Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Here Be SECRET EMPIRE: BRAVE NEW WORLD #1

SECRET EMPIRE: BRAVE NEW WORLD #1
Written by Paul Allor, Jeremy Whitley, and Nick Kocher.
Art by Brian Level, Diego Olortegui, and Tana Ford.



Captain America, the murderous, fascist commander of Hydra, has taken over the United States. Mutants have been placed in their own little piece of land, New Tian (formerly known as California). Inhumans are imprisoned in concentration camps. Las Vegas has been obliterated. And this is all just the beginning.

This mini-series gives us a look at characters not involved in the main series. Three stories, with one 10 pages, one six pages, and one four pages. The big one belongs to the Invaders. In this case, Jim Hammond and Toro, who arrive at Atlantis in search of Sanctuary. However, Namor announces to them that Atlantis is neutral, even a collaborator, so he imprisons his former comrades fearing that Captain America and Hydra will destroy his kingdom if he assists them.

In the second story, the new Giant Man goes home to Denver and saves his family from being executed by Hydra soldiers. He then plans to join the Underground, resistance fighters against the current regime.

In the final story, one of Hydra's prisoners, Gwenpool, is forced to be a guest on a subversive Hydra news broadcast spewing their fascist propaganda to any and all viewers.

This is the book you'll want to read if you want to see what's going on with Atlantis, particularly Namor, who was a close comrade of Captain America before he discovered his friend's sinister secret. No other book will tell his tale. And I believe it's important because Namor was indeed one of Steve Rogers's closest friends and allies during WWII, and his reactions and subsequent actions need to be told. Same thing with Jim Hammond and Toro, really. So, all five issues of this series will feature 10 pages of the Invaders and Atlantis, as Secret Empire marches onward.

Namor's stance isn't too surprising. He has a kingdom to protect, and Atlantis can't afford a war with Hydra's massive army after only recently being rebuilt in the pages of SQUADRON SUPREME #15. However, it's not like there are Hydra soldiers anywhere. He could have given sanctuary to Jim and Toro and kept it a secret since they were his close friends. However, there is still plenty of time for him to change his mind.

I liked Giant Man's story. He's fairly new to me, and it was nice to learn about his backstory. And since he's been seen in the main series, I liked that he got his own story to tell in these pages, that we got to see how he joined Hawkeye's Underground. We also learned that the Grizzly and Machinesmith both joined Zemo's Army of Evil, which wasn't very surprising, even though they were Giant Man's roommates for a short time.



The final story was amusing, as most Gwenpool stories usually are. But I especially liked this tale because I wanted to know how Gwenpool was faring in the new Hydra Nation. Her book has yet to tie in with any main event thus far, and as I don't get that book, it's nice to get a short story with her here without paying another $3.99 to get a book I normally don't buy. And it had the usual antics one normally sees in her book, too. Her interview alongside a giant bat soldier of Hydra posing as Spider-Man was pretty hilarious, along with the titles of her "novel" that told everyone of the trouble she was in. We'll never see her again throughout this event, but I like that we got a little something-something with her to tell us what's going on with her in this terrible new world.

I look forward to reading the remainder of the series, featuring more Invaders action alongside stories with various lower tier characters.

Monday, July 24, 2017

How SECRET EMPIRE May End

I've figured out how SECRET EMPIRE is going to end. It all goes back to SECRET AVENGERS I#11-12. In these issues by Ed Brubaker, Captain America uses a machine to try and figure out why WWII hero John Steele went back and joined the Shadow Council. This machine connected to the Vanishing Point, a portal that leads to other places in space and time. With this machine, Cap was able to see John Steele's memories and watch them play out on a viewscreen. Well, Steele's memories are fragmented, but Cap remembers the last mission he and Steele went on, the mission where Steele vanished afterwards. So Cap hooks himself up to the machine and adds his memories to Steele's. At one point there was trouble and Cap had to be pulled out. Steele finished remembering on his own.
I posit that the second Cap being seen in the SECRET EMPIRE series is actually a part of his consciousness that had been left behind in that machine. This is the consciousness of Cap when he was good, heroic, and all that, untainted by anything. That bit is making its way to Nazi Cap, and by the end of the storyline, it will merge with Nazi Cap's brain, thus restoring Cap's mind without any foolishness like using a cube to fix him, or anything else. There won't have to be a reset button. We'll have Cap back tothe way he was but he will still have to endure his actions over the past year or so, as will his associates, friends, and fellow citizens.

The first sighting of Vanishing Point was in SECRET AVENGERS I#3, when Major Aloysius Thorndrake of the Confederate Army and his companions came across it out of nowhere in 1885 Texas.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

CRISIS OF REBIRTH, SIDEBAR: Monarch

Monarch. Originally, he was an oppressive tyrant (and a former hero gone bad) from the year 2030 who had murdered all superheroes. Originally, he was supposed to be Nathaniel Adam, aka Captain Atom, but word leaked before the revelation and DC scrambled to change his identity, so he ended up being Hank Hall, aka Hawk, of Hawk & Dove fame. It was a foolish notion, as Hawk battled Monarch face-to-face in a version of his future where he destroyed Monarch. But then, of course, Waverider really only saw a variation of Hank Hall's future, not his actual one, so I guess it still worked, although there were other reasons why Hank Hall made a poor choice.



In any case, Hank Hall went mad after the future Monarch murdered Dove, so in response he murdered Monarch...and then became Monarch for the first time. Time travel, right? Anyway, Monarch went on to be a villain, although actually he didn't really get to do very much as one. He battled Captain Atom at various points in time during the ARMAGEDDON: THE ALIEN AGENDA mini-series, after which he was promptly lost in time somewhere. He later returned and became Extant, which is the guise he used to cause the most trouble. He was also killed under this alias, also.

Unlike other characters who slipped through the cracks of each Crisis event and survived as new iterations, Monarch continued on with other characters taking on his identity, causing multi-dimensional havoc whenever he could. After ZERO HOUR, a second Monarch showed up in the pages of EXTREME JUSTICE. This one turned out to be Nathaniel Adam, the man who Captain Atom was supposed to be. It turned out that, during the experiment in the 1960s that made him Captain Atom, Nathaniel became trapped in the quantum field where the excess alien metal from the experiment formed a replica of Nathaniel,after which it re-entered the timestream in the mid 80s as Captain Atom, unaware it wasn't the original Nathaniel Adam. Meanwhile, still floating in the quantum field, the real Nathaniel Adam encountered Monarch, who had found himself trapped here after the events of ARMAGEDDON: THE ALIEN AGENDA. Nathaniel. trained Hank Hall to manipulate the quantum field and gain powers of time travel. Hall escaped back into the timestream and later became Extant, but he before he did that he sent the Monarch armor back into the quantum field for Nathaniel Adam to use. Adam became Monarch and traveled to the 1990s. HE began a plot to control the world through genetic implants he inserted into people, including a dying Booster Gold, under the guise of healing them. But Booster's future technology resisted the implants, and ultimately Monarch was defeated.


And then along came INFINITE CRISIS. History was changed, and Monarch was no more. However, Captain Atom was still around, and his alien shell body was breached by one of the Monitors, who was playing a deadly game of cosmic chess with Darkseid. With dangerous radiation leaking out of him, the Atomic Knights placed Captain Atom inside an updated version of the Monarch armor. Captain Atom went nuts, murdered Major Force, and obliterated the rest of Bludhaven. His mental faculties continued to deteriorate as he entered the Bleed, the space between multiverses, and traveled around to expand his knowledge of said newly discovered multiverse.

After he accumulated said knowledge, Monarch gathered a colossal army of soldiers from across the entire multiverse in order to destroy the Monitors. He planned to destroy the multiverse and condense it to just one universe, one only he would rule. Soldiers in his army included the Crime Society of Earth-3, the JLAxis of Earth-10, Forerunner of Earth-48, the Extremists of Earth-8, and Red Son Superman of Earth-30. He chose other soldiers who battled for the right to be in his army in the pages of COUNTDOWN ARENA. Eventually, however, Monarch encountered Superboy-Prime, and the two fought until Prime ripped Monarch's chestplate open, creating an explosion that devastated the entire Earth-51 universe. An amnesiac Captain Atom resurfaced sometime later back on Earth, and it is assumed the Monarch armor was destroyed for good.



