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Across the DC Universe #51 - Part 2

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Welcome to Part 2 of Broken Frontier’s weekly issue by issue roundup of events from every corner of the DC Universe. For Part 1 click here. 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.

Blackest Night: Superman #1

The Golden Age Superman and Lois Lane, from the original Multiverse’s Earth-2, are resurrected as Black Lanterns. They proceed to target Smallville and Ma Kent in particular. On New Krypton Supergirl’s recently defeated father Zor-El is also reborn as one of the BL Corps...

The Bigger Picture: For more on Superboy settling into school life at Smallville, and the influence a certain undercover Legionnaire may have in that environment, check out Adventure Comics #1.

Zor-El was killed by Reactron in Action Comics #872. The Earth-2 Superman and Lois Lane both met their ends in Infinite Crisis. For more on the "original" Superman’s history my BF colleague Fletch Adams covered the hero’s history recently here.

Superman refuses to believe that the intelligence guiding Black Lantern Kal-L is really that of the Golden Age Superman.

Continuity Corner: One wonders just how likely it is that a former President of the United States, as Pete Ross briefly was, could really go back to a life of tending a small grocery store in a tiny Kansas town with no visible security.

Questions: Once again, what is the true nature of the animating force of the Black Lanterns? If the Black Lanterns really wanted to unnerve Superman then why haven’t we seen Black Lantern Pa Kent yet? Or is he, like Don Hall/Dove, a soul that is "at peace"?

Supergirl #44

General Zod’s "assassin" Ral-Dar learns how he has been played by General Lane and Project 7734 – but even this is part of Lane’s manipulation in his masterplan to start a war against New Krypton. While Superman pursues Ral-Dar, Supergirl and Mon-El are distracted by Project 7734 operatives Mirabai and Reactron who are posing as the recently captured Nightwing and Flamebird. As the issue concludes Supergirl has been felled, the U.S. President may be in mortal danger from Ral-Dar, Zod is close to death and Mon-El is unaware the "Supergirl" he is working with is a disguised Mirabai...

Crossovers: Codename: Patriot

The Bigger Picture: Perry White has assigned Ron Troupe to find out what the Teen Titans were doing on Alcatraz. To find out more about that team’s battle with the Calculator and his new Fearsome Five go straight to Teen Titans #s 72-73.

For more on Supergirl’s childhood with Thara Ak-Var and her resentment of her former friend’s failure to protect her father, as mentioned this issue, see last week’s Superman Secret Files 2009 #1.

Continuity Corner: Markovia, the location where the U.S. President is about to sign the free trade agreement, is the small European country that Geo-Force of the Outsiders hails from.

Notes: The President is said to be going to Markovia to sign a "war treaty" at the beginning of the issue. By the end of the story it is a "free trade agreement" he is about to put his name to which is a very different thing altogether!

Questions: Will Codename: Assassin be set on Jimmy Olsen? Is the President’s fate being played with by 7734 to start a war with New Krypton? Will Zod survive? When will Lois finally accept her sister’s "death" was Lucy's own fault and not that of Supergirl’s?

Power Girl #4

After a visit to the movies Power Girl and Terra have to face an invasion of New York by Zoraida the Elf Queen and her army of mythical creatures. Zoraida turns out to be a 16-year-old girl powered by a magical book who simply wants to solve Earth’s ecological problems. PG brings an end to the problem by confiscating the book and offering her a job. Later Kara looks at a new apartment just as something extra-terrestrial comes hurtling down from the heavens...

The Bigger Picture: Power Girl and Terra’s friendship began in issue #4 of the recent Terra miniseries.

Zoraida's confiscated magical book is placed in the trophy room of the Justice Society of America.

The flaming object crashing to Earth at the end of the issue may well be the spaceship of the party-loving alien girls seen in Power Girl #3.

