Zero is the Magic Number

November may not seem like it is typically a major month for the big-two comic book publishers, but 2013 is an exception. There's the Zero Year storyline in <b>Batman</b> that leaks into several (even many unexpected) other titles in November. There's the <b>Forever Evil</b> event comic that rages on, including multiple tie-in mini-series and regular series. New and returning creators (and characters), dollar issues, and more are all featured in a November to remember. <p>See what we found of note at DC Comics in November 2013, and why the last full Fall month can't be overlooked.

$1 ESSENTIALS From DC/Vertigo

Following up on October's four offerings, four more major comics - two from DC's New 52 and two from Vertigo, are getting reprints of their first issues, offered for a dollar with 64 pages of content. Marketed as "DC Essentials" and "Vertigo Essentials," the choices are interesting. <p>The obvious ones include <b>Justice League</b> and <b>Fables</b>, top sellers from their corresponding imprints, which both have major multimedia projects in the works - a movie based on that first arc, and a video game by Telltale, respectively. <p>The others, <b>Green Lantern</b> by Geoff Johns and <b>Y: The Last Man</b> by Brian K. Vaughan are slightly more surprising, with Johns' long run on <b>GL</b> ending a couple months back, and BKV's work with Vertigo/DC being over for a couple of <i>years</i>. Regardless, these four, following <i>Batman</i>, <i>Wonder Woman</i>, <i>Sandman</i>, and <i>V for Vendetta</i> last month, offer fans a cheap way into some of the most popular and critically acclaimed comics from DC.

LIGHTS OUT Aftermath in GL Titles

The "Lights Out" crossover storyline cuts across the <b>Green Lantern</b> family of titles in October, and November promises to directly follow-up on the events of the story. <p>In <b>Green Lantern</b>, Hal Jordan's still-new leadership of the Green Lantern Corps already comes under question and challenge due to a "change in mission." In <b>New Guardians</b>, the intriguing questions of "Where" "When" and "WHY is Kyle Rayner" are asked, teasing a major change for the character and the title. And over in <b>Red Lanterns</b>, we find out that they are now in complete control of Sector 2814, with no Green Lanterns in sight - what does that mean for relatively new GL Simon Baz, as well as the other Earth-based corpsmen? [<i>Note: <b>GLC</b> crosses into Zero Year and does not follow-up on Lights Out in November</i>]

BATWOMAN & BATMAN Throwdown, and Haun Returns to DC

After some time with Top Cow as an exclusive artist, Jeremy Haun comes back to DC comics in September's <i>Batman #23.2: The Riddler</i>, but makes his way back into an ongoing series sharing the art credit with Trevor McCarthy for November's <b>Batwoman #25</b>. The book sees the culmination of two years of tension between Batwoman and her somewhat namesake, Batman, promising a "no-holds-barred battle" that "threatens to kill them both!" So Haun's return is at a major moment for the book and the characters, though to what capacity is still unknown.

HARLEY QUINN Zero Issue w/ All-Star Artists

What do Darwyn Cooke, Sam Kieth, Tony Daniel, Paul Pope, Walter Simonson, and Art Baltazar have in common? They're all working with the newly married writing duo of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti on the special zero issue of <b>Harley Quinn</b>, a new ongoing series. The issue features the meta-story of Harley auditioning artists to help tell her life story as she moves to Coney Island. Palmiotti revealed at Comic-Con that the issue will feature 18 different artists, with one of them going on to become the series artist in December's #1. That means we only have one-third of the names revealed so far in this already all-star cast of creators.

BATMAN/SUPERMAN Face New Threat in New Style

The second storyline in <b>Batman/Superman</b> begins with #5, which holds a few notable bits in the solicitation. The book features a new Toymaster, who creates a video game where the players' created characters come to life, ready to menace Batman like no other. <p>The issue is also notable for the format - the book will be told in a "horizontal storytelling format" rather than using the pages vertically, a fun challenge for new artists Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund.

Tom Taylor Takes Over EARTH 2

Tom Taylor's <i>Injustice: Gods Among Us</i> is an international hit, consistently leading the digital sales charts since its debut, even seeing <i>growing</i> sales throughout. That alternate-world story showing an Earth where Superman falls into a darkness and reigns with terror has been praised for its new takes on the characters we know and love. <p>Now, with <b>Earth 2 #17</b>, Taylor gets to take over <i>another</i> alternate Earth, just as Darkseid's forces have returned en masse to the world without Superman. The new Batman is featured heavily in his first story, and he'll also introduce the new (<a href="http://www.newsarama.com/17939-brutal-latest-what-s-new-villain-addition-to-the-new-52.html">and previously teased</a>) villain Brutal. Nicola Scott stays on the title for some nice continuity.

PHANTOM STRANGER Answers THE QUESTION

The most mysterious member of the Trinity of Sin is The Question - after all, he's the only one without his own ongoing monthly title. Well, he's at least sharing the spotlight with <b>The Phantom Stranger</b> in the latter's book in November, as the man formerly known as Judas "wants some payback" against the Question for nearly ending his life. It may not be his own ongoing series, but at least there should be a <i>couple</i> more answers to the mystery of The Question after Trinity War.

FOREVER EVIL Continues Justice League Family Takeover

As Geoff Johns and company said at DC's various panels at Comic-Con last month, the <b>Forever Evil</b> event comic will cross over directly with the three <b>Justice League</b> titles, as well as <b>Suicide Squad</b> and <b>Teen Titans</b> throughout. <p>In November's tie-ins, Dick Grayson tries to outrun the Crime Syndicate, Martian Manhunter emerges as one of two (the other is a mystery) surviving members of the JLA, Constantine recruits Swamp Thing, a "Reverse Suicide Squad" including Power Girl emerges, and Kid Flash's New 52 origin finally begins being revealed. Whew, that's a lot of tie-in packed into five issues.

ZERO YEAR MONTH

Zero Year breaks out from Batman as a blackout caused by The Riddler spreads to other titles. Action Comics, Batgirl, Batwing, Birds of Prey, Catwoman, Nightwing, Detective Comics, The Flash, Green Lantern Corps, Green Arrow, and Red Hood & the Outlaws all cross into the ongoing tale of Batman's beginning, exploring the literal darkness of Gotham City. <p>The tie-ins are interesting, as most of the characters involved: Barbara Gordon, Luke Fox, Dick Grayson, and more, are shown here pre-secret identities and super heroic careers.

BATMAN AND CARRIE KELLEY - ROBIN REBORN?

Stop me if you've heard this one before - in order for Batman to defeat his dastardly duo-personality foe Two-Face, a new Robin must step into the sidekick spotlight to help him at a crucial moment. <p>Two-Face is almost as much a Robin villain as a Batman villain, with prior characters in the role tied directly to the rogue, in their origin and beyond. Now, in the book titled this month "Batman and Carrie Kelley" could the much-teased debut of Carrie, the Robin from <i>Dark Knight Returns</i> as the new Robin of the New 52 finally be here? DC Comics sure wants us to <i>think</i> it is, that's for sure. Bear in mind, this is part two of a five-part story in the title, so we may have to wait a few more months to know for sure.

What We Learned from DC's NOVEMBER 2013 Solicitations

Date: 12 August 2013 Time: 08:30 PM ET