DC Comics has declared 2019 the Year of the Villain, which begs the question: isn't every year at DC the "year of the villain" while Dan Didio is in charge?
Setting that aside, the Year of the Villain seems to be a theme to promote some of their upcoming comics, which kick off with a 32-page comic the week before Free Comic Book Day for 25 cents (well, it's close to free) aptly titled DC's Year of the Villain. The comic will focus on Justice League, Superman, and Batman, and will be written by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, and "The Great One" Brian Bendis, with art by Alex Maleev, Jim Cheung, and Francis Manapul and a cover by Greg Capullo. Variants by Maleev, Cheung, and Stanley "Artgerm" Lau will also be available, spotligting Lex Luthor, The Batman Who Laughs, and Cheetah respectively. Additionally, the announcement revealed that The Batman Who Laughs will get another series after his current mini-series wraps up, part of DC's other initiative, "The Year of Milking This Batman Who Laughs Concept For as Long as Possible," which could admittedly stretch out into 2020 as well.
The press release details what readers will get for their quarter:
Following the events of Snyder and Tynion's JUSTICE LEAGUE, Lex Luthor takes a major step forward, assembling his Legion of Doom for the final push to replace Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the League as the rightful leaders of not only mankind, but the universe itself, hoping to harness the power of Perpetua, the first being to be imprisoned within the Source Wall, now newly freed in the events of JUSTICE LEAGUE ANNUAL #1. Perpetua's storyline and Luthor's plans to rid the universe of heroes will continue to escalate throughout the rest of 2019.
Snyder continues this plague of villainy through his fan-favorite character the Batman Who Laughs. Fans should pay close attention to the current six-issue miniseries, as the events of the final issue will continue to play out in this pre-FCBD issue, leading into a master plan revealed in a to-be-announced new series debuting this summer.
Fans of Superman and ACTION COMICS will also have plenty to look forward to in this issue, particularly those following the "Leviathan Rising" story arc beginning with issue #1007. Bendis and Maleev will kick off a new status quo in DC's dark world of espionage and terrorism; the repercussions of this new order will have major ramifications for the Man of Steel this Summer.
And in case you thought the Dark Knight would be getting off easy, guess again: DC'S YEAR OF THE VILLAIN will also contain clues to Batman's upcoming battle with the villains of Gotham in "City of Bane," also slated to begin this summer.
No mention has been made of 3D lenticular covers like the publisher's infamous Villains Month from a few years back, but hopefully DC will announce something later on so we can make fun of it.