(W) Brian Michael Bendis (A/CA) Ryan Sook, Travis Moore In Shops: Mar 25, 2020 SRP: $3.99
DC’s far-flung future is happening right now! With the secret of Jon Kent revealed, the Legion of Super-Heroes is united to save New Earth from those who would destroy it. Will Aquaman’s lost trident be the key to New Earth’s demise? Plus, Mon-El comes clean about his connection to Jon, and Cosmic Boy and Ferro Lad find out they both have a crush on the same Legionnaire.
(W) Brian Michael Bendis (A/CA) John Romita, Klaus Janson In Shops: Mar 25, 2020 SRP: $3.99
Metropolis down! The blockbuster supervillain team-up of the century continues. Leviathan! The invisible mafia! The Legion of Doom! All have descended on the city of Metropolis to challenge Superman at his most vulnerable moment. With the truth about the Man of Steel’s secret identity out in the open, all the rules of engagement have changed-and no one is safe! Guest-starring the Justice League and Young Justice.
Now that he’s revealed his secret identity to the world, there’s no way things slow down for the Man of Steel! Heading into the Summer it looks like award-winning writer Brian Michael Bendis and a host of all-star artistic talent have every intention of keeping the heat on Entertainment Weekly’s “Superhero of the Year” all summer long!
In the pages of Superman #24 (on sale June 10), Kevin Maguire joins Bendis to tell a tale of Superman’s legendary susceptibility to magic, and how a new villain is about to use that to turn Big Blue’s life inside out and upside down. This mysterious character has come into Superman’s world to pit him against the most powerful sorcerer and agent for the Lords of Order: Doctor Fate!
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS Art by KEVIN MAGUIRE Cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO Variant cover by BRYAN HITCH Wonder Woman 1984 variant cover by GABRIELE DELL’OTTO ON SALE 06.10.20 | $3.99 US | 32 PAGES FC | DC
Action Comics #1024
Next, in the pages of June 24th’s Action Comics #1024, the fallout from Superman: Villains continues as Clark Kent steps out into the world as a reporter for the first time! Metropolis has been rocked by Lex Luthor’s latest attack and the drama surrounding Superman’s truth, and that gives the invisible mafia a new foothold to change the City of Tomorrow forever. Meanwhile, the Daily Planet is under siege!
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS Art and cover by JOHN ROMITA JR. and KLAUS JANSON Variant cover by LUCIO PARRILLO Wonder Woman 1984 variant cover by FRANK CHO ON SALE 06.24.20 $3.99 US | 32 PAGES FC | DC
Event Leviathan: Checkmate #3
Also, on sale June 24, the Man of Steel makes a guest appearance in this next surprising chapter in DC’s saga of high-stakes espionage! Green Arrow’s team of super-spies—including the Question, Manhunter, Lois Lane, and Talia al Ghul—has infiltrated Leviathan! Along the way, they learn that one of their own is a secret Leviathan agent who plans to betray the new Checkmate from the start!
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS Art and cover by ALEX MALEEV Variant cover by MATT TAYLOR ON SALE 06.24.20 $3.99 US | 3 OF 6 |32 PAGES FC | DC
Legion of Super-Heroes #8
And just to show dear old Dad that the heat is on in the 31st Century too, Superboy makes a discovery about the future that will change everything he knows when he discovers a new Krypton! This new story arc also begins with the United Planets in a war that threatens to divide the League into separate camps, as Ultra Boy’s homeworld of Rimbor and Chameleon Boy’s homeworld of Durla declare interplanetary war!
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS Art and cover by RYAN SOOK Variant cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN ON SALE 06.03.20 $3.99 US | 32 PAGES FC | DC
(W) Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker (A/CA) John Timms In Shops: Mar 11, 2020 SRP: $3.99
Now that Young Justice has figured out who the bad guys are, it’s time to bring the fight to S.T.A.R. Labs’ front door! But the combined forces of Dial H for Hero, the Wonder Twins, Naomi, and the entire Young Justice roster may not be enough to defeat these evil scientists. It’s time to call in some super-powered backup…the new Young Justice! Plus, how will Superman revealing his secret identity affect Conner Kent?
