This week saw the release of Joshua Williamson and Jason Fabok's Justice League vs Suicide Squad #1, which saw the two blockbuster teams go head-to-head for the first time. However, in the background, there's another team of villains with an odd roster and plans of their own, and their meeting place just might point to much bigger things for the future of the DC Universe.

Spoilers follow for Justice League vs Suicide Squad #1. We recommend you read the issue first and see if you can spot the Easter egg yourself.

While the Justice League and the Suicide Squad are fighting, Maxwell Lord has broken the most dangerous criminals in the world out of a secure location and gathered them together. His ragtag team of villains features:

  • Rustam, a foe of the classic Suicide Squad line-up as leader of Quraci extremists The Jihad.
  • Doctor Polaris, a Green Lantern and Justice League villain with magnetism powers
  • Johnny Sorrow, a villain of the classic Justice Society of America.
  • Emerald Empress, one fifth of the Fatal Five and an enemy of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
  • Lobo, The Main Man himself, looking a lot bulkier and sleazier than his New 52 incarnation.

The thing to pay attention to is the location though, as we see in the final two pages of the book, this meeting takes place at the old headquarters of Checkmate in the room where Maxwell Lord shot and killed Blue Beetle. The cracked screen behind Lord indicates that those events still in fact happened in the current continuity.

 

Jason Fabok

 

That's not all though; all of these characters represent the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe. Lobo is the obvious one, but Johnny Sorrow's profile in last week's Direct Currents mentioned him rambling about superheroes no-one had heard of, and The New 52 incarnation of Maxwell Lord, introduced in Dan Didio and Keith Giffen's OMAC, was a lot more mad scientist than cunning manipulator.

This marks a huge shift in DC's internal continuity and puts us one step closer to bringing back the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe. In the past few months, we've seen hints such as Dream Girl trapped in Arkham and Barry Allen's vision of Jay Garrick's iconic helmet, but this is one of the most concrete clues that not only are things not how they should be, but some people remember, and unfortunately for our heroes, it seems those people are the baddies.