How Villainous Are DC’s Year of the Villain: Dark Gifts Titles Today? (Spoilers)

Today sees DC Comics publish a punch of Year Of The Villain: Dark Gifts tie-ins. But how much of them actually play a role in the storyline? Or does it even appear at all? Is the connective tissue strong, weak or non-existent? From today, we’ll be marking them out of ten drones for actually being part of the storyline.

Now we start with two comics that shouldn’t be sold today, Supergirl #33 and Superman #14. This is how they were solicited:

SUPERGIRL #33 YOTV DARK GIFTS
(W) Marc Andreyko (A) Julio Ferreira (A/CA) Eduardo Pansica
After a year in space solving the mystery of Krypton’s demise, Supergirl returns to Earth to discover that everything she knew as Kara Danvers is gone! Plus, the usurper Brainiac-1 has set his sights on the unsuspecting Girl of Steel-and his plans are far from benevolent!

SUPERMAN #14 YOTV DARK GIFTS
(W) Brian Michael Bendis (A/CA) Joe Prado, Ivan Reis
Lex Luthor is back in Metropolis–and he’s ready to wreak havoc! First stop, the most dangerous woman in the DC Universe: Lois Lane! Alone, her family a galaxy away, will Lois be tempted by Apex Lex’s offer? What does Lex have that this reporter can’t turn away from? Don’t miss this shocking new twist in the Superman mythos!

Now, none of this happens. Gaining Superman #14 and Supergirl #33 a zero drone score.

How Villainous Are DC's Year of The Villain: Dark Gifts Titles Today? (Spoilers)

See? Zero drones. But this is also true of Catwoman #14.

CATWOMAN #14 YOTV DARK GIFTS
(W) V. Ram (A) Mirka Andolfo (CA) Jo?lle Jones
A secret file out-lining the ins and outs of the criminal underworld of Villa Hermosa is on the streets, and every crook is after it. Whoever possesses this info can control everything, and some of the town’s hoods are even bringing in outside agents like Lock-Up and Gentleman Ghost to act as their champions-which, let’s face it, you’re going to need if you’re going to try to outsmart Catwoman. Making things even more dangerous for Selina Kyle, there is also a price on her head. If you can capture the database and kill the Catwoman, the payoff is double!In Shops: Aug 14, 2019
SRP: $3.99

Which has no tie-ins to Year Of The Villain either. Even though it has lots of Villains. And files about Villains. It should tie in. But it doesn’t.

Wednesday comics

Again, no drones.

How Villainous Are DC's Year of The Villain: Dark Gifts Titles Today? (Spoilers)

Batman And The Outsiders #4 had this solicit.

BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #4 VAR ED YOTV DARK GIFTS
(W) Bryan Hill (A) Dexter Soy (CA) Mikel Janin
At last-the Outsiders take off on their mission to rescue Sofia from none other than Ra’s al Ghul! But Ra’s has other ideas for the quartet, and with the aid of Lex Luthor’s mysterious gift, they are playing right into his hand.In Shops: Aug 14, 2019 SRP: $3.99

And you know what, it does actually tie in. A gift from Luthor actually being used in the main story, Just about. Certainly enough to notice. The team sent to rescue Sofia Ramos, transformed by Ra’s Al ghul and Luthor’s gift into… The Falcon.

Wednesday comics

Okay, okay, not quite. She’s called Babylon. And there are already rivers of blood beside her. A deserved 6 drones.

How Villainous Are DC's Year of The Villain: Dark Gifts Titles Today? (Spoilers)

While Flash #76 is all tied into the Speed Force, Still Force, Sage Force and all of that… which is part and parcel of the DC Year of The Villain.

FLASH #76 YOTV DARK GIFTS
(W) Joshua Williamson (CA) Howard Porter (A/CA) Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona
“Death of the Speed Force” begins! With renewed resolve following the events of “The Flash Year One,” the Flash is back with a new mission, a new outlook and a brand-new speedster HQ. But the Fastest Man Alive is slowing down-and there’s only one explanation: the Speed Force is dying. Plus, the Year of the Villain heats up as Captain Cold uses Lex Luthor’s offer to boost Heat Wave to the next level!In Shops: Aug 14, 2019 SRP: $3.99

Wednesday comics

But we also get to see Luthor’s gifts in action within the comic too, as Captain Cold begins to spread the love. Or the hate.

Wednesday comics

Wonder Woman is between the two stools, only having the events impede towards the end of the story, but also getting a little more involved than watching someone thaw a bit. As Cheetah puts her godkilling sword to some use…

Wednesday comics

WONDER WOMAN #76 YOTV DARK GIFTS
(W) G. Willow Wilson (A) Lee Garbett (CA) Jesus Merino
Cheetah returns to these pages with a vengeance! Lex Luthor has given his fellow Legionnaire of Doom everything she needs to slake her thirst with Diana’s blood…once and for all!In Shops: Aug 14, 2019 SRP: $3.99

How Villainous Are DC's Year of The Villain: Dark Gifts Titles Today? (Spoilers)

 

Detective Comics #1009 was listed thus.

DETECTIVE COMICS #1009 YOTV DARK GIFTS
(W) Peter J. Tomasi (A) Christian Duce (CA) Doug Mahnke
“Take Your Shot” begins! Deadshot has returned to Gotham City following a long stint with the Suicide Squad, and Batman fears that without the oversight of AmandaWaller, Floyd Lawton will go back to his old ways. Meanwhile, after taking Lex Luthor’s offer, Mr. Freeze begins taking action to get exactly what he wants and killing anyone who stands in his way.In Shops: Aug 14, 2019
SRP: $3.99

The Year Of The Villain stuff is relegated to the final couple of pages, even after the Cliffhanger credits.

Wednesday comics

And doesn’t have Mr Freeze killing anyone. Yet. Just trying to get his wife back courtesy of Lex, sitting here watching ice thaw. Two drones I think…

How Villainous Are DC's Year of The Villain: Dark Gifts Titles Today? (Spoilers)

Darkseid has avoided Luthor’s approaches, but has his own dark game to play that does seem to tie directly in with everything else, Source Wall, emergent forces and the like. So may e we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt…

Wednesday comics

JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY #12 YOTV DARK GIFTS
(W) Dan Abnett (A/CA) Will Conrad
The new reign of Darkseid begins in the Ghost Sector! With the death of the New Gods, he plans to use the Sepulkore to rebuild a new army, but even the great Darkseid couldn’t enslave and control the Ghost Sector alone. He’ll require the help of the New Gods’ newest heralds: Cyborg, Starfire and Azrael!  In Shops: Aug 14, 2019 SRP: $3.99

And give them a full-ish seven drone heads as a result.

How Villainous Are DC's Year of The Villain: Dark Gifts Titles Today? (Spoilers)

Hawkman carries on visibly last month’s offer with Shadow Thief. And we get to find out more about him.

Wednesday comics

HAWKMAN #15 YOTV DARK GIFTS
(W) Robert Venditti (A/CA) Pat Olliffe, Tom Palmer
Following Lex Luthor’s “gift,” the new and improved Shadow Thief toys with the wounded Hawkman. Carter Hall desperately seeks help from the only other shadow mystic more powerful than Shadow Thief: the Shade!In Shops: Aug 14, 2019 SRP: $3.99

But also that his powers are now more literal than before…

Wednesday comics

Yeah, lots of drones for that one I think.

How Villainous Are DC's Year of The Villain: Dark Gifts Titles Today? (Spoilers)

 

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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