DC returns to the Animated Universe in ‘Justice League Infinity’

Almost 15 years after ‘Justice League Unlimited’ ended, DC launches a new comic set in that same world.

Like they did with the recent Batman: The Adventure Continues, DC will revisit their 1990s/2000s Animated Universe — sometimes called the “Diniverse” after Paul Dini — with Justice League Infinity.

The DC Digital First series will feature stories from the world shown in Justice League Unlimited, which went off the air in 2006. JLU producer James Tucker and series writer J.M. DeMatteis will team with artist Ethen Beavers on new stories about Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern John Stewart, Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter and many more.

JLU ran for three seasons on Cartoon Network and was best known for its revolving cast that would grow or shrink as needed, pulling in characters from all over the DC universe. So expect to see that in the comic. Hopefully we’ll get to see a Question/Huntress/Green Arrow/Black Canary team-up at some point as well.

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Bendis and Marquez jump-start the Justice League

A new era begins in ‘Justice League’ #59, which ‘includes a number of familiar, welcome elements, all deftly executed.’

[Note: This post contains spoilers for the lead story in Justice League #59. The issue also includes a Justice League Dark installment, which was creepy and suspenseful, but won’t be discussed here.]

Last year’s trip through the Justice League’s 60-year history got as far as the start of the “Snyder Era.” (No, not that Snyder — Scott Snyder.) Because some of us still have a slight Death Metal hangover, a post on those years is still TBA. Regardless, the “Bendis Era” began this week with May 2021’s Justice League #59. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, drawn by David Marquez and colored by Tamra Bonvillain, it includes a number of familiar, welcome elements, all deftly executed.

Chief among them is the notion that the Leaguers have lives outside this book. At the risk of being redundant, the point of an all-star team is the interaction of characters who can each carry their own features. Sure, you can craft a perfectly entertaining adventure by dropping a handful of heroes into a standalone story, but the best League runs have incorporated larger DC continuity to one degree or another. (Somewhat ironically, the Bendis Era begins just as DC has decided to have free-range continuity.)

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Mail Call | Black Cat kicks off Marvel’s ‘Infinite Destinies’ event this summer

Plus more news from Marvel, DC, Image, AfterShock, Dark Horse and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

Last summer the “Infinite Destinies” storyline was supposed to run through several Marvel annuals, including Iron Man, Captain America, Black Cat and Thor, among others. The story revolves around the returning “infinity stones,” those pesky don’t-call-them-infinity-gems MacGuffins that regularly take center stage at Marvel.

Anyway, like with many other things, the COVID pandemic and comics industry shutdown threw a wrench in Marvel’s plans, and those annuals were never released. But now it looks like they are back on the schedule for 2021, with an added prelude comic to kick things off — Black Cat #8 by Jed MacKay and C.F. Villa.

“Felicia Hardy- the Black Cat- gets tangled up with the Infinity Stones, some of the most dangerous prizes in the universe. Felicia may be the most accomplished jewel thief on the planet, but when those jewels hold the power of the cosmos, it’s a whole new ball game. Felicia is in a race against the others who would seek to control the stones for their own ends- like Nick Fury (and a secret someone you won’t see coming!),” MacKay said. “Who can cross the world’s most dangerous men, wrangle a pack of villains hopped up on fragments of infinite power, (hopefully) get the job done and look great all the while? The Black Cat, that’s who!”

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Zdarsky + Mendonca + Angiolini take the Justice League on a ‘Last Ride’

The DC Digital First miniseries starts in April.

Chip Zdarsky, Miguel Mendonça and Enrica Eren Angiolini will explore what happens after the Justice League breaks up in Justice League: Last Ride, a DC Digital First series coming in April.

After an “unthinkable tragedy,” the League split up, but the universe’s greatest murder trial pulls them back together. “It’s about the Justice League being cut down at their height, about hard decisions and friendship,” Zdarsky said in his email newsletter. “They’re brought together for the universe’s greatest murder trial in the hopes that they can create a universe that no longer needs a Justice League.”

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The State of Future State, Part 2

JK, Shane and Tom continue their look at DC’s Future State titles, this time around focusing on ‘Justice League,’ ‘Green Lantern,’ ‘Harley Quinn’ and ‘Swamp Thing.’

Following part one from earlier this week, Shane Bailey, Tom Bondurant and I are back to talk more about of DC’s Future State comics, roundtable style.

This time around, Shane and I finish off week one by discussing Harley Quinn and Swamp Thing, and then Tom rejoins us as we jump into week two’s Superman of Metropolis and Green Lantern.

As always, the timeline DC provided helps put these stories into context:

So let’s get to it …

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Mail Call | DC reveals more details on April’s relaunch of ‘Green Lantern’

A round-up of recent news on ‘Aliens,’ DC Future State, IDW’s Canto and more.

Mail Call is a roundup of the announcements we’ve received from comics publishers in our mailboxes recently that we haven’t already covered. Hit the links for more information.

When Green Lantern returns later this year after the events of Future State, Geoffrey Thorne and Dexter Soy will chart a new path for John Stewart, Sojourner “Jo” Mullein from Far Sector and Teen Lantern, the hacker Green Lantern who appeared in Young Justice.

Here’s how DC describes the first issue: With the majority of Green Lanterns called back to Oa, John Stewart arrives alongside Teen Lantern Keli Quintela, whose homemade gauntlet could be one of the most powerful and unstable weapons in the universe. With the entire landscape of the universe in flux, is this the end of the Green Lantern Corps…or a new beginning?