And then came FLASHPOINT. So far, Monarch has yet to reappear. Captain Atom has, in a new iteration, but he is a force for good. However, some things should be noted. During a storyline in THE FURY OF FIRESTORM, THE NUCLEAR MEN, Captain Atom was forced to absorb a massive amount of energy that split his molecules apart into three pieces that were thrust into the timestream. One such piece appeared in the 31st Century as Nathaniel Adym, an agent of Echo, a covert branch of the Science Police assigned to monitor the timestream. A mission took Adym to the 21st Century where he encountered members of the 31st Century Legion of Super-Heroes who had become trapped in the era. A singularity bomb exploded during a battle that launched Adym further in to the past, where his mind became twisted and he took on the persona of Harvest, channeling deadly energy through a staff he created. He founded the organization N.O.W.H.E.R.E. to experiment on young metahumans for undisclosed purposes.

A second piece of Captain Atom remained in the present day, until an explosion caused by his own powers hurled him back into the 80s in the pages of THE FALL & RISE OF CAPTAIN ATOM. He returned to the present, but five years later, from 2012 to 2017, causing him to be MIA during those missing years.

The third piece of Captain Atom has yet to appear. In an alternate future, Captain Atom exiled himself to Mars to avoid harming humanity and slowly went mad from isolation. This version could be the third missing piece, but seems unlikely. In any case, considering how this variant Captain Atom went mad, and how the Nathaniel Adym piece also became twisted, we maybe seeing some version of Monarch appear at some point in the future.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

CRISIS OF REBIRTH, PART 11: Those Who Keep Surviving...Dark Angel

Dark Angel is a vengeful, reality altering woman from Earth-7, the analog of Earth-0's Donna Troy. When she was a child, she was rescued from a burning apartment building by the Anti-Monitor, who then raised her to be his herald. 



Before CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, she was a bringer of doom, a wandering spirit living off of one host after another. During World War II, she took possession of the Baroness Paula Von Gunther, a brilliant Nazi saboteur. After the Crisis was over and a single earth was born, Dark Angel/Paula Von Gunther escaped the compression of every Donna Troy into one single person, slipped through the cracks of reality, and once again plagued mankind. During WWII, she became a Nazi occultist and an enemy of Wonder Woman and the Justice Society of America. She also plagued Wonder Woman's mother, Hippolyta, attempting to kidnap Princess Diana but instead capturing Donna Troy. She cursed Donna to live thousands of lifetimes, with each one always ending in tragedy, and each one the life of a former alternate reality Donna Troy. However, Troy fought against her, and eventually she broke the cycle. 

And then came INFINITE CRISIS. Dark Angel once again slipped through the cracks, but this time her status was, and remains, unknown. It's possible she is an alternate counterpart of Donna Troy from Earth-7, but she may have a different origin altogether. What is known is that she became a servant of the 52 Monitors who watched over each of the new 52 known universes. She tested Supergirl to see if she deserved to exist in the new multiverse and decided she should be erased from existence. However, the Monitors intervened and assigned her to destroy Earth-48, home of the Forerunners. She was successful in her task. She later pursued Donna Troy, Kyle Rayner, and Jason Todd through the multiverse and found them on Earth-50. She injured several heroes from this world during a battle.

After that, Dark Angel was assigned to Earth-33 and posed as an Oracle of this world of conjurers and mystical denizens. When Viza'aziv, the last remaining Forerunner, arrived and uncovered Dark Angel's plot, Dark Angel shred her disguise and attacked, killing Earth-33's Starman during the melee. She was defeated, but Dark Angel managed to escape before being killed by Forerunner.


Currently, Dark Angel has yet to appear during either the New 52 or DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH, but she's likely still out there, waiting to strike.

CRISIS OF REBIRTH, PART 10: Those Who Keep Surviving...Psycho-Pirate

Robert Hayden. The Psycho-Pirate of Earth-2. Uses the Medusa Mask to generate emotions into another person's mind. During the Crisis, the Anti-Monitor enhanced his power and made him do all sorts of nasty things. He used to be a gangster who went to prison for attacking his abusive psychiatrist daddy and ran afoul of various members of the Justice Society of America.



After the Crisis was over, Hayden was imprisoned in a padded cell at a psychiatric ward. This was because he had gone insane, having retained full knowledge of the multiverse and the events of the Crisis. He did break out of the hospital once to try and take over Markovia, but he was stopped by the combined might of Infinity Inc. and the Outsiders. Once back in the asylum, the Psycho-Pirate showed the ability to manifest any DC Multiverse character that had been killed during the Crisis,and these characters were aware they were nothing but comic book characters. Animal Man intervened, and Hayden seemingly faded away into Limbo. One of the staff members, James Highwater, became the keeper of the Medusa Mask,and no one realized he wasn't Hayden. This incident is sometimes referred to as the Secret Crisis.

Not long after the events of ZERO HOUR, Hayden returned to reality and sold his soul to the demon Neron in exchange for more power. Unfortunately, this is a bad period for the Psycho-Pirate. The Medusa Mask was made into an eye patch, and the metal replaced half of his brain. He took to wearing a black leather jacket and matching outfit, and also seemed to be sane. He clashed with Chase Lawler, who was known as the Manhunter at the time, was defeated, and sent to jail.


When next he was seen, Hayden was insane once more, babbling incoherently about the existence of the multiverse. He and other inmates were freed by the Joker and ran amok, but eventually they were all rounded up and re-imprisoned. However, he once again escaped, only this time he went after the only other survivor of the original Earth-2: Power Girl. He tried to weaken her so she could be captured by Alexander Louthor of Earth-3, who wanted to use her in his plans to recreate the multiverse. Hayden was later killed by Black Adam, having his eyes gouged out and the Medusa Mask pushed through his head.

Sometime later, the Medusa Mask became an object sought in a mystical war, but the Teen Titan called Raven destroyed the mask.

And then came FLASHPOINT. In the newly rebooted universe, the Psycho-Pirate showed up as a member of the Twenty, a group of individuals infected with a psionic virus created by Brainiac.  He sought out the Medusa Mask, hoping to use it to protect himself against other psychics. He then spent the following years hiding other telepaths from the H.I.V.E. organization, running afoul of Superman. He took over the minds pf various citizens of Metropolis and caused them to run amok, until Superman defeated him and incinerated the Medusa Mask with his heat vision. However, Hayden managed to escape.


And then came DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH. Now, the Psycho-Pirate is back to his insane original self, still babbling on about the multiverse and how something always keeps changing it. He is currently a prisoner of Batman, who is using him to cure the insanity of Gotham Girl, whom Hayden had driven crazy at the behest of Professor Hugo Strange.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

CRISIS OF REBIRTH, PART 9: Those Who Keep Surviving...Saturn Queen

Saturn Queen. Born Eve Aries of Titan (one of Saturn's moons) in the 21st Century. She is a high-level telepath who, like most telepaths from her world, has a complex set of urges to do good or evil (in her case, evil) that are hard to control. She was a founding member of the Legion of Super-Villains and often fought Superman, in addition to the Legion of Super-Heroes.


As CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS approached, Saturn Queen and her associates, Lightning Lord and Cosmic King, went back in time and murdered the Kents before they could discover the infant Superman. They also killed the robber who murdered Batman's parents. They then took the two and raised them as if they were their own children. When they were older, Batman and Superman became Saturn Queen's enforcers, terrorizing anyone who poses the will of their "adoptive parents". Oddly enough, Saturn Queen became concerned that what she and her associates had done would have irreversible consequences, but she also grew fond of this reality, and of her "boys."

