Superheroes beware! DC announced plans to release an exclusive original comic, DC’s Year of the Villain, on Wednesday, May 1, as comic book retailers nationwide and their rabid fans prepare for Free Comic Book Day, Saturday, May 4. Available for only 25 cents (yes, you read that correctly), DC’s Year of the Villain spotlights several of DC’s most infamous super-villains, in stories written by celebrated authors Scott Snyder (Justice League, The Batman Who Laughs), James Tynion IV (Justice League Dark, The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight) and Brian Michael Bendis (Superman, Action Comics). 

This exclusive 32-page collector’s item will feature breathtaking art from Eisner Award-winning illustrator Alex Maleev (Jinxworld’s Scarlet), Jim Cheung (Justice League) and Francis Manapul (The Flash, Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth), with an original cover by acclaimed artist Greg Capullo (Batman, Dark Knights: Metal). Hardcore fans will also want to contact their local comics retailer right away to check availability of any of the three beautiful variant covers by Maleev (Lex Luthor) and Cheung (The Batman Who Laughs), as well as popular cover artist Stanley “Artgerm” Lau (The Cheetah).

So, what is this special edition about? It follows the events of Snyder and Tynion’s Justice League, as Lex Luthor takes a major step forward, assembling his Legion of Doom for the final push to replace Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the League as the rightful leaders of not only mankind, but the universe itself. They are hoping to harness the power of Perpetua, the first being to be imprisoned within the Source Wall, now newly freed in the events of Justice League Annual #1. Perpetua’s storyline and Lex Luthor’s plans to rid the universe of heroes will continue to escalate throughout the rest of 2019.

Fans of Superman and Action Comics will also have plenty to look forward to in this issue, particularly those following the “Leviathan Rising” story arc beginning with issue #1007. Bendis and Maleev will kick off a new status quo in DC’s dark world of espionage and terrorism; the repercussions of this new order will have major ramifications for the Man of Steel this Summer.

And in case you thought the Dark Knight would be getting off easy, guess again: DC’s Year of the Villain will also contain clues to Batman’s upcoming battle with the villains of Gotham in City of Bane, also slated to begin this summer. 

Fans can check out dccomics.com for more information about Free Comic Book Day activities and offerings.