Attack of the Villains
It’s been two years since the start of Rebirth, and from what we’ve seen in Justice League of America and Supergirl, it’s clear Orlando relies on his love of ’90s villains just as much as the era’s heroes. These two titles have given us the return of many baddies from the ’90s, some of whom no one ever expected to see again.
The opening arc in Justice League of America saw the Extremists invade Earth once again. Led by Lord Havok, the team of villains was introduced in 1990’s Justice League Europe as doppelgangers of popular Marvel villains. Orlando has also pulled heavily from JLA, specifically in regards to the Grant Morrison and Howard Porter villain Prometheus. There is also the Queen of Fables, created by Gail Simone, Mark Waid and Brian Hitch in 2000, who seems to be the big bad of the series.
As part of the Emerald Empress’ attack against Supergirl, the villain recruited Magog to her cause. Remembered as a key figure from Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ seminal work Kingdom Come, DC has attempted to bring the character into continuity multiple times. He once fought Superman as a villain and was then reborn as something of a hero during Geoff Johns’ run on Justice Society of America. Now he’s back to his old ways as a bad guy, and it’s great.
2018: Expect the Unexpected
Of course, Orlando’s Justice League of America and Supergirl aren’t the only titles where the ’90s are alive and well. The writer originally gained prominence at DC for his run on Midnighter and Midnighter & Apollo, which featured several big names from old Wildstorm continuity. The series’ even featured a few obscure DC characters for good measure, including the demon Mawzir from Hitman and Neron from the 1995 Underworld Unleashed crossover.
It’s not even just ’90s characters, because Orlando hasn’t shied away from reintroducing the likes of Nikos Aegeus, Heatstroke, Silverblade and more. Now he’s expected to launch a new title called The Unexpected in 2018, featuring new version of old DC characters. As we enter the new year, Orlando seems determined to redeem DC Comics’ ‘90s line-up one obscure character at a time, and we couldn’t be having more fun watching him do so.
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