Review: DC’s Year of the Villain #1

DC's Year of the Villain #1

Evil is winning! Lex Luthor and The Legion of Doom conspire with Cosmic Gods, bending mankind toward a dark destiny. Elsewhere, the scourge of Leviathan spreads unchecked, seizing power in every corner of the world. And all the while the Batman Who Laughs busies himself in the shadows, aligned with no one-yet with sinister plans for all.

The carnage starts here as the badguys take center stage in “The Year of the Villain,” the most treacherous event in DC Comics history. Some act with united goals, others with plans selfish and secret, every one of them on a monstrous collision course against Batman, Superman and the heroes of the DC Universe. And our heroes will fail us.

For just 25 cents, is there really any reason to not get this comic? Your only excuse is if you think it’ll be give away by your shop for Free Comic Book Day.

DC’s Year of the Villain is a teaser comic featuring three stories and lots of back material setting up major storylines either beginning or already started in various DC Comics. For 25 cents, there really isn’t much to quibble about when it comes to the price and what you get and each story has its strengths and weaknesses.

I myself have paid half attention as to what’s going on in the various series this comic touches upon and was able to follow pretty well what was being set up but overall I’m not sure how much this sampler (not sure if that’s the best description) will suck in a new reader as say a full story comic for Free Comic Book Day. If nothing else, it’s a solid marketing idea that more publishers should try and see how it does.

Doom” by writer Scott Snyder, artist Jim Cheung, colorist Tomeu Morey, and letterer Tom Napolitano focuses on the storyline building over in Justice League as Lex Luthor has been gathering is Legion of Doom.

The story is over the top in its brazen action delivering a Luthor that you have to wonder how he can ever go back to being the industrialist enemy of Superman in the future (though there’ll always be some way for that to happen). The visuals are amazing as Luthor lays out his vision of what must happen to Brainiac delivering an ending that’s shocking and unexpected.

Leviathan” by Brian Michael Bendis, artist Alex Maleev, and letterer Joshua Reed focuses on the ongoing Superman story that has a mysterious organization that’s taking on the “black-ops” like organizations that pervade the DC Universe. Focusing on Batgirl and Green Arrow, the story is interesting in what it hints at and where it eventually goes. Maleev’s art is the draw here and it makes me long for him to draw a Green Arrow series.

Justice” is the third story by writer James Tynion IV, Francis Manapul on art, and Tom Napolitano on lettering. This focus is on the Source Wall storyline that has taken the DC Universe in whole new directions with their cosmic end of things. It’s the end chapter of this trilogy of stories bringing them all together into something rather interesting.

This teaser comic is interesting in that each separate story is just ok but once it’s clear how each ties together it’s something so much more. There’s clearly a lot of thought being put into this upcoming year at DC and it shows within this comic. Not to mention the amount of extra material to get you more interested. The comic also acts as a guide as to what you should read next and what you might want to go back and read.

It’s hard to say overall how good this comic really is. It has me both interested and not in what’s coming and while each individual chapter is interesting none really have me excited for what’s next. Still, for only 25 cents it’s hard to argue to not get it.

Story: Scott Snyder, Brian Michael Bendis, James Tynion IV
Art: Jim Cheung, Alex Maleev, Francis Manapul
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Tom Napolitano, Joshua Reed
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.75 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review