Eventually, however, Wonder Woman opposed her regime. She killed Batman, but in turn was killed by Superman. During the melee, an enormous eruption of energy destroyed the whole timeline, but another one took its place because of the intervention of an older version of Superman (from Alan Moore's "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" timeline) and Darkseid, Lord of Apokolips. Saturn Queen and her LSV associates were replaced as rulers with Ra's al Ghul and became temporal anomalies in the newborn present. Superman and Batman, both restored, attacked the villains, and then they took them to the moment in time in the 31st Century before the villains first changed the timeline to prevent everything that had happened up to this point from happening to begin with. Superman and Batman turned Saturn Queen, Lightning Lord, and Cosmic King over to the Legion of Super-Heroes. Yet, once Superman and Batman return to the 21st Century, the events of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS happened, and the 31st Century as wiped from existence.

Be that as it may, Saturn Queen survived the Crisis. She slipped through the cracks during the recreation of the universe and found herself stranded in the Phantom Zone, where she encountered Ultraman, another survivor of the Crisis. She came to see him as a suitable replacement for the version of Superman that was her son in a previous reality and took control of his mind, making him believe that she was his mother. Thanks to the events of INFINITE CRISIS and Alexander Luthor of Earth-3, Saturn Queen and Ultraman found themselves on a world similar to the one she had created with the LSV. They went about making the capitol city of Kandor in their image, with Ultraman enforcing her will through acts of terror,as she ruled behind the scenes. They were opposed by Power Girl and Supergirl of the main reality, but Saturn Girl defeated them with her vast telepathic prowess. She then tried to force Supergirl to marry Ultraman as a way to ensure that her perfect world reach its apex. However, her plans were foiled when she telepathically entered Power Girl's mind. She lost control of both Supergirl AND Ultraman, and she was last seen cradling Ultraman's body in her arms as the rebellion started by Power Girl and Supergirl closed in around her.

And then came FLASHPOINT. In the newly restructured reality, Saturn Queen delighted in probing deeply within someone's mind and exposing their darkest desires. She believed that all sentient life forms had deviance laced in their kind and only pretended to perform good deeds to hide their twisted desires. She went about recreating the Legion of Super-Villains, only this time with a smaller cadre of members, and plotted to kill the powers watching over the universe so that chaos and anarchy could run rampant without opposition. She succeeded in destroying the Rock of Eternity, but she and the LSV were later finally defeated by the Legion of Super-Heroes.

As of DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH, Saturn Queen has yet to be seen.




CRISIS OF REBIRTH, PART 8: Those Who Keep Surviving...Lady Quark

Lady Quark, aka Tashana, was originally from Earth-6, a place where the United States had lost the Revolutionary War. Her husband was Lord Volt, and their marriage was an arranged one. She preferred women, and he preferred men, but they agreed to the marriage for the sake of their world and produced a child, a daughter they named Liana. They ruled together as a monarchy and loved their child unconditionally,despite their distaste for one another.



And then came CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. As anti-matter spread throughout their world, destroying it, Lord Volt and Lady Quark defended their home. However, Lord Volt was killed trying to save their daughter, who was also killed. The entire planet was destroyed, but Lady Quark herself was rescued by Pariah, a dimensional traveler. Once the Crisis was over, Lady Quark joined Pariah and Harbinger in exploring the new, sole Earth that had been created. She is eventually recruited by Vril Dox to join his L.E.G.I.O.N., a peacekeeping space force, and is seemingly killed in a later mission by a parasitic alien shapeshifter. However, she apparently survived the encounter and was captured by Alexander Luthor of Earth-3, who imprisoned her in his tower as a part of his plan to bring the core Earths back into existence. She soon escaped and joined Earth's heroes in defeating Luthor once and for all.

Because of the massive changes wrought by the Crisis, Lady Quark could no longer be from Earth-6. However, it was never revealed where she originated, but one can assume it was from some alternate dimension.

Thanks to FLASHPOINT, Lady Quark has been reintegrated into the current multiverse as a resident of Earth-48, a fusion of her original Earth-6 and pre-Flashpoint Warworld/Earth-48, home of the Forerunners. She, Lord Volt, and their daughter Liana are once again members of the royal family, alongside Viza'aziv, who had been the sole remaining Forerunner of pre-Flashpoint Warworld.



At some unrevealed point, Lady Quark ended up in the custody of A.R.G.U.S., but she was freed by the Justice League of America member, Vibe, during a mass breakout and has presumably returned to her homeworld.



Monday, April 3, 2017

CRISIS OF REBIRTH, PART 7: Those Who Keep Surviving...Pariah

Pariah was one of the greatest scientists of his version of a parallel Earth. His unorthodox experiments to view the creation of the universe itself resulted in opening a portal to the Dawn of Time, where he viewed Pandora's Hand of Creation.



However, this intrusion, also opened a portal to the antimatter universe and freed the Anti-Monitor from imprisonment. Discovering Pariah's existence, the Anti-Monitor wiped out Pariah's entire universe, but it was only through the intervention of the Anti-Monitor's benevolent counterpart, the Monitor, that Pariah survived the assault. And as a result of what had happened, Pariah developed the ability to travel to one alternate earth after another, forced to witness untold millions perish as the Anti-Monitor destroyed one world after another. Eventually, he assisted the heroes of various alternate earths to destroy the Anti-Monitor and keep the resultant reformed single earth safe from harm. Pariah then joined Lady Quark and Harbinger in exploring the new earth, hopeful of what the future would bring.

Pariah later returned to warn the heroes of Earth of the coming war between the Roman and Olympian gods, which would destroy the earth if not prevented. Simultaneously, the Egyptian, African, Norse, Babylonian, and Thanagarian gods attempted to recreate the world in their own images. Eventually, the heroes won and saved their planet.

As INFINITE CRISIS approached, Pariah attempted to warn Lex Luthor of a dangerous predator, but this Luthor was actually the Alexander Luthor of Earth-3 in disguise and he murdered Pariah.

Pariah was later resurrected by the evil Dark Angel, but he fought against her and helped the Kryptonian super-heroine called Supergirl face her true self.

Because of the Crisis, Pariah's homeworld was retconned into being an alternate world from another dimension, rather than one of the infinite number of earths that had existed prior to the event. But this has changed now that the original multiverse has been restored during the events of CONVERGENCE.

In the current reality, Pariah was somehow caught and imprisoned by A.R.G.U.S., a U.S. federal agency that deals with interdimensional beings they deem threats to Earth. The circumstances of this capture remain unknown, but Pariah was able to escape due to the intervention of Justice League of America member, Vibe. His role in Rebirth has yet to be revealed, but rest assured he will be there to witness it all. It's possible he may currently be a prisoner of the enigmatic Mr. Oz.



CRISIS OF REBIRTH, PART 6: Those Who Keep Surviving...Power Girl

Power Girl. Cousin of the Superman of Earth-2. Survivor of the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, ZERO HOUR, INFINITE CRISIS, and FLASHPOINT. She's also a bit more popular than her main counterpart, Supergirl of Earth-0.



Born Kara Zor-L of Earth-2, Power Girl escaped the destruction of Krypton when she was a child via a rocket ship in which her parents placed her. Although she left at the same time her cousin, Kal-L, did, her ship took much longer to reach Earth-2. Once there, Kara discovered she had superhuman powers and became a protector of humanity. She behaves much older, more mature, and more level-headed than her Earth-0 counterpart, Supergirl. She was also a member of this world's super-heroic team, called the Justice Society of America, and her best friend is Helena Kyle, aka the Huntress.

And then came the Crisis. Power Girl survived, but Earth-2 was no more. She could still recall her true past, but eventually the multiverse adjusted her, and she came to believe she was the descendant of the Atlantean sorcerer called Arion and had been frozen in suspended animation for millennia until the present day. Once awakened, a spell Arion had placed upon her made her think she was Superman's cousin. At first, Kara was even much weaker than she originally had been, but over time she became just as strong as she used to be.

And then came ZERO HOUR. Her origin as the granddaughter of Arion was revealed to have been a lie concocted by her adoptive mother.

