In the aftermath of Dark Nights: Death Metal, the heroes have triumphed over Perpetua and the Batman Who Laughs. However, their actions causes time-space to warp, showing a glimpse of the future...or a future. A future where new heroes don classic identities and Earth and the universe evolve in new and exciting...or dangerous ways.
Running through January and February 2021, all prior titles were replaced with a set of new books for this event, all giving a glimpse of both a possible future and events happening in the returning titles come March 2021 under the brand new banner DC Infinite Frontier. Ahead of the event in November 2020, it was confirmed that Yara Flor, the future Wonder Woman, will star in her own Wonder Girl title later in the year.
In this future, the villainous regime known as the Magistrate rules over Gotham City with an iron fist. Bruce Wayne is dead (but not really), but a new Batman rises and gathers his vigilante allies to take back Gotham.
- The Next Batman #1-4 by John Ridley, Nick Derington and Laura Braga. Includes:
- Dark Detective #1-4 by Mariko Tamaki and Dan Mora. Includes:
- Batman/Superman by Gene Luen Yang and Ben Oliver.
- Harley Quinn by Stephanie Phillips and Simone Di Meo.
- Catwoman by Ram V. and Otto Schmidt.
- Nightwing by Andrew Constant and Nicola Scott.
- Robin Eternal by Meghan Fitzmartin and Eddy Barrows.
Superman/Wonder Woman Family
In the near future, an international incident leads Earth to reject Clark Kent, forcing him to focus his life-saving efforts elsewhere. In Clark's stead, his son Jonathan Kent takes up the mantle of Superman, but his actions immediately put him at odds with his aunt, Kara Zor-El. Meanwhile, Yara Flor becomes the new Wonder Woman and will team-up with the new Superman to become a new team the likes no one has ever seen before!
Then, in the distant future, the Legion of Super-Heroes and the United Planets have both collapsed. Can Ultra Boy and whatever's left of the Legion rise up and save the galaxy again?
Finally, at the End of Time itself, Diana Prince has lost both her friends and most of her fellow Amazons. When a threat that's bigger than even Darkseid himself looms forward, Diana must charge head-on lest everything that's left in the world becomes undone!
- Superman of Metropolis #1-2 by Sean Lewis and John Timms. Includes:
- The Guardian by Sean Lewis and Cully Hamner.
- Superman: Worlds of War #1-4 by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Mikel Janin. Includes:
- Immortal Wonder Woman #1-2 by Becky Cloonan, Michael W. Conrad and Jen Bartel.
- Nubia by L.L. McKinney, Alitha E. Martinez and Mark Morales.
- Kara Zor-El - Superwoman by Marguerite Bennett and Marguerite Sauvage.
- Legion of Super-Heroes by Brian Michael Bendis and Riley Rossmo.
- Superman/Wonder Woman by Dan Watters and Leila del Duca.
- Superman vs. Imperious Lex by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh.
- Wonder Woman by Joëlle Jones.
- House of El (one-shot) by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Scott Godlewski.
Justice League Family
A new Justice League forms with familiar names but secret (even to them) identities, secrets an old foe seeks to use to take over the world. For the Justice League Dark, the hunters become the hunted.
The Four Riders of the Apocalypse attack Titans Academy, cutting Barry Allen off from the Speed Force; Famine possesses Wally West; and Shazam is forced to make a deal with the devil.
Elsewhere in the universe, the last Green Lanterns are overshadowed by a dead Central Power Battery, Arthur Curry and Jackson Hyde are separated across the cosmos and Amanda Waller unleashes a new-yet-creepily-familiar Suicide Squad on Earth-3.
In the far-flung future, Swamp Thing rules the end of time with an iron fist while in the 835th century, the new Black Adam must fix a problem from the past.
- Justice League #1-2 by Joshua Williamson and Robson Rocha. Includes:
- Justice League Dark by Ram V. and Marcio Takara.
- Green Lantern #1-2. Includes:
- Last Lanterns by Geoffrey Thorne and Tom Raney.
- The Taking of Sector 0123 by Ryan Cady and Sam Basri.
- Book of Guy by Ernie Altbacker and Clayton Henry.
- Tales of the Green Lantern Corps by Josie Campbell, Ryan Cady and Ernie Altbacker, with Sami Basri and Clayton Henry.
- Suicide Squad #1-2 by Robbie Thompson and Javi Fernandez. Includes:
- Black Adam by Jeremy Adams and Fernando Pasarin.
- Aquaman by Brandon Thomas and Daniel Sampere.
- The Flash by Brandon Vietti and Dale Eaglesham.
- Teen Titans by Tim Sheridan and Rafa Sandoval.
- SHAZAM! by Tim Sheridan and Eduardo Pansica.
- Swamp Thing by Ram V. and Mike Perkins.
Tropes Involved in this Event:
- Affirmative Action Legacy:
- The new Wonder Woman, Yara Flor, is Brazilian.
- The new Batman, Tim Fox, is African-American.
- The new Aquaman is Jackson Hyde, the former Aqualad, who is African-American and gay.
- The new Flash, Jess Chambers, is nonbinary.
