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Darkseid is joining the Justice League

A new direction for DC Comics’ flagship superteam

The cover of Justice League #1, DC Comics (2018). Jim Cheung/DC Comics

At DC Comics’ publisher’s panel at WonderCon today, writer Scott Snyder laid out the parameters of his new take on the Justice League, beginning with May’s Justice League: No Justice miniseries. And those parameters include Darkseid, the evil god of Apokolips, joining the team.

“What No Justice does is it sets us up with a whole new mission for the Justice League group,” Snyder told the WonderCon audience, “A whole new thesis and ideology for what the Justice League should be, called ‘New Justice.’”

In Snyder’s Justice League, the League will once again face its rival supervillain organization, the Legion of Doom, and will operate from the Hall of Justice again, rather than the orbiting Watchtower satellite. That series, drawn by artists Jim Cheung (Avengers: The Children’s Crusade) and Jorge Jimenez (Super Sons), will kick off on June 6 with a renumbered line, starting with Justice League #1.

The writer expressed his love of the Justice League animated series, for creating a version of the DC Universe — and the League — that felt interconnected.

Inside the new Hall of Justice, Snyder said, “there are portals ... that go to the bases of these other teams.” His vision for ‘New Justice’ includes two new secondary Justice League teams with their own books.

Justice League Dark

The first is Justice League Dark, written by James Tynion IV (Detective Comics), and drawn by Alvaro Martinez (also a veteran of Tynion’s Detective Comics run). The book is a revival of a team concept first introduced with the DC’s New 52 reboot: A group of the DC Universe’s most powerful magic users, focused on eliminating magical threats. (The team also has an ever-gestating film adaptation once linked to Guillermo del Toro.)

The new lineup will include several members from its first incarnation, including the magician Zatanna, urban sorcerer/detective John Constantine and the plant elemental known as the Swamp Thing — alongside new additions like the tragic mad scientist, Man-Bat, and the sentient chimpanzee detective who specializes in the supernatural, Detective Chimp. But it’s Justice League Dark’s new leader who is arguably the highest profile member it has ever had: Wonder Woman.

Justice League Odyssey

“This is ‘Justice League Space,’” Snyder said of the second series, adding that he’d tried to get permission to call the book “Justice League WTF,” but was overruled. Instead, it goes by the title Justice League Odyssey, with writer Joshua Williamson (The Flash, Voodoo, Justice League vs. Suicide Squad) and artist Stjepan Sejic (Aquaman, the Suicide Squad Dark Nights Metal tie in issue).

If Justice League Dark seems strange, with its plant elementals, bat-men and smart chimps, Odyssey makes Dark look like a normal Justice League book. Snyder called it a “crazy space western,” featuring a team of Jessica Cruz, the Green Lantern; Starfire, the alien princess; Azrael, the tech-enhanced vigilante; and Cyborg, a cyborg.

“The last member of the team,” Snyder said to a small chorus of low gasps, “is Darkseid.” The tyrannical ruler of Apokolips is one of Superman’s greatest foes. “He is their ‘Hannibal Lecter.’” Snyder said. “They are dealing with an epic plot that has to do with his father, the Source Wall, whole new areas that have opened up in space ... They fly around in an old Brainiac head with flames painted on it.”

Both Justice League Dark and Justice League Odyssey are set to launch in June. Along with Snyder’s new Justice League, the three books will be responding to major changes to the boundaries of the universe and multiverse following the events of Justice League: No Justice, as well as Snyder’s Dark Nights Metal event, the final issue of which will be released on Mar. 28.

A prelude to Justice League: No Justice will appear in DC Nation #0, a three-part 25 cent special issue setting the stage for DC Comics’ major summer events for 2018: Justice League: No Justice, the wedding of Batman and Catwoman and writer Brian Michael Bendis’ takeover of the Superman titles coinciding with the 1000th issue of Action Comics.

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