One year in, and DC’s New 52 initiative has received mixed reaction from fans and critics. While some excellent series have spun out of the relaunch, there are still a lot of unanswered questions and scores of fan-favorite creations unaccounted for. Many have rolled out slowly. Black Lightning and Blue Devil were recently announced to be returning. But some characters haven’t even been referenced and others DC has stated are simply, in their words, “benched.” Who are we still missing?
12. Scandal Savage
Scandal was the daughter of Vandal Savage and the leader of the Secret Six. Now, Kassandra Savage, a different daughter, is headlining an arc in ‘DC Comics Presents.’ Scandal, however, is still M.I.A., along with most of her teammates.
11. Detective Chimp
Y’know I was thinking that something was missing from ‘Justice League Dark’ – a talking, mystery-solving simian! In fact, many of his fellow Shadowpact members are still missing from DC’s current lineup including Rag Man, Nightshade, and Zauriel. Comic fans love talking apes! This guy needs to return sooner than later!
10. Elongated Man
For old fogies like me, DC took a turn for the darker a few years ago and it’s been a downward spiral since. And it all began with ‘Identity Crisis’ when the happy-go-lucky Elongated Man and his beloved wife Sue were torn asunder. It was revealed that she’d previously been raped by Doctor Light, then murdered by a deranged Jean Loring. Elongated Man himself then died in ‘Countdown,’ reuniting these lovers in the afterlife. DC’s undoing a lot of history. Could they possibly have the glimmer of kindness in their hearts to undo one of its darkest decisions? (Probably not.)
9. Lady Blackhawk
Zinda Blake, the rip-roaring, rootin’-tootin’ member of the Birds of Prey was sidelined in favor of the failed ‘Blackhawks’ series. Maybe if she’d been included, the book would have been more successful. This gal’s too spunky to keep down for long. Maybe now that ‘Blackhawks’ has been cancelled, she could return and rejoin the Birds?
One of the most high-profile and successful new character launches in recent years was Aqualad, a new sidekick for Aquaman. The character, the son of Aquaman’s arch enemy Black Manta and Mera’s sister Siren, was an immediate hit and quickly joined the Teen Titans and was adapted to television on ‘Young Justice.’ So where the heck is he in the current comics!?
7. The Doom Patrol
Do the Doom Patrol exist in the DC Universe? Did they? Any form of the team? With Beast Boy re-imagined in ‘The Ravagers,’ his inclusion is probably negated. But the team has been reimagined more times that I can recall, the most successful era being Grant Morrison’s bizarrely meta Vertigo series. Considering how DC has been hell-bent on keeping the Doom Patrol around, it’s surprising that they weren’t included in the relaunch. And perhaps another, dark, strange take along the lines of ‘Animal Man’ could be the key to the team finding success again.
6. Red Tornado
His creator, T.O. Morrow appeared in ‘Justice League‘, but does this noble android exist in the New 52? Please tell me Vibe isn’t going to join the big League before this stallwart hero! C’mon DC!
Element Woman has been depicted as a future member of the League. What does that mean for her inspiration, Metamorpho the Element Man? He’s been around since the sixties and served in both the Justice League and The Outsiders. He’s a pretty huge name to still be unaccounted for.
4. Heroic New Gods
Darkseid and Steppenwolf have appeared and laid seige to both Earths 1 and 2. So who will aid the heroes in standing up to them? Where are Highfather, Orion, Lightray, Big Barda, and Mister Miracle? The Forever People? Any of them? The entire planet of New Genesis appears to have blipped out of existence in the New 52.
3. The Classic Teen Titans
DC has flat out stated that Donna Troy and Wally West are “benched.” What about Tempest? Out of everything in the New 52, the Teen Titans’ history seems the most mangled. Bette “Flamebird” Kane referred to her past as a Titan and mentioned fighting Deathstroke. But that comment may be deemed out of continuity, as Deathstroke’s history is about to be re-examined in ‘Team Seven‘. Starfire and Red Arrow have also mentioned their past memberships. But Cyborg immediately went from gaining powers to serving in the Justice League. Beast Boy is just now becoming a super hero and he is dating Terra, who has not (yet?) betrayed the team. So… will DC ever clarify the team’s history? Will Donna and Wally be restored in any capacity? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
2. Renee Montoya
Montoya was a popular supporting cast member to Batman, even headlining a comic focused on the Gotham City Police Department. She was romantically linked to Kate Kane, the new Batwoman. Then she picked up the mantle of The Question after Vic Sage died, headlining her own strip. She went from a rock bottom drunk, to a confident, capable hero. A picture of her appeared in Batwoman #1. So why were the DC creators so dumbfounded when a fan asked where she was in the New 52 at Comic Con? Obviously, The Question is now a supernatural male character. But can’t Renee simply return to the role of detective? DC’s taken a lot of flack for its lack of female characters. Here, they’re letting a perfectly good one go to waste. Speaking of…
1. The Batgirls
Where are Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown? Why did DC place Barbara Gordon back in the guise of Batgirl, claiming it was because she was the most “iconic” and “recognizable”, but not do the same thing and make Dick Grayson Robin again. He’s the most recognizable and iconic Robin, after all. Also, why is it that Stephanie, also a former Robin, not included in Batman #1 alongside other former Robins, Grayson, Tim Drake and Damian Wayne? All four male ex-Robins have regular titles, including Jason Todd. There are thousands of multicolored Lanterns. There isn’t room for The Black Bat and Spoiler anywhere in the DCU? Really? (Uh, as long as it isn’t in ‘Ravagers’ or ‘Teen Titans‘. Those books are awful.)
Do you agree with this list? Are there any other characters that you are sorely missing in the New 52?