Things start taking more of a turn for the DC Universe in February. A lot of things that have been in development for the DC Universe’s major characters continue to take shape. That includes dealing with the aftermath of Superman’s big reveal, Flash’s family facing a new crisis, the Batman Family continue to deal with the “City of Bane” fallout, Aquaman and Mera beginning new lives and much more. Let’s take a look at all we can expect in the new year from DC Comics February 2019 solicitations.
THE FLASH AGE BEGINS
Joshua Williamson has tested the limits of the Speed Force by introducing a whole sleuth of new characters that can use it beyond the Flash family. Now it looks like the celebratory Flash #750 will begin a brand new event that Williamson has been building towards for a while now. Godspeed being brought back to be part of the big threat that Barry Allen and his Flash family will face is a good way to bring back the villain in an elevated platform. What Paradox’s endgame is during “The Flash Age” will be interesting to see play out.
Adding to what will make The Flash #750 a must have for Flash fans is the other writers and artists working on the comic book. Having names like Geoff Johns, Marv Wolfman, Francis Manapul and Scott Kollins among many other big name writers and artists is incredibly cool to see on the cover. It certainly adds to how The Flash #750 is being treated a big celebratory issue for fans and DC Comics.
BATMAN FAMILY MOURN LOSS OF ALFRED PENNYWORTH
One of the things that was very odd about DC Comics January 2020 solicitations was the lack of follow-up from the events in “City of Bane.” There were some brief teases but nothing that made it apparent as to how the Batman Family and Gotham City’s residents are dealing with the fallout from that event. DC Comics is going to quickly fix that with Batman: Pennyworth RIP set to be released in February.
There is no doubt that Alfred Pennyworth’s death is the biggest development in “City of Bane” thus far. Not having Alfred around directly impacts every member of the Batman Family. That is will most impact Bruce Wayne. Losing his closest confidant and father-figure is going to be a tough thing for Bruce to deal with.
The current state of the Batman Family could add to that. Especially with Dick Grayson still acting like Ric Grayson there is now no one outside of possibly Selina Kyle. Though we don’t really know the state of Bruce and Selina’s relationship. Which brings into question who James Tynion and Peter Tomasi, writers for Batman and Detective Comics respectively, will use from the Batman Family or outside it to be that close confidant that Bruce needs to ground him as Batman.
THE UNKILLABLES RISE UP IN DCEASED FOLLOW-UP
There is no doubting that DCeased was one of DC Comics biggest hits in 2019. Not only did it sell extremely well on a monthly basis it was also highly well received, including by us. So it is not surprising that DC would want the DCeased train to continue going after it ended. I’m usually worried with such a quick turnaround for a sequel. They don’t normally turn out as well as the first time around.
That said Tom Taylor is someone that has earned my trust, especially when it comes to his DC Elseworld storytelling. Taylor showed just that with what he did with the Injustice franchise. With the Injustice comics he was able to take the base concepts around the Injustice games and expanded it to show how the entire DC Universe dealt with the new continuity.
Which brings us to DCeased: Unkillables. What makes this new DCeased comic such an interesting concept is that we will how others deal with this crisis. The main DCeased comic mostly focused on how the Justice League and Teen Titans dealt with what was going on with the Anti-Life Equation virus. DCeased: Unkillables opens things up to now involve the likes Red Hood and other lower level characters to see how they deal with the crisis on this Elseworld continuity.
SEASON TWO BEGINS FOR MORRISON AND SHARP’S GREEN LANTERN
Hal Jordan’s time as a Blackstar looks to be extremely short as Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp begin their second season of Green Lantern. From the solicitations it looks as though we can expect Morrison and Sharp to establish a new set of Guardians to lead them. These new leaders specifically being called Young Guardians does put into question for the direction Morrison and Sharp are taking the Green Lantern franchise. The Guardians always have the visual of being a grandfather and grandmother looks. Going with a younger route opens the possibility for the Green Lantern Corps to go down a different direction.
