 8 as part of DC’s “Second Wave” of The New 52 titles and replaced by an alternative title. It is said that Static will be in a few of the Teen Titans New 52 comic books, as a “member” just not a permanent fixture.  [Static seems to have retained his prior Milestone history following the reboot.]

 

Stormwatch–DC Comics announced in June 2011 that the team would be incorporated into the DC Universe in a new ongoing series written by Paul Cornell and drawn by Miguel Sepulveda as part of its September 2011 relaunch of its comics properties. Peter Milligan took over the book from issue 9 onwards after leaving Justice League Dark with issue 8. This version of the team consists of Jack Hawksmoor, Apollo, Midnighter, Jenny Quantum, the Engineer, the Martian Manhunter, and three new characters named Adam One (an immortal born during the Big Bang who is later revealed to be Merlin), the Projectionist (control over the mass media), and Harry Tanner, the Eminence of Blades (the power to lie to anyone and be believed).  This version of Stormwatch is an organization that has protected Earth from major alien threats since the Dark Ages and is under the command of a group called the Shadow Cabinet – a group said to comprise of “the dead” and represented by an inhuman entity that can negate the groups powers and is aware of their secrets (except for Harry’s) – instead of the United Nations. Rejecting the title of “superheroes”, Stormwatch exist completely in secret and consider themselves professional soldiers; their base is a hijacked Daemonite spaceship, the Eye of the Storm, located in Hyperspace. Stormwatch attempted to go public in the mid-18th century, only to cause the Seven Years War as the great powers panicked over the idea that Stormwatch might be loyal to a rival nation; in 1762, Stormwatch armed one side with alien phreno-modules to bring the conflict to a quick conclusion and spent the next thirty years altering historical records, killing and mind-wiping key people and causing the French Revolution to obscure their existence once again.  The Martian Manhunter works with Stormwatch when he is not operating as a public hero and says he cannot join the Justice League as his Stormwatch duties would require him to “betray them”.  The first Stormwatch story arc has the team try to recruit Apollo and Midnighter while dealing with an alien being that has infested the Moon and becoming aware of an even greater alien threat on the horizon; Adam One’s leadership failing, resulting in the Shadow Cabinet abducting him and placing the Projectionist in charge; and Harry Tanner betraying the team and kidnapping the Projectionist, due to him believing that only he could stop the upcoming threat by either manipulating the Stormwatch leader (which he did not feel he could do with the Projectionist) or conquering the Earth. The team, now under the Engineer’s leadership, survives his attempts to kill them and begin tracking down secret caches of alien technology that Harry had hidden away, in order to prevent him using them.  [Wildstorm titles have been incorporated into the DCnU, but are completely rebooted.  The Martian Manhunter's origin is intact, but then everything else is out of canon.]

 

Suicide Squad–A new Suicide Squad title written by Adam Glass and drawn by Federico Dallocchio launched in September 2011 as part of the New 52. Confirmed characters are Rick Flag, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, El Diablo, Voltaic, Black Spider, Savant and King Shark. After the timestream was changed, Amanda Waller set out to create a new Task Force X. She had her people kidnap 37 criminals on death row from Belle Reve prison, and then put them through severe training. They were also implanted with micro-bombs in order to insure their obedience. On what they thought was their first mission, the seven surviving members of the Suicide Squad were captured and tortured for information regarding their team and their employer. Of the seven, only Savant broke. After determining that the remaining six wouldn’t talk, Amanda Waller revealed that the torture was all just another test, and that those six remaining would officially form the Suicide Squad.  [This seems to keep all prior Suicicide Squad history intact.  However, individual members, past and present, may be different.]

 

Superboy–DC Comics has relaunched Superboy with issue No. 1 in Fall 2011 as part of its “new 52″. The series involved major changes to the character, which includes a new origin in that he’s a partial clone of Kal-El and another alien race.  [Superboy is completely rebooted.  All prior story canon is erased.]

 

Supergirl–The modern Kara Zor-El stars as Supergirl in an eponymous comic book series, in addition to playing a supporting role in various other DC Comics publications.  [Following the reboot, all of Supergirl's prior history is gone again, starting her over from scratch.]

 

Superman–In 2011, DC Comics relaunched the Superman comics, along with the rest of their titles. Superman and Action Comics were canceled and restarted with all-new #1 issues. Superman’s costume was redesigned to look more like armor and the red shorts over his tights were removed.  In August 2012 (Justice League #12), he and Wonder Woman have begun a romantic relationship, which, according to Geoff Johns Chief Creative Officer at DC Comics, will be the new status quo.  Current ongoing publications that feature Superman on a regular basis are Superman, Action Comics and Justice League. The character often appears as a guest star in other series and is usually a pivotal figure in DC crossover events.  [See my comments for Action Comics.]