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Can’t Wait for Comics | Clowns, kids and Claremont

New comics arrive this week from W. Maxwell Prince, Terry Moore, Chris Claremont, Darick Robertson and more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Comics, your guide each week to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital.

This week brings another wave of both DC’s Future State and King in Black tie-in titles, as well as debuts from Terry Moore and W. Maxwell Prince, as well as tribute comic to Uncanny X-Men scribe Chris Claremont.

Check out a few of our recommendations below, or visit ComicList for this week’s full list of new comics arriving in stores, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

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Can’t Wait for Comics | Should auld acquaintance be forgot

New comics arrive in the last week of the year by Ron Marz, Andy Lanning, Christopher Cantwell, Salvador Larroca, Magdalene Visaggio, Matt Furie, James Stokoe, Howard Mackie, Javier Saltares, Colleen AF Venable, Stephanie Yu and more.

The last week of the year is traditionally a light week, volume wise, for comics, and this week is no exception. Not that there aren’t plenty of reasons to head to your local comic shop this Wednesday, as you’ll see below. And if you’re lucky, maybe they’ll be having an end-of-year sale.

Here’s a look at what’s arriving in comic shops, bookstores and on digital this week. Check out a few recommendations below, or visit ComicList for this week’s list of new comics arriving in stores, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

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DC sails into an ‘Infinite Frontier’ in 2021

New creative teams and directions arrive in March, along with a one-shot to kick it all off.

After a reality-altering crossover in Dark Nights: Death Metal over the last few months and a look into the future with DC Future State in January and February of next year, DC will chart a new path in its regular ongoing titles in March, starting with a one-shot called Infinite Frontier that’ll kick everything off.

Infinite Frontier #0 really feels like the beginning of a new era of DC Comics, a time when anything is possible,” said writer Joshua Williamson. “We’re taking the aftermath of Dark Nights: Death Metal and combining it with the best things we love as storytellers about the DC Universe, resulting in bold, fun, and exciting new directions. There are a lot of teases to new story lines, surprises, and mysteries for the year set up in Infinite Frontier #0 that you won’t want to miss.” 

Dc has already revealed new titles and creative teams for March over the last few weeks, and the release of their solicitations for that month lay it all out. Here’s a rundown of what to expect:

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‘Future State’ takes over DC’s line-up in January

DC will kick off 2021 by exploring the future of their universe for two months, with regular titles resuming in March.

Following the events of Dark Nights: Death Metal, which wraps up Jan. 5, DC will hit pause on their regular monthly titles for two months. In January and February, they’ll release a bunch of titles under the “DC Future State” banner, giving readers a glimpse at the future of the DC Universe.

“In DC Future State, the Multiverse has been saved from the brink of destruction, but the triumph of DC’s heroes has shaken loose the very fabric of time and space,” reads their press release. “The final chapter of Dark Nights: Death Metal brings new life to DC’s Multiverse, kicking off this glimpse into the unwritten worlds of DC’s future.”

They plan to resume with their regular titles in March.

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The Justice League at 60, Part 10: Rebirth on repeat

Tom Bondurant wraps up (for now) his series looking back at 60 years of the Justice League with a look at the most recent era.

Check out part one, part two, part three, part four, part five, part six, part seven, part eight and part nine of this series!

The New 52 lasted four years and nine months, from August 31, 2011 to May 25, 2016. On each of those Wednesdays, DC Comics released one universe-changing big-event issue and one issue of Justice League. In 2011 it was Flashpoint #5 and Justice League #1; and in 2016 it was Justice League #50 and the DC Universe Rebirth special. All were written by Geoff Johns, still one of DC’s main guiding forces even as his attention shifted away from comics. The DCU Rebirth issue kicked off a months-long apology-in-print marked by “Rebirth” banners on all of the superhero books’ covers. This publishing strategy aimed to reintroduce elements of the DC Universe which the New 52 had stripped away, including the pre-New 52 Superman – who, as a distinct character, had been living in a sort of multiversal fishbowl – and the classic version of Wally “Flash” West. Among other things, this meant that Superman was now the newest member of the Justice League, since he replaced his late New 52 predecessor.

Although those cover banners were gone by February 2018, in terms of continuity we may still be in the “Rebirth” era today. Among other things, DCU Rebirth set up Doomsday Clock, the 12-issue miniseries from Johns and Gary Frank. Going on sale November 22, 2017 (cover date January 2018), it would explain how Watchmen‘s Doctor Manhattan had changed the DC timeline into the New 52, and how he would change it back.

Well, back-ish.

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The Justice League at 60, Part 9: High collars and wide screens

It’s time for a relaunch: take a look back at the Geoff Johns-helmed New 52 relaunch of ‘Justice League.’

Check out part one, part two, part three, part four, part five, part six, part seven and part eight of this series!

When the comprehensive history of DC Comics is written, I hope it goes into exhaustive detail on the conception, execution and ultimate retraction of the New 52. Let’s be clear right from the beginning: I did not love the New 52, but I didn’t hate it either. It represented DC’s willingness – although maybe not its best efforts – to try new approaches with key characters and to revive non-superhero genres.

As the spring of 2011 wound down, DC was wrapping up a couple of year-long biweekly series, Brightest Day (co-written by Geoff Johns) and Justice League: Generation Lost. The former followed a handful of superheroes who had been revived in Blackest Night – including Justice League stalwarts Aquaman, Hawkman, Firestorm and Martian Manhunter – while the latter was a Justice League International reunion that saw them trying to stop their old buddy-turned-baddie Maxwell Lord. Meanwhile, the Bat-books, Superman and Wonder Woman were each in the middle of altered-status-quo storylines.

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