It’s exactly 1 week until DC Comics flips on its head. We’ve said goodbye to so many runs (both great and not so great) and now that Rebirth is basically over (minus Death Metal #7) it seems like a good time to talk about the various plot threads that have been established that will be going. BUT FIRST? What books came out this week?
This week we got
Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Dark Nights Metal
Jimmy Hex Special #1
Batman Annual #5
Justice League Endless Winter #2
Dark Knights Metal: The Last 52: War of the Multiverses #1
Now, I haven’t read all of them, but I do want to highlight two books that came out this week: Justice League Endless Winter #2 and Batman Annual #5
First, Justice League: Endless Winter #2 finished a 9 part crossover that gave a lot more teases for Infinite Fronteir than I intially expected. I’ll go over the threads from the earlier issues later in the page, but I want to highlight the two big one’s from this issue.
First is these two panels
which comes from a speech Black Adam is giving to the world about the justice league. He believes that they aren’t willing to do what is necessary to protect people, and in some ways publically announces his opposition to the Justice League. This occurs only two months before Black Adam is set to be a part of the Justice League. What is Black Adam planning? Will he initially start in opposition to the Justice League? Will this new Justice League have a different philosophy? Similarly, this book sets up and reminds people of the long-lasting distrust Hippolyta and Black Adam to have for each other. Given that they will both be in Justice League #59, this story teases up a tension between the two god-like beings. I’d expect Black Adam’s Utilitarianism and Hyppolita’s Moral values to come at odds with each other repeatedly.
- Superman rebuilds the Fortress of Solitude in the artic. After the eternal winter arrived because Stagg Industries was excavating the remaining pieces of the fortress with Rogal Zar destroyed in 2018’s Man of Steel by Bendis, Superman realized that he should rebuild his old fortress of Solitude. While this isn’t a super important plot point, it is worth knowing given that the Bendis Fortress is in the Bermuda Triangle.
Now what about parts 1-8? Well here’s a quick summary of some of the most important parts.
The Teen Titans announce and discuss the Teen Titans Academy in Teen Titans Endless Winter Special #1. On top of that, they rescue Summer Zahib who seems to have ice powers. She will show up as one of the students in Teen Titans Academy #1.
Swamp Thing is looking for a new Avatar. While this was elaborated on further in Justice League: Endless Winter #2, the reasoning for it was revealed in Justice League Dark #29. Swamp Thing is stuck in the Other Place and must remain their to keep it at bay. So he gives a vessel of himself to Diana who gives it to the viking king. Diana then uses that vessel on the ghost of the viking king. In Justice League: Endless Winter #2, Viking King goes to Valhalla and leaves the vessel searching for a new host. I’d expect this plot thread to be picked up in Swamp Thing (2021) #1 by Ram V in March.
The Viking King ascends to Valhallah. After introducing the Viking king, endless winter ends with viking king finally getting to go to Valhallah. Why is that important? Well Diana will be going there herself in Wonder Woman #770 by Becky Cloonan in March. It can’t be a coincidence that both of these characters will end up in the same area and not meet each other right?
Arthur and Mera having Marriage problems. Tending to a baby is tough, but doing it while superheroing is even tougher. Mera and Arthur have their fair share of disputes over who should watch the baby and who should fight, but it’s clear. This is an issue far from being over.
Black Adam and Hippolyta having an increased presence in a Justice League book. I was SHOCKED when I found out Hippolyta and Black Adam were going to be main characters in Bendis’s Justice League, but after reading Endless Winter, it now makes sense. The two bring interesting dynamics to the table, and I can’t wait to see this plot thread continue.
While I’m sure there might be one or two more added threads, I think it’s safe to say that Endless Winter feels important to the future of the DCU. Is it a must read? No, but it’s a fun adventure that does a great job grounding it in the shared world.
Batman Annual #5
Batman Annual #5 is actually fairly reserved in the number of things it establishes. Mostly it’s a tale showcasing Clownhunters brutal origin and marking the parallels between Batman and Bao (Clownhunter’s read name). After the Joker kills Bao’s parents, Bao is left without parents in a way alluding to Bruce Wayne losing his parents. However rather than declare a war on crime, Bao meets Batman who tells him to have faith that things
However, Batman doesn’t ever put Joker away for good. Instead, Joker keeps killing more and more people all because the Joker is “saveable.” Bao loses his faith in Batman. The comic ends with Bao questioning what he wants and what justice is. It remains to be seen where Clownhunter goes in 2021, but it was a great story.
Now this week, we are also discussing some of the major plot threads heading into 2021.
- Poison Ivy has been captured and locked up and is being used to create drugs. (Catwoman #28 I think…) Expect this to be immediately explored with Harley Quinn’s story in Urban Legends #1. (If the editorial team is working together)
- Barbara wants to work on Capital Hill. (Batgirl #50). After becoming Oracle, Barbara discusses interest in going to Capial Hill in Washington DC. It remains to be seen what Tom Taylor decides to do with this plot thread (or if it’s dropped entirely)
- Conner Kent could lose his powers any week. Bendis ended his run with a final major cliffhanger for Conner Kent. He noted that Conner’s Powers were on a time limit. We couldn’t know how long they would be for, only that they would. I’d expect this plot thread to continue in 2021 in Suicide Squad (2021-) #1
- War World is coming. Also in Bendis’s run (and teased to be a plot point in Infinite Frontier #0), Mongol killed his father Mongol to become Mongol, and took over war world. Superman may have beaten War World fir Mongol senior in charge, but now Mongol jr. prepares.
- Amanda Waller is back in charge of Task Force X. After losing it following Event Leviathan, Amanda Waller has been seeking her power back. Well, she finally got it in Suicide Squad #11
- Damian Wayne quits the mantle of Robin. After initially moving toward the dark side, losing Alfred in City of Bane was more than Damian could bare, and he gave up trying to follow Batman’s path. Partly blaming himself, Damian wants to go down his own path and grieve. This plot thread will be continued in the back up issues of Batman #106 and Detective Comics #1034.
- Nightwing breaks up and might be married? Depending on how Tom Taylor perceives the wedding of Dick and Barbara in Dark Nights: Death Metal: The Last Stories of the DC Universe #1, Nightwing is either single and not dating anymore or married. In Nightwing #77, the comic ends with Dick breaking up with Bea because the memories of their love aren’t quite there anymore (now that his memories are back). Then in Death Metal, Dick got married to Barbara, so who knows what Dick’s Status is. Only thing I know is to expect the status of Dick to be revealed in Nightwing #78 by Tom Taylor in March.
- Batman and Ghostmaker are now teaming up. After fighting in Batman #105, Ghostmaker agrees to help Bruce save Gotham. Who is Ghost Maker? Apparently, a teenage friend of Bruce’s from the Batman-in-training days who has a different idea of justice. (Probably one a little closer to Clownhunters). This thread will continue in Batman #106 in March.
- Harper Row is back and her brother is starting to agree with Punchline. Punchline #1, mostly focuses on Harper Row and her relationship with her brother as he starts to learn more and more about who Punchline is. This is a really interesting plot thread that will continue in the back-ups to Joker #1 in March 2021.
There are more plot threads going on, but those are the ones I remember.
Next Week: Future State begins as we meet Yara Flor, read our first Phillip Kennedy Johnson Superman book, and more!