Most of the DCU!
James Olsen/Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen
Donna Troy/Troia
Jason Todd/Robin II/The Red Hood
Hartley Rathaway/Pied Piper
James Jesse/The Trickster
Floyd Lawson/Deadshot
Holly Robinson/Catwoman II
The New Earth Monitor
Nathaniel Adam/Captain Atom/Monarch
. . . and, from beyond the grave, Bart Allen/Impulse/Kid Flash II/The Flash IV


(written by Paul Dini with Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray; Pencils by Manuel Garcia w/ David Lopez)

This week starts off with the aftermath of DC's Flash #13 in which the One Year Later title came to a tragic conclusion with the death of Bart Allen, the latest hero to wear the crimson uniform of the Flash! Reporting from the funeral is the Daily Planet's Jimmy Olsen. Also attending are a veritable Who's Who of the DCU, including Robin (Tim Drake), Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark), the original Flash (Jay Garrick), Cyborg (Victor Stone), and many many others.

Listening to the eulogies of the heroes who worked with Bart Allen, Jimmy comes to a fateful decision - with all the new abilities he's been manifesting, he feels a responsibility to use those powers for a greater good. Hmmm . . . sounds similar to another urban newspaper's resident photog over at the Marvelous Competition.

The book looks in on Holly Robinson, recently taken in by an Amazonian hostel in the Suicide Slum area of Metropolis. Holly has an interesting conversation with one of the spa/shelter's other newest residents, Harleen Quinzel, a/k/a Harley Quinn!

Back at the funeral, Piper and the Trickster are surreptitiously paying their respects to their fallen arch-nemesis. But a case of the jitters sends them packing, leading them right into the arms of Deadshot! When the crack-shot has you in his sights, things can't be good. The question remains, though, who's the assassin for hire working for? His old taskmasters in the Suicide Squad? The Society? Whoever it is, they mean business.

Also attending the funeral are Jason Todd, Donna Troy, and their new Monitor ally. This Monitor (the same who witnessed events at the Source Wall back in Issue 51) explains that before they can even begin to battle the coming threat to the DCU, they must first travel to the nanoverse to find the one person who can assist them - Dr. Ray Palmer, the original Atom! Remember, Ray Palmer has been missing since the events on Identity Crisis, when he discovered that his ex-wife, Jean Loring, was a cold-blooded killer!

Finally, this issue also checks in on the Monarch and his new ally, Forerunner. They seem to be in a place bathed in red light (possibly the Bleed from the WildStorm universe) where the former Captain Atom recently traveled through in his adventures outside the DCU. It's also revealed that he's gathered an army in this secret location and he needs Forerunner to train and command that army. What against or where he plans on using that army is yet to be revealed.

All in all, this week brought closure to the Bart Allen/Full Throttle storyline, celebrating a hero that DC may have killed right before he grew into a hero that fans could have embraced. The story also took some nice leaps forward, pushing characters towards the much-teased scenarios promised during last summer's convention season (The Search for Ray Palmer, Villains Defiant). Finally, we got more of a glimpse into the mysterious machinations of the Monarch - a story that has yet to reveal if we the readers should be rooting for or against the convoluted anti-hero.

Next week, come back for Issue 42: Stuck in the Clay!