(If you don't want the story potentially spoiled, why are you looking here?)
The following questions are from Wizard #171. They have surfaced in at least one thread on every message board I've looked at today, so I figured I'd just answer them here instead of retype everything. I'm working on two assumptions: The Big Three will be effectively disappeared from the DCU for the entirety of the one-year gap; DC are going for the most surprising developments they can get away with.
--One of these characters will give birth in '06: Wonder Woman, Power Girl, Catwoman, or Oracle
Oracle is too easy, as she hasn't been physical for a long time, but given that she's getting her legs back, I don't see them hurting her body again so quickly with a pregnancy. We'd still end up spending a long time watching her recovery, which I believe Gail Simone wanted to skip over for the one-year-leap (Otherwise, why time it now?)
Power Girl has already had a child during a big event.
Catwoman is my runner-up, because the thing between her and Batman has been played up in the build-up here, and they did have a kid on Earth-2.
But I'm going to go with Wonder Woman here. Wishful thinking on my part, I admit, but come on -- Diana's got almost no love-life, Aphrodite's got to be getting irritated by now. This Goddess has turned young women into fruit trees for less, but she continues to favor Diana desptie her virginity? And Rucka's been playing up the motherly aspect of her personality whenever he can. It's a logical step. And it's a way to remove Wonder Woman from the regular DCU for a full year.
--One of these characters will be stripped of their powers: Superman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Green Lantern/Hal Jordan
This plot point has been done to death with Jordan. And comparing his post-Parallax behavior to John's words and Kyle and Guy's actions, he's the least likely Lantern to get the pink slip right now.
I don't see a point with Supergirl.
Everyone on every message board seems to be saying Wonder Woman, because her powers are the easiest to lose as they depend on her patron's favor. But I don't buy it. Diana is Athena's main champion. Diana just got Athena the Throne of firkin' Olympus, and then topped it off with a trip to the Underworld to fetch her baby brother and quell a rebellion. This is all fresh goodness, so it would take a lot to annoy Athena that much. I can see it, though, for the right reason, which is why Diana's my second choice here. But I can only see one specific reason here:
Diana's actions in Sacrifice? No. I can totally see Athena getting behind Diana on those, being a war goddess and all.
Failing to defend Paradise Island? No. They were never mad at Diana when the Amazons got slaughtered before.
Diana getting knocked up? Not even this. Athena might be irked, but remember, Aphrodite and Demeter are also Diana's patrons -- and Athena's biggest supporters in her coup. Diplomatically, at least, Athena would have to let this one pass.
Diana getting knocked up by a guy in Athena's temple? This could do it.
Diana getting knocked up by Poseidon in Athena's temple? Bingo! But this slim possibility is the only one that would work.
So my money's on the Big S. It's the only concievable way to take Superman out for a whole year without killing Lois.
-- One of these characters will become the mayor of a crime-riddled city: Wally West, Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne, Oliver Queen
Wally's a nobody since Hal mind-wiped the universe for him. He doesn't have the in-story name recognition to become politicians, at least, not in such big city. Plus, he's just too young.
Oliver Queen is highly political, but he's totally tactless. He would shoot his mouth off at the first press conference and totally alienate his target demographic.
Dick has the money, and he has joined the police force to root out corruption, so politics is a natural nexts step. I still see him as too young, though.
Bruce Wayne however, has the money, the backing, the influence, and the fake charm to make it happen. And it's not a natural move for him, under normal circumstances. But given his disillusionment with the hero community, the staggering odds he's been facing threatening to overwhelm him, the utter futility of his mission and the fact that it's falling to pieces -- well, a change of plan might be necessary. Why not take a page from Dick's book and join the system to cleanse it? Plus, it's a good way to remove Batman for a full year.
-- One of these characters will have amnesia and be unable to tell friend from foe: Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Atom, Elongated Man
Wiping Atom or Elongated Man's memories would clear the slate for either character, but it would be just too sad after Identity Crisis.
This could be a hook for an Aquaman relaunch, but given the title of the new book (Sword of Atlantis), I don't see it as too likely.
Now, an amnesiac Martian Manhunter would make a lot of sense. It would explain the utter lack of a JLA relaunch (Doesn't work without a Martian!), and J'onn does have a history of memory problems.
-- One of these characters will take the mantle as the most powerful hero in the DCU: Booster Gold, Animal Man, Kyle Rayner, Earth-2 Superman
Mantle Schmantle! The most powerful hero in the DCU is obviously going to be Kyle Rayner. And not for the obvious reason.
Despite the name of his new book, I don't think Kyle will be fully Ionized and move laterally through time again. That would be too hard to write. But, Kyle is currently the most influential man in the Green Lantern Corps. Kyle is the beloved Torch-bearer, single-handedly responsible for the resurrection of the Oan race. The Oan race which is the collective boss of the Green Lantern Corps. When Kyle walked into the Citadel, and the Guardians immediately dropped everything to be in his presence and praised him. Every year, on Kyle's birthday, they decorate an everpurple tree and buy gifts for each other. Kyle is wonderful. Kyle is the best thing since sliced bread. They love Kyle. They want Kyle happy, they want Kyle safe, and, most of all, they want Kyle close to them.