Continuity Corner: Seen relieving itself on a colleague’s coat this issue, Power Girl’s cat, or "the Cat from Heck", first appeared in Justice League America #37 (April 1990) and became a supporting character in the Giffen/DeMatteis League titles.

However, as much as her current feline seems to resemble that cat in temperament, its physical similarities are minimal. The JL cat was yellow, scrawny and missing its right eye. Is this change an obscure result of a Superboy punch perhaps?

Notes: The cast of sitcom The Big Bang Theory make a brief cameo in the movie theater scene.

Questions: How did Diane Dorst get hold of the book that transformed her into Zoraida and what is its origin? Is that some ominous foreshadowing concerning the Star Generator PG’s company are working on? How long until Kara’s employee Dexter works out that she and Power Girl are one and the same? Is that really the same cat from the JL embassy?

Superman Annual #14

Legion of Super-Heroes "exile" Tellus leaves a pair of crystals for Mon-El that provide us with the definitive take on Daxam’s origins in current continuity. One of the most pertinent parts of this back story is the revelation that Daxam was a Kryptonian colony founded by Dax-Am, an explorer of other worlds during Krypton’s "Great Inquiry". Ironically, the notoriously xenophobic Daxamites are actually a hybrid race mixing Kryptonian and native Daxamite gene pools (among others). Their bigotry was influenced by the Kryptonian Eradicator which paved the way for the pure blood-advocating Sorrow Cult to establish itself as a major influence on the planet.

Earlier in their history they did briefly expand their influence across the universe and here we learn that Mon-El’s lineage has a surprising twist to it. His ancestor Bal Gand was impregnated by an Earthman, introducing human genetic codes to the Daxam race.

The Bigger Picture: The crystals that give Mon-El the account of his homeworld’s past are the ones that Sodam Yat recently gave to Legionnaire Tellus in Superman #690.

We briefly see Mon-El taking out a number of super-villains in his role as Metropolis’s protector this issue including Captain Nazi, Tar Pit and (possibly) Goldface.

This story leads into Action Comics Annual #10 (2007) which gave us the first account of Mon-El’s initial encounter with Clark Kent on New Earth a couple of years back (which in turn was retelling the story from June 1961's Superboy #89).

            

Continuity Corner: Some of the planets that the Daxamites visited in the past include Karna (home of the Omega Men’s Felicity and Tigorr), Dryad (home of the Legion’s Blok), Xudar (birthplace of the Green Lantern Corps’ Tomar-Re) and Kalanor (JLA villain Despero’s planet of origin).

The Kryptonian astronomer Val-Or first discovered Daxam. Valor, of course, was the name Mon-El went by in the early ‘90s as seen in the 23-issue Valor series.

The Brave and the Bold #26

Milestone character David Kim, star of the Xombi series in the ‘90s, teams with the Spectre to put an end to the ghost of serial killer Raymond Walker. Although the Spectre killed Walker, in retribution for his earthly sins, his spirit has lived on and begun destroying the inhabitants of Dakota’s supernatural plane. Despite being told by his heavenly source that he cannot get involved, the Spectre is ultimately persuaded to put an end to Walker's immortal essence once and for all...

The Bigger Picture: David Kim made his first appearance (kind of) on the merged Milestone/New Earth reality in Justice League of America #s 25-26 as the Green Lantern of the storyteller god Anansi’s parallel Earth.

The explanation as to how the Milestone reality folded into the DC Uinverse was given in Justice League of America # 34.

Continuity Corner: David Kim was the star of the 1994-1996 Milestone book Xombi. This title cornered the supernatural side of the Milestone universe. Kim was the inventor of a "nanobot virus" that ended up being administered to him after he was gravely injured in a robbery attempt. As mentioned in this issue, his lab assistant Kelly Sanborne was killed as a result – although injecting him with the virus saved Kim, the nanomachines used Kelly’s body as the resource to heal him!

