Every great story needs an equally great villain, and DC Comics is set to celebrate some of its best baddies, in a collection written by some of its biggest names. The company has announced the release of an exclusive, single-issue comic called DC's Year of the Villain, arriving ahead of Free Comic Book Day 2019.
The issue will be nearly free itself, costing only 25 cents in exchange for a series of stories written by three renowned authors: Scott Snyder (Justice League), James Tynion IV (Detective Comics), and Brian Michael Bendis (Superman). Each of the stories within DC'S Year of the Villain play an important role in the coming DC Comics Universe, only this time... readers will be seeing events through the eyes of some of their favorite evildoers.
In the wake of Snyder and Tynion's Justice League run, for example, Lex Luthor is left to assemble his Legion of Doom in order to take over the universe and use the newly revealed Perpetua's power for himself. As the mother of Monitors and Anti-Monitors alike, Perpetua wields great power that has huge significance for Luthor's future if he succeeds. This is a storyline that has been brewing since she was released from the Source Wall in Justice League Annual #1, and it is one that will reverberate in the months to come.
Meanwhile, Snyder continues his adventures with the extremely popular Batman Who Laughs, who first sent shivers down everyone's spine in the Dark Nights: Metal event. The current six-issue miniseries, appropriately titled The Batman Who Laughs, will lead directly into DC's Year of the Villain when it wraps up in May. The pre-FCBD issue is all the more important because it lays the groundwork for a new series starting in the summer. Perhaps the Grim Knight has some more plans or his own? Or maybe a new Nightmare Batman will join the fun? Either way, it's certain to mean a new set of terrors unleashed on Gotham civilians and DC readers alike.
Finally, Superman fans who have been following Bendis' recent story arcs on both the title book and Action Comics will get a chance to preview the Man of Steel's latest status quo changes, which are also set to take full effect in the summer. The global syndicate known as the Leviathan (the group which holds the very first Superman Easter Egg ever) gets spotlighted more than ever, heralding an age of "espionage and terrorism" that will hopefully require not only Superman's alien strength but his talents as a human reporter as well. In fact, both Clark and Bruce will be facing darker and more powerful threats than before, and clues for their upcoming slates are spread throughout DC's Year of the Villain.
Aside from being an exciting crossroads for several ongoing stories in the world of DC Comics, this is also a chance for fans to collect every incredible cover available - including variants by Stanley "Artgerm" Lau, Alex Maleev (Jinxworld's Scarlet), Jim Cheung (Justice League), and Greg Capullo's (Dark Nights: Metal) original cover visible above - all for less than the price of a regular issue. Francis Manapul, whose art on The Flash's New 52 run remains iconic, will also illustrate parts of the 32-page comic.
DC's Year of the Villain arrives on Wednesday, May 1st from DC Comics.