DC Comics has unveiled their December 2023 solicitations. With that we see that DC Comics is going to be ending the year by wrapping up the majority of story arcs across their many titles. That includes a major return of Green Arrow to the main DC Universe continuity. Though not everything will be positive for every hero in the DCU. Let’s take a look at the biggest takeaways from DC Comics December 2023 solicitations.
HAS THE DCU TURNED AGAINST THE TRINITY?
Things do not look like 2023 will end on a positive note for the Amazons. Both Wonder Woman #4 and Amazons Attack #3 further tease how the world has turned on the Amazons as a whole. The main cover by Daniel Sampere for Wonder Woman #4 even shows Diana Prince being labeled a traitor.
What makes this status quo for Wonder Woman is that it is similar things that Batman and Superman are also facing in their respective titles. For Batman we are seeing how Gotham City is moving past his form of battling crime and even forcing him to go on the run. Meanwhile Superman is battling the negative perception aliens have that has grown even more violent with some extremist humans.
This all puts into question if the big direction for the DC Universe in 2024 will be how the world has turned on the Trinity. The perception on Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman turning all could play into the bigger storyline involving Amanda Waller. Which could eventually lead to giving a greater reason for the Justice League to return in 2024.
GREEN ARROW RETURNS TO THE DCU!
It only took twelve months, but Oliver Queen is finally making his return to the main DC Universe in December. The journey has been a rough one. That includes Oliver creating difficulties by destroying ways back to the DCU. But through this journey Joshua Williamson has been able to shift the Green Arrow franchise to be able to deal with the Multiverse. That is not something normally connected with Green Arrow.
While this will be a big celebration moment for the heroes not everyone will be happy. As we see the teaser and cover for Green Arrow #7 showing an unhappy Amanda Waller. Oliver Queen’s return appears to mark a next step in Amanda Waller’s plan that she has been working on from the shadows. Learning why she has been targeting the Green Arrow Family could force her to make moves she wasn’t planning on.
JOKER UNLEASHES BATMAN ZUR-EN-ARRH!
With Bruce Wayne’s mental health being as bad as it has ever been we’ve seen hints that he is no longer able to keep Batman Zur-En-Arrh locked up in his mind. With Batman having to deal with Joker right after going to war with Catwoman this could be the final straw. The Joker has shown he can trigger Batman in ways no other villain can. The trigger that Joker hits this time could be what fully unlocks Batman Zur-En-Arrh.
The timing of Chip Zdarsky’s “Mindbomb” arc in Batman ending lines up when Ram V will be ending the “Batman: Outlaw” arc in Detective comics. These two storylines ending also aligns with Joshua Williamson’s Batman and Robin #4 teasing a major cliffhanger ending.
With the three core Batman titles hitting major endings for storylines we could see more alignment in the current direction starting in 2024. Whether that means Batman Zur-En-Arrh sticks around for 2024 is unknown. Though given that Bruce apears to be back on his own with only Damian around 2024 could see Batman take on even more as a solo act.
SHAZAM DELIVERING BLACK ADAM VS CAPTAIN MARVEL!
Looks like the era where DC Comics positioning Black Adam on the heroes side is over. As we see with the cover for Shazam #7 Black Adam is holding an injured The Captain over his head. The way it is looks like Black Adam is ready to do what Heihachi did to Kazuya in Tekken to Shazam.
The solicitation for Shazam #7 gives us more information to this being the case with Black Adam looking to take claim of being the Champion of Shazam. Black Adam being an antagonist again is something that DC Comics certainly needs right now. There is a big missing hole in the DC Universe of major antagonists, as shown by how Knight Terrors was a swing and miss.
Black Adam is a character that can instantly fill the role of big bad. Making one of his motivations for being an antagonist again centering around the claim for the Champion of Shazam crown is a good one. This adds to the rivalry between Black Adam and Billy Batson’s The Captain. It certainly needed for the Shazam franchise as Black Adam not being the #1 villain of the franchise has hurt Shazam’s comic books.
BEAST WORLD SETTING UP AQUAMAN STATUS QUO!
One character that has been missing throughout the first year of the Dawn of DC direction is Aquaman. For some reason we will go all of 2023 without a hint of DC Comics plans for the Aquaman franchise. The closest we have gotten was Tempest joining Brother Blood’s latest cult. Outside of that there has been no sign of Aquaman or any of his other cast members being active.
That’s all with DC Comics ending their year with the Aquaman live-action movie coming out in December. Now it looks like we will finally start getting some clarity into what the Aquaman’s future direction will be. And that is all thanks to the Titans-led Beast World event. Along with Metropolis and Gotham City, Atlantis is one of the major locations for the DC Universe so them being involved in Beast World.
What makes the Atlantis tie-in to Beast World intriguing is that it teases a major conflict between Aquaman and Tempest. This appears to play into the sub-plot of Tempest joining Brother Blood’s cult. Aquaman stepping up as a mentor and confronting his former protégé is something that is a easy starting point for the franchise to build from. If that is what is happening is anyone’s guess. But I hope for Aquaman fans this is the start of the franchise’s return.
WILL NIGHTWING RETURN TO BLUDHAVEN?
2023 has been a major turning point for Dick Grayson. DC Comics placed a big investment in making Dick Grayson one of their pillar characters once again. That has largely been a success with how consistent of a seller Nightwing has been. Along with Titans and World’s Finest: Teen Titans his spot as one of the leaders of the DCU has firmly been established as well.
With all that said, because of focusing on the bigger things going on in the DC Universe he has taken his attention away from Bludhaven. Even the final story arc of 2023 for Nightwing sees Dick Grayson away from Bludhaven for a pirate adventure. That does put into question if after the pirate society arc ends with Dick Grayson resolving things with Bea Bennett, will he return to Bludhaven.
That is hopefully what the end of Nightwing #109 sets up. Because there seems to have been a pause on all the aftermath storylines after Blockbuster was taken down.
POISON IVY & HARLEY QUINN TO BECOME MOTHERS?
Poison Ivy #18 teases that Pamela Isely will discover something different with her body after the parasitic outbreak. And as we see with the main cover by Jessica Fong that development could be that Poison Ivy is now pregnant. Though the nature of her pregnancy is unknown since the cover shows that Poison Ivy looks like she is close to giving birth. That may make it visually more obvious for the cover.
This would be a major status quo shake up for not just Poison Ivy but also her partner Harley Quinn. While this could just be a swerve, seeing Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn as parents in 2024 would be something different. We don’t really see parenthood explored in comics. And given who Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are this could be a interesting new status quo that’ll be different from everything else DC is doing.