DC's Relaunch: Preparing For a Storm?

Flashpoint's Mystery Woman

Last week's Stormwatch #1 raised an interesting question: How much do the newly-transplanted WildStorm characters have to do with whatever impending event is being heralded by the mysterious, hooded woman whose first appearance at the end of Flaspoint #5 has kicked off hidden cameos in every new #1.

Her cryptic warning in Flashpoint #5 was that she was going to merge DC's "three worlds" (DC Universe, Vertigo and WildStorm) as a means of strengthening the universe. The splintered timelines had been weakened "for their impending arrival," she explained, insofar as that counts as an explanation.

Still, the description has led to a lot of speculation: Whose arrival? My personal pet theory is that they merged the three worlds to guard against the arrival of a fourth world--or, more accurately, The Fourth World. That seems to hold little water, though, as Darkseid is the apparent antagonist in the first arc of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee's Justice League, which takes place five years in the past, while the hooded woman appears in stories that take place in the present day.

Back to Stormwatch: Something huge is coming, Stormwatch's Harry Tanner is coming. It's connected to a horn which will apparently be sounded in Superman #1. He's being warned by a massive eyeball that refers to itself as The Scourge of Worlds. Its function, it claims, is "to make your world stronger, through devastation." Which in itself is the kind of absurd logic you often expect to hear from a comic book villain, especially one called the Scourge of Worlds. But when it carries onto the next page, things start to sound very familiar:

The Scourge of Worlds claims that its function is to "arrive long before it, to try to make the worlds strong enough to fight it."

This could, of course, be a coincidence but it just seems that the wording is very precise.