Image: DC Comics
In the same way that Marvel Comics has imprints for stories featuring alternate universe versions of its characters, DC Comics has that in Elseworlds. But that line disappeared after 2010, and was semi-replaced with similar enough imprints like Earth One (which was similarly short-lived), the Black Label, and the young adult graphic novel line. At this point, it’s likely that most folks would associate the name “Elseworlds” with the Arrowverse crossover event from 2018.
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During its panel at New York Comic-Con, DC revealed Elseworlds would be returning next year. The initial six-book lineup will consist of wholly new stories, like Tate Brombal and Werther Dell’Edera’s fantasy wasteland story Green Lantern Dark and Greg Smallwood’s Batman the Barbarian, which reimagines the Dark Knight in a “rugged, medieval Earth.” But it’ll also be the official home for alt-universe stories DC’s released in recent years: Jay Kristoff and Tirso Cons’ Deathstroke-focused Dark Knights of Steel: Allwinter will be an Elseworlds book, as will Matthew Rosenberg and Otto Schmidt’s DC vs. Vampires: World War V.
Cover for Green Lantern: Dark #1.Image: DC Comics
“Out-of-continuity stories have always been a pillar of DC publishing, granting creators the ability to explore all the wild corners of the DC Universe,” explained DC Executive Editor Ben Abernathy. “We’re excited to bring a whole new slate of titles under the ELSEWORLDS banner in 2024, combining some all-new titles from top storytellers, as well as sequels from the current DC line that fit that same out-of-continuity aesthetic.”
Elseworlds first began in 1991 with Alan Brennert and Norm Breyfogle’s Batman: Holy Terror. Stories like Mark Millar’s Superman: Red Son and Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ Kingdom Come both have a special place in readers’ hearts and have helped define DC as a brand. Currently, Elseworlds is also the official banner for shows or films that aren’t canon to whatever movies are being cooked up by James Gunn and Peter Safran. (See: The Batman, the Harley Quinn cartoon, Todd Phillips’ Joker movies, and so on.) With how much DC has liked to adapt canon and non-canon stories for the straight-to-video crowd, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear that some of these new tales will also get the animated treatment within the next several years.
More information on the Elseworlds books that’ll be launching in 2024 can be read here.
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