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COMICS: Ultron Agenda; Phantasm to DCU; Scott Snyder revives JSA

By Matthew Jackson
Marvel The Ultron Agenda

Ultron is returning to battle some old foes, and it looks like he's coming back in a big way. Marvel Comics released an exciting piece of promotional art Wednesday, drawn by the great Mike Deodato, along with the teasing words "Unite or Perish" and a title: The Ultron Agenda.

The tantalizing title and artwork were offered with no additional details about creative teams or exactly what kind of publishing event we're in for. For all we know right now this could be a major story running through the pages of Tony Stark: Iron Man, or it could be a full-fledged event unto itself. Whatever the case, one of the Avengers' oldest foes seems to be back on the Warpath.

Ultron's recent years have included the Age of Ultron event in which he actually, briefly, defeated the Avengers and took over the world, as well as appearances in Secret Empire and Infinity Countdown. He also managed at one point to merge with his creator, Hank Pym, and it's unclear how much that will affect this upcoming story. Whatever the case, be on the lookout for more details about The Ultron Agenda soon.

Marvel The Ultron Agenda

One of Batman's most famous foes outside of comics is about to square off with him in the main DC Universe for the first time.

Last month we learned Tom King, the current Batman writer at DC, would be leaving the series somewhere short of his planned 100-issue run, but that didn't actually mean he was leaving Batman. King's story will continue in a 12-issue Batman/Catwoman miniseries next year, and King revealed Wednesday that the miniseries will feature a villain that fans of the DC Animated Universe are particularly fond of.

That's right, Batfans. Phantasm is coming to the DCU.

Phantasm is a central antihero figure in the 1993 animated feature film Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, a big-screen story set in the universe of Batman: The Animated Series. That film revealed that the masked vigilante known as Phantasm, who was taking out Gotham City's mob bosses left and right, was actually Andrea Beaumont, Bruce Wayne's former lover who sought revenge after the death of her father, himself a businessman who sold out the mob. The film also revealed Bruce and Andrea were engaged to be married, she called off the engagement, and the end of the relationship was part of his decision to go ahead with becoming Batman. Given that Catwoman recently left Batman at the altar, she and Andrea would probably have quite a bit to talk about ...

Batman/Catwoman arrives in January. Stay tuned for more details of exactly how Phantasm will arrive in the DCU.

The Justice Society of America was, for some time, the original superhero team in the DC Comics Universe, and various writers heavily leaned on their status as a group of veterans within the universe for a number of classic stories. That all changed with the arrival of The New 52 in 2011, which established several JSA heroes as characters in the "Earth 2" continuity, in a separate universe from the Justice League in the main New 52 universe. Then came Rebirth, which seemed to have omitted the JSA entirely. Doomsday Clock recently revealed this was due to Dr. Manhattan, who tampered with the timeline by preventing Alan Scott, the first Green Lantern, from becoming a hero. This prevented the JSA from ever forming, but now the Rebirth timeline is about to welcome DC's original superhero team back, courtesy of superstar writer Scott Snyder.

Newsarama reported Wednesday that Snyder will bring the JSA back to the DCU this fall in the pages of the upcoming Justice League: Doom War event, a battle in which the Justice League will be recruiting heroes from across time and space to battle Lex Luthor's Legion of Doom. Speaking to Newsarama about the development, Snyder was relatively quiet on exactly how the JSA comes back, but he teased "big plans" for them.

"This story introduces them to the Justice League, and we really connect with generational legacy in it," Snyder said.

"But I also have big plans for them in general. They’re characters that I’ve been dying to use for a very long time. I’m a big fan of what Geoff Johns did with them, and what James Robinson did with them."

Check out the return of the JSA on the cover to Justice League #31 (arriving this September) below.

Justice League 31