And then came INFINITE CRISIS. The evil Psycho-Pirate took advantage of the reality changes mucking about with the universe at the time and manipulated Power Girl into believing she was born a Daxamite called Laurel Gand in the 31st Century, sent back to the present day as a preemptive measure against the sorcerer called Mordru. He later manipulates her into believing she was actually from Qward and was the cousin of that world's Ultraman; the daughter of Conner Kent and Cassandra Sandsmark of the Titans Tomorrow reality; the daughter of Shazam; and the daughter of Ursa (born in the Phantom Zome). However, Power Girl ultimately remembers her true past thanks to the subconscious mental tether that connects her to the original Earth-2.

And then came FLASHPOINT. Power Girl is once again from Earth-2 and cousin to Superman. However, this time, Superman and his wife, Lois, adopted Kara when she was younger and raised her to adulthood. Although he is her cousin, Power Girl thinks of him more as a father figure, with Lois as her mother. He trained Kara to be a secret weapon against the coming of Darkseid, dubbing her Supergirl. Her best friend is once again Helena Kyle, aka Huntress, daughter of this Earth-2's Batman and Catwoman, like before. In addition, Power Girl has no knowledge of her history prior to FLASHPOINT, but this could be only a matter of time.



SIDE NOTE: It's possible the current Power Girl of Earth-2 is NOT the original remade. Another Power Girl appeared in the previous HARLEY QUINN series, where she was amnesiac, having fallen out of the sky without warning. This Power Girl was more reminiscent of pre-Flashpoint Power Girl. She eventually regained her memories back, but to what extent remains unknown. However, it is more likely this was New 52 Power Girl, having been knocked back to Earth-0 due to events in the EARTH 2: WORLD'S END series. But then, how did she return to the Earth-2 universe after this? Unless for Power Girl, this took place BEFORE her return to Earth-2 in WORLDS' FINEST #26. It's hard to reconcile to be sure, as HARLEY QUINN is a series that skirts around issues of continuity.




Saturday, April 1, 2017

CRISIS OF REBIRTH, PART 5: Those Who Keep Surviving

Ever since CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, there are a handful of characters who just won't die. For one reason or another, they keep surviving and the mulitverse keeps adjusting itself for it. They get new origins. New looks. And new tragedies in their lives that just keep piling up. For one in particular, it has driven him insane, while another one you'd think would go nuts but has still managed to carry on. So, just who are these survivors?

Donna Troy: Before the Crisis, Donna was Wonder Girl. Her mother was an unwed teenager named Dorothy Hinckley and was given up for adoption to Carl and Fay Stacey. However, when she was a child, Donna's adoptive father was killed in a work-related accident. Unable to raise the toddler due to expenses, Fay placed Donna back into the adoption system. She became a victim to a child selling racket, with the racketeers killed in a fire. Donna was saved from burning by Wonder Woman. Unable to find her parents, Wonder Woman took the child with her to Paradise Island to be raised alongside other young Amazons. Eventually, Paula Von Gunther's Purple Ray gave Donna Amazonian powers.



Then came the Crisis, which radically altered her past. Now Donna was rescued from the fire by the Titan of Myth named Rhea and raised as a part of a group of twelve orphans from around the universe called the "Titan Seeds." These orphans were raised on New Chronos, intended to be the saviors of the Titans of Myth whenever the time came. They were each given powers and were named after ancient Greek cities. In Donna's case, she was named Troy. She was then stripped of her memories and reintroduced into mankind to await her foretold destiny. Aeter learning of her heritage, Donna took on the identity of Troia and adopted a costume that incorporated various mystical gifts given to her by the Titans of Myth.

Eventually, Donna married a man named Terry Long and had a son with him, Robert. However, both her husband and son perished in a car accident, devastating her.

And then came ZERO HOUR. Once again, Donna survived, and her past was rewritten. This time, Donna was created by the Amazonian sorceress named Magala to be a magical duplictae of the young Princess of Themyscira called Diana and also to be her playmate. However, mistaking her for Diana, the evil Dark Angel (an alternate reality duplicate of Donna from Earth-7's WWII era) kidnapped Donna and cursed her to live endless variant lives characterized by suffering. Wonder Woman eventually freed Donna from this curse, and Donna was restored to the way her friends thought of her. She also became the repository of knowledge of every alternate universe, including the original multiverse.

And then came INFINITE CRISIS. Once more, Donna's history was altered. This time, her origin was a combination of previous versions. She was the mystically created playmate of Wonder Woman. She was trained alongside Diana and the other Amazons and joined Wonder Woman in Man's World, taking on the identity of Wonder Girl, although she grew tired of the name and preferred to to be called by her real name, Donna Troy.

And then came FLASHPOINT. Like before, Donna's history was altered, this time more radically then ever before. This time Donna was created by an evil Amazon sorceress through the means of a ritual using the infant daughter of a nameless Amazon and the clay remains of the Amazonian queen Hippolyta that she boiled within a dark cauldron. Donna was meant to be used by Hippoltya's sister Derinoe as a weapon against the current queen of Amazons, Wonder Woman. Once Donna slayed Diana, she would become a queen Derinoe would be able to control. This plot was foiled, however, and Donna was killed in battle. Zeus later resurrected Donna and made her the new embodiment of "the Fate of the Gods."



And then came DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH...the affects of which have yet to be fully realized. However, we do know that Donna has recently retained a missing 10 years of her previous life as a Teen Titan. Exactly what memories she's gotten back have yet to be revealed.

SIDE NOTE: With the restoration of the original multiverse, which now exists beyond the current New 52 DC Universe, Donna Troy once again has alternate earth counterparts. There was one mentioned in Grant Morrison's MULTIVERSITY: THE JUST #1, and the Donna Troy of Earth-2 is called Fury there, daughter of Wonder Woman and Steppenwolf.



Coming up next, more survivors. Power Girl. Psycho-Pirate. Pariah. Harbinger. Superboy-Prime. Ultraman of Earth-3. Saturn Queen. Their stories will be told.


Monday, March 27, 2017

CRISIS OF REBIRTH, PART FOUR: Mr. Oz

The enigmatic Mr. Oz. Who is he? What are his goals? It would appear that he may actually be Ozymandias from the Watchmen. But is this really true? Or is he someone else? Someone sinister? Someone benevolent? Well, one thing we know for certain is that this Mr. Oz had been watching Superman for quite some time. Far longer than he, or anyone else, suspects. Some people, like me at first, thought he first appeared in DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH #1. But he did not. He first appeared in SUPERMAN I#32, a whole TWENTY issues prior to the publication of DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH #1.

So, what was this mysterious individual doing all this time? Watching. Watching and manipulating. Testing Superman for a purpose only he knows and we can only speculate. Let's examine these appearances and see if we can tell us what they mean. Beginning with SUPERMAN I#32...


It would appear that Clark has met Mr. Oz before and was some sort of student of his. And Oz, of course, knows Clark is Superman. Interesting.

From SUPERMAN I#34...


As we can see here, Oz has kept track of Superman's life, from the beginning right on up to now. He remarks about how Clark somehow still has hope, despite the number of tragedies that have been thrust upon him. This is also the first indication that Oz has been "collecting" prisoners for far longer than we knew about. Could the captive be Dr. Manhattan, who we all believe right now to be the instigator of REBIRTH? This is unlikely, but it Oz did have him captive, it would indicate someone else is the "mastermind" of what is going on. Someone else who wants hope, love, friendship, experience, and legacy eradicated from the DC multiverse, particularly from Earth-0.

Up next, SUPERMAN I#35...



The villain seen here, the Machinist, mentions here that he is working for Mr. Oz. This takes us as far back as the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths multiverse, when the Monitor was supplying carious villains with their tech. So, the Machinist is likely just another one of Mr. Oz's tests for Superman to see if he prevails and still has hope for the future.

Next is SUPERMAN I#38...


In this epilogue, once Superman prevails over his foe, Mr. Oz preps a mysterious package to be sent to Clark at the Daily Planet. Note the character sitting under the spotlight. Checking the issue, this is Ulysses, Superman's foe from the storyline. He has clearly been taken from military imprisonment (shown earlier in the story) and is now a part of Oz's collection of important inmates. Interesting.

