DC Comics 2022 is still filled with as many Batman titles as all other comic books they are publishing. That said, there are signs they are addressing this massive difference between Batman and all other franchise. One of the franchises getting expanded on is Aquaman with a new team-up series. Along with that we are getting a new Shazam and major developments for the Justice League and Wonder Woman. Let’s check out all the things that are coming our way by checking out DC Comics February 2022 solicitations.
WHO IS FUNDING BATMAN INC.?
With Bruce Wayne taking his Batman talents outside of Gotham City it looks like he will be running into a bigger wall than any villain. And that wall is coming in the form of his own creation, Batman Incorporated. Based on the solicitation information for Batman #120 whoever is now funding Batman Inc is going to turn the organization against the Dark Knight.
This turn for Batman Inc could finally push Bruce Wayne to accept his own financial reality. Bruce has been ignoring his own financial situation by focusing completely on being Batman. Now that may not be possible with his decision to take his Batman mission global.
This also makes the new threat in the form of Abyss take a bigger turn. Joshua Williamson is certainly taking a que from Scott Snyder and James Tynion in creating a new top-tier villain for Batman to take on. That is at least the vibe that I’m getting from Abyss based on what we’ve seen of the new villain on all the covers and information on the solicitations.
MARY MARVEL IS SHAZAM
For as iconic as the character is Shazam has not had much success with keeping an long-term ongoing series. Billy Batson in all of his incarnations has just not connected with the DC Comics readers as much as his iconic status as Shazam and Captain Marvel would lead you to believe. Personally I just have not been able to get into Billy’s Shazam as his characterization gets old quick. Even when they tried to give the character a bit more of an edge during New 52 it just did not work.
So rather than continue to try and fail to get Billy Batson over it is time for a new character to get a chance as Shazam. That is exactly what is happening with The New Champion Of Shazam as Mary Bromfield, aka Mary Marvel, is going to take over the role after Billy’s recent sacrifice. While I am not familiar with Josie Campbell’s work as a writer I am a big fan of Evan “Doc” Shaner’s artwork. Already the cover for The New Champion Of Shazam #1 builds excitement for Mary in the Shazam role. I hope that this is a chance to do something new and different that will bring the Shazam franchise into the present and future of the DC Universe.
JACE FOX TAKES BATMAN TO NEW YORK CITY
Brue Wayne isn’t the only Batman that is leaving Gotham City after Fear State. Now in February 2022’s I Am Batman #6 Jace Fox, along with the rest of Fox Family, are moving to New York City. This is a big move that continues to show that Future State is no longer the future of the current DC Universe. It also opens things up for Jace to actually create his own path as Batman that won’t just be compared to Bruce. Additionally, this will give John Ridley even greater opportunity to build a world around Jace as Batman that includes a supporting cast and villains that are his own.
This move to New York City also puts into question what Lucius Fox’s future business plans are since he is still in charge of Wayne Enterprise. Is following Jace to New York City be part of Lucius plans to expand on everything he has been doing with Wayne Enterprise? Or is he completely shifting away to do his own thing in his new home city? It certainly gives I Am Batman a sub-plot as interesting as Jace’s growth as Batman.
AQUAMEN RISE FROM THE DEEP
With DC and WB getting ready to release the sequel to the Aquaman live-action movie with Jason Mamoa returning in the role it is time to take a chance to expand the franchise in the comic book world. That is what looks to be happening starting February 2022 as a new Aquaman Family team-up series titled Aquamen. What catches my attention for Aquamen is not the covers for this new series first issue.
Rather what I am looking forward to Aquamen is the fact it will include not only Arthur Curry, Mera, Jackson Hyde, and Andy Curry. It will also include Tula and Tempest. Hopefully this series takes some inspiration from last year’s Aquaman: Deep Dives where we saw the dynamics between the Aquaman family explored along with fun action sequences. Which would play a great compliment to the new Aquaman series starring Jackson Hyde that will be launching in what looks to be March 2022.
