In 2016, DC launched the Rebirth event, the latest in a series of DC reboots. Unlike some of its predecessors, however, this incarnation of the DC multiverse is interwoven and coherent. It also has a very ‘playing the long game’ vibe to it. One of the biggest upcoming titles in that lineup is the new Batman/Superman series, which will pit the world’s finest against their and their allies’ worst selves.
Now, not every run took off the way it should (Sideways comes to mind), some just ran out of steam (Titans), some started on a faulty premise (Green Arrow reimagined as a street-level socialist hero? Yeah, hard pass on that one), and some just decided to kill themselves.
Yes, I’m referring to Nightwing.
However, amid those many misfires was also a solid lead cannonball that not only landed, but tore through the target and went on to hit another half-dozen. This was the somewhat controversial and devastatingly effective Dark Nights: Metal.
Establishing the threat of the Dark Universe – a sort of prototype multiverse for all the unwholesome DC realities that don’t get their own mainstream comics, and the instant, and in my opinion, already overused, cult-hit that is the Batman who Laughs, the event itself told a somewhat classic cosmic-level DC story, the consequences of which are still felt in the main-line comics.
With the conclusion of the villain-titled Batman who Laughs 7-issue miniseries just a week ago, the titular alternate Batman gets up to more shenanigans.
Now, it’d help to step back once again and look at the broader narrative.
Lex Luthor, who abandoned his brief but effective stint as hero after the events of No Justice, blew himself up in Year of the Villain Special, the prologue to a year-long event that will tilt the scales of the DCU towards the bad guys.
Of course, since this is the most intelligent man on the planet, the suicide is merely a step in his grand plan, which, among other things, involves some body horror, lots of cute little messenger robots, a cosmic entity devoted to doom, and tormenting the Martian Manhunter.
All in all, Lex basically declared its open season on heroes, and gave pretty much every villain worth of note an upgrade (or several).
At the same time, the nihilistic Batman who Laughs escapes the Hall of Doom, wherein he was apparently voluntarily imprisoned in order to piss the Joker off and support Lex’s renewed bid at villany, and deploys a stack of 6 batarangs infected with a morality-destroying serum. Check out the miniseries for the whole story. Batman and Superman team up to deal with the calamity that will ensue.
Spoiler Alert: Now, we know that James Gordon and Billy Batson (a.k.a Shazam) are already infected. Further, we know from a teaser that possible suspects include pretty much every member of the Bat Family, with the notable exceptions of Todd and Drake, Wonder Woman, Green Lanterns – both Hal and Kyle, as well as some odd picks like John Constantine, Booster Gold and Plastic Man.
Brought by Joshua Williamson and David Marquez (The Flash, Justice League vs Suicide Squad, Dark Nights: Metal, and many more), the book is, at its core, a story of mystery and morality. The writers promise the tried and true dynamic between the Man of Steel and the Caped Crusader, pitting them against a foe that has the will and the know-how to prove the old maxim that ‘Batman always wins’ at any cost.
Check out below a preview of the new Batman/Superman series.
BATMAN/SUPERMAN #1 – in shops August 28, 2019.
BATMAN/SUPERMAN #2 – in shops September 25, 2019.
Student of language, people, and the Self – in reverse order. Earned his geek cred on his downtime, when he wasn’t too busy hustling.
Prefers martials to casters.