DC Comics is looking to enter the summer of 2020 as hot as possible. After teasing a new established timeline since San Diego Comic Con 2019 DC will finally start to give us answers starting with May’s Free Comic Book Day release. On top of that DC looks to have several major storylines beginning in May with Dark Nights: Death Metal and Joker War kicking off. What else does DC Comics have awaiting fans in May 2020? Let’s find out by checking out the things that stood out in DC’s May 2020 solicitations.
GENERATION KICKS OFF THE NEW DC UNIVERSE TIMELINE
Earlier this month I wrote about how DC Comics will need to be careful with how they go about establishing their new DCU timeline with Generation Zero. While the Free Comic Book Day issue will kick things off for the new DC Universe it looks like Generation One, also releasing in May 2020, will be the one that will start to go in depth about the timeline.
The big thing that stood out from the Generation One solicitation is the fact that they are going to establish Wonder Woman, Lucius Fox, Thomas and Martha Wayne, and Justice Society of America as part of this first generation. Out of this line-up of characters one question that immediately comes to mind is when Generation One will take place. Even when they were part of the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe continuity the JSA were established as time-displaced characters from World War II. That could still potentially be the case given that Wonder Woman, who has been confirmed as the DC Universe first hero in this new timeline, debuted in 1939. We did see a hint Alan Scott at the end of Wonder Woman #750 so it could still be the case. So this official first generation could either have last for 30 years or maybe they debut much later than past DC Universe timelines.
The other big thing about Generation One will be the focus on the Wayne Family, Lucius Fox and Alfred Pennyworth. Given Batman’s importance to the overall DC Universe, Generation One could set up future storylines for the Batman Family. We could possibly even see the Wayne Family be connected to the JSA and Wonder Woman in ways we didn’t know before. It could all tie into Gotham City’s history that Batman writers love exploring.
SNYDER AND CAPULLO RETURN WITH DARK NIGHTS: DEATH METAL
When Scott Snyder ended his run on Justice League it concluded with a big cliffhanger that was clear something bigger was planned for the DC Universe. That bigger plan hasn’t been followed up with the current Justice League or other DC comic books. Now we know why as Snyder is teaming backup with Greg Capullow for Dark Nights: Death Metal.
Not only will Dark Nights: Death Metal follow-up on Justice League #39’s ending but also the currently ongoing Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen. That is not surprising given how big of a threat that Batman Who Laughs has been built up to be. And it is only appropriate for Snyder and Capullo to conclude the DC Universe story they went all in on with Dark Nights: Metal.
Given the covers and teasers that have been released for Dark Nights: Death Metal it looks like Wonder Woman will be taking the lead this time around. That will be a good change of pace for Snyder’s epic DC Universe tale that has mostly centered around Batman. Having Wonder Woman take the lead for this new big event is timed nicely as Wonder Woman 1984 will be releasing in June. Having an event with Wonder Woman as a lead that is already underway once WW84 is officially released will potentially give Dark Nights: Death Metal an additional boost.
BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES NEW ADVENTURES
Batman is unsurprisingly all over the May 2020 solicitations for DC Comics. Out of all the Batman related comics that will be released in May 2020 Batman: The Adventures Continue #1 is one of the biggest ones. The love for Batman: The Animated Series continues on even today. Exploring the New Batman Adventures time period for the series is a great choice. We’ve had over 80 episodes of the original Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond has gotten countless comic books, including a current ongoing, along with comics that have explored that period.
The same is not the case for the New Batman Adventures period. We only got 24 episodes of that animated series. So there is a lot that can be explored to tie this period the DCAU closer to where we find Bruce Wayne, Barbara Gordon, Tim Drake and Dick Grayson by the time Batman Beyond takes place. Tapping Paul Dini and Alan Burnett as the writers for Batman: The Adventures Continue is the perfect choice. Paul Dini is a legendary writer of Batman, specifically for the animated, comic books, and video games. Alan Burnett also has a long history working as a writer and producer for countless Batman projects. Having that experience under their belt makes Batman: The Adventures Continue a must have for every fan of the DC Animated Universe.
GREEN LANTERN CELEBRATES 80TH ANNIVERSARY
The Green Lantern franchise is in such an interesting spot right now. DC Comics has just about given Grant Morrison complete control of the Green Lantern Corps. Morrison is specifically the only creator using Hal Jordan and the GLC right now. Outside that the only other Green Lanterns we see around right now are John Stewart on Justice League, Jessica Cruz on Justice League Odyssey, and newbie Jo Mullein in Far Sector. Given how many major Green Lantern characters there are this is a very small number of characters being used by DC Comics creators outside of Morrison.
