SPECULATION: DC Relaunch Paving Way to Crossover with Marvel Comics?

The hooded woman seen in Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1 has popped up in all of the DC Relaunch books so far as well, and now it’s safe to guess that she’ll continue to appear in the DC Relaunch titles. What does it mean? Who is she?

Cloaked Woman in DC Comics

Ever since this mysterious, cloaked woman appeared in Justice League #1, we’ve been scouring the DC Comics archive for some clue or hint as to who she may be.  Given that Geoff Johns, the writer of Flashpoint and Justice League, and one of the key creators at DC Comics, has been known to create stories that have some hooks or references to stories of the past, we thought surely there’s a clue somewhere.

And then we found it in one of the most unlikely places: Marvel Comics.

Last week as I was standing in my my local comic shop (the legendary Isotope in San Francisco), the conversation turned to this mysterious, cloaked woman.  I expressed how perplexed I was over this figure and Isotope owner James Sime agreed with me, as we both shared that she looked vaguely familiar.  Then the conversation took a natural turn to the greatness that is currently Thunderbolts over at Marvel.  And then it clicked with both of us at the same time:


Originally the disguise Ultron took in his attack in the pages of Avengers in the late 1960s, The Crimson Cowl later returned in the late 1990s, as one of the main villains in the early days of the Thunderbolts by Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley. Actually Justine Hammer, The Crimson Cowl took advantage of a power vacuum in the villains of the Marvel Universe to become the new leader of the Masters of Evil.  She was most recently seen in the pages of New Avengers #35 as she teamed up with The Hood to take advantage of the super-heroes infighting during Civil War.

Before we reveal the connection between The Crimson Cowl and DC Comics, let’s compare the characters to see how closely their appearance is:

As you can see, the resemblance is quite uncanny. To the right you can see The Crimson Cowl as she appeared in Thunderbolts in the late 1990s, which explains the ’90s costume, but the hood/cowl? The red hue? Clearly the DC Comics artists in books such as the ones above: Green Arrow, Justice League International and Detective Comics are giving her an updated/modern look, but you can’t deny the similarity.


Now here’s where the crazy speculation begins.  While many of us have guessed that the presence of this mysterious woman is DC’s “reset buton” to allow the “new 52” universe to go back to the old DC Comics Universe, in case this crazy experiment doesn’t work. I haven’t subscribed to this theory as I think DC has passed the point of no return, they can’t go back to the old continuity.  So, if that’s the case, what does this mysterious woman represent?  My theory is this:

The mysterious woman is The Crimson Cowl, who is tampering with the DC Universe, which paves the way for a major DC/Marvel Crossover in 2012.

But how could that be? Let’s take a look at the hints:

  • Fans have been clamoring for a crossover between DC Comics and Marvel Comics since the last time the 2 companies crossed over a little under 10 years ago with JLA/Avengers
  • Key creators from both companies have expressed interest in crossing over, often discussing/joking about it on Twitter (i.e. Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction etc.)
  • In the post-Paul Levitz world of DC Comics, it seems as if the new co-publishers, Dan DiDio and Jim Lee are reversing just about every “law” that existed at DC Comics, so it wouldn’t be insane for the ban on inter-company crossovers to be lifted from the DC Comics side of things.  Meanwhile, if it means sales, you know Marvel Comics would approve it…
  • Geoff Johns spent some of his formative years at Marvel Comics, including a run on Avengers, while Jim Lee got his start at Marvel Comics back in the late 1980s
  • There has been an oddly large amount of goodwill amongst Marvel Comics staff towards DC Comics during the relaunch, which is quite different than their normal level of competitive ribbing that usually occurs.
  • DC Comics has made a name for themselves by keeping us guessing this past year, so why stop now? Why not blow us all away with the project we’d never expect?
  • Thunderbolts is currently one of the best books at Marvel right now (okay, maybe this isn’t related to my theory, but I just wanted to remind you) and it would be cool to see Thunderbolts at the center of a huge crossover event

Those are the behind the scenes/business reasons for this to happen, but you might be asking yourself, “How would it work within the story? Doesn’t The Crimson Cowl lack the amount of power that would require this sort of thing?”

