WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Justice League #34 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Bruno Redondo, Howard Porter, Hi-Fi and Tom Napolitano, on sale now.
The Justice League extends across the entire multiverse, recruiting more and more heroes to expand the team with each story. But the newest member of the team may be the most surprising, especially given how quietly they're introduced.
The newest issue of Justice League features the DC Universe introduction of a cast member from Watchmen, who has officially joined the rest of the heroes in battle.
Justice For All
The Justice League has had to scatter across the time stream to try to gain control of the Totality. This has forced the heroes sent into the past and into the future to work with unlikely allies. While Green Lantern and Flash help form an alliance between the Justice Society and Vandal Savage, the other group ended up in the clutches of Brainiac far in the future. Using the White Dwarf Ship utilized by the Justice League beforehand, the post-apocalyptic teen hero Kamandi is able to travel the multiverse and recruit a number of heroes from across all of creation to help save Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
The assembled heroes hail from a number of classic alternate universes such as the future of Batman Beyond, the Kingdom Come and Red Son Supermen and even the multiversal Justice Incarnate included heroes such as President Calvin Ellis. They're able to help overtake Brainiac's hold on the time period and get the trapped heroes back to the present. But among the assembled heroes can be seen a surprising newcomer: tucked away in the group shot of the arriving multiversal team appears to be Daniel Dreiberg, aka Nite Owl.
Just A Man In A Mask
Written by Alan Moore with art by Dave Gibbons, Watchmen has become a seminal comic book. The story focused on a group of former superheroes who try to adapt to an apparent conspiracy targeting them. Only one of them, the seemingly all-powerful Doctor Manhattan, actually possessed any superheroic abilities. The rest of the group were humans trying to deal with an increasingly dark world.
Arguably the most sympathetic was Daniel, a former superhero fan who'd eventually assumed the mantle of Nite Owl from the World War II-era hero Mason Hollis. However, when superheroes were outlawed he stepped down. Years later, Daniel (along with former allies like Walter Kovacs aka Rorschach and Laurie Jupiter aka Silk Spectre) learned of the potential conspiracy being hatched around the world.
At that point, Daniel takes back the mantle of Nite Owl and begins a romantic relationship with Spectre. But after learning the true extent of Ozymandias' plans to "save the world" by attacking it, he and Silk Spectre give up their alter egos once more and run away together to start a mundane but happy life. Neither of them has appeared in the DC multiverse, as Watchmen existed outside of the other worlds created by DC. However, recent events have changed all that and opened the door for Nite Owl to make the transition to the larger DC Universe.
Who Watches The Watchmen
Doomsday Clock has revealed that survivors from the Watchmen universe have made the transition to the DC Universe. Specifically, Doctor Manhattan arrived in the core continuity and altered the course of history to create the New 52 era. Eventually, Ozymandias and a handful of agents made the leap to the core DC Universe, too, to try and find Manhattan. Notably, neither Daniel nor Laurie have actually appeared at any point in the story. The only mention of them so far was the revelation that they were the adopted parents to the son of Mime and Marionette.
But seeing Nite Owl among the assembled multiversal heroes suggests that he and his wife may be returning to their superheroic ways following the events of Doomsday Clock. It's even likely that Doomsday Clock (which is set to end with the upcoming twelfth issue) will leave the door open for more crossovers between Watchmen and other DC titles.
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