And finally, we have SUPERMAN I#39...



A homeless woman mails the package for Oz, who rewards her with a nice, warm meal. By the end of the issue, Clark gets the parcel and opens it, only to find a blank journal...


Curiouser and curiouser....




Tuesday, March 21, 2017

CRISIS OF REBIRTH, PART THREE: Superboy-Prime

Ah, Superboy-Prime. Dreaded by most. Liked by some. Superboy-Prime came from Earth-Prime, the one that existed prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. But his homeworld was destroyed, along with everyone he loved. After INFINITE CRISIS, he's been searching for his version of Earth-Prime, believing 100% that it is out there somewhere in the restored multiverse. And he doesn't care about the cost. He doesn't care what he has to do to find it. He'll even destroy other worlds, as he did with Earth-15 during COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS.


Prior to the rebirth of the DC Universe in FLASHPOINT #5, Superboy-Prime had been trapped within the Source Wall by Conner Kent and Supergirl in TEEN TITANS II#100. That's a tough place to be. The Source Wall is a wall that exists at the edge of the multiverse. It serves as a boundary between what we can observe and the Source, a vast cosmic power that controls and determines all of existence. Anyone who tries to pass through it ends up bound to the Source Wall for the remainder of time. However, thanks to events in GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL #3 from 2014, everything and everyone from the Source Wall has been freed because of Black Hand. This includes Superboy-Prime.

So, where is he? He's likely not a happy little world-killer.

It should be noted that we did not actually see Superboy-Prime escape the Source Wall along with everyone else. But if everyone else escaped, then it is reasonable to assume that Superboy-Prime did as well. It is foolish to think otherwise. However, we may very well have seen him break free on-panel, specifically on the final page of GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL #3.


Now, granted, that doesn't look anything like the hand belonging to Superboy-Prime, but it must be noted that the Source Wall has been known to mutate those exposed to it. A prime example of this was shown in JUSTICE LEAGUE #23.1 in a scene where Darkseid is transformed after exposure to the Source Wall and given his god-like powers. Perhaps this has happened to Superboy-Prime? If true, this could be looked upon as the next step in the evolution of the character. Then again, perhaps not. In any case, if everyone else was freed from the Source Wall in the annual, then so must Superboy-Prime have gained his freedom.

So, where is he? He's likely not a happy little world-killer.

It's certainly possible he could be working with Dr. Manhattan, the presumed architect behind the creation of the New 52 DC Universe. Superboy-Prime thinks the world, even the universe, should be a certain way. His way. He has suffered a rather intense amount of emotional trauma that has twisted his sense of justice. He sees the heroes of Earth as corrupted and ineffective. He even believes some of them should simply not exist because they didn't on his own world. So perhaps he decided to help rid this "false Earth" of its love, of its strong relationships, and of its legacies. He decided to weaken everyone on this "false Earth" in every possible way to make them even more ineffectual than he already sees them to be.

But how could he help do this? Well, Superboy-Prime is extremely powerful in his own right, as he once literally punched reality, creating a chain reaction that altered various events. In addition, since he was once fused to the Source Wall, he may have obtained some of the power of the Source itself, as Darkseid did. With this power, he could have assisted Dr. Manhattan in restructuring reality during FLASHPOINT #5.

I've mentioned before that Superboy-Prime thinks that certain people shouldn't exist for one reason or another. Most certainly the top choice is Superman. Superman had it all. A loving wife, close friends, and a heroic life, all things Superboy-Prime would covet for himself. Superman even has legacy. So the first thing he would do is eliminate everything in Superman's life that made him who he was. And that's what happened. In the aftermath of FLASHPOINT #5, Superman was no longer married. He didn't even have an intimate relationship with Lois Lane. His ties were mostly destroyed. Oh, some of them were still there, like Lana Long, but greatly the bonds were diminished. He was younger, a whole lot less experienced than he was before. And with his most important ties severed, his legacy was gone.

Wally West is certainly another top choice. Wally led the other speedsters against him during INFINITE CRISIS. They pulled him into the Speed Force to trap him there. So eliminating Wally would aid him considerably. All speedsters in the DCU have ties to the Speed Force, in some manner. Since super-speed is one of Superboy-Prime's powers, there's a connection there. Just different. And since he had been pulled into the Speed Force physically, Superboy-Prime could have used it to entrap Wally West within it, thus ridding himself of not only a powerful foe, but also the world of a greatly loved hero. In addition, a great many other speedsters have seemingly been eliminated: Johnny Quick, Max Mercury, Jesse Quick, Impulse, and each and every descendant of theirs.

Supergirl is another good choice. In the New 52, Supergirl is much angrier than she was prior to FLASHPOINT. At first, she didn't like being around humans, although in time that changed. Her anger was so great that she ended up being sought by a Red Lantern ring and made a member of their corps in GREEN LANTERN I#28 (New 52) for a short time.  She also had a very rocky relationship with her cousin, Superman. Superboy-Prime likely hates Supergirl, not only because of her ties to Superman -- ties he never had -- but because she still exists in the DCU despite having been killed during CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS.



It should be noted here that Supergirl's alternate earth counterpart Power Girl of Earth-2 has also been vastly changed since FLASHPOINT #5. Like Superboy-Prime, she survived CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. She survived, ZERO HOUR, INFINITE CRISIS, and more. But unlike then, Power Girl no longer remembers who she truly is, that she was the lone survivor of a world that no longer exists.  She was the sole legacy of her world, and she always will be. Even when her ties are restored after each multiversal reset, they still aren't the same as they originally were. But presently, Power Girl is a different woman living in a different universe, and she has yet to have her true memories restored, if such a thing will even happen at this point. Another character diminished in Superboy-Prime's eyes.

Oh, but then along comes pre-Flashpoint Superman and his wife, Lois, thanks to events in CONVERGENCE #8. And with them is their young son, Jon, who has recently become Superboy. Jon is a great symbol of hope, and with him, Superman and Lois live happy, fulfilling lives. Jon is mostly definitely someone Superboy-Prime would hate and want gone for good.

Only time will tell if any of this has happened or will come about. But Superboy-Prime is out there somewhere. You can be certain of that. And it's only a matter of time before he stops watching and finally begins to act.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

CRISIS OF CONVERGENCE, PART SIX: Earth-462

Little is known of Earth-462. It was the home of versions of Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl, and Batman from the television shows in the 60s and 670s. During WWII on this world, Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl fought alongside Green Arrow, Robin, and the Flash against Per Degaton and Baron Blitzkrieg. Several decades later, while Wonder Woman continued to fight crime all over the world for the Inter-Agency Defense Command, Batman and Robin were active in Gotham City. Just moments prior to the collapse of this universe in INFINITE CRISIS, Brainiac stole a piece of it and placed it underneath a dome on Telos, alognside various other cities from across time and space.



COMMENTS: The only appearance of the city of Earth-462 was in FUTURES END #41. Nothing else was shown of this city in any of the CONVERGENCE books. The Batman of this world was among the characters seen by Hawkman in Brainiac's grid, putting this in continuity.

I'm not sure who the character is being pinned by Wonder Woman in that first image, nor the one just above her leaving the energy trail.

CRISIS OF CONVERGENCE, PART FIVE: Earth-395

Earth-395 was where baby Kal-El's ship landed in medieval England. His planet had been destroyed over a millennia before it happened in the main universe. However, he was still found by farmers, only he was raised to be a blacksmith. He attracted the attention of one Lady Loisse, the daughter of his village's former protector, and Baron Luthor, an oppressive land owner. After Luthor found Kal's ship, he had a suit of armor made from its metal. He also invoked a privilege where he could take to his bed any lady on her wedding night, so he took Loisse from Kal after the two wed and used his kryptonite gemstone to keep Kal at bay. Unfortunately, things got worse when Kal discovered that Luthor had beaten Loisse to death during a rape attempt. Kal became infuriated and took up arms against the ruthless, despicable land baron. He led a rebellion,and in final battle with Luthor, the two enemies stabbed each other with their swords (Luthor's was made of kryptonite gemstone).

