- Books, Literature, and Writing»
- Comics & Graphic Novels
15 Characters Not In DC's New 52 That Should Be
DC comics has become well known for their regular reboots and changes to continuity. DC's "New 52" reboot has been the most divisive and controversial reboots since the original Crisis on Infinite Earths. All of a sudden, character histories have changed. There are old heroes in new roles. Characters that once had a long history of heroism have become virtual newbies, just starting out their career as tight wearing mystery men.
What has really raised some hackles among comic book fans are all of the beloved characters who have simply ceased to exist in the New 52. Huge characters who have been tent poles for decades have simply gone away and it seems that all of the fan outcry in the world can't convince editors to return these characters to the pages of DC's comics.
Read on to find out the top characters who aren't in the New 52 who should be!
1 - Wally West
There might be other characters on the list you miss more than Wally West, but there's no character whose absence is more baffling. Wally West served in the role of the Flash since 1985 and has wore the yellow-and-red tights of Kid Flash for years before that. An entire generation of comic fans have read DC comics associated Wally West as the sole holder of the Flash mantle.
Alas, he is no more. The original Flash, Barry Allen, who died all the way back in the original Crisis. No mention has been made of Wally in the New 52: he was not a founding member of the Teen Titans, never served as the Flash, and by the look so fit, may never have even been born.
Now THAT'S a kick in the face to a character was on the A-list for a good 25 years.
2 - Stephanie Brown
Hoo, boy. Bring this one up in certain circles and you just might get a 20 minute lecture. This former-Batgirl was a well loved character among hardcore comic fans. She was the first in-continuity female Robin and had been a supporting player in the Bat-books since the 90s. She finally graduated to the role of Batgirl just two years before the New 52 reboot.
The role was, sadly, shortlived. Although Bryan Q. Miller's book was well loved by fans and critics, it wasn't selling enough issues. After the reboot, Stephanie was gone and no one in the world seems to remember her. Original Batgirl was out of her wheelchair and back in the suit.
DC is adamant that Stephanie won't be showing up any time soon, fan demands be damned. She was briefly slated to be returned to the world of comics in the Smallville comic book series, but DC pitched a fit and recolored her hair red so that they could edit the issues so that she was Barbara Gordon.
3- Donna Troy
Another founding member of the Teen Titans is no more. Donna Troy, the former Wonder Girl, has had a confounding history that has made her a difficult character to write for at times. You would think that a reboot would be the perfect time to simply write her a simple, easy to understand backstory.
Well, what DC preferred was to simply write her out of existence.
Right now, there's not much hope for fans of Donna, but this beloved character was the favorite of a generation of Teen TItans fans regardless of her mixed-up history. Too bad no one else will get the chance to find out how awesome she was.
4- Ryan Choi
Ryan Choi died before the reboot after a short tenure as the size-changing Atom. Not much reason to believe he'd show up again in the New 52, right? That would seem reasonable except for one thing.
DC said he was coming back. Not just coming back, but joining the big guns on the Justice League. Too bad it never happened.
Two years after the reboot, there's no sign of Ryan. It has been hinted that there will be an Atom joining the Justice League soon, but it will be a new character. And a woman at that! Even though DC got fan hopes up, it looks like there'll be no Ryan Choi in the New 52.
Are you enjoying DC's New 52?
5 - Helena Bertinelli
The Huntress might exist in the New 52, but Helena Bertinelli doesn't. Instead of the hard as nails mob princess, DC has resurrected the original Huntress, Helena Wayne. The alternate reality daughter of Batman and Catwoman, Helena Wayne was a fine character but one without any particular emotional ties to the current heroes who never had a particularly rabid following.
The old Huntress was a complicated anti-hero who struggled to curb her violent streaks while seeking approval from more traditional heroes. Her time with the Birds of Prey produced a hundred great character moments and close friendships that no longer exist now that Helena Wayne has replaced Bertinelli.
Fun Fact: When the Birds of Prey TV series was airing, it starred Helena Wayne despite the fact that Helena Bertinelli was the character being featured in the comics. Now that Helena Wayne is The Huntress, Helena Berteinelli has become a popular recurring character on the CW's Arrow.
DC has failed to feature the correct version of the character on a network television show twice!
6 - Renee Montoya
One of the most prominent lesbian superheroes in the DC, Renee Montoya began her career as a beat cop but eventually became the successor to the mantle of The Question. Now that the New 52 has taken over continuity, the old Question is back under the mask and Renee's fate is up in the air.
She did show up, briefly, in Batwoman but the signs aren't looking good. Although her history as Batwoman's ex-girlfriend remains intact, her brief appearance as a photo on a wall of fallen police officers implies that Montoya died in the line of duty. How unfortunate that a beloved character was killed off-screen.
7 - Cassandra Cain
Yet another disappearing Batgirl. All of the young men who have held the role of Robin have been allowed to show up in the New 52, but it appears there's only room for one Batgirl to have ever existed. The truly tragic part about Cassandra Cain's absence is how she had only just returned. When Stephanie Brown took over as Batgirl, fans were frothing to see Cain return to heroics. Just a few months before the New 52 reboot, Cain took on the mantle of Blackbat and had important roles in Robin, Batman, iNC, and the Gates of Gotham mini-series.
Even after the reboot, Batman scribe Grant Morrison implied that we would see her returning in the page of Batman, INC in her new role. Unfortunately, it seems those plans have been quashed. Cassandra, like the rest of the characters, doesn't look to be welcome back in the pages of DC Comics anytime soon.
