DC Comics’ New 52 has been full of mysteries. How did Dick Grayson handle his demotion? How was Barbara Gordon healed? Or where is Zinda Blake? Perhaps the most ubiquitous question to arise from the soft reboot was about the mysterious woman in the purple hood who background camoed Fringe-fashion in all 52 first issues.
First appearing in the final issue of 2011’s summer crossover Flashpoint, the woman in purple seemed to usher in the reshaping of the DC universe. She informed The Flash that, although he’d managed to repair some of what had happened, things were not in the same state as before.
The hooded figure has proceeded to appear widely in issues of the New 52, sometimes shrouded in the shadows and other times closer to the action, but always silently observing.
Rumours and speculation have flown about not only about her identity but also her purpose. One suggestion was a new incarnation of old favourite Harbinger, and perhaps the foreteller of a new kind of universal crisis. Some have gone as far to pinpoint the character as an editorial get-out-clause if New 52 isn’t judged a success by the comics publisher.
DC’s The Source blog has at last eeked out a clue in the form of a sentence posted by Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras: “Her name is Pandora”. Fitting, really, given that she was part of the events that opened the metaphorical box containing the DcnU.
What does the mythological-sounding name mean? Unfortunately we still don’t know. DC have previously had a character named Pandora, but with the nature of change in DC at present – where canon has been turned on its head in unpredictable ways – a simple name means little.
DC’s world is now a one where marriages never existed, events are wiped from history and origin stories are turned on their head. It seems just as likely that Pandora may be a completely new character as a dramatic re-envisioning of an old one.
Harras hinted back in October that Pandora would be appearing soon in Justice League. Comics readers will have to keep looking for clues and hope that DC is using this teaser time to formulate a story that will amaze them.
In a hugely competitive year for Marvel and DC characters at least one thing’s for sure – she’s not a replacement Access.