Earlier this week DC somewhat oddly slipped in some significant publishing news in what otherwise was a WB TV announcement - an off-handed revelation that may tell us a lot about what comes after its two-month publishing event 'Future State' in January and February.
In announcing the development of a Wonder Girl television series pilot starring the teen version of Yara Flor - the adult Wonder Woman from Future State - DC also let it slip that Future State: Wonder Woman writer and artist Joëlle Jones is also writing and drawing a Wonder Girl series starring the younger Yara and even showed off concept art by Jones.
It's either a mix-up on Deadline's part that they described the Wonder Girl series as publishing "concurrently" with Future State: Wonder Woman in January and February, or a signal of a major DC digital-first announcement still to come. But we'll get to that possibility another time.
If it's likely just an accounting error on Deadline's part and Jones' Wonder Girl will launch in March or later, it does offer the clearest indication yet that Future State won't just be a weightless temporary jaunt into alternative timelines, but that it will reverse foreshadow big changes coming to main DC Universe line when the contemporary continuity titles return to the schedule in March.
Newsarama has already reported numerous times that March will not be the launch of a line-wide reboot but instead will be the start of a major refresh/jumping-on point for the line, featuring several new creative teams and new title launches.
And now we know a key new 'Future State' character will factor into the refresh.
Bearing in mind in about three weeks DC will have to reveal its March plans weeks before anyone reads the first 'Future State' title in January, what else can we extrapolate from the news the younger Yara Flor will star in a contemporary series?
Quite a bit probably, with the throughline 'Future State' is likely setting up new titles and editorial directions more than previously anticipated.
Let's take it family-by-family.
The 'Future State' Superman family is as good a place to start since it gives us perhaps the closest parallel to Wonder Girl.(opens in new tab)
Jonathan Kent is almost a Future State mirror image to Yara. He's the headliner of his own title, Future State: Superman of Metropolis, and stars alongside Yara in both the Future State: Justice League and Future State: Superman/Wonder Woman titles.
DC has invested quite a bit of editorial time in the character over the last several years, pulling Jonathan Kent from a variant timeline and retroactively inserting him into the 'New 52,' and then making his presence in mainstream continuity official with 'Rebirth.'
After a few years spent as a 10-year old superhero, DC pulled the 'ole soap opera trick and aged him up to 17 and into a major presence in Brian Bendis' Legion of Super-Heroes reboot.
Given 'Future State' establishes Clark willingly leaves Earth and Metropolis in Jonathan's hands in the future, it seems like a new Superboy title beginning his career in the mainstream DCU is an almost certainty.
If any of the 'Future State' anthology stories were a surprise, Future State: Superman: Worlds of War's Midnighter by Michael W. Conrad and Becky Cloonan might have been the biggest if for no other reason the lack of any shared DNA between Superman and the original-to-Wildstorm Batman analog.
His on-and-off-again romantic partner Apollo is a Wildstorm Superman analog, but that doesn't seem like a strong enough link to explain his presence.
Newsarama isn't predicting where the Superman connection - if any - is going, but of all the 'Future State' anthology stories, that seems like one of the more likely bets to pay-off when the mainline returns in March.
The other standout question about the post-Future State Superman family is one of DC's biggest - who will be the creative team of Action Comics and Superman when those titles return in March, given Brian Bendis is leaving his post as the core Superman writer in December?(opens in new tab)
Three writers are penning series or stories starring Clark Kent in 'Future State' - Mark Russell (Superman vs. Imperious Lex), Gene Yuan Lang (Batman/Superman), and Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Superman: Worlds of War and Superman: House of El), and if Jones's Wonder Girl title is any indication, we'll likely see Future State creators and creative teams carry over to post-Future State counterparts.
One of those writers (Yang) already did a stint as a Superman writer and one of those writers (the up-and-coming Johnson) is writing two Future State titles starring Clark.
We're just sayin'.
DC has already confirmed James Tynion IV and Jorge Jiménez will return to the main Batman title in March, so there's no air of uncertainty there.
But like Wonder Woman/Girl, we've already gotten official confirmation that one new Future State Batman character will live on outside of the event.
In February 2021 John Ridley's still-incognito Next Batman will branch out of Future State into a story in the Black: Black and White anthology series.
