DC Comics 2021 plans continue to take shape under the ‘Infinite Frontier’ banner as we see more their in-development plans revealed in the new April 2021 solicitations. As with their March 2021 releases it looks like DC Comics is sticking to releasing around 38 comic books in April 2021. A number of these comic books are mini-series or Digital First series that does seem to indicate this is more of the direction DC Comics is looking to explore with their comic books. They still have a number of ongoings being published in April with a new Green Lantern ongoing series joining the ranks. Let’s take a look at everything DC Comics is publishing in April 2021 based on their new solicitations.
NEW GREEN LANTERN CREATIVE TEAM
With Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp ending their current ‘The Green Lantern’ run in March it was obvious that DC Comics would launch a new Green Lantern series in April. We got that confirmation as DC Comics is giving the Green Lantern a fresh start with Geoffrey Thorne taking over as the main writer for the new series. Thorne is going to enter this new series with some built-in experience as he is currently writing the main story in Future State: Green Lantern. For fans wondering what to expect that series will give you a good indication of what kind of stories Thorne will tell with his run on Green Lantern.
What makes this announcement of a new Green Lantern series exciting for me is that we are getting back to exploring the entire Green Lantern Corps again. Nothing against Hal Jordan, who I think is a solid character, but the Green Lantern Corps are so much more than one member. The complete focus on Hal Jordan is my one knock against Morrison and Sharp’s current work on ‘The Green Lantern.’
Switching things up to have John Stewart as the lead character while mentoring his co-star in Teen Lantern Keli Quintela will be a refreshing change of pace. I’m also confident that Thorne will use the greater Green Lantern Corps as a big part of his run given what we saw in Future State: Green Lantern. And with the things going on in the rest of the DC Universe I won’t be surprised if we see Hal Jordan possibly shifted back to the Justice League.
DAMIAN WAYNE NEW PATH AS ROBIN
Before the DC Universe was revamped with Dark Nights: Death Metal one of the things that was being developed was the idea that Damian Wayne would no longer be Robin. Both Detective Comics and Teen Titans comic books led us to believe that recent actions by Damian would lead him to going down his own path without the Robin insignia. In the process we saw Tim Drake returning to just being known as Robin in Young Justice.
Now that direction looks to be scrapped in a way as Damian Wayne will be the Boy Wonder in the new Robin ongoing series by Joshua Williamson and Gleb Melnikov. This lines up with how we are getting back-up stories in Batman and Detective Comics featuring Damian Wayne in March ahead of this new Robin series. That two-part back-up story will likely explain why Damian will decide to still be Robin and the meaning behind his new Robin costume, which looks to combine his original Robin costume with some more League of Assassins elements.
This Robin has already sold me with the concept around this new Robin series being set around a tournament hosted by the League of Lazarus. As a fan of manga and anime I’m always down for a good tournament arc, especially one where we will get to see the best fighters in the universe fighting it out to see who is the best. This setting has a lot of potential to develop Damian in intriguing ways as Williamson can explore what path Damian will follow, that of his father or his mother and grandfather.
TOM TAYLOR & ANDY KUBERT LAUNCH BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT
The easiest way to get me to automatically buy a comic book from DC Comics nowadays is putting Tom Taylor’s name down as a writer. Seeing Tom Taylor as the writer for the new Batman: The Dark Knight series immediately sold me on buying this series. Adding in the legendary Andy Kubert as the artist for this new Batman mini-series was just the cherry on top that makes this new The Dark Knight series a must buy.
The design for the new Batman costume that Bruce Wayne is sporting is also intriguing. It looks very much like the ‘Knightmare’ costume that we see Batman wear in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Feelings for that movie aside, what makes this new Batman: The Dark Knight series even more intriguing is how it could be another look in how DC Comics will be handling the new Omniverse and Elseworld storytelling. Taylor has shown that he can build a fascinating DC Universe that feels like the one fans know but different at the same time.
THE NEXT BATMAN ORIGIN STORY EXPLORED
With how much DC Comics is investing into the Future State direction it is good to see that it won’t be just a two month gimmick as they launch a new prequel series around the Next Batman, Tim Fox. Given that Tim Fox was only recently re-introduced into continuity before Future State took place getting a series built around the character’s journey to how he possibly adopts the Batman identity is good to see happen. There is a lot that we don’t know about Tim Fox and why he has the relationship with his family that we have only seen briefly explored in Batman #101 and Future State: Next Batman #1.