- The newest Bolt is an Australian Dark-Skinned Blonde girl with both legs amputated. Subverted in that she is a speedster while the previous Bolt was solely an electricity-themed villain.
- Alliterative Title: Last Lanterns.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: The whole event, with every DC title being put on hold for two months while a series of mini-series take their place to tell a story of an Alternate Timeline, is very reminiscent of Marvel's Age of Apocalypse.
- The new Suicide Squad consisting of a group of villains masquerading as the Justice League has been compared to Dark Avengers.
- A bird-named psychic super heroine who got her start as a member of a teen superhero team becoming an all-powerful cosmic destroyer. Are we talking about the Dark Phoenix or The Unkindness, aka Raven?
- Alternate Timeline: While some of these titles explored upcoming events, it's quite clear that these are possible futures, not actual.
- Anachronic Order: As different series published to different schedules are set at different times but star the same characters, this is inevitable.
- Big Brother Mentor: Jackson Hyde to Andy Curry.
- Broad Strokes: Although the series was intended to show a "possible future" rather than the canon future of the DCU, some characters and concepts i.e. Yara Flor, Red X, the Magistrate, Gold Beetle, Bolt and Conner Kent joining the Suicide Squad, will be integrated into the main continuity.
- Brought Down to Badass:
- The Last Lanterns mini-series sees a Badass Normal John Stewart leading a group of other former Green Lanterns on a quest to defend the galaxy after the Central Battery on Oa is destroyed, rendering the entire Corps powerless.
- The Dark Detective mini-series follows the exploits of a Bruce Wayne who's been stripped of his fortune, tech, and vast support network after being shot and declared dead by the Magistrate's Peacekeepers.
- The Bus Came Back:
- Arkham Knights features the return of Astrid Arkham, Copperhead, and Humpty Dumpty, who all hadn't been seen in quite some time.
- Superman vs. Imperious Lex reintroduces Lexor, the alien planet rescued by Lex Luthor back in the Silver Age.
- Justice League reintroduces the Hyperclan, a supervillain team last seen in The '90s.
- Superman/Wonder Woman brings back Solaris the Sun Tyrant.
- Shazam reintroduces Tanya Spears and Neron.
- Superman: Worlds of War features the return of Midnighter.
- Suicide Squad brings back the relatively obscure Wonder Woman and Aquaman villains Hypnotic Woman and Fisherman, who are impersonating their enemies as members of Amanda Waller's "Justice Squad" on Earth 3.
- Canon Immigrant: Red X, a one-time identity of Robin and a mysterious foe in Teen Titans, shows up in the Teen Titans book. As a Mythology Gag, the new Red X mentions that Dick had previously donned the mantle at some undisclosed point in the past.
- Cloning Blues: Amanda Waller found Superboy chained up at same point when he said he hadn't committed any crimes. In her words?Amanda Waller: You're a clone. Your very existence is a crime.
- Demonic Possession: Wally West is possessed by the Horseman of Famine.
- Disabled Badass:
- The Flash seen in the Suicide Squad miniseries has two prosthetic legs from the knee down.
- Aquawoman's leg is amputated below the knee.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul":
- Shazam no longer likes being called Billy. Because he's not ever since he and Billy were split by Neron.
- Timothy Fox hates being called by his birth name and prefers to go by Jace. This might be DC's attempt to ensure that he doesn't get mistaken for Tim Drake.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: How does supervillain Black Manta die? He drops dead as a result of the process the Suicide Squad used to cross over into Earth 3, never getting his revenge on Arthur or Jackson.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: The Legion of Doom thought they could use the Hyperclan to discredit and destroy the Justice League. Well they did, but first they killed the Legion of Doom for trying to use them.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: The Last Lanterns book shows John Stewart, previously known for his short military haircut, now sporting cornrows and a beard.
- Faceless Mooks: The enforcers of the Magistrate wear face-covering helmets.
- FaceHeel Turn:
- Shazam murdered the Creeper, Jakeem and Johnny Thunder, and seemingly Tim Drake in an attempt to cover up the fact that he's not Billy Batson anymore. Vixen also finds out he's responsible for the murder of Slade Wilson and Martian Manhunter.
- Longtime Bat-ally Lucius Fox is now a staunch supporter of the Magistrate and has been using Wayne Enterprises to manufacture and sell militarized weapon and surveillance systems directly to the Magistrate's Peacekeepers to support their crackdown on costumed vigilantes and villains alike. His wife Tanya is also one of the many lawyers under Mayor Nakano working around the clock to find a way to legally defend the Magistrate's "shoot on sight" mandate.
- One of the major twists in the Grifters short story is that Luke Fox AKA Batwing was a Magistrate mole who made a deal with the Peacekeepers to sell out the Huntress in exchange for his own freedom.
- After being possessed by all four spirits of the Horsemen of Apocalypse and stealing the powers of Shazam, Raven yet again pulls one of these after Neuron assists with breaking her out of the Rock of Eternity so she can raise hell on Earth.
- Faking the Dead: Bruce Wayne faked his death in order to hide from the Magistrate, the totalitarian organization running Gotham City.
