2006 was the year of Infinite Crisis, a seven-issue limited series that served as a sequel to the 1985-86 max-series Crisis on Infinite Earths. Infinite Crisis brought together several seemingly unrelated subplots that had been chronicled in different limited series in 2005, and also revived the characters of Alexander Luthor, Superboy of Earth-Prime, and Superman and Lois Lane of Earth-Two – characters who had not been seen since the climax of Crisis on Infinite Earths #12. Hot on the heels of Infinite Crisis, DC began publication of 52, an appropriately named weekly maxi-series that ran for fifty-two weeks. 52 explored the backdrop of the DC Universe without the presence of major heroes such as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. While 52 dealt with the immediate consequences of Infinite Crisis, storylines from the rest of the DC Universe jumped forward in time by one year, and examined many of the Crisis' lasting effects.
2006 also marked the return of Superman to the big-screen in the Warner Bros film Superman Returns. The first live-action Superman movie in nearly twenty years, Superman Returns starred Brandon Routh in the title role, replacing the late Christopher Reeve, who played the part of Superman in the 1970s and 80s. Rounding out the film's cast were Kate Bosworth in the role of Lois Lane, Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor, Frank Langella as Perry White and Sam Huntington as Jimmy Olsen.
On the small screen, the WB/CW network aired the second half of season five of Smallville and the first half of season six. Both seasons introduced known DC Comics super-heroes into the program. Cyborg was introduced in Season 5, and Green Arrow was introduced in season 6. Season 5 also killed off one of the program's main characters, Jonathan Kent. That same year, the CW proposed a Smallville spin-off series tentatively titled Mercy Reef, which was to feature the character of Aquaman. Aquaman made his live-action debut on the season five episode of Smallville entitled "Aqua". Played by Alan Ritchson, Aquaman became allies with Clark Kent and even struck up a brief relationship with Lois Lane. The episode proved popular enough that WB executives decided to test the water with an Aquaman spin-off series. Casting agents passed over Ritchson to revive the role of Aquaman, ultimately bestowing it upon soap opera actor, Justin Hartley. A pilot episode was filmed, but studio executives ultimately decided to discontinue the program. The unaired pilot was made available for purchase from the iTunes music store.
September of 2006 also marked the debut of the Legion of Super-Heroes animated series on the Kids WB. The series also featured the character of Superboy, but was referred to as Superman throughout the course of the series. Six episodes of season 1 were aired in 2006. Also on the Kids WB, The Batman aired the second half of season 3 and the first half of season 4. The season 4 premiere introduced the character of Robin. Robin was actually the second sidekick featured on the series, the first being Batgirl who was introduced in 2005.
The following characters died in publishing year 2006.
- Alexander Luthor
- Lois Lane (Earth-Two)
- Psycho-Pirate (Roger Hayden)
- Solomon Grundy
- Superman (Earth-Two)
The following events were published by DC Comics in the year 2006. This does not necessarily indicate that these storylines took place in the year 2006. The passage of time in the DC Universe is nebulous and subject to change and interpretation. Events from historical time periods are indexed under their corresponding years.
|The Spectre attacks Atlantis drawing power from all of the Altantean sorcerers. He fights against Tempest and steals his magic.||Aquaman v.6 #37||2.06|
|The sea-dwelling members of the Society attack Sub Diego. Aquaman and Aquagirl defend their territory.||Aquaman v.6 #37||2.06|
|Lex Luthor uses Black Kryptonite to separate Supergirl into a good version and an evil version. The evil Supergirl beats Lex up and fights her counterpart. Wonder Woman appears and uses the Lasso of Truth to reconcile the two halves.||Supergirl v.5 #4-5||2.06-3.06|
|Aquaman discovers the bodies of Vulko and his son Koryak. He pledges himself to rebuilding Atlantis.||Aquaman v.6 #38||3.06|
|The Crime Doctor defects from the Society and seeks sanctuary with the Birds of Prey.||Birds of Prey #92||5.06|
|Black Canary goes to Vietnam and meets Sin for the first time.||Birds of Prey #92||5.06|
|Gypsy joins the Birds of Prey.||Birds of Prey #92||5.06|
|The Blue Beetle fights Guy Gardner and discovers the Blue Beetle Scarab.||Blue Beetle v.2 #1||5.06|
The Missing Year
|52 and World War III|
|Blue Beetle get into a fight with the Posse after his Blue Beetle Scarab sends Probe to the hospital.||Blue Beetle v.2 #2||6.06|
|The Green Martian Cay'an forces a clan of White Martians to crash land on Earth. They are discovered by members of the Department of Homeland Security who analyze them in an effort to weaponize their powers. Note: Takes place several months before Brave New World #1.||Brave New World #1; Martian Manhunter v.3 #8||5.07|
|The Blue Beetle rescues Paco from La Dama's thugs. Jaime Reyes reveals to Paco and his family he is the new Blue Beetle.||Blue Beetle v.2 #3||7.06|
|The Martian Roh'kar escapes imprisonment and seeks out the Martian Manhunter. An assassin named Paul Gerrard kills Roh'kar before the Manhunter can help him. Note: Takes place approx. 5 weeks before Martian Manhunter v.3 #1.||Martian Manhunter v.3 #1-2||10.06-11.06|
One Year Later
|One Year Later|
|Candor: Saturn Queen brainwashes Ultraman, Supergirl and Power Girl and tricks them into believing that they exist in Kandor. Ultraman assumes the guise of Superman, while Supergirl and Power Girl assume the identities of Flamebird and Nightwing. They eventually break through the programming and disrupt Saturn Queen's fake reality.||Supergirl v.5 #6-8||4.06-6.06|
|Blue Beetle returns home unaware he was away a whole year after battling Brother Eye.||Blue Beetle v.2 #2||6.06|
|The Martian Manhunter, in the guise of DEO agent William Dyer meets with scientist Alex Ferguson. The Manhunter reveals his true identity and Dyer shows him a Kuru pendant he recovered from an alien crash site.||DCU: Brave New World #1||8.06|
|Power Girl demands to know why Supergirl forced them to abandon the people of Kandor. Supergirl is not completely forthcoming, but indicates that she has learned vital information relating to Argo City.||Supergirl v.5 #9||10.06|
|The Martian Manhunter liberates five Martians from a top secret government laboratory. During the escape, Martian Mica'kel uses his powers to kill several guards.||Martian Manhunter v.3 #2||11.06|
|Supergirl assumes the human guise of Claire Connors and enrolls at Guggenheim High School. After enduring several days of high school life, she forsakes her security identity and quits.||Supergirl v.5 #10||11.06|
|Section Chief Keane has an armored agent assassinate S.T.A.R. Labs scientist Alex Ferguson.||Martian Manhunter v.3 #3||12.06|
|Supergirl tries out for the Outsiders. On her first mission she goes undercover to expose a group of metahuman pirates.||Supergirl v.5 #11||12.06|
|Supergirl meets Power Boy for the first time.||Supergirl v.5 #11||12.06|
|Section Chief Keane brings together Black Canary, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Vixen and Zatanna and tells them that the Martian Manhunter has gone rogue.||Martian Manhunter v.3 #3||12.06|