DC Comics big plans for 2020 will continue into September as showed some major comics coming out during the month. That includes another huge milestone celebration for the Batman franchise with the Detective Comic series. Then there is also Dark Nights: Death Meal, whose reach looks to be expanding across the entire DC Multiverse. In addition we got new villains for Superman and Wonder Woman, Flash making a life changing decision, the end of SHAZAM, and much more. Let’s take a look at everything that will be going down over at DC Comics based on their September 2020 solicitations.
DETECTIVE COMICS GETTING MAJOR CELEBRATION
In yet another milestone for the Batman franchise September marks the big Detective Comics #1027 issue. That is officially one thousand issues of Detective Comics since Batman originally debut in Detective Comics #1027. That’s an incredible milestone that does feel like it has just come out of nowhere. That may be partially due to how many celebrations the Batman franchise has had over the last two years. Because it was just last year that Batman celebrated his 80th anniversary and Detective Comics #1000. And now this year, in 2020, we’ve had 80th anniversary celebration comics for Robin, Catwoman, and Joker. Having all these major celebrations just shows the legendary importance the Batman franchise as a whole has not only to DC Comics but also pop culture in general.
With that said, DC is going all out with their Detective Comics #1027 as they bring in the biggest creators working for them to mark the occasion. Names that include Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, Marv Wolfman, Brian Bendis, and many more. This will likely be a comic book very much in line with the 80th anniversary comics we’ve gotten for Robin, Catwoman, and Joker this year.
One big name that stood out to me in the Detective Comics #1027 announcement was Chip Zdarsky. Zdarsky is one of the major writers working for Marvel but it looks like he will be expanding into DC. Being a big fan of Zdarsky’s work, especially on Daredevil, it’ll be interesting to see if this is his first dip into the DC Universe and if we will see him doing more stuff for DC Comics along with his work with Marvel.
DARK NIGHTS: DEATH METAL REACH EXPANDS
The main Dark Nights: Death Metal series will be taking a break in September. This follows a similar break that Dark Nights: Metal had at its midway point. And like its predecessor, Dark Nights: Death Metal will be having several tie-in comic books to fill the void of the main series. These tie-ins do not appear to be cheap cash grabs either. The Justice League, Multiverse’s End, Speed Metal, and Trinity Crisis comic books all look to play an important role in the overall impact Dark Nights: Death Metal will have on the DC Universe.
And that is really the most intriguing part of all these Dark Nights: Death Metal comic books. It does indicate that Death Metal will not just be a standalone story that concludes the run Scott Snyder has been working on since the original Dark Nights: Metal event. The Multiverse End’s and Trinity Crisis in particular point to how Death Metal will possibly be restructuring the entire DC Universe when all is said and done. Which does make DC Comics recently ending several comics in the coming months have another reason. We may end up seeing DC Comics relaunching a large portion of their line since by the time Dark Nights: Death Metal ends a lot of creators will be ending their multi-year runs on key titles for the company.
The Dark Nights: Death Metal Speed Metal comic will also be another interesting tie-in with how it will end up playing out. We know that Wally West now has the power of Doctor Manhattan. That combined with his Speed Force powers makes Wally West one of the strongest characters in the DC Universe. But with the Darkest Night forcing Wally to recruit other Speed Force users for help it does put into question if he has the full Doctor Manhattan powers. When all is said and done, we may even get a better answer of what Wally West’s role in the DCU will actually be.
DCEASED: DEAD PLANET LEADING TO EARTH WAR
DCeased: Dead Planet has gotten several lead-up series, Unkillables and Hope At World’s End, that have helped build the foundation of what the sequel series will be about. Now it looks like the third issues of DCeased: Dead Planet #3 will be where we see the endgame become a clearer picture as the titled “Earth War” approaches. Given that the issue says that the road to “Earth War” begins with DCeased: Dead Planet #3 it’ll be interesting if that means we will get a third series titled DCeased: Earth War to make the franchise a trilogy.
If that is the case that it does look like DCeased: Dead Planet will be acting more as a second act in the greater event that Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine are telling. This also puts into question of how DCeased: Dead Planet will end. Because if it is the second act of a greater event than it could very well end in a Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back way with the remaining heroes in the Garden and outer space against the wall.
BATMAN: JOKER WAR KEY PLAYERS ARE NIGHTWING AND HARLEY QUINN
The deeper we have seen DC Comics solicitations tease story beats for Batman’s “Joker War” the more we have seen three specific characters taking the spotlight. And those characters are not Batman and Joker. There’s been a heavy emphasis in all the information we have gotten on “Joker War” on Harley Quinn, Punchline, and Nightwing. Harley Quinn and Punchline in particular seem to be having their own war within “Joker War” as we continue to see them paired up in covers and solicitation information. This does highlight how “Joker War” will likely define Harley Quinn’s role in the DC Universe when she gets a new ongoing series after this story.
