World War III: The Valiant

Part two of most major storylines usually ends up being the exposition issue. WWIII is no different. After setting up the big battle in A Call to Arms, the story moves on to explaining exactly what happened to five heroes that underwent major changes after Infinite Crisis but before One Year Later. While it didn’t make for an especially exciting story, it did have its moments.

The ValiantContinuity Explanation #1 of the Issue- Supergirl from Supergirl & The Legion of Superheroes returned to the regular DC timeline before her appearance in Up, Up and Away

The issue opens with Supergirl emerging from some sort of wormhole around the wings of Saturn. It’s alluded to in the narration that she was returning from the future she was sent to after the Zeta beam screwed up at the end of IC. Supergirl, who apparently isn’t getting very good reception, is hurtled uncontrollably towards Earth. Before she crash-lands in Metropolis, Kara passes through the Martian Manhunter, who’s still in outer space after going slightly crazy last issue. It doesn’t go well for either of them.

Continuity Explanation #2 of the Issue- Harvey Dent was indeed left in charge of Gotham by Batman

After J’onn regains his composure, the story heads to Gotham City, where Harvey Dent is fighting Killer Croc. Apparently Batman did put his old friend in charge of Gotham while he was away. Even though Batwoman, Nightwing and more were there helping him. Deathstroke and Batgirl watch the fight from a rooftop, and the Terminator explains to Batgirl that Batman didn’t trust her to protect Gotham, because she’s a killer at heart. The mere fact that Batgirl allowed Deathstroke to talk with her and leave of his own free will means she might not be the innocent victim she’s being portrayed as in Teen Titans. Interesting…

After returning to J’onn once again, the tale heads to Pisa, Italy, where Black Adam is battling the Doom Patrol. Booster Gold pops in above the fight, wristbands a-blazin’. He proclaims “This is not the right time. I’m too soon.” before popping back into the time stream, completely unnoticed by the battle below. Was this a reference to one of his two appearances in 52 Week 50, or some other point in time we’ve yet to see?

Continuity Explanation #3 of the Issue- Aquaman became the Dweller in the Depths in exchange for returning San Diego to the surface

After a quick aside with Donna Troy in full Wonder Woman regalia, the story heads to Sub Diego, where Aquaman is making a bargain with some sort of water deities. I didn’t read Aquaman pre-OYL, so this probably makes more sense to others than it did to me. Somehow Aquaman uses the magic bones from the hand he lost to return Sub Diego to the surface, saving its inhabitants in the process. But seeing as how all pagan gods like to play tricks on us foolish mortals, Aquaman was transformed into the Dweller in the Depths as a result. The Dweller’s first words are an interesting choice: “And so…it begins.”

The issue ends by once again going back to Martian Manhunter. He looks shaken by all the conflicting emotions radiating from Earth, and decides that he must take action against the cause. Something tells me Black Adam’s not going to be too happy about that choice.