(W) Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Greg Rucka, Jody Houser (A) Steve Lieber, Mike Perkins, Eduardo Pansica (A/CA) Bryan Hitch In Shops: Mar 04, 2020 SRP: $5.99
The Man of Steel’s greatest villains react to the biggest news to ever rock the DC Universe. Lex Luthor, Mongul, Toyman, The Joker, and more of the world’s greatest villains must come to grips with how the world changes now that the truth has been revealed by Superman. Some of comics’ most unique and creative voices unite to tell a story that changes all the rules.
(W) Brian Michael Bendis (A/CA) John Romita, Klaus Janson In Shops: Feb 26, 2020 SRP: $3.99
Apex Lex Luthor’s first run-in with the Infected didn’t go as planned, and the Batman Who Laughs’ influence is continuing to spread. Now Lex must find out who in the world can think like the Batman Who Laughs-and there are only two folks who come to mind. The first is Batman, who probably has his own ideas for Lex; the other is The Joker, who also likely has his own ideas, but who just maybe wants to see this twisted doppelgänger sent back to the Dark Multiverse he came from. It’s a gamble Lex has to take, because the Infected are gearing up for round two!
(W) Brian Michael Bendis (A/CA) Alex Maleev In Shops: Feb 26, 2020 SRP: $4.99
Exploding out of the pages of the Event Leviathan miniseries, this all-new special blasts the DC Universe into a dangerous and brave new future! With Leviathan arrived, its leader’s identity revealed, and its plans known, what happens next? Now the heroes fight back! Leviathan changed the rules of the game, so now’s the time for the biggest players to get together and figure out a new strategy in this brave new world. It’s an extra-sized super-spy yarn from the Eisner Award-winning team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev!
(W) Brian Michael Bendis (A) Mikel Janin (CA) Travis Moore (A/CA) Ryan Sook In Shops: Feb 19, 2020 SRP: $3.99
The secret origin of the Legion of Super-Heroes revealed! Exactly how did this ragtag group of idealistic, super-powered teens from all across the galaxy find each other? What pulls them and keeps them together? Another gorgeous issue of DC’s future superstars also reveals clues to how Aquaman’s lost trident may be the key to Earth’s future and survival!
This May, DC’s history unfolds with Generation One: Age of Mysteries. It’s the first of five oversized prestige format one-shots. Each will detail a different age in DC’s superhero legacy. The line of comics kicks off on Free Comic Book Day with Generation Zero: Gods Among Us.
The one-shots will bring the DC timeline to life. Each will spotlight the universe’s 80-plus-year publishing history and chart the course for the future of it all. “Everything counts.”
Readers of Generation One: Age of Mysteries will witness firsthand major events from throughout the history of the DC universe as seen through the eyes of characters like Wonder Woman, Lucius Fox, Alfred Pennyworth, Green Lantern (Alan Scott), The Spectre (Jim Corrigan), Mister Terrific (Terry Sloane), and others. The series of one-shots will also expose secrets from DC’s history, such as:
What was the previously undocumented “big bang” of the Age of Mysteries?
Which character truly ushers in the dawn of Super Heroes, inspiring all the rest?
What was the real reason behind the Justice Society of America’s retirement?
Which Golden Age hero will become history’s greatest villain?
What contentious alliance kept the Wayne family dynasty alive after Thomas and Martha’s deaths?
Who are the new, never-seen-before wildcards that will be instrumental in fashioning DC’s push to the future?
The five books will have all the answers to these questions, setting up storylines while laying the groundwork for more eto come. The five Generation issues will feature a who’s who of creative talent, with an overarching story by Brian Michael Bendis, Dan Jurgens, Andy Schmidt, Robert Venditti, and Joshua Williamson, illustrated by artists including Doug Mahnke, Bryan Hitch, Mikel Janín, Ivan Reis, David Marquez, and more.
Generation One: Age of Mysteries is scripted by Andy Schmidt, with lead art by Doug Mahnke. Each of DC’s Generation one-shots will feature a cover by Jim Cheung and a variant cover by Gary Frank. Generation Two: Age of the Metahuman, Generation Three: Age of Crisis, Generation Four: Age of Rebirth and Generation Five: Age of Tomorrow will follow monthly after Generation One: Age of Mysteries.
Generation One: Age of Mysteries is a 48-page, Prestige format one-shot on sale at comic book stores and participating online retailers on May 27, 2020.
