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DC Comics teases the death of the Justice League in epic 75th issue this spring
The Justice League's headed into one of their biggest battles ever, and this time, they won't survive it.
Last year, DC Comics launched a new era with Infinite Frontier, an epic maxi-series spearheaded by writer Joshua Williamson which aimed to change the status quo of the DC Universe in big ways. Since then, we've seen the far-reaching implications of those changes, as heroes and villains alike have adjusted to the new reality of the DC "Omniverse," a multiverse of multiverses that allows for even bigger storytelling across DC's publishing line.
But Infinite Frontier was only the beginning. Even as it launched, Williamson teased the maxi-series as "Act One" of a larger story, one that would continue to have major consequences for the DC Universe going forward. Now, we get to see the final act of that initial arc, and as dark forces build, the Justice League won't make it out alive.
That's right. Three decades after DC Comics killed off Superman in the pages of Superman #75, the publisher's going to go even bigger with this April's Justice League #75, written by Williamson and drawn by Rafa Sandoval. In the issue, Williamson teased in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the League will head out for one of the biggest battles of their superheroic careers, and this time, the team won't survive it. Yes, really.
"I remember the experience of reading the build-up to 'The Death of Superman' and then waiting in the rain for my copy of issue #75," Williamson said. "I think one reason that story was so powerful was that after the 'Funeral for a Friend' story, there were no Superman comics for three months. That's part of what led us to make the decision that this is the last issue of Justice League. But then three months later, there's still not gonna be a Justice League comic. It's gonna be a while, and that's gonna be a major part of what the DCU looks like after this story: There is no Justice League."
Over the course of roughly the last year, Williamson's overarching Infinite Frontier story, which has continued through Justice League Incarnate, has chronicled the resurrection of Darkseid and his rise to power once again in the Omniverse. Now, his ever-growing Dark Army will face the team of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (John Stewart), Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl, Aquaman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Zatanna. Only one -- yes, one -- will live to tell the tale.
"Ever since Infinite Frontier #0, we've been building to this story," Williamson said. "Last year was a lot of fun and games, but when this story starts, it's the beginning of the third act. We're going to see things get darkest before the dawn. The Justice League gets called in to fight this Dark Army that's been building on the edge of the multiverse. They go up against this Dark Army and they lose."
Of course, we know that we're talking about comic book deaths here, and comic book deaths are inherently impermanent. Any longtime readers knows that Superman as we know him will not be dead for the rest of the lifespan of DC Comics, nor will his Justice League compatriots. No, the real meat of the storytelling here is what happens while these characters are down for the count, how the rest of the universe reacts, and what younger legacy heroes might do when they realize they have to step up and fill the void. It's those stories that Williamson and company seem most interested in exploring in the months to come.
"We'll get to see what the ramifications are of losing the Justice League," Williamson said. "You'll get to see how the new heroes react, how some of the heroes that have been around for a while react, you'll see how people on the ground react to this idea of the Justice League dying, and then you'll get to see how all the villains react. What happens when they know the Justice League is gone?"
Justice League #75 is in stores April 19.