DC Comics is starting the second quarter of 2020 with several big celebrations with both Joker and Catwoman celebrating their 80th anniversary in April. To go along with those celebrations it looks like Batman must now prepare for a big war that is coming to Gotham City. Then there is also new developments that could possibly rock both Flash and Wonder Woman’s worlds. What else is going on in April? Let’s find out by taking a closer look at the stand out things from DC Comics April 2020 solicitations.
JOKER AND CATWOMAN CELEBRATE 80TH ANNIVERSARY
Joker and Catwoman join Robin in celebrating their 80th anniversary in 2020. Their celebration will take place at the same time as they each get a giant size anniversary issue in April. Seeing as Batman is DC Comics most popular character expect more celebrations to come from his cast of characters. There are a lot of notable allies, supporting characters and villains from the Batman franchise that will likely get anniversary issues this year and in the next few years. Starting the villain side with Joker and Catwoman is appropriate given that they are the most important Batman characters not named Robin or Alfred Pennyworth.
Though one notable thing in the middle of all this celebration is the fact that Joelle Jones lone credit in April is as the cover artist for Catwoman 80th Anniversary. The solicitation for Catwoman #22 indicates that Paula Sevenbergen and Aneke will at least be working on the story arc beginning with this issue. Now it is not rare for Jones to take a small break in between issues of Catwoman. But those breaks were no more than one issue during her run on Catwoman. Hopefully DC Comics says something about this because it would be upsetting that they would not try to at least promote Jones’ last story arc if she is indeed not working on the series in an ongoing basis.
CHECKMATE LAUNCHES OUT OF EVENT LEVIATHAN
Event Leviathan is a comic book event from DC Comics that just sort of came and went. Though there has been a few follow up comics in the aftermath nothing in Event Leviathan seemed to shake up the DC Universe in a major way. That does not really change in April. But at least we are seeing a bit more follow-up from the event with Event Leviathan: Checkmate.
Based on the cover the Event Leviathan: Checkmate comic may be one reason that we don’t have an ongoing Green Arrow series at the moment. Green Arrow is the only character on the cover for Event Leviathan: Checkmate, teasing the fact he is likely taking the lead in the series. It would not be surprising if Brian Bendis asked DC to allow him to take Green Arrow off the table in terms of solo comics to use him exclusively for Event Leviathan: Checkmate.
The one big reason I may end up staying away from Event Leviathan: Checkmate is that the “Event Leviathan” title does not create excitement. Event Leviathan was a story that went incredibly slow and the resolution was not worth how much time it felt like Brian Bendis wasted in getting to the ending. Bendis will need to make sure he picks up the pacing of the Event Leviathan story by treating it much more like a James Bond-like espionage book that is constantly moving. If not Bendis is in danger of damaging interest with anything to do with Event Leviathan even more.
BATMAN AND NIGHTWING PREPARES FOR JOKER WAR
With DC Comics celebrating Joker’s 80th anniversary it looks like they are setting up a major storyline for the character to be leading. In the solicitation for Batman #93 we are teased with something called “Joker War” coming soon to the streets of Gotham City. Joker has taken a bit of a step back in the post-Rebirth era as Bane and Batman Who Laughs have taken over as Batman’s big threats.
Now James Tynion is changing that with Joker preparing to create a war that will takeover Gotham City. This is something that Tynion has been teasing with Joker setting things up in the background while Batman fights various villains. We do know one of the things currently motivating Joker is revealing Batman’s true identity to the world just like Superman did when he announced to the world he is Clark Kent. This “Joker War” will likely tie into that new motivation.
We already do get hints of this “Joker War” over in Nightwing as Joker is going after Ric Grayson. If Joker is going after people he believes are close to Batman for information it may be useful for everyone that Ric Grayson is still around. Afterall, Ric Grayson does not have his full memories of his time with Bruce Wayne that someone like Joker can exploit. Though the confrontation with Joker in Nightwing #71 could also lead to Dick Grayson’s full return just in time to help Batman out in the coming war.
BATGIRL CONFRONTS PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR RIC GRAYSON
One of the many disappointing aspects of the whole Ric Grayson saga is how little follow-up we’ve seen from other Batman characters. The ramifications of Dick Grayson becoming Ric Grayson has largely been left in its own island of Bludhaven. Now almost a year later we finally see Batgirl emotions from losing someone she loves as KGBeast pops up in her world.
