Superman rarely faces villains from Batman‘s side of the DC Comics universe. The Man of Steel and the Dark Knight have teamed up more than once, but the duo tends to punch above Gotham’s weight class, targeting interplanetary threats and alliances between bad guys from multiple stables. When Superman does take a Batman rogue head-on, it’s usually a sign something has gone very, very wrong, like when the Last Son of Krypton snapped and killed the Joker in Injustice. In the January/February event DC Future State, everything changes for the major heroes of the Justice League, and Future State: Batman/Superman #1 traps Superman in the lair of Batman’s most unsettling villain: Professor Pyg.
Future State: Batman/Superman is written by Gene Luen Yang (Superman Smashes the Klan) with interior and cover art by Ben Oliver (Batwing). The issue is an event tie-in to Future State, a two-month event kicking off 2021 that skips the DC Universe ahead in time. Readers will get a look into a world where Superman has been exiled to space and Batman has seemingly been killed by a dystopian occupying force that rules Gotham, pushing the next generation of heroes to take up their mantles.
Professor Pyg was created by writer Grant Morrison and artist Andy Kubert in their 2007 Batman run. Pyg was a surgeon who went to work for the rogue intelligence syndicate Spyral, creating experiments involving mind-bending drugs that eventually left him delusional and violent. He put on a porcine mask, renamed himself after Pygmalion, and started his life’s work: converting people into lobotomized, mutilated “dollotrons,