I’m totally okay with Brian Michael Bendis finally allowing Superman to reveal his secret identity as Clark Kent. It seems like a sales gimmick or one that will be walked back in a couple years. It’s remarkably in-character and makes up for the half-assed “mystery” that was Event Leviathan. Superman: Heroes #1 shows the reactions to the big reveal. It does so from a variety of perspectives from Lois Lane to the Justice League. Drawn by the fantastic Kevin Maguire! to Clark Kent’s high school chemistry teacher in a sweet story by Matt Fraction and Scott Godlewski. Fraction also pens Jimmy Olsen’s reaction to his “pal” losing the secret identity. That features slick, emotive art from his Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen collaborator Steve Lieber.
And wait, that not’s all. After being terse in the Maguire 12 panel grid sequences, Batman gets to open up to Wonder Woman about his true feelings in regards to Superman’s reveal. It’s a powerful story written by Greg Rucka and drawn in atmospheric shadows by Mike Perkins. However, there’s room for comedy too. Booster Gold finally gets to shout that Superman is Clark Kent after keeping it in for so long because he’s from the future. This comic is a true marriage of different tones. Art and writing styles from Bendis and Maguire set up a running Plastic man gag to Batman coming up with legit, devil’s advocate style arguments for why Superman revealing his secret identity to the world is a terrible idea.
Bendis, Fraction, Rucka, Maguire, Perkins, Lieber, Mike Norton, and Godlewski use Superman: Heroes to show how important Superman is to the both the community of heroes in the DC Universe and the superhero genre as a whole. They also show his roots in Smallville, connections to Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, and the consequences of his actions. The best parts of this comic are connected to Smallville. The opening scene features a great conversation between Ma and Pa Kent and young Clark about feeling different or weird and having a greater responsibility to the world because of his abilities.
The Fraction/Godlewski Superman and his chemistry teacher scene is really Eisner-worthy. From Godlewski’s clean line and the vivid colors to the underlying theme that it’s been Clark’s work ethic and moral compass that made him a great hero and man and not his superpowers. I also love how he draws Superman’s smile. Even if this means he got a C- in molecular chemistry. Clark Kent is the kid at the end of the bench who hustles for every loose ball, or the student that stays up late and goes to extra tutoring sessions that just happens to have the power of a god. Matt Fraction demonstrates his understanding of Superman’s moral character that pervades the “Truth” storyline as well as his, Rucka, and Bendis’ take on the Metropolis side of the DC Universe.
As evidenced by the “King Superman” plotline brewing over in Superman, Bendis isn’t afraid to look at the negative consequences of Superman revealing his secret identity. That extends to the moral dilemma he’s in as the Daily Planet is owned by Marisol Leone. However, that will be covered in later stories. Maybe Action Comics once the “Year of the Villain” shenanigans are over.
As I’ve mentioned a few times, Rucka and Perkins dig into it immediately in the form of the other 2/3 of the Trinity have a spirited conversation where neither Bruce or Diana is in the right. I really love the panels at the end of scene where Perkins’ heavy shadows lighten, and Diana tells Bruce that maybe he’s jealous that Superman can live his life out in the open and whole. The specters of Tom King’s botched Bat-marriage hang in the shadows of this one. Rucka’s dialogue gets to the core of Batman’s identity issues that have pervaded his best stories. He can’t retire or be a public-facing, but must strike fear into criminals as an archetype of fear.
Superman: Heroes #1 is a high note for Brian Michael Bendis’ current run on the Superman titles. It also features insightful writing from Matt Fraction as well as Greg Rucka reminding readers that he’s one of the greatest Batman and Wonder Woman writers. On the visual side, Mike Perkins shows a conversation can have just as much power as a good fight scene. Kevin Maguire is still the master of the superhero group shot. Steve Lieber’s comedic timing and use of beats works for friends being open and vulnerable together. Even if you aren’t current on Bendis’ Superman comics, Superman: Heroes #1 is worth picking up and dropping $5.99 on. It’s an intelligent and heartwarming take on the first superhero.
Story: Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Greg Rucka Art: Kevin Maguire, Mike Perkins, Steve Lieber Art: Mike Norton, Scott GodlewskiColors:Paul Mounts, Gabe Eltaeb Colors: Andy Troy, Nathan Fairbairn Letters: Clayton Cowles, Troy Peteri, Simon Bowland Story: 9.5 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.8 Recommendation: Buy