DC Comics December 2019 Solicitation Analysis

It’s crazy to think that we are already near the end of the third quarter of the year. With just over three months left in 2019 DC Comics unveiled all their teasers for how they will be closing out the year in December. These teasers come from all over the DC Universe as things will be very different as we head into 2020. That includes the beginning of a war between Batman Who Laughs and Lex Luthor, the end of “City of Bane,” Superman and Doctor Manhattan’s final showdown and much more. Let’s take a look at everything that is to come from DC Comics after they released their solicitations for December 2019.

HELL ARISES DURING YEAR OF THE VILLAIN

Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1 Cover

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DC Comics has finally revealed what the endgame for their Year of the Villain banner has been. That endgame is Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen. This is honestly surprising since we it hasn’t been a normal thing to see DC’s banners lead into a big event. Especially for an event that isn’t being called a “Crisis” in its title. But maybe that is a big part of how DC Comics has wanted to make sure Year of the Villain stands out from what they’ve done in the past as it has lead to this Hell Arisen event.

Not surprisingly this event looks to be centered around Batman Who Laughs and Apex Lex Luthor. These are the characters that have been elevated the most during the Year of the Villain banner that has gone on for the majority of 2019. And clearly after the events in both Batman/Superman’s “Who Are The Secret Six” and Justice League’s “Justice/Doom War” these two villains stand above everyone else.

What makes Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen even more intriguing is that it will star two villains. There are no heroes mentioned for this upcoming event that goes into 2020 outside saying how Batman/Superman and Justice League’s December issues lead into this story. It’ll be very interesting to see how DC handles an event where Batman Who Laughs and Lex Luthor take center stage. Will other heroes get involved? Or is this event meant to just be about these characters?

BATMAN WHO LAUGHS’ SECRET SIX FULLY UNVEILED

The Infected: Deathbringer #1 Cover

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On that note DC Comics’ December solicitations gave us our first full look at the Secret Six team that Batman Who Laughs has assembled. We now know that the core Infected characters are Shazam, Supergirl, Blue Beetle, Donna Troy, Hawkman and Commissioner James Gordon. That is one powerful line-up of Infected heroes that only add to how terrifying of a threat that Batman Who Laughs is to the entire Multiverse.

The choice of Donna Troy specifically stands out to me. The character has not been properly used since her major role in Infinite Crisis. Since then Donna Troy has fallen into the biggest pitfall most heroes from her generation fall into. They are now too old to be considered “the next generation” but too young to take over for their mentors. Now with being an Infected maybe we see Donna Troy get the spark of an actual direction when this story concludes. It definitely will help get her more name recognition and build interest in future plans for her character, whether that is in a new Titans series or something else.

WHERE IN THE MULTIVERSE ARE THE JUSTICE LEAGUE & JSA

Justice League #38 Cover

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With Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen being promoted as the next big event this puts into question how the Justice League factors into everything. Clearly from solicitations from Batman/Superman, Justice League and Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen we know that Batman Who Laughs and Lex Luthor got major victories in those stories. If that is the case than does that mean that somehow the Justice League were taken off the board?

That is tough to say since the Justice League members are involved in so many storylines beyond that series. But there is a lot of uncertainty now with the state of the Justice League in the aftermath of the “Justice/Doom War.” It also brings to question what DC plans to do with the Justice Society of America, who just had their re-debut into the DC Universe in “Justice/Doom War.” Which is the point of where we are with Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen as we have a ton of questions going into 2020 for the DCU’s greatest heroes.

TIME TICKS DOWN TO THE END OF DOOMSDAY CLOCK

Doomsday Clock #12 Cover

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After two years and many, many delays we are finally going to get the conclusion of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s epic, Doomsday Clock. At least that is what we are led to believe as the final issue of the event, Doomsday Clock #12, has been officially solicited for December 2019. It is a harsh thing to say, and something I wish I didn’t have to type, but there is a lot of doubt with the solicitation for Doomsday Clock #12 actually being released in December. All the delays have completely hurt the momentum of Doomsday Clock.

That negativity around the release schedule aside, there is honest excitement in seeing the cover for Doomsday Clock #12. Seeing both Doctor Manhattan and Superman on the cover just gives off the vibe of a big fight feel. You know when these two clash something epic is bound to happen. Hopefully that potential for an epic ending turns out to be true.

FRANK MILLER RETURNS WITH THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS: THE GOLDEN CHILD

The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child #1 Cover

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I know I am in the minority when it comes to Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Universe but I am not a big fan of it. I enjoyed Dark Knight Returns. But ever since then everything Miller has added to the Dark Knight Universe has not grabbed me. There have been too many questionable decisions made when it comes to characters for the DKU that I’ve not been a fan of.

That said, I do recognize that I’m in the minority on that. When it comes to any additional work to that universe that Miller adds grabs a lot of attention. That is no doubt the case with Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child one-shot in December. It will be a highly sought after comic that is sure to top the December sales chart. And I’ll even admit that seeing Carrie Kelly in a Greg Capullo-style Batwoman costume is very cool visual to have on the cover for the issue. The comic just won’t be for me unfortunately.

