Unsurprisingly DC Comics is starting off 2024 with the Batman franchise continuing its domination of the companies publishing schedule. The aftermath of Gotham War will continue to have an impact on many of the Batman titles, including the newly launched Red Hood series. In addition to that Joker will be taking over the main Batman series while a new Batman-led Elseworld title is revealed. Not to be left out we got comics got some major developments going on with Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Arrow. Let’s take a look at the biggest takeaways from DC Comics February 2024 comic book solicitations.
THE JOKER YEAR ONE HEADLINES BATMAN SERIES
Well Joker sure didn’t have to wait long before taking over as the lead of a comic book series. And he is doing so with DC Comics biggest title as Chip Zdarsky’s Batman series will be telling “The Joker Year One” storyline. This is not at all surprising as Zdarsky is following the trend of most Batman writers seeking their own iconic Batman vs Joker story.
In terms of what can be interesting about Zdarsky’s “The Joker Year One” is if it will deal with the Three Jokers plot DC Comics has been pushing since the close of the New 52 era. Its an idea that Geoff Johns has thus far gone all in on with his Batman: Three Jokers mini-series. Outside of that this Joker plotline has only been teased as in-continuity by Tom King and James Tynion respective Batman runs. Though in the most recent The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #12, the finale of the series, Matthew Rosenberg seems to have made adapted an adjusted version of the Three Jokers story.
Now with “The Joker Year One” story we could get full confirmation of at least broadly the idea of Batman having battle more than one Joker over his career to be made clear. If that is the case hopefully Zdarsky makes adjustments to “modernize” to improve on the idea, as Batman: Three Jokers was a poorly executed comic book that is better forgotten. We’ll have to wait and see on this as Zdarsky could have his own idea of who Joker is and would honestly be the better angle if he doesn’t try to create a sympathetic Joker.
SINISTER SONS ARRIVE TO TAKE OVER
With DC Comics aging Jon Kent up and no longer teaming him with his best friend Damian Wayne there was a Super Sons size hole in the DC Universe. Now finally we know who is ready to step up to fill that role with the sons of Sinister and General Zod are forming the Sinister Sons. That’s right the recently debuting Sinson, the son of Sinister, will be teaming with Lor-Zod, the son of General Zod and former adopted son of Lois and Clark Kent, starting in February.
The main driver for what makes the Sinister Sons a comic book to watch for is the creative team. Peter Tomasi is one of the most underrated writers that’s worked for DC Comics. He has put out some of the best, and usually overlooked, DC Comics titles the last few decades. Tomasi also has plenty of experience with working in both the Green Lantern and Superman franchise. He knows how to write a strong comic book for both franchises so combining both should be natural for him.
Additionally, this could set the stage for a bigger storyline later in 2024 between the Super and Sinister Sons. Tomasi’s involvement does push that idea as he also worked on the Super Sons. This would be a big deal for many reasons. One of the biggest is that we haven’t seen Jon Kent and Lor-Zod cross paths yet. This adds plenty of potential for a showdown for Super Sons vs Sinister Sons to be a major storyline for DC Comics in 2024.
NIGHTWING VS BATMAN CONTINUING?
When Gotham War ended Bruce Wayne left protecting Gotham City to Dick Grayson and the Batman Family. That is a sub-plot we are still waiting on to see followed up on for the rest of the Batma Family. But in the meantime Tom Taylor and Sami Basri will look to repair the relationship with Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne. At least that is what the solicitation for Nightwing #111 teases as when something is wrong with Dick Grayson its Bruce Wayne that could be the only one that can help him.
This is a development that could set the tone for how we will see Bruce interact with the Batman Family in 2024. He certainly has a lot to make up for after his actions in Gotham War. Starting with the new patriarch of the Batman Family is a good way to go.
The back-up story for Nightwing #111 also appears to set things up for the future of the series in 2024. Michael Conrad and Francesco Francavilla tapping into the Gray Son of Gotham from the Court of Owls period is a sub-plot that still has a ton of potential. Digging into Dick Grayson’s history going back to the ancient history of Europe could expand on the Gray Son of Gotham concept.
SUPERMAN BATTLES LEX LUTHOR REVENGE SQUAD
After decades of antagonizing everyone with his superiority complex Lex Luthor is going to be getting what is coming to him. That is thanks to new Superman villains in Mr. Graft and Dr. Pharm assembling a Lex Luthor revenge squad. This revenge squad will be looking to completely wipe out Lex. All the while Lex is still dealing with his prison status quo that won’t be helpful for him.
Given that Mr. Graft and Dr. Pharm have been the big antagonists for Joshua Williamson’s creative run thus far this story in Superman #11 could be culmination of his first year on the series. Which wouldn’t be surprising if this is the direction Williamson is going to start of 2024 for Superman. His previous work at DC Comics has shown he likes paying off big build ups before moving to the next big thing in his plan.
Based on other things going on how things are going for other Superman Family titles it appears that there are several big things in development for 2024. One of the bigger ones is bringing General Zod back into the spotlight. We see that with Joe Casey’s Kneel Before Zod series. Taking that moment to craft a new war between that Superman and Zod families would give a big cohesive direction for the franchise.
