Finally after the Death of the Justice League story strikes the DC Universe a massive blow we will start to see the full ramifications of that event in June 2022. At least there will be a slow rollout as the new DC Comics event begins with the first issue of Dark Crisis coming out in June. Dark Crisis is joined by a few tie-in comic books that will help tell the events of the future of the DC Universe. Meanwhile it looks like the majority of the DCU will still be stuck in the present to wrap some storylines up before everyone catches up to where the DCU is at by Dark Crisis. Let’s see everything coming down the pipeline from DC Comics from their June 2022 solicitations.
DARK CRISIS IS DC UNIVERSE FUTURE NOT PRESENT
As mentioned in my opening, we are officially beginning Joshua Williamson and Daniel Sampere’s Dark Crisis event in June. So it looks like the whole Road to Dark Crisis was not a long one as there is only one month to set the stage for the post-Death of the Justice League DC Universe. Even in June there is only one ongoing series in the Wally West-led The Flash series that will actually be tying in to tell a story in this future timeline of the DC Universe. Outside of that we have one other tie-in mini-series titled Dark Crisis: Young Justice that will also be telling a story that takes place after Death of the Justice League. Every other title DC Comics is publishing is either staying in the current present DC Universe or in an Elseworld.
Now this is not out of the ordinary for DC Comics when it comes to their publishing line during big events. The same thing took place with Dark Nights: Death Metal as the majority of ongoings that were taking place during that time did not tie-in to the events of that story until it concluded. Though Dark Nights: Death Metal was a different case as it was originally meant to be a standalone conclusion to Scott Snyder’s ongoing run at DC Comics than the thing that defines the entire DC Universe. The same isn’t being done with Dark Crisis as all of the marketing by DC Comics for this event makes it clear it will be what shapes the future of their entire publishing line even before Dark Crisis #1 is released.
With that said it’ll be very interesting to see the characters that will be given the spotlight throughout Dark Crisis. Based on the covers and solicitation Green Lantern Jo Mullein, Jace Fox’s Batman, Yara Flor’s Wonder Woman, Jon Kent’s Superman, and Jackson Hyde’s Aquaman will be forming the new Justice League that will be taking the lead of this event. We have also seen the Batman Family, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, and Wally West’s Flash taking prominent positions in covers and marketing for this event alongside the new Justice League. Given that this is a Crisis event don’t be surprised to see characters who have taken prominent roles in past Crisis events, like Pariah or Donna Troy, play big roles here.
BRUCE WAYNE BUSY BATMAN LIFE BEFORE DEATH
While it is looking highly likely that Bruce Wayne will die as part of the Death of the Justice League storyline he will be extremely busy before that happens. Because as we see throughout the June 2022 solicitations for DC Comics there are still plenty of Bruce Wayne Batman stories being told. Nothing is changing on that front as Bruce Wayne is certainly staying a dominant presence even if he is destined to die before the latest Crisis event begins.
That said, one thing that has stuck out for the direction of Bruce Wayne since the start of Infinite Frontier has been how DC Comics has been working to take Batman out of Gotham City. While Bruce is back to being a presence in Gotham City we’ve been getting more stories that take the character out of his hometown in the last year. That includes stories in the main Batman series, which is happening again in Batman #124 as Bruce goes back to Badhnisia.
Along with that development it looks like there is a renewed push to explore Bruce and Talia Al Ghul’s relationship. Shadow War appears to have brought things back up between the two as Talia is paying a visit to Gotham City. Given that Talia has shown to not be fully on board with how Damian Wayne has developed as his own person there may be a lot for she and Bruce to talk about in this latest reunion.
BATMAN FAMILY READY FOR WORLD WITHOUT BRUCE WAYNE
As much as Bruce Wayne dominates the publishing line-up with Batman titles starring him out of all the franchises that are prepared to be without their lead after Death of the Justice League is the Batman Family. We see this as Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, Jace Fox, Damian Wayne, Tim Drake, Selina Kyle, Harley Quinn, Stephanie Brown, and Cassandra Cain have all had ongoing adventures told and are getting in June 2022. That is along with Batman Family stories being told in titles like Batman: Urban Legends and Task Force Z. Each of their comics showcase how they are able to handle things within Gotham City and outside in the greater DC Universe, and in many cases more than fill the role Bruce serves as Batman if he is not around.