KGBeast has been MIA ever since Batman beat the crap out of him after almost killing Nightwing. Even with that beating he suffered there is a bigger storyline that is potentially out there for KGBeast to elevate him as a villain. This new storyline in Batgirl can very well be that story. This should test Batgirl in a way she hasn’t been before as well.
NEW ORIGIN FOR SUPERBOY CONNER KENT
Ever since he returned with the debut of the new Young Justice series there have been a lot of unanswered questions about Conner Kent. One of the big ones is the fact we don’t know how much of the pre-Flashpoint continuity is still part of the character’s history. It’s been teased that this Conner is very similar to the version we knew in pre-Flashpoint DCU. But we don’t know if that means that means his tie to Superman and Lex Luthor still exists. Now Young Justice #15 will possibly start answering some of those questions about this new version of Conner Kent.
Helping the events of Young Justice #15 will be the fact that Conner’s Superboy will be teaming up with Superman over in Action Comics #1022. We haven’t seen Conner’s Superboy interact very much with Superman. Now that the world knows that Superman and Clark Kent are the same person it’ll be interesting to see how that changes the dynamic with Conner from how we’ve seen it in the past.
NEW COSTUME DEBUTS IN FLASH AGE
Looks like we may be getting a new Flash costume debut during the big “Flash Age” storyline. As we see in The Flash #754 what looks to be futuristic Flash debuts. At least the costume looks more like what you would envision a future version of Flash to look like. I don’t expect it to be the new costume for Barry Allen’s Flash.
Adding to the intrigue of this whole “Flash Age” story is how Flash and Reverse-Flash may need to create unlikely alliances in this story. Whether that unlikely alliance is with each other or some other character neither gets along with is the big questions. Whatever the case may be this time-travel adventure could have severe ramifications on the direction for Flash and Reverse-Flash in the future.
WONDER WOMAN FACES OFF AGAINST NEW FOUR HORSEWOMEN
Things are only going to be getting more dangerous for Wonder Woman and the Amazons as new Four Horsewomen debut in April. These Four Horsewomen look to have personal resentment for Wonder Woman thanks to the new Warmaster, Paula Von Gunther. What the motivation for Warmaster going after the Amazons and Wonder Woman specifically will help in adding to the danger of these new Four Horsewomen.
The designs for these remind me a lot of how the Dark Knights of the Dark Multiverse looked. There is even one Horsewoman that is wearing the same spike visor that Batman Who Laughs wears. Seeing as they may be successful in taking down Wonder Woman, as teased in the solicitation for Wonder Woman #756, their designs are not just for looks as they truly dangerous villains not to be messed with.
BATMAN VS TEEN TITANS
Finally, after being left largely alone by the rest of the DC Universe we will finally see the Teen Titans deal with the ramifications of creating a secret prison under their new base along with other secrets. And the one who is going to be making the Teen Titans deal with the consequences is the last person the team would want, especially Robin, in the form of Batman.
Given that the relationship between Bruce Wayne and Damian Wayne has not been shown to be very close in the last few years this could very well be a highly contentious meeting. The cover for Teen Titans Annual #2 teases the possibility of Bruce taking the Robin identity from Damian. That would be a huge development that could lead to bigger fallout for the rest of the Batman books. Whatever the case may be, it looks like Robin and the Teen Titans are being set-up for an even bigger storyline done the line from Batman’s visit.
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES DEBUTS GOLD LANTERN
Something that should be incredibly exciting for DC Comics fans the debut of a Gold Lantern in Legion of Super-Heroes. We’ve seen a wide variety of Lantern Corps introduced thanks to how Geoff Johns expanded on the concept of the Green Lantern Corps during his run on the franchise. Included in Johns’ Green Lantern run was the introduction of a White Lantern. From there we’ve also saw Scott Snyder introduce the Ultraviolet Lantern in Justice League. But even with that we never heard of a Gold Lantern out in the DC Universe.
As exciting as the introduction of a Gold Lantern should be it is not. This is due to the fact that Brian Bendis’ Legion of Super-Heroes has not been the fun, exciting comic book I was expecting. As Rokk spoke about in his review of Legion of Super-Heroes #3 has lacked all sense of urgency to the point of boredom. So as much as I would like to look forward to a Gold Lantern being introduced to the DC Universe I am not because of the title it is happening in.
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content visit our Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram. You can also catch up with all of Kevin’s thoughts about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over on Twitter.