DC seems to have more plans for whoever is behind the full-face cowl in the Gotham near-Future, but whether that extends into the mainline of titles in a pre-Next Batman identity remains to be seen.
Off all the various anthology stories in the Batman family - Outsiders, Arkham Knights, Gotham City Sirens, Batgirls, Grifter, and Red Hood, the latter three seem most ripe for ongoing (likely joining Nightwing and a Harley Quinn relaunch) or limited series in March or soon thereafter.
Red Hood of course has headlined a title for years, so that's a pretty safe assumption.
Spoiler and Orphan were already seen jumping off a rooftop into the core Batman family in a story in Batman: The Joker War Zone #1, so Batgirls seems like another solid play, with perhaps Barbara Gordon joining them as a mentor and/or maybe leaning more into her Oracle role in general for the foreseeable future.
And finally, Grifter's high-profile introduction to Gotham City in the main Batman title seems to indicate DC has big plans for that original-to-Wildstorm character.
And the Batman family fully embracing the return of Tim Drake as Robin after some time away and just a short time after he temporarily gave up the role in Young Justice seems to indicate a significant upcoming role for him, particularly with the status of the estranged Damian a complete unknown.
It wasn't that long ago that Tim's solo Robin series ran for two decades uninterrupted, and while Future State: Robin Eternal seems to be a titular play on his death and resurrection during the event, it's hard not to read a little meta-meaning into the premise of Tim's status as Robin.
DC Batman editor Ben Abernathy has strongly hinted that a Batman and Robin title is a post-Future State possibility (which in DC terms means it's a probability) and Tynion has declared he and Guillem March are working on a for-now secret second Batman series.
Those two things aren't necessarily the same thing, but the former at least is another additional venue to possibly look out for Tim.
If we had to pick a wildcard in the Batman family, it might be something more speculative like Detective Comics returning as a larger-format anthology series that showcases some of the other concepts taking part in Future State anthology.
DC has recently found some success with large-format anthology titles and there is no better venue to showcase new or underused ideas than a title headlined by Batman. But that's a guess at best.
Justice League Family
This is perhaps the hardest group of titles to read as it pertains to the return of the main continuity line, so we'll start with likely the easiest prediction - a Teen Titans Academy title.(opens in new tab)
With Dick Grayson recently having found himself again after a few years of amnesia, we've already seen hints of DC wanting to get the original and New Teen Titans bands back together before 'Future State' in the pages of Nightwing and Justice League. And the solicitation for January and February's Future State: Teen Titans is pretty clear.
In the Future State's past, which in this case is the immediate future of the present-day DCU, the original New Teen Titans establish a Teen Titans Academy to mentor young heroes, which is destroyed well before the start of 'Future State.'
DC readers getting to see the founding of this tragically star-crossed Teen Titans Academy in the present day seems like a near-certainty and exactly the sort of reverse-foreshadowing Future State is supposed to set up.
Black Adam is playing a role in both December's Endless Winter Justice League event and the Future State: Suicide Squad anthology and seems poised to find a post-'Future State' DCU role.
That's not all that surprising given Dwayne 'the Rock' Johnson is now the face of the character in the mainstream while we await his big-screen debut in the DCEU.
And on that note, Suicide Squad's 'Future State' premise doesn't seem like something that can carry over in a present-day prequel, but given the team's status as one of Warner Bros.'s next big films, it'll likely continue to have a comic book presence for the foreseeable future.
The other titles only offer a few hints about returning titles.(opens in new tab)
The presence of Far Sector's Jo Mullein as the Future State: Justice League's Green Lantern and her inclusion on a variant cover to February's Green Lantern Season Two #11 would seem to indicate she may be more closely incorporated into the DC Universe and GL Corps mythology in the coming months, especially with her Black Label series concluding in April.
And Future State: Justice League seems to only solidify the iconic Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern make-up of the roster, which will likely carry over in its present-day return.
DC's March 2021 solicitations are scheduled for about three and a half weeks from now, and we expect to hear a lot more about the new and returning core titles leading up to that date.
So stay tuned as we soon find out how prescient we were.
Speaking of Future State, we tell you who the Hyperclan are and why they’re important to the January and February event.