This September, things are going to be getting bad at DC Comics.
To mark the two-year anniversary of its New 52 relaunch, the publisher is celebrating “Villain’s Month” — a linewide initiative that will see each comic in the superhero universe “replaced” by a one-shot starring one of the bad guys most associated with the book’s stars. The covers of the issues will be marked by “3D motion covers” which create a lenticular illusion to spotlight the villain. and while the books featuring the bad guys will retail for $3.99 a pop, the prices will revert back to their pre-September pricing when the heroes re-assert themselves in October.
In addition, the month will kick off “Forever Evil” — an incoming event billed as the first major crossover of the DCU in the New 52 era by Geoff Johns and David Finch. (more on that here) That series will be a seven-issue series all its own before bringing out three new five-issue tie-in series and other crossovers in titles like “Justice League” and “Suicide Squad” in October.
“When we launched the New 52 in September of 2011, we decided to do something different and daring each September to draw attention to our line and really focus on what our goals are for the year,” DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio told Buzzfeed of the event. Villains Month follows last year’s #0 initiative. DiDio’s Co-Publisher Jim Lee added, “We launched the New 52 with all-new continuity and new costumes, Zero Month was all about origins of our heroes, and now the villains are taking over. One of the strengths of the DC Universe has been the strength of the rogues gallery. Often times they’re as famous — if not more infamous — than our heroes.”
The company showed off Finch’s cover to “Forever Evil” #1 in USA Today where Johns explained, “‘Forever Evil’ is a chance for David and I to work on all the greatest villains in comic books. It’s literally everybody. I don’t even know if there’s anybody not in it. We’re really exploring what darkness means and the different kinds of darkness that are within these villains.”
DiDio noted that the Villain Month stunt will cast its net on villains new and old. “You’re going to see some new villains that haven’t been introduced in the New 52 here – but you won’t be seeing anybody for the first time. There’s a new villain that’s being introduced in the Green Lantern series that’s being written by Robert Venditti, so the character of Relic will just be seen in June for the first time, and yet he’s going to be showcased in one of the Villain Month titles. You’re also going to be seeing characters like First Born. He’s a new villain that was introduced in the Wonder Woman books. There’s also H’El, who is a character that’s been appearing in a number of Superman’s titles.
“You’ll see Joker, you’ll see Lex Luthor, you’ll see Darkseid. You’ll see a lot of the key Batman villains as well as the key Superman villains, like Parasite and Metallo. You’ll basically see a real cross section of all the villains that we felt represent the strength of the DC line.”
Meanwhile, “Forever Evil” will center on Luthor as the primary character backed up by the new Secret Society currently killing its way through “Justice League of America.” “What happens with him and to him and what he does is going to have pretty major repercussions through the DC Universe. There’s a lot of things in issue 1 with him that I think are going to surprise people,” Johns said, revealing also that the apparently not quite dead Catwoman will play a big role in the event as well. “She is the ultimate thief. She can break in anywhere, she can break out of anywhere, there is no place that can hold her and no place that can keep her out,” Johns says.
“In my mind, she is unstoppable. Her longing for finding out answers about some things in her past that we’ve set up is key for her drive over the next big story.”
And the publisher is shoring the entire event up with special 3D motion lenticular covers. “They’re amazing covers. It’s an effect that you haven’t seen before… it’s an entire cover,” Lee said. “Any time in the past that they’ve done specialty covers, you would only get like a small trading card size image on the cover that was a hologram or lenticular bit of technology. This is the whole cover and it is amazing. The colors and the depth of field allows you to actually see the logo of the new book. Let’s say the Joker is taking over, it’ll be the Batman title in the background, and you’ll see the Joker title splattered on top of the Batman logo itself. It really sells the concept in a very visual way.”