Things heat for DC Comics this coming summer as they have some big plans for their June 2018 publishing line. While Dark Nights: Metal will end in April it looks like June is the real month where we see what the DC Universe will actually look like moving forward. Already we get to see what plans Brian Bendis has for the Superman franchise as he begins a mini-series event with that involves the entire Kent family. On top of that we are going to get Scott Snyder taking over the Justice League and some surprising titles announced for June. Let’s take a look at all the things coming our way from DC Comics in June 2018.
SCOTT SNYDER TAKES OVER JUSTICE LEAGUE
One of the worst kept secrets was that Scott Snyder was going to be the new ongoing writer for the Justice League. Snyder is the person right now that DC has tapped to oversee the big things going on within the DC Universe and his universe shaping event in Dark Nights: Metal proves that. So Snyder taking over the Justice League was a no brainer. What is surprising is that DC was able to sign Jim Cheung away from Marvel without anyone knowing. Cheung has been one of the artists that has helped launch some of Marvel’s big events and directions in over the last decade, including Cheung’s artwork being used to announce the recent “Fresh Start” direction. Now having Cheung on board for Justice League just makes Snyder’s run on the Justice League stand out even more.
On top of all the excitement around the Justice League’s creative team is the roster for DC’s premiere team. Right away what eye catching about the roster is the addition of Green Lantern John Stewart, Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter to the team. Seeing those three reunited with Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Flash will instantly bring back great memories of the incredible Justice League Unlimited cartoon. Merging the New 52 and JLU teams together makes the team feel like the ultimate A-Team that Snyder could have assembled. With such a powerhouse line-up now you have to wonder what kind of villain can even match this Justice League roster. That intrigue makes the series look like it will have a big event going on with each arc.
I am not a big Hawkman fan. While understanding why Hawkman has a strong fanbase, the character has never been someone that helps build interest in a comic book. It does not help that Hawkman has been one of the hardest characters to understand what his history is with all of his deaths and reincarnations. Even in Dark Nights: Metal, Hawkman is the least interesting part of an event that I’ve actually enjoyed.
All that said the reason I am going to pick up Hawkman #1 is because of the creative team. Robert Venditti has done a phenomenal job on Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. His run on that series shows that Venditti knows how to work the more cosmic aspects of the DC Universe. And with Dark Nights: Metal establishing Hawkman’s deep roots to the cosmic side of the character Venditti has a lot of room to work with to establish who this new version of the character is. Having Bryan Hitch on board will guarantee that Hawkman will be a great looking comic. Hopefully Hitch can stay on schedule during his time on Hawkman as he has built a reputation for being late when it comes to publishing titles.
BRIAN BENDIS DC’S MAN OF STEEL
Brian Bendis signing with DC Comics is still a big deal. And we all knew that he didn’t come over to DC without knowing he was going to get one of DC’s Trinity. With that said, it was surprising that Bendis is going to be writing Superman since the character and his universe doesn’t stand out as someone that fits his writing style. That is not to say that Bendis won’t deliver with his run on Superman, because he is a very talented writer.
What will make or break Bendis’ Superman run is the fact that he has complete control over Superman. And Bendis will begin his run with a mini-series event under the Man of Steel banner. How this mini-series is received will be extremely important to both Bendis and DC as it will set the tone for how it will critically and commercially do. It does help that Bendis will have plenty of support with a phenomenal artist roster that includes Adam Hughes, Ivan Reis and Jason Fabok. That will definitely help sell some comics though Man of Steel being a weekly event may turn some off that don’t have room for 5 Superman comics in one month.
GAIL SIMONE BRINGS BACK PLASTIC MAN
Plastic Man fans are finally getting his time to shine as not only is he a member of the Terrifics but is now getting his very own solo comic starting in June. Adding a cherry on top is that Gail Simone’s will be writing Plastic Man’s ongoing adventures. Simone is a proven veteran writer who knows how to write a fun, adventure comic. With Plastic Man she will be able to tap into her comedic side as the character is known for being one of DC’s sillier characters. Just from the solicit Plastic Man will be a fun series to pick up and one DC’s standout titles.
NO JUSTICE FOR THE TITANS
After Dark Nights: Metal there was some fear that both the Titans and Teen Titans would be gone for a while. The No Justice weekly event didn’t help quell those fears. But it looks like we don’t have much to worry about as DC is bringing both comics back in June with “Special” issues that sets the table for both comics.
On the Teen Titans side we see that the team’s core will be made up of Robin (Damian Wayne), Kid Flash (Wallace West) and Red Arrow (Emiko Queen). This is strong core to build around as it makes it clear that the Teen Titans will be about the next generation of heroes rather than mix of different generations that it has been. Who else joins the roster is unknown right now but Robin, Kid Flash and Red Arrow are a strong foundation to build off on.
For the Titans things are a lot more up in the air. While it is clear Nightwing will still be front and center as the team leader we don’t know who else will be on the team after how the Titans’ break-up went down. Though given they are in the background it does look like Flash (Wally West), Donna Troy, Tempest and Arsenal may be on the team. Those are the original Titans and adding in Starfire, who isn’t on a team as of now, would make this a strong team that could continue recent storylines for the series. What will be more interesting to find out is what role the Justice League will have on the series’ direction. It at least looks like they will have an influence on the mission statement for the team that Nightwing will be creating for them after the Titans lost their direction during the Troia conflict.
DC COMICS X HANNA BARBERA
Though we have seen Batman, Superman and other DC characters in Hanna Barbera cartoons, like Scooby Doo, it has never been the other way around. Now all that changes again as we see DC and Hanna Barbera characters meet. The characters that DC and Hanna Barbera chose to crossover is intriguing. For myself the crossover that stands out is Super Sons/Dynomutt and Flash/Speed Buggy. Both Blue Falcon & Dynomutt and Speed Buggy are cartoons I grew up with watching. And as a fan of Wally West, Damian Wayne and Jon Kent seeing some of my favorite DC characters interact with these Hanna Barbera characters guarantees that I will check them out.
BATMAN’S BEST MAN AND JOKER’S WEDDING PRESENT
The journey to the wedding of the century continues as Batman must make the most important decision he has to make as the groom: picking a best man. Though it does look like there isn’t a big mystery to who that is as the Nightwing vs Hush Batman: Prelude To The Wedding gives away the fact that Bruce Wayne chooses Dick Grayson. That is an obvious, but great, choice given that he is his most well-known and most accomplished protege.
Making the lead up to Batman and Catwoman’s wedding even more arguish is whatever plans that the Joker has for them once he finds out about the wedding. And it is really fitting that the Joker will be the last obstacle for Batman and Catwoman to face before their wedding. Making things even more interesting is the fact that Batman will be playing the damsel in distress role while Catwoman must figure out how to best the Clown Prince of Crime. That definitely freshens up whatever plans Joker has as he won’t be up against his usual opponent.
BLACK LIGHTNING IS DETECTIVE COMICS
Black Lightning’s popularity has never been higher than it is now that he has own TV show on the CW Network. So it is smart for DC to take advantage of Black Lightning’s new popularity by giving him his own title. Even smarter is giving Black Lightning the lead role in Detective Comics. Not only does that give Black Lightning the Batman rub but also gives him a shot at leading a team of young heroes. Though it is interesting to note that Batman seems to be making the same mistake again as he is restarting the Gotham Knights program after it failed when he put Batwoman and Red Robin in charge of it. Given the solicitations Black Lightning may be more adversarial in his role as the leader of Batman’s new team than the Dark Knight expects.