Bringing back John Riddley to write this series will add a greater connection to how we are seeing Tim Fox’s journey as Batman go in Future State. Character elements like why in Future State: The Next Batman Tim Fox suddenly changes his name to Jace could be revealed in this new series. Riddley can also get more into the training the character went through in the military and beyond to make him into one of Gotham City’s newest defenders in the future.
JUSTICE LEAGUE CROSSOVER WITH ROOSTER TEETH’S RWBY
Over the years DC Comics has been open to crossing over with franchises that don’t directly own, especially if those franchises are in the Warner Brothers and AT&T family. We are seeing that once again in April 2021 as the Justice League will be crossing over with the RWBY anime that is done by Rooster Teeth, which is one of the AT&T owned entertainment companies under the WarnerMedia umbrella. This will also not be the first time DC Comics and Rooster Teeth collaborate on projects as DC has done comic book adaptions for RWBY and Rooster Teeth has sold merchandise inspired by DC Comics characters.
This crossover between the Justice League and RWBY is also a good move by both companies. DC Comics can attract the anime audience that Rooster Teeth has been able to attract with RWBY, which is currently in its 8th season. And for Rooster Teeth they can bring more eyes to what they are doing with RWBY since this mini-series will likely be bought by many Justice League fans and launch around the time the Snyder Cut will hopefully release. So it is a win-win for both WarnerMedia companies.
WHERE IN THE WORLD IS WONDER WOMAN
Given the ending of Dark Nights: Death Metal with Diana Prince going off on a journey with the beings known as ‘The Hands’ there are more questions as to her status quo moving forward. We see that with how she is not in the current Justice League, with her spot being filled by her mother, Queen Hippolyta. Looking at the solicitation for Wonder Woman #771 it does seem that Diana will be getting more involved with all the different Gods that are known through different mythologies. That includes going beyond the New Gods and Greek Gods that are normal in the DC Universe.
Exploring how Norse Gods and other mythologies factor into the greater DC Universe would be an interesting way to explain why Wonder Woman would going it solo for the time being. It could also start to plant more seeds into what we may see with the Omniverse as there are so many different types Gods at play now post-Dark Nights: Death Metal.
WALLY WEST IS THE FLASH
The Flash #768 teased that Jeremy Adams would be working with both Barry Allen and Wally West officially operating as Flash. Now it seems like for at least the first arc of Adams’ run that Wally will be the main character in the costume since he is the only one mentioned in The Flash #769. That would be a nice change of pace as Wally West definitely needs to start getting back to be shown in a heroic light. Adams could also potentially develop his run around having different storylines for both Barry and Wally to deal with since the Flash costume we do see on the cover looks to be more like Barry’s version.
BILLY BATSON JOINS TEEN TITANS ACADEMY
Future State: Teen Titans #1 planted a lot of seeds for what the upcoming Teen Titans Academy series will be about. One of the things that was briefly touched on is how Billy Batson’s Shazam would be working with this new incarnation of the Teen Titans. That is something that Tim Sheridan will further explore as we will see Billy Batson as one of the students of the Teen Titans Academy. With the tease that Billy’s Shazam powers are not working correctly it does bring to question how much of the new version of the Shazam Family will be used as part of this sub-plot.
Another big thing to keep an eye on for Teen Titans Academy will be the student that Raven will be mentoring named Dane. In one of the flashback scenes in Future State: Teen Titans #1 we saw an unknown students powers going out of control, leading to the destruction of Titans Island and death of several Titans. Dane could possibly be that student or be the person that Raven was talking to in a prison cell in that same issue.
The wording of Red X is also interesting because the solicitation is treating the character as not the first person who has adopted the identity. It does bring to question if Sheridan will possibly add into continuity that Dick Grayson was the original Red X, like was the case in the Teen Titans cartoon. That could lead to the connection between Dick Grayson and the person who becomes Red X to be closer, providing further reasoning for the final page of Future State: Teen Titans #1.
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