Also having the rest of the Green Lantern Corps possibly involved will be a great thing for this second season. Morrison and Sharp’s first season of Green Lantern was almost solely focused on Hal Jordan. Bringing in others Green Lantern Corp members will help make this new season different from the last.
HARLEY QUINN AND THE BIRDS OF PREY ASSEMBLE
Looks like Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey are getting a second shot of being an ongoing in February after their last attempt got turned into a one-shot. This time around Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey are going to be run by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. The team of Conner and Palmiotti have delivered some great comics, including a run on Power Girl. More importantly, Conner and Palmiotti are the ones that helped update Harley Quinn’s design that has carried over to her current popularity and status quo of being one of DC Comics pillar characters. Given their history Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey should at least be a fun comic to check out for fans.
DAWN OF LEVIATHAN ARRIVES
Event Leviathan turned out to be one slow, drawn out character introduction for the person who now leads Leviathan. It is a very Brian Bendis approach for character introduction. Now it is about what Bendis and others will do with this Leviathan reveal. We will see just that in the Leviathan Dawn one-shot by Bendis and in issues of Wonder Woman by Steve Orlando. What impact Leviathan will have with everything that has gone on in the DC Universe thus far will make or break the story moving forward. There is a lot of opportunity to make Leviathan a thing still. It’ll be up to Bendis and others to make that happen in a way that grabs fans attention, unlike Event Leviathan, which just came and went.
DC UNIVERSE REACT TO SUPERMAN REVEAL
Superman revealing his identity of Clark Kent to the entire world is going to have a large set of ramifications for the DC Universe. One of the immediate things that comes to mind is how Lois Lane deals with things in her current solo series. With the world knowing that Superman and Clark are one and the same there are a lot of questions directed at Lois’ direction. Like Clark, Lois reputation as a reporter can come into question. Afterall, even more than Clark, Lois has been credited for writing a lot of Superman stories. Does her credibility come into question now that the public know she has been writing stories about her husband, who she has a son with, this entire time.
Another angle to this Superman reveal is how the villains across the DC Universe will react. That is something Brian Bendis along with Matt Fraction, Greg Rucka and Jody Houser will explore in Superman: Villains. There are so many villains that will likely try to take advantage of knowing about Clark Kent being Superman it will be tough for the Man of Steel to maintain the personal life he once had. On top of that Lois Lane and others close to Clark will now have to watch their backs as these villains can use them as pawns to get to Superman in the worst way.
AQUAMAN AND MERA’S BABY IS BORN
Aquaman and Mera will be joining Lois and Clark in being another super-couple having a baby. This is not new territory for the Aquaman franchise to tackle. We’ve seen not only in comics but also in shows like Justice League and Young Justice that Aquaman and Mera eventually raise a kid together. Bringing that element back into the comics will be a good way to introduce new challenges for both characters. Its something we didn’t even see Lois and Clark fully deal with since by the time we saw them as parents Jon Kent was already a pre-teen. Hopefully we see being parents as an integral part of the Aquaman series rather than just a side thing that is brought up every once in a while depending on the storyline.
ROBERT VENDITTI TAKES OVER JUSTICE LEAGUE
Robert Venditti had a truly excellent run on Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. He showed throughout that run that he can juggle multiple characters and make them all appear as the stars of a single comic book. With that experience under his belt there is no doubt that Venditti is the right person to take over Justice League after Scott Snyder ends his run.
Venditti already has a familiarity with writing a strong leader in John Stewart. He also brings history as a writer for Flash with Barry Allen under the mantle. Having that experience under his belt should give Venditti a good foundation to work with the other members of the Justice League.
Having this fresh start under Venditti will also be a good thing for the Justice League. After Snyder’s long epic involving the Legion of Doom and Source Wall we should see the team tackle other galactic threats. And Venditti has firm knowledge of all the threats that exist beyond Earth from his time writing Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. Bringing more of those elements will make the Justice League feel more involved with the entire DC Universe.
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