Remember, this is the world of comics.  If you go back to the pages of New Avengers #35, you see The Crimson Cowl was in cahoots with The Hood.  The Hood, who later on got a hold of several of the Infinity Gems in the pages of Avengers this past year.  Who knows what The Hood did with the Infinity Gems inbetween panels.  Perhaps he powered The Crimson Cowl and sent her to another universe? Given that Brian Michael Bendis has been teasing something big from the Avengers next year, and also shares Geoff Johns’ affinity to tell stories that have ties to the past AND that we’ve already seen a hint of Ultron (the ORIGINAL Crimson Cowl) returning to battle the Avengers…all of a sudden this becomes quite plausible and maybe even believable.

So there you have it.  The mysterious cloaked woman is The Crimson Cowl and the seeding of her in the DC Comics Relaunch titles is paving the way to a crossover between DC Comics and Marvel Comics in 2012.  You heard it here first.

Or…maybe not.



  1. The suggestion I’ve heard is that it’s Beautiful Dreamer of the Forever People. That along with several references to Kirby’s New Gods lore seem to be indicating a 4th Meta-Story being established as the linking thread to the New DCU.

    • Whoops. Hit reply by accident! That said, I doubt it’s a Marvel Crossover. DC has said several times in the past that they’ve always been receptive to it, but Quesada was the stumbling block. Perhaps Alonso could do something different. But so far the Alonso area has yet to feel any different from when Quesada was in charge.

    • Strange, at a panel at Emerald City Comicon two years ago, the question of a Marvel/DC crossover came up. Several of Marvel’s key creative people—including Quesada, Bendis, and Brubaker—said it was DC with absolutely no interest, that several proposals had been made but shot down on DC’s end with a “Thanks, but no thanks” attitude.

  2. I want what you’re smoking.

  3. Ohhhh wow. You have officially just written the fanboy letter to end all fanboy letters.

    Yes, a crossover is cool. No argument or doubt there.

    But the alleged similarities in the Crimson Hood? ohhhh brutha… seriously… you need to see your optometrist and SOON. I mean, its totally ok to want this to happen… but to the point where you’re literally pulling things out of thing air?

    Lay off the sugar laddie.

  4. I’d read it.

    I kinda assume she was a New 52 incarnation of Harbinger.

  5. I still think she is a hidden reset button in case this 52 experiment goes all wrong. But, that being said, I really, really want you to be right. A crossover would be awesome.

    • I know it’s cynical, but when my friend first mentioned this character to me, that is also the first thing I thought. I had zero interest in Flashpoint, so I knew nothing about this hooded woman. Then my friend gave me the rundown about Flashpoint, since I told her to go ahead and spoil it, and I replied afterwards “Oh, so it was Back to the Future 2?”

    • A cosmic reset button…brilliant!

    • Yeah, I agree, that’s a dang good guess.

    • I’m going with the built-in reset button, which is what I was discussing a couple of weeks ago with a guy who works at my local (Hey, Nuclear!) comicshop. I do like the idea of her being a new Harbinger though, since she popped up for a while in the lead up to that Crisis.

      In Crisis we had the Psycho Pirate remembering everything that had gone before. Doesn’t Barry Allen recall prior events now? SInce Flashpoint led to this the Speed Force could be a way out. Of course, I haven’t read all the new DC books yet, so I may be missing something.

  6. Having been an iFanboy member for almost 4 years, I think I am qualified to say: Best. iFanday. Ever.

  7. Great theory! I hope it’s true.

    I would be excited if she had anything to do with NEW GODS too. Isn’t Grant Morrison doing a project about the NEW GODS?

    • I may be wrong (in fact, I hope I am), but I believe Grant’s New Gods story has been shelved. He’ll be busy doin Multiversity soon, and Johns is already introducing DCnU Darkseid in JLA, so I wouldn’t hold your breath.

      That being said, I would love it if this character ended up having ties to The Forever People/New Gods.

    • Aww that’s too bad because one of the stories was going to feature Frank Quietly art.

    • Well I don’t think Quitely will ever refuse an invitation from Morrison, so that could still very well happen down the line.

