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Villains Month!


Oct 19, 2009
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DC Comics is preparing for an epic rise of its greatest supervillains this fall.

The seven-issue series Forever Evil debuts in September as part of a "villains month" for the publisher. Headed up by the Justice League of America creative team of writer Geoff Johns and artist David Finch, the title marks the first universe-wide event comic since DC's superhero-line relaunch in September 2011.

"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," Johns says. "We're really exploring what darkness means and the different kinds of darkness that are within these villains."

Featuring a first-issue 3-D motion variant cover, the book will spin out of the aftermath of the upcoming "Trinity War" crossover in Johns' Justice League and Justice League of America titles as well as Jeff Lemire's Justice League Dark. The Justice League winds up out of commission, and the bad guys come to the fore to rule the world.

September will also see each of DC's superhero books change titles and focuses for one month as they feature all-star antagonists along the lines of Justice League arch-enemy Darkseid, Superman nemesis Bizarro, Flash villain Gorilla Grodd and classic Batman baddies Two-Face and Poison Ivy.

The goings-on in Forever Evil will spill into other comics such as Teen Titans and Suicide Squad, and in October, three five-issue tie-in books will launch:

Forever Evil: Rogues. Writer Brian Buccellato (The Flash) and Patrick Zircher (Suicide Squad) put the spotlight on the Flash's colorful and infamous gang of Rogues, led by Captain Cold — a particular favorite of Johns, the former Flash writer, as well as Finch. "I just love his mask," the artist says. "He looks very steely and a little bit dead in the eye, which is very evil."

Forever Evil: Arkham War. "The biggest story with Bat-villains you've ever seen," as Johns describes it, features the creative team of Peter Tomasi (Green Lantern Corps) and Scot Eaton (X-Men).

Forever Evil: A.R.G.U.S.Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT) pens a title featuring the government agency Advanced Research Group Uniting Superhumans. DC comic fans have seen increasingly shady things the group's been doing, and Steve Trevor will be learning about those as the audience does. "His heart is good," Johns says, "and if ARGUS has a chance of rising above what it is right now and becoming a heroic force in the future, it's up to Steve Trevor."

Kindt will also take over Justice League of America for five issues emphasizing Martian Manhunter, the subject of the writer's recent JLA backups who will be picking up what's left of the Justice League. However, Johns will continue on the flagship Justice League series during Forever Evil for an arc with certain villains and the unlikely rise of some heroes to combat them.

Having tackled the Rogues, Black Manta, Sinestro, Lex Luthor and Black Adam in his career, Johns feels that ne'er-do-wells like those guys are his "sweet spot," and Finch says he has "more of an affinity for villains than heroes. I have a really dark art style and the tone of this is so exactly where I'm coming from." (Finch also has a piece of art in Forever Evil No. 1 that Johns teases "is the coolest thing I could ever imagine for something that celebrates villainy.")

In Justice League and JLA, Johns has been seeding plot points that have been seemingly disconnected from each other but all point to Forever Evil — in the most recent JLA issue, the heroes find a Secret Society of Super Villains communication coin that features the Latin word for "forever evil."

The Society plays a huge role in Forever Evil, but Lex Luthor, Superman's longtime foil, is the main character of the story.

"What happens with him and to him and what he does is going to have pretty major repercussions through the DC Universe," Johns says. "There's a lot of things in issue 1 with him that I think are going to surprise people."

Adds Finch: "I've been bald since I was born, and I'm drawing a book starring Lex Luthor, which I think is awesome. It's definitely a thrill for me."

Catwoman, an antihero in her own series and a recent addition to Steve Trevor's JLA group, also has an integral part in Forever Evil and in stuff Johns will be working on for the future, according to the writer.

"She's a sexy character who uses that like a weapon but she also has a more vulnerable side to her that Geoff showed off so well in Justice League of America," Finch says. "It made me believe in her as a character."

Johns has been surprised by how after starting to write Catwoman that everything began to revolve around her due to who she is, the mysteries behind the Batman femme fatale and what she wants in her relationships.