8 - Dinah Lance
"What?" I'm sure you're asking "Black Canary is in the comics!" You'd be right. She even goes by the name Dinah Lance! That's right, except for the fact that's not her real name. Her real name is Dinah Drake. If you're a fan of comic trivia, you'd know that's actually the name of Dinah Lance's mother.
Either Dinah Lance doesn't exist or her mother has been erased from the new reality. Either way, it's a terrible slap in the face to one of the best female characters in DC's stable.
9 - Thomas Blake
Thomas Blake, AKA Catman, spent years as an also-ran villain. The lesser of two Cat themed supervillains, Blake only returned to the pages as a joke. That was until he joined the Secret Six. Rededicated after at rip to Africa, Blake became an incredibly dangerous anti-hero who struggled with a slightly twisted moral compass and some rage issues.
Like most members of the Secret Six, Blake has been in limbo since the reboot. Hopefully this complicated (and often naked) villain will get another shot at stardom.
10 - Miss Martian
As the protégé of the Martian Manhunter and popular character on the animated program Young Justice, you would think that Miss Martian would have been a no-brainer for DC when they were planning out the New 52. Well, I won't make any assumptions about the folks at the DC offices, but she sure ain't in the New 52.
Although she is a character with less history than most of the other missing new 52 characters on this list, the fact that she was the focus of a well-loved television program and failed to show up in the new universe says a lot about how DC doesn't have their priorities straight when it comes to marketing the book to a new audience.
11 - Obsidian
This former member of the JSA and Infinity Inc has been completely wiped out of existence. The son of of Silver Age Green Lantern, Alan Scott, Obsidian was one of the first major gay characters to exist in DC Comics and his absence is a major hit to a a population that is underrepresented in the pages of mainstream comics.
The chances of seeing a character that resembles the old universe Obsidian is pretty slim. His father, Alan Scott, has been relocated to "Earth 2", an alternate version of the DC universe. Deaged a good forty years, Alan Scott has no children. It is notable, however, that Scott himself is a gay man much like his son from another world was.
12 - Jade
Obsidian's sister and another character that's not in the New 52 that should be. Jade was able to naturally manifest power's similar to the Green Lantern's ring construts and often served as the Earth's Green Lantern when heroes like Hal Jordan or her sometimes-boyfriend Kyle Raynor were off in space.
Like her brother, the chances of seeing Jade back in the pages of Green Lantern or JSA don't look so hot. Given time, I'm sure DC will revisit the character, but with her father de-aged and in another universe, there's not a lot of chances of seeing the Jade we know and love from the old days show up.
13 - Kate Spencer (Manhunter)
Kate Spencer is the latest in a long line of characters who have taken over the mantle of Manhunter. A happy mix of the Punisher, Batman, and Daredevil, Kate is a district attorney who decides that the law is ineffective at properly punishing hardened criminals. Using a variety of weapons and gadgets purloined from failed super-villains in lockup, Kate would take to the streets and fight against killer criminals. The big difference between Manhunter and other superheroes is that she was pretty happy to use lethal force when necessary.
With no Kate Spencer in the New 52, readers are missing out on a complex, unique character with strong morals who happens to possess a very different philosophy from the majority of heroes gallivanting around the world.
14- Scandal Savage
Another vital Secret Six member completely absent from the New 52, plus yet anotherr LGBT character that has disappeared into the ether. Scandal Savage was in many ways the heart and soul of the Secret Six, tempering their extreme violence with a twisted sense of honor and justice and even a little bit of compassion.
Like the rest of the team, Scandal was a stone cold killer, but she rarely killed anyone that didn't have it coming in one way or another. Sure, there were times when she could have left her enemies alive, but she was the daughter of ultra-villain Vandal Savage. The fact that she isn't constantly trying to destroy the world is a victory in and of itself.
15 - Lian Harper
You had your chance, DC! You had your one shot to fix one of the worst comic book stories of all time and bring back a character that was killed for cynical shock value. Instead, she was never born which is, in many ways, worse.
At least her father is less of a strung out jerk, but loss of this bubbly little girl is a high price to pay for Roy Harper's happiness.
Where are they now?
If you're looking to find stories featuring these characters missing from the New 52, there are a few alternate universe stories to check out. Check the handy chart below to find out where we last left some of our heroes and where we can find them outside of the New 52 today.
Where we last saw them
Where to find them now?
Enjoying downtime with his wife and kids
Featured Character on Cartoon Network's "Young Justice"
Fighting English schoolgirls in "Leviathan Strikes"
Masquerading as Barbara Gordon in "Smallville"
Dead in a matchbook (and in New 52 promo material)
Ryan had a large role in Cartoon Network's Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Palling around with the Birds of Prey
Recurring role on the CW's "Arrow"
Having a rough time with the Titans
Star of Cartoon Network's Young Justice
Who else should brought back in the New 52?
I was astonished as I was writing this article how many amazing characters DC has failed to bring into the New 52. Originally, I had only slated room for ten but it quickly grew to fifteen! Even with a fifty percent increase in DC comics characters missing from the new universe, I still had favorites that didn't make the cut.
Heroes like Jericho, Black Alice, the original Power Girl, and other popular characters failed to make the cut. Just because they didn't get named doesn't mean they aren't missed though! Leave a comment below and let us know who you'd like to see DC bring back.