September looks to an interesting month of new beginnings while other major storylines continue at DC Comics. There are some notable new comics joining DC’s publishing line. Along with that, September looks to bring the Justice Society of America and Legion of Super-Heroes back into the fold of the current DC Universe. Along the way we are seeing comics like Event Leviathan continue to take center stage. Let’s take a look at what else DC Comics has in store for us in the future after they released new information in their September 2019 solicitations.
BATMAN AND CATWOMAN REUNITE DURING CITY OF BANE
As has become the norm with Tom King as of late we are going to be getting interlude issues in the middle of the “City of Bane” story arc. Being labeled an interlude story this signals that these are two issues that could be skipped. But that is not the case as this interlude within “City of Bane” is going to feature the major reunion of Batman and Catwoman. This reunion looks to be taking place as Batman will be recovering from all the injuries he has been suffering at the hands of Bane and Flashpoint Thomas Wayne.
The solicitation for Batman #78 and Batman #79 give off the feeling that King is taking a lot of inspiration from Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Rises for “City of Bane.” The storyline features Bruce being physically and mentally broken by Bane. Along the way, Catwoman shows up to play a major role in helping Batman eventually overcome Bane and his forces. It does bring up the question of how King will all segway this storyline into his upcoming Batman/Catwoman series releasing in 2020.
LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES FINALLY RETURN
After being non-existent from the DC Universe the Legion of Super-Heroes are finally returning. Given how long they have been away without an ongoing or mini-series hearing that Legion of Super-Heroes are back is big, exciting news. The Legion of Super-Heroes is one of those teams who has a small, but hardcore fanbase, of which our very own Rokk is a part of. And while the team hasn’t been part of the DCU proper in a while we have seen hints that they are around. Most of those hints have come from Saturn Girl being a presence in Batman and Doomsday Clock.
Now what I am hesitant about is that Brian Bendis is the one writing Legion of Super-Heroes. His work on Young Justice, while solid, has yet to live up to its potential. Writing team comic books have just never been Bendis’ strength as he never finds the right balance. He either goes to big, as has been the case with Young Justice, or too small, as shown with his early Avengers work. There needs to be a proper balance between the two to make a team comic work. Especially a series like Legion of Super-Heroes where the characters aren’t well known so you have to follow a Marv Wolfman/George Perez Teen Titans style storytelling of getting the reader to know these characters on a personal level while keeping the stakes high. I hope thatBendis can accomplish this and make the Legion of Super-Heroes a must read for DC fans.
JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA RETURN DURING JUSTICE-DOOM WAR
With each month that passes it becomes more and more clear that Doomsday Clock missed its window of being the event to define the DC Universe moving forward. Geoff Johns had all the best intentions when crafting Rebirth and Doomsday Clock. But at the end of the day delays have killed Doomsday Clock carrying true weight in the DC Universe.
That was best shown with the role Wally West ultimately played in Heroes In Crisis not long after Johns helped bring the character back into the DC Universe at the opening of Rebirth. Now we have further proof of that as Scott Snyder is the one to officially bring the Justice Society of America back into the DCU.
All that aside, it is great to hear that the JSA are returning to the DCU proper. They are a team that add weight to what it means for DC Comics being a company about legacy. That is such an important part of what makes DC standout from other companies. Also, having the JSA back will give characters like Hawkman, Shazam and others a team to be part of that are on the same level as the Justice League. It’ll also make the Justice League stronger as not every character needs to be a Leaguer to have an elevated status.
DC BLACK LABEL EXPLORES HARLEY QUINN’S BACKSTORY
The popular that Harley Quinn has gained these last few years has been amazing to see. Even though I haven’t been reading her comic book series it is impressive how quickly she has been elevated to be a top tier character at DC Comics. It shows that Harley Quinn was someone that was given the chance to shine and captured a lot of reader interest when given the chance.
Now with all that said, the upcoming Harleen #1 is the first Harley Quinn comic book that I will actually check out. Being part of DC’s Black Label gives Stjepan Sejic even more room to delve into how Dr. Harleen Quiinzel transformed into Harley Quinn. Specifically what Harleen’s relationship was with Joker was will be key to this series. Sejic can fully explore how dark and twisted Harleen’s relationship with Joker was and how it led her to craft her own path.
YEAR OF THE VILLAIN INCREASES LEX LUTHOR REACH
The Year of the Villain sub-plot going on at DC is going to lessen to a certain degree in September. There won’t be as many titles directly tied to Year of the Villain. Though there will be two additional Year of the Villain one-shots spotlighting two major villains. One of those one-shots will spotlight Lex Luthor in an unexpected way. Jason Latour is going to be writing a meeting between the Lex Luthors of the Multiverse. This concept is very reminiscent of the Council of Reeds that we saw over in the Fantastic Four. It is fitting that Lex would assemble a similar council of himself, especially as he gets more involved with the greater Multiverse as a whole.
The other one-shot will center around the Riddler, who is being positioned as an outside player since Lex Luthor is not recruiting him into his plans. This is something new in the build for the Year of the Villain since up until now we have seen Lex recruit every bad guy he can to his side. The fact he is not doing that with The Riddler positions the Batman villain as a possible wild card in whatever DC is building.
