The teaser for the forthcoming Justice Society of America Annual arrived, and it’s big. The Alex Ross art showcases some very familiar faces to long-time readers of the DCU. For some of the newer readers, though, they may not catch the significance of some of the cameos. Let’s do a quick run-down:
First: Earth-2. What?: Even the newest readers know about the DC Multiverse. At one point, there were many, many parallel worlds. Earth-1 was the DCU mainstream prior to the original Crisis on Infinite Earths; Earth-2 was the world that was the home to the Justice Society of America and Infinity Inc. (mostly comprised of their children and wards). After Crisis, five Earths and their universes (1, 2, X, S, and 4) merged to become one consistent DC continuity.
(See my Elseworlds page for details about Hypertime and the Multiverse http://www.comicvine.com/elseworlds/46699/)
After the events of 52, the Multiverse is again divided; one of the worlds, apparently, is again Earth-2.
Power Girl is significant here because of her complicated history. In fact, I once did a lengthy bit of coverage on it here
Essentially, Power Girl was Earth-2 Superman’s cousin, and lived on Earth-2 prior to the merge. Post-Crisis, it was deemed that Superman would be the only Kryptonian, and much was done to give Power Girl a different origin. By the time Infinite Crisis rolled around, Geoff Johns and the gang, knowing that the Multiverse was coming back, simply decided to reveal that she was still good ole’ Power Girl from Earth-2. As Buckshot might say, “She is who we thought she was!”
Extreme Top Right: Just behind the “Johns”, we see Hawkgirl. Granted, at that point, the blurring effect of the image’s edge comes into play, and we can’t see if that’s the present, “New Earth” Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders) or the original Earth-2 Hawkgirl. The original Hawks were reincarnated from an Egyptian prince and princess, fated to live through their tragic love story throughout history. The image looks to me like the "New Earth" Hawkgirl, but maybe someone with sharper eyes can clarify that?
Extreme Top Middle: The winged fellow there is Northwind. One of the founders of the original Infinity Inc. Northwind was the son of a human father and a mother from a race of bird-like people that Hawkman and Hawkgirl had befriended. Northwind was close to the Hawks and had a bit of siblingesque rivalry with their son, Hector Hall. On “New Earth”, Norda (his real name) has undergone a mutation to take on a more Hawkish appearance, perhaps suggesting the Hawkgod who appears in Kingdom Come.
In Mid-Air, left to right:
The original Dr. Fate, Kent Nelson
The original Starman, Ted Knight
An elderly Johnny Thunder and the original Thunderbolt of Johnny Thunder
The original Hawkman, Carter Hall (wearing the cowl that he adopted later).
Johnny Thunder is a bit incongruous. He was still somewhat vital by that point (witness JLA #219-220 and Crisis); I'm curious to see why he would appear aged.
Standing, left to right:
Fury II, Lyta Trevor-Hall
The original Wildcat, Ted Grant
The Silver Scarab, Hector Hall
The adult Robin of Earth-2, Dick Grayson
Nuklon, Albert Rothstein
The Huntress of Earth-2, Helena Wayne
Dr. Midnight (Beth Chapel of Infinity Inc; yes, she spelled it differently)
The original Atom, Al Pratt, in his second outfit.
Okay, deep breath... It’s important to remember at this point that these aren’t all necessarily the characters that we knew as the Earth-2 heroes back in the day. Many of those heroes have aged or changed identities or died on post-Crisis or “New” Earth. However, they do appear to be a revitalization of the characters as they appeared on Earth-2 in the DCU circa 1985.
That is further supported by certain pieces of evidence:
Hector is Silver Scarab and not Dr. Fate III
Dr. Midnight is still alive (she was killed by Eclipso in his series in the early ‘90s)
Starman and the Atom are still alive (having died in the James Robinson Starman series and Zero Hour respectively)
Nuklon has his original appearance and mask (he later become Atom-Smasher)
The original Star-Spangled Kid (later known as Skyman). It is his arm framing the left side of the picture, covered in stars.
The glowing bright green hand seen just next to Hawkman's head (belonging to Jade i'm guessing, Alan Scott's daughter)
The background is a bit weird, being dark in parts and light in others. I think it is The Spectre, standing gigantically behind them all, his body turned to the left, and the dark parts are his cape (you can see what seems to be his collar just above the word "Geoff")."
The question then becomes: what will the JSA of the present DCU do when confronted with these past versions of themselves, their children, or friends long dead?