    • It is. Quitely is doing the Pax Americna issue of Multiversity, and Grant has said in interviews that the whole Mulitversity thing is going to deal with the New Gods. Kinda picking up where Final Crisis left off.

  8. I do like me some rampant speculation, Ron. I’m down with this scenario. Personally, this woman reminded me of Kismet, a completely all powerful being who only I remember from the pages of Adventures of Superman #494. Sadly, Kismet was green, didn’t wear a hood, didn’t have lines on her face, and only seemed to exist in space. But aside from that, it’s totally her!

    • Kismet was last seen macking with Eternity from the Marvel universe in JLA/Avengers. I really liked her as a background character in the superman books in the 90s, and she had a great design with that starfield look, a bit like Thom Kallor. I’m pretty sure this isn’t her though because I don’t think Johns would now bring back an old character like her this quick or at all.

  9. I think it is just a coincidence and they are of no realation to one another. I believe that artist and writers just like to create characters with hoods and cowls, its a cool looking costume sometimes. Nice theory though

  10. I’m sticking with my theory that the mysterious woman is Voodoo. Her synopsis for the first issue reboot seems interesting enough to make her into that type of character. She also learn time-manipulation from a elderly Daemonite. But a Marvel / DC crossover would be cool. we shall see…

  11. No clue, but I assumed in Flashpoint #5 she had something to do with the speedforce.

  12. That’s a pretty weak theory. Fun, but definitely stretchin it. I hope you’re wrong. I have never been a fanboy who desires (or enjoys) Big Two crossovers. Even if this chick doesn’t have a deep and meaningful purpose in the future of the DCU, I hope it’s better than just being some C-list Marvel villain.


  14. Love the theory, thanks Ron! Got me thinking about how they could pull off a real crossover event. Perhaps something involving Mister Mxyzptlk and Pip the Troll…

    • Two of the best and underused ‘under-card’ characters ever!

      Can’t wait for the Howard the Duck meets Ambush Bug OGN.

      …Yeah, that’ll be the day.

  15. Crimson Cowl? It’s a stretch.

  16. Where do the Mystery Hipster Cops fit in?

  17. It sounds cool except for one part. If that’s true, wouldn’t this entire relaunch lead back to the red hood? Not that it matters, but that would pretty seriously ingrain Marvel characters (and shitty ones at that) in the DC history. Don’t talk about Busiek’s cosmic egg stuff, that is minuscule. In five years, if all this goes well, I just don’t think the people at DC will look back and say “Good thing the Red Hood gave enough power to Madame Masque to completely restructure our universe.”

  18. This theory is ludicrous.

    She’s clearly that alien from the Jedi Council.

  19. It’s obviously Dazzler, whose mutation has evolved to allowed to utilize all of the sound on the planet to create a light so powerful as to alter the very fabric of reality, merging her with the Omniverse and giving her grand insight into the workings of the DCnU.

    Also, she put on a cowl, and wears face paint now.

  20. I”ve heard Bendis say on Wordballoon, something to the effect of crossovers are almost impossible due to corporate politics…basically boiling down to neither company will allow their characters to risk brand damage by getting their asses kicked by their publishing rival’s characters. Hulk vs Superman….they both can’t win.

    maybe a team up…but yeah how knows.

  21. Duh! its obviously the Scarlet Witch :-p

  22. Rick Remender writing and Oliver Copiel drawing is my dream cross over.

  23. I think that’s crazytalk, Ron 🙂

    A crossover is hard enough for both publishers to agree to. You really think DC would let Marvel have *any* connection at all to the single-largest reboot in the company’s history?! One of the reasons DC is doing all of this is so that it can better compete with Marvel, who’s been kicking DC’s a$$ in sales. Why on earth would DC want to do anything to help promote their competition? Plus, DC’s mystery woman does not look nearly as close to The Crimson Cowl as you strangely think she does. As for your point that Marvel execs have suddenly been publicly complimentary toward DC’s relaunch, I agree with you there. But it’s only because there was recent blogosphere criticism of these Marvel folks, giving them major crap for their Twitter pettiness regarding the Green Lantern feature film as well as DC’s New 52 announcements.