AMANDA WALLER RECRUITS CATWOMAN AND GREEN ARROW
Amanda Waller is going to take the momentum from during Titans: Beast to increase her reach in the DC Universe. Waller is going to do this by trying to bring two heroes into her plans. The first will be Catwoman. It appears Waller will use Selina Kyle’s current heist mission to turn Catwoman into the latest addition of Suicide Squad. This would play further into Waller gaining more control of Gotham City after Gotham War. Waller could look to create more drama by using Selina as part of the Suicide Squad to mess with and weaken Batman so he doesn’t interfere with her greater plans.
Then over in Green Arrow we see that Amanda Waller is not wasting any time approaching Oliver Queen after he returned to the main DC Universe. From all of the set-up in the new Green Arrow series it appeared as though Oliver Queen would be one of the key heroes going against Amanda Waller. But that may not be the case if we are to believe the cover for Green Arrow #9. Green Arrow and Waller shaking hands while the Hall of Justice burns down certainly makes a statement.
This sets the stage for Amanda Waller to have a big presence in 2024. She will likely be appearing in more titles throughout the year. Which should lead us into the possible future we saw during the epilogue for Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths.
WORLD TURNS ON THE TITANS
Titans: Beast World appears to be the Dawn of DC event that will have the biggest impact on the DC Universe. We already see that with how Amanda Waller is using the momentum from Beast World to launch into the next phase of her plans. For the Titans it looks like saving the world will not buy them any points for their perception. Based on the solicitation and cover for Titans #8 part of the world will be turning against them.
One of the big questions asked in the Titans #8 solicitation was that there is a new world in place for the DC Universe in 2024. This could mean that the Titans will not only play into what Amanda Waller has going on but also Sovereign over in Wonder Woman. Using what villains in Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, and other major titles are doing to enhance their direction would further push the Titans into that next level. Especially since it doesn’t look as though we are close to having a new Justice League ongoing series given the state of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.
RED HOOD GETS HIS OWN GOTHAM CITY CORNER
With Batman leaving protecting Gotham City in their hands after Gotham War the Batman Family have been set-up for a big 2024 if DC Comics taps into that potential. But no other member was set-up to have a bigger 2024 after Gotham War than Jason Todd, aka Red Hood. Jason Todd was the tritagonist of Gotham War and arguably had the biggest game changing event happen to him.
Bruce Wayne removing Jason’s bravery and making him fear the actions of a vigilante is a big deal. Or at least should have been for the long term. That is because in the ever great wisdom of Matthew Rosenberg, who wrote the Gotham War: Red Hood tie-in, quickly undid this development in The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #12, the final issue of this series.
So where does that leave Jason Todd for the new Red Hood: The Hill mini-series? In the same spot as he was before Gotham War started. And based on the solicitation of Red Hood: The Hill #1 it appears Jason will be following the path of Barbara Gordon, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Cassandra Cain walked before him by creating his own corner of the ever growing Gotham City. Though maybe Red Hood getting his own sidekick in new vigilante Strike will actually help provide Jason proper character growth for the first time in years.
GREEN LANTERN VS UNITED PLANETS
Hal Jordan and John Stewart being grounded on Earth by the United Planets has been a big deal. John Stewart has gotten back into the game with Green Lantern: War Journal. Though Hal hasn’t fixed his clipped wings situation. But now that is changing for Hal as he is using what he learned about Korugar to get back out in space.
This development places more questions with the status quo for the United Planets. We know that in the distant future during the Legion of Super-Heroes era the United Planets are a big deal. Though in the present while they have been formed and growing in power we haven’t seen much of the United Planets. Finally digging into what they are doing with the consolidation of power in the DC Universe under their rule does position them to be bad guys.
Which brings into question who will be on the United Planets version of the Green Lantern Corps. Based on the cover Kyle Rayner may be one member. Kyle is shown having a sinister look that could mean he is part of the United Planets Corps. That would be a big change as Hal and Kyle have not been on opposite sides since the former’s return as the main Green Lantern.
TRUTH ABOUT OUTSIDER DRUMMER
The new version of the Outsiders have been given their biggest direction in the team’s history. Going outside their normal work from the shadow Luke Fox and Kate Kane are tackling problems impacting the DC Multiverse. Part of expanding the Outsiders direction was Luke bringing in the mysterious Drummer as the third member of the team. The Outsiders #1 showed that Drummer knows more about the Multiverse and other unknown things Luke is looking to find as a team.
Now it looks like Outsiders #4 will begin to answer who Drummer is and her motivation. With this issue Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly need to show why Drummer was selected over other previous Outsiders to join the team. That will be key in selling both the character and direction of the new Outsiders.
Outsiders #4 also mentions this being a game changer with whatever the team discovers in London that could lead to a new crisis. This could tie into the greater Dawn of DC direction involving Amanda Waller. Which in 2024 looks to be a big focus for DC Comics after doing a lot of set-up in the background during this year.