Julian Parker and Dalila Rose, who both appear here, were supporting characters in the original Milestone run and Xombi was written by John Rozum who returns to the character in this issue of B&B. This is the first appearance of Kim in his "Xombi" incarnation in the DCU but not, as mentioned above, David Kim’s debut with the DC heroes.

               

Questions: What repercussions will there be for the Spectre after he disobeyed his strict instructions to ignore the ghost of Raymond Walker? Will Xombi and the Spectre meet again and where will Xombi pop up next in the DCU?

Rounding up... In Justice League of America #36 Roulette and Amos Fortune continue their wager pitting the JLA against the Royal Flush Gang in a "Winner takes all" scenario. In flashback we also watch Fortune’s revised origin in current continuity, learn that the Royal Flush Gang is now a massive national organization with resources that even Intergang fears and there’s also a tie to last week’s Titans #16 wherein Starfire turned down Vixen’s offer of League membership.

There’s more PR manipulation of the Super Young Team’s split in Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance #4 as we discover the conspiracy in Japan goes far deeper than we could have imagined. Finally, in The Red Circle: The Web #1, witness the introduction of the latest revamped Archie hero – John Raymond, a character whose use of the Internet to decide his cases takes his super-heroics firmly into the 21st Century...

Fanboy Moment of the Week

My first choice when reading through this week’s releases was the triumphant return of the Penguin’s top hat, tails and umbrella incarnation. I like my Oswald Cobblepot as a uniquely grotesque and deceptively eccentric villain rather than just another Kingpin-wannabe after all!

However, I want to shine the spotlight, instead, on a plea from Marv Wolfman following the announcement this week of Vigilante's cancellation with #12. Marv is rallying the troops on the DC Message Boards to save the book. Vigilante has evolved into one of the best "super-hero" titles DC is currently putting out – a complex, twisting crime thriller that deserves a longer run. Think about what Marv says and please consider giving the book some belated appreciation. Let’s support a little diversity in the DCU people!

We’ll be back at the weekend with our next roundup of DCU titles. Don’t forget commentary can be left below by simply joining the BF community. Thanks for reading!

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Comments

  • BriGuy

    BriGuy Aug 24, 2009 at 11:15pm

    Korugar is Sinestro's home planet.

  • Eric Lindberg

    Eric Lindberg Aug 25, 2009 at 2:10am

    Yeah, Despero's homeworld is Kalanor.

  • Bart Croonenborghs

    Bart Croonenborghs Aug 25, 2009 at 3:10am

    You know, this version of 'DC goes zombie' looks very tiring and feels very bland (says he without having read a single book). I was discussing this with my brother Rob in the weekend who is more of a Marvel lackey (heheh), I had to admit that DC is just ... I don't know ... they seem to keep repeating themselve in the regular comics. The most exciting thing for me was Wednesday Comics and the almost-free-from-continuity Morrison Batman. The rest just seems a tad depressing though that Vigilante comic looks cool ... but Marv Wolfman, you never know upfront what you're going to get. Oh well, I'll try 'The Great Ten' I guess because the concept and the characters look cool. As long as it is not another 'FC Aftermath: Dance' ... alright, I am ventilated. Thank you.

  • Andy Oliver

    Andy Oliver Aug 25, 2009 at 8:46am

    Korugar/Kalanor oversight corrected. Thanks. Bart - I've been enjoying BLACKEST NIGHT so far. It has that epic feel that, ironically, FINAL CRISIS didn't have. Whether I will still be saying that several months down the line remains to be seen. By Christmas I may well be a little tired of the whole zombie schtick. We shall see. As for VIGILANTE it's been some of Marv Wolfman's best stuff in a long, long while. I suspect the crossover with the Titans family of books probably derailed it a little which is a shame.

  • BriGuy

    BriGuy Aug 27, 2009 at 8:51pm

    Marv seems to be very proud of the book since #7, so if you think it looks cool, grab it from there and see what you think.

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