Earlier this month, DC Comics announced that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo would be reuniting for ‘Dark Nights: Metal’, a story that will examine every choice a hero doesn’t take and every path they don’t walk, opening up worlds that are forged by nightmares. But what they didn’t talk about in that announcement was that this book would be the launching point for a whole new generation of the DC Universe both on the page and behind the scenes.
At an intimate press conference on Thursday morning, DC Publisher Dan DiDio introduced a venerable collection of legendary comic artists including Capullo, Andy Kubert, Jim Lee, and John Romita Jr. to unveil five new titles that fall under the ‘Dark Matter’ banner. Not to be mistaken for a new DC Comics imprint or a completely different universe, this label has two levels of significance. First, whereas ‘Rebirth’ was about restoring the core DC characters, the ‘Dark Matter’ comics serve as a blank slate to introduce and expand on all-new characters that will first appear in the ‘Dark Days’, ‘Dark Nights’, and ‘Metal’ crossover storylines. And to do so, DC has enlisted an all-star team of creators to launch ‘The Silencer’, ‘Sideways’, ‘Immortal Men’, ‘Damage’, and ‘New Challengers’. You can get a sneak peek at what’s to come in the first wave of ‘Dark Matter’ with the images and descriptions below:
- Debuting in September
- Written by Dan Abnett with art by John Romita Jr.
- Honor Guest was the world’s deadliest assassin, until she traded it all for a chance at a “normal” life in the suburbs, free from the constant death and destruction. But as her former life comes back to haunt her, Honor must strip away her suburban persona and protect her family as THE SILENCER.
- Debuting in September
- Written by Dan DiDio and Justin Jordan with art by Kenneth Rocafort
- Forever changed by the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, a teenager struggles to live through high school as he comes in contact with Dark Matter and gains the power to teleport through the Dark Dimension. But each leap brings the new hero one step closer to succumbing to the allure of his new power and its dark origins.
- Debuting in October
- Written by James Tynion IV with art by Jim Lee
- Born at the dawn of time, five siblings find that with eternal life comes eternal war. As the forces of destruction march into the modern world, they operate from the shadows, recruiting the elite against the foes who seek to bring about Armageddon. They are humankind’s hope sprung eternal….they are the IMMORTAL MEN.
- Debuting in October
- Written by Robert Venditti with art by Tony S. Daniel
- Ethan Avery only wanted to serve his country, but promises of becoming the ultimate weapon leave the new recruit living a nightmare. Cursed with the ability to unleash an unstoppable monster for one hour at a time, Ethan only wants to live out his life in peace. But if he can tame the monster inside, it might just be able to do more good for the country than Ethan ever expected.
- Debuting in December
- Written by Scott Snyder with art by Andy Kubert
- Characters live on borrowed time, running from death toward the greatest mysteries, wonders and terrors of the universe! It’s a new cast, new mission, but in conversation with the history and greatness of the original Challengers of the Unknown. The story starts with Challengers Mountain returning after having been missing for years, and only gets wilder from there…
As exciting as new characters and storylines are for the DC Universe, the second part of ‘Dark Matter’ is meant to benefit the comic book industry as a whole. Under the guidance of the four master artists launching these titles, ‘Dark Matter’ will focus on the epic graphic storytelling and the collaborative nature of comics by not only utilizing new characters, but new writers and artists as well. As they challenge themselves by exploring new genres and other unfamiliar elements of these characters for ‘Dark Matter’, Capullo, Kubert, Lee, and Romita (and eventually more artists) will serve as teachers and mentors to an assembly of young, up and coming artists from all over the world that will eventually take the reins of not only these and other DC titles, but the business as a whole. Essentially, DC aims to put a strong emphasis on the craft of making comics with these new titles by placing a focus on the strong collaborative efforts between the writer and the artist in order to produce dynamic work that has been missing from superhero comics in general.
And finally, DiDio mentioned that all ‘Dark Matter’ titles will be priced at $2.99 and will not feature variant covers. This approach is meant to make the new books as accessible to as many people as possible and to act as an entry point into the DC Universe for new readers. Considering how expensive some comics can be these days, this could be a bit of welcome news to readers looking for something new.
DC Comics is certainly trying something incredibly ambitious with ‘Dark Matter’. Now as we wait to learn more about these new characters and their places in the DC Universe, let us know what you think about all of this in the comments.