  24. I would definitely be in on this event as well. However, the crimson cowl theory was pulled out of left field. Then again, the MHW mentioning “for their impending arrival” could mean anything. I mean who in this particular cosmic scale can beat Anti-Monitor and Darkseid? Marvel most likely…

  25. “…In other news, POW! BAM! a man with long sideburns, dressed in a crimson cape and cowl was seen outside Marvel and DC building screaming about ‘comic books’ and ‘crossovers’ . He was taken into custody by the local constable.

  26. Would hate to see a marvel/dc cross over

  27. Dan Didio, in interviews, has mentioned there won’t be any events for the near future. If you’re trying to establish your new universe to be more reader friendly, I can’t imagine anything worse than bringing a whole other companies backstory in without making it a mess and confusing new readers. I don’t think this one is going to happen I like my Marvel and DC separate.

  28. I would think DC would be much more focused on their relaunch for quite some time. They have something to prove and anything detracting from that would be a mistake in my eyes.

  29. Idk about crossovers anymore. now we’re not just talking marvel and dc. we’re talking disney and warner bros. The amount of legal gymnastics it would take to make that workable for both parties, i just don’t see it happening.

    • I think the publishing arms of both companies are independent *enough* to pull it off, but you definitely won’t see merchandise attached to it if it happens.

  30. Is this cowled person in every new DC 52 book so far?

  31. At this point, she can’t just be a reset button? Surely? I mean, she isn’t exactly hidden, appearing in everything so far. If this new DC thing is a success (and it seems it is) they have to do something to explain her presence. A crossover would be very cool, especially since I wasn’t reading comics when the last one happened.

  32. Actually, can’t you just imagine a clandestine meeting between the heads of DC and Marvel? Its been made very clear all over the internet and right here on iFanboy that comics sales are circling the drain. Maybe the big two come together in a last ditch effort to drive sales back up?

    DC sparks initial interest in the wider public with its relaunch, then they crossover with Marvel after a year or so and Marvel characters are exposed to those new readers too. Sales of both companies goes up, the comics industry in general benefits. Conspiracy!!!

  33. Its not the Crimson Cowl.

    Its clearly Psylocke pre-Siege Perilous which will lead to a crossover between the 80’s X-Men and DC written by Chris Claremont.

    Or is it Pythona from the GI Joe Animated movie…

  34. The question of a DC / Marvel crossover came up several times at the Marvel panels during FanExpo. Marvel said that DC has certain conditions (editorial / financial?) for a crossover to happen that Marvel cannot / will not comply with. They do not see a crossover happening anything in the near future.

  35. While this is really inspired and interesting to read, and I clamor for another Marvel/DC crossover….

    There is absolutely, positively, NO WAY this is the case. Nor will it happen any time soon.

    You think Marvel is really happy with DC right now? Especially after hearing even the smallest of titles getting sold out and double prints? If you’ve seen most of Marvel’s twitter accounts you’ll see more hatred for anything DC related then anything else.

    Then you have the biggest problem of them all with getting two major companies, Disney and WB, to work together to allow this to happen. I’m 100% certain that those two guys are going to want to get their hands on any type of major crossover before even getting a script ready.

    So yeah….It’s ambitious Ron but I highly doubt it considering today’s times.

  36. An interesting idea. I was thinking it could be a DCnU / Where’s Waldo crossover…

  37. Ya know, I don’t even think she was supposed to be in Justice League. Maybe she just showed up to watch the game.

  38. I wonder if it might be Rama Kushna trying to bring balance back to the DCU. It could tie in with DC Universe Presents. And it seems that DC is giving a big push to The Dark.

  39. I doubt DC would look to do a crossover with them just rebooting their universe.
    Would be a bad business decision to take the focus off the re-launch, especially since they need some time to establish a story/character base for each new title.

  40. Plus not to mention Ultron heads were floating around in the pages of Moon Knight recently… not sure if that got cleared up yet i havent bought the new issue

  41. DC Marvel cross over. Clap Clap Clap. I’ll read any cross over no matter how bad it is. If it does happen, i hope they get it right.

