The New 52's Next Wave: Who Should Get a Title?

Trinity-of-Sin-DC-Comics-New-52-Pandora-Phantom-Stranger-The-QuestionIt's that time again! DC Comics have cancelled four titles in their New 52 lineup and, if tradition holds, will replace them with four new titles soon after.

Now, there have been plenty of rumors that September will be another "event" month, a la the Zero Month from last year, so that could buy the publisher some time in developing properties, meaning that nothing new would need to launch until October. Could it be that we won't get to know exactly what's up until Comic Con?

Well, probably not. DC tends to trot out their solicitations earlier than other publishers do and, unless there's something truly massive hitting in October, we'll probably hear about it before the second week in July. But what might the titles be? We've got some ideas/fantasies.

Trinity of Sin: The Question

Okay, so let's just get this one right out of the way. We'd all like to see how exactly The Question that we know and love fits into the New 52, where he's suddenly got magical, godlike powers.

We'll likely get a taste of that in the Trinity War storyline, but with two Trinity of Sin... titles on the market already, it seems pretty obvious that we should expect a third one. Right?

Booster Gold Volume 2Booster Gold

Once again, we don't know exactly what they've got planned for Booster, but it seems to be something big. Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, currently writing the character in All-Star Western, have hinted that there are plans for him at DC beyond this story arc.

Meanwhile, he's been featured in the hot digital-first series Smallville Season Eleven, his TV series is apparently still moving forward and there's an Easter egg in Man of Steel that could hint at his existence in the same cinematic universe as Superman inhabits.

Really, when you add all of that up, it seems pretty unlikely they won't try and give him another shot, right?

Bear in mind, also, that while his title was just cancelled at the start of the New 52, it lasted for 49 issues (including a #0 and #1,000,000) before it came to a close--much longer than, say, Firestorm did the last time the character had a solo series. That title, which ran for 35 issues before it ended in 2007--and didn't have much more of a break before relaunching in the New 52 than Booster would have.

Manhunter_KateSpencerManhunter

This one seemed like a long shot not so long ago, given the fact that Kate Spencer's backstory leans so heavily on the history of the (pre-Flashpoint) DC Universe...

...but not long ago, Batwoman revealed that elements of that backstory still exist--or at least, they can when needed. Cameron Chase's parental backstory doesn't make a ton of sense in the timeline of the New 52, but it's there because it makes sense for the character.

Given that no previous version of Manhunter has taken hold with fans anytime recently in the way that Marc Andreyko's take did, it's arguable that she, like Jaime Reyes, can be inserted into the world of the New 52 as the first/only Manhunter without breaking too many hearts.

Gen 13

A team made up of teen metahumans who were essentially kidnapped by a shadowy, governmental organization and forced to “activate” their powers, it later turned out that Gen 13 had ties to the mysterious Team 7 – a book that came later in WildStorm but which has been published for some time now as a flashback title in the New 52. With that book being cancelled, WildStorm properties are basically extinct in the New 52 except for StormWatch.

You know what else is basically extinct? the Young Justice line. This would add to it in a meaningful way.

Also, short of Teen Titans, Gen 13 is probably the most recognizable brand of “teen” superteam that DC owns. The fact that it hasn’t been used yet is frankly a bit shocking.

Icon or Hardware

After Static Shock failed to connect with audiences, DC hasn't picked up another Milestone character yet. While Xombi is probably off the board due to bad blood with the character's creator (who publicly fell out with the publisher after the cancellation of Xombi volume 2 and creative conflicts on Static Shock), both Icon and Hardware are characters with a lot of potential who have been underused since the collapse of the Milestone line.

Red Robin

Once again–the Batman banner is DC’s strongest and broadest right now, but one of the characters who doesn’t currently have his own title is Tim Drake–the Robin who supported his own title for more than 20 years.

This one’s a no-brainer, folks, especially after the death of Damian Wayne and the assumption that we won't see another Robin right away.

Lois LaneLois Lane

One of the things that modern comics have lost is the supporting cast, which is a shame. They lend the larger-than-life protagonists of superhero adventure comics a kind of grounding in reality that makes them seem more vulnerable and relatable, and so heightens the drama when those characters are in trouble.

Combine that with Gotham Central–one of the best books of the last 20 years at DC, which followed the impact of superheroes on everyday cops trying to do their job in the worst, most violent city in the world, and you have a possibility for a genre-bending look at journalism, sensationalism and superheroics in the New 52. Imagine a Daily Planet-centric book starring Lois Lane…maybe even one that doesn’t have to have “Superman’s Girl Friend” in the title! Dealing with the never-ending press of super-science, magic and of a job where the globe could be knocked off the top of your building at any given moment by a rampaging monster has to be a fascinating and terrifying job. Why not let the readers in on that?

A little genre diversity doesn’t hurt, either…