Jace Fox in particular has had the chance to be in the role of Batman even before the announcement of Death of the Justice League that it wouldn’t be out of the question he can take over the main Batman series by end of the year. The same goes for the rest of the Batman Family as any of its members could carry Detective Comics like they already have with the current Shadows of the Bat story. That is not something any other DC Comics franchise can say which, on the other hand, is a major failing by DC for all their other superhero franchises.
WONDER WOMAN POST-TRIAL OF AMAZONS STATUS QUO
Arguably the only franchise that is set up in a similar way the Batman franchise is Wonder Woman. The Trial of the Amazons is bringing the rest of Wonder Woman’s cast of characters and world in a prominent way. That includes Nubia, whose greater position within the Wonder Woman franchise continues to be spotlighted. In June we see that with a new mini-series Nubia: Queen of the Amazons.
The mini-series is a bit of a spoiler as now we know in the power struggle between Nubia and Faruka that the former is coming out on top for who is the Queen of all Amazon Tribes. Which could indicate that Philippus wins the Trial of the Amazons competition and is the new Amazon Champion guarding Doom’s Doorway. Which would make sense since Yara Flor is being positioned to become the new Wonder Woman post-Death of the Justice League, bypassing ever becoming Wonder Girl first.
On Diana’s side of the narrative we do see that the adventures on Asgard are being brought back into play as Siegfried is making his way to the main DCU. While interesting on its own I am more interested to see how Diana operates as Wonder Woman post-Trial of the Amazons. There is a lot impact to her character with the events that already happened and are still to come in that crossover event. Hopefully we do see other characters like Donna Troy be integrated into Wonder Woman to help prepare the franchise for whenever it lines up with the future being developed in Dark Crisis.
POISON IVY GOES SOLO
Poison Ivy getting her own mini-series or major storyline event to be the center of has been long teased to us by DC Comics. It always felt like it was just around the corner and DC just never took the turn to finally go down that path. Now that turn is finally being taken as Poison Ivy is getting her own series with G. Willow Wilson and Marcio Takara as the creative team.
This is a series I’m actually very excited for as there is a strong foundation already laid out to create something special with a series starring Poison Ivy. The character has been involved in a lot of different Batman stories the last few years that has positioned her as being on her own side. Whether that means she is a hero or villain is left to see. It does give Wilson and Takara a lot of room to play with what path Poison Ivy goes as she could very well go in her own direction as she gets this breakout experience.
MULTIVERSITY’S TEEN JUSTICE RETURNS
One of the things I find disappointing with DC Comics publishing line is how little they tap into their Multiverse. And when they do it is normally Batman-centric. Which is why it was so refreshing to see DC Comics going back to Gran Morrison’s Multiveristy concept by giving the Teen Justice team their own mini-series. Right away the cover and solicitation gives a feeling like something new even if the team is a gender swap of the Teen Titans. The members of the Teen Justice all have a ton of room to be developed as strong fan favorites.
Teen Justice also seems to be the closest thing we will get to a new Teen Titans series after Teen Titans Academy was cancelled. Which given the fact that most of the Titans are likely to be busy with Dark Crisis filling up the gap of the Teen Titans with both this Teen Justice series and the Young Justice mini-series works. Hopefully we just see DC take more of an opportunity to use Dark Crisis as a way to get more into the Multiverse.
KRYPTO RETURNS TO SUPERMAN BUT WHERE IS SUPERGIRL?
While Batman and Wonder Woman franchise do have a cast of characters that are set-up to fully takeover in case their leads in Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince stay dead after Dark Crisis the same can’t be said for the Superman franchise. The only character that is currently being given strong attention is John Kent as he continues to make Superman his own title. Outside of Jon Kent you don’t see much of a presence of the Superman Family anywhere in the DC Universe. The best we get is a back-up story that co-stars Jon, Lois Lane, and John Henry Irons.
The reappearance of Krypto in Superman: Son of Kal-El makes the lack of depth in the Superman franchise even more apparent. Because it reminds you that DC Comics are doing absolutely nothing with characters like Kara Zor-El’s Supergirl or Natasha Irons. Even Conner Kent isn’t being positioned as a full lead in the Young Justice series as that story appears to feature Cassandra Sandsmark as the lead. I would definitely be concerned as a Superman fan with the lack of development of the Superman Family, especially in comparison to Batman and Wonder Woman Families.