Things are not slowing down at all over at the DC Universe in the summer months. DC Comics continues to bring present fans with what their new direction post-Dark Nights: Metal as the Justice League quickly expands to every corner of the DC Universe. On top of that July will see the beginning of Brian Bendis’ era as the creative head of the Superman franchise. And that is on top of the aftermath of the Batman/Catwoman wedding, both Titans teams returning in surprising forms, the end of the Flash War and even more surprises. Let’s take a look at what DC Comics July 2018 looks like after the latest batch of solicitations.
DC’S WEDDING PRESENT IS A CATWOMAN SOLO
Front and center at the top of DC Comics July 2018 solicitations was the newest solo series for Catwoman. Catwoman’s status within the DC Universe has been slowly elevated even more during her engagement with Batman. During that time we have seen how Catwoman interacts and even matches up against some of the Justice League members. That is something we didn’t see a lot of outside big events in the past for Catwoman, who has mainly stayed within the Gotham City sphere. Now fresh off her marriage this is a good time for her to have a new ongoing to show what adventures she gets in now as Selina Wayne.
Having Joelle Jones as both the series writer and artist is a great choice. Jones has shown that she can draw a great Catwoman during her work on Tom King’s Batman. While I am not familiar with how Jones writes a series it is exciting to see DC Comics give her a chance to open fans eyes to both her writing and art in a title like Catwoman.
BRIAN BENDIS’ SUPERMAN ONGOING ERA BEGINS
While Man of Steel will be the tone setter for what Brian Bendis is planning for his Superman run July marks his full takeover the franchise. In July he fully takes over both Action Comics and Superman ongoings. This isn’t the first time Bendis is writing multiple titles in a franchise. He did something similar when he worked on Avengers, Iron Man, and X-Men. His success on those titles was mixed so it’ll be interesting to see how he does on Superman. Given that Patrick Gleason, Ivan Reis and Joe Prado are the artist he is working with DC Comics certainly is giving him all the tools needed to make Superman great.
Though the one thing that does stand out from both Action Comics and Superman solicit is the fact that neither one of them talks about the Kent family. Since Rebirth started Clark, Lois and Jonathan Kent’s family dynamic has been a major selling factor for what has made the Superman so fun to read. Not seeing that be talked about is a bit concerning since Bendis may be more focused on writing Superman than Clark Kent. Being able to balance the focus between both sides of the character will be key in making his run on the franchise successful.
A JUSTICE LEAGUE FOR ALL OCCASIONS
The full direction that the Justice League are going on starts to fully take shape in July as both Justice League Dark and Odyssey launch. It isn’t too surprising to see DC Comics try their hands again with a new Justice League Dark title. With a movie constantly talked about in development it is clear DC wants to make the Justice League Dark team something that connects with a larger fanbase. Having Wonder Woman on board does give the series a star power that it did not have in its previous incarnation. Though how exactly her mythological background mixes in with the magical setting of Justice League Dark.
On the other side of the spectrum is Justice League Odyssey. Like Dark, Odyssey is getting a slight injection of star power with Cyborg leading the team. While Cyborg still isn’t as popular as other Justice League members his status has been elevated since New 52. Having Starfire and Jessica Cruz on the team gives him two characters that he is familiar with and can help him with the space setting. Though seeing Darkseid on the roster is eyebrow raising. Even though he was announced for the team you do have to wonder what role DC is building Darkseid to have in the future.
DICK GRAYSON IS THE ALL-NEW BATMAN
Dick Grayson seems to pulling a page out of his mentor’s playbook as he is going to putting in a lot of work in July. Not only is he still busy in his own title and work with the Titans as Nightwing but he is also taking over as Gotham City’s Batman after Bruce and Selina’s wedding. What makes this more fitting is the fact that Tom King will get a chance to write Dick Grayson as Batman. King, along with Tim Seeley, had a phenomenal run on Grayson and with the work he has done in Batman so far this should be fun.
It’ll also be interesting to see how King writes Bruce Wayne’s character now that he is married to Selina Kyle. That is a big status quo shift for Bruce as he isn’t the billionaire bachelor anymore. How the rest of Gotham City perceives him now adds something different outside the Batman mask.
