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The secrets of “Trinity War” and “Forever Evil” have been revealed over the past weeks by writers such as Geoff Johns. So for those who are keeping themselves in media seclusion to avoid spoilers then I state here some free warning – we’re going to be using liberal amounts of them. As for the rest of you, it is already well known the broad strokes ending of “Trinity War” and the conceit of “Forever Evil” - that the three Justice Leagues are missing and are otherwise thought dead, with brand new rosters filling in with the meantime. So the purpose here is to gather the B-C Listers that we know are around and those that may possibly make their appearance as part of these new leagues.
The first thing upon us is to see what characters are not being pulled aside for the event, which there are surprisingly very few. The heroes from the three Leagues that are definitely confirmed to stick it out with “Forever Evil” are – John Constantine, Steve Trevor, Martian Manhunter, and Star Girl. As of yet there has been no concrete word on whether backburning members of the main such as Element Woman or the Atom will be sticking around – but it is a very highly plausible scenario. The other two leagues have at least one member left so to leave the main with utterly nothing seems a bit biased. In any case, the likes of Justice League Dark and Justice League of America will see their remaining members concentrate on the recruitment effort for new heroes, which leads into our next candidates.
As introduced within the pages of Justice League #18 there is a whole subcategory of heroes that have been filed away by the main Justice League as reserve members. One of these reserve heroes, Nightwing, has been touted around by editors and writers as having a crucial part to play in Forever Evil and he was even the main focus of one of the primary promos that were released last month. The other reserve members included Black Canary, Blue Devil, Black Lightning, Platinum, Vixen, and newcomer Gold Rush. Since Nightwing is being given top spot in the main Justice League title in November, it is likely that the other reserve members should themselves come out of the woodwork as well. The first four in particular have been shunted about the New 52 and at least have some recognition, which puts them in prime B and C list positions. Johns’ intent is to celebrate both villains and the lower tier heroes, and who better than the likes of “Black and Blue” or even the Metal Men?
In Justice League of America #5, the final issue before the onset of “Trinity War”, select names were introduced as having been possible candidates for League membership by Amanda Waller but were passed over for the roster that was introduced. So when it comes to Martian Manhunter and Star Girl, who are taking the lead in JLA, seeking aid, these seem to be an untapped source for help. The names of which there were three, with the third being the aforementioned Black Canary, amounted to Captain Atom and Steel. Now one might recall, or rather might not given the book’s sales, that Captain Atom was apparently made deceased within The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men. Given JLA’s penchant for not giving any bother to other series this could very well just be fobbed off. Steel, as a character, hasn’t been used in anything since Action Comics other than “Rotworld” and in essence both are suitable for the rather overstated patriotic undertones of this book. There is, on the other hand, just one more JLA candidate that is all too likely to appear and is the last character on this round up.
The only member of the JLA to yet be seen and the only character who should have been on it since the beginning – STRIPE. Otherwise known as the erstwhile “sidekick” of Courtney Whitmore (AKA Star Girl), STRIPE is Pat Dugan – her stepfather. Dugan is a character that has been mentioned multiple times throughout this series, sometimes by name, but always just out of view. From what has been gathered is that he has still played an active role in Star Girl’s heroic exploits, since she mentioned having a partner similar to Ivo’s robots alluded to the powered armor as well as conversations with her mom. All in all, it really is something of a no-brainer. With Star Girl being one of the survivors of “Trinity War,” it is time to usher him in. Besides “Stars and STRIPE” on the Justice League of America just writes itself, it just works.
Of course there is one blatant omission, that being the Justice League Dark – which is being surprisingly hard to figure out. Other than The Phantom Stranger or Swamp Thing, both of whom are confirmed to survive “Trinity War”, there is really no one that can fit into being a new JLD. Constantine, who is the only sole survivor of the “regular” team, has alienated all other possible members, dead or otherwise. That, and his purported role as playing both sides of the conflict against each other in “Forever Evil,” just smack of him going solo or with a small team. Swamp Thing is going to be playing a role in the series, but beyond much else I cannot see who can fit in. There’s always the unforeseen return of older characters like Shade the Changing Man, but time will tell.
And that just about covers all the bases for possible rosters of the “all-new” Justice Leagues. It is this kind of setting the stage that really endears an event, personally, and it’s a fun amount of guesswork. If you have any ideas/wishes for who should be where or for your own favorite lower list heroes to make appearances please comment below with your choices. “Forever Evil” begins September 4th, along with “Villain Month”.