DC Comics is preparing for a summer full of events touching just about every character. The special one-shot DC Nation #0 takes a look at three of them, specifically Batman’s upcoming wedding to Catwoman, Man of Steel, and Justice League: No Justice with short prologues to each story. This is a great way to introduce the stories to new and old readers alike, giving them a taste of what to expect.
DC Nation #0 comes out of the gate strong with “Your Big Day” featuring the Joker impatiently waiting for his invitation to the wedding of the century. It’s a tense story as he’s holding an innocent man hostage until the mail arrives. This speaks so perfectly to the raw insanity the Joker represents. Writer Tom King demonstrates some terrific and tense pacing that’s sprinkled with just the right amount of irreverent humor we can expect from the villain.
There’s one page in particular that has me laughing every time I see it. The Clown Prince of Crime tells a lame joke to his hostage, Roger and then turns and grins at him with wide eyes, like he’s waiting for the laughter. Artist Clay Mann captures the perfect balance between total madness and comedy in this shot. I have seriously gone back to this page dozens of times since the book came out and it has never failed to produce a smile.
It’s amazing to see how tense and frightening “Your Big Day” is when it’s really just two guys waiting for the mail. Since the Joker is so predictable, you don’t know what his end game is here. There is no possible way that Batman would send the Joker’s invitation to this random guy’s house so things don’t look good for Roger. It’s just a matter of understanding how the Joker is going to react when the mail does arrive and the invitation is not there.
The second story, “Office Space” gives us a glimpse of the highly anticipated Man of Steel series penned by Brian Michael Bendis. Of the three stories in this one-shot, this was the one I was most confused and let down by. It just felt off. It picks up with Clark Kent scrambling to file a story at the Daily Planet while Perry White yells about all kinds of stuff. Everyone is on edge because Lois Lane has left the Planet, but no one knows why. This felt weird because Clark and Lois are married and the guy seems just as confused as everyone else.
Superman’s home life has been a key factor in the high quality of his stories as of late. If that is being thrown out for whatever is coming down the line, I’m going to be very disappointed. There are still a whole lot of questions so I’m reserving judgment overall until Man of Steel starts. As it stands, this seems like a hard reset. Fortunately, artist Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez maintains the classic look and feel for the character, including some great action shots.
DC Nation wraps up with a look at Justice League: No Justice. Artist Jorge Jimenez packs these pages with action and adventure. I know next to nothing about this event, but based on these images, I’m now super excited for it. This spins out of Dark Nights: Metal after the Justice League broke the Source Wall, revealing our world to unseen and frightening forces out in the larger universe. This looks to be an epic tale, bringing in characters from every corner of the DCU. Heroes and villains work together in unlikely teams in a pulse-pounding ride. Plus, it’s written by a dream team of Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, and Joshua Williamson. I would be in based on that grouping alone.
DC Nation gives you an idea of where some of the publisher’s most notable characters will be going in the next few months. It’s sure to generate a lot of excitement as we gear up for these events. DC Comics is definitely not taking the summer off.