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This June, the world of DC Comics will plunge into darkness with the launch of Dark Crisis, the next major event to shake the DC Universe to its core. It's an event so ambitious that it begins with the apparent death of the Justice League, and moves forward with the supervillain known as Pariah wielding the energies of the Great Darkness to create his own rebirth. With the universe's greatest heroes gone, it'll be up to DC's legacy characters to step forward and light the way in a dark time.
Which brings us to one of DC's most prominent legacy teams, Young Justice. SYFY WIRE can exclusively reveal that, on the heels of the launch of Dark Crisis #1, DC will launch Dark Crisis: Young Justice, a six-issue miniseries from writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Batman: Urban Legends) and artist Laura Braga that will catapult the team into a crisis all their own, even as they do their part to fight the greater threats of the event.
"Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1 is a reaction to the Dark Crisis story," Fitzmartin told SYFY WIRE. "So it starts off...we understand where everyone is at, because we haven't seen a lot of these characters in a while. And then full blown chaos happens."
What sort of chaos? Well, according to DC's official solicitation for the first issue, it all begins at the Justice League's funeral, where Superboy, Impulse, and Tim Drake turned up missing, triggering a search by Wonder Girl. But the boys are lost "on the world of their dreams, one they may never want to leave." In the exclusive preview pages below, you can get a little taste of how it all kicks off.
"I think the premise of the world is that it's very familiar to not just our team, but also a lot of readers," Fitzmartin explained. "The difficulty is it's not as dreamy as we all would hope and think."
Though Fitzmartin was of course keeping spoilers hidden until the miniseries launches later this year, she did tease that a key part of crafting this dream world that will consume the three heroes was paying attention to fan feedback in terms of where certain Young Justice characters have been in recent DC stories.
"Most of [the reactions] were positive, but there were some negative ones, and [I was] thinking 'Oh, well, what is it that incites those negative emotions? Not just for this, I've worked on various other projects that have strong fandom reactions. [It's] sort of existing in that space of 'Where does that come from? Why are we positive on some stuff, but negative on other stuff? What is the negativity coming from?' And really exploring that aspect of the three boys in particular, and holding a magnifying glass to it, because that's what I think story does so well."
Fitzmartin's definitely seen some strong fandom reactions when it comes to recent comics stories. She was the writer who guided Tim Drake in his coming out story in the pages of Batman: Urban Legends last year, when the character was revealed as bisexual for the first time. In addition to working on the Young Justice tie-in to Dark Crisis, Fitzmartin and artists Belen Ortega and Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque have also collaborated on a new Tim Drake Special for DC's Pride Month celebrations in June. The new prestige format issue will collect the entire Tim Drake coming out narrative so far, along with new material that further explores the character's journey.
"This is a continuation of his story, and this is a continuation of the journey that this character is on," Fitzmartin said. "And he's very important to all of us, and thankfully Dark Crisis came at a time when that was also what we wanted to do with the character."
Dark Crisis is an event that promises to envelop every corner of the DC Universe, with major implications for dozens of beloved characters, but there's a reason why we're getting six full issues of a Young Justice tie-in story. For Fitzmartin, the legacy heroes are not just an essential piece of the larger crossover puzzle, but a fascinating blend of personalities and struggles all their own.
"They have had a really interesting and complicated history and it's so rich," she said. "It's so ripe for storytelling. There's so much to really dig into and sink our teeth into with all of the drama that's gone on with them in the past. All of the trauma. Half of them died and are now back. My goodness, what an interesting time. So our goal has been to really bring that up, and make it messy, make it dirty, really dig into these friendships and these relationships and play in this world."
Dark Crisis kicks off with a Free Comic Book Day special on May 7 ahead of the event proper in June. Dark Crisis: Young Justice #1 arrives June 21, while the DC Pride Tim Drake Special lands June 14.