EVENT LEVIATHAN REVISITS BATMAN VS SUPERMAN
With Event Leviathan officially kicking off it is clear that this event will involve Batman as much, if not more than, Superman. Having Batman and other DC detectives take the lead into discovering what this revived version of Leviathan is truly planning is the most intriguing part of Brian Bendis’ event thus far. And since everything we know about Event Leviathan seems to indicate that Superman will be working outside what Batman and the others are doing in investigating Leviathan it’s interesting to see them go at odds. This is something that seems to go against what Batman and Superman’s close relationship has been the last few years. What exactly will cause Batman and Superman to fight in Event Leviathan #4 is anyone’s guess.
DCEASED EXPANDS WITH NEW ONE-SHOT
DCeased is an even bigger hit than what even DC expected. Given that, like Tom Taylor’s Injustice, DCeased takes place in its own self-contained DC Universe we don’t normally see Elseworld comics at the top of the sales chart. But clearly a zombie-esque story within the DC Universe is something that fans have wanted for a while. With how well the first, and likely second, issue sold it is not surprising that the DCeased story is being expanded on with some one-shot comics. With the main series focusing on the Justice League combating the Anti-Living, it is good to have a one-shot like DCeased: A Good Day To Die to spotlight other characters. Especially focusing a comic on Mister Miracle and Big Barda is a great move since they would be characters you expect to be directly involved in a crisis caused by Darkseid.
WALLY WEST GETS NEW SERIES FOLLOWING HEROES IN CRISIS
With how much damage Heroes In Crisis did to Wally West’s character it is not surprising that DC would try to rectify that with fans right away. Because DC definitely does not want that much negativity towards one of their iconic characters to fester for too long. Giving Wally West his own mini-series, in the form of Flash Forward, could help start the healing process.
Though I will say that Scott Lobdell is an odd choice. Not because he is a bad writer. He is not, as shown by his well received Red Hood and the Outlaws comic. What makes Lobdell an odd choice is the fact that lately he has built a reputation as the writer DC turns to when plans with other writers fall through. That was the case with his short fill-in run on Nightwing. And while he has written many characters Lobdell does not have a history with writing the Flash. That is concerning since it would’ve been more appropriate if Joshua Williamson was writing Flash Forward.
HARLEY QUINN AND POISON IVY GET THEIR OWN ONGOING
Continuing to follow-up on the fallout from Heroes In Crisis we are finally getting an ongoing series starring Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. This is something that DC has been building towards for a while now as Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy’s relationship has been explored a lot as of late. Tom King in particular has spotlighted their relationship in his work on Batman and Heroes In Crisis.
Though I do wish that this Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy would’ve come out of much better circumstances than the disappointing Heroes In Crisis, DC has picked a great writer in Jody Houser to work on this series. Her previous comic book work showed she has a lot of talent when working on character focused comics. That is hopefully what Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy is about as we see how they both deal with what is going on with the Year of the Villain sub-plot.
IS DETECTIVE COMICS PART OF PRE-FLASHPOINT DC UNIVERSE?
Something that I brought up in recent reviews for Peter Tomasi’s Detective Comics issues was if they take place within the current DCU continuity. His introduction of the Arkham Knight seems to based around pre-Flashpoint DCU rather than the current given the timeline he presented. And now with Detective Comics #1012 Tomasi is going to be writing a Mr. Freeze that is more in line with his pre-Flashpoint counterpart than the one we’ve seen since New 52.
Because in the current continuity it has been established Victor Fries was only obsessed with Nora rather than married to her. Maybe Tomasi is going to completely ignore that and reboot Mr. Freeze’s character to be more in line with the classic version fans are accustomed to. Still, it has been odd reading Detective Comics that seems to be more based in the old DCU than the current.
DEATH OF THE SPEED FORCE POWERS UP THE ROGUES
“The Death of the Speed Force” looks to be not just a story revolving around Flash. With Flash dealing with a major crisis Captain Cold and the other Rogues will look to take advantage of this opening. That is the logical next step in this story as the Rogues can use Flash’s ongoing status quo to their advantage to gain more power. Especially if it somehow aligns with Lex’s Year of the Villain plans than the Rogues could be in store for a serious power upgrade. If that is the case than Flash will have a lot more to worry about than just possibly losing the Speed Force. How this ends up impact Flash and the greater DCU will be interesting to see play out.
HAL JORDAN AND CAROL FERRIS REUNITE
Since taking over the Green Lantern franchise Grant Morrison has narrowed his focus on developing stories around Hal Jordan. That is not surprising since he is the iconic Green Lantern. But because of that many other characters have been ignored, especially the other Lantern Corps that have been so important to the Green Lantern mythos for over a decade now.
This is something that Morrison is changing as he is bringing Carol Ferris back into the fold as a Star Sapphire. It is an interesting move since Carol has been more of a reserve member of the Star Sapphire’s in recent years. Still this will be a good opportunity to ground Hal and his adventures as Morrison delves into one of Hal’s personal relationships.
RED HOOD TRAINS NEW GENERATION OF VILLAINS
DC and Scott Lobdell are taking Red Hood in an unexpected direction as he is being closely tied to not only Event Leviathan but also Year of the Villain. In particular, it seems Red Hood has fully gone over to the dark side by taking Lex Luthor on his offer to train the next generation of super villains. That is quite a character turn as Red Hood has been more of an anti-hero since the New 52 began. What is motivating Jason Todd to take such a turn that he has agreed to train newbie villains is an interesting hook for Lobdell to take advantage of the concept behind Year of the Villain.
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