This weekend at Fan Expo Canada, Dan DiDio confirmed an ongoing rumor: James Robinson and Nicola Scott are working on a new Justice Society of America
book -- that takes place on Earth-Two. DiDio said
he and Robinson were "hammering out the characters as late as yesterday," implying it might take a few months for the book to hit stores.
What makes this news so unexpected is the repeated assertions that, in the DC Universe of the New 52, Superman and the Justice League were the first publicly-recognized superheroes. Traditionally, the Justice Society was formed during World War II, and provided the heroic example that the founding members of the Justice League later emulated. As a result of a desire to restore Superman to his traditional status as the world's first superhero, they seem to have been written out of the continuity of Earth-Zero, where the majority of DC's stories take place.
So, how is DC getting around this?
Simple: they're setting the series on Earth-2, where they traditionally lived prior to their mash-up with the main DC Universe in Crisis on Infinite Earths
. It's unclear whether this will be a continuation of the original Earth-2, a continuation of the post-52
version Geoff Johns established in Justice Society of America
with its own Superman and Batman, or a brand-new iteration caused by the reality-altering conclusion of Flashpoint
James Robinson is a logical candidate for this assignment, given his closeness to the original Justice Society as portrayed not only in his recent Justice League of America
run but also his work on JSA: The Golden Age
and his seminal run on Starman
, which incorporated many elements of JSA continuity that would now have to be relocated to Earth-2 so as not to interfere with the new milieu of the new DCU.
It also seems possible that Robinson's upcoming twelve-issue miniseries The Shade
, which is heavily intertwined with Robinson's Starman
saga and therefore the history of the Justice Society, will also be set on Earth-2, especially considering how many years back the story of the Shade goes, and his traditional role as a Golden Age Flash/Justice Society villain. DC also announced at the convention that Jill Thompson would be drawing the eighth issue of The Shade
- a fact also mentioned in the first issue's solicitation - and previewed a great-looking piece of art
on The Source that appears to be the Shade getting high as a kite in an opium den.
Whether The Shade
is on Earth-2, and how all of this might tie in to Grant Morrison's upcoming Multiversity
remains to be seen. What's clear for now is that DC's "New 52" is about more than just launching new titles -- a new multiverse is being built.