Nightwing is the other character that has surprisingly become a key character in “Joker War.” Now with the solicitation for Batman #99 its clear that the Nightwing tie-in issues will be vital to getting the full picture for “Joker War.” What’s particularly interesting about this is that DC is leaning into how Dick Grayson as Nightwing can help unite the Batman Family again. That has recently been a problem within the Batman Family as everyone is off on their own and Batman hasn’t been to keen on mentoring others lately. The return of Dick Grayson can change that and possibly be the thing that turns the tide of “Joker War” to the Batman Family’s favor.
FORMER BATGIRLS REUNITING FOR JOKER WAR
With how hyped I am for “Joker War” a title that immediately stood out when going through DC Comics September 2020 solicitations was Batman: The Joker War Zone #1. And it wasn’t the solicitation itself that stood out but the cover. Seeing Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown on the cover makes me incredibly hyped. These two characters deserve more of a spotlight than they have been getting.
Adding to my hype level is seeing Cassandra Cain return to wearing her Batgirl costume on the cover. For over a decade Cassandra Cain was the one who defined the Batgirl character. It is an iconic part of Cassandra’s character that the Orphan identity just has not reached. Even if she doesn’t return to being called Batgirl, avoiding confusion with Barbara Gordon, it would be cool to see Cassandra adopt her original costume as part of her Orphan identity.
The same goes for Stephanie Brown, whose time as Batgirl really made her stand out even more. Even adopting her Batgirl costume as Spoiler would be great to see. It could create a Batgirl Corp without having to necessarily have Barbara, Cassandra, and Stephanie all go by Batgirl. It’ll be more about the connection they share together and with the rest of the Batman Family.
DC UNIVERSE ON HIGH ALERT FOR NEW SUPERMAN AND WONDER WOMAN VILLAINS
It appears DC Comics learned a major lesson with the debut of Punchline in the Batman comics. Because as we see with the latest solicitations for Superman and Wonder Woman, DC Comics is heavily pushing the fact that those comics will be debuting new villains for two of their most iconic heroes. That will likely make DC Comics push retailers and readers to buy Superman #25 and Wonder Woman #762.
Now how likely that push is to work is a big question of the star power Superman and Wonder Woman have. Because the success of Punchline is a reflection of how big of a connection DC Comics fans to Batman, Joker and Harley Quinn. But with Synmar and Liar Liar they look to not be able to benefit from the what helped Punchline’s successful debut. Because where Punchline was helped by the popularity of three iconic DC Comics characters Synmar and Liar Liar are solely relying on Superman and Wonder Woman’s popularity. How well that works out will be very interesting in comparison how fans have gravitated to Punchline.
FLASH PERMANENTLY ENDING RIVALRY WITH REVERSE-FLASH
The cover for The Flash #762 immediately captures your attention with the visual of Barry Allen’s Flash dragging a bloody Reverse-Flash off screen. That is an unexpected visual to have for a Flash title. But that just further points to how serious the events of Joshua Williamson’s final Flash story arc, “Finish Line,” will be. Given everything that Reverse-Flash has done to Flash and his family it’ll be interesting to see what actually pushes Barry to possibly cross the line superheroes rarely cross.
This could also set the stage for the status quo of the rest of the Flash Family. We see with all the covers of “Finish Line” that Kid Flash, Impulse and other Flash Family members will be playing a role in this storyline. Barry’s decision could affect how these relationship will be like after Williamson ends his run.
HAWKMAN GIVES MORE CLUES FOR JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA’S RETURN
It’s been a bit confusing what DC Comics plan for the Justice Society of America is going to be. At first it seemed as though the JSA were poised to make a big return led by Scott Snyder’s work on Justice League. But the JSA’s full return seems to have been halted by DC Comics as there has barely been mention lately. That is until Hawkman #27 where we see Hawkaman and Hawkwoman’s past as JSA members being spotlighted.
Given how heavily Hawkman #27 leans into the JSA connection this issue could lead to more clues for where we should expect the team to be in the future. That is something that a lot of DC Comics will be hoping for since the JSA has a strong connection with the fanbase. Hopefully once Dark Nights: Death Metal is over we can get more of the JSA in the DCU as teased in Hawkman #27.
ENDING PLACES SHAZAM’S FUTURE IN DOUBT
SHAZAM has not had it easy in the DC Rebirth era for the company. And it has not been the fault of the character. While Geoff Johns and Dale Eaglesham are a dream creative team the constant delays for the SHAZAM series meant the SHAZAM Family just never really got a chance to break out. It looks like DC Comics realizes that as they are ending the current series SHAZAM #15. This is very much needed because while the foundation Johns and Eaglesham created for the character can be built on by future creative teams this series needed to end and given a fresh #1 start.
Ending SHAZAM will also allow DC Comics to fully re-establish the character in the DC Universe. Especially with how SHAZAM’s Billy Batson was turned into an Infected by Batman Who Laughs during Year of the Villain this is needed. It opens the chance for the SHAZAM Family to have a new series but maybe also be part of the JSA if we ever get that title since Billy Batson has been a member of that team in the past.
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