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Year of the Villain
Official promotional logo
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
Publication dateMay 2019 – March 2020
Main character(s)DC Universe

Year of the Villain is a crossover comic book event published by DC Comics. Since May 2019, the event narrates the aftermath of Dark Nights: Metal and the prelude to Batman/Superman vs. The Secret Six and Dark Nights: Death Metal. The crossover and one-shots received generally positive reviews for the characterization of certain villains.


After the Source Wall was shattered,[1] four entities known as the Omega Titans began invading Colu, forcing Brainiac to summon the Justice League for help. But as Amanda Waller and the new Task Force XI destroyed him, his great-great-grandson Brainiac 5 informs the League that Brainiac was using them to make sure the Omega Titans would destroy Earth, so there can be no interference for him.[2]

Over time, Lex Luthor found a mysterious object related to an unknown force known as the Totality, while forging a new Legion of Doom, which includes a revived Brainiac and The Batman Who Laughs. The Totality is presumed to be linked to Perpetua, an ancient goddess who was made to vanish by her three children, the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor and the World Forger.[3]

After faking his death through a bombing and with Perpetua's help, Luthor manages to transform himself into a human/Martian hybrid version of himself called "Apex Lex".[4]

Main plot

"The Offer"

Apex Lex recruits several supervillains to join Perpetua's cause, in exchange of giving them a source of unlimited power. In response, the Justice League recruits heroes around the universe to fight against the new Legion of Doom.

"Dark Gifts"

The villains debut their newly acquired powers from Lex's offer, leading to the Justice/Doom War.

"Evil Unleashed"

The heroes deal with the consequences caused by the new powers that the villains gained from Perpetua.

"Doom Rising"

Perpetua began forming a symbol when heroes and villains began their clashes as she announced the rise of Doom.

"Hostile Takeover"

The villains have unleashed their true power onto the world.

"Hell Arisen"

Apex Lex has freed Perpetua, but they both must overcome The Batman Who Laughs first.[5]

Titles involved

Title Issue(s) Writer(s) Artist(s) Notes
Justice League #25–39 Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV Jorge Jimenez, Javier Fernandez
Year of the Villain #1 Various Various
Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1–4 James Tynion IV Steve Epting Finale of the storyline
Tie-in series
Action Comics #1013–1017 Brian Michael Bendis Szymon Kudranski
Aquaman #50–55 Kelly Sue DeConnick Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques
Batgirl #37–40 Cecil Castellucci Carmine di Giandomenico
Batman #75–85 Tom King Tony S. Daniel "City of Bane" arc
Batman and the Outsiders #3–7 Bryan Hill Dexter Soy
Batman: Detective Comics #1008–1016 Peter J. Tomasi Doug Mahnke, Jamie Mendoza
Batman/Superman #1–6 Joshua Williamson David Marquez "The Infected" arc
Catwoman #13–17 Joelle Jones Joelle Jones, Fernando Blanco
Deathstroke #45–50 Christopher Priest Fernando Pasarin
Event Leviathan #1–6 Brian Michael Bendis Alex Maleev
The Flash #75–86 Joshua Williamson Howard Porter, Christian Duce, Scott Kolins
Harley Quinn #63–67 Sam Humphries Otto Schmit, Sami Basri, Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmuno, Aaron Lopresti, Matt Ryan, Tom Derenick, Trevor Scott
Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #1–6 Jody Houser Adriana Melo
Hawkman #14–22 Robert Venditti Patrick Olliffe, Tom Palmer #17-22 part of "The Infected" arc
Justice League Dark #13–19 Mark Buckingham, Daniel Sampere
Justice League Odyssey #11–15 Dan Abnett Will Conrad
Nightwing #62–68 Dan Jurgens Ronan Cliquet
Red Hood: Outlaw #36–41 Scott Lobdell Pete Woods
Supergirl #34–39 Marc Andreyko Kevin Maguire #34-35 part of "Event Leviathan" arc
#36-39 part of "The Infected" arc
Superman #13, 18–22 Brian Michael Bendis Ivan Reis, Joe Prado
Teen Titans #32–38 Adam Glass, Bernard Chang
The Terrifics #18–24 Gene Luen Yang Stephen Segovia
Wonder Woman #75–750 G. Willow Wilson Xermanico
Harley Quinn’s Villain of the Year #1 Mark Russell Mike Norton and Amanda Conner
Black Adam: Year of the Villain Paul Jenkins Inaki Miranda "The Infected" tie-in
Black Mask: Year of the Villain Tom Taylor Cully Hamner
The Joker: Year of the Villain John Carpenter, Anthony Burch Phillip Tan, Marc Deering
Lex Luthor: Year of the Villain Jason Latour Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie
Ocean Master: Year of the Villain Dan Watters Miguel Mendonça
The Riddler: Year of the Villain Mark Russell Scott Godlewski
Sinestro: Year of the Villain Brandon Peterson
The Infected: The Commissioner Paul Jenkins Jack Herbert "The Infected" arc
The Infected: Deathbringer Zoë Quinn Ben Oliver
The Infected: King Shazam! Sina Grace Joe Bennett
The Infected: Scarab Dennis "Hopeless" Hallum Freddie Williams II

Critical reception

The one-shots of this crossover received generally positive reviews. According to Comic Book Roundup, the one-shots received an average score of 7.8 out of 10. [6]


Between July 2018 and March 2019, Scott Snyder announced Year of the Villain will be followed by Dark Nights: Death Metal, a crossover event for 2020, which will be the sequel to Dark Nights: Metal. Snyder stated: "Everything is coming back, we want to pay it forward. The Omega Titans, Barbatos, the Forge, it’s all coming back. Everything you read, our goal is to reward. All of it culminates in like a year in like a Metal event."[7]

Collected editions

Title Material collected Published date ISBN
Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1–4, Year of the Villain #1 June 2020 978-1779502421
Year of the Villain: The Infected The Infected: King Shazam! #1, The Infected: Scarab #1, The Infected: Donna Troy #1, The Infected: Deathbringer #1, The Infected: The Commissioner #1 June 2020 978-1779502544


  1. ^ Dark Nights: Metal (2017–2018). DC Comics.
  2. ^ Justice League: No Justice (2018). DC Comics.
  3. ^ Justice League (2018). DC Comics.
  4. ^ Year of the Villain #1 (2018). DC Comics.
  5. ^ Marston, George (September 11, 2019). "APEX LEX and BATMAN WHO LAUGHS to Clash in DC Event HELL ARISEN as YEAR OF THE VILLAIN Finale". Newsarama. Retrieved September 11, 2019.
  6. ^ "Year of the Villain Reviews". Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  7. ^ Cronin, Brian (July 20, 2017). "Scott Snyder Announces Massive DC Crossover Event for 2019". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved August 7, 2019.