Earlier today, DC revealed a full look at the front and back cover of the latest issue of DC Nation, their in-house solicitations magazine. It revealed the shape of the DC Universe in the upcoming Future State event, and gave fans better looks at some characters they already knew were coming, and fresh looks at some heroes that will take part in the ambitious, generations-spanning event. With at least two Supermen, two Batmen, two Wonder Women, and some characters that fans have never seen before, it was always going to turn some heads -- but seeing Wildstorm once again integrated into the DC Universe proper, as well as members of the Legion of Super-Heroes showing up in what we assume will be the current day...well, it's a lot.
There's something of an interesting dynamic in that it seems to imply that the "destiny of the DC Universe" may be a bit brighter than its present, with a smiling Jonathan Kent leading the heroes of the next generation on the front, while Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne appear glowering and wearing costumes that seem to imply they've been through some s--t.
You can see the image below.
Appearing on the back of the issue are, primarily, characters from the current generation of DC heroes: Zatanna, Conner Kent, Diana/Immortal Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Superman, Swamp Thing, Harley Quinn, John Stewart, and a few others. On the front cover, led by Jonathan, are Grifter, the Future State versions of Aquaman (Jackson Hyde), Wonder Woman (Yara Flor), and Batman, and a Flash from the future who has prosthetic legs, among others. There's a full checklist inside DC Nation, which you can read here.
The interior of the DC Nation magazine gives a few more details on the characters, what has happened to them, and how some of the more radical transformations -- John Stewart with a yellow ring and a Blackwater-inspired look? -- came to pass.
"What happens when Gotham turns into a total battleground?" Future State: The Next Batman scribe John Ridley says in the piece. "When people start to think there are no good masks, they're all a threat. Even the police are not equipped to handle them. When you have a city that decides to bring in a private security force, when they decide to turn law and order over to an outside entity, what does that mean? It's a private army driven not by morality, not by law, but really one edict – that all masks are bad."
That sure sounds like something that flirts with some "ripped-from-the-headlines ideas about what happens to cities who can no longer trust the police, with "there are no good masks" sitting in for the "ACAB" hashtag. It also, though, feels a bit like the Gotham of the Batwoman TV series, which seems to be run less by the police and more by the Crows.
It gets crazier than that, though; while some of the books take place in 2050 or so, elements of the Future State story will apparently go all the way through the year 82,020 and beyond. They will apparently skip over the 853rd century, when the events o DC One Million took place, and go straight to the end of time with Immortal Wonder Woman.
Future State launches in January.