In 2011, DC Comics began its line-wide New 52 reboot, launching 52 new #1 issues in a new continuity that featured many of the same DC characters, but with a number of changes. Some heroes were younger, some had new origins and altered natures, but most of the biggest players in the DCU were still around. However, more than a full year after the launch of DC’s publishing initiative, there are still a number of noticeably absent pre-New 52 characters.
Last week, CBR ran a poll featuring ten of the characters we’ve yet to see in the New 52, asking which one was your top pick for DC to introduce in 2013. Check out the full rundown below to discover where Stephanie Brown, Wally West, Ted Kord, Majestic and the rest ranked.
10. Jackson King (1.03%)
In the Wildstorm universe, Isaiah King gained incredible power due to radiation from a flying comet. Along with being driven insane, Isaiah passed superpowers onto his children Jackson and Malcolm. Years later, under the name Batallion, Jackson King led Stormwatch Prime, the U.N. superhuman emergency response team. He acted as a field leader before taking on the position of Weatherman, coordinating the different Stormwatch teams and battling in political arenas in order to make sure no one stopped him from doing his job.
There is no one like Jackson King currently in New 52, and a military trained superhuman with political savvy and a never-say-die attitude would be a great DCU addition. It’s a wonder we haven’t already learned that King is the secret point man of the rebooted Stormwatch, making sure the team’s activities are generally kept secret from those who would interfere. Many older Stormwatch fans have been wondering why he hasn’t been involved with the group at all so far.
9. Jacob Marlowe (1.22%)
Lord Emp was a Kheran warrior who crashed on Earth alongside Lord Majestros. Whereas Mr. Majestic fought evil directly and became very open with his heroic activities, Emp preferred to orchestrate things from the shadows, acting through agents and hiding his true power from enemies and most allies. In modern times, he took the name Jacob Marlowe and founded the Halo Corporation, using its vast resource to fund the WildC.A.T.s as his warriors against the Daemonites.
If the Daemonites are such a large threat in the New 52, why haven’t they taken over Earth, already? This could be explained by bringing back Marlowe as the man responsible for keeping these alien baddies from winning for centuries. A secret organizer who would not be intimidated by Superman, Batman or Stormwatch, Marlowe could prove to be quite the anti-hero. And while he’s at it, perhaps he could arrange that WildC.A.T.s reunion many have been clamoring for.
8. Majestic (3.08%)
A powerful alien warrior with a lifespan of several millennia, Lord Majestros was stranded on Earth alongside other men and women of the planet Khera. Majestros spent the next few thousand years fighting the alien Daemonites, long-time enemies of his people, and evil wherever he found it. By the 20th century he began acting publicly as a superhero, under the name “Mr. Majestic” and helped save the planet on multiple occasions.
A number of Wildstorm characters have found new, important roles in the New 52. We’ve seen a few of the WildC.A.T.s show up, and the Daemonites are now a formidable force that have even kept Superman on his toes. This begs the question, why isn’t the biggest, most powerful Daemonite enemy back on the board? More alien than Apollo, more militaristic than Superman,Â Majestic would be a unique force in the New 52 and it would be interesting to see him clash with teams like the Justice League and Stormwatch.
7. Aqualad (5.35%)
Held in suspicion due to the color of his eyes, Garth found acceptance with Aquaman, becoming his protege, Aqualad. A founding member of the Teen Titans, he grew to become the mystical warrior Tempest, one of Atlantis’ great protectors. Later on, Aquaman met Jackson Hyde, a young man able to discharge electricity and reshape water into weapons and constructs. The son of Aquaman’s arch-enemy Black Manta, Jackson follows the hero’s path while also figuring out his place in the world. Jackson himself was based on a version of Aqualad starring in the popular “Young Justice” cartoon, who was raised in Atlantis and named Kaldur’ahm.
In the New 52, Garth has been mentioned a few times but has not yet been seen. If he exists in the New 52 continuity, it would be nice to see him as an aquatic hero of a different style. Likewise, bringing back Jackson as Black Manta’s son and Aquaman’s protege would be interesting given that writer Geoff Johns has increased the bitter rivalry between the two enemies by having the hero be responsible for the death of the villain’s father. Jackson could also bring in fans of the “Young Justice” cartoon — perhaps in the New 52, we’ll discover that the young hero’s real name is Kaldur and “Jackson Hyde” is just his surface world alias.
6. Ralph and Sue Dibny (9.82%)
With a super-concentrated extract of the rare gingo fruit (an ingredient of the popular Gingold soda), and thanks to some tricks with chemistry, Ralph Dibny developed a chemical that gave him super-elasticity. But the Elongated Man didn’t rely on powers to solve crime as much as his keen detective skills. With deductive reasoning to rival Batman, Ralph was a smiling crime-fighter who often partnered with Barry Allen before marrying his lovely wife Sue. Together, Ralph and Sue were the superhero equivalent of Nick and Nora, catching criminals, aiding the Justice League and cracking everyone up with the banter that comes from two people who never get tired of each other’s company.
