DC Comics’ first quarter of 2023 plans are now available as they’ve released their March 2023 solicitations. With that, we see that the Justice League, Green Lantern, and several other franchises continue to be MIA. Similar to January and February, DC Comics focuses on establishing Superman and Wonder Woman franchises along with the already strong Batman franchise. To do that we are seeing that Lazarus Planet is getting extended with Wonder Woman now leading the event’s extension. What else does DC Comics have planned for March 2023?
JON KENT ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN CONTINUE
With Clark Kent returning to be the main Superman featured in most of the titles the question was what would happen with Jon Kent? Well for now Jon Kent will continue operating as Superman. The big change will be it appears that Jon Kent will be adopting a new form based on Superman Blue. At the very least that is what his new costume will be inspired by as we see on the main cover. This looks to continue whatever happens to Jon during the events of Lazarus Planet.
To further separate himself from what his father is doing Jon will be dealing with a Multiverse event as something is killing the Supermen across the Multiverse. Keeping Jon and Clark separate will help the former further establish himself as a young superhero. Which Jon still needs as he hasn’t gotten much time to be Superman.
At the same time, we got the ties to other Superman as the Multiverse is fully back into play post-Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths. Taking advantage of that by giving multi-generational characters like Jon their own stories that aren’t just tied to the main DC Universe. There is a lot of opportunity to present the Multiverse as a storytelling device that many newer DC Comics fans may not be familiar with.
CLARK KENT BUSY RETURN AS SUPERMAN
Returning as the lead Superman will be keeping Clark Kent very busy in March as there will be several directions the character is being pulled in various comic books. First, we see over in the main Superman series Clark won’t just have whatever Lex Luthor is plotting behind bars to worry about. A new anti-hero named Marilyn Moonlight will be making her presence known in Metropolis. As iconic as Superman’s cast of allies and villains are it is smart to expand that by introducing new major characters. That’s what has helped Batman over the last decade as we’ve seen many new fan favorites introduced along with the use of classic characters. Growing Superman’s world is needed.
Then there is Action Comics which only pushes the lead Superman story starring Clark Kent. We don’t get any more information on other stories being told in Action Comics #1053 even though there are multiple creative teams listed. So at least the anthology direction for Action Comics does appear to be continuing. It is too bad that this direction for Action Comics hasn’t been promoted even in at least the solicitation. That’s the minimum DC Comics could’ve done, which could reflect editorial uncertainty on how to push the Superman Family.
The final major Superman solo series is Superman: Lost maxi-series by Christopher Priest, Carlo Pagulayan, and Jason Paz. This 10-issue series appears to take place in its own Elseworld based on the story of Superman somehow being gone for 20 years only to appear in the present minutes after originally leaving on a mission. It is a good premise for a story to explore how Superman’s closest relationships could be altered when he is the only one that has experienced a 20-year time jump.
SHAZAM & WONDER WOMAN CONTINUE THE LAZARUS PLANET EVENT
Lazarus Planet is no longer a magic-based event that is lasting the first two months of the year as a weekly event. Even before the first issue of Lazarus Planet has been released DC Comics decided to extend the event by having Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl, and Shazam deal with how Gods respond to the event’s developments.
It is definitely an odd decision since we haven’t even had the first issue of Lazarus Planet released yet. DC Comics must have seen a good amount of orders for the January issues of Lazarus Planet to greenlight an extension of this previously planned two-month weekly event. Though it appears as though Mark Waid won’t be involved as he was with the original Lazarus Planet weekly event as he is not listed as part of the creative team.
Wonder Woman and Yara Flor’s Wonder Girl being brought does create the question of why they weren’t involved before this. Shazam dealing with this is obvious since he is set to play a key role in Lazarus Planet. Hopefully, we will see other heroes that played a role in Lazarus Planet involved as this just becoming a Shazam and Wonder Woman story does come across as smaller than its predecessor.
WHAT HAPPENED TO BATMAN
Chip Zdarsky’s Batman appears to be continuing in the direction that Bruce Wayne is not openly active as Batman. That’s at least what Batman #133 is indicating with Tim Drake recruiting Jon Kent to help him find Bruce. This is odd when the main story says that there is a Batman active in Gotham City. But based on how Batman #133 solicitation is written this Batman is neither Bruce Wayne nor Jace Fox but rather someone who is digging up dead bodies from graves. What that means is anyone’s guess.
Though Bruce Wayne not being Batman is not something fans will have to be without. In Detective Comics Bruce is still active as Batman and dealing with a demon named Azmer. This is all digging more into Gotham City’s history that Ram V is exploring.
The more we get of this the more into how Gotham City has grown to be its world within the DC Universe that grows every year. Pretty soon Gotham City could just be considered its own country with the way areas are added.
DOOM PATROL IS BACK
DC Comics has been doing some work to get Doom Patrol back into play. From their appearance in Batman/Superman: World’s Finest to their roles in Lazarus Planet, the Doom Patrol are being given some spotlight. Now they are fully back with a new mini-series titled Unstoppable Doom Patrol by Dennis Culver and Chris Burnham.
What’s notable about Unstoppable Doom Patrol is that as of now it’s one of the few team titles that DC Comics is releasing. With no Justice League series still in sight, the Doom Patrol could position themselves to be one of DC’s premiere teams. While they’ve had critically acclaimed comic books and TV series we haven’t seen them positioned in the same way teams like the Justice League, Justice Society, or Titans have. Now with a major hole in team books, this new mini-series could help them in being positioned more prominently in the future.
NIGHTWING OFFICIAL TEST PILOT FOR TITANS
We already knew from Nightwing #101 that Dick Grayson is going to be making the decision to create a new Titans Tower in Bludhaven. Now we see that direction is going to continue with the Nightwing series focusing on establishing the new home for the Titans. That includes bringing threats such as Neron to be a thing in the previously grounded Bludhaven.
All of this appears to work into how Nightwing is providing the Titans with a backdoor pilot before they get their own series. This makes sense since Nightwing is one of their better-selling titles over the last two years. Meanwhile, all recent Titans comic books going back to New 52 have struggled to find the success they had pre-Flashpoint. So using Nightwing to give the Titans a restart is not a bad plan.
What I’ll be more interested to see is what happens after the Titans are fully established in Bludhaven. Because we know that while Bludhaven has become Nightwing’s home that Dick Grayson has been involved with a lot of Gotham City events. Does this open Nightwing up to better split his time between Gotham City and Bludhaven? We still don’t know that but the door is open more than before for this to be the case if Nightwing does return to be a solo series after the Titans get their own ongoing.