Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Earth-2 Power Girl Set To Return in Deathstroke? Could This Give Us Insight Into The Futures Of The Justice Society And The Earth-2 Huntress? Spoiler's Ahead!

It has been a slow two years for Justice Society fans. With Rebirth about to come to a close, there has been very little in the way of actual stories surrounding the Justice Society's mysterious disappearance since the start of the New 52 universe. There have been hints and teases sprinkled throughout the Rebirth era, but DC has done little to communicate what Justice Society fans can expect from their return. Well, it looks like we may not have to keep waiting that much longer as one major JSAer made a surprising comeback in this week's Deathstroke Annual #1: the Earth-2 Power Girl!

Make no mistake, it's very significant how Kara Zor-L (aka Power Girl) makes her comeback in the Deathstroke Annual by Christopher Priest, Bill Sienkiewicz, and Denys Cowan. In earlier issues of Deathstroke, the Prime Earth Power Girl, Tanya Spears, confirmed that the Earth-2 Kara had indeed "returned to her native world of Earth-2." Today's Annual confirms that Kara had indeed travelled to another dimension, but that dimension she travelled to may not have been the one she thought. At one point, between the conclusion of Earth-2: Society #22 and today's Deathstroke, Kara realised that the "Earth-2" she returned home to was not Earth-2 at all (at least not the real one) but a pocket universe existing within the Primary DC Universe.

Could this change in status quo shed new light on the whereabouts of the rest of the Justice Society? Are they also trapped in that same pocket universe Power Girl is attempting to escape from in this story? If so, will she be the key to their eventual return? If the New 52 Power Girl is still the pre-Crisis original (as evidence by the fact that she returned in her classic pre-Flashpoint costume and not the one she was last seen with at the conclusion of Earth-2: Society), is it safe to assume the Earth-2 characters we've been following these past seven are still the Classic Justice Society existing in an altered form?

Is the New 52 Alan Scott still the Classic Alan Scott? What about the New 52 Jay Garrick? Is he still the Classic Speedster of DC's Golden Age? What about Ted Grant and Rick Tyler? Are they still the Classic Wildcat and son of the original Hourman, Rex Tyler? So far all of these characters have been teased in Geoff Johns' and Gary Frank's Doomsday Clock maxiseries, and Jay in particular has been repeatedly referenced in Joshua Williamson's The Flash. However, each of these characters have all yet to make a proper comeback. Out of the entire Earth-2 cast, only the original Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson) and pre-Flashpoint Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders) have made an official return to the Prime Earth universe. The rest are still floating about somewhere.

Aside from the characters who are being teased in 2018, there is still one JSAer in particular I'm still not certain about and that is the original Helena Wayne Huntress.

On the one hand, Tom King already teased a Prime Earth version of the character in a possible future in Batman Annual #2. On the other hand, a version of the Earth-2 character was still reintroduced in the current Prime Earth continuity wearing a version of Helena Bertinelli's post-Crisis costume. In fact, she was originally established as having been the post-Crisis Helena Bertinelli all along. Considering Wayne was still seen wearing a version of the Helena Bertinelli costume at the conclusion of Earth-2: Society, it's probably safe to assume that if this version of the character is brought back, she could still turn out to be the post-Crisis Helena Bertinelli who in turn could still turn out to be the original pre-Crisis Helena Wayne.

It is always worth remembering that the post-Crisis Helena Bertinelli was originally created as a new origin story for Helena Wayne in order for her to still exist in the newly rebooted DC Universe in the late 1980s. It is also for this reason that the post-Crisis Helena Bertinelli had the same physical appearance, name, and similar costume design as the pre-Crisis Helena Wayne, and why she repeatedly felt like she belonged with the Batman family. This is still a retcon Geoff Johns could still choose to address in a similar fashion to what he did with Power Girl pre-Flashpoint during the events of 2005's Infinite Crisis.

Addressing the Helena Bertinelli origin as a retcon would both allow Helena Wayne to reclaim her pre-Crisis Earth-2 origin once and for all, and it would also put to rest any remaining confusion surrounding Helena Bertinelli as the Huntress. With a new version of Helena Bertinelli now existing in the DC Universe as a separate character from Helena Wayne, there is no reason why this can't be done. It would allow both women to more easily reclaim the narratives and relationships that are rightfully theirs, and it would especially free them from any lingering baggage from previous reboots so that their stories can move forward. Helena Bertinelli in particular can finally claim a definitive origin story while Helena Wayne can simply reclaim her original one, even if that means existing on Prime Earth as an Earth-2 refugee like Power Girl.

Another reason a return of the original Helena Wayne Huntress is possible is due to the fact that the Earth-2 Kara is still remembered by Tanya Spears and Tanya is the character who is helping Kara return to the main DC Universe. Since Kara originally left Prime Earth with Helena Wayne to this pocket universe they thought was Earth-2, it would not make sense to ignore this significant detail. Not only did Tanya originally make her debut in the Worlds' Finest book that Kara co-starred in with Helena, but it additionally would not make sense for Power Girl to leave her best friend behind in that pocket universe.