INJUSTICE VS HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
Injustice vs He-Man and the Masters of the Universe? Talk about crossover that you never thought would happen. This is definitely notable since He-Man and the Masters of the Universe have become a much more niche since the universe hasn’t had an animated series since 2004. That is a long time in public awareness terms. For DC and Mattel to pair He-Man with the Injustice Universe is an even odder decision. Though it will give a chance to finally see who would win in a fight: Superman or He-Man. Both uber powerful characters could have a fight that rivals the recent Goku vs. Jiren fight.
JOHN STEWART FIRST ULTRAVIOLET LANTERN
Scott Snyder is definitely going all out with what he is doing to challenge the DC Universe status quo. One thing he looks to be doing is changing John Stewart from a Green Lantern to the first Ultraviolet Lantern. If this change is not just a one time thing for the Justice League #3 issue than this could have serious ramifications to the Green Lantern titles given that John is the leader of the GLC at the moment. If he suddenly changes sides to a brand new Lantern Corps than there will be big changes at the top of the GLC. And given everything the GLC are involved in Snyder’s change to John may not come at a good time for what is going on over in the Green Lantern franchise.
DICK GRAYSON AND BARBARA GORDON NEXT DOWN THE AISLE
Along with acting as Batman for a short period DC Comics continues to tease Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon renewing their relationship. It was only a couple months ago we saw them almost get back together in Hope Larson’s Batgirl. Now DC is once again revisiting the possible romance between the two in Batgirl and Nightwing. With Bruce and Selina getting married in July it does seem like a good time for Dick and Barbara to also finally get together. They are one of the other more well-known couples in the DC Universe that actually haven’t been together in a while.
BRUCE WAYNE IS NOT DAMIAN WAYNE’S FATHER?
While his Bruce is off getting married Damian Wayne may end up finding out Bruce isn’t actually his father. The Deathstroke #33 at least implies we are going to get some questions into Damian’s actual origin. And with the tease that Slade Wilson is possibly his father the very dynamic we have seen for the Batman Family can very well be shaken. If Slade is actually Damian’s father, and not Bruce, than a wedding may not be the biggest Batman event to happen in July.
FLASH WAR ELECTRIC ENDING
With the end of Flash War it seems as though both Barry Allen and Wally West will come out of it even more powerful than before.That is at least what is teased with two new Speed Force powers being discovered by both of them. How those new powers affect Hunter Zolomon will also be intriguing?
Though what I am most interested in is where Flash War leaves both Barry and Wally within the DC Universe. While Barry’s Flash is still part of the Justice League, the same can’t be said about Wally. As of now Wally is nowhere to be found in any other DC title as he is absent from the new Titans squad and isn’t part of one of the many Justice League’s that have been created.
DARKSTARS BECOME GREEN LANTERN CORPS GREATEST THREAT
While the various Justice League teams are dealing with a lot of end of the universe threats the Green Lantern Corps aren’t just sitting still. Robert Venditti seems to be building something just as big as Metal with the upcoming #50 issue of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. The Darkstars look to be at the center of that as the new group are forcing the Green Lantern Corps to team-up with Hector Hammond. Teaming with a villain is never a good thing for our heroes. Though this does show how big of a threat the Darkstars are to the DC Universe.
ROBIN HIDING SECRETS FROM EVERYONE INCLUDING BATMAN
After being part of the No Justice event the Teen Titans and Titans status is at a higher spot within the DC Universe. Robin looks to be taking that momentum to fully take the Teen Titans as his own as the only one remaining from his first team is Kid Flash. And given that Robin is involved in No Justice the secret that he is keeping could tie into the bigger events going on in the DC Universe. Though him keeping it a secret from everyone, including Batman, may not be the best decision.
THE TITANS NEW DIRECTION
With the original Titans team disbanded there were a lot of questions if we would even see the team back together. The answer is “Yes” and “No.” While both Nightwing and Donna Troy will still be part of the Titans they won’t be joined by the rest of the Titans. In the place of Arsenal, Flash, Tempest, Omen we are going to see Raven, Beast Boy, Steel and Miss Martian join the team. This new Titans team is actually an interesting mix that contains three generations of the Teen Titans. The Titans also seem to be a combination that is similar to the team on the Young Justice cartoon, which will have its third season next year.
And while the Titans aren’t given the name Justice League it does seem like this team will be treated like another JL title. The mention of No Justice in the solicit does imply that we will see the Titans deal with similar threats the Justice League are. Given that Nightwing is going to be working with Amanda Waller in No Justice it won’t be surprising to see the A.R.G.U.S leader popping up in Titans during this new direction for the series.