That could all change as May 2020 sees DC celebrating Green Lantern’s 80th anniversary. Green Lantern joins Robin, Joker and Catwoman in having a big anniversary in 2020. And like the Robin anniversary issue, the Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular will spotlight Alan Scott, Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, Jessica Cruz, and Simon Baz. The list of creators is also highly appealing as everyone from Geoff Johns to Robert Venditti to Dennis O’Neil providing stories for this Green Lantern anniversary comic book.
While it may be wishful thinking I hope that we do see what the plans for Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner, Simon Baz and other major Green Lanterns are out of this anniversary issue. The Green Lantern franchise is so rich with a large number of intriguing characters that they should appear in more comic books. Maybe with 2020 being Green Lantern’s anniversary we will see hints of future plans beyond their current presences in the DC Universe.
BATMAN FAMILY TAKE ON THE JOKER WAR
The epilogue for Batman #85 teased Joker making the decision it was finally time to not only officially learn who Batman is but also reveal it to the world. That is a storyline that James Tynion has slowly been building towards as Joker has been working in the background while Batman has been combating The Designer. Now it looks like Joker will finally be ready to launch all of his plans starting in May with Batman #95.
Just before then Batman #94 seems to be working in how after Alfred Pennyworth’s death the Batman Family are not united at the moment. That was something that was established in Batman: Pennyworth RIP. Having the Batman Family so splintered will likely work perfectly within Joker’s plans to strike Batman at his weakest.
The involvement of the Batman Family can also help “Joker War” standout from other major Joker storylines. We’ve always seen the Batman Family play a supporting role in Batman and Joker’s battles, like in Snyder’s Endgame. Working in the current status quo of the Batman Family can work to bring Batgirl and Robin to be bigger parts of the story. Maybe with Joker will extend his plans to reveal Batman’s identity to the world to also involve Batgirl and the others by extension. That is something teased by the solicitation for Batgirl #47
G. WILLOW WILSON AND NICK ROBLES LAUNCH THE DREAMING
Neil Gaiman’s Sandman Universe comic books are one of the big holes in my history as a DC Comics fan. I’ve been slowly catching up on this family of comics from DC. While I’m still not fully caught up on the Sandman Universe I am interested in DC’s new plans for this set of comic books. What makes me particularly interested in these new comics is how Scott Snyder worked in the Sandman Universe into Dark Nights: Metal. That event showed that there is a bigger connection between the DC Universe and Sandman Universe.
Now G. Willow Wilson will get the chance to expand on the new modern version of the Sandman Universe with The Dreaming: Waking Hours #1. Given the nature of the Sandman Universe Wilson will have the opportunity to go all in and explore new characters along with Dream. These new characters can add further depth to the rich Sandman Universe. Hopeful The Dreaming: Waking Hours can also further set up the future for this set of comic books.
MANHUNTERS SECRET HISTORY REVEALED
The Manhunters got a bit bigger spotlight thanks to one of its former members, Mark Shaw, being revealed as the leader of the new version of Leviathan. Though Mark Shaw returned in one of DC Comics’ events, Event Leviathan, things have been relatively silent when it comes to the Manhunters. That silence will finally end with DC Comics releasing a new Manhunters comic book in May 2020.
What makes Manhunters: The Secret History an immediate must have is the fact Marc Andreyko is returning to write the series. Andreyko is the writer that helped put the Manhunters back on the map in the modern era. His work developing Kate Spencer in particular made the character iconic in many fans’ eyes, like myself. Now with Mark Shaw return as Leviathan’s leader it will be very interesting to see if Adreyko works that character’s history into Manhunters: The Secret History. It could open Kate Spencer’s Manhunter to be a bigger deal in future DC Universe stories.
REVERSE-FLASH ASSEMBLES HIS OWN FLASH FAMILY
Things have definitely now slowed down in 2020 when it comes to The Flash comic books. “The Flash Age” storyline forced Barry Allen to team-up with Reverse-Flash in order to defeat Paradox. Now it looks like that team-up with Reverse-Flash will have a major cost to it as the iconic Flash villain reveals his own plans in May 2020. Those big plans seem to involve Reverse-Flash creating a family all his own. Based on The Flash #756 cover this new family seems to involve the Rogues in some way. Along with that could we possibly see a Kid Reverse-Flash or Reverse-Impulse in the future?
