On January 5, 2021, Dark Nights: Death Metal will conclude with its totally bombastic seventh issue. That issue will include not one but two epilogues, each leading to new worlds of storytelling for DC Comics.
One of these epilogues will direct readers toward a new vision of the DC Universe called Future State. But what exactly is Future State? It’s an event that takes fans into the future, outside the usual confines of the Multiverse, where adventures reach beyond the scope of mere maps. It’s a place where new visions of the World’s Greatest Heroes wage epic battles for justice that run parallel to their older counterparts’ own heroic struggles, across a variety of different time frames.
DC Comics has this week released a brand new issue of their insider mag, DC Nation, focussing on the Future State event and preparing readers for what is to come. Make sure and grab your free copy right here.
Here’s everything we think you need to know about the upcoming event!
Future State reveals major new developments for the DC trinity of Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman—along with new heroes taking on those familiar roles. You’ll learn the latest on those characters elsewhere in this magazine (on pages X, Y, and Z, respectively)—but they’re far from the only icons whose destinies will change in these adventures.
DC’s marquee super-team is reborn as Future State: Justice League by Joshua Williamson, Robson Rocha, and Daniel Henriques introduces a lineup of new yet familiar heroes: Jonathan Kent as Superman, new character Yara Flor as Wonder Woman, Far Sector star Jo Mullein as Green Lantern, and a grown-up Andy Curry as Aquawoman—plus a Flash from a distant corner of the Multiverse, and a Batman whose identity will remain a secret…at least for now. In fact, no one on this team knows who the others are—and if they can’t share their true identities, how can they learn to trust each other?
Future State: Justice League also includes a Justice League Dark story written by Ram V and illustrated by Marcio Takara, with Zatanna, John Constantine, and Madame Xanadu, among those hunted for their mystic powers. And with Dr. Fate missing in action, the team must pull itself together before Merlin’s quest for magical domination shatters the fabric of reality. As if that’s not enough, Detective Chimp is possessed…by Etrigan?
While the Flash in Future State: Justice League is a newcomer, the Flash Family we know and love are in major trouble in Future State: The Flash, written by Brandon Vietti and illustrated by Dale Eaglesham. Barry Allen and his fellow super-speedsters have been stripped of their powers, only to face the deadly threat of Wally West—who’s been possessed by an entity that’s been trapped for eons inside the Speed Force.
Across the universe, Future State: Green Lantern by Geoffrey Thorne and Tom Raney finds John Stewart leading an elite team of ring-wielders beyond the farthest reaches of the 3,600 known sectors to explore new worlds—but how will they protect themselves when the Corps’ Central Power Battery goes out? Plus, the odds are stacked against a powerless Jessica Cruz as she takes on the Yellow Lanterns…and Guy Gardner, abandoned on a distant planet, decides—what else?—to reopen Warriors Bar.
In Future State: Aquaman, by writer Brandon Thomas and artist Daniel Sampere, Jackson Hyde has taken on the mantle of Aquaman. But after a mission goes horribly wrong, he and teenage Andy Curry—the new Aqualass, and daughter of Arthur and Mera—are separated by an entire cosmos. Now, Jackson must escape a prison on Neptune so he can cross the abyss that spans the universe and find Aqualass once more.
In the timeline of Future State: Suicide Squad by writer Robbie Thompson and artist Javi Fernandez, Amanda Waller seizes the opportunity to unleash her ultimate plan for the Suicide Squad—with a Task Force X like you’ve never seen before that uses the Justice League as a template. Black Adam stars in the second feature in Future State: Suicide Squad, in which writer Jeremy Adams and artist Fernando Pasarin pick up his story very far in the future, in a timeline that should be familiar to longtime DC fans: the 853rd century!
The classic New Teen Titans lineup of Nightwing, Starfire, Beast Boy, Cyborg, and Raven reunite in Future State: Teen Titans by Tim Sheridan and Rafa Sandoval, but it’s not a happy occasion: Titans Tower stands as a burned-out husk, a memorial to the school for young heroes that could have been. Now, the remaining Titans must turn to one of their former students for answers: the hero known as Red X, the fan-favorite antagonist from the Teen Titans animated series, here making his comics debut.
Future State: Shazam, also written by Sheridan with art by Eduardo Pansica, takes place years after the events of Future State: Teen Titans—with Billy Batson resurfacing after mysteriously disappearing years before.
Following a devastating global war, Swamp Thing rules supreme over Earth in Future State: Swamp Thing by writer Ram V and artist Mike Perkins. But it’s an uneasy peace, and a group of human rebels will stop at nothing to bring the guardian of the Green to its knees.
Future State marks the return of Shilo Norman as Mister Miracle, with the super escape artist appearing in both Superman of Metropolis and Superman: Worlds of War, in stories by Brandon Easteron and Valentine De Landro—but when he catches the Boom Tube out of the Bottle City of Metropolis, he’ll wind up somewhere even worse!
Warworld is where you’ll also find Midnighter, who’s on the hunt for a deadly energy source, no matter who gets in his way. Also on hand is the Black Racer, one of Warworld’s greatest warriors, who’s ready to become a champion of freedom. And Shilo Norman, a.k.a. Mister Miracle, caught the Boom Tube out of Metropolis only to find himself on another distant and deadly world.
The Legion of Super-Heroes was already a thousand years into the future—and now, the team takes one giant leap into even further forward in the timeline—but who is left to continue the battle for justice? And which of them betrayed not just the United Planets but the entire galaxy? (Find out more in an interview with writer Brian Michael Bendis and Riley Rossmo.)
To create these amazing stories, DC has enlisted some of our top talents as well as numerous comics newcomers. Together, they’re sure to excite fans who are eager to see what’s in store for DC’s heroes in these stories—most of them contained in two issues that run in January and February.
But wait—we said Dark Nights: Death Metal #7 would have two epilogues, didn’t we? No doubt you’re wondering where the second epilogue will lead. Well, for that, you’ll have to wait and see.
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