  42. with exclusive signing on of artists and writers on companies, snarky twitter posts, and dc chomping at the bit to overthrow Marvel from the top spot i doubt they would be doing anything but drawing deeper lines in the sand and hunkering down. and as stated above, legal issues would become super-convoluted over liscening.

    i think DC is on the precipice of a second life of great sales and would not want to join up with marvel on thier coat tails and share the spotlight with their main competitor, just doesn’t make any flipping sense!

  43. I was thinking that the woman in the cloak was actually three characters merged into one.

    some female vertigo character

    The only thing we really know is that Red Glowing Girl has been aware of three separate time lines- The old DC, Wildstorm and the part of Vertigo that had Constantine and Swamp Thing. Has raven shown up in any of the relaunch books? Has Void?

  44. Fun article, but I don’t really understand the leap in logic. A character vaguely resembles a C level Marvel villain so it must be a crossover? I get that this article was just meant for fun speculation, so I can appreciate that. It just seems like a gigantic leap. I just appreciate that Thunderbolts love.

  45. I think it is just DCnU’s Harbinger.

  46. I’ve been hoping for a crossover, especially since the big 2 release annual events anyways it would be a real event to release a huge crossover. This idea here would be sweet. If only.

  47. You guys realize Ron was joking, right? Also, someone put a mustache on that hooded lady, stat!

  48. It’s the Shadow Weaver from “She-Ra: Princess of Power!” It wouldn’t be the first DC/He-Man crossover.

  49. Ron, put away the crack before the crack puts you away.

  50. I’d buy the Power Girl, Shulkie, Ms. Marvel, Wonder Woman team book but that’s about it.

  51. Mind blown. Didn’t she mention something about three worlds. How about DC/Marvel/Image crossover!!!

  52. Ok, this is a very interesting observation. Need a little more revelation before I’ll go that direction though!

  53. Or she could simply be a new character . . ? I know, I know, waaay too simple . . .

    I agree with those above who see major roadblocks to any Marvel/DC crossover, though if there is one anytime in the near future, I request a Damian/Young Loki team-up please . . .

  54. Well, I thought my theory was a long shot, but compared to this, I feel pretty confident I’m not THAT far off.
    I don’t know if she is a reset button, but she definitely seems to be a player with the ability to alter, observe, or influence reality and time/space. Looking at how Wildstorm is being integrated into the DC mythology, I am immediately reminded of the WildCATS character Void, who had absorbed an orb of power that gave her all kinds of reality warping powers. A counterpart of hers, Cassandra Newland, also assumed the power of an orb with similar results. She called herself Providence, had tremendous power, and dressed in a pink cloak ‘n’ stuff.
    I think that’s who it is. As to what her purpose is, you got me.

  55. It’s Secret. Young Justice forever!

  56. Also looks like Shadow Weaver, but I doubt we’ll see a cross over with She-Ra anytime soon.

  57. Eff the naysayers Ron! I’m all for your theory!

  58. When Flash was traveling backwards through time (or whatever) during Flashpoint 5, doesn’t he mention something about a few different timelines/universes?

    I originally assumed that had meant Wildstorm, DC and Vertigo… but who knows!

  59. good story and i’m glad to see someone else show loves for the thunderbolts

  60. Prefer this “theory” to the reset button nonsense. It’s not going to be all new #1’s in a few months so I do believe she will be the catalyst for the first event of the new DCU. Or maybe making cloaks popular was one of the goals of the reboot.

  61. It couldn’t be Justine Hammer under the cowl, if this was the case. She and her daughter (Sasha?) are currently thorns in Tony’s side in Invincible Iron Man.

  62. Here’s something: the solit for Marvel’s Point One one-shot, that seems like their answer to all the DC #1s, says that it’s setting up the biggest change to Marvel in 35 years. So what happened in 1976?

    Superman Vs. Spider-Man

  63. the theories i like most:
    -A female Monitor?
    -Harbinger (as mentioned above)
    -someone on CBR mentioned a woman in Booster Gold’s Flashpoint tie in who can travel time.
    -the post flashpoint version of the hipster cops

  64. Is it just me, or does anyone else get kind of creeped out when they’re reading their new issues #1 and that glowing red chick is suddenly lurking in the background?

  65. There are too many red hoods out there. The closest I can speculate is the TIME TRAPPER.