DC Comics have been publishing a comic set in the pre-New 52 universe for nine months, it turns out.
That's the explanation being given over at Newsarama, where they've got the news that Booster Gold and the Ted Kord Blue Beetle from their fan-favorite Justice League International run from the '80s and '90s will thaw out of cryo-sleep and join Justice League 3000...and that they're from that timeline.
In the version of the pre-New 52 timeline that we have here, Ted Kord was never shot in the head, Maxwell Lord never went evil and basically it's all Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis's personal canon come to life.
"The last time we saw Beetle and Booster, we ended with, 'and they lived Bwa-ha-happily ever after,'" Giffen explained. "This is basically — look, if you want to call it a certain universe, then think of it this way: If we did another Justice League series like I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League or Formerly Known as the Justice League, this is the third one."
That's certainly something a segment of the fandom will be excited to hear. It's also not entirely without precedent in terms of its approach. In the past, DeMatteis has told me that he often imagines his and Giffen's stories to have taken place in their own kind of protective bubble, where they aren't affected or constricted by the DC Universe's main continuity.
The fact that the characters come from this world and are not visiting from an alternate earth is also interesting, in that it changes the impression the Justice League 3000 is set in the world of the New 52.
"That's right. So what does that have to say about what universe Justice League 3000 is taking place on? Maybe a universe where, if you went back and looked at Superman in the 21st Century, he might be wearing his underpants on the outside," Giffen said. "But before you get too excited, remember that in this universe, Beetle didn't get shot in the head."
Justice League 3000 #12 hits the stands in December.