However, just seconds before his demise, Brainiac spirted Kal away, along with the area, and placed it within one of his domes on Telos, alongside the other numerous cities he had stolen from time and space. He healed Kal and then left the city to its own devices.

FUTURES END #41: Kal was seen by Futures End Hawkman within the grid of cities along with other denizens of other domes.

COMMENTS: Kal's only appearance was in FUTURES END #41. He did not appear in any of the CONVERGENCE tie-ins or the main mini; however, since he was seen in the grid in this issue of FE alongside characters that did appear in CONVERGENCE, this makes the scene in continuity.


It was also rumored in the story that Kal's sword went on to become Excalibur.

Friday, March 3, 2017

CRISIS OF CONVERGENCE, PART FOUR: Cap's Hobby Shop

Cap's Hobby Shop was a place where townspeople gathered to listen the advice Cap gave on building models and other hobbies. A few of these citizens were Casey the Cop, Binky, Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Sugar Plumm, and Cecil "Spike" Wilson.






CONVERGENCE: SUPERGIRL: MATRIX #2: Ambush Bug and Supergirl (the Matrix version from post-Crisis) happened upon the city containing Cap's Hobby Shop. They quickly came upon Casey the Cop, who was out foraging for food in the wake of a zombie outbreak. Casey mentioned that he, Binky, Sugar, and Spike were the only humans left in the city. Before they could be overrun by the undead, Ambush Bug teleported himself and Supergirl out of the city, leaving Casey alone to cover their escape.


COMMENTS: Why in the holy nine rings of hell Brainaic thought that Cap's Hobby Shop would even remotely be worth his time and consideration is beyond me. I mean, they couldn't possibly survive in a battle with any other city he took. And I mean any. Even Captain Carrot could kick Casey the Cop's ass. Maybe Dean Martin was an iteration of Superman? Yeah, sure, right.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

CRISIS OF CONVERGENCE, PART THREE: The Bottled City of Kandor

Kandor was the capital city of the planet Krypton, until it was stolen by Brainiac several years before Krypton's destruction and shrunk down to miniature size to best fit his collection. Superman eventually recovered the former capital and place it in his Fortress of Solitude for safekeeping until a way could be found to restore Kandor to its proper size. However, at some point just before or during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Kandor was once again stolen by Brainiac, only this time he transported it to Telos, the planet containing numerous other cities he had stolen from various alternate realities and timelines.

CONVERGENCE #3: Kandor resisted the commands of Telos to fight for their lives against the champions of other cities. To force them to comply, Telos killed their champion, Nightwing (aka Van-Zee, Superman's lookalike cousin). The angered citizens of Kandor proceeded to open fire on Telos, but all this did was infuriate Telos enough to slaughter them all, leaving no one left alive in Kandor. This was his example to any other city that decided they would try and resist his demands.



COMMENTS: Kandorian Van-Zee and his partner Ak-Var took up the identities of Nightwing and Flamebired and fought crime in Kandor in SUPERMAN FAMILY #183, inspired by Superman and Jimmy Olsen, who both had taken those identities during a visit to the bottled city in SUPERMAN I#158.







Wednesday, March 1, 2017

CRISIS OF CONVERGENCE, PART TWO: Angor/Earth-8

Angor. AKA Earth-8. Home of Lord Havok and the Extremists (Gordon, Dreamslayer, Dr. Diehard, Tracer, Brute, Carny, Death Angel, Barracuda, and Meanstreak), They were so villainous that, at one point, they turned their world into a nuclear wasteland.



CONVERGENCE: THE TITANS #1-2: Like everyone else trapped within their respective cities on Telos, the Extremists were commanded to fight the champions of another city in order to survive. In the case of the Extremists, they were transported to the city of pre-Flashpoint Gotham. They separated in order to do the most damage and began attacking the city. Dreamslayer, Lord Havok, Tracer, Gorgon, and Dr. Diehard attacked the docks, until the arrival of the Titans, Arsenal, Starfire, and Donna Troy. Dreamslayer of the Extremists decides that it would be amusing if the Titans fought each other instead of them. So, he offered Arsenal his heart's desire: The return of his deceased daughter, Lian. But only if he killed Starfire and Donna Troy. But, Arsenal instead grabbed Lian and took off, heading for his bunker. Dreamslayer followed him and placed Lian back into the timestream from which he had plucked her. Arsenal gives in and attacked the Titans via remote controlled cannons he had bulit throughout Gotham. However, Arsenal changed his mind and started attacking Dreamslayer, who promptly brought Lian back as a ploy to make the hero surrender. He didn't and used an EMP device to displace Dreamslayer's teleportation field, causing him to vanish, leaving Lian still present. Dreamslayer rejoined his compatriots and continued their rampage through Gotham City. The Titans, of course, went after them, but the battle was inconclusive.



CONVERGENCE: BATMAN & ROBIN #1-2: Elsewhere, Carny led Brute, Death Angel and Meanstreak in an attack against the heroes Batman, Robin, and the Red Hood. Carny used an army of creepy killer dolls to take down the champions, who weren't exactly fighting together as a unit. Batman let Brute grab him and nearly kill him, hoping this action would inspire his comrades. It did, and the heroes defeated the four Extremists, who were promptly sent back into the timestream to the moment from which they had been taken prior to their initial capture where they died during the events of Flashpoint.



CONVERGENCE: THE ATOM #1-2: Barracuda of the Extremists was transported to some sort of cave where he took on Ray Palmer, the hero also known as the Atom. The battle was quite vicious, with Palmer losing his hand. The battle ended when Ryan Choi, also known as the Atom, shrunk himself down inside Barracuda's body and rendered him paralyzed. Because he lost, Barracuda was promptly sent back to the time period of his capture.

CONVERGENCE #6-7: Lord Havok, Dreamslayer, Dr. Diehard, Tracer, and Gorgon were summoned by Deimos to the villain's final battle with various champions of the cities, as well as the Wonders from Earth-2.

COMMENTS: I am one of the few people who probably enjoyed all of CONVERGENCE. It was great to me to see all these characters from various different worlds and timelines, most for the first time in a decade or more. However, only one mini-series from this batch did I consider to be extremely bad, and that was CONVERGENCE: THE ATOM. And it was more than bad; it was horrendous. I don't know what writer Tom Peyer was smoking when he wrote this. The only thing I'll say about it is that, at the time period in which Ray was taken, Ryan Choi was dead. In this story, like all other champions trapped within their domed cities, Ray lost his powers...except for his giant hand. Yes, a giant hand. And after his hand gets sliced off by Barracuda, it morphed into Ryan Choi and...trust me. You don't want to know. It was all just plain stupid.CONVERGENCE: THE ATOM should be avoided at all costs.

And I can't tell you how great it was that Lian Harper was brought back, even though it was just for CONVERGENCE: THE TITANS. Her death was so wrong.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

CRISIS OF CONVERGENCE, PART ONE: It Begins!

CONVERGENCE was a nine-issue weekly mini-series published by DC Comics in 2015. 40 two-issue mini tie-ins came with each issue on each week, covering four different time periods of DC history. Basically, the villainous Brainiac, who had evolved into near-omnipotence, assimilated various cities from various alternate earths across time and space at the moment the various timelines had ended and entrapped them in separate domes on a planet that existed outside time and space, called Telos.

What follows is a chronology of events leading into the beginning of the storyline.



CONVERGENCE #0: Before the event known as Flashpoint changed the DC multiverse, Brainiac found his way into the Source Wall and was thrown backwards into the timestream. He was mutated by the effects of various "crisis" events -- first Final Crisis, and then the events of 52, Infinite Crisis, Zero Hour, and Crisis on Infinite Earths -- and became an omnipotent being.

BOOSTER GOLD: FUTURES END #1:  Brainiac uncovered the location of Vanishing Point through coercion of Booster Gold by threatening to kill his sister, Michelle Carter, aka Goldstar.

