DC Comics' Year of the Villain crossover event has infested many mainline titles and characters with extreme badness as Lex Luthor ascends to his highest form as Apex Lex and recruits altered archvillains to his cause.
If you think the merry bells of the yuletide season might reform these darkened souls, you'd be wrong, as DC supports the dire doings of the Legion of Doom, upholding these diabolical deeds inside their annual holiday anthology, New Year's Evil #1 — and SYFY WIRE has a special sneak peek at the Dec. 4 release.
This festive, 80-page prestige-format issue is written by an all-star roster of storytellers including Kurt Busiek, Philip Kennedy Johnson, Gabriel Hardman, Corrina Bechko, Ram V, Vita Ayala, Dan Watters, and many more. Interior artwork comes courtesy of an equally talented crew led by Dale Eaglesham, Anthony Spay, Gabriel Hardman, Sumit Kumar, Ramon Villalobos, and others.
Your Jolly Uncle Joker insists that this winter one-shot is all about the folks on Santa’s naughty list. It's 10 spirited tales featuring the likes of Black Adam, Sinestro, Toyman, Harley Quinn, Chronos, Poison Ivy, Prankster, Ares, and even an appearance by the holiday-wrecking Calendar Man.
Writer Philip Kennedy Johnson and artist Sumit Kumar chose the villainous Sinestro for their dastardly tale of otherworldly worship, "Bright and Terrible."
"Sinestro has always been one of my favorite DC villains, and I like him best when he’s complicated," Johnson tells SYFY WIRE. "He believes in order, but he establishes that order through fear. He has rules and a moral code, but he’s often driven by ego underneath all that. He’s almost never the hero of his story, but he believes that he is, so I try to write him that way, even when his actions are less than heroic. I thought that taking a complex character like Sinestro, telling a complete story with him in eight pages, and making readers love him like I do in such a small span of time would be a really fun and rewarding challenge. I'm insanely proud of the work we all did on 'Bright and Terrible.'"
Constantly looking for opportunities to worldbuild, Johnson saw an opening to invent a new race of people, with a religion and mythology we haven’t seen before.
"Sinestro is forced to confront the profound impact he’s made on the peoples of Sector 1417, for better and worse, and I think people will be able to take any number of messages from the story," he explains. "It illustrates how far a religion can stray from its origins, how a simple act or a few words can have influence far beyond anything we can expect or anticipate, and that our heroes aren’t always what we believe them to be."
Sumit Kumar's absorbing art is definitely the tree-topper on this Sinestro story, and Johnson agrees.
"I wish I could take credit for finding Sumit for this story, but now that I finally have found him, I'm all over my editors to let me work with him again," Johnson adds. "Sumit blows me away with his dynamic action and figure work and the subtle emotion in the characters’ faces. Colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr. and letterer Clayton Cowles complement Sumit’s linework perfectly, managing to keep the story extremely colorful, but also extremely nuanced, so as not to lose the darker overtones of the storytelling."
Now sled into our exclusive look inside DC's end-of-the-year anthology, New Year's Evil #1, including a bonus peek at Vita Ayala and Elena Casagrande's Harley Quinn gem, "Little Christmas Tree," then tell us if you'll pick one up as a sinister stocking stuffer when it arrives Dec. 4.
“I have loved Harley Quinn since her first appearance in Batman: The Animated Series," Ayala tells SYFY WIRE. "There was an episode where she tries her best to be good, and things just keep going wrong, and at the end Batman is kind to her even though she does regress to crime.
"I honestly cannot believe that I was blessed enough to be able to work with artists Elena Cassgrande and Jordie Bellaire on this project. I have worked with Jordie before (always a delight), and I am a big fan of Elena’s work. I think they were born to work together, and to work on Harley – they have a magical sort of rhythm with her! I can only hope we get to team up again. And of course, Dave Sharpe on letters is a holiday miracle!”