|"One Year Later" thematic stories|
|Formats||Multiple, thematically linked individual issues from multiple ongoing series.|
|Publication date||May 2006|
|Batman: Face the Face||ISBN 978-1-4012-0910-0|
|Superman: Up, Up and Away!||ISBN 978-1-4012-0954-4|
|Wonder Woman: Who is Wonder Woman?||ISBN 978-1-4012-1233-9|
"One Year Later" is a 2006 comic book storyline running through books published by DC Comics. It involves a narrative jump exactly one year into the future of the DC Universe following the events of the Infinite Crisis storyline, to explore major changes within the continuities of many different comic books within the DC Comics library.
Following the events of the Infinite Crisis storyline, every DC Comics series jumped ahead in-story by one year. The events of the missing year were depicted in real time in the weekly comic book series 52. The "One Year Later" storyline started in March 2006, starting the same week that Infinite Crisis #5 went to press, and before the first issue of 52. Most first issues bearing the "One Year Later" logo were the first parts of multi-issue storylines, and featured major changes to the status quo of each character, often intentionally left unexplained as these details would be filled in by the remaining issues of Infinite Crisis and the 52 series.
Numerous prominent heroes were missing or inactive for most of the year as the "One Year Later" issues commenced. Heroes known to have been gone for the missing year were Aquaman, Batman, Blue Beetle, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Martian Manhunter, Nightwing, Robin, Superman and Wonder Woman. The Flash went missing, but Jay Garrick had been protecting Keystone City in his absence.
The year-long absence of the three most prominent superheroes of the DC Comics universe—Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman—and their return to active duty were a significant part of both the "One Year Later" series and 52 series.
The Superman storyline "Up, Up and Away!", was co-written by Geoff Johns and Kurt Busiek, with art by Pete Woods (and two issues by Renato Guedes), and cover art by Terry and Rachel Dodson. The four-month, eight-part introductory story arc ran through both Action Comics #837–840 and Superman #650–653. The story primarily featured a depowered Clark Kent (having lost his powers in the climax of Infinite Crisis) using his skills as a journalist to defend Metropolis from both organized crime and Lex Luthor, newly bankrupt and disgraced due to his actions in the series 52. Gradually, however, Superman began to regain his powers, just in time to battle the embittered Luthor as he sought to inflict his revenge upon Metropolis with the help of stolen Kryptonian battle technology and redesigned versions of the Toyman and the Kryptonite Man.
As for the Batman storyline, "Face the Face", it was written by James Robinson, with art by Leonard Kirk and Don Kramer. It ran through Detective Comics #817–820 and Batman #651–654.
It concerned Batman and Robin's return to Gotham City after a year-long absence, and their investigation of a mysterious vigilante murdering low-rank supervillains (including the Ventriloquist and the KGBeast) who appeared to be connected to Harvey Dent, who had reformed and had taken up battling crime on Batman's behalf during his absence. While Dent was not responsible for the killings (the mastermind was actually Great White Shark, who over the previous year had established himself as Gotham's reigning crime boss and the majority of the victims worked for the Penguin, who was away) the resulting stress, paranoia, and resentment of being under suspicion saw the return of his "Two-Face" persona and his self-scarring, thus returning to his life of crime. The finale also saw Bruce Wayne offer to adopt Tim Drake, the third Robin (now Red Robin), as his son following the deaths of his parents and the events of the Crisis.
As well as Two-Face, "One Year Later" also saw the return of several other significant elements of the Batman mythos that had previously been written out or retired, including the return of James Gordon as Gotham's police commissioner and Detective Harvey Bullock.
Unlike the Batman and Superman series, Wonder Woman was reintroduced with a new volume at issue one in June 2006. The introductory storyline was titled "Who Is Wonder Woman?", and it was written by Allan Heinberg with art by Terry and Rachel Dodson.
In the story, Donna Troy is depicted as having taken over the Wonder Woman title in Diana's absence, while Diana is shown to have accepted a government position at the Department of Metahuman Affairs under the alias of Diana Prince at Batman's urging. She is directed by Sarge Steel and is ironically assigned to the rescue mission of the new Wonder Woman, who has been captured by several of Wonder Woman's superpowered foes who demand that the "real" Wonder Woman be submitted to them. She is partnered on the case with a reluctant Tom Tresser, also known as Nemesis. Within the story it has been revealed that prior to her admission into the department, Diana was also photographed in the company of an Eastern mystic code-named I Ching, and that the World Court has dropped the charges against her for the killing of Maxwell Lord. The story was completed in the series' first Annual in 2007.
