Dark Crisis time! Bleeding Cool has been intrigued by the remaining influence of former publisher Dan DiDio on DC Comics. Even though his DC Timeline and 5G project were junked – including the entire print run (minus one) of the 2020 Free Comic Book Day title Generation Zero, many of those initiatives still survived. Jace Fox became a new Batman. Jon Kent became the new Superman. Yara Flor became a Wonder Woman. Jackson Hyde became a new Aquaman. And Punchline became a new Harley Quinn. Well here's another one.
Back in 2017, Bleeding Cool reported that Dan DiDio wanted Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's then-unannounced series Metal to be called Dark Crisis. It even got mentioned in the prequel book Dark Days, above. One can see the rationale, with the influence of the Dark Multiverse emerging, and the impact it had on continuity. But Synder and Capullo really wanted to call it Metal, so they could play up all the heavy metal imagery, including the Justice League "horns" first issue cover,
Now my old sparring partner Mike Doran of DC Comics media partner Games Radar has come out of the woodwork to report that the new Joshua Williamson, Daniel Sampere and Alejandro Sánchez project to be announced today is called Dark Crisis. As we speculated spinning out of the upcoming Justice League deaths. And featuring the Great Darkness and the Dark Army as the bad guys. And will begin with a Dark Crisis #0 Free Comic Book Day issue for the 7th of May 2022, followed by a Justice League: Road to Dark Crisis special and then a standalone Dark Crisis limited series.
Originally, The Great Darkness Saga was a Legion of Super-Heroes story from 1982 by Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen and Larry Mahlstedt, featuring appearances by virtually every living past and present Legionnaire, battling an immensely powerful being shrouded in darkness, ultimately revealed to be the ancient ruler of Apokolips, Darkseid. But that's not who it refers to now.
But a greater force known as Great Darkness was created by Alan Moore and Stan Woch for Swamp Thing #49 in 1986, tying in with Crisis On Infinite Earths, as a cult known as the Brujeria wakened the ancient evil. They were hoping to destroy God and re-shape the world after a series of events known as American Gothic, as John Constantine and the Swamp Thing worked first to try and prevent the awakening, alongside other heroes, angels and demons, though The Demons Three sided with the Darkness.
It was Swamp Thing who managed to negotiate a settled grave between the Great Darkness and Heavenly Light, and with Steve Bissette portraying The Great Darkness in a brand new way. A huge mound of mass, bigger than anything ever conceived, eventually revealed to be but a fingernail of something far bigger.
In Joshua Williamson's Justice Incarnate, the involvement of The Great Darkness with the Anti-Monitor is redefined.
And links with that Swamp Thing arc reestablished.
And in come cases redrawn.
These events back then, also led to a civil war in Hell, as seen in Hellblazer and Sandman.
The Great Darkness would also be revived for Infinite Crisis, breaking the truce and puppeting various powerful individuals to try and gain a resurgence, as also retold in Justice Incarnate.
With Darkseid trying to play off the Great Darkness, to both defeat and control it.
And even influencing another Alan Moore creation, Doctor Manhattan, in the role he was drafted into from DC Comics, Geoff Johns and Dan DiDio, retconned as the being who stole years from the DC Universe and created the New 52.
As well as the creation of The Gentry as part of Grant Morrison's Multiversity.
And Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Metal and Dark Metal crossover events.
The creation of Earth Omega and the Elseworld Earth, with Darkseid playing more games to defeat but also control the Great Darkness. At the end of Infinite Frontier #6, also written by Josh Williamson…
Darkseid making plans for the heroes of the DC Universe and the New Gods, as well as the biggest villains, including Nekron, the Empty Hand, Eclipso, and the Upside-Down Man
While emphasising his true aim to control the Great Darkness.
While a new Pariah is dealing with a new Multiverse-2, reminiscent of the Crisis Of Infinite Earths constantly going through a crisis.
However, with Darkseid's plans playing out in Justice Incarnate, not everything may have gone to plan, even as the Great Darkness possesses the Thomas Wayne Batman, whose prominence was drawn by the events before the New 52, and then brought to the DC Universe by Reverse-Flash and the Psycho-Pirate. And now being manipulated one more time…
Only for the Great Darkness to turn against Darkseid, revealing that Darkseid had been used as part of the Great Darkness' Omniversal War.
And now… Dark Crisis? We will find out more later. Maybe ask Dan DiDio. Just hope it's not another Blood Moon…