A pulp reimagining of The DCU, launched in 2009 with Batman/Doc Savage Special #1. Written by Brian Azzarello, the First Wave universe features reimaginings of classic DC heroes interacting with classic pulp fiction heroes. Notably, no one has superpowers; everyone either is a Badass Normal or has a Charles Atlas Superpower. The setting itself is an intentional Anachronism Stew of Tommy guns and jet planes, dirigibles and Ferraris, computers and walkie-talkies. There will, apparently, also be jungles.
The principals of First Wave are:
- The Avenger: Richard Henry Benson is back, and according to Word of God, "has issues".
- Batman: Specifically, the original Batman from 1939 (even though he's still Batman and not the Bat-Man). This version of the Dark Knight is far more playboy millionaire than brooding gargoyle-dweller. Most notably, he's packing heat.
- Black Canary: Reimagined as an Indian-American teenager named Diyata Dasari.
- ''The Blackhawks'': The fighter pilots are back. At least one of them is a Legacy Character from the World War II-era team.
- Doc Savage: Instead of the Man of Steel, we have the Man of Bronze. Appears to be dealing with the loss of his father and seeking a diversion (wanted criminal Batman in his First Wave appearance).
- Rima the Jungle Girl: Mute Jungle Princess with a distinctly more savage appearance than anyone else.
- The Spirit: Denny Colt's city doesn't appear to be screaming anymore. Notably, his version of Ebony White is a girl.
First Wave provides examples of:
- Alternate Universe: Although Batman is based on the Golden Age version, Alfred Pennyworth is based on his Post-crisis self instead of his original depiction.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Doc Savage hands one to the Goddamn Batman.
- Genre Blending: The imprint is a cross between Diesel Punk and Two-Fisted Tales, with many of the Pulp Magazine heroes crossing over including Doc Savage, The Avenger, The Spirit and Rima the Jungle Girl, as well as DCU characters who fit the paradigm like Batman (who in this world is The Shadow, complete with twin guns) and Black Canary.
- Gender Flip: The Spirit's sidekick Ebony White is a girl in the First Wave universe. This is because writer Brian Azzarello felt Ebony was more fitting as a female name in the 21st century.
- Two-Fisted Tales: This is a homage to old pulp tales, complete with versions of Doc Savage and Rima from Green Mansions. The current page image even sees Rima (albeit one modeled on DC's earlier version from the mid-1970s) and Savage about to confront the Spirit and Blackhawk.