Though they were both killed off in the old continuity, this is a new universe. A happy couple that solves crimes together with smarts, wit and super powers? That type of comic could bring in a lot of readers who enjoy high-flying capers and just aren’t into their detectives being dark and disturbed. A series featuring them could be a bright spot of fun in DC Comics. You could also throw in some romantic comedy elements by having them be two single people who fall for each other as they solve mysteries together, like “Castle,” if Richard Castle were stretchy!
4. TIE – Renee Montoya (10.36%)
Introduced as a Gotham City cop, Renee Montoya gained many fans and rose through the ranks, acting heroically when Gotham was declared a No Man’s Land and becoming a detective. After gaining more fans as a cast member of Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker’s “Gotham Central,” Renee became an ally to Vic Sage AKA The Question during a time when she felt she’d lost her way. Vic helped Renee regain her sense of self and then, following his death, she took on the mantle of the Question.
In the New 52, a remark in “Batwoman” alarmed many fans by implying that Renee might be dead in the new continuity. For many, Renee represented a character not often seen in the role of superhero, being both a Latina and openly gay. Even if that isn’t a factor, many feel that she is a tough as nails character who brought a different perspective to Gotham and the vigilante life due to her past as a cop. It could be refreshing to see a non-Bat themed vigilante in Gotham, or maybe she’ll open up a detective agency in Hub City alongside Ted Kord.
4. TIE – Donna Troy (10.36%)
Joining the Teen Titans soon after its inception, Donna Troy was the protege and adopted little sister of Wonder Woman (as well as her magically-created clone, depending on which origin story you follow). A formidable force in her own right,Â she became leader of the Titans and grew out of the Wonder Girl role, leaving it be taken up later by young hero Cassie Sandsmark. Donna fought evil across the multiverse and even filled in as Wonder Woman for several months.
The New 52 has given us new, harsher versions of Diana and Cassie, but many fans still wish to see Donna return, perhaps as a hero whose compassion and down-to-Earth attitudes could set her apart from Wonder Woman and the current Wonder Girl. It would be nice if she were to spend some time with the current Teen Titans and forge them into a true team of heroes.
3. Ted Kord (11.56%)
Dan Garret was the original Blue Beetle, a costumed hero aided by superhuman powers. When he died, his friend and former pupil Ted Kord, an inventor, decided to continue the legacy. Building specialized weapons and undergoing intense physical training, Ted fought crime not just on his own but as a member of the Justice League. He also had quite a few misadventures with Booster Gold. Sadly, Ted was ultimately murdered by one-time friend and ally Maxwell Lord, leading to Jaime Reyes becoming the new Blue Beetle.
As far as many are concerned, Ted’s death simply isn’t enough to explain his absence in the New 52. Even if it weren’t for the fact that many superheroes have been resurrected over the years, sometimes literally, the current DC Universe is a place with with a different history than we’ve read in the past. The events that surrounded Ted Kord’s death have been erased from this continuity, so why can’t he be kicking around now, too? Even if Jaime remains the Blue Beetle, Ted could certainly have his place as as the previous Beetle in flashback tales.
2. Stephanie Brown (17.23%)
Some superheroes are motivated by altruism, others, by vengeance. For Stephanie Brown, you could add teenage rebellion to the list. Her father was the criminal Cluemaster, who taunted police in a style reminiscent of the Riddler. In response, Steph helped thwart her father’s crimes as the Spoiler and worked with Batman and Robin to bring him to justice. She kept up the superhero gig, not just to snub her father but because it was the right thing to do. Over the years, she temporarily assumed the role of Robin and was later entrusted with the mantle of Batgirl. Stephanie didn’t want to be yet another dark, frightening vigilante in Gotham, choosing instead to be an optimistic symbol of hope.
Since the New 52 began, Steph made one appearance in “Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes!” Many Bat-fans think she needs to return in full force. Even if Barbara Gordon is back to being Batgirl, Steph can step in as Spoiler again. In a universe where Robin, Red Robin, Nightwing and Red Hood all co-exist, certainly there can be room for Batgirl and Spoiler to both operate in Gotham. Considering how dark some of the Bat-books have gotten, Spoiler’s optimism and spirit could stand out more than ever before.
1. Wally West (29.98%)
In a lot of ways, the character of Wally West symbolizes the dream of many superhero fans. He was a kid who admired a superhero and then, thanks to a freak combination of chemicals and lightning, he received the same powers as his hero. Wally became Kid Flash, sidekick (and later nephew) to Barry Allen, and founding member of the Teen Titans. When Barry was killed in action, Wally became the first sidekick to fulfill the unspoken promise of taking his mentor’s place. Wally carved out his own legend, tapped directly into the source of his powers, married the insightful, driven journalist Linda Park, and had a couple of metahuman kids. He also starred in the popular “Justice League” and “Justice League Unlimited” cartoons and is a major player in Cartoon Network’s currently running “Young Justice.”
But in the New 52 reboot, Wally and his clan are nowhere to be found. His aunt Iris West is still a supporting character in Barry’s adventures and we’ve seen a cameo by another member of the West family. The clear favorite amongst CBR’s poll choices, fans continue to ask when Wally will return and why he can’t serve a role in Barry’s life when Roy Harper is running around the New 52 despite being roughly the same age as Oliver Queen and Batman has mentored at least four Robins in five years.
Stay tuned to CBR News for more on DC Comics and the New 52.
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