2014 is officially right on the horizon, at least for the comic book world. As the first solicitations for the new year debut, we look at some of the biggest takeaways from DC's January 2014 previews. <p>We'll be honest, there was a shockingly high amount of news in this month's solicits, and it was hard to reduce it down to ten. Things like the Red Lanterns apparently now protecting Earth, like advancements teased in "Blight" and "Forever Evil," and even Zod's continued debut all narrowly missed the mark. <p>Here's the ten things that <i>did</i> make it.
The <b>Forever Evil</b> tie-ins sure do <i>look</i> like they’ll be pretty important when all is said and done, at least going by their solicitations. This month’s <b>Forever Evil: Arkham War #4</b> casts Bane and a Talon named Cobb as “an all-new, all-deadly Dynamic Duo.” <p>Now, chances are, these two aren’t going to stick around Gotham once Batman and such are back, but it does present an intriguing idea. Bane has played the anti-hero role before, and he’s <i>also</i> been known to think he can do a better job of keeping order than Batman. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops
Meanwhile, over in <b>Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion #4</b>, as teased at New York Comic Con, the Rogues are going to run headlong into Gotham City – pretty much the absolute <i>worst</i> place they could wind up. <p>The Batman Rogues and Flash Rogues have some awfully similar members (at least on the surface – the Batman villains tend to bite a little harder, sometimes literally), and it should make for an exciting showdown, not to mention a fun “who should have won” debate.
With James Tynion IV joining the writing team of the weekly <b>Batman: Eternal</b> that launches in February, it’s not surprising that perhaps something had to give, at least for awhile. In these solicitations, another Scott Snyder protégé takes the reins of <b>Talon #15</b>, Marguerite Bennett. The issue <i>is</i> solicited as a special flashback issue to the 1920s, so it’s possible Bennett is only on for this one issue.
While we know the team of Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul are shifting over to <i>Detective Comics</i> in February 2014, we also knew at least Manapul was off <b>The Flash</b> a little earlier than that, with his final issue coming in October. There will be an interesting transition period, however, where Buccellato will still be writing the series. Well, kind of. <p>So, November was co-written by the pair, with art by Chris Sprouse and Karl Story in a Zero Year tie-in. December has an entirely new team, Christos Gage and Neil Googe. Then, Buccellato returns in January for an issue with Patrick Zircher. <p>So who is the actual new creative team on <b>The Flash</b> on an ongoing basis? That’s still a mystery, but we should find out in the <i>February</i> solicitations.
Tom Taylor wrote an alternate Earth story that found him international success (especially digitally) with <i>Injustice</i>. In that series, Superman became the villain of the story, turning against anyone who stood in the way of his righteous cause. This set him directly against Batman in that world. <p>Now he’s taken over as the writer of <b>Earth 2</b>, and he’s telling a story where the <i>new</i> Batman of that world is being pitted against Superman and his “reign of terror.” The problem is, Superman died, right at the offset of <b>Earth 2</b>. We don’t know how this story will play out, but one thing is perfectly clear: Tom Taylor really doesn’t like Superman, does he? <p>Joking aside, that’s not nearly the most important Earth 2 news in these solicitaitons…
When Pandora’s Box opened, the people of the New 52 Earth knew, as a certainty, that there were other worlds, what readers knew as the Multiverse. Now, in <b>Worlds’ Finest #19</b>, another world will be revealed to our “main” Earth. <p>But this time, it’s personal. The revelation will come from Power Girl and Huntress and it will be <i>to</i> Superman and Batman. Finding out you have another cousin, no less a <i>daughter</i> from another universe is bound to complicate matters – and seems to be swiftly opening the door for even more alternate Earths to emerge in the New 52.
This was another New York Comic Con announcement, but may have been lost in the shuffle a bit for most fans. Marv Wolfman takes over the book fully with <b>Superboy #27</b>, but that’s probably the least shocking bit of news about the book. You see, this is a new Superboy, arguably the <i>real</i> Superboy. <p><b>SPOILERS</b> <p>At the NYCC Superman panel, it was revealed that the star of the first two years of <b>Superboy</b>, who has been revealed as a clone of Clark Kent and Lois Lane’s son from the future, will be taking a dirt nap, with the <i>real</i> son taking over as Superboy. It may all sound a little confusing, but we bet we’ll get it when December and January come around.
<b>The Green Team: Teen Trillionaires #8</b> is the final issue. The series was a take on a concept that had only ever existed in <i>part</i> of one issue, so three quarters of a year isn’t too bad for an experimental series. <p>There are also a few series missing from the solicitations. <i>Vibe</i>, <i>Katana</i>, and <i>Superman: Unchained</i> all have no appearance in January. We’ve contacted DC Comics for clarification, and <b>UPDATE</b>, it turns out we were dead-on. <i>Vibe</i> and <i>Katana</i> see their final issues in December. January is a skip month for <i>Unchained</i>, so that Lee can complete the entire story with Snyder.
The aforementioned Tom Taylor’s original alternate Earth story is back, as <b>Injustice Year Two</b> begins. There was a temporary outcry when December’s solicitation said “Final Issue,” but as Taylor promised on twitter, the wait wasn’t long. With the first print issue (they’ve typically been made up of three digital issues) in January, that means we should see the digital series come back on a weekly basis in December 2013. <p>The series teases an external threat from “the edge of the galaxy” approaching Earth. It doesn’t say exactly who or what, just that “fear approaches…”
Yes, we already knew that <b>Detective Comics #27</b> would be a massive anniversary issue (the original <i>Tec #27</i> was a certain Batman’s first appearance), featuring the likes of Scott Snyder, Paul Dini, Brad Meltzer, Frank Miller, Dustin Nguyen, Neal Adams, and many, many more. And yes, we’d probably include it here anyway just because of those creators. <p>However, in John Layman and Jason Fabok’s final story in <b>Detective</b>, they kick off a new storyline called “Gothtopia.” The story then runs through four other series: <i>Batgirl</i>, <i>Batwing</i>, <i>Birds of Prey</i>, and <i>Catwoman</i>. It seems it’ll be some kind of psychedelic story, and interesting to see the Bat-family go through that so soon after a Psy-war hits the <i>Superman</i> family titles this fall.