In what's either an earth-shaking storytelling device or an audacious marketing gimmick (or possibly a bit of both), DC Comics is taking a month off from business as usual in September, and replacing their front-line superhero titles with special issues spotlighting the evildoers of the DC Universe.
The promotion is called "Villains Month", and will feature the bad guys taking top billing on each and every DC Universe issue that hits stores over the month.
Each of these titles will be double-numbered, as new #1s under the villains' names, and as 'point one' issues continuing the numbering of the respective series they're replacing – and each issue will be wrapped in a special multi-layered 'Motion Cover'. In the official press release, DC's co-publisher Dan DiDio explained: “It’s an incredible 3D effect that shows depth of field on the covers. It’s the full cover stock, so it’s not anything that’s been glued on. More importantly, it’s actually pliable and soft to the touch - it’s a brand new technology and we’re going to be the first ones debuting in this fashion.”
This line-wide event is not only a big deal in and of itself, it's serving as the lead-in to Forever Evil, a seven-part mini-series by Geoff Johns and David Finch that will, in turn, set into motion the first major "New 52" crossover event. USA Today's advance interview for the event contains some pretty interesting points – it's sounding like this won't just be another 'things blow up' story, but will delve into the nature of villainy, and the different degrees of bad guys that the DC Universe has to offer.
And while "dark" is a word that's been cropping up a lot in the first round of interviews and PR for these projects, and the cover art for Villains Month that DC has released so far skews toward the serious and intense, there's enough diversity of creators and concepts involved that these events look big enough to include both thought-provoking emotional moments, and plenty of proper super-powered action.
DC's Villains Month runs through all the "New 52" titles shipping in September (and/or cover-dated November).