DC’s Year of the Villain Pits the Infected Justice League Against Lex Luthor

This winter, DC’s Year of the Villain event will come to a bloody conclusion with a battle royale for the ages. Although Lex Luthor successfully transformed himself into the half-human, half-alien “Apex Lex,” it sounds like he’s finally about to meet his match. DC’s December solicitations (via CBR) have revealed that Superman’s evolved archnemesis will square off against a team of corrupted heroes. Leading this dark Justice League is none other than The Batman Who Laughs.

This new conflict will take place in the pages of Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen miniseries. The title comes from writer James Tynion IV and artist Steve Epting and follows the events of Justice League’s “Justice/Doom War” storyline and Batman/Superman’s “Infected” arc. The latter story saw Batman and Superman discovering that The Batman Who Laughs infected six DC heroes with Joker toxin. The characters who fell prey to his scheme include Shazam, Supergirl, Hawkman, Blue Beetle, Donna Troy, and Jim Gordon. Once assembled, they set their sights on Apex Lex.

Tynion also spoke to ScreenRant to tease the upcoming miniseries. And as if there was any doubt, he shared that Year of the Villain was always meant to be Lex’s time to shine.

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“It is the culmination of both threads,” said Tynion. “Taking a step back: when Scott Snyder, Josh Williamson and I were talking about what we wanted to build out on the other side of Dark Nights: Metal, the big event a couple of years ago, we built this whole big map. One part of the map was the Justice League side of the map. And more than anything, that story was the story of Lex Luthor.”

“What Lex Luthor would build, and what he would become, in pursuit of making Doom arrive in the universe,” continued Tynion. “Basically tipping the entire psychic energy of everything towards evil. This is what we’ve seen in the Year of the Villain books and the tie-ins. This is the story that’s really coming to a head right now. Lex Luthor has never been more powerful or more dangerous in the DC Universe.”

Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1 hits comic stores in December. You can check out the first issue’s cover below, then tell us what you think in the comment section!