- Forbidden Friendship: Aquawoman and the Flash (Jess Chambers) are BFFs despite League rules explicitly banning members from forming personal relationships. Superman (Jon Kent) and Wonder Woman (Yara Flor) are also close confidants despite both acknowledging that their heart-to-heart talks are against the rules.
- Future Badass: As most of the main characters are children or teens in the prime timeline this is pretty much inevitable. The ultimate example would probably be Aquawoman, who is a superhero and member of the Justice League in the future and a literal baby in the present of the DCU.
- Heroic Lineage: Aquawoman is Andy Curry, daughter of Arthur Curry and Mera. The new Superman is Jonathan Samuel Kent, son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane.
- Hold the Line: John Stewart, Salaak, G'nort and others do this against an army of Khunds to defend a defenseless alien population.
- I Just Want to Be You: Hypnotic Woman of the Justice Squad is implied to be disguising herself as Wonder Woman because she truly wants to be Wonder Woman.
- La Résistance:
- The Arkham Knights are a group of Batman rogues led by the Arkham Knight, who fight against the Police State the Magistrate has turned Gotham into.
- The remaining members of the Bat-Family are also shown to be fighting tooth and nail against the Magistrate's rule to varying levels of success.
- Legacy Character: The event show new legacy versions of a few characters.
- Jonathan Samuel Kent becomes the second Superman. His descendant Rowan becomes the third.
- The new Batman is Tim Fox.
- The new Wonder Woman is Yara Flor. Nubia also becomes Wonder Woman at a different point in the timeline.
- The new Flash is Jess Chambers.
- The last Blue Lantern is Ronan Kent.
- The previous iterations of Superwoman were Kristin Wells, villains from an alternate universe and the New 52 versions of Lois Lane and Lana Lang. The one in this event is Kara Zor-El.
- For the Teen Titans series, Dick Grayson decides to take the mask of Deathstroke.
- Manipulative Bastard: Per for the norm for Amanda Waller, but it's implied she spent years emotionally abusing Conner Kent in order to build him up as the Superman she wanted him to be. Even when it turns out she didn't mean a Superman who kills, Conner only reaches this state in defiance of how she treated him since she first got her hands on him.
- Manly Gay: The jacked up, bearded, tattooed Future Badass adult version of Jackson Hyde.
- Master-Apprentice Chain: Arthur Curry was Jackson Hyde's mentor, who is himself the mentor of Andy Curry.
- Mirror Universe: The Suicide Squad series takes place on Earth 3.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Bolt is horrified when she kills Lor-Zod, because Waller told her the device she used would "neutralize" him. In Waller's words, if he's dead then he's neutralized.
- Myth Arc: Most of the stories are self-contained, but there is an overarching plot running through some of them about The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Which looks set to continue into the main line of comics, as the Future State version of Black Adam is transported back in time to 2021 to kill Raven before she is possessed by them and becomes the Unkindness.
- Off-Model: The Legion of Super-Heroes (2020) series features a character who resembles Shrinking Violet as if she'd been plucked out of the Legion animated series with pale white skin and short black hair. However, Shrinking Violet was redesigned by Ryan Sook to have brown skin, pale pink hair, a tattoo on her forehead, and elongated earlobes.
- Private Military Contractors: The Magistrate appears to be made up of this, being brought to Gotham by Major Christopher Nakano to rid Gotham of all the 'masks'.
- The Quisling:
- Ridiculously Human Robots: The newest member of the Gotham City Sirens is a Robot Girl named Dee-Dee, who loves Sex and the City and joined them so she could experience a 'Girls' Night Out'.
- Skunk Stripe: In Immortal Wonder Woman, Diana now has a stripe of white hair.
- Take That!: Superman: Worlds of War has some pretty spiteful jabs towards the overall perception of Superman's character as a Messianic Archetype whose superpowers are his only definable traits.Sadie: Superman didn't save me. Clark Kent did.
- Token Good Teammate: The new Suicide Squad (normally villains or anti-heroes) is led by Conner Kent (normally a hero). Aside from him, this role is shared by the Flash (Bolt) who is the only one to openly question Amanda Waller's actions while being genuinely disgusted by them.
- Took a Level in Badass: Ringless G'nort is far more fearsome and capable than his regular counterpart. He even attacks by biting his enemies.
- Two Girls to a Team: Subverted, the Justice League has two men, three women and one non-binary.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: The new Legion of Doom is seen discussing their next plan to destroy the Justice League, and the next page they've all been killed by the Hyperclan.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Jon Kent, in an attempt to protect Metropolis, decided to bottle it. This did not go down very well with Kara.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Tiffany Fox doesn't mince words when she calls out her own parents on the fact that they, of all people, are willingly supporting a privatized law enforcement organization that employs lethal force against civilians on the slightest provocation.Tiffany: Really? Both of you are okay with private cops who can shoot on sight? After everything you've told us, everything you taught us.
Tanya: This...This is different.
Tiffany: It's never "different." It's just different for us.
- Your Head Asplode: William Cobb, the Justice Squad's Batman (formerly Talon), gets his head blown off at the beginning of Suicide Squad.