One of DC’s top-selling series, the first issue was released in June 2004 and was ranked first in comic book sales for that period with pre-order sales of 163,111. The second issue saw a decline in sales and ranked third in comic book sales in July 2004 period with pre-order sales of 129,852. The story also adheres to the continuity changes introduced by Crisis on Infinite Earths, as heroine Wonder Woman was retconned out of the pre-Crisis JLA. In all further references to the JLA’s pre-Crisis adventures, including its origin story and the Secret Society incident, Wonder Woman is replaced by Black Canary. Following “Infinite Crisis“, however, Wonder Woman is restored as a founding member.
One of the major plot threads — the breakdown of relationships within the Justice League of America — is examined in the storyline “Crisis of Conscience” in JLA #115-119 (August–December 2005). The mini-series is followed by the crossover event “Infinite Crisis”.
In February 2014, DC announced that as part of the celebration of The New 52’s third anniversary, all ongoing titles published in September 2014 feature stories that tie in to The New 52: Futures End. DiDio stated “One of the things we wanted to do was not just look at it through the lens of the weekly series, but also take a month and flash forward, and see what the potential futures of all our characters might be in that month. So in that month, you’ll get a chance to see where, in the next five years, our characters might finish up or might end up being.” He added that like the “Villains Month” event in September 2013, these titles also feature 3Dlenticular covers, in addition to the 2D ones, saying, “The covers now will also have the ability to have a ‘flicker’ effect. That means that the images change and show the transformation going on… There is a level of change that is taking place with our characters during the course of this story.”
In 1993, Catwoman was given her first ongoing comic book series. This series, written by an assortment of writers, but primarily penciled by Jim Balent, generally depicted the character as an international thief (and occasional bounty hunter) with an ambiguous moral code.
Story-lines include her adoption of teenage runaway, and erstwhile sidekick, Arizona; aiding Bane, whom she later betrays to Azrael; and a stint as a reluctant government operative. The series also fleshes out more of her origin, revealing her beginnings as a young thief, her difficult period in juvenile incarceration, and her training with Ted “Wildcat” Grant.
Moving to New York, Selina becomes corporate vice president then CEO of Randolf Industries, a mafia-influenced company, through blackmail. She plans to use this position to run for Mayor of New York City, but her hopes are dashed when the Trickster inadvertently connects her to her criminal alter ego.
Selina then returns to Gotham City, which at this time is in the midst of the No Man’s Land storyline. As Catwoman, she assists Batman against Lex Luthor in the reconstruction of the city. After being arrested by Commissioner Gordon, she escapes from prison. Later that year, during the “Officer Down” storyline in the Batman titles, Catwoman is initially the chief suspect. Although later cleared, she displays increasingly erratic behavior throughout the story. Soon afterward, she disappears and is believed to have been killed by the assassin Deathstroke the Terminator, ending her series at issue #94.
In 1993, the success of the three Robin miniseries led to the ongoing Robin series which ran 183 issues until 2009. The title was replaced by a Batman and Robin series following the Battle for the Cowl mini-series, as well as an ongoing Red Robin monthly which continues the story of Tim Drake.
In late July 2011, DC released The New 52, a free preview book giving solicitations and previews of all of the new titles launching from August 31, 2011. Notable continuity changes shown included Superman‘s two new looks: one which consists of jeans, a blue T-shirt with the “S” logo and a cape, the other consisting of Kryptonian battle armor that resembles his classic costume.
The series also featured the popular “Batman: Black and White” back-up strip, which allowed various artists with widely varying styles to do their take on the Dark Knight in a black and white format. These back-up strips are also collected in trade paperback form.
A former police officer known only as “S” operates as a private detective based in New York City, finding people and objects for a fee. S steals a quantity of a strange substance called “Heavy Liquid”. On its own, it is a metallic-liquid explosive, but it turns into “black milk” when cooked, and exhibits mind-altering, drug-like properties. A mysterious art collector who also has a quantity of Heavy Liquid wishes to hire S to find a missing artist named Rodan Esperella (coincidentally S’s ex-lover), whom he hopes will create a piece out of the Heavy Liquid for him. In the meantime, assassins are on S’s trail, looking to retrieve the stolen Heavy Liquid. S finally trails Esperella to Paris, and he tries to broker a deal between her and the art collector. Esperella promises to sculpt a masterpiece on the condition that she never see S again. His job done, S boards a train heading to Prague, where he is cornered by one of his pursuers. S then discovers from his pursuer that the Heavy Liquid is alien in origin, and may even possess some form of consciousness. Ingesting the drug himself, S escapes by jumping onto another train, his physical abilities dramatically increased by the Heavy Liquid. S comes to understand its nature as a medium containing an alien intelligence. Ultimately, on the European train, S experiences first contact with the being.
Following the erasure of the knowledge regarding his secret identity from most of the world in the final issue of Grayson, Dick went back to the Nightwing identity in the DC Rebirth era solo series, and the costume’s colors were changed back to the traditional black and blue. At the start of the series (rebirth) Nightwing is still a member of the Court of Owls (after Robin War) and he goes on missions around the world for the Court. They give him a partner named “Raptor” and like Nightwing he wears a costume, but he is much more violent than Dick and multiple times Dick has to try to stop him from killing. Throughout the story arc, Dick must work as an undercover agent but also has to keep his morals and not kill even if the Court tells him to.
Initial issues of this volume reintroduced the characters, and provided new and divergent origins for them. Most characters resemble their previous counterparts in costume and powers, with the most notable exceptions including Chameleon Boy, now called simply Chameleon and depicted as an androgynous creature; Star Boy, who in this version of the Legion is black; Colossal Boy, who is now a giant who shrinks to human size; and Phantom Girl, who exists in two universes at once and has conversations with people in her own dimension while talking to Legionnaires at the same time.
Beginning with issue #16, The Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 5) was retitled Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes with Supergirl traveling to the future and joining the Legion. With issue #31, Tony Bedard replaced Waid as writer. The title reverted to The Legion of Super-Heroes with issue #37 and Jim Shooter became the writer. The series ended with issue #50, in which the script was credited to “Justin Thyme”, a pseudonym previously used by uncredited comic book artists.
In 1995 Azrael appeared in his on self-titled series, chronicling Valley’s battles against the Order of St. Dumas. Azrael ran for 100 issues between 1995 and 2003. Starting with issue #47, it was re-titled to Azrael: Agent of the Bat in an attempt to boost sales by tying the series in with the rest of the Batman mythos, including Azrael as part of the team of Batman, Robin, and the new Batgirl.