Writer James Tynion IV and artist Steve Epting will team up to create Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen, what Tynion calls a "DC event" that pits the Batman Who Laughs against Apex Lex Luthor in the culmination of "Year of the Villain."
The limited series of unspecified length will bring together storylines that have been brewing in the DC Universe since Dark Nights: Metal, throughout Justice League's "Justice/Doom War," and Batman/Superman's "Infected," and the over-arching "Year of the Villain crossover."
"It is the culmination of both threads," Tynion told ScreenRant, who announced Hell Arisen. "Taking a step back: when Scott Snyder, Josh Williamson and I were talking about what we wanted to build out on the other side of Dark Nights: Metal, the big event a couple of years ago, we built this whole big map. One part of the map was the Justice League side of the map. And more than anything, that story was the story of Lex Luthor."
"What Lex Luthor would build, and what he would become, in pursuit of making Doom arrive in the universe. Basically tipping the entire psychic energy of everything towards evil," Tynion continued. "This is what we've seen in the 'Year of the Villain' books and the tie-ins. This is the story that's really coming to a head right now. Lex Luthor has never been more powerful or more dangerous in the DC Universe."
"Simultaneous to that we've had a thread that started off kind of secretly," Tynion confessed. "We had a couple of issues in Justice League where we would see the Batman Who Laughs in operation in the DC Universe. Then we got the Scott Snyder/Jock Batman Who Laughs miniseries where we start to see... What is the plan that he has had in motion since he was left in this world? Now we're seeing that plan come to a head with the 'Infected' storyline in Batman/ Superman."
"When we first started mapping all of that out, we literally had a whiteboard and it was broken into two parts," Tynion concluded. "Then at the end of those two parts there was an arrow pointing down and an arrow pointing up, coming to a head. That head was Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen. You know, 'Hell Arisen' stands for 'HA'. That was what it was on the board, these two things come together with 'HA'. This is the moment where we see these two profoundly evil plans for the DC Universe literally collide with eachother in the biggest, most dangerous way possible. This is the 'Infection,' this is Luthor's entire Year of the Villain storyline, intersecting in the biggest, most dangerous way."
Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1 is due out December 18. Here's the advance solicitation and cover; look for DC's full December 2019 solicitations later this month.
YEAR OF THE VILLAIN: HELL ARISEN #1
Release date: December 18th, 2019
Written by JAMES TYNION IV
Art and Cover by STEVE EPTING
DC’s “Year of the Villain” begins its sinister conclusion! Lex Luthor has brought Perpetua back from her cosmic grave and restored her power! Now, the Multiverse lives in fear that she might wipe out all existence. The only thing that could stop her are the forces of the Dark Multiverse— which means it’s Luthor’s mission to defeat the Batman Who Laughs! But if Batman and Superman couldn’t stop him, what chance does Luthor stand? Spinning out of the end of the “Justice/ Doom War” in Justice League #38 and the conclusion of the epic “Infected” arc from Batman/Superman #5, DC’s two top villains face off in a battle royal—and the fate of all reality hangs in the balance!