FEBRUARY IS FOR LOVERS1 of 12February 2017 is a month for villains in DC Comics, with new and surprising threats, and the return of some big name classics.
Appropriately for the month of Valentine's Day, some of those villains are also love interests for DC's top heroes, and some hit even closer to home.
As we do each month, Newsarama has delved into DC's February 2017 solicits to find the biggest news in store for the new year. Here's what we learned from DC's February 2017 solicitations.
LIKE CLOCKWORK2 of 12A new Justice League arc begins with February's #15, featuring a cosmic threat named the Timeless that "exists at different points through Earth's history." There's several possible layers to this one, for fans coming on with "Rebirth" as well longtime readers. Here we go:
The Timeless, a threat dealing with time. "Rebirth" was set off the reveal that Watchmen's Dr. Manhattan was tinkering with DCU history, symbolically (and literally) shown with a clock. Dr. Manhattan is known to travel through time, so could there be some connections to "Rebirth"'s over-arching story in this Justice League arc?
Second, the Timeless also sound a lot like the 1960s DC characters the Timeless Ones. From the home planet Gendyx, they were a group of non-villainous cosmic travelers who monitored the balance of the universe.
Hmm... what do you think?
WARHEAD3 of 12In the wake of Atlantis's war with the surface world, Aquaman has a new challenge to contend with - a deep sea-dwelling monster called Warhead.
The solicits for Aquaman #16 & 17 bring Aquaman to New York to take on Warhead, whose psychic abilities pose a threat to the surface.
ART ATTACK4 of 12Before "Rebirth," Bryan Hitch was both writing and drawing Justice League of America. Hitch took over as writer of Justice League as part of DC's relaunch with artist Tony Daniel taking over art chores after Hitch drew Justice League: Rebirth #1. Now, the veteran artist will flex his muscles once again, filling in as artist on Justice League #14.
Over in Batwoman: Rebirth #1, artist Ben Oliver joins writers Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV to pencil the introductory one-shot with previously-announced artist Steve Epting.
CUPID'S ARROW5 of 12Dick Grayson is back in Bludhaven, and he may be following in his mentor's footsteps by romancing a villainess - the leader of Bludhaven gang The Run-Offs. But given that the title of the arc kicking off in Nightwing #15 is "Cupid Calls," what are the chances this villainess is Cupid, the female archer who tried to romance Oliver Queen several years ago?
Meanwhile, over in Batgirl #8, Dick's former flame and crimefighting ally Barbara Gordon has a new romance of her own, shacking up with Ethan Cobblepot, the son of the Penguin. But as the solicit questions, is she dating him to get close to a new villain, or do the pair share a real spark?
CHINA'S FINEST6 of 12The Chinese analogues to the DC Universe's American heroes and villains continue to expand in New Super-Man #8, which introduces Chinese hero Bat-Man's arch-enemy, Grass Mud Horse.
Described as "the Chinese Joker," Grass Mud Horse is a big enough threat that Super-Man and Bat-Man will join forces to fight him.
As of DC Universe: Rebirth #1, we know that there have been three Jokers in the DC Universe - does this mean there's actually a fourth?
GOODBYE EARTH 27 of 12The last holdover from DC's pre-"Rebirth" days, Earth 2: Society will finally come to an end with February's #21. While another series - possibly with more direct connections to the Justice Society - is on the way, this finale marks the official end of the "New 52" era.
But Earth 2 isn't the only title coming to a close in February. Limited series Raven and Frostbite each end with #6.
BACK TO LIFE8 of 12In February, Poison Ivy returns to Gotham and gets back to villainy in All-Star Batman #7, with a story featuring art from Tula Lotay promising to "reimagine Batman's most seductive villain." Seems quite a twist given the character's heroic turn last year with a miniseries.
Another of DC's toughest women, Hawkwoman, returns in Death of Hawkman #5, leading Thanagar's forces. And in Green Arrow #16, Emiko Queen is back in Seattle.
Finally, February also brings the long-awaited return of Kyle Rayner as the White Lantern in Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps #14.
STORM WATCH9 of 12DC and Warren Ellis have been notably reticent on revealing details of the new Wildstorm imprint, but the first solicitation for flagship book The Wild Storm gives out some key nuggets of information for those who know how to look.
First is the casual mention of the Halo skyscraper; Halo is the company founded by Wildcats Emp, and eventually run by the android Spartan. Neither character has been mentioned to date as part of this series, but as readers of Ellis' work know, he likes to run silent and deep.
Second is the casual mention of a woman with transhuman implants named Angela Spica. That is the real name of the Authority's the Engineer, originally created by - you guessed it - Warren Ellis, with current Justice League writer Bryan Hitch.
EXTREME... TO THE MAX?10 of 12The first big bad of the rejuvenated Justice League of America appears to be Lord Havok and the Extremists. Unseen since the advent of the "New 52" (minus an appearance in Grant Morrison's Multiversity), they're described much like their post-Crisis version as an invading force from an alternate Earth.
What makes it even more interesting is the one-time connection between Lord Havok and Maxwell Lord, with Maxwell eventually becoming Lord Havok in an alt-Earth.
Lord Havok coming to the mainstream DCU is interesting - but if that Lord is revealed to be Maxwell Lord? That's a whole 'nother level of intriguing.
SUPERMAN Vs. CLARK KENT11 of 12There’s been a mystery at the heart of Action Comics since the series returned to its original numbering as part of “Rebirth” – what’s the deal with this this other Clark Kent, not connected to the dead "New 52" Superman and the returned post-Crisis Superman?
Now, Action Comics #973 kicks off an arc entitled “Mild-Mannered,” which delves into who (or maybe what Clark Kent) really is.
Oddly, the solicits for “Mild-Mannered” seem to paint this Kent as a villain – could Superman have to throw down with the unlikely threat of his own alter ego?
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