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LOST AND FOUND: What to expect from the return of the Post-Crisis DC Universe


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Today it’s been confirmed that the 2015 DC Comics event story Convergence will directly involve fan favorite characters that either draw specifically from their pre-New 52 incarnations are have not been seen since 2010. More announcements concerning the two-issue miniseries will drop as time goes on, but for today the announcements are as follows:

 

In Superman: Clark and Lois deal with the birth of their first child together. Written by Dan Jurgens and illustrated by Lee Weeks.
In The Atom: Ray Palmer learns that Ryan Choi, thought to be killed by Darkseid in the miniseries “Titans: Villains for Hire” is indeed alive. Written by Tom Peyer and illustrated by Stephen Yeowell
In Batgirl: “One year under the dome” Stephanie Brown questions her future as Batgirl. When Catman from the Flashpoint universe attacks, Black Bat and Red Robin call her back into action. Written by Alisa Kwitney and illustrated by Rick Leonardi
In Nightwing/Oracle: Dick and Babs talk about their relationship (under the dome). Written by Gail Simone and illustrated by Jan Duursema
In Speed Force: Wally West, the Flash, and his super powered children are separated from his wife Linda and are attacked by Flashpoint Wonder Woman. Written by Tony Bedard and illustrated by Tom Grummett.
In Titans: Starfire and Donna Troy try to help Arsenal after the events of Cry for Justice. Written by Fabian Nicieza and illustrated by Ron Wagner
In Justice League: Supergirl, Jade and Zatanna are stranded on a planet for a year and are attacked by Flashpoint’s Aquaman. Written by Frank Tieri and illustrated by Vicente Cifuentes.
In the Question: Two-Face comes face-to-face with an alternate world’s Harvey Dent, and needs the help of Renee Montoya. Written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Cully Hamner.
In Batman and Robin: Bruce and Damian have tension with the Red Hood. Written by Ron Marz and illustrated by Denys Cowan.
And in Harley Quinn: Harley’s drafted by Catwoman and Poison Ivy to battle Captain Carrot. Written by Steve Pugh and art by Phil Winslade.

 

With these announcements, we can infer a few things. For one, the Gotham City Sirens team of Harley, Catwoman and Ivy are somewhat intact, to a degree. Everyone in the Bat-Family is where they were last, with the exception of Dick being Nightwing again. The Justice League still contains Jade, Supergirl and Zatanna, as it did during James Robinson’s run on the title. The events of “Cry for Justice” and “Rise of Arsenal” will be addressed, in which Roy Harper lost an arm, his daughter Lian was killed, and he rebounded to his drug addiction.

 

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It seems that DC is confronting a few loose ends left by the previous continuity. With Dick and Babs, they were engaged to be married way back at the start of “Infinite Crisis”. That went unexplained until Nightwing Annual #2, where the two decided they needed some time apart. This Nightwing/Oracle series seems to attempt to finish that plotline. Dick and Babs have been one of DC’s most popular pairings, and the two were in a steady relationship since the early 2000s. They broke up around 2005 during Devin Grayson’s Nightwing run, but were set to be married in the lead up before “Infinite Crisis”, where Dick was famously meant to be killed before that idea was scrapped. With the couple’s lack of presence in the current DC Universe and Dan Didio’s comments on how marriage doesn’t work for their characters, one wonders how these two will end up by the miniseries’ conclusion. Gail Simone’s back on writing Barbara Gordon, and while my opinion on her writing has been no secret for the past few years, the fact remains that she’s much more at home writing Oracle than she is Batgirl, so I don’t necessarily mind.

 

The Superman story is of particular interest to me personally. Superman and Lois have been together in the Post-Crisis universe since the early 90s. They were engaged going as far back as before the “Death and Return of Superman” story, and they were finally married in 1996. The concept of the couple bearing children has been a classic Silver-Age fantasy, but a legitimate concern for the pair for years. Starting a family is potentially the biggest game changer the Man of Steel can possibly face, so this looks to be the most important story out of all of Convergence.