 

Swamp Thing–DC Comics relaunched Swamp Thing with issue #1 in September 2011. The first issue featured Dr. Alec Holland, who had been resurrected as a human with only memories of his time as a plant elemental. After completing a batch of his bio-restorative formula, he drops out of his botany career and becomes a construction worker. Haunted by thoughts of transforming again, he attempts to throw his formula into a swamp, but is stopped by a separate entity who has taken on the form of Swamp Thing.  In the following issue, this entity explains the revisions in Swamp Thing continuity to Alec Holland.  [This series seems to retain prior Swamp Thing history, but with new revelations.]

 

Teen Titans–DC Comics relaunched Teen Titans with issue #1 (cover dated November 2011) as part of DC’s “New 52″ event, written by Scott Lobdell with former Justice League of America artist Brett Booth providing interiors. Lobdell has stated a desire to create a more diverse Titans roster, drawing parallels to the non-white teenagers he created during his run on the Generation X title at Marvel Comics. In keeping with that goal, three of the seven Titans are people of color.  The title was relauched with a roster of Red Robin, Kid Flash, Superboy, Wonder Girl, Solstice, and two new characters; Skitter, formerly known as ‘Bugg’, an African-American girl with insect-themed powers, and Bunker, a Mexican teenager named Miguel Barragan who can create force fields. Miguel is also gay, making him the first homosexual member of the Teen Titans since Hero Cruz, who was a member of the short-lived Titans L.A. team for one issue. Additionally, former Titans Static and Blue Beetle were each given their own titles.  In issue #1, an organization called N.O.W.H.E.R.E. seeks to control the young metahumans of Earth. The comic opens with Kid Flash showboating and trying to stop a fire, but ends up making the house explode. Tim Drake, a.k.a. Red Robin, seeks out the metahuman thief known as Wonder Girl, who is attacked by N.O.W.H.E.R.E. Wonder Girl reveals her metahuman powers to Red Robin as they fight N.O.W.H.E.R.E forces. She dislikes the label ‘Wonder Girl’, and prefers to be called by her real name, Cassie. Meanwhile, Superboy is in a N.O.W.H.E.R.E. test facility scheduled to be released.  In issue #2, Red Robin is bunking at Wonder Girl’s home. He isn’t sure why the enemy hasn’t yet been able to track her down. Red Robin investigates a girl about her metahuman sister, Skitter. The girl has already given information to N.O.W.H.E.R.E. agents. Red Robin locates Skitter, and fights N.O.W.H.E.R.E. metahuman mercenaries in the Los Angeles sewers. Skitter, a metahuman insectoid, subdues the mercenaries, and tries to kill Red Robin. Wonder Girl secretly follows Red Robin into the sewers, and saves him. Red Robin has to find a way to get Skitter out but Wonder Girl refuses to help. She tells Red Robin they are even, and to lose her number. Meanwhile, Superboy is convinced that he will earn his freedom by bringing in Wonder Girl. And so he studies her battle footage. Kid Flash is locked in a N.O.W.H.E.R.E. cell. He is talking to a kid in another cell named Danny. When Kid Flash escapes, he notices that there is nobody in Danny’s cell. But he sees a girl in another cell named Solstice.  In issue #3, Kid Flash rescues Solstice from her cell and together they escape from the N.O.W.H.E.R.E. facility located in the Antarctic. Wonder Girl, disguised as a nurse, infiltrates the Mount Mary General Hospital in Los Angeles to interrogate one of the mercenaries who tried to kill Red Robin and Skitter in the previous issue. Meanwhile, Red Robin is transporting Skitter, who is in her cocoon across the country by train. On the train he encounters another meta-human named Miguel Jose Barragan a.k.a. Bunker. The train makes an unexpected stop in a town inhabited by brain-washed people, Bunker and Red Robin team up to find the source. When Red Robin finds the device he is confronted by a mechanical being named Detritus, who is the creator of the mind control device. Detritus smashes Red Robin’s head into the device but lets him go after he erases the memory of them meeting. When Red Robin returns to the train he finds that Skitter has awoken from her cocoon in her human form.  After issue #12, DC Comics published “0 Month” in September 2012. All of the company’s titles had an issue #0 after issue #12. The purpose was to provide further background for the relaunched DC Universe.  Statements had been made by DC’s writers and editors that the Batman family of characters were not undergoing as many changes as other parts of the DC Universe. Superman and other characters were essentially starting over, but much of the history of Batman and related characters was remaining intact. This was proven as the titles were released showing Batman-related characters making references to the events shown in their previous incarnations in the DC Universe. Presumbably, Tim Drake’s history of discovering Bruce Wayne’s dual identity as Batman, becoming Robin and eventually becoming Red Robin was intact.  In Teen Titans #1 vol. 4, Tim Drake is seen viewing a picture of himself dressed as Robin with Batman present and referring to himself as “Batman’s Boy Wonder”. The “boy wonder” moniker has been used for decades to refer to the persona of Robin, Batman’s sidekick and partner. Teen Titans #0 revealed large changes to Tim Drake’s character. Previously, Tim Drake was a child of fabulous wealth, deduced Batman’s true identity and became Robin. Under the new timeline, Tim Drake’s family was no longer very wealthy and Batman refused to take him on as a partner even after he figured out his real identity. The #0 issue further revealed that Drake’s family is still alive, but living in hiding in the Witness Protection Program. In the previous continuity, his family had been killed years after becoming Robin. Tim Drake never becomes Robin, only taking up the mantle of Red Robin.  Teen Titans writer Scott Lobdell revealed in an interview that Tim Drake’s name might not even be Tim Drake. Lobdell stated “Loved the witness protection thing. We think it works better if we reveal Drake was never has last name. Took care of it.”  [This series erases the prior history of the Teen Titans in all its forms, Young Justice, Robin (Tim Drake), Superboy, Wonder Girl, and Kid Flash/Impulse (Bart Allen).  Also, according to Legion Lost, Bart is from their future, in which he was a dangerous criminal!  This means that Bart is from the pre-Flashpoint DCU future, which makes sense, since the Pre-Flashpoint Earth-0 Bart was actually from the 31st century of Earth-247/Earth-xx, in which the post-Zero Hour Legion comes from.]

