Yet More Questions From DC's Free Comic Book Day Release

Just prior to the release of DC Comics: The New 52 #1, DC's Free Comic Book Day offering, we [...]

Just prior to the release of DC Comics: The New 52 #1, DC's Free Comic Book Day offering, we looked at some of the questioned posed by the release of Jim Lee's four-page tease for the upcoming Trinity War. Having seen the full issue itself, not only are most of those questions still unanswered but there are a handful more that we hadn't even thought of yet. Who are the Wizards? As mentioned in our review of the issue, Geoff Johns has created a council of wizards represent various different cultures and all appear to have powers linked to Shazam and the Rock of Eternity. Coupled with the appearance of someone who appears to be Black Adam, it suggests a strong presence of the Marvel Family in DC's near-future publishing plans. But aside from characters who look like they may be reworkings of Amethyst, Isis and Black Bison, their identities are pretty unclear. Who is The Question? Vic Sage's quest for identity has long been an important aspect of his character, but the revelation that the Shazam Friends might have stripped him of it--along, probably, with powers of some kind--is an interesting wrinkle. Who might he be? Well, Pandora's sin is curiousity run amok, and The Phantom Stranger's is greed that led to his fall. Given what little we saw of the man who would become The Question, pride seems a likely candidate as his great failing. There's nobody who jumps right out as a great name as to who he might be, although I've seen some fans speculate that it could be Alexander the Great, which seems not entirely unlikely. So...The Phantom Stranger is Judas Iscariot? It appears that way, doesn't it? I always liked the idea that the Phantom Stranger should be an anonymous, mysterious figure to the fans, but it's possible writer Geoff Johns could make this work. His years-delayed revelation about the identity of Rip Hunter worked beautifully, and it's certainly better than the implication in Mark Waid's The Kingdom that he could be the (future) son of (a possible) Superman and Wonder Woman. What is the Monitor Machine? It seems as though Steve Trevor and company have been trying to keep an eye on the Multiverse, with limited success, using something called the Monitor Machine. Monitor plus Multiverse usually equals some really bad news for DC's heroes, so it may be a good thing that it wasn't working. Still, the fact that it kicked on in Pandora's presence can't be completely random and that the government was not surprised to see a Multiverse on the other end of the monitor raises some questions about what mankind knows about a subject which, until recently in the DC Universe, was pretty much unknown to all but five or six people. Who is that Green Lantern? It seems unlikely that it's John Stewart and even Batman tells the reader (in case they were wondering how he got to be Black) that he's no Hal Jordan. So who is the Green Lantern who will apparently be part of the Justice League during the Trinity War story? And why, even if Hal Jordan continues to be expelled from the Corps, would the Guardians of the Universe want another human Green Lantern? There are already more of them than any other race by a factor of at least two. What else is in The Black Room? I see the Haunted Tank and what appears to me to be a Red Lantern on the far right, as well as Psycho Pirate's mask. What else is in the Black Room? And what do these things--coupled with the Monitor Machine--mean as far as the survival of the DC Universe of old? Psycho Pirate's mask being held in a place where they experiment with Multiverse tech has to be relevant, right? I mean, he was the sole member of the DC Universe to remember pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths events for years. Where is Metamorpho? Many fans assumed that Element Woman would simply replace Metamorpho when the New 52 rolled around, and that seemed bolstered by her appearance on Justice League promotional materials. Still, the spies who chased Pandora noted that it was a man who stole the Orb of Ra, an artifact which was used to create Metamorpho. We've seen the male version of the hero (on a monitor in the background) in an issue of Justice League International, so it's clear he exists. Was it Rex Mason himself who stole the Orb, or something more sinister? And if both Metamorpho and Element Woman were created by whoever stole it, where's Rex? How much of this will actually happen? Fans who have read Johns' run on Justice Society of America and Booster Gold will remember that, after Infinite Crisis and 52, he had "coming this year..." teaser pages in the backs of those titles and only a little over half of those events ever happened, or at least happened when they were supposed to. There are an awful lot of bread crumbs to follow in this issue, and it seems likely that--like every one of Rip Hunter's chalk boards--some of them will be red herrings or, at least, abandoned before they bear fruit. Which ones will they be? Only time will tell.