In late 2002, acclaimed writer Jeph Loeb and a talented artist known for his work at Marvel, Image and WildStorm named Jim Lee debuted a 12-part Batman storyline in the pages of BATMAN #608. The story’s title was “Hush,” and the simple name belied a surprisingly complex story that would feature much of the Dark Knight’s popular rogues’ gallery, hint at the eventual return of the once dead Jason Todd, introduce Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend Tommy Elliot and bring the romantic undertones of Batman’s relationship with Catwoman to the forefront for the first time.
It’s a story that’s ripe with cinematic potential, as we’ll likely discover when it’s brought to animated life as part of the next wave of DC Universe Movies.
The 2019 slate was announced at the San Diego Comic-Con panel following tonight’s The Death of Superman world premiere. Based on the seminal storyline that shocked fans of the Man of Steel when it debuted 25 years ago, The Death of Superman is actually only the beginning of the story. The second part of the previously announced two-part adaptation, Reign of the Supermen, kicks things off in early 2019. Focusing on what happens after Superman’s death, the comics that inspired part two introduced characters who have gone on to play integral roles in the world of Superman, such as Steel, Cyborg Superman and Conner Kent. Look for some Reign of the Supermen teasers in the closing credits of The Death of Superman.
After that, in spring 2019, the Justice League returns for Justice League vs. The Fatal Five. Originally composed of supercriminals Tharok, Emerald Empress, Validus, Mano and the Persuader, the Fatal Five were first introduced in 1967 and are more commonly associated with the Legion of Super-Heroes. While they have appeared in animation before, both on Justice League Unlimited and on the Legion of Superheroes animated series, they’ve been largely dormant for a while (though Emerald Empress did play a key role in the recent JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD comic book event). This is an original story, and there’s much we don’t know about it. Is it set in the future or the present day? Will the Legion appear? Which Justice Leaguers will we see? Only time will tell!
The third movie for 2019, Batman: Hush will release in summer, and will follow the two-part Death of Superman/Reign of the Supermen as the latest animated movie based on an acclaimed DC comic storyline. While this year’s Batman: Gotham by Gaslight was arguably the last Batman-centered DC Universe Movie, it’s an “Elseworlds” tale featuring a Victorian Era Dark Knight. Hush will find the series returning to the present day and set in a much more familiar Gotham City. The comic storyline featured popular Bat baddies like Poison Ivy, Ra’s al Ghul and the Joker, but it’s also well known for introducing the villain it’s named after—the bandage-faced Hush. While a child version of the character has made a couple of appearances on Gotham and Hush has appeared in video games like the Arkham and LEGO Batman titles, he’s never before appeared in a DC Universe Movie.
But wait, there’s more…
Yes, typically WBHE releases three DC Universe Movies each year, but 2019 is special and we’re getting a fourth. For the first time since her fan-favorite 2009 animated movie, Wonder Woman will take center stage in an original animated movie called Wonder Woman: Bloodlines. Not much is known about this mysterious—but very exciting—bonus movie, but expect to learn more next year.
Okay, superfans, it’s time to sound off. What do you think of next year’s films? Are you excited about Batman: Hush? Eager to see the Fatal Five get their moment in the sun…before it’s eaten!!! (I kid, I kid! Or do I…?) Excited for another Wonder Woman movie? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to return to DCComics.com all weekend long for Comic-Con news as it breaks.