TOM TAYLOR AND BRUNO REDONDO BEGIN RUN ON SUICIDE SQUAD

Suicide Squad #1 Cover

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I am a big fan of the work Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo put into making the Injustice series one of the best comics DC has produced in a long time. They took the foundation created by the Injustice video games and used it as a springboard to tell a fascinating tale around a different DC Universe. That work created a fan forever out me when it comes to the creative team of Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo.

Because of their incredible talent you better believe I will be picking up the new Suicide Squad series launching in December. Even though I’ve never read a single issue of Suicide Squad the talented team of Taylor and Redondo instantly makes this one of the comics I am most looking forward to reading. I’m highly interested to see what kind of stories Taylor and Redondo tell in the main DC Universe after their work on Injustice.

WONDER WOMAN’S APOCALYPTIC JOURNEY BEGINS

Wonder Woman: Dead Earth #1 Cover

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We’ve seen stories with Batman and Superman in post apocalyptic settings. Now it is time to see what Wonder Woman does in a similar setting as she wakes up on an Earth that is a nuclear wasteland. The idea behind that is intriguing enough as Wonder Woman: Dead Earth places the hope of humanity on one remaining city that Wonder Woman must protect. Like other post-apocalyptic stories there are multiple ways that Daniel Warren Johnson can go with how the DC Universe got to this point. What that tale will be key in separating it from the countless post-apocalyptic stories we’ve gotten the last few years, most recently with Batman: Last Knight on Earth and DCeased.

SUPERMAN CLARK KENT SECRET REVEALED

Superman #18 Cover

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Brian Bendis sure hasn’t made things easy for Superman both as a superhero and his life as Clark Kent. Things don’t look to be getting any easier for the Man of Steel as both Action Comics #1018 and Superman #18 tease big mysterious things happening to him. Superman #18 in particular looks to be teasing the wall between his Clark Kent and Superman life coming down. If Bendis truly goes down the road of the world learning the Clark and Superman are the same person that would be a major shake-up to the characters status quo. Even more so than his son going to the future with the Legion of Super-Heroes.

On the Action Comics side it looks as though Event Leviathan was just one of the big event stories Bendis had planned for Superman. He is not giving Superman any rest with “Metropolis Doom” bringing a lot of major villains at his direction. Lex Luthor being named as one of those villains is eyebrow raising given what he is doing with Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen. How these two stories relate to each may make “Metropolis Doom” even more important to the future of the DC Universe.

BATMAN’S “CITY OF BANE” CONCLUDES

Batman #84 Cover

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Looks like “City of Bane” will help close out DC Comics 2019. This has been the story that Tom King has built his entire run up to. The story thus far hasn’t been perfect in how it has been executed. Where “City of Bane” has succeeded was in the tone that has been set with what has happened to Gotham City after Bane broke Batman. The fallout from that has been highly interesting to see play out.

What has been a bit of a miss has been who has turned out to the star of the “City of Bane” storyline so far. That character has been Flashpoint Batman. The character has oddly overshadowed everything Bane has done to takeover Gotham City. That does not look like it is changing in the final two issues of “City of Bane.” Batman #84 and Batman #85 even indicate that Flashpoint Batman is the end boss of the story. That is an odd thing to tease heavily in these Batman solicitations as Bane is the villain you expect to be all over these comics.

With that said, I can’t help but get excited at the prospects of the Batman Family reunion teased by the cover for Batman #85. Seeing all the Batman Family members, except for Nightwing and Red Hood sadly, could very well be the hypest moment of the entire story. 

CATWOMAN BECOMES THE NEW QUEEN PIN OF CRIME

Catwoman #18 Cover

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With Catwoman finally reuniting with Batman it is surprising to see that in the main series Selina Kyle is possibly going down the route of a villain. Or at the very least she is going to be having some sort of Queen Pin of Crime type role if she goes down the route Lex Luthor is guiding her towards. That would seem to clash with the direction Selina is going on now that she and Bruce are reunited. But this could also be because “City of Bane” is not over so it is tough for Joelle Jones to write around that story without spoiling the end.

Still, it would be interesting to see Catwoman possibly going with becoming a Queen Pin of Crime. It’s not a role we’ve seen used like it has been with Wilson Fisk over at Marvel being the Kingpin of Crime. Even if Selina doesn’t fill that role having a character like that could drive a lot of storylines for the street-level titles DC has.

NIGHTWING NO MORE, RIC GRAYSON IS TALON

Nightwing #67 Cover

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Even though Dick Grayson, particularly as Nightwing, is one of my favorite comic book characters I ended up dropping the Nightwing series when all the Ric Grayson nonsense started. I tried to give the direction a chance but nothing DC has done with Ric Grayson has been convincing that it is an exciting new direction. It quickly kept recycling the same “screw Dick Grayson, I’m Ric Grayson now” line that got old quick.

Seeing that Nightwing #67 shows Ric Grayson becoming a Talon further gets the character away from what made him such an important and fan favorite. It is almost as though Ric Grayson is the Infected version of Dick Grayson. That is at least what I hope still ends up being the case. Because this whole Talon thing does not build confidence in the Nightwing series recovering from all the problems with the direction of Ric Grayson’s arc.


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