52 Geek-Out: DCU Part 4

[continued from yesterday]


Writer: Landry Q. Walker / Artist: Zander Cannon

While numerous extraterrestrials have appeared on Earth following Superman’s revelation to the world, none have concerned Kal-El more, in both senses of the word, than a girl named Kara. She claims to be the sole survivor of a Kryptonian lunar colony known as Argon, wiped out in the wake of Krypton’s destruction, but there’s no mention of Argon in what little information Superman has of his birthplace and the memory tapes in her spacecraft are Kara’s only evidence. Americans, Amazons, and even Atlanteans — most especially her occasional boyfriend — have embraced her, yet for all her charm questions about Supergirl remain. Landry Q. Walker provided a delightful spin on Kara Zor-El in Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade; now he transfers to the brand-new DC Universe proper to teach some revised history. The Replacement God creator and Top Ten artist Zander Cannon handles the interior art with covers illustrated by Age of Bronze’s Eric Shanower.

Writer: Barbara Randall / Artist: Karl Kerschl

After several years operating alone and alongside one or both of a certain Dynamic Duo, Barbara Gordon finds herself at a crossroads. The original Robin has left the roost, Batman’s network of operatives has grown, and Barbara’s father, consumed as ever by his duties as police commissioner, is pushing her to experience the wider world. Does she strike out on her own or expend still more blood, sweat, and tears on the streets of Gotham City? Will she train a successor? Can she avoid, if she so chooses, adopting the mantle of Batwoman? Barbara Randall [Marvel’s Ultragirl, CrossGen’s Meridian], who wrote the last chapter in Barbara Gordon’s career as Batgirl before Batman: The Killing Joke, takes the character down a different path illustrated by the impeccable Karl Kerschl [Majestic, Teen Titans: Year One]. Kerschl, Scary Godmother’s sublime Jill Thompson, and others provide the covers.

Writer: John Rogers / Artist: Chris Samnee

It hasn’t been easy for Tim Drake to follow in Dick Grayson’s boots as the Batman’s sidekick, Robin — especially without the public deducing that Gotham’s Dark Knight is actually their guardian Bruce Wayne. Where the original Boy Wonder had the grace of his namesake and led with his gut, Batman’s new partner is less intuitively physical and more cerebral; he’s also more apt to run Wayne Industries when he grows up, if he doesn’t strike it rich on his own with some killer app first, ditching the costumed-crimefighter life altogether. Chris Samnee [Marvel’s Thor: The Mighty Avenger] brings his rich simplicity to the scripts of John Rogers [Blue Beetle], with the popular pairing of Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato on covers.

Night Girl
Writer: Tania del Rio / Artist: Marcio Takara, et al.

Her position as a scientific consultant to the international superhero community
led to Kimiyo Hoshi joining their number as Doctor Light. But what on Earth has brought about her daughter’s ability to manifest a variety of powers in near-total darkness? Tsukiko Hoshi totally has no idea and mostly doesn’t care; she just doesn’t want her excellent adventures as Night Girl to end. Tania del Rio, fresh off an epic run on Archie’s Sabrina the Teenage Witch, transfers to the DC Universe with the perfect access point for kids of all ages. Marcio Takara of Boom!’s The Incredibles and Incorruptible is the lead interior artist, while covers and excerpts from Tsukiko’s diary are handled by the likes of Andi Watson, Chynna Clugston, and Elizabeth Watasin.

Blue Beetle
Writers: Art Baltazaar & Franco / Artist: Mike Norton

The grand tradition of hard-luck high-school superheroes continues in the new DC Universe as Jaime Reyes juggles hitting the books, flipping burgers, being a big brother, becoming a boyfriend, and dealing with the symbiotic scarab that transforms him into The Blue Beetle. In fact the all-purpose, adaptable armor may not even be from his universe, but whether it’s magical or metamechanical he’s going to have to expand his horizons to find out — and the sooner he does, the better, because something or someone out there is definitely coming for him. Art Baltazar & Franco of Tiny Titans fame partner again with Young Justice’s Mike Norton under covers from Eric Canete.

Thunder and Lightning
Writer: Tony Isabella / Artists: Denys Cowan & Bill Sienkiewicz

Olympic champion turned schoolteacher Jefferson Pierce got the opportunity to make an even greater difference thanks to gadgetry that granted him augmented strength and amazing electrical powers. Now those powers have somehow been transferred to his teenage daughters, Anissa and Jennifer, making Jeff’s most important role in life even more complicated. Black Lightning creator Tony Isabella [DC’s Hawkman, Marvel’s Ghost Rider] returns to DC to chronicle this multigenerational tale drawn by the classic Question cover duo of Denys Cowan & Bill Sienkiewicz. Dave Johnson [100 Bullets] tops things off.

Intro | DCU Part 1 | DCU Part 2 | Multiverse | DCU Part 3
| DCU Part 4 | DCU Part 5 | DCU Part 6 | Index


  1. Aw, seriously, I need to stop reading these all in one go; it just makes me all the more angry we're not getting these titles.

    Kudos for coming up with a setup that would make me interested in Black Lightening for the first time ever. And I like that you left both Blue Beetle and Robin more or less as they are; two of my favorite characters who work pretty well already.

  2. Once again these are all winners, but Night Girl might be the single greatest premise you've thrown out there (as well as the one you've taken the most liberties with, or created the most from whole cloth). I want this for my daughters to put alongside Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures — which it's a crime DC isn't continuing. How sad, though, that this post is more diverse that the entire actual New 52 scheme...


  3. I'm grateful to you both for commenting, especially with such compliments.

    Teebore — I think you'd like #1-8 of the mid-'90s Black Lightning run written by Tony Isabella and drawn by Eddy Newell. DC probably won't be putting out a collection anytime soon, but the issues are well worth tracking down. #5 in particular is a standout and Brian Cronin posted an appreciation recently at CBR that might whet your appetite if you don't mind story-specific spoilers. Full disclosure: Tony was the first creator I ever interviewed as a budding journalist — about this series, in fact — and I consider him a friend, albeit one (of too many) with whom I don't keep in touch as well as I should these days.