There be SPOILERS below for Trinity War and possibly for Forever Evil. So, please proceed with caution. 😉
Last week we learned some spoilers filled tidbits from Justice League #23 which served as the finale to Trinity War and the springboard for Forever Evil #1. In addition to seeing what DC Comics New 52’s Earth 3 Crime Syndicate looks like, we also saw that they brought a prisoner onto Prime Earth.
Before we get to that, over this past weekend, Aquaman Shrine‘s twitter account, we have a look at three of the four variant in-color covers for Forever Evil #1 feature the Crime Syndicate formerly of Earth 3. The fourth yet-to-be-released variant cover is a 3D motion cover; it may be a combined version of the three variants as the backgrounds are all the same with the Ultraman, Superwoman and Owlman the differing foreground characters. Plus, there is the regular David Finch Forever Evil #1 cover that is also below.
With that out-of-the-way, one of the things many folks have been wondering is who in fact is the hooded prisoner brought into the New 52 by Superwoman in last week’s Trinity War climax in Justice League #23.
The Top 5 likely candidate characters brought through the dimensional gateway via Pandora’s Box are below.
(5) A Nightwing?
DC Comics has been talking up a storm about Nightwing being a central figure in Forever Evil. The first Robin sidekick to Batman is all grown up in the DC Universe. While the prisoner from Earth 3 is likely not Prime Earth’s Nightwing, could it be Earth 3’s Talon, essentially Owlman’s Robin? The character appeared in comics pre-Flashpoint. He was evil, but reformed when he came to the core Earth and even joined the Teen Titans for a time. I imagine he looks an awful lot like Dick Grayson / Prime Earth’s Nightwing under the domino mask.
Or perhaps the prisoner is a Nightwing from another Earth of the multiverse that travelled to Earth 3 when the multiverse barriers were weakened (that allowed The Outsider to land on Earth in the first place)? Hmmm.
(4) A Wildstorm Character?
DC Comics have tried to integrate Wildstorm characters into the New 52 with no real success on the ongoing series front. Will DC try to bring a Wildstorm character, reinterpreted, to Prime Earth via Earth 3?
There is no more significant cross-over event for DC in 2013 than Forever Evil. It would be a great launching pad for a refurbished Wildstorm character. But, which one? Could this be the first step in the path down the return of Jim Lee’s WildCATS?
(3) A New God?
DC has been working hard to make Jack Kirby’s signature non-Marvel creations the New Gods of the Fourth World relevant in the New 52. Darkseid was the first big villain the Justice League faced in the New 52 continuity. The New Gods are a universal constant in DC’s multiverse now. So while Superman may have different iterations, e.g. Ultraman, etc., there are no other New Gods in the multiverse.
With New Gods currently playing in Earth 2, Worlds Finest and Wonder Woman, could a refugee from Darkseid’s presumed assault on Earth 3 be the Prisoner-of-War that Superwoman brings with her into Forever Evil #1?
(2) A Lex Luthor?
Alexander Luthor Sr. was the only hero on Earth 3 in the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earth’s DC Comics.
Lex Luthor, appearing more traditionally, played the Earth 3 hero role in the recent Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths DVD / Blu-Ray.
Since he was the first to be Earth 3’s hero in history many see him as the gaunt prisoner of the Crime Syndicate.
(1) A Joker?
While much of fandom likely thinks our #1 pick should have been Lex Luthor, the Joker has perhaps as strong if not a stronger claim based on “recent” comic book and pop culture tie-in’s. The character appeared as the hero Jester in the recent Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths battling the Crime Syndicate.
He also appeared as the Jokester, a hero fighting the Crime Syndicate on Earth 3 as seen in the Countdown to Infinite Earths maxi-series.
The Joker, with his Red Hood, also fought as a hero alongside Batman when he visited Earth 3 as part of the Batman The Brave and The Bold cartoon. They fought alongside other villains-as-heroes against the heroes-as-villains Crime Syndicate
Could a Joker, with actual flesh on his face – since Prime Earth’s Joker face is being literally used by a character calling herself the Joker’s Daughter – be the Crime Syndicate’s prisoner?
What also clinched the Joker as my pick was that Prime Earth’s Lex Luthor is playing a central role in Forever Evil against Earth 3’s Crime Syndicate. I just can’t see two Lex Luthors competing for attention in Forever Evil. It could be interesting, but Joker seems like a better for a company that does try to surprise readers a bit too: Atomica anyone?
I rest my case. We’ll see how this plot pot advances in Forever Evil #1 out this week.
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Tags: Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Countdown, Crime Syndicate, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Crisis on Multiple Earths, Darkseid, David Finch, DC Comics, Demythify, Dick Grayson (Robin I / Nightwing), Earth 2, forever evil, Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Jack Kirby, Joe Prado, Joker, Joker's Daughter, Justice League, Justice League Dark, Justice League International, Justice League of America, Justice League of Canada (Justice League Canada), Lex Luthor, multiverse, Multiversity, New 52 (DC Comics), New Gods, Orion, Owlman, Prime Earth, secret society, Superman, Superwoman, Talon, The Fourth World, The Talon, Trinity War, ultraman, Villains Month, WildC.A.T.S., wildcats, Wildstorm