In the latest issue of Green Lantern, DC teased the return of Zauriel, a former member of the Justice League who is also an angel of "The Presence," DC's non-denominal take on the Judeo-Christian God. Needless to say, that concept has not been without its share of controversy, whether it's because religious people don't like the way God is depicted in the comics, or because the existence of a single, omnipotent deity creates some confusing philosophy in terms of how gods work in the DC Universe. Created by by Grant Morrison, Howard Porter, and Mark Millar, the character first appeared in JLA #6, and joined the team after a failed invasion of Earth by a fellow angel.
Since the JLA arc was intended to use the most classic of Justice League members in an archetypal take on the super-team, Morrison learned that Hawkman was off-limits due to his complex and ever-changing backstory and muddled continuity. Zauriel was created to give the team a character with a similar power set and attitude.
During The New 52 era, Superman found himself face to face with a mutltitude of angels -- but not exactly the heavenly type, working for God and all that. Rather, Superman explained in the issue that "It's not a race of beings. The Multitude is all one thing--a single weapon with countless points aimed at us from a higher, fifth dimension." As a result, they ended up teamed with Mr. Mxyzptlk.
Not long after that, the Fifth Dimension stuff was seemingly dropped and the ties to God reinstated when Zauriel himself appeared, acting as a guide of sorts for the Phantom Stranger, who was exploring Heaven and Hell to try and find his family. At the time, it was revealed that Zauriel had a centuries-long tie to the Phantom Stranger.
He was also one of a number of magical characters who was considered (in-universe) as a replacement for Kent Nelson to wield the Helm of Fate.
In this week's Green Lantern #6, from writer Geoffrey Thorne and artists Tom Raney and Marco Santucci, Zauriel's re-emergence seems likely. There is a religious order called the Gold Centurions which is invading planets and causing chaos, and when we get a look at their backstory, a clearly Zauriel-inspired angel design plays a prominent visual role. Two of them, the original Gold Centurions, appear on the page.
Are you excited to see Zauriel come back to the DC Universe? Let us know in the comments below.