This week's big release is also its smallest (Priced)!
DC Comics' 25 cent Year of the Villain #1 does exactly what it set out to do; set us up for a summer, and rest of the year, full of villain-centric stories.
Broken up into three parts, we get stories from superstars Scott Snyder, Brian Michael Bendis, and James Tynion IV: "Doom", "Leviathan", and "Justice", respectively.
In "Doom", Snyder and Jim Cheung set up an ominous story featuring the machinations of Lex Luthor. We see some major changes of character, and an "offer" that's going to apparently be prevalent through most of July as hinted to in the backpages.
Spanning a whopping 8-pages, it makes me wonder how this story will affect the other DC books going forward. Will the progression of the story proceed as smooth as they have been? Will this breathe some life into some of the DCU stories that need it? Or will the overarching story hurt the continuity like some of the Line-wide Marvel events?
"Leviathan" by Bendis and Maleev is masterfully crafted and follows the trend of the book, "Offers". Alliances are put into question by not only the reader, but the characters involved as well.
This is a difficult engagement for anyone, but Bendis manages to do it smoothly and gets the reader asking the proverbial question, "what next?". It also functions as a crucial setup for the forthcoming Leviathan-centered event. Another element that stands out is Maleev's dark, grainy artwork, which sets the tone for the story that Bendis is developing, exceptionally well.
Quite frankly I hadn't thought much of the Leviathan event coming to DC, but the duo's story here managed to pique my interest.
Well done DC, well done.
Finally, "Justice" by Tynion and Manapul serves as a counterbalance to the Snyder and Cheung's "Doom".
DC's new "big bad", Perpetua, is gathering an army, and the Justice League is doing the same.
I'm highly looking forward to DC finally getting a rhythm of sorts going in the coming months- particularly in Justice League #27.
Tynion story will almost certainly serve as a map of what's to come, much in the vein of "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly".
Artistically, Manapul's bright colors also help to provide a welcome juxtaposition against all the darkness of the previous stories.
Overall, this teaser book is successful as a whole in getting readers stirred for the next big things happening in the DCU.
Most comic shops will be giving these away by the handful, and if not giving them away, selling them at their whopping 25-cent cover price.
For such a set of stories it's highly worth the grab!
If you're looking to shell out a few bucks more for some awesome covers check out the following!
1:100 Cheetah by Artgerm
1:250 Lex Luthor by Alex Maleev
1:500 Batman Who Laughs by Jim Cheung