A few years ago, as the Forever Evil event kicked off, DC did a villain month. Now, instead of being relegated to a single month, we are being told that the villains are taking this entire year for themselves. So we have to ask, how? Which scheme will trump them all? Whose master plan can put all the other villains to shame? And who are the major players? Well it’s time to find out in these three stories.
The first story begins with Amanda Waller angrily making her way to the Oval Office to have a discussion with the President about Lex Luthor. However, as she enters, she finds only the Legion of Doom waiting for her. As Waller scrambles to figure out where the President is, Lex has Brainiac attack Waller. Arriving back at LexCorp, Luthor is confronted about his attack on the White House by his assistant, Mercy Graves. While she tells him that she can’t believe it is true, he confirms that it was, in fact, him. He then tells her that everyone in the building is to be immediately fired, or he will kill them all himself. When Mercy asks if he finally snapped and plans to kill Superman, he responds, “Oh please. Mercy, if I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that there are things far bigger than Superman.” Brainiac arrives in Lex’s office and tells him that because of their attack, the governments of the world have officially declared that Lex is a villain, and they have mobilized against him. Luthor tells him that he’s not worried, and that soon, everyone will fall in line. He tells him that even Bane’s plan to defeat Batman in Gotham falls in line with what he has planned, and that soon he will make the world an offer. Lex has taken the time to dismantle everything he ever had and distribute it out to the villains of the world, giving them every resource imaginable to kill their respective hero. At that moment, the United States Armed Forces arrive at Luthor’s office, led by Captain Atom. He demands that Lex surrenders or dies. Lex then detonates his office, seemingly killing himself.
The second story begins with Green Arrow and Batgirl tracking down Merlyn. Immediately Merlyn begs them to let him go, or he will be killed. He tells them that because of his ties to the League of Assassins, he is now a target. He tells them that Leviathan has completely wiped out the League of Assassins, and that they are “in the middle of a royal flush.” As the three prepare to leave, it is already too late. A ship hovers above and send down a massive bolt of energy. Batgirl wakes up in a dark room to an unknown person calling her by her real name. They tell her that Green Arrow is safe, but they wanted to talk to her personally, because they believe that she is one of the greatest heroes on Earth. They tell her that they want a complete do-over of the world, because how things are right now is not working. They then make the offer for Barbara to join Leviathan. Elsewhere, in the Batcave, Bruce looks at an old message from Oliver letting him know what Batgirl was helping him with. Damian arrives and tells his father that he needs his help to prove a theory wrong. He tells his father that he can’t shake this idea, and it has started to become more and more real to him. Damian needs Bruce to help him prove that the man behind Leviathan isn’t Jason Todd.
The final story takes place after the League returns from their trip to the sixth dimension. As they make their way through space, they are called into a telepathic meeting by Martian Manhunter. They discuss Perpetua and her newest minion, Lex Luthor. Batman remarks that he will recruit absolutely everyone he can, to which Superman asks if they need to expand the Justice League, and who they should call to help. Batman replies, “Simple. We call everyone. And then we go to war.” On Earth, Perpetua moves through the Legion of Doom’s base, planning her move. She knows that war is coming, and she can feel the echoes of that future war in the present. However, it is revealed that there is one person that even the mother of creation is unsure of: the Batman Who Laughs. She walks over to a pod with a body in it. A body that she says will transform into something beautiful. The body is that of Lex Luthor.
If there was a way to set up the story of evil taking over, this was how to do it. While I did enjoy these stories, I need to get one thing out of the way. Can Damian please stop trying to make Jason into this huge villainous mastermind? It’s not doing either of them any favors. In any case, Leviathan trying to get Barbara to join their cause was something I wasn’t expecting, but soon, we’ll see what her answer is. On the other side of the coin, Lex actually killed himself for Perpetua’s plan to make himself into something new. My only question now is, what is Lex about to become? Evil is primed to take over, and the villains have never stood a better chance of winning. So begins the Year of the Villain.