As you may know by now, DC Comics has announced a new weekly series for 2014 called The New 52: Futures End that explores that past, present and future of the current DC Universe (DCU). It will kick off with a Free Comic Book Day 2014 issue. This series will bring Batman Beyond into continuity, create new characters and concepts and presumably tackle the several anomalies currently present in the DC New 52 (the series is called “Futures End” after all as in plural futures).
Below are the Top 10 timestream anomalies that are present, and in one case that “should be” present (cue fans rejoicing), in the DC Comics New 52.
(10) Justice League 3000
The Justice League 3000 just debuted as a team and as New 52 ongoing series occupying the 31rst Century playground previously enjoyed by DC’s storied Legion of Super-Heroes. There were some interesting revelations in the Justice League 3000 debut issue about who the team’s benefactors are and who the JL3K are really.
In an interview about the series, co-writer Keith Giffen shut the door to the Legion of Super-Heroes being used in any capacity in Justice League 3000 by saying:
“If I need a guy who can throw fireballs around, you can guarantee it’s not going to be Sun Boy. Let’s think of somebody new. I’m tired of treading old ground. I have as much affection for the Legion of Super-Heroes as anybody — maybe more than most, since I kept returning to the book like a mental patient. But this isn’t the Legion. And it shouldn’t be judged on Legion of Super-Heroes terms. Sorry Legion fans, but you’re going to have to wait until somebody comes up with a take on the Legion. This is not a Legion of Super-Heroes book. They’re not going to be going to Braal.“
Alrighty then onto the…
(9) Legion of Super-Heroes
Well, after the climactic end to the LOSH series with teases that they may not have been in Prime Earth’s future, but perhaps another Earth’s, where does the team fit into the DCU?
The Legion of Super-Heroes is still important and relevant for the DCU as seen in the cliffhanger to the recent Superboy #26 issue.
(8) Teen Titans’ Kid Flash
Bart Allen is from a/the future of the DC Comics New 52. He is a boy out-of-time and member of the modern-day Teen Titans.
He’s recently ventured into his future where he has had to take responsibility for his… crimes… as seen in Teen Titans #25?
(7) Captain Atom
You may wonder why Captain Atom is on this list. Well, at the end of Fury of Firestorm #15, sadly another book you weren’t reading alongside the cancelled Captain Atom, he absorbed the powers of Firestorm and exploded into three shards that spread across the timestream. One of those shards landed in the future and became Nathaniel Adym a character that tangled with the Legion Lost. The other two time-lost Captain Atoms have yet to be revealed.
The New 52: Futures End takes place over the past, present and future of the DC New 52. Well, Nathaniel Adym seems to be a “future” Captain Atom. Will past era and present era versions be next to debut?
(6) Legion Lost
The premise for Legion Lost was that members of the Legion of Super-Heroes travelled back to the modern-day DCU to capture an infectious fugitive. That threat was neutralized, but the team is still “stuck” in the modern-day New 52… with Superboy?
(5) All Star Western’s Jonah Hex
Another character-out-of-time is late 1800s / early 1900s bounty hunter Jonah Hex stuck in the modern-day New 52 because of the time-lost hero Booster Gold. Despite Hex’s efforts, a mysterious force is keeping him from returning to his own time in the past of the DCU.
Co-Writer Jimmy Palmiotti did say they were building to something big after all. New 52: Futures End me thinks. Will that be the vehicle to get Hex home?
(4) Booster Gold(s) / Justice League International (tie)
We’ve seen Booster Gold pop into All Star Western for a spell and then travel through the timestream with Jonah Hex, trapping the latter in 2013. However, Booster hasn’t been seen since.
Prior to his Hex encounter, Booster Gold’s older future self – a member of ARGUS – popped up at the Justice League International Annual #1 to try to avoid “something” on a mission and then saw Superman and Wonder Woman getting together. Was that his mission; to foil the budding romance that may just spell doom for the DC New 52? That older Booster simply vanished in that same Annual.
How many Booster Golds will show up in Futures End? Will the Justice League International be far behind?
(3) Superboy(s) / H’el(s) (tie)
A future son of Lois Lane and Superman, the evil Jon Kent whose origin is revealed in the WTF Certified Superboy #19 and Teen Titans Annual #2, has taken over the DC Comics New 52’s Superboy series while Kon-el is elsewhen. Is Jon Kent’s future assured?
We’ve also seen H’el, a new villain for the Superman Family, make life hell – pun intended – for Superman, Superboy and Supergirl. In trying to re-write Krypton’s past he created new timestreams stemming from events he changed. More than one timestream and seemingly different H’el(s). However, the Superman Family was able to travel to three different time periods in Krypton’s past to avert incursions by H’el. While they succeeded in stopping him, the price for victory was too high.
Could Jon Kent and/or H’el be primed for bigger things in Futures End?
(2) Batman’s Robins
Perhaps Futures End can explain how Batman can have had some many young Robins in under five years? 😉
This was thrown on the list for fun because if you’re tinkering / exploring time, why not finally explain the most glaring head scratcher of the DC New 52.
(1) Wally West, (A) Flash
Wally West fans have been waiting patiently since the DC New 52 began to see their era’s Flash make his New 52 debut. One of things DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio has said in the past that made Wally compelling was his family man status; a husband and father. And DiDio teased last Christmas that we may see him this past year; and then nada this year. Well, with his pre-Flashpoint mentor Barry Allen as a younger solo Flash, is this the time to bring in Wally and his family? He could be explained as having been Barry’s first partner who through some quirk of fate, traveled into the past and was stuck there and aged to the point where is older than Barry.
This would be similar in concept, but not execution, to the Supergirl / Superman dynamic; she is technically Superman’s older cousin, but due to quirks of science and space travel came to Earth years after Superman. She did not age, but her younger cousin did and now is chronologically older. I’m suggesting something similar for Wally akin to Superman being the younger-yet-older hero.
Well, unless of course Wally West is actually the Justice League 3000’s Flash. Fun times ahead!
(BONUS) Art Teaser for Futures End
On the cover to The New 52: Futures End teaser art, we see OMAC’s Brother Eye – the red symbol everywhere – seemingly having taken over all of the core DC New 52 heroes in the 5-year forward future.
CBR talks with artist Ryan Sook about his concept art including the first one on the left captioned as “Cyborg Superman”. Is that Superman who has been mechanized or is it actually the villain Cyborg Superman?
A freakishly mechanized Hawkman follows to the right, then Wonder Woman, and finally a mock-up for a cover to New 52: Futures End.
I would also like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and happy holidays. For those of you dealing with ice storm, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. Stay safe and be warm. Happy ho ho!
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