DC Comics is going into 2020 not pulling any punches. From James Tynion starting his run on Batman and major implications to Superman’s entire life by Brian Bendis, there is no shortage of things going on in the DC Universe. There are a lot of things that look to be happening in January 2020 that will set the stage for the rest of the year. Let’s take a look at what DC Comics has in store for us in the new year by looking at their January 2020 solicitations.
SUPERMAN REVEALS IDENTITY TO THE DC UNIVERSE
During the New 52 one of the biggest storylines involved Lois Lane revealing to the world that Clark Kent was Superman. Since then, that story has been written out of continuity with the DC Rebirth relaunch. Now five years later it looks like Brian Bendis is going back to the well as Superman: Heroes #1 and Superman #19 heavily tease Clark Kent’s superhero identity being the Man of Steel to the world. This time around it looks like Clark is going to be revealing himself as Superman himself, as shown by the cover of Superman: Heroes #1.
This may be what Bendis has been working towards but the world learning Clark Kent is Superman sounds like a big jump the shark moment for his run on the Superman franchise. A lot of this cries of creating a spark to gain attention since Action Comics and Superman aren’t selling better or worse than before Bendis came on board. Hopefully Bendis and DC Comics are extremely confident in this direction because this can turn off many readers if they are not careful.
WONDER WOMAN CELEBRATES 750 ISSUES
Wonder Woman is going to hit a major milestone in January 2020 as her 750th comic book issue will be releasing. That is quite the accomplishment for one of the most iconic comic book characters. And as they’ve done before, DC Comics is bringing in some big names to be part of Wonder Woman #750. Those big names include Gail Simone, Greg Rucka and Steve Orlando.
Other writers working on Wonder Woman #750 are some names that DC Comics is looking to continue to build up like Colleen Doran, Mariko Tamaki and Kami Garcia. It is smart to use a big issue like Wonder Woman #750 to build their names since this issue will attract many casual DC Comics #750. Given that there are others not named for the big Wonder Woman #750 issue I would not be surprised if names like Geoff Johns, Scott Snyder, Grant Morrison and others like that join the list of creators.
BIRDS OF PREY TURNED INTO A ONE-SHOT THE BLACK LABEL COMIC
In one of the big head scratching category has to be the sudden change to Brian Azzarello’s Black Label Birds of Prey series becoming a one-shot. That is an incredibly odd move for a series that should be seen as one of the bigger new comics in 2020 given that a Birds of Prey movie is set to release in the new year. Given the timing the new Birds of Prey comic starring Harley Quinn, Black Canary and Huntress, who are set to be the same roster from the movie, its odd that it is no longer an ongoing series. That sudden change screams of something going on behind the scenes that may not be talked about.
Though I won’t be surprised if we find out a new Birds of Prey series that is not part of DC’s Black Label is announced for February 2020. DC can’t let the momentum behind Birds of Prey escape them right now. Though we are likely to see a different creative team on an ongoing Birds of Prey series.
ALFRED PENNYWORTH DEATH PERMANENT…….FOR NOW
One of the big question marks in the fallout from “City of Bane” was how DC Comics would handle the death of Alfred Pennyworth at the hands of Bane. This has been a quietly forgotten plot point that will likely be brought back up soon in “City of Bane.” But the question around this development was if Alfred’s death would actually stick. Afterall, we’ve seen it countless times that we get a fake out when it comes to a possible death of a character at the level of Alfred.
Looks like we finally got our answer in the Detective Comics Annual #3 confirming that Bruce Wayne will be dealing with the impact of his father-figure’s death. That is a huge shift that could lead Bruce to think if his actions as Batman mean he should give up the cowl. It is rumored that we will get a new Batman sometime in 2020. Alfred’s death could be a trigger for Bruce handing over the cowl to someone else while he takes a break from the superhero life.
JAMES TYNION AND TONY DANIEL’S BATMAN ERA BEGINS
James Tynion IV is not wasting anytime hitting the ground running with his run on Batman starting in January 2020. At least that is what it seems like as Tynion will have Batman face off against Deathstroke and Cheshire in Batman #86 and Batman #87. Deathstroke and Cheshire are a strong combination of fighters to push Batman to his limits right after the conflict with Bane and Flashpoint Batman.