More than anything, Kara is going to want to salvage that last important relationship in her life because Helena is literally the only person she has left to share her Earth-2 refugee status with. Kara already endured the loss of her world and family alone as a consequence of two world-shaking Crises. She's definitely not going to let Helena go, least of all now that she has her back in her life on the same Earth. How Helena Wayne returns, however, is the greater mystery. If Kara isn't somehow involved in her return, it's highly likely that the marriage of the Prime Bruce and Selina will somehow trigger it. (Cause you know DC is not going to resist telling that story of having them meet their Earth-2 daughter in preparation for parenthood themselves.)

4 comments:

  1. You obviously didn't do your homework. Helena bertinelli was never created as a new origin story for Helena Wayne to exist postcrisis according to Joey cavaleri,her creator.she was a completely different character as the original was killed during crisis by shadow demons and her remains buried in hall manor in the last days of the justice society one shot.the so called 'new version' bertinelli has always existed separate from Wayne herself as a completely different persona with a different origin,that of being a former mob boss's daughter who becomes a vigilante to avenge his death vs wayne who became the heroic huntress to avenge her mom's death,with her parents being catwoman and batman.furthermore,the Helena Wayne in earth 2:society became that universe's new Batman while dick Grayson retired and became that universe's Oracle after defeating the ultrahumanite.adding to that is the fact the earth 2 you're speaking about as a pocket universe is the earth 2 established post infinite crisis as part of the 52 multiverse,which indeed has its own kara and Helena as witnessed in the jsa annual 1 in 2008.to conclude it seems that Kara has now escaped the same limbo where the other jsa'ers have been trapped since postflashpoint,courtesy of Dr. Manhattan.if dc decides to rectify this confusion then johns will definitely have to resolve the Kara dilemma as her either being 2 different personas as explained above,or do another superman like the recent superman: reborn storyline did,which was to fuse the 2 versions together back into the original post crisis version

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    1. Paul Levitz has consistently stated that Joey Cavalieri had rebooted his original character into Helena Bertinelli post-Crisis. This is explicitly stated in the introductions of both the Huntress: Dark Knight Daughter and Huntress: Year One trades. Additionally, DC editorial confirmed on the "All-Access" page in the back of Huntress #1 (from 2011) that the Helena Bertinelli Huntress fronting that story had been reinstated as the Earth-2 Helena Wayne, which was also explicitly acknowledged in the Worlds' Finest series.

      It is possible Joey Cavalieri had said something different to fans. The fact remains the official DC position on the character is that Helena Wayne had been rebooted as Helena Bertinelli post-Crisis and that detail clearly factored into how Helena Wayne was brought back during the New 52. I am not pulling this information out of nowhere. This is all official information.

      On your point about Earth-2, nowhere in the Deathstroke Annual was it established that the Earth-2 Power Girl went to is the post-Infinite Crisis Earth-2. Considering that it is Tanya Spears who is helping Kara to get back to the main DC Universe, it is safe to assume the Earth-2 she went to is the same one that was last seen in Earth-2: Society. Tanya was the last person both Kara and Helena Wayne saw in Worlds' Finest before they both went through the portal back to the world they thought was Earth-2 for the World's End event. Considering how often that Earth-2 was "rebooted" since they "returned," it's also safe to assume that that is the pocket universe the Annual is referring to.

      Having said all that, while Geoff Johns has gone on record saying that the New 52 Earth-2 was not a Rebirth property, it is highly unlikely he is going to ignore the fact both Kara and Helena were on the main DC Universe prior to the DCYOU initiative. Since the goal of Rebirth is a course-correction on the New 52, it is highly possible he will retcon the New 52 Earth-2 as the pocket dimension the classic Justice Society was exiled to during the New 52, and he'll probably be more thoughtful in the way that he addresses/explains why Helena Wayne was Helena Bertinelli during the New 52. Johns does have a track record of fixing wrong-headed decisions without necessarily ignoring the fact that they happened.

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  2. "If the New 52 Power Girl is still the pre-Crisis original (as evidence by the fact that she returned in her classic pre-Flashpoint costume and not the one she was last seen with at the conclusion of Earth-2: Society), is it safe to assume the Earth-2 characters we've been following these past seven are still the Classic Justice Society existing in an altered form?"

    I thought they were all separate characters (and it was quite ok). Not sure about this possible retcon. At least Earth 2 ended on a positive note.

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    1. I thought so too, but now I’m not so sure. I think, at this point, anything is possible. Geoff Johns was already aware people were unhappy with the way Earth-2 panned out. He even more or less admitted even he didn’t like how the Justice Society was rebooted post-Flashpoint because of how much got lost in the process. I wouldn’t put it past Johns to retcon the New 52 Earth-2 as the pocket dimension Dr. Manhattan exiled the classic team to in order to test their limits. I can totally see him doing that to not completely erase what came before.

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