Today (Wednesday 19th) sees the publication of JLA #53 the last part of JLA: Omega (preview here) and the last issue to be pencilled by Mark Bagley. Mark has been a DC exclusive artist for a few years now providing art for Kurt Busiek’s Trinity weekly and then Justice League of America. He’s now returned to Marvel to kill Spider-Man. His replacement at DC on JLA is Brett Booth who has already done the art for Starman/Congorilla #1. Booth has commented on his blog that he’s on the series “through the summer” at least.
The next big story-arc is called the “Rise of Eclipso” and starts in JLA #54 with a story focusing on Eclipso. DC recently showed off three-pages of Booth’s pencils on their blog.
The preview shows Eclipso gathering a group of shadow powered individuals including the Shade and Nightshade of the Shadowpact, both of whom are noted as being missing by Congo Bill during Starman/Congorilla. The third character shown is Arcata a Mexican shadow-teleporter from the Planet DC Annuals.
DC also teased other details from thee arc including:
- Blue Lantern Saint Walker joins the League to ensure that all will be well.
- Alpha Lantern Boodikka and Supergirl on the trail of the Cyborg Superman.
- The return of one of the DCU’s classic villains, Eclipso.
A lot of those events – Cyborg Superman, Doomsday, and Saint Walker – show up in JLA #55 as a chapter of the “Rein of Doomsday” crossover. Doomsday has reappeared and has been attacking/kidnapping the four heroes who appeared in Metropolis following his murder of Superman. The crossover continues in Superman/Batman Annual #5 (cover shown below) which will be written by Justice League writer James Robinson with art by Miguel Sepulveda.
The annual is a team-up between the JLA’s Batman and Supergirl against Doomsday.