The "New 52" has been a strange place these past five months. Many things have remained the same yet there are so many others that are completely different. Part of the fun has been witnessing what elements of who the characters are has remained untouched and how they have evolved to fit into this new comic universe.
The idea of how the Justice League originally formed was a simple one. In fact, it was told months after their first appearance in a flashback issue. Back then, the heroes had no problem accepting each other and working together. The climate in today's DCU is different as most heroes are being hunted by the authorities.
Each month, JUSTICE LEAGUE continues to reveal new details about the characters and their early days. Some are big changes while others are more subtle and could have repercussions later. There will be some minor spoilers for JUSTICE LEAGUE #5 below so be sure to read the issue first.== TEASER ==
The Omega Effect
It's refreshing to see a "villain" that doesn't feel the need to spout off a line of dialogue in order to justify who they are or what their plan is. Darkseid's response when staring at the Flash is to simply unleash the Omega Beams. Flash immediately grabs Superman and it's a race against the beams. The idea has always been that it's virtually impossible to avoid the beams and that still pretty much is the case. What might be different this time is the effects.
The Omega Beams had the ability to vaporize or transmute matter. Here, Superman is hit by the blast and apparently is only knocked unconscious. A Parademon then takes Superman's body away for Darkseid's purposes but it's unclear why Darkseid didn't vaporize or transport Superman elsewhere.
The Flash is an Unknown Hero?
We've already seen some of this in the previous issues but we know that Flash and Green Lantern have teamed up and have a friendship. Flash isn't the type to operate in the shadows. That's more Batman's style. Yet we know that the police in Gotham are aware of Batman's existence.
When the Flash recovers after an explosion, some police officers on the scene have no idea who he is. In a world where there isn't an abundance of superheroes, you would think that the existence of the Flash would be known. We don't know much about Barry Allen's early days in Central City but apparently his heroic actions haven't made the news just yet.
Batman Reveals His identity to Hal Jordan
The members of the Justice League eventually will learn each other's secret identities. Out of all of them, you would expect Batman to guard his identity the most. Yet in the heat of the battle, while giving Green Lantern a bit of a pep talk, Batman surprises Hal (and readers) by removing his cowl and telling him who he is and why he became Batman. It was part of his bigger plan (that he formed on the fly, of course) but it shows that he now has some respect for Hal and is willing to trust him with this bit of information. Either that or he wasn't sure if he was going to survive his crazy plan.
Originally Batman's early costume was simple. It appeared to be cloth or spandex and didn't offer much in terms of protection. In the "New 52," many heroes have been wearing more of an armored-type costume. This makes sense for someone like Batman who doesn't have invulnerability. His costume has a more high-tech feel to it...except for how the Bat-emblem is attached.
In trying to create some anonymity, Batman removes his cowl and emblem. The emblem is a piece of material that can be easily peeled off the costume. The emblem was supposed to be fortified with kevlar and served as a target for armed enemies. That wasn't the case in Batman's early days now and seems to have only the purpose of being there for appearance's sake.
The big question is why would his emblem be so easily removed? It fits in perfectly for what he does next but even though he's known for always having a plan, knowing he would have to do this would be a bit much. Batman indeed always is prepared.
With the final battle between the Justice League and Darkseid about to take place, we'll have to check out the next issue to see what Geoff Johns and Jim Lee have planned and what else they will reveal.