"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."

So, with all these villains running around, what of the heroes? "You'll know who the good guys are by issue 2 that are going to take center stage," Johns promises.

He loves doing big events like Blackest Night and Flashpoint, but the emotional story at their core is always key for him.

Likewise in Forever Evil, Johns says, "you'll see more layers to villains, from the guys we all know and love to people like Killer Frost and Plastique."

In addition to featuring team-ups and battles between baddies fans have never seen before, Forever Evil showcases villains who are more diverse and varied in motivation than their counterpart heroes.

"Evil's relative, right?" Johns says. "There are some that want to rule the world, there are some that simply want to put food on the table, there are some who want to simply kill for the thrill, and there are some who don't consider themselves a villain."

Lex Luthor shares a similar sentiment in an upcoming issue: "They call me a bad guy, as if we're labeled as easily as night and day."

"The Justice League is dead, the villains inherit the Earth — well, what does that even mean?" Johns says. "Some of them might not like how it's being run. Some of them might like the old way better.

"Once the heroes are off the table, what's that mean for the villains? What can they accomplish together?"


Justice League becomes Darkseid
Justice League of America becomes Deadshot
Justice League Dark becomes The Creeper
Superman becomes Bizarro
Action Comics becomes Cyborg Superman
Batman becomes Joker
Batman & Robin becomes Two-Face
Detective Comics becomes Poison Ivy
Dark Knight becomes Ventriloquist
Green Lantern becomes Relic
The Flash becomes Grodd
Green Arrow becomes Count Vertigo
Earth Two becomes Desaad

More to come!
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I feel like Batman should become Riddler, since it will be in the middle of a year-long Riddler story, right? It seems that's what they are doing with Relic in GL, but I guess that also makes sense because it gives a new villain the spotlight to show his background.
I'm not sure if the Riddler story is during or after Zero Year. But I was expecting him to have the spotlight too.
DC has some wiggle gifs of some of their september covers.

I really like this first one.



What is with Ivy?







WHAT!?! The Creeper is a villain now?? DC just keeps finding ways to disappoint me :(

edit: and he looks stupid too gahhh!!!
I wonder what they'll do for Swamp Thing since that series is currently setting up a brand new villain.

Animal Man too is currently in a weird moment.
I guess same thing they are doing with GL, since Relic is a new villain to the best of my knowledge.
Yeah, Relic is new.

Looks like Batman will have multiple villain issues.

23.1 is Joker written by Andy Kubert.
23.2 is Riddler written by Scott Snyder.
23.3 is Penguin, can't remember the writer at the moment.
23.4 is Bane writter by Pete Tomasi.
I'm pretty excited for this. I can do without the gimmick covers, but they do look cool based on those gifs.

So is every title focused on a villain in September or are just some of them in September, others in October, etc.? If it's a 7 issue mini, it would make more sense that they'd stretch them out.
I think it's just September, and just the 23.x (or 15.x or whatever) issues. I'm guessing every title will also have its regular #23 issue? As far as every title in the New 52 having villain issues, I have no idea.
Yeah, Relic is new.

Looks like Batman will have multiple villain issues.

23.1 is Joker written by Andy Kubert.
23.2 is Riddler written by Scott Snyder.
23.3 is Penguin, can't remember the writer at the moment.
23.4 is Bane writter by Pete Tomasi.

son of a...

I'll definitely get the Riddler and Bane issues, but dang. I'll probably end up getting all of them just to keep the run of the New 52 Batman complete. I've never been big on collecting "runs" but I figure with some of the New 52 books, specifically Batman and GL, I may go complete runs for a little while at least, instead of skipping/picking up random issues like I have for books in the past.
Written by GAIL SIMONE
3-D motion cover by PATRICK GLEASON and MICK GRAY
On sale SEPTEMBER 4 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
The origin of the Ventriloquist is revealed! One of them has powerful telekinesis and the other is a cold-blooded murderer—but who’s the real dummy in this act?

