DC Comics unleashed their May 2018 solicitations. With them came a lot of teases of what is to come as well as things that are coming to the end. On the big event side we are seeing May start the road to Batman and Catwoman’s “I dos” and Scott Snyder beginning his run on the Justice League with the “No Justice” weekly event. At the same time we will several creators like James Tynion, Julie and Shawna Benson and the Superman teams ending their runs. Let’s take a look at all the big things coming from DC Comics in May 2018.
JOKER LEARNS ABOUT BATMAN AND CATWOMAN’S WEDDING
The events of Dark Nights: Metal will go into full affect in May starting on the week of Free Comic Book Day with DC Comics releasing DC Nation for only $0.25 on May 2nd. Among the things that DC Nation #0 looks to set up are the events of Scott Snyder’s Justice League: No Justice. Already in the cover we are seeing an emphasis placed on what the new Justice League teams will be with Martian Manhunter being the big return for the issue.
In addition, DC Nation looks to be the big kick off for Batman and Catwoman to finally walking down the aisle. Things won’t be simple leading up to and possibly during the wedding as Tom King seems to tease that Joker will play a big role in the proceedings. That is a big deal given that we haven’t seen much of Joker since Scott Snyder ended his run on Batman. Now with Joker back in play we can all anticipate what he will give as a present to Batman and Catwoman during their wedding.
END OF AN ERA FOR SUPERMAN
We all know that Brian Bendis has been handed the keys to the Fortress of Solitude as he will be taking over both Action Comics and Superman titles. Before that happens Dan Jurgens, Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason will get the chance to wrap up their respective runs on Action Comics and Superman. That is a great move by DC as Jurgens, Tomasi and Gleason have defined what the status quo of Superman and his family is in the post DC Rebirth period. I’ll be especially interested to see what Tomasi and Gleason do as they have spent the most time developing how Superman and his family’s life is now that they are back to their original status quo.
On the Action Comics note, I’ll be very interested to see how Jurgens sets up Lex Luthor’s status quo moving forward. We already know that he, for at least a short period, will be part of the Justice League as part of Snyder’s big “No Justice” story. And given that he is wearing a very of his Super armor does that mean we will continue to see the shades of grey Lex Luthor. Or will it be the beginning of Lex becoming the ultimate Superman bad guy again, something I’m sure Bendis would like to write during his run.
CONTROVERSIAL WRITER RETURNS TO SUPERMAN
Continuing to talk about Superman for a bit longer, it was surprising to learn that DC is going to publish the story Max Landis wrote for the DC Universe Holiday Special 2017 as part of Action Comics Special #1. This is the same story that DC removed from their Holiday Special 2017 after Landis was accused of sexual assault and harassment right before Christmas (source). Maybe now DC thinks that enough time has passed since these accusations surfaced. And with Landis being MIA since the allegations surfaced and other sexual assault and harassment claims have become more prominent maybe that is the thought process as they may have to publish the story due to contract reasons. That is something that I am not sure about. Though given everything we are seeing going on in the entertainment, business and political worlds don’t be surprised to see DC in hot water over publishing Ladis’ Superman story, especially with how DC is seemingly sneaking it into a big issue of Action Comics, as the issue’s release date nears.
JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE BEGINS
Scott Snyder is the guy at DC Comics right now and there is no bigger sign of that then the company giving him full control of the Justice League franchise. Not only is he getting full control of the Justice League but he is also getting the chance to create his own dream teams. Each of the four Justice League teams are ones that you would never think of working together. And given that Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Flash are leading their own teams Snyder has given each leader plenty of interesting characters on his team.
Just from a brief look over the team it looks like Wonder Woman’s Justice League will lean heavily on the magical side of the DC Universe. And personally I am most interested in seeing how Batman and Deathstroke, Flash and Robin (Damian Wayne) and Superman and Sinestro work together as a team. Those dynamics along with others should make each series stand out even if we have four ongoing Justice League titles after May.
Speaking of that, it is interesting to note that both Teen Titans and Titans are not on the May solicitations while Suicide Squad are. DC has not announced that Teen Titans and Titans are cancelled or on hiatus yet. Given that a good portion of the former team are part of No Justice a hiatus for at least Teen Titans won’t be surprising.
JAMES TYNION ENDS RUN ON DETECTIVE COMICS
Though it was not actually announced the solicitations for Detective Comics #981 seems to indicate that James Tynion IV’s run on the series will be coming to an end. That will be a big deal if true since Tynion has been connected with the franchise for a while now. During that time we have seen Tynion raise the profile of all the members of the Gotham Knights, specifically Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown and Kate Kane. It would be a shame if after everything that has occurred between these characters that the Gotham Knights concept goes away. There is still a lot of potential in the concept and does give Tim Drake something unique in a DC Universe filled with Robins.
THE BENSONS’ BATGIRL AND BIRDS OF PREY RUN ENDING
The clearer announcement of an end is Julie and Shawna Benson’s run on Batgirl and Birds of Prey ending in May. This is something that both Julie Benson and Shawna Benson confirmed on their respective Twitter accounts. Though I not one of my monthly basis, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey is a series I’ve been picking up in trade format. The Bensons did a great job with the rebooted team, re-developing Batgirl, Black Canary and Huntress’ dynamic while integrating the changes to that have taken place to each character in during the New 52. That said, their success on Birds of Prey does seem to lead them to the Bensons taking over the Green Arrow franchise, as Shawna Benson teased in her Twitter post.
BARRY ALLEN AND WALLY WEST START FLASH WAR
The first half of 2018 has been all about setting up the upcoming Flash War. Now we know that the Flash War event will begin in May. This is possibly the biggest Flash story since Flashpoint as we will see Barry Allen and the classic Wally West clash for supremacy of the Speed Force. It’s a story that was unexpected since Barry and Wally have shared such a strong connection over their careers that a war between the two was the last thing you would come to expect. But given that Barry and Wally are going to be fighting one another Joshua Williamson will have plenty to play with as he uses the fans connection to both characters and forces them to pick sides. Those picking sides will make for a lot of “interesting” online conversations if we actually see a definitive winner at the end of Flash War.
BENJAMIN PERCY TAKES OVER NIGHTWING
Though it started on an intriguing note Sam Humphries first story on Nightwing quickly dovetailed to being groan inducing. Humphries first arc is just lacking the special element that made the series a standout during Tim Seeley’s run. Now it looks like DC had a similar feeling since Humphries run on Nightwing is going to end after his first story arc. We already saw that be the case since we have two one-shot stories for Nightwing in April. And now in May it looks like Benjamin Percy will be taking over full time. That is something Percy seemed to confirm on his Twitter account. That is excellent news since Percy’s run on Green Arrow has been one of the best titles at DC. Now hopefully with Nightwing Percy will get to further build his name with DC fans as gets to explore the Batman Universe through Dick Grayson.
SUPER SONS NO MORE
The cancellation of Super Sons was something that was not announced in DC’s May solicitations. Instead fans learned of Super Sons cancellation through Peter Tomasi’s Twitter account, which seemed to be the place of announcement for DC today. This is extremely upsetting as Super Sons has been one of my favorite titles since DC Rebirth started. Tomasi created something special with the dynamic he developed between Damian Wayne and Jonathan Kent. It’s such a special thing that I hope that we will see Robin and Superboy working together again in the near future, possibly with both characters part of the Teen Titans when that series returns.