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Tumbling out of the turbulent events on the far side of DC's Dark Nights Metal and their Year of the Villain crossover offering that bestowed godlike powers on Lex Luthor and a select group of supervillains, a combative and climactic miniseries titled Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen will arrive on Dec.18 — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive first look at all the explosive action.
Penned by acclaimed writer James Tynion IV and punctuated by arresting art courtesy of Steve Epting, Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1 is the sinister conclusion of multiple brewing storylines that promises to be the main event heavyweight battle between Apex Lex and The Batman Who Laughs that fans have been clamoring for.
The plot finds Lex Luthor resurrecting the celestial being Perpetua from her cosmic grave and restoring her indomitable power. Now the Multiverse shudders in fear that she might decide to obliterate everything out of all existence. But, the only saviors that can try to stop her are the twisted forces of the Dark Multiverse — which means it’s Luthor’s sole mission to vanquish the Batman Who Laughs! However, if the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel couldn’t halt his mayhem, what chance does Apex Lex stand? Will the Crime Syndicate of America be willing to step in to assist?
Unspooling from the finale of the “Justice/ Doom War” in Justice League #38 and the conclusion of the disturbing “Infected” arc from Batman/Superman #5, DC Comics' demented duo of mega-villains square off in an epic contest that will decide the fate of all known and unknown reality.
"At its absolute bare bones, this is two of the smartest, most dangerous villains in the DC Universe," Tynion tells SYFY WIRE. "This is an evil version of Batman from the Dark Multiverse called the Batman Who Laughs, who is Batman stripped away of all morality but keeping his incredible mind. Then we have Lex Luthor, the smartest man on Earth, longtime enemy of Superman and the Justice League, and he's spent the last year making himself the most powerful version of himself that has ever lived.
"He's now capable of using his super-science and he's merged his body with alien features and is able to tap into the core energies of the universe," he adds. "You have two of the most dangerous people that have ever existed, who have both been building armies to unleash a destructive event across the DC Universe. This is the story of those two events colliding into each other, coming head to head in a battle of the wits between Lex Luthor and the Batman Who Laughs."
Now punch your way into our exclusive 5-page preview of Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1, with a vivid variant cover by Riccardo Federici, in the full gallery below, then tell us if you'll be there for the battle when this premiere issue arrives Dec. 18.