CONVERGENCE #0: Brainaic proceeded to roam the multiverse, exploring both alternate timelines and alternate realities. He planned to abduct various cities and place them upon a planet that existed outside time and space, which he called Telos. He also created an agent, also called Telos, to watch over his vast collection. The most prominent of cities he collected came from the following worlds and timelines...

NEW EARTH Metropolis: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to ZERO HOUR #0 Catwoman, who was in the city to steal a $40,000,000 diamond necklace and matching earrings from a spoiled heiress, found herself trapped in the city at the time of the abduction. Aquaman was also trapped, cut off from the ocean before he could return there after a mission. The insane Hal Jordan, also known as Parallax, was in a Metropolis jail at the time of the abduction. Superman was dead at this time.
NEW EARTH Gotham City: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to FLASHPOINT #5. The Flash Wally West and his twin children were in the city at the time for a family getaway and became trapped within the city's limits. Harley Quinn was robbing the Gotham City Museum of Art at the exact moment Brainiac cut the city off from the rest of the world and encased it in his impenetrable dome.
NEW EARTH 853rd Century Metropolis: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to INFINITE CRISIS #1.
EARTH-0 Gotham City: Stolen from the current New 52 DC Universe. The only "disaster" from this period was DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH #1, so it seems likely the abduction occurred just prior to this event.
EARTH-0 Neotropolis: Stolen from the year 2039. Entrapped within were the Justice League of Cyborgs, soldiers of Brother Eye.
EARTH-1 Metropolis: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1. Circa April 1985. Barry Allen, who was visiting 20th Century Metropolis at the time, found himself trapped in the city and was unable to return to his wife in the 30th Century. In addition, the beings known as Harbinger and Pariah were in the city at the time of its capture.
EARTH-1 Bottle City of Kandor: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1.
EARTH-1: Cap's Hobby Shop: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1. Trapped within were two toddlers named Sugar Plumm and Cicel "Spike" Wilson, who both possessed the ability to communicate through "baby talk" with one another and to other infants.
EARTH-1 21st Century Atlanta: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred not long after HEX #18.
EARTH-1 30th Century Metropolis: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1, approximately right after the Great Darkness Saga. Only a handful of members of the Legion of Super-Heroes were in Metropolis at the time of abduction.
EARTH-1 Skartaris: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1.
EARTH-2 Metropolis: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1.
EARTH-3 Metropolis: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1. The dome caused the depowering of the Crime Syndicate of this Earth, and Superwoman was captured by the Metropolis police force, to be executed for her crimes.
EARTH-4 Hub City: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1. In addition to the Question, the heroic Blue Beetle and Captain Atom, along with the villainous Dr. Spectro, were trapped within at the time of abduction.

ANGOR New York CityStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to FLASHPOINT #5. Home of Lord Havok and the Extremists.
EARTH-12 Gotham City: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to FLASHPOINT #5. Home of the characters from BATMAN BEYOND.

EARTH-20 (city unknown) Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to FLASHPOINT #5. This is the homeworld with characteristics of pulp fiction. Dr. Fate is this world's primary hero.
EARTH-21 (city unknown)Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to FLASHPOINT #5. Home of the characters from DC: THE NEW FRONTIER.
EARTH-30 MoscowStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to FLASHPOINT #5. Home of the characters from SUPERMAN: RED SUN.
EARTH-32 Gotham CityStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to FLASHPOINT #5. Home of amalgamated characters such as Bruce Wayne, aka Green Lantern.
EARTH-50 San DiegoStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to FLASHPOINT #5. Home of characters from the Wildstorm Universe, such as Gen13 and Deathblow.
EARTH-96 MetropolisStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to INFINITE CRISIS #1. Home of the characters from KINGDOM COME.
EARTH-98 Central City: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to INFINITE CRISIS #1. Home of the Tangent group of characters.

EARTH-162 MetropolisStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to INFINITE CRISIS #1. Home of Superman Red, Superman Blue, and their respective families.
EARTH-216 MetropolisStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to INFINITE CRISIS #1. Home of the Super-Sons, Clark Kent Jr. and Bruce Wayne Jr.
EARTH-247 31st Century Metropolis: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred sometime after ZERO HOUR #0 and before INFINITE CRISIS #1.
EARTH-395 (city unknown)Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to INFINITE CRISIS #1. This is the world where an infant Kal-El landed in medieval England and forged the sword Excalibur from his spacecraft, as shown in SUPERMAN: KAL.
EARTH-462 (city unknown)Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to INFINITE CRISIS #1. This is the homeworld of the characters from the Batman and Wonder Woman television series.
EARTH-494 (city unknown)Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to INFINITE CRISIS #1. Home of Captain Leatherwing, a pirate version of Batman.
EARTH-901 Gotham City: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to INFINITE CRISIS #1. Home of the Just Imagine Stan Lee group of heroes.
EARTH-1089 MetropolisStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to INFINITE CRISIS #1. Home of Superwoman and Batwoman and other reverse-gender characters.
EARTH-1189 Gotham City: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to INFINITE CRISIS #1. Home of the characters from GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT.
EARTH-1191 Gotham CityStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to INFINITE CRISIS #1. Home of vampire Batman from BATMAN: RED RAIN.
EARTH-1890 El Inferno: Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to FLASHPOINT #1. Home of the Justice Outlaws.
EARTH-3839 MetropolisStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to INFINITE CRISIS #1. Home of the characters from SUPERMAN/BATMAN: GENERATIONS.
EARTH-A.D. DurvaleStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1. This Earth was ravaged by the Great Disaster. Home of the Atomic Knights. Hercules from HERCULES UNBOUND was in the city at the time of abduction.
EARTH-A.D. New York CityStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1. This Earth was ravaged by the Great Disaster. Home of Kamandi and OMAC.
EARTH-A (city unknown)Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1. Home of the Lawless League.
EARTH-C FOLLYWOODStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1. Home of Captain Carrot and other sentient animals heroes.
EARTH-C MINUS GNU YORKStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1. Home of the Just'a Lotta Animals and other sentient animals heroes.
EARTH-PRIMEStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1. This planet had no heroes except in comic books, save for Superboy-Prime and Ultraa.
EARTH-S Fawcett CityStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1. Home of Shazam and the Marvel Family.
EARTH-X New York CityStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1. Home of the Quality Comics characters, such as Plastic Man, Uncle Sam, and the Freedom Fighters.
EARTH-FLASHPOINT MetropolisStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to FLASHPOINT #5.
EARTH-INJUSTICE Gotham CityStolen from a moment in time that occurred somewhere during the events of INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US, sometime before DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH #1.
BIZARRO WORLD (city unknown)Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1.
DREAMWORLD (city unknown)Stolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to INFINITE CRISIS #1. Home of Sunshine Superman.
QWARDStolen from a moment in time that occurred just prior to CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1 (or perhaps during the event). This planet came from the Anti-Matter Universe and was home to the Weaponers of Qward.
VANISHING POINTStolen from a moment in time that occurred during BOOSTER GOLD: FUTURES END #1.

The plan from here is to do a page on each of the cities and see the events from their points of view throughout CONVERGENCE, where possible. It may not, and likely won't be, in the order you see here on this page. Stay tuned!


Thursday, February 16, 2017

CRISIS OF REBIRTH, PART TWO: Who Is Dr. Manhattan?

THE WATCHMEN was a comic book series published in 1986-1987 by DC Comics, created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Originally, Moore's storyline involved the heroes of Charlton Comics, but the editors convinced Moore to create new characters instead, thus preserving the Charlton characters for future use. The series took place during the 1960s, and in this alternate history, the United States won the Vietnam War. In addition, the Watergate Scandal was never exposed to the world. By the late 80s, World War III was forthcoming between the States and the Soviet Union. The heroes that operated during the 60s were forced out of retirement by the murder of a US government official. These heroes were the Watchmen: Dr. Manhatten, Rorschach, the Comedian, Nite Owl, Ozymandius, and Silk Spectre. The series itself was told in a nonlinear manner and entire scenes had parallels to others in a variety of ways. It was critically acclaimed and is considered by many critics to be one of the most significant comic book works in the 20th Century. For the time being, this part of CRISIS OF REBIRTH will focus on one specific member of the Watchmen: Dr.Manhattan.



