Last year we saw DC Comics relaunch the majority of their publishing line-up under the Dawn of DC branding. The direction did take the full year to take shape as DC Comics slowly rolled out the comic books that made up the core of Dawn of DC. Now with the start of 2024 we already see the foundation created for Dawn of DC is going to be where the company is building their publishing plans around. There are many storylines that will be going on during 2024, many of which will be announced as the year goes on. From what’s been announced there are five major directions in 2024 to follow coming from DC Comics.
AMANDA WALLER ANTI-SUPERHERO AGENDA
When it comes to the biggest storyline to follow throughout 2024 will be Amanda Waller’s actions. Throughout 2023 we saw Amanda Waller working from the shadows after getting the backing of The Council of Light at the end of Dark Crisis On Infinite Earths. With The Council of Light’s backing Amanda Waller was able to make moves from the shadows, with Peacekeeper and other subordinates acting as her representatives. All her moves were for one mission: eliminate all of the DCU heroes or make them work for her.
Amanda Waller’s biggest action in 2023 was in the Daw of DC Primer released on Free Comic Book Day. During that story Waller gathered a bunch of C-list and below villains to join her ranks. To add motivation for all these villains Waller offered full pardons to all of them if they kill a superhero, with specific targets made for Justice League, Justice Society, and Titans members.
Now with all of that set-up Waller looks to take a bigger presence in 2024 that will be as much physical as it will be spiritual. Waller’s actions in causing Titans: Beast World appear to be part of her plan to make the world turn against the superhero community. Her crew managing the Lazarus Pit crisis going on in Gotham City and also taking part in going after Woman Woman work into this narrative of turning the world against the heroes.
With these things in motion already Waller is being set-up to be the big bad of the DC Universe moving forward. The question will be is if the heroes will catch wind on Waller’s planning. Though that may be tough with all the heroes having their own things going on personally and professionally.
TITANS CONTINUE TO CARRY DCU WITHOUT THE JUSTICE LEAGUE
With the Justice League continuing their disbandment status quo the Titans are prep to continue their rise as the DCU’s premiere superhero team. They are already passing a major milestone by leading their own big event in Titans: Beast World. With how the event has gone and prior interactions with Peacemaker the Titans are set-up to be major players in the story going on with Amanda Waller.
But like the Justice League before them, the Titans are not going to be tied to a single storyline. The Titans will most certainly be dealing most with the fallout from Beast World. It’ll be a true test of how they are able to regain some of the trust lost after one of their own was forced by an outside force to create the latest crisis hitting Earth.
Then there is also the return of Tamaran that appears to be happening as we found out at the end of Titans #5 that a Tamaranean was disguising himself as the new Brother Blood. Now in Titans #6, a tie-in to Beast World, we got confirmation that this Brother Blood’s Tamaranean name is Xand’r, a former advisor to Starfire’s parents when she was a kid. With Xand’r outright revealing to Starfire he betrayed Tamaran we are likely to see this be the story tackled further after Beast World. A return of Tamaran, something also set up in Starfire’s Tales of the Titans one-shot, gives an immediate in on the cosmic side of the DCU.
Then there is Raven, who seems to no be able to escape Trigon’s influence. When Raven took out Neron at the end of Nightwing #104 Blaze made a comment that there was a part of Raven that was missing. With Tom Taylor writing that story there is a Raven story that can explore the mystical and supernatural storylines, something we aren’t seeing without Zatana or the Justice League Dark around.
BRUCE WAYNE BECOMING AN AGING BATMAN
A story that has been building since DC Rebirth is the idea of Bruce Wayne aging. We’ve seen this with how more or less the Batman Family have regained their pre-Flashpoint ages. Bruce seeing his family grow up and wrap his mind around the idea of settling down with Selina Kyle showed growth to the character. Even though the whole Bat-Cat thing Bruce and Selina had going on fell apart there were clear signs that Batman creative teams were working with the idea of an older Batman that wasn’t in his prime.
We’ve especially seen this idea pushed in the post-City of Bane timeline as its been pointed out by many people around Bruce that his injuries, both mental and physical, are catching up with him. Most recently we’ve see various points where Bruce even realizes that his reaction times have been slowing down. The biggest example of this came in the form of Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, who defeated both Bruce and Joker.
This all creates the question of if we are seeing Bruce really question his future. We’ve seen as of late Bruce leaving the responsibility of protecting Gotham City to the rest of the Batman Family. While he is taking that step back from carrying the weight of the world alone Bruce is also isolating himself more than ever, with only his relationship with his son Damian Wayne being intact. With how tech heavy we have seen recent storylines, especially the Failsafe story, it could be time where we see the comics show Bruce developing more Batman Beyond-level tech.
WONDER WOMAN: AMAZONS VS THE WORLD
A story that just got started in late-2023 and will really be kicking into high gear in this new year will be the animosity growing around Wonder Woman and the Amazons. After a rogue Amazon killed a bunch of people a bar the Amazons started to get hunted as the enemy. This all appears to be done thanks to a new villain named The Sovereign, who has used his political skills and Lasso of Lies to manipulate things so the United States government turns against the Amazons.
We’ve only started to see Diana Prince start to deal with the ramifications of being declared an Enemy of the State by the US government. Before this going down the Amazons were making moves to be major players in the future of Earth. With these moves now halted there will need to be a more delicate balance stricken as each move Wonder Woman or any Amazon does will be scrutinized.
As Wonder Woman’s story gets a more global scope there is also the question of how other heroes will start reacting to the Amazons being labeled enemies. There are many ties between the Amazons and various superheroes thanks to Wonder Woman, Donna Troy, Cassandra Sandsmark, and Artemis. With Amanda Waller trying to turn the world against the superhero community how they respond, whether its to help or not help, to what the Amazons go through can have lasting impacts to he Dawn of DC direction.
RISE OF THE DC ELSEWORLDS
Outside of what is going on in the current Prime DC Universe we will see the publisher bring back the DC Elseworlds branding. While the DC Elseworlds brand is returning there isn’t much different that is going than what they have been doing the last few years. Even without that branding we’ve been seeing DC Comics publishing various Elseworld-style comics like Dark Knights of Steel and Batman: Gargoyle of Gotham. A key running theme is that before bringing back DC Elseworld brand a lot of these alternate universe titles were Batman-centric.
That immediately brings to question what the companies big direction for DC Elseworld will be? Half of the DC Elseworlds star Bruce Wayne’s Batman. Two others are connected to the Batman Family. That has left Green Lanter: Dark as the only DC Elseworlds title not reliant on Batman.
Which comes back to highlight if 2024 DC can find ways to get out of relying on Batman. Announcing more non-Batman related titles under the DC Elseworlds branding should be a priority. The branding would be perfect for unused popular characters like Aquaman, Barry Allen, or Zatana to get their own DC Elseworlds mini-series or one-shots. Utilizing it to build creative and fan momentum for characters that lack it will be what really helps the rise of DC Elseworlds to be more than just a Batman vehicle.