DC Comics' Free Comic Book Day Teaser: 5 Questions Raised

Ahead of tomorrow's Free Comic Book Day event, DC Comics released a high-resolution preview image [...]

Ahead of tomorrow's Free Comic Book Day event, DC Comics released a high-resolution preview image featuring Jim Lee's four-page gatefold preview for their upcoming Trinity War story. Apparently featuring a trinity of villains (or at least morally-ambiguous characters) responsible for original sin, the story will heavily feature Pandora, who stars in the DC Comics - The New 52 Free Comic Book Day Edition as well. The tableau shows the Justice League--including some new faces--facing off with one another in what seems like a DC-ized version of the Avengers vs. X-Men event. As clear that is--people beating up on each other--there were a few questions we couldn't help asking ourselves after seeing the image earlier today.

Is that...Vibe?! It certainly looks like Vibe, the former gang member with a jazzy attitude and sonic powers. A former member of the Justice League Detroit, which presumably never existed in the continuity of the New 52, Vibe's in-story death and real-world derision has never stopped him from coming back again and again--and apparently the New 52 is no exception. One has to assume that a new version of Vibe would have a modernized attitude to go with his look (no more giant swath of bare chest), and that being a part of (or at least featured in the book of) the Justice League will require him to become somewhat more formidable than he was in the old days.

What's Black Adam doing there, anyway? Okay, so Shazam is being featured in his own backup stories by Geoff Johns in the Justice League book--but so far, he hasn't actually appeared alongside the team and so it's interesting to see his oldest and most notable villain fighting with the League, in a scene that appears to be mostly just League members fighting against each other. Is he a League member?! And even stranger--what's going on with him and Deadman? I mean, a villain who's always reincarnating probably doesn't face much challenge by being killed but is it possible that he's the physical incarnation Boston Brand has chosen to use when he finally joins the League?

Could that Atom be a girl? Thanks to our friends at Newsarama for this one--the chest and hindquarters on The Atom certainly look at least vaguely female. Jim Lee has previously gone on-record saying that it will be Ryan Choi, but that certainly doesn't seem like that's the case. If it is a female, what's the deal? Is it a new character, a twist on an old one, or something even more unexpected? Certainly "Ryan" could also be a girl's name, but that wasn't in any way reflected by the character's appearance in early promotional images. the most likely answer seems to be that Ray Palmer's ex-wife, Jean Loring. Fans would probably go nuclear seeing her in the suit after what happened the last time she used Ray's powers, but obviously in the world of the New 52 it's entirely possible that Identity Crisis never happened.

What the heck is up with John Stewart's costume? John Stewart, the African-American Green Lantern famous with many fans for not wearing a mask ("I've got nothing to be ashamed of" is his basic line of logic) is going through some really rough stuff in Green Lantern Corps these days. Whether that or something else is responsible for a strange and dramatic change in his costume remains to be seen, but as soon as this image was leaked and the character appeared to be black, fans started wondering what the heck could happen to make John Stewart take a 180 on his opinion on masks. It's always possible that this isn't Stewart, but another character in the Green Lantern costume--still, what's with the costume being so radically different from what we see on the rest of the Green Lantern Corps?  And another thing--wasn't Hal Jordan the Green Lantern of the Justice League? Is it possible that his current lack of a ring is finally being reflected in Justice League?

And of course--why are the superheroes fighting? Yeah, we kind of glazed over that one in the introduction--but let's face it, this is weird. DC heroes are less prone to kicking the snot out of each other than are their Marvel counterparts, especially those on the same team. It's been a while since we saw Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman at odds--and even in Johns' Infinite Crisis they didn't actually come to blows (although Batman's "when you were dead" barb was pretty brutal). The smart money is on some or all of the Leaguers being controlled by powers beyond their ken, but who knows? One also has to assume that the Trinity War will see Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman playing a major role and if for some reason they're facing off against characters like Pandora who seem sympathetic, there could be some fighting going on over genuine disagreements regarding what's the "right" thing to do.