Could this be DC’s first sign of a return to the pre-New 52 Universe? In an interview with Newsarama today, writers Kieth Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis revealed that the classic pre-New 52 versions of Blue Beetle and Booster Gold are making a comeback in the pages of Justice League 3000, the ongoing series which they’ve been writing since late last year. Both Booster and Beetle are found frozen, Captain America-style in the 31st Century of the JL3K, and thawed out. Which means that all this time, the Justice League 3000 series has been taking place in the future of not the New 52 Earth, but some alternate Earth in the Multiverse where the past looks very much like the classic DCU.
If you haven’t been reading Justice League 3000, let me catch you up: The premise of the book is that a scientist in the 31st Century figures out a way to recreate the great heroes of the past-Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash and Green Lantern. Except they’re not clones as originally speculated, but are instead parasites that override the DNA of living test subjects with the DNA of the classic heroes, essentially erasing their former selves and becoming these new, slightly messed up versions of the heroes we know and love. It’s into this bizarre future that Booster and Beetle are unleashed, in December’s issue #12 of Justice League 3000.
Speaking to Newsarama, Keith Giffen clarified “They’re J.M. DeMatteis and my Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. Our Blue Beetle never got shot in the head. He never split from Booster Gold. The last memories these two clowns have is that Max (Lord) was mad at them. Then they woke up in a refrigerator on Takron-Galtos. It’s our Justice League.” Which means that whichever alternate Earth they came from, it has a similar history up until the events of 2005’s Infinite Crisis series, where Blue Beetle was killed. Still, as Giffen pointed out, these two are definitely from “a universe where, if you went back and looked at Superman in the 21st Century, he might be wearing his underpants on the outside.”
So what does this mean? It doesn’t mean that DC is about to throw away the New 52, whether rumors of a new Crisis on Infinite Earths series are true or not. But it could mean that among those 52 mulitple Earths out there is one where its past resembles the old DCU we know and love. Now let’s see if DC is willing to explore it beyond just this one appearance by Blue Beetle and Booster Gold.