What will be interesting to see is if this story will lead to Deathstroke being solidified as a villain again. For years now, Deathstroke has been playing more of an anti-hero role thanks to having an ongoing series going since the New 52 began. Now without an ongoing Tynion and other DC writers can use Deathstroke as a villain, a role the character excels at.
YEAR OF THE VILLAIN GETTING MORE COMPLICATED
The Year of the Villain storyline will be continuing into 2020. Though how far the effects of Year of the Villain will be in the early parts of 2020 is still unknown. Outside of the Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen event the only titles dealing with that storyline are Batman/Superman, Supergirl and Superman comics. That is a slim number of comics dealing with such a major storyline. Though it is tough to say Year of the Villain staying small like this is a good or bad thing for the major storyline.
Though it does seem that Supergirl in particular will be a big focus on the forward progress of Year of the Villain as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman must confront her. With that type of attention it puts into question Supergirl’s overall importance in the story. She is definitely a big name that could cause Superman to approach things differently with Batman Who Laughs plot.
HAL JORDAN GOES TO WAR AGAINST THE JUSTICE LEAGUE
Over the last year Hal Jordan has been taken off the board as Grant Morrison has been the only one to write the character. That is not changing in January 2020. What is changing though is Hal interacting with the DC Universe heroes more starting with Green Lantern: Blackstars #3. This meeting between Hal and the Justice League will be something to watch. It could easily turn south, as the cover for Green Lantern: Blackstars #3 tease it will go. Given everything that is going on with Year of the Villains, the last thing the Justice League need is one of their own turning on them. Especially someone like Hal Jordan who has a long-history with all of them and can be one of the strongest characters in the DCU.
SCOTT SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE RUN COMES TO AN END
Speaking of the Justice League, it was a surprise to learn that Scott Snyder is ending his run on the team series with Justice League #39 in January 2020. That is a huge thing to announce as part of the January 2020 solicitations. Snyder has been the major driving force for the direction of DC Comics since Dark Nights: Metal. His work on the franchise starting with Justice League: No Justice has defined the direction many team comic books have gone on in particular.
What will be interesting to see, outside how Snyder ends his Justice League run, is what Snyder does next. There is no way Snyder and DC Comics haven’t worked out some big comic for him to write. The question is what that comic will be? There are many possibilities that connect to Year of the Villain and beyond. Whatever the comic(s) turns out to be it will sure get a lot of attention as Snyder has built a lot of credibility with DC Comics fans.
ROBIN JOINS THE LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES
For a kid that is known to not work well with others Damian Wayne has sure been playing well, in his own way, with other teenage superheroes. First it was with Damian as Robin forming the new Teen Titans. Now in January Damian will build even more connections with DCU’s superheroes by possibly joining his best friend Jonathan Kent, aka Superboy, as a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
That is a big name for Legion of Super-Heroes to get. Especially considering the Batman Family don’t have much interaction with the Legion of Super-Heroes, who have more of a direct connection to the Superman Family. Still, it’ll be interesting to see if Robin’s inclusion in the Legion of Super-Heroes is a short- or long-term thing for the franchise.
THE RETURN OF DICK GRAYSON BEGINS
I have not hidden my thoughts on how much I’ve hated the entire Ric Grayson direction DC Comics has taken Nightwing on. No matter how much Dan Jurgens and other writers like to push the narrative that Dick Grayson is no more, and we have to get used to Ric Grayson it has not worked. The direction has sure not helped Nightwing’s sales numbers, which have more or less stayed the same. All the direction has done is turn off fans like myself who consider Dick Grayson/Nightwing as one of their favorite characters.
Now it looks like we will finally be getting Dick Grayson back as teased in Nightwing #68. The solicitation for Nightwing #68 at least builds hope that it will begin the march to Dick Grayson returning. That is more than enough to get me to start checking out Nightwing again. DC Comics just better not be faking me with this tease because that will make me hate Ric Grayson even more than I do now.
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content, visit our Facebook page, our Twitter feed, our Instagram feed. Catch up with all of Kevin’s other musings about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over on Twitter.