Wonder Woman is missing, the multiverse is in upheaval, and DC Comics just gave us a first look at its brand new status quo. If the DC Universe was a game, Infinite Frontier #0 would be the patch notes — and it’s not just UI tweaks.
DC Comics did something different in 2021: The moment the year ticked over, the company hit pause on every book in the DC Universe and replaced them with two months worth of new titles, new characters, and new adventures. Editorially, Future State was a preview of what’s coming next at DC Comics, with new creative teams allowed to take big swings on stories set in an indeterminate time in the future, before settling into the usual Canonical DC Universe Timeline.
[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for Infinite Frontier #0.]
But we had no way of knowing how much of Future State was going to make it back into the main DC Universe, until now. Here are the five biggest takeaways from Infinite Frontier #0, a collaborative one-shot comic on stands today, and DC’s first showcase of what the new year has in store.
There are infinite worlds in the DC multiverse, and Darkseid is coming for all of them
Over its 90 years of existence, the DC Universe has flipped between having no parallel earths, having infinite parallel earths, or having exactly 52 parallel earths, several times. As of the end of Dark Nights: Death Metal and reaffirmed by Infinite Frontier #0, we’re back to the Infinite Earths model.
In addition to the new infinite multiverse, some of the parallel earths our main-earth heroes are familiar also seem to have had their timelines restarted or rebooted, paving the way for DC’s writers to pick and choose details for a parallel earth without worrying too much about what came immediately before.
With this new multiverse there’s also a new villain — who is really an old villain with an upgrade. The final pages of Infinite Frontier, we Darkseid emerges from a prison on the mysterious and uncharted Earth Omega with a monologue all about how he has been reborn from all of his past aspects into his true form. He is a finite and final boundary powerful enough to bring an end even to an infinite multiverse. We’ll certainly be seeing him again.
There are three Batgirls again
It’s no secret that Batman scribe James Tynion IV is a fan of a certain era of Batman comics, one where Tim Drake was Robin, Barbara Gordon was Oracle, and the lives of lots and lots of different vigilantes were messily interwoven into Batman’s day-to-day. And throughout his career on the Bat-books, he’s been putting in the work to bring those characters back to Batman comics in an updated way.
With Cass Cain and Stephanie Brown putting bat-symbols on their chests again, a new (or old, depending on how you look at it) era of Batgirls is beginning. And Barbara Gordon is back in the Clocktower as the hacker/superhero dispatcher extraordinaire, Oracle — though she’s not discounting the idea of getting out there in costume now and again either.
Oh, also, the Magistrate, the villainous figure who’d turned Gotham City into an over-surveilled, drone-policed, cyberpunk nightmare in Future State, is on the rise in regular Gotham City as well. And it looks like somebody murdered Bane Joker-style, which probably points to Tynion’s new Joker ongoing series coming up this month.
But the important thing is the Batgirls, trust me.
Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, has given her crown to another
At the end of Dark Nights: Death Metal, Wonder Woman was missing from the DC Universe, and that’s still the case at the end of Infinite Frontier. But now we know what the Amazons are doing in her absence. Queen Hippolyta has taken up her daughter’s mission to bring Amazon values to Man’s World — not the first time in DC Comics history that she’s served as Wonder Woman.
To rule Themyscira in her stead, she has raised the Amazon Nubia to the throne, a character with her own history in comics as Diana’s long-lost sister and fellow bearer of the mantle of Wonder Woman. And among Hippolyta’s tasks in Man’s World will be tracking down Yara Flor. We know that she’s soon to be Wonder Girl in her own series, but Yara doesn’t know that, and it’s not clear if the Amazons do either.
But we also know exactly where Wonder Woman is — because unlike all the superheroes who are looking for her, we can read DC Comics press releases. After her heroism in saving the universe from demise in Dark Nights: Death Metal, Diana was offered the chance to ascend to the God Sphere, the space outside of spacetime where all the gods of the DC Universe live, become a god herself, and help observe the new infinite multiverse.
At the end of Infinite Frontier, she declines. After being shown the wonders of what happens next in the multiverse, and that her loved ones were continuing safe without her, she chose to explore the multiverse herself. We’ll see her next in the pages of Wonder Woman, and we’re not sure exactly where or when she’ll be, but we do know that she’s going to meet Thor. Mythological Thor.
Forget Heroes in Crisis: Roy Harper is alive again, and Wally West is the Flash
If there was one thing about Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ Heroes in Crisis that riled up comic book fans, it was that former Green Arrow sidekick Roy Harper/Arsenal got killed, and that it was at the hands of his former teammate Wally West/the Flash, who then tried to cover up his accidental mass murder.
Well, one of the effects of Dark Nights: Death Metal is that some characters are just alive now, who weren’t before. Roy is one of them, and in Infinite Frontier #0 he’s just as confused about it as everybody else. For his part, Wally’s been on quite the journey since then in Dark Nights: Death Metal — seriously, he had all the powers of Doctor Manhattan for a stretch — and he’s being given a celebratory upgrade.
Like a lot of things in Infinite Frontier, this is both a new idea and an old idea. Wally will be the Flash again, in the absence of his mentor Barry Allen, just like he was years ago after Barry died in Crisis on Infinite Earths. This time, Barry is still around, he’s just stepping away from Earth in order to join Justice Incarnate, a group of heroes from around the multiverse, lead by President Superman, as they safeguard and catalog the new and expanding infinite earths around them.
Green Lantern came out of the closet, and is searching for the Justice Society
Alan Scott, the Green Lantern of the Golden Age of comics (or Earth 2 Green Lantern, or the Justice Society Green Lantern), is a frequently queered character in non-canonical DC comics, ever since 2012’s Earth 2, a book that imagined a DC Universe where, among other things, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman had created a nearly utopian world and then died at the hands of Darkseid.
But also, in that Earth 2, Alan Scott was young, was the Green Lantern of Earth, and was gay. But Alan Scott has never been out of the closet in the main DC Universe until Infinite Frontier, which shows the moment he comes out to his twin children, superheroes Jade and Obsidian. Obsidian seems to have given his dad some helpful advice from his own experience coming out as gay to those around him.
DC Comics has announced that we’ll see Alan Scott next in an Infinite Frontier miniseries this June, as he searches for missing members of his middle-aged superhero team, the Justice Society of America. The series will also pick up on Barry Allen and Justice Incarnate, as well as whatever is going on with Darkseid, and even the strange new life of Roy Harper. But whatever happens in June, you can expect it to have some continuing effect on the strange new multiverse — the omniverse — that DC’s heroes find themselves in.