PSYCHO-PIRATE + ARKHAM TOWER = CHAOS IN GOTHAM CITY
The new Batman event “Shadows of the Bat” is a something that DC Comics seems to be battling its own concept. Because based on everything we know about “Shadows of the Bat” this event will actually be about the rest of the Batman Family protecting Gotham City after Bruce left. But you would not know that this was an event without Batman based on all the covers for Detective Comics for the “Shadows of the Bat” event. Every cover features Batman and no other Batman Family member that is actually taking the lead in protecting Gotham City.
All of that aside, the fact that Nightwing, Batwoman, Huntress, and the rest of the Batman Family are taking charge in protecting Gotham City is what is making me very interested in this event. It does seem like they are all being very proactive in making sure that in the post-Fear State world things don’t go to crazy with Mayor Nakano going forward with the opening of Arkham Tower.
The addition of Psycho-Pirate certainly escalates how the second act of “Shadows of the Bat” will end. Nightwing being the one to go against Psycho-Pirate does seem to further position Dick Grayson as the one to fill the role Bruce left behind. Which is odd given how Dick Grayson is so busy with everything he is doing over in Bludhaven. Hopefully as “Shadows of the Bat” develops characters like Batwoman and Huntress who don’t have their own titles get equal or more time to play an important role in the future of Gotham City.
MONKEY PRINCE BEGINS HIS REIGN IN THE DC UNIVERSE
Of all the monthly celebration issues that DC Comics has been publishing the last year the character that has stood out most was Monkey Prince. After debuting in DC Festival of Heroes: The Asian Superhero Celebration #1 Monkey Prince showed a lot of potential to carry his own title. That is what we are no getting with what is currently a 12-issue maxi-series by Gene Luen Yang and Bernard Chang.
This new Monkey Prince series is a big opportunity to do something different within the DC Universe that is already rich with different forms mythology. With Monkey Prince there is an opportunity to tap into more Asian influenced mythology with the character based on The Journey to the West story. It is an iconic story that has influenced so many iconic franchises in manga and movies, including the Dragon Ball franchise. Now DC Comics has the opportunity to tell their own unique spin on the character within a superhero world where Superman and Wonder Woman exist.
NIGHTWING AND SUPERMAN CROSSOVER
It was only a matter of time before the two big Tom Taylor DC Comics titles in Nightwing and Superman: Son of Kal-El had a crossover. This is crossover that Taylor already set the groundwork for in Nightwing #83, where Clark Kent’s Superman asked Dick Grayson to keep an eye and help his son, Jon Kent, while he is away from Earth. Now it looks like Dick Grayson will be looking to keep that promise by offering his support to the new Superman as Jon Kent continues to shoulder more of the weight of being the Man of Steel.
This is a good move to establish a connection between Dick Grayson and Jon Kent early on in the latter’s time as Superman. There is no other character in the DC Universe that better understands being a part of an iconic legacy and stepping out of the shadows from his father than Dick Grayson. The first meeting between these two can further emphasize how important legacy is to why the DC Universe has existed for so long. It will also help to further help develop Jon into the role of being a leader within his own generation of superheroes just like Dick Grayson has been for his and all following generations.
The influence Dick Grayson can have on Jon Kent can also forward both these character’s respective storylines. Because what Dick is doing in Nightwing by improving life for the people of Bludhaven is what Jon is trying to do for the entire world. Getting a better understanding of the different ways to help by getting advice from the experienced Nightwing will help Jon better understand how he can continue to improve what he wants to represent as Superman.
WONDER WOMAN VS THE JUSTICE LEAGUE
Alright, let’s be honest we all want to see Wonder Woman take on the Justice League. Just like with any member of the Justice League it is fun picturing what any one of them would do in a fight against the others. That Wonder Woman vs the Justice League is finally going to take place in Wonder Woman: Evolution #4.
The first issue of the series set-up how Wonder Woman: Evolution will explore a future Diana thinking about what it means to be a God Among Mankind-type introspection. That development took a cosmic turn as it looks like someone is looking to have Wonder Woman represent Earth in some sort of matter. While that reason hasn’t been revealed it looks as though whatever Wonder Woman has found herself in the middle of will force her to fight the Justice League. The reason why this is happening and what it’ll mean for the developments in Wonder Woman: Evolution will be interesting to see play out.
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