Along with Reverse-Flash creating his own family we do see Barry Allen mourning someone at their grave on the cover of The Flash #756. This could be a red herring since Barry could just be at his parents grave after how heavy of a story “The Flash Age” was on him. But if it is that we see a big death in the lead up to this next big story than who knows who that may be.
JOKER’S NEW SIDEKICK KEY FOR DICK GRAYSON’S RETURN
The further we get into 2020 the more we are seeing Dan Jurgens and DC Comics sowing the seeds for Dick Grayson to return. We saw with Batman: Pennyworth RIP that Ric Grayson is now willing to be part of Batman Family moments. That is not something the character was at all willing to do before since becoming Ric Grayson. Now it looks like Ric Grayson will be attempting to do another uncharacteristic move for himself as he seeks out Barbara Gordon. That is a big step as Jurgens and DC builds towards Dick Grayson’s full return.
But before Ric Grayson can find Barbara it looks like he will be clashing with Joker’s sidekick replacement for Harley Quinn in the form of Punchline. One thing that stands out from Punchline’s design is how her colors are much darker than the colorful design Harley Quinn had. This new design likely is to match the current version of Joker who is going on a much darker route as he is starting a war with Batman.
SUPERBOY-PRIME RETURNS TO FIGHT SHAZAM FAMILY
Given the fact that Geoff Johns is the writer that defined who Superboy-Prime is. So it is only appropriate that for Superboy-Prime’s big return, something Johns has been teasing, it is happening in the Shazam series. Getting involved with Superboy-Prime will help the Shazam Family be brought further into the DC Universe. That is important because since taking on the Shazam series it has felt like the character is not part of the DCU anymore. A big reason for that is all the delays but also because Shazam isn’t appearing in other comics.
Now with Superboy-Prime Johns could play more into Shazam’s role in the greater DC Universe. Maybe even connect the Shazam Family into the great DC Multiverse that we continue to see explored since Dark Nights: Metal.
BEING ONE OF BATMAN WHO LAUGHS’ INFECTED ENDS SUPERGIRL
The aftermath from Year of the Villains: Hell Arisen is in the questionable boat. Even though its involved major characters like Commissioner Gordon, Supergirl, Shazam and Donna Troy it is an event that isn’t being fully touched on. Based on the solicitations it looks like the character that could be hit the hardest due to being one of Batman Who Laughs’ Infected characters is Supergirl. That is because in May 2020 we will be seeing the last issue of the current Supergirl series.
While it is likely we will see DC eventually launch a new Supergirl series at a later point it is still meaningful that Supergirl #42 is the last issue of the current volume. Supergirl #42 seems to tease a new status quo for the character because being one of Batman Who Laughs’ Infected seems to have caused her to become labeled as an enemy to the world. That is a big status quo shift to end the current Supergirl series on. It could lead into a bigger storyline for the Superman Family in the aftermath of Clark Kent revealing he is the Man of Steel to the world.
WONDER WOMAN TEAMS UP WITH DONNA TROY
For all the things they are great at Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash and all the other iconic heroes have never been the best of mentors. Especially in the modern era they’ve all been largely hands off when it comes to mentoring the young heroes who are trying to carry on their legacy. That has been one of my biggest complaints for DC Comics because there is a lot of potential being lost by not having mentors and their proteges teaming up on a consistent basis.
At least with the Wonder Woman and Donna Troy that is going to be slightly fixed as the latter is going to help the former against Warmaster’s Four Hoursewomen. This should at least start the payoff how Wonder Woman #751 had Diana promise herself to be more involved in Donna’s life. Especially after being one of Batman Who Laughs’ Infected, having Diana around can help Donna reclaim her identity. That is at least what I hope happens as there is a lot of potential in Diana and Donna working together on a permanent basis.
YOUNG JUSTICE TRUE HISTORY REVEALED
Young Justice has been off doing its own thing since it launched. Brian Bendis has done that by having the Young Justice team explore different worlds and the DC Multiverse. Now after all those adventures Bendis is finally going to reveal the true history of this incarnation of the Young Justice team. That is all thanks to Bart Allen, aka Impulse, showing us that as he is the only one who truly knows not only the Young Justice past but also that of his friends.
David F. Walker joining Bendis to tell this story is a nice touch. Walker worked with Bendis on Naomi so joining the creative team for Young Justice is cool to see. This could possibly groom Walker to take over Young Justice as Bendis is likely to become more involved in other books and storylines at DC Comics.
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