Last week DC invited readers to name Nightwing’s new canine companion. Now the publisher is opening the door for fans to help them choose a new series to publish. Round Robin is a months-long tournament pitting sixteen DC Comics series concepts against each other. Fans will vote in four week-long rounds between now and the end of May to pick one of those concepts as the next series that DC Comics will publish.
The bracket featuring the round of 16 titles is above, and here’s the full schedule for the voting, which will take place on DC’s Instagram and Twitter feeds for the first three rounds, and on the DC Community message boards for the final round:
Round I: Wednesday → April 7, 2021
- Swamp Thing vs. Suicide Squad Seven
- Jesse Quick: Control vs. Paws Off the Justice League
- Justice League Queer vs. Robins
- Lobo/Animal Man vs. Son of the Creeper
- The Brave and the Bug vs. Zatanna and the King of Nightmares
- Green Lanterns Underworld on Fire vs. Etta Candy: Holliday Hero, Inc.
- Blue Beetle: Graduation Day vs. Nightrunner: Love in Paris
Round II: April 8, 2021 → April 15, 2021
Round III: May 5, 2021 → May 13, 2021
Round IV: May 20, 2021 → May 27, 2021
And here’s a rundown of all of the concepts for the potential series, which features a mix of wacky and more traditional stories, and a few that introduce new teams and concepts for the DCU.
|Green Lanterns: Underworld On Fire||A deadly outfit of space outlaws are razing the intergalactic underworld sector by sector under the command of a disruptive new kingpin, in search of an ancient payday worth becoming the target of every power player in the galaxy—including Sinestro! Green Lanterns Kyle Rayner and Kilowog are put on the case, but will Kyle be able to do this one by the book when he finds out who’s behind it all?|
|Etta Candy: Holliday Hero, Inc.||On summer break from Holliday College, an accident grants Etta Candy her very own superpowers! Taking on the new superhero mantle of Candy Stripe, Etta joins forces with Wonder Woman, Amanda Waller, and her Beeta Lambda sorority sisters to create Holliday Hero Inc.—an all-girls agency sworn to protect and assist anyone in need. WOO WOO!|
|The Brave and the Bug: Crisis on Infinite Ambush||Ambush Bug must team up with some of DC’s greatest heroes to survive an attack by revenge-seeking Ambush Bugs from across the MULTIVERSE who never got to exist thanks to AB’s refusal to be rebooted.|
|Zatanna and the King of Nightmares||Something is terribly wrong with Zatanna’s powers, but before she can heal herself, she is forced to confront her worst fears in a strange new spiritual realm ruled by the terrifying otherworldly foe known as the King of Nightmares.|
|Lobo / Animal Man: Scorched Earth||Lobo. The name makes entire alien races collectively wet themselves with fear. The Main Man is proudly hyper-violent, arrogant, loud, stubborn, impatient, and ill-tempered. The best thing about him is that after he completes his contract, he leaves. Until now…|
|Son of the Creeper||An awkward teenager’s life is turned upside down when he inherits his dad’s chaotic powers. With his family in danger, Kieran Millar must save a father he doesn’t know from the monster he’s become.|
|Justice League Queer||Eight young queer heroes investigate a series of monstrous manifestations around the world and discover that something much more terrifying is coming.|
|Robins||In the Blüdhaven apartment of Dick Grayson, a group of young people meets for coffee, doughnuts, and kvetching (between long, awkward silences.) The only thing they have in common? All were once Kid Wonders. Sidekicks to Batman. Robins.|
|Paws Off the Justice League||When the Justice League disappears, Jimmy Olsen and the Super Pets must save the world from certain doom by posing as the missing League.|
|Jesse Quick: Control||When Jesse Quick uses her speed to access an alien artifact from a long-dead civilization, she finds herself imbued with the ability to harness and control the elements around her as her former super-speed is drained. But, when the power begins to corrupt Jesse, she must decide to give up these gifts or risk becoming, quite literally, her own worst enemy.|
|Blue Beetle: Graduation Day||Trapped between heroics and his future, Jaime Reyes is directionless. When the Reach interrupt Jaime’s high school graduation, things only get worse. Starfire becomes a new mentor to Blue Beetle, but is it Jaime or the Scarab that’s really in the driver’s seat? And why hasn’t Jaime applied to any colleges?|
|Nightrunner: Love in Paris||All of Paris is obsessed with an intoxicating virtual songstress, whose holographic stage shows are lighting up the City of Love. But when the “vocaloid” ingenue’s fans start to disappear, Nightrunner must track down the infamous developer behind the eerily realistic celebrity AI.|
|Swamp Thing: A House of Secrets||When love will not die, the dead must rise from the grave to kill it.
Louisiana, 1905: Caught in an eternal triangle of love and living death, the monstrous Alex Olsen; his widow, Linda; and his undead rival, Damian, vie for control of the cursed swamp where life, death, the past, and the future spiral into one never-ending nightmare.
|Suicide Squad Seven||Harley Quinn leads a team of criminals—a millionaire adventurer, a stage magician, a sugar-obsessed serial killer, a delusional former superhero, a drunk assassin, a mute metahuman, and a child who becomes a monster—to stop the centuries-old Church of Blood from trying to destroy all of humankind.|
|Asteria: The Last Amazon||An immortal Amazonian champion returns to Man’s World to discover her and the Amazons’ sacrifice now forgotten; a new breed of hero seeking power, glory, and dominance; and the secret family she left behind offering one last chance at redemption.|
|Superman & Lois: Ignition||Our solar system is a machine—and its purpose is to trap and kill Superman! The sun is darkening, Mars’s orbit is changing, and a mysterious citadel in Jupiter’s Great Red Eye has awoken; it is time for Kal-El to stand against the very end of his world. But he won’t be doing it alone: Lois Lane is suited up and blasting off to get the biggest story in human history…and to watch Clark’s back as he faces his greatest challenge yet. Facing ancient aliens and planet-sized machines, trickster asteroids and the gigakrakens of Neptune, Superman and Lois will fight across all nine planets to prevent Earth’s dark destiny and save our future!|
After the end of Round 1 voting, creative teams for the stories that advance will be revealed. One-page previews will follow for the Round 2 winners, and ten-page previews will come for the Round 3 winners.
So look. This is weird. There’s no getting around that. Readers are always told to vote with their dollars, but now they’re being asked to literally just vote with their votes. It could also be a lot of fun, though, and it’s not entirely without precedent. In 2019 AHOY Comics released Steel Cage, a one-shot featuring three ‘pilot’ stories that readers could vote on to determine which would become its own series. Of course, after a voter fraud scandal AHOY decided to greenlight all three series.
I would be very surprised if something like that (the greenlighting all of them, not the voter fraud) doesn’t happen here as well, in one form or another. Some of these, like JLQ and the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle story, feel like no-brainers. Even if they don’t get full series, some of these concepts sound like perfect anthology stories (I love Ambush Bug, but a multiverse full of him invading the DCU feels excessive, and how long can Jimmy Olsen and the Super-Pets keep up an impersonation of the Justice League?). I’m also impressed that there are no Batman stories here. Sure, Nightwing and Nightrunner are Bat-characters, but no stories starring Bruce himself feels like some sort of progress in my mind.
The official Round 1 voting thread on Twitter is here. Voting will be open until next Wednesday, April 7th.