Dark Crisis is coming to DC Comics in June. The seven-issue event series from Joshua Williamson and Daniel Sampere picks up in the aftermath of this month’s Justice League #75, otherwise known as The Death of the Justice League. Now the publisher has announced a new tie-in one-shot to the event coming in July from a pair of powerhouse creators teaming up for the first time. Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League — Superman #1 will feature a lead story starring the Man of Steel by writer Tom King and artist Chris Burnham, as well as an Aquaman-focused back-up by writers Brandon Thomas & Chuck Brown and artist Fico Ossio.
Here’s how DC describes Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League — Superman #1:
When Pariah and his forces of the Great Darkness laid waste to the most powerful superheroes of all time, all hope was lost…with the Man of Steel suffering the same fate as that of his comrades, join us for a look at a world of dreams he would never have thought possible while alive. Where there’s life there’s hope, and with that hope comes a deeper unraveling of the tapestry of DC Universe’s biggest event of 2022!
No description for the Aquaman story? The indignity!
The new one-shot is a return to the Man of Steel for King, who has previously written the character in the Superman: Up in the Sky series with artist Andy Kubert. It’s the first interior Superman story for Burnham, though the artist has provided covers for both Superman and Action Comics in the past.
In a statement announcing the one-shot, King and Burnham described their enthusiasm at working together for the first time:
“Superman is maybe my favorite character to write, and Chris is one of my favorite artists in comics, whom I’ve been dying to work with for years, so this project is an absolute joy,” said Writer Tom King. “It’s an important and emotional story about what Clark missed when he missed Jon’s teenage years, the pain and the glory of seeing your boy grow up.”
“I’ve been a fan of Tom since his days on Grayson, so although he’s probably better known for his 12-issue ‘war-is-hell’ epics, I still primarily think of him as writing fun formalist done-in-ones,” said Artist Chris Burnham. “I’ve got two young boys who haven’t quite figured out what a knucklehead their old man is, so it’s fantastic to be drawing a story about Superman trying to live up to the high standards of his own father. I loved drawing the adventures of Batman and Robin in Batman Incorporated, and it’s been extra fun to draw Superman with a Robin-esque Superboy.”
That “Robin-esque Superboy,” who appears on both Burnham’s main cover and Steve Beach‘s variant, has my intrigued. Has Superman always secretly been jealous of his friends who have sidekicks? That seems like the sort of thing King would enjoy exploring. The Golden Age, somewhat Earth-2-styled Superman on Burnham’s cover will also be interesting to see the two creators explore.
But seriously, no love at all in DC’s PR for the backup story from the Aquamen writers and the artist of Mister Miracle: The Source of Freedom? Maybe it would be too spoilery, or maybe Aquaman continues to receive none of the respect he deserves as a tentpole DC character.
Look for Dark Crisis: Worlds Without a Justice League — Superman #1, featuring Aquaman, to arrive in stores and digitally on Tuesday, July 12th.