Monday, August 01, 2005

On the Chopping Block

Rumors are running rampant-- someone besides Blue Beetle is going to bite the bullet as a result of DC's Infinite Crisis, and become replaced by a successor?

So far, IC related deaths include the aformentioned Blue Beetle (Ted Cord), Black Knight (Sasha), and, in a surprise turn of events, Max Lord. But IC has really yet to be put into full swing, and word on the street is a "major" hero gets plugged, ala Barry Allen's Flash in the original Crisis on Infinite Earths. Barry was replaced as Flash by Wally West, so who's up for a plot at Forest Lawn?

I guess this all hinges on two things-- whom DC considers "major" and who has a suitable successor...

If DC had any balls, which we all know they don't, Bruce Wayne would call it in. With strong ties to Identity Crisis, OMAC, and Infinite Crisis, there are alot of signs pointing his way. There has been a long running thought that Dick Grayson (aka Nightwing aka the first Robin) will take up the Mantle of the Bat, so there may actually be some legitimacy to this idea. I've also read that this is in fact the very concept behind the newly mentioned "52" book that will run after IC. Perhaps a Chicago Wizard World announcement will tell.

The easy bet is Wally West's Flash, creating a strong tie to the first Crisis on Infinite Earths. This is why I think they'll pass, it's too obvious. However Bart Allen, currently Impulse of the Teen Titans (and running around in the Kid Flash costume) will no doubt take up the mantle, it's just a question of now versus later.

Kyle Rayner
Kyle, buddy, pal... you've served us well but alot of people want you gone. An IC sacrifice would be a nice and tidy way to do it. I always liked Rayner as Green Lantern, it's not often you get to see someone grow into that kind of role. Alot of heroes are just a given, but Rayner was put through quite a few ringers. However if the Crisis has it's eyes on him, I won't be shocked.

Green Arrow
My money is on Ollie Queen, Green Arrow, and the reasons are numerous. Throughout IC he's been a cantankerous bastard and overtly confrontational. Traditionally this is how you set someone up for a fall. More importantly, he's got not one but two possible successors:
1. The underrated and under-used Connor Hawke: Ollie's son who has previously taken the mantle of Green Arrow.
2. Roy Harper: Former GA sidekick Speedy has been running around as Aresnal for some years. Roy's proficiency with weapons of all sorts, including guns and knives, may make him a more compelling update to the Green Arrow character.
As for Ollie, he'll be missed, sure, but only until the next Crisis-style event. Plus, he's already been dead, so it won't be too much a strain.

Black Canary
This is a long shot, but possible in that Dinah Lance straddles that line between major and minor character. She doesn't really have a successor, tho may I suggest that Huntress may step in to fill the role. Not out of the question is a IC spawned revelation that Dinah and Ollie have a daughter running around somewhere. Maybe they do already? I'm not too versed in the Black Canary lore.

Storywise, Barbara Gordon getting killed makes some sense. It causes alot of drama for all of the bat books, and takes out the omni-present, all-knowing persona of Oracle, which I think has become a bit of a crutch for the DCU. We've already got a new Batgirl, I don't really like her as a character (much more interesting when she was mute), but she's around. During the "Bruce Wayne: Murderer" and "War Games" storylines, I was speculating that Batgirl (Cassandra Cain?) would die and Spoiler (Stephanie Brown) would become the new Batgirl. Turns out Spoiler ended up taking the big dirt nap.

Wonder Woman
Highly unlikey. Even with all the rigamarole around bringing back Donna Troy, Wonder Woman is a goddess and any death would only be temporary. Sure, IC could wipe her from universal existence, but that's a slim-to-none. Even with Cassie Sandsmark running around as Wonder Girl, Wonder Woman looks to be a rock unwilling to move. She did kill Max Lord after all!

Even more unlikely. Superman's done the dead schtick and no one really wants to see Conner Kent put on the cape (though I do wonder how long he can go calling himself Superboy...). And, you know, the new Superman movie coming out.

This could happen. Unlikely considering the Batman connection, but could the well-liked current Robin, Tim Drake, take up the name and costume of Nightwing? I'd call that one a longshot, but possible.

If I'm being totally honest, any member of the JSA could bite it with little fanfare-- outside of those who read JSA. In a random interview I caught online, Geoff Johns strongly alluded to Dr. Fate receiving a total overhaul. How many members have successors sort of narrow the choices, but isn't half the JSA comprised of successors already? Shazam, possibly, has the most interesting potential with both Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Junior. Would DC off the Big Red Cheese? Considering Geoff Johns coddles the JSA as his own child, and is also a key architect of IC and the "One Year Later" theme, offing a major JSAer may take a backseat to merely some timely updates and continuity corrections.

Comment Challenge! Who did I miss? Hawkman? Zatanna? Atom? Martian Manhunter? Tell me your ideas!

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