We know that the end of Dark Nights: Death Metal will set us up for DC Future State in January, but it will also set up the return of the DC Multiverse — and a new Earth-3, the home of the villainous Crime Syndicate. And this “anti-Justice League” will receive its own miniseries in March, by writer Andy Schmidt and artist Kieran McKeown.
Schmidt said they plan to rebuild Earth-3 from the ground up, showcasing new versions of Ultraman, Super Woman, Owlman, Power Ring/Emerald Knight, Johnny Quick and Atomica (she’s the evil version of the Atom, if the name isn’t as familiar as the others).
“Kieran and I were given a once a lifetime opportunity to build a world from the ground up,” said writer Andy Schmidt. “We’re establishing the Crime Syndicate’s origin story for the first time—how and why they came together. And we’re not taking it lightly. You’ll find that you’ve entered a fully realized world—this is the story of the Crime Syndicate, but it’s also the story of Earth-3 and it moves fast and pulls no punches.”
Here’s how DC describes the miniseries:
Spinning out of the pages of Dark Nights: Death Metal, the DC Multiverse is reborn, and with it a new Earth-3! Witness the true origins of the malevolent makers of mayhem known as the Crime Syndicate as a common foe unites them! But how long can alliances last between villains like these?
In addition, Ultraman’s origin will be told in a back-up story in the first issue, drawn by Bryan Hitch.
The Crime Syndicate and Earth-3 were first introduced in the 1960s, in the pages of Justice League of America #29. The evil counterparts of the Justice League use their powers to rule over and terrorize their planet, vs. serving as superheroes. The concept has been revisited many times in the past, including in the excellent standalone graphic novel Earth 2 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. More recently, the invaded the New 52 Earth in the pages of Justice League back in 2013.
The new miniseries kicks off March 2.