3-D motion cover by GUILLEM MARCH
On sale SEPTEMBER 11 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Mr. Freeze takes his obsessions over the line when he sets his sights on his newfound family and getting revenge on Batman!

Written by JOHN LAYMAN
3-D motion cover by GUILLEM MARCH
On sale SEPTEMBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

It’s the biggest audition of Clayface’s life as he attempts to impress the Secret Society and join their ranks. Desperate to prove himself more than a monster, Clayface sets a scheme into motion that quickly unravels! Will he make his mark—or dig his own grave?

Written by ANN NOCENTI
3-D motion cover by JASON FABOK
On sale SEPTEMBER 25 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

3-D motion cover by JASON FABOK
On sale SEPTEMBER 4 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

For too long, Poison Ivy has played with men’s hearts and been a pawn in their games too—but no more! Now that Batman is gone, she will grow into a force of nature unlike anything Gotham City has seen before!

Written by MATT KINDT
3-D motion cover by CHRIS BURNHAM
On sale SEPTEMBER 11 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

If Dr. Harleen Quinzel wasn’t crazy when she fell for The Joker at Arkham Asylum, she sure was messed up afterwards! Find out more from Harley’s time with her beloved Mr. J. and see what got her into so much trouble that she was “recruited” for the Suicide Squad!

Written by PETER J. TOMASI
3-D motion cover by JASON FABOK
On sale SEPTEMBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

See the new Gotham City through the eyes of the Scarecrow! It’s Arkham Asylum unleashed on humanity—and it’s all the Scarecrow has ever wanted!

Written by FRANK TIERI
3-D motion cover by JASON FABOK
On sale SEPTEMBER 25 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

Dr. Langstrom has given in to the Man-Bat side of his personality. Left unchecked in a world without heroes, he brutally stalks his prey in Gotham City! If Langstrom won’t stop himself…who will?
Yeah, so that is pretty much assuring that I will be skipping a lot of these. I'm interested in Mr. Freeze, Joker, Bane, and Riddler... but we'll see what I can afford and what the actual story and connections are.
As of now for the Batstuff, I only really want Riddler and Two-Face.

I'm sure I'll probably end up reading Freeze, Bane, Scarecrow, Harley Quinn, and Clayface at some point though.
Oh my God. DC is trying to make is broke.

I'll probably pick up all the issues in the series I am picking up already.
Is Batman and Robin having multiple issues, or just the Two-Face one?
Happy to see the Joker has his face back; I hope they will adress it in the issue. The face-removal business is one of the stupidest decisions DC approved.
To answer my own question, Batman and Robin is doing Two-Face, Court of Owls, Ras, and Killer Croc.

This sucks. I can't justify spending this much money. I may just skip the entire month.
Flash is doing Grodd, Reverse Flash and The Rogues (whats the damn point? they already have a mini)

Superman is doing Bizarro, Brainiac, H'el and Parasite

Action Comics is doing Cyborg Superman, Zod, Luthor and Metallo
My big question is are they planning on doing this and giving EVERY book at least one villain issue or are a lot of these books happening in lieu of the other books? I mean alot of the creative teams and villains from second tier titles seem to be getting eaten up by these (for instance, wouldn't Court of Owls be a better fit for a Talon villain issue?).

This whole thing just feels like really ridiculous over-saturation to me.
They said there'd be 52 books out that month, so they can't be doing all their normal books and then a bunch of .1 issues as well. So it doesn't sound to me like they're oversaturating, as much as just a bunch of oneshots coming out that month instead of the regular titles.

What I'm confused on is... so we have a month of all these oneshots and issue one of the mini... then the next 6 months continue the mini with no tie-ins? Why not spread the tie-ins out over 7 months?
These villain books are taking place of the main titles for the month in an event similar to the Zero Issues last year, expect shenanigans like this every September.
I cannot afford to pick the issues up, so, it looks like I will be picking up the trade hardcover or paperback-(s) compiling them.

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