Is it going to be possible for casual readers to figure out the DC universe after this? It all looks utterly incomprehensible to someone like me, who hasn’t read an issue of 52. I don’t even understand what you mean by Kal-L and Kal-El or their shields.
Nah, Kal-L’s shield had a separate red border, and the central S had a much more prominent serif. I think it’s probably just artistic variance; notice that the chest shield and cape shield don’t even precisely match. Even so, both do look a little weird; so maybe DC decided to tweak the shield design a bit to reflect the character’s subtle background changes. On the other hand, although it’s hard to make out there, Supergirl’s shield still looks like the older design. Puzzling indeed.
Obviously none of this precludes the return of either Earth-2 or Kal-L. In any case, I think he’s already slated to pop up again in Superman/Batman at some point, isn’t he?
I’m vaguely atwitter at such a major cross-title event which seems determined to embrace Jack Kirby’s Fourth World and ancillary creations on such a wide scale. This sounds like the sort of audacious, disaster-courting gambit which could turn out brilliantly if handled right, although I’m certainly not writing off ‘disaster’ by any means. Alls I can say is, they better not disrespect Jimmy Olsen, whom I still maintain has the potential to be a massively cool character in spite of all the evidence.
Interesting to see the Red Hood and Black Adam among the pantheon of heroes… The guy behind Cyborg I presume is the new OMAC, and based on the hair I expect that’s probably supposed to be Kamandi behind Guy Gardner; but who’s the kid with the vaguely Klarion-style hair behind Big Barda, next to the Spectre?
*“Yoo hoo! Here I come to save the day!” Kyle Rayner trips gaily into action! *
I’m going to put this whole post in a spoiler box, since boxing my repeated references to the plot thread (such as it is) in question would make a hash of my post, and it’s just easier.
Also, as I recompose this post multiple times, it still sounds snarky. I’m not intending to snark at you. I simply can’t figure out a way to make my point that doesn’t come across reading that way.
[spoiler]I’m not sure why so many people seem to think that ‘the Multiverse is still around’ in any way contradicts ‘the point’ of any recent DC comics.
‘[T]he last year’s worth of comics’, to the extent that it dealt with the Multiverse at all, had nothing to do with eliminating it - they’ve already DONE that event - 20 years ago, with Crisis on Infinite Earths. They didn’t need to do it again - for there to be no DC Multiverse, they just needed not to bring it back.
But, to the extent that the Multiverse plays into current, or recent comics, it’s the opposite - the Multiverse is clearly not-non-existent, although it’s not clear how New Earth will interact with the rest of the Multiverse when things finally shake out completely.
Characters from several alternate Earths are extant, and definitely still extra-universal, and Flash and JLA reference at least one alternate Earth. (Earth-2? Maybe, maybe not.) And a preview of what’s likely to be WW3 (or maybe a different 52 plot thread, or Countdown.) has several characters who appear to be extra-universal.
Also the Multiverse hardly plays into ‘the last year’s worth of comics’ at all. It’s connected strongly to InfC, Captain Atom: Armageddon, and Ion, weakly to 52 (apparently…there’ve been no real suggestions of it within the book itself, yet), and incidentally to JLA, JSA, Flash, Supergirl, Brave New World, Uncle Sam (the only BNW spin-off with any multiversal mention yet), and Green Lantern Corps - a lot of the ‘incidental’ tie-ins being via the aforementioned extra-universal characters.*
That’s 3 current limited series, 2 finished limited series, one one-shot, and 5 ongoings. Most of which make only the slightest mention of the Multiverse. With DC’s 33 (by my count) current ongoing** books, 10 or so currently running limited series**, and huge pile of recently finished limited series**, that’s barely a drop in the bucket.
Off the top of my head:
Uncle Sam (whose time on Earth-X was mentioned by Ray in the last issue)
Power Girl (whose original origin has been restored),
Kal-El from Kelly’s first Supergirl arc appears to be Earth-3’s Ultraman, from his comments on his history. (Although he’s not exactly a perfect match for either U-Man.)
Starman (Thom Kallor of the pre-Zero Hour Legion of Superheroes)
Dawnstar (Also of the pre-ZH LSH, and who hasn’t appeared yet, but has been implied to be planned for a future appearance in JSA).
Also, the late Kal-L, Lois Kent (Lois Kal-L?), and Alexander Luthor jr.
** Within the DCU, rather than Vertigo, Johnny DC, All-Star, or otherwise Out of Continuity, of course.[/spoiler]