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DC Comics Doubles Down on Black Representation in Early 2021

With the Milestone universe set to make its long-awaited return to the DC landscape in February 2021, DC has recently announced a two-month event in January and February next year called “Future State”. The synopsis given by DC reads:

In DC Future State, the Multiverse has been saved from the brink of destruction, but the triumph of DC’s heroes has shaken loose the very fabric of time and space! The final chapter of Dark Nights: Death Metal (on sale January 5, 2021) brings new life to DC’s Multiverse, kicking off this glimpse into the unwritten worlds of DC’s future!

Image credit DC Comics.

In addition, DC executive editor Marie Javins had these words to say about DC Comics and this venture; “The DC Universe has always been fertile ground for new and refreshing takes on our characters, and DC Future State definitely contributes to this legacy,”.

Spanning futures near and far, “Future State” takes a positive look forward into the history of the DCU proper. It will feature key existing characters in new roles and new characters taking on the mantles of these existing heroes. DC has stressed this is not a reboot, emphasizing that come March 2021 (post-Future State) the regular ongoing titles and stories will remain intact and their numbering will continue uninterrupted.

Of particular note are some mostly new Black characters highlighted during this two-month solicitations:

Image credit DC Comics.

“The Next Batman” – by John Ridley, Nick Derington & Laura Braga

In a high-tech, anti-vigilante totalitarian Gotham (think a futuristic version of London from “V for Vendetta”), the person under the highly coveted cape and cowl has been teased to be a man of color. He will be joined by older members of the Bat-family such as Spoiler, Nightwing and Red Hood…but what is the (true) fate of Bruce Wayne?

Image credit DC Comics.

“Immortal Wonder Woman” – by Becky Cloonan, Michael W Conrad & Jen Bartel

“Nubia” – by L. L. McKinney, Alitha E. Martinez & Mark Morales

Nubia is a name shared by a pre-Crisis Black Wonder Woman, as well as a dark-skinned Amazonian, and the de facto Wonder Woman of Earth 23 alongside President Superman. But this Nubia is a brand new character taking on the indestructible accessories of the Amazing Amazon herself. Nubia will seemingly be competing for the auspicious title of Wonder Woman against newcomer Yara Flor found in “Future State: Wonder Woman” & “Future State: Justice League”.

Image credit DC Comics.

“Future State: Aquaman” – by Brandon Thomas & Daniel Sampere

Jackson Hyde, estranged son of Aquaman arch-nemesis Black Manta, is now the one and only Aquaman. He is also the mentor of the teenage princess of Atlantis, Andy Curry (daughter of Arthur Curry & Mera). The two under-sea heroes wind up separated and trapped on an interplanetary aquatic adventure!

Image credit DC Comics.

“Future State: Justice League” – by Joshua Williamson & Robson Rocha

The Justice League of the future features a new Superman (Jonathan Kent) & Batman [REDACTED], alongside Yara Flor (Wonder Woman), Jo Mullein (Green Lantern), Andy Curry (Aquawoman) and a new gender-fluid Flash from the multiverse, Jess Quick. Remember, this is the Justice League, not the Super Friends, so everything is professional and not cordial.

Image credit DC Comics.

“Future State: Green Lantern” – by Geoffrey Thorne & Tom Raney

John Stewart has seen better days. Joined by an elite team of Green Lanterns, he must map and contact new lifeforms beyond chartered space. With a Central Power Battery and back-up not an option, John and his battle-hardened squad must explore the perilous and unfathomable unknown of deep space, or die trying.

DC Comics has certainly been on a roll introducing new characters of color to their ever-expanding pantheon. In just the past 3 years, DC has introduced readers to un-retired noise-nullifying assassin Silencer/Honor Guest [2018] – by Dan Abnett & John Romita Jr.; neophyte emerald ring-slinger Jo Mullein [2019] – by N. K. Jemisin & Jamal Campbell; the luminous teenage multiverse refuge Naomi McDuffie [2019] – by Brian Michael Bendis, David F Walker & Jamal Campbell; and Ryan Wilder/Batwoman [October 2020] taken from the new character to premier in the CW’s “Batwoman”, played by Javicia Leslie, who will be replacing actress Ruby Rose in the upcoming season.

With both Milestone’s revival and Future State mere months away, there appears to be a ramping up rather than a slowing down of this welcomed trend.

For more on DC Future Event click here.


Hailing from the eastern-most Caribbean island of Barbados, Fabian Wood has long since been fascinated by the power of storytelling to inspire and invoke emotions – whether in film, comics, or videogames. No longer content to be just an avid comic book reader and videogamer, he’s eager to exercise his literary acumen as an aspiring writer and reviewer.

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