OYL the Corps will be a staggering force that has swelled to 7200 intensively-trained uber-powerful supercops. They are all under the control of the Gaurdians, who love Kyle. Who want to keep Kyle happy, safe, and close to them. Even if Kyle does internalize his powers, he will still be the beloved Torch-bearer, savior of the Oan race. He will still secretly be referred to by most of them as "Uncle Kyle" when Ganthet is out of earshot. He will be the Most Powerful Hero in the DC Universe, because he will be the only one who can influence the Guardians.
If you doubt this, look at his recent actions: He disobeys his orders in Rann-Thanagar War by following a lead that would take him directly to the center of the war that he is expressly forbidden to involve himself in. Instead of getting the boot, he gets Kilowog sent to pick him up and gently guide him away from the danger. He's currently in the process, in Recharge, of breaking a millenia-old pact between the Guardians and the Psions, over a girl who left the Corps voluntarily before she got kidnapped. Now, when the old Green Man did this in Omega Men #29, he got booted from the Corps, and even cut off from using his power to save his own butt! If Guy had done this alone, I can see a similar result (especially since he got threated with Krona's punishment for breaking into the Citadel!). So, what's going to keep Kyle and Guy from getting the book thrown at them? Why, Kyle's presence, of course.
And the beauty of all of this is: Kyle is very last person in the DC Universe who would capitalize on this situation. Hell, he'll probably be the last person to realize he's getting special treatment! It'll all be subtle, little rules that they bend for him. He could be running the Universe, and he won't ever realize it.
Of course, if you want to get tricky (which Wizard and DC often are), if Kyle's only taking up the Ion name again, that is the mantle of the "Most Powerful Hero in the DCU" if not the actual power level.
I just hope this question doesn't mean we'll see Earth-2 Superman as the Spectre. That's a scary thought.
-- One of these characters will become a criminal: Hal Jordan, Superman, Flash, Captain Marvel
Hal Jordan's too obvious here. He's already played villain for too long to be a fugitive.
We'll sooner see Superman back in his grave than turning to crime.
The Flash would be interesting, to say the least, and I could see Wally or Bart end up in a situation that forced them on the wrong side of the law easily.
But I went with Captain Marvel because not only does this have an initial "Huh?" factor, but it makes perfect sense on examination -- Billy is actually a lot younger than everyone else, and is now without guidance after Day of Vengeance #6. His powers are magic-based, so I don't see how the Wisdom of Solomon is totally reliable right now. He's also been lagging in popularity, and such a stunt would raise interest, at least temporarily. I can see him being forced to the wrong side of the law even more easily than the Flash right now.
-- One of these characters will be the only one around after "Infinite Crisis": The Flash/Wally West, Superboy/Connor Kent, Green Lantern/Guy Gardner, Nightwing/Dick Grayson
This does not necessarily mean death. They are playing with us.
Wally West is probably going to retire with the kids.
Dick will evolve beyond Nightwing somehow.
I was originally going to go with Guy Gardner, but then I realized: The Solicits for the Teen Titans Annual are already out, and it's a post-Infinite Crisis love story with Wonder Girl and Superboy. This not only means that Cassie will survive (WHY?!), but Connor Kent will definately be around afterwards. Which means Guy might be the "heroic warrior" to sacrifice himself in the Rann-Thanagar War Infinite Crisis Special
At this point, he might have more of an effect than even Jade. But even so, it's possible that I'm wrong, and Guy will be around, but in a different form. Back to Warrior perhaps? Or maybe, just maybe, the solicits were lying to me and the love story is set before the end of Infinite Crisis. In which case, Guy is home free. I'll have my fingers crossed, but I know what to expect.
As I have said on other message boards, if Jade survives the Rann-Thanagar War Special but Guy Gardner or Captain Comet dies, I will personally vomit on Dave Gibbons' shoes at the very next convention I see him at.
-- One of these teams won't survive Infinite Crisis: JLA, JLA, JLA, JLA
Haven't the foggiest idea here.
-- One of these characters becomes the military's secret weapon: Cyborg, Wonder Woman, Red Tornado, Green Lantern/John Stewart
John is becoming rebellious again. I can't see him working for the military after what he said to Hal in Green Lantern #1 about his "Wake-up call." And given what happened to Kyle and his mother in Homecoming? after John defended "the Man" and got sent on a wild goose chase, it would bug me to see him become a "secret weapon."
Wonder Woman's views are too unconventional.
Red Tornado is an off-chance, but for some reason I really see Cyborg going military here. Not sure why.
-- One of these characters will destroy an entire country and kill millions: Braniac, Sinestro, Black Adam, Vandal Savage
Not Sinestro's style. Plus, this sort of thing is generally reserved for villains needing to prove themselves. Sinestro's coming off the biggest scheme of his career -- He actually took down Hal Jordan! He kept him down for a decade! And he would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for that meddling kid...
Wouldn't jive with Black Adam's normal actions. He does consider himself a moral man and would probabyl stop short of mass genocide.
Vandal Savage is off to a good start in his last appearance, going all Ra's Al Ghul on us -- but Brainiac's been awfully quiet during all of this. I can see Brainaic surprising every one with a sudden, huge, destructive action.