Friday, February 02, 2007

Welcome to the Diversiverse (Ion #9 and #10, Cover Dated Feb. and Mar. 2007)


Major Heroes: Ion, Captain Atom
Minor Heroes: Guy Gardner

Major Villains: Green Lantern, Flash, Atom



David and Josh Holliday are looking at a mysterious Green Lantern that they found on the beach a year ago. It appears to have tiny people inside, saying the names of Superheroes.

Kyle visits his dying mother in the hospital, but is called away by the Oans for a secret mission. His mother tells him to go. Before leaving Earth, he feels a "tug" and goes to investigate. There, he finds the remains of the Holliday's treehouse, and two people calling themselves "Flash" and "Atom". Flash is a white female who has powers involving flight and control of light. Atom is a white guy who can control his density. The two quickly defeat Ion and decide to form a superteam together, and summon out of the lantern a new "Green Lantern", this one also female. The monitors observe the breach, and comment that "Kyle Rayner must be eliminated."


This issue begins with the "new Green Lantern" giving a Phantom Stranger-ish intro, saying that her universe had been destroyed, but might live again. Kyle awakes in the "bleed", a space between universes that cannot be monitored by the Monitors. There he finds the Holliday boys, fights some ugly monsters, and is finally saved by Captain Atom, who appears to have survived Bludhaven, by escaping to the Wildstorm universe. Captain Atom does some exposition on the bleed and the multiverse, and helps Ion get the kids back to their home.

The alternate Green Lantern, Flash, and Atom are walking on a beach, with Green Lantern explaining how her mission to do avenge the dead and give them one last wish. As the skies turn red and strange people from other dimensions begin to appear, Kyle and the boys emerge into their own universe, pushing the three alternate superheroes back into the Bleed.

Ion takes the Green Lantern to Oa and gives it to Guy for safe keeping. The Oans send him to explore a "rift in our reality", but refuse to disclose whether it is related to the "bleed". Out in deeps space by the rift, Kyle finds a massacred Qward force, and Donna Troy standing amidst the bodies.


In our universe, there have been four White Men who were called the Flash (Jay, Barry, Wally, and Bart), and five Men (four white) who have been called Green Lantern (Alan, Hal, John, Kyle, and Guy). So, out of nine representatives of the next level below the unchanging Trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, only John Stewart isn't a white male.

Loren has a post expanding on Guy's list of ways to diversify DC comics. One of the suggestions was:

Since you're bringing back the Multiverse, introduce an Earth where Europeans didn't run roughshod over the planet and cast all of its superhero icons as minorities. In that Earth's version of the JLA (Justice League of Africa or Asia, perhaps?), have one white male and call him White Lightning. Robin and Jimmy Olsen may also remain white.

Well, Ion doesn't give us a world of minority Superheroes (the are all white), but it does give us a female Flash and Lantern, which is in the same sort of direction as Guy's suggestion. Of course, they end up fighting Kyle for unexplained reasons, and they are not directly comparable to "our" Flash and Lantern, but it is something.

Meanwhile, Donna appears to have finally escaped from Giganta's cleavage, where as far as i can tell she has been dangling for most of the past year, so that is progress, too. I had to think for a while to remember if she had appeared anywhere else. When characters don't have their own titles, its hard to know if they are "missing" or just unimportant.

My only concern now, as I expressed on Loren's thread, is that a multiverse with a female-dominated universe and a third-world dominated universe in it would serve to take pressure off of the attempt to diversify the "real" universe of Earth 1. Any criticism of a non-diverse JLA would be met with references to the JLA of Earth-Woman or Earth-Thirdworld or Earth-Queer, allowing Earth-1 to revert to the default Earth-White-Guy.

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