It’s all led to this: Events playing out across the DC Universe for the past year reach their boiling point in Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen, a four-issue series written by James Tynion IV and illustrated by Steve Epting. It’s Lex Luthor vs. the Batman Who Laughs, and no matter who wins…everybody loses.
Here’s how the two combatants stack up, featuring some insider thoughts and analysis from Tynion…
Once simply a ruthless super-genius billionaire inventor super-villain, Lex Luthor is now “Apex Lex”—imbued with godlike abilities thanks to Perpetua, the creator of the Multiverse.
Reborn as Apex Lex inside a hybrid human/Martian body, Luthor is now nearly omnipotent, capable of traveling across infinite realities.
Luthor has spent recent months dispersing “Dark Gifts” to the villains of the DCU, helping them be the best bad guys they can be. It’s all in the name of serving Perpetua’s will to reshape the Multiverse in her image, full of apex predators under her control.
“The smartest man alive finally believes in something bigger than himself, and that belief has given him unspeakable power. But even the all-powerful mother of the Multiverse, Perpetua, might not give him the edge against the greatest predator this universe has ever seen.” —James Tynion IV
THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS
A deadly fusion of Batman and the Joker from the Dark Multiverse, the Batman Who Laughs has made his way to the DC Universe to infect Earth’s heroes with his brand of madness.
Just as smart as Batman, just as crazy as the Joker; armed with Dark Matter serum-laced Nth Metal Batarangs.
The Batman Who Laughs has infected some of DC’s greatest heroes—Shazam, Supergirl, Hawkman, Donna Troy, Blue Beetle and Commissioner Gordon—enlisting them in his quest to transform the entire world into its twisted, Dark Multiverse reflection.
“Batman's darkest nightmare has been walking through the DC Universe since the events of Dark Nights: Metal, planning for this moment. He is a Bruce Wayne with no moral center, an unspeakable horror from the depths of the Dark Multiverse. Can the smartest villain alive beat DC's darkest nightmare?” —James Tynion IV
Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1 by James Tynion IV and Steve Epting is on sale Wednesday, December 18 in print and as a digital download.