2023 is shaping up to be a huge year for comic events, with Marvel planning a number of events while DC is teasing a year-long arc of storylines.
Comic book events have become a yearly staple from publishers like Marvel and DC Comics, with other companies like Valiant following suit. These events continue to drive new storylines, introduce new characters, and reshape the status quo of the respective comic universe to keep things fresh and exciting for fans.
Marvel continues to tease a big year of events like Sins of Sinister and Summer of Symbiotes. DC is playing things a bit closer to the vest. The upcoming Lazarus Planet has fans hyped while the Dawn of DC roadmap teased but didn't fully reveal upcoming events. 2023 is set to be a big, event-filled year for both publishers and fans to enjoy.
Charles Soule and Steven Cummings’ Hidden Empire event kicked off in November, and the main mini-series will release until April of 2023. It serves as the third and final installment in Soule’s Star Wars trilogy that featured Qi’ra from 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Hidden Empire follows up on events from Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters and Star Wars: Crimson Reign. Other characters in Marvel’s comic canon like Doctor Aphra and even the Knights of Ren from the Star Wars sequel trilogy will make an appearance in the Hidden Empire event that will conclude in the spring of 2023.
January will also see the launch of DC’s status quo-altering Lazarus Planet event. The magical event will introduce new characters while established heroes will get powerful new abilities in the wake of the Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths event.
The transformative Lazarus resin from Ra’s al Ghul’s restorative pits will cover the Earth and promises to change a number of heroes in exciting new ways. Batman will don the helmet of Dr. Fate while Jon Kent develops new electrical powers in just a few of the teases from the event. Lazarus Planet will reshape the DC universe for the Dawn of DC year-long initiative.
The Book of Shadows crossover event from Cullen Bunn and Vicente Cifuentes brought Valiant’s mystical characters together. Shadowman, Doctor Mirage, Punk Mambo, Eternal Warrior, and Persephone united to take on a necromancer named Exarch Fane.
While the Book of Shadows crossover event actually launched in July of 2022, Valiant delayed it until the following year. The publisher scaled back monthly releases along with the crossover event, though later announced that Book of Shadows would still conclude. Fans who started Valiant’s dark crossover can return to the event in January of 2023.
The announcement of DC’s new focus on the Superman Family isn’t an event by the common definition. However, the Dawn of DC still promises to take the heroes in a bold new direction led by oncoming Superman writer Joshua Williamson.
Superman and his related characters will unite together as a closer team complete with matching costumes. Except for Kal-El, every member of the Superman Family like Jon Kent, Supergirl, and Connor Kent will wear unifying jackets and costumes. China's Super-Man will feature heavily alongside mysterious twins and Natasha Irons as Steel in new adventures of the Superman Family.
Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson are both currently operating as Captain America, each with their own partners. 2023’s Cold War crossover event will bring both heroes together in the pages of Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty and Captain America: Symbol of Truth.
Writers Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing with artist Carmen Carnero & writer Tochi Onyebuchi with artist IG Guara will helm the Cold War crossover. It will explore the secrets of Captain America’s shield and its connection to the Outer Circle organization. The event will also bring back the character of Nomad and follow up on revenge-fueled plans from White Wolf and Crossbones.
The X-Men will experience another reality-altering event in January of 2023 when the Sins of Sinister launches. Mr. Sinister has been plotting and scheming since the launch of the Krakoan Era, and his plans will come to fruition.
The Sins of SInister will alter reality much like the popular Age of Apocalypse event from the ‘90s. The event will feature a number of tie-in issues that will explore the Marvel heroes in their new Sinister-influenced forms. The Sins of Sinister will also feature characters from the X-Men’s dark future that first appeared in Powers of X and promises to shake up Marvel’s mutants.
Following the Lazarus Planet event, the Dawn of DC initiative promises to focus on characters in a number of new solo series. However, these series and the characters will all play a role in the larger story developing across 2023.
The relaunched Superman Family will lead the Dawn of DC alongside over 20 new titles that include Unstoppable Doom Patrol and the return of Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Shazam and two of DC’s most prominent Green Lanterns will each carry titles alongside Hawkman, Cyborg, and a few other characters to watch in 2023.
The Dawn of DC announcement of titles came with a mysterious image that teased what's to come in 2023. An image released alongside the announcement also teased the involvement of Brainiac in the larger storyline, as well as another mysterious event happening later in 2023.
A mysterious event known only as “Knight T—” was teased by the image, which obstructed the remaining letters. This will presumably be a Batman-centric event, with some fans speculating the event could be called "Knight Terrors." Whatever the title, the event will likely have a huge impact on the second half of DC’s 2023.
Marvel is embracing the ongoing success of symbiotic characters like Venom and Carnage in 2023. The Summer of Symbiotes event will spin out of storylines from series like Venom, Carnage, and the upcoming return of Red Goblin.
Fans can expect to see a few new symbiotic heroes and villains join Venom’s already incredibly powerful symbiote family in the Summer of Symbiotes event, according to Marvel's solicitation. "Sun’s out, tongue’s out! Get ready for the return of old faces, the debut of new symbiote heroes, and exciting shifts for iconic symbiote stars. It’s a season of symbiote insanity!"
2023 may begin with the Sins of Sinister event, but the X-Men will also star in another huge event in the summer of 2023. The Fall of X event teased by Marvel could potentially bring about the end of the mutant society that formed in the Krakoan Age.
Events like Inferno threatened to bring Krakoa down by exposing the X-Men's darkest secrets, and the Fall of X event could presumably finish the job. The X-Men also recently faced an extinction-level threat during the Judgment Day event that will likely set the stage for Marvel’s Fall of X event.
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Entertainment reporter, writer, and all-around geek, Scoot Allan has written for print and online media sources like Geek Magazine, GeekExchange, GrizzlyBomb, WhatCulture, RoguePlanet.tv and the Urban 30 before joining CBR as a senior writer. He enjoys salad but prefers french fries.