DC has announced a new Batman/Superman team-up comic by writer Joshua Williamson (The Flash) and David Marquez (Civil War II, Avengers). The Dark Knight and Man of Steel are brought together to investigate the Dark Multiverse's Batman Who Laughs after the villain succeeds in an evil conspiracy to infect six heroes in the DC Universe.
“I've been very fortunate that in a relatively short career I'd been able to work on some big projects,” Marquez told The Hollywood Reporter. “When I heard the possibility of working with DC, I wasn't sure I wanted to do more work-for-hire stuff after wrapping up with Marvel. They really kind of had to sell me on the idea of doing the series.”
Batman/Superman will mark Marquez's DC debut, with the artist signing an exclusive DC contract after his time at Marvel Comics. He originally intended to follow up his Marvel work with a creator-owned title, but the opportunity to collaborate on Batman/Superman was too good to pass up.
“That I'd be able to build it from the ground up, and also that it was actually a meaningful big project, were really important factors,” he said. “In terms of the characters involved and the role it plays in broader DCU and its evolving narrative, working with Josh who's one of the biggest writers there — these reasons sold me on the idea of doing this book. If it wasn't all of those unique characteristics altogether for one project, I probably wouldn't be doing work-for-hire stuff right now.”
“We discover, through the Batman Who Laughs series that the Batman Who Laughs has been working on this massive plan since [Dark Nights] Metal. What it is is, he has sleeper agents throughout the [DC Universe]. They’ve been infected, and they’re slowly turning into the worst versions of themselves,” Williamson explained. “Some of them know they're changing, some don't. Some aren't aware it's kind of like a Jekyll and Hyde situation where they're not aware of [what] the other side is doing.
“This is happening to six people — we’ve been calling them the new Secret Six — who have been turned. But who could be turned? Who are they? [Batman and Superman] have to go out and figure it out. But that means spying on other heroes, friends, allies. We talked about the end of The Thing, where it’s the two of them and they’re like, ‘It could be you, it could be me, but now we have to work together.’”
The identity of this Secret Six will be an ongoing mystery throughout the DCU as it ties into other ongoing series.
“It becomes this mystery across not just this book but really the line,” Williamson teased. “It's a thing where it's not just going to be focused on this one book; it starts here, but you're going to get a situation where, if you are reading the line, you might start piecing some stuff together before like bigger reveals happen. You might be like, 'Oh this weird thing's happening over here, I wonder if that's connected to the story here,' and that's cause, yeah. It is.”
Batman/Superman by Joshua Williamson and David Marquez goes on sale in August from DC.