Something Is Not Right
In fact, in the immortal words of a French nun, “Something is quite wrong.” I was reading this week’s Brave and the Bold #5 and something is definitely amiss in the DCU. This is the second time in a few months that Batman has fought Karate Kid.
The screwy part is Batman’s reaction, he gives no indication that he has ever done this before. Yes, I know that it is not the Karate Kid he took on in the pages of Justice League of America but wouldn’t Batman then say, “You’re not Karate Kid. I’ve fought Val Armor. His collar is bigger.” Of course, it is a comic so maybe by the end of this arc everyone goes back to their respective timelines with memories erased. It happens all the time. But something still wasn’t sitting right with me. Look at this excerpt from the “Lighting Saga.”
Batman is finding out about the Legion of Superheroes from the Fortress of Solitude’s computer. Given his nightly activities and study habits, my guess is that this isn’t the first time he has looked at those files. That should mean when he goes toe-to-toe with Val Armor in Brave and The Bold, even if it happened before Justice League or there was a memory wipe, he should say, “I have read about you. You aren’t the Karate Kid I know. His collar was bigger.” But he does not say this. Instead it is Tharok that fills him in on the Legion. This suggests that Superman never went into the future, that the characters in the “present” don’t know about them.
Also to further screw things up, in Action Comics #850 Supergirl is in the future with a different Legion, with a different Karate Kid who has not fought Batman…yet. So what does this mean?
I’ve got two theories. The first one is that the Earth of Brave and The Bold is not New Earth. It might be an Earth that closely resembles New Earth but with slight differences, a sort of Pre-Infinite Crisis Earth (Earth-1 maybe?) with New Earth characters like Blue Beetle. It isn’t too far fetched, look how together Supergirl is in the comic. That could just be equated to inconsistent character writing but it could suggest that this world is not the main one. Hey, maybe the heroes find out in the Book of Destiny that their world is not New Earth. That would be cool. This, of course, raises the question as to which title is on which Earth.
The second theory is that New Earth is in constant flux, that elements from different planets are seeping in and out all the time. The histories and futures of each character change constantly without anyone noticing. Maybe one month it’s Golden Age history and future, the next Zero Hour time. The chances of this are less likely as writing something like that would be terrible and hard to coordinate. However, it could be a way to show that Earth are bleeding into each other, that the walls between the realities are weakening so much that different futures are occurring at all times.
What was your take?