Across the DC Universe #40 - Part 1

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Welcome to Broken Frontier’s weekly issue by issue roundup of events from every corner of the DC Universe. This is where to come to catch up on what’s been happening with your favorite DC characters and how events in their books affect the DCU’s recent "Bigger Picture". We also point out any interesting continuity tidbits, link to suggested background reading and examine any pertinent questions raised by events in the week’s releases.

Spoiler Warning: Read no further if you’ve not had your DC fix this week and don’t want to hear about key story elements.

Batman and Robin #1

The new Batman and Robin team take down drug dealer Mr. Toad who forewarns them that Pyg (and by extension the Circus of Strange) is coming to Gotham. For one of Toad’s henchmen Niko and his daughter Sasha, that arrival has particularly sinister ramifications...

Crossovers: Batman Reborn

The Bigger Picture: Wayne Tower, the building currently being used by the "Dynamic Duo" as an HQ, is also the same locale that major Batman villain Hush is incarcerated within following his capture in Batman #685.

Pyg, or Professor Pyg as solicitations call him, was first seen in the future timeline shown in Batman #666 where he met a particularly gruesome fate at Damian/Batman’s hands.

Continuity Corner: On page 10’s family scene photograph of happier times at Wayne Manor the original incarnation of Ace the Bathound, who debuted in Batman #92 (July 1955), can clearly be seen with Dick and Bruce.

Mr. Toad is presumably based on the character of the same name from Kenneth Grahame’s classic children’s novel The Wind in the Willows.

Questions: What are Professor Pyg’s plans for Gotham and who are the Circus of Strange? Why is Mr. Toad absent from any global super-hero databases?

And more questions based on the "season teaser" at the end of the issue: Is this Batman/Robin team doomed to break up? Who is the new Red Hood (look to #3 for more on that character) and who is the shadowy female character pictured with him? Is she the character called Scarlet mentioned in upcoming solicitations?

Why and how has Dr. Simon Hurt ended up with the keys to Wayne Manor? What is the story behind Dick Grayson and Batwoman’s upcoming encounter with a ghostly Batman and does it tie into Blackest Night?

Final Crisis Aftermath: Run! #2

On the run from the super-hero community and the Kyrgyzstani Mob, the Human Flame is approached by the Condiment King to join a fellowship of loser super-villains led by General Immortus. The Flame’s powers are augmented by Immortus’s underling Professor Milo but not without a cost – he is now effectively under Immortus’s control.

Crossovers: Final Crisis (follow-up)

The Bigger Picture: The Human Flame played a pivotal part in Final Crisis and the death of the Martian Manhunter. For more on the character’s origins check out Showcase Presents: Martian Manhunter Volume 1.

General Immortus speaks of having "a moment of clarity on a far distant world, orbiting an unknown star" and subsequently wishing to share this visions with "all those damaged enough to hear it". This presumably refers to his time on the prison planet in the Salvation Run miniseries last year where he was apparently killed by Parademons.

Continuity Corner: General Immortus is a long-time enemy of the Doom Patrol who first appeared in My Greatest Adventure #80 (June 1963). Immortus’s criminal enterprises largely concern themselves with his quest for immortality.


Of the other members of Immortus’s group Condiment King was last seen in Robin #171 (April 2008), Mr. Polka Dot is probably the Polka Dot Man from Detective Comics #300 (Feb 1962) and Professor Milo is a long-time minor Batman villain who first appeared in Detective Comics #247 (Sep 1957). Batman R.I.P. readers may recall that Bruce Wayne’s "Batman of Zur En Arrh" persona was created as a failsafe identity many years ago in response to one of Milo’s schemes.

Whether the Sportsmaster seen here is a new incarnation of the character or not remains to be seen. Victor Gover, the current version, was intimidated by Wildcat into giving up that identity in JSA Classified #s 26-27 (July-Aug 2007). Brown Recluse, Miss Army Knife, Seductress, Phoney Baloney and N-Emy, meanwhile, appear to be all-new characters.

Questions: How did General Immortus survive his death in Salvation Run? What is the message he is seeking to spread to the "competence-challenged" super-villains of the DCU? Given the Spectre tracked down and executed all of J’Onn J’Onnz’s other killers in Final Crisis: Revelations why has he neglected to bring the Human Flame to justice?

Secret Six #10

The Six are hired by the mysterious Mr. Smyth, who claims to be subservient to Mockingbird, to aid his schemes on Devil’s Island. The team help transport a mysterious artefact to the locale and violently put down an uprising amongst Smyth’s slave workers. Smyth is revealed to have the Amazon Artemis as his prisoner.

The Bigger Picture: Like all the Amazons, former Wonder Woman Artemis was shown to have lost her memory and been dispersed across the globe in Wonder Woman #12 after the events of Amazons Attack. While Zeus restored the Amazons’ memories in Wonder Woman #27, Artemis has not been seen since then.

Questions: Just who is the new Mockingbird? Does he have any connection to the current Secret Six and what is his agenda? Will Bane beat his Venom addiction long-term? Is there a burgeoning relationship forming between Jeanette and Deadshot? What is the ancient and terrible artefact in Mr. Smyth’s box and what is he seeking to achieve on Devil’s Island? How did he capture Artemis?

Superman: World of New Krypton #4

An entourage of Green Lanterns tour New Krypton as part of a diplomatic mission and work with Superman and the New Kryptonians in rounding up some of the still free Phantom Zone criminals. When Kal-El and his Lieutenant Nar refuse to execute captured escape Val-Ty and try to hand him over to the GLs for trial on Oa, General Zod arrests the duo on charges of treason...

The Bigger Picture: Sodam Yat looks troubled to hear from Superman that Mon-El is on Earth. A confrontation between the two Daxamites was hinted at in the "Origins and Omens" backup in Superman #685. The Guardians of the Universe first expressed their concerns about New Krypton in #2 of this book.

Continuity Corner: The ethnic diversity of New Krypton is discussed with a reference to the Island of Vathlo, home in pre-Crisis continuity of a race of Black Kryptonians, and first mentioned briefly on a map of Krypton in the largely all-reprint Superman #239 (June-July 1971).

Questions: Why is Zod so keen to have Val-Ty executed? What is the explanation for Sodam Yat’s reaction to Mon-El’s residency on Earth?

Join us tomorrow when we look at events in some of the hidden corners of the DCU including this week's Jonah Hex, The Warlord and Solomon Grundy...

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  • BriGuy

    BriGuy Jun 8, 2009 at 8:27pm

    I think Sodam's reaction was based on the fact that there was another Daxamite off-planet. That was how I took it anyway. This was a terrific issue and I haven't been following the Supertitles lately. I picked it up because it had the GLs of Sector 2814 acting in that capacity for once.

    I also think most of Salvation Run has been ignored. Haven't other villains killed there been seen already?

  • Andy Oliver

    Andy Oliver Jun 9, 2009 at 2:50pm

    Thanks for the comments BriGuy. I think Salvation Run will have some kinda tie to Immortus being in FCA: Run! if only because Matt Sturges writes both and the General certainly seemed to be discussing his time on the hell planet this time round.

  • BriGuy

    BriGuy Jun 13, 2009 at 2:17pm

    Yeah it seems like the deaths from Salvation Run is what's being ignored, not the whole experience.

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