Dr. Manhattan was Dr. Jon Osterman, an analog of the Charlton/DC hero called Captain Atom. In 1959, he gained power over matter after being caught in what was called an Intristic Field Subtractor. Nuclear and quantum physics permeated this character. Over time, he distanced himself from his humanity, driven by the idea that one such as himself could not perceive time in a linear fashion. His realization of the idea that all events, including human action, were ultimately determined by factors external to the will. At this point, all human concerns were pointless to Osterman, without any true merit. He did have a relationship with a woman named Laurie, but when it ended he exiled himself to Mars, wary of being caught in the lives of humans. It was time for him to explore the galaxy.

Speculation: At some point, Dr. Manhattan became aware of the rest of the DC Multiverse, specifically its creation point, Earth-0. Riddled with skepticism, doubt and corruption, unable to understand the concept of hope, Dr. Manhattan split Earth-0 asunder into three separate worlds...Earth-0, Earth-13, and Earth-50...in hopes of weakening them for further study.

However, during the events known as Flashpoint, Pandora, the Mother of All Creation, sensed his unnatural intrusion and sought to fix it by reuniting the three worlds separated by his cold, casual aloofness. Using the power of Barry Allen, the speedster known as the Flash, Pandora reunited Earths 0, 13, and 50 to fortify the central world's protection, to unite its heroes for its defense. Unbeknownst to her, Dr. Manhattan, secretly took advantage of the moment and erased ten years from the DC Universe. This intervention, combined with Pandora's own interference, caused the formation of what is known as the New 52 Universe, wherein most superheroes were younger and much less inexperienced. In addition, the personal, intimate relationships that were a part of the lives of these heroes were also erased, weakening them even further.



And so, the Crisis of Rebirth began. Unaware of Dr. Manhattan's influence, Pandora began to covertly watch each and every hero of Earth-0. Satisfied that everything seemed to be the way it should be, Pandora then attended to personal matters. During once such occasion, Pandora visited Heaven with the group of heroes uncommonly called Justice League Dark. Memories and realizations of her true nature came forth, and she uncovered an ability to manifest a more powerful, golden, angelic form. She became a beacon of hope, and she used her newfound abilities to stamp out evil wherever she could.

Speculation: But Pandora's increased status was something Dr. Manhattan could not allow. Before, she seemed like nothing to him. Now, she was the Avatar of Hope.

And so, Dr. Manhattan disintegrated Pandora, wiping out her existence, unaware of the fact that she was the Mother of All Creation, someone who could never be truly eradicated. He didn't realize Pandora would just be born again anew, without memory or power, until the time was right for her to regain everything to help preserve the universe she created eons and eons ago.

To be continued...

NOTE: Pandora appeared in each and every first issue of New 52 comics published at the time, both first wave and second. The only book she did not appear in was EARTH 2. James Robinson, the writer of said comic, later confirmed that the reason Pandora wasn't seen there was because it was a separate universe. She was only concerned with Earth-0.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

CRISIS OF REBIRTH, PART ONE: It All Starts With Her

We're a good deal into the Rebirth of the DC Universe. Lots of exciting things have happened, and there's a great deal more to come. But where did it all begin? What has happened so far? Where will it all end up? These and many more questions and answers will be explored in the days ahead with CRISIS OF REBIRTH.

It all began here. At the Dawn of Time. When there was nothing. And then...something. A hand, grasping a cluster of stars.




But it wasn't just any hand. The Hand of Creation, as it's called, belonged to the Mother of All Creation. The entity called Pandora.


How insignificant she apparently seems. But she is indeed the Mother of All Creation. In the beginning, she created the DC Omniverse. At some point, Pandora was birthed into this creation of hers, without memory of who she was and what her role was in the overall scheme of things. But as the centuries passed, she would begin to remember. She was immortal, magical, and scientifically knowledgeable. She was trained in martial arts and other forms of fighting and became a proficient weapons expert. All of this came back to her, but not before a more innocent time would damn her for all eternity.

One day in Macedonia, circa 8,000 B.C., the young Pandora ventured forth to find berries to help make herbal medication to help her ailing son. However, her inert need to explore caused her to stray off-path until she found a golden skull in the forest. Unbeknownst to her, this golden skull contained a portal to Earth-3, a planet nestled within one of the most evil dimensions in the known multiverse. She curiously opened the skull, and it released what would become known as the Seven Deadly Sins: Avarice, Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Gluttony, Lust, and Pride. But little did she know that these very Sins actually came from within herself.

As time went on, the Seven Deadly Sins infested the world, beginning with her village, which was ravaged by the time she returned. And her son had become possessed by Wrath. It was then that Pandora was mystically taken to the Circle of Eternity, along with Judas Iscariot and another unrecognizable being whose identity was unknown to all, even him (something that will prove to be the undoing of everything as the Crisis of Rebirth draws ever so closer). Pandora and the other two were branded as the greatest transgressors of all mankind and sentenced to an eternity of loneliness and torment. For Pandora in particular, for her crime of releasing the Seven Deadly Sins upon man, she was branded with facial scars that always burned without relief, to walk the world forever to experience the pain she had wrought that day she opened the golden skull. She was then returned to Earth, where she wandered for centuries, always trying to help man escape the grip of evil but always grieving in the long run when the spirits killed more.



Eventually, Pandora tracked down all the Sins, and it was then that she remembered it all. She remembered who she truly was and what her purpose would always be. There was a great battle between her and the Sins, and in the end only one would claim victory. This victor would then recreate the multiverse, birthing it anew using all of their power, always assisted by whatever grave crisis that was ravaging the world at the time. The Anti-Monitor, Parallax, Alexander Luthor...those titans of destruction who cursed her name as they fought to remake the universe in their names, whose vast cosmic abilities were unknowingly harnessed by Pandora in the recreation of known reality. It was what she was. What she would always be.



However, Pandora didn't always win the battles that restarted the universe. Sometimes one of the Seven Deadly Sins won. In the case of the event called Zero Hour, caused by Parallax, one such Sin won the final battle with Pandora and remade reality into a much darker place. The heroes who are always bound to come were remade much darker. The hero Batman became more violent in his ways. Wonder Woman murdered a man called Maxwell Lord. Superman still suffered great guilt from murdering three Kryptonian criminals during the reboot that came before Zero Hour (aka the Crisis on Infinite Earths). Jean Loring went insane and murdered Sue Dibny, who had been raped by Dr. Light some years before her demise. Brother Eye constantly came back to wreck havoc with the world.

However, there was one battle where Pandora did defeat the Seven Deadly Sins. When she sensed the calamity of what is known as Flashpoint, she also sensed another great power was preparing to complete its own grand design by taking advantage of said multiversal disaster. She also realized that this same force had previously shattered the History of Heroes into three (Earth-0, Earth-13, and Earth-50) to prevent any opposition. And so, Pandora acted quickly. She used the power of the Flash and his ability to tap into the Speed Force to bring the three worlds back together as one, to unite them against the mysterious force.



The multiverse was born anew, and Pandora hoped that her plan had worked. But that hope was false, for her unknown adversary took advantage of what she had done to further its own ends. The heroes she had placed her expectations upon weren't what they were supposed to be. They had all been changed into something new, different, and entirely unexpected. And so, another rebirth was needed, and one soon came...at least partially. But to prevent any further opposition, the mysterious entity destroyed Pandora completely.


But she is the ultimate force. She is the Mother of All Creation. Without her, there would be nothing. So Pandora isn't truly dead. As is her fate, she will be reborn and begin her life anew, amnesiac and innocent, until the time comes when she is needed once again. And eventually, she will succeed in her task to create a universe willed with hope and peace...


...but that is something that will not happen for some time to come, in the far distant future. Presently, the Rebirth has only just begun, and the evil loneliness wanting to destroy it all has yet to tip its hand.

To be continued...