Writer Joshua Williamson is currently helming three ongoing series for DC Comics: Batman, Robin, and Deathstroke, Inc. Next year those three titles will collide for a three-month crossover titled Shadow War. The storyline will kick off in Shadow War: Alpha #1 at the end of March 2022, with prelude stories in the pages of Robin and Deathstroke Inc. earlier in the month.
Robin #12 will arrive in stores on March 22nd. Written by Williamson and illustrated by Roger Cruz, with covers by Viktor Bogdanovic, Francis Manapul (open-order variant), and Crystal Kung (1:25 ratio variant). The issue finds Damian returning to Gotham following the conclusion of the Lazarus Tournament, only to face off against…Damian Wayne?
Also in stores on March 22nd is Deathstroke, Inc. #7. The issue is by Williamson and artist Stephen Segovia, with covers by Howard Porter, Ivan Tao (open-order variant), and Acky Bright (1:25 ratio variant). Fresh off the Lazarus Tournament, Deathstroke’s daughter, Ravager, and the mysterious Respawn confront Deathstroke, who has crowned himself “King of the Super-Villains.” As DC describes it: “This is the issue where past secrets are exposed, resulting in a cliffhanger that leads directly into Shadow War!”
The following week, on March 29th, Shadow War: Alpha #1 arrives. Written by Williamson and illustrated by Bogdanovic, the issue will clock in at 48 pages with a cover price of $5.99, and will sport covers by Jonboy Meyers, Bogdanovic (open-order variant), and Dan Mora (1:25 ratio variant). DC describes it thusly:
Slade Wilson commits an unthinkable act, and Talia al Ghul, the Daughter of the Demon, is out for blood! The League of Shadows is out to murder Deathstroke and destroy Deathstroke Inc., and it’s up to Batman and Robin to track Slade down and bring him to justice, but do they?
Following the March releases Robin #12, Deathstroke, Inc. #7, and Shadow War: Alpha #1, April’s Batman #122 will join the story, along with Robin #13 and Deathstroke, Inc. #8. May will bring Batman #123, Robin #14, and Deathstroke, Inc. #9, as well as a Shadow War Zone one-shot and the conclusion of the crossover in Shadow War: Omega #1.
The announcement from DC this morning isn’t the first that readers are hearing of Shadow War, at least in a general sense. Last week’s Robin Annual #1 and Gotham City Villains Anniversary Giant one-shot both included stories, starring Ra’s Al Ghul and Talia Al Ghul, respectively, that ended with a blurb saying the story would continue in Shadow War.
Williamson has also spoken about a crossover between the three titles, and how all three will tie in to the events of the larger DC Universe. In an interview with The Beat earlier this year, Williamson elaborated:
“When Deathstroke #1 comes out, you’ll see that it’s all starting to [connect,] because Deathstroke connects to Robin, they’re parallel to each other. That’s why, in the Batman: Urban Legends story [starring Black Canary in issue 6], Talia was in it. It’ll be interesting, there’s so many clues in there. The thing that Deathstroke and Black Canary are dealing with is super-connected to Infinite Frontier, and there’s a clue in the Urban Legends story. […] So the stuff that’s happening in Robin is connected with the stuff that’s happening in Deathstroke, and then those’ll connect with what’s happening in Batman, and then eventually it’ll all connect to Infinite Frontier and the big story. Yeah, it’s a lot, but it’s all connected.”
And earlier this week, Williamson took to Twitter to share the pertinent teaser panel from Deathstroke, Inc. #1, which finds Robin attacking Deathstroke, angrily shouting “You killed him!”:
— Joshua Williamson (@Williamson_Josh) December 7, 2021
Who does Deathstroke kill? Whoever it is, reactions will be mixed, as Williamson described in the aforementioned interview:
“[…] different people are gonna have different reactions to this thing happening. Some people are gonna have good reactions and some people are gonna be really, really pissed off, I mean, like in terms of characters. And Batman, that gives him a whole other case he has to deal with that puts him on a much bigger stage, and it starts to bring him into some of the stuff we’ve been doing with Infinite Frontier. And he’s trying to fix a problem.”
Teases upon teases upon teases! And how does it all connect to Infinite Frontier? Readers will hopefully find out when Shadow War kicks off in March.