 

Voodoo–Following the events of Flashpoint, Voodoo is one of the many Wildstorm characters who was brought over into the mainstream DC Universe, with her entire history now rewritten.  In her DC Universe iteration, Priscilla Kitaen is a Human-Daemonite hybrid who works as a Daemonite spy, using her shapeshifting abilities and limited telepathy to blend in with humans and learn intelligence about metahumans and other possible threats to the Daemonites. Priscilla works undercover as an exotic dancer under the alias Voodoo. It is eventually revealed that Priscilla was born a human, but was abducted and genetically engineered into a Daemonite half-breed after a fire killed her mother. Further complicating her identity issues, Voodoo learns that she is a clone of the real Priscilla Kitaen, who has been held captive by Voodoo’s pursuers, the Black Razors, for several months. Upon learning this, Voodoo takes aggressive action against the Daemonite High Council, but is persuaded to stop her attack when she is offered a higher ranking position that would put her in charge of all earthbound Daemonite clone forces.  [Voodoo is another Wildstorm character incorporated into the DCnU, but without the prior history.]

 

Wonder Woman–In 2011, DC Comics relaunched its entire line of publications to attract a new generation of readers. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang were assigned on writing and art duties respectively and revamped the character’s history considerably. In this new continuity, Wonder Woman wears a costume similar to her original costume. Her origin is significantly changed and she is no longer a clay figure brought to life by the magic of the gods; instead, she is a demigoddess, the natural-born daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus. Azzarello and Chiang’s revamp of the character was critically acclaimed.  [Wonder Woman's entire prior history is gone.]

 

Note that DC also published stories from “Beyond the 52″ which I will examine in further blogs, and the Vertigo line continued with some titles, which are not part of Prime Earth, despite Prime Earth supposedly incorporating Vertigo.  It seems as if those Vertigo titles, like Hellblazer, continued for a while before being cancelled, and probably those final stories take place before the Flashback event.  Other DC titles like Shade may also occur prior to the Flashpoint event.

 

**Titles synopses come from Wikipedia, except for the bracketed comments which are mine.

 

Next time around, I will discuss Batman:  the Brave and the Bold, and where it fits in the overall scheme of the DC Multiverse.

 

 

2 Responses to “DC Multiverse: The New 52”

  1. Dave B December 9, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    Wow, heck of an undertaking here. Nice post; I enjoyed the read.

    Question for you: is Gotham really in the Southeastern part of the US now? I’ve been reading both All-Star Western and Batman and hadn’t picked up on that. In retrospect, it makes a lot of sense. I thought Jonah Hex’s trip to New Orleans was kind of a ridiculous jump (on horseback from NJ?!) otherwise. Anyway, I thought that was kind of a fascinating development and was wondering if you had other instances were this is made clear in the comics. Gotham as Atlanta, for example, has a really different feel to it.

    Again, great post, keep it up!
    Dave

    • Robert E. Wronski, Jr. December 9, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

      Gotham is in the South West, not South East, as in the usual setting for westerns.

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