DC Comics just made an exciting announcement this week that they’ll be launching a new Batman/Superman team up series written by Joshua Williams with art by David Marquez. The story will be a little bit different than some of the other team up series is we’ve seen from Batman and Superman in the past. While Batman/Superman books are usually big, bombastic superhero tales, this series looks to be a bit darker. Apparently ,the series will follow Batman and Superman as they investigate the insidious actions of The Batman Who Laughs, the twisted villain from The Dark Multiverse, created by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo first introduced in the recent event Dark Nights: Metal, Created by . The Batman Who Laughs, is Bruce Wayne from a reality where he finally had enough and killed The Joker, but Joker had the last laugh when, upon his death, a toxin was released from his body that would turn whoever killed him, into the next Joker. This Bruce Wayne slowly succumbs to the madness of The Joker, killing off all of his friends, family and fellow superheroes. Once he destroyed his own world he turned his evil towards the rest of the multiverse. What makes The Batman Who Laughs so dangerous is not that he’s a combination of Batman and The Joker, it’s that he’s Batman without any of the codes and morality that hold him back. Bruce Wayne is already one of the most dangerous men on the planet, so without a conscience and without any line he won’t cross. He’s not out to prove anything to anyone like The Joker is, he’s just a great white shark, viciously destroying anything in his path. He’s the Apex predator of the DC Multiverse. All of this why creator Scott Snyder has said A Batman Who Laugs, is a Batman who always wins.
As the story begins Batman and Superman have discovered a terrible secret, The Batman Who Laughs has infected six other DC heroes and turned them with the same type of pathogen that turned in into the monster he is today. These heroes will become the worst, nightmare versions of themselves. Some of them are aware they’ve been in infected, but are keeping it a secret and some of them have no idea. All Batman and Superman know is the only people they can trust is each other, as they desperately try to figure out which six-year-heroes have succumbed to The Batman Who Laughs’ influence.
That’s a fantastic set up for a series, but the creative team is really exciting as well Joshua Williams currently writes The Flash for DC comics and he’s cowritten two excellent miniseries that team up The Flash with Batman. The first miniseries being Batman/The Flash: The Button and the second Batman/The Flash: The Price. Williams really knows how to write Batman teaming up with another character. What made his team ups with The Flash so compelling is that Batman is the worlds greatest detective and people often forget that Barry Allen’s day job is a CSI crime scene investigator. Taking the two greatest detective superheroes in the DCU and putting them together has always been a lot of fun and I really hope they do more Batman and Flash team ups in the future. As for the art David Marquez is one of the absolute most talented and beautiful artists in the business. He first popped up on my radar when he began drying Invincible Iron Man with Brian Michael Bendis and then Civil War II also with Bendis. For the last year or so he’s been working on Jason Aaron’s Avengers series to great effect. As much is I love his work at Marvel, it’ll be really exciting to see what he does with DC characters. As you’ve seen I have some of the art and the very cool cover spread throughout this article.
This is a really great time to be a comic fan especially if you’re someone who is new to comics or maybe a lapsed reader, looking to get back into the medium. There are a lot of books like this that are easy jumping on points for new readers. It’s easier than ever to get comics through apps on your tablet or smart phone like ComiXology, but I also recommend checking out your local comic book store. Especially if you’re a new reader because they can really help you figure out the best comics to check out as a new comic book reader or someone who hasn’t been following comic books for awhile. I always say I don’t cover comic book news as much as I’d like, so when this story came down the wire, I definitely wanted to give my two cents. I know this is a must read it for me and I can’t wait until it hits the shelves in August.
In other comic book news, acclaimed writer Jonathan Hickman is making his highly anticipated return to Marvel Comics. Hickman is best known as the man behind iconic Fantastic Four and Avengers runs, as well as indie books like East Of West and Black Monday Murders. He’s returning to Marvel to spearhead a new launch and direction for the X-Men books. The above picture was the first piece of art associated with this project. His work on the X-Men will begin with two, 6-issue mini series’ House of X with artist Pepe Larraz and Powers of X with art by R.B. Silva. House of X will focus on Charles Xavier stepping into the spotlight once again to unveil his master plan for the future of the humans and mutants alike. Powers of X will focus on dark and dangerous secrets behind mutantkind and the X-Men. Powers of X will cover stories from the past, present, and future of the X-Men.
Very little is known about the direction of these books at the moment, the real draw here is writer Jonathan Hickman. Hickman has written some the best stuff to come out of Marvel in the last 25 years. His work on The Fantastic Four and The Avengers is considered to be some of the very best stories in the history of either franchise. I highly recommend picking up his FF or Avengers books available in collected editions and graphic novels. His early work at Marvel on a book called Secret Warriors is excellent as well and I definitely give it my seal of approval.
Not much is known about what Hickman has planned when the mini series’ conclude, but if his X-Men work is anything like his work on Fantastic Four or The Avengers, we should expect an epic, intricate, sweeping, ambitious story. Hickman’s run on Avengers is, by far, my favorite for the iconic super team and I can’t wait to see what he does with the X-Men franchise. Marvel is already comparing this launch to iconic X-Men milestones like Giant Size X-Men #1 and Grant Morrison‘s 1st issue of New X-Men. So clearly Marvel has big plans for Jonathan Hickman and the X-Men. House of X #1 hits shelves on 7/24/19 with Powers of X #1 on sale the following week, 7/31/19.
As always, thanks for reading!