 

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Personally speaking, the most anticipated story for me is the Batgirl miniseries, featuring Stephanie Brown as Batgirl, Cassandra Cain as Black Bat, and Tim Drake as Red Robin. These three characters represent the best of the Post-Crisis Batman era, and they’ve been the most changed/requested for a return to former glory by the fans. I was talking with a particular fan of Stephanie Brown on this website (you know the one), who was dismayed that Bryan Q. Miller wasn’t attached to write Steph’s return, and I wouldn’t disagree. It is odd that in an event where writers like Greg Rucka and Dan Jurgens return to character they know backwards and forewards, BQM isn’t brought up to the character he made popular with readers. His Smallville Season 11 series just ended, and I’m sure writing two issues wouldn’t be an enormous tax on his time. Still, it’s possible he may not have been available for the book. Either way, the fact that this book will feature the aforementioned three characters, favorites of mine, is more than enough to get me excited.

 

In addition to loose ends, some stories seem to address certain fan complaints that began years before the end of the Post-Crisis era. Ryan Choi is a fan favorite who was introduced soon after “Infinite Crisis” as a replacement for Ray Palmer, who disappeared at the end of “Identity Crisis”. His killing at the hands of Deathstroke set off a litany of complaints from readers who, along with cries for the disappearance of Cassandra Cain, claimed that DC was eliminating the few prominent Asian American characters they had. Revealing that he’s been alive works to assuage those said complaints. With that, I’m wondering if they’ll address other character deaths that happened during those last few years. As I recall Garth a.k.a. Tempest, the original Aqualad, was killed and never brought back during “Blackest Night”, along with Holly Granger, the female Hawk of Hawk and Dove. He was replaced with Jackson Hyde following Brightest Day. As Aquaman’s original partner and founding Teen Titan, I always felt it was short-sighted to keep him gone.

 

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Another story to keep an eye on is the Batman and Robin series where Bruce and Damian confront Jason Todd. A few things to note here, Bruce and Damian never really worked together aside from “Batman: The Return” as the Dynamic Duo. This will technically be their first time teaming up inside of the pre-new 52 world. Secondly, with Damian now confirmed to be returning, I’m wondering if Morrison’s second era of Batman Inc. will be in continuity. Batman Inc worked off all of Batman’s continuity, especially the Post-Crisis. Should both Post-Crisis and new-52 share the same history with Batman Inc, I’m wondering if Damian’s death and resurrection will be addressed and if he’ll have super powers. Third, Bruce and Jason reconciled in Scott Lobdell’s last issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws, but never before the new-52. After his return story in Under the Hood, Jason Todd lingered from story to story with no clear direction. He was an anti-hero in Countdown, a villain in Battle for the Cowl, an anti-hero/Villain during Bruce Jones’ Nightwing run, a villain in Grant Morrison’s Batman and Robin run, and an anti-hero in Judd Winnick’s three-part Batman and Robin story. There was never a satisfying confrontation between him and Batman since the first part of the Winnick story where he was in Arkham Asylum with red hair. As much as I didn’t like Red Hood and the Outlaws, I really enjoyed how Lobdell wrote the two “getting back together” for a lack of a better phrase in his last issue after “Death of the Family”. So I’m concerned that we’ll see a return for the directionless, quasi-evil Jason fight Batman and Robin. Quite frankly, the character of Jason was hardly written well after he came back. I liked him in Morrison’s run, but I’ve come to terms with his being alive again now that Lobdell has shown us that Bruce has. If the two will be fighting again, I wouldn’t like that. Also, Denys Cowan’s Batman work is not my favorite, so that will be a shame.

 

Finally to those who may be wondering when Dick became Nightwing again before the new-52, I’d suggest re-reading Gates of Gotham. In the scene at the very end where he’s talking to Bruce via Skype, there’s a heavy implication that Bruce’s duties in Batman Inc. have ended, and he’ll return to protect Gotham. Dick was ready and willing to go back to being Nightwing again when Bruce first came back in “Batman: the Return”, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Dick’s Nightwing again. Personally I believe the character belongs in the role. He made it his own and he shouldn’t have to serve in someone’s shoes forever, although I liked him as Batman too.

 

So that’s all the speculation we can afford…for now! More news should be on the way soon, but until then, here’s hoping my excitement and anticipation for the stories won’t be met by disappointment!

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