In line with of the events of Infinite Crisis and 52, DC Comics cancelled some of its long-running series, including; Wonder Woman vol. 2, The Flash vol. 2 (which was restarted after the death of Bart Allen), Gotham Central, Batman: Gotham Knights, Plastic Man, JLA, Superman vol. 2, and Batgirl.
As they are new titles, many of the following do not have the "One Year Later" to indicate a time jump since the previous issue.
Spin-offs from the Countdown to Infinite Crisis mini-series:
Follow-ups to Infinite Crisis:
Brave New World:
Replacements for cancelled titles:
In July 2006, most DC Comics titles wrapped up their 'One-Year Later' story lines and no longer display the 'One-Year Later' bullet on their covers.
Aquaman's mysterious disappearance was subsequently followed by the arrival of one Arthur Joseph Curry. This new Arthur's origin appears to be similar to the Golden Age 'Aquaman's. Arthur meets 'The Dweller', who has an enchanted hand similar to Orin's and has been confirmed to be the original Aquaman. 'The Dweller' also tells Arthur of his future, which seems to be describing past events involving the original Aquaman.
There is a new Freedom of Power Treaty. The specifics and structure have not been detailed, but it appears to place limits on the activities of heroes outside their nation of origin. Having broken the treaty numerous times, Hal Jordan is considered a criminal by most of the world. Only the Rocket Red Brigade, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, and the Outsiders have been confirmed to be affected by it (Green Lantern #10, 2006). The Outsiders operated illegally and underground with all current members at the time (excluding Nightwing) presumed dead by the general public. As well as this, the Chinese government has formed a superteam called the Great Ten in the intervening year, and is currently working on a supersoldier program.
James Gordon has returned to the role of Gotham City Police Commissioner. Although the exact details have not been revealed as yet, it is known that his return - and that of Harvey Bullock - to the GCPD follows the cracking of a major corruption case in the GCPD by Bullock. Harvey Dent, believed cured of the multiple-personality disorder/psychosis issues that created his Two-Face persona, has been in charge of keeping Gotham safe as a result of a deal with Batman.
Monuments to the fallen hero have been erected in at least two locations:
The repercussions of One Year Later are still felt today in the DCU in a number of ways.
One of the more noticeable occurrences to come out of Infinite Crisis and One Year Later was the change in Batman's demeanor. He has become more accepting of others' opinions, is more polite, and apologizes to allies when he makes errors in judgment. This does not change his approach to crime, however. Some may argue that while he has "softened" his approach to his friends, he has hardened his approach to his enemies (i.e. forcefully throwing The Joker into a dumpster after he was shot in the head, then remarking that he "must have mistaken him for trash").
Many Silver Age components have been reintroduced to Superman and his supporting cast. The character of Mon-El, the interior design of the Fortress of Solitude, Superman starting his career by being known as a "super-boy" (sans uniform), and his teenage membership in the Legion of Super-Heroes are all recognizable Silver Age components that were not included in continuity before Infinite Crisis. The stories are also beginning to aesthetically resemble the Superman feature films by using the same exterior design for the Fortress of Solitude, as well as modeling Jor-El more after actor Marlon Brando. These changes also bring current Superman stories more in line with the television series Smallville, which incorporates many of the same elements of classic comics and the feature films.
Wonder Woman actively keeps her secret identity and has a flirtatious relationship with Nemesis, a co-worker at the Department of Metahuman Affairs. The finale of the "Who is Wonder Woman" arc established that her secret identity is now a physical as well as aesthetic transformation; as "Diana Prince", she is physically a normal human, regaining her powers only when she transforms into Wonder Woman (with a spinning effect similar to that used in the Wonder Woman television series of the 1970s).
Bart Allen's tenure as The Flash was one of the shorter-lived occurrences, as the new series starring him lasted 13 issues, the last of which included the character's death. Predecessor Wally West has since retaken the mantle of the Scarlet Speedster. Many heroes, most notably members of the Teen Titans, mourn his loss. This has also led into a subplot in DC's weekly series Countdown to Final Crisis, where many heroes are shown to be actively searching for the Rogues that caused Allen's death.
The Green Lantern Corps members that were recovered from the Manhunter homeworld of Biot still despise Hal Jordan for actions Parallax committed while in control of him, leading various personal cliques to form among certain Lanterns that question Jordan being among them. Often Jordan is defended by Green Lantern Honour Guard member Guy Gardner. The lost Lanterns proved to be valuable field Lanterns on the front lines in the Sinestro Corps War, with some of them joining the ranks of the Alpha Lanterns.