DC Comics has announced that they will be continuing on the new form of promotion that first started last year. Rather than releasing a major comic book as part of Free Comic Book Day that hints at an event or story coming up, we already know that the offerings from DC will include two special issues giving fans a glimpse of upcoming titles from DC Ink and DC Zoom. However, that doesn’t mean they are going to miss out on promoting an upcoming event.
Releasing on May 1, the Wednesday prior to Free Comic Book Day (May 4), DC’s Year of the Villain will be a one-shot featuring original stories from Scott Snyder with James Tynion, as well as Brian Michael Bendis. The stories featured will give hints at events that will occur in the summer and fall of this year. Similar to last year’s DC Nation #0, the issue will cost $0.25. There are also a number of variant covers planned in addition to the main cover by Greg Capullo. One of the variant covers worth noting for the Batman Universe is the cover by Jim Cheung which will feature the Batman Who Laughs. As seen below, this variant will be limited to 1:500.
Details regarding what the stories might lead to were shared by DC as well.
Following the events of Snyder and Tynion’s JUSTICE LEAGUE, Lex Luthor takes a major step forward, assembling his Legion of Doom for the final push to replace Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the League as the rightful leaders of not only mankind, but the universe itself, hoping to harness the power of Perpetua, the first being to be imprisoned within the Source Wall, now newly freed in the events of JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1. Perpetua’s storyline and Luthor’s plans to rid the universe of heroes will continue to escalate throughout the rest of 2019.
Snyder continues this plague of villainy through his fan-favorite character the Batman Who Laughs. Fans should pay close attention to the current six-issue miniseries, as the events of the final issue will continue to play out in this pre-FCBD issue, leading into a master plan revealed in a to-be-announced new series debuting this summer.
Fans of Superman and ACTION COMICS will also have plenty to look forward to in this issue, particularly those following the “Leviathan Rising” story arc beginning with issue #1007. Bendis and Maleev will kick off a new status quo in DC’s dark world of espionage and terrorism; the repercussions of this new order will have major ramifications for the Man of Steel this Summer.
And in case you thought the Dark Knight would be getting off easy, guess again: DC’S YEAR OF THE VILLAIN will also contain clues to Batman’s upcoming battle with the villains of Gotham in “City of Bane,” also slated to begin this summer.
So Batman Who Laughs influences a plan that spins-off into a new series coming this summer. And on top of that, we will also see some hints at the “City of Bane” storyline coming in Batman.
No word on whether or not the comic will be free digitally as last year’s DC Nation #0 cost $0.25 as well in stores, but was available for free on digital platforms. Either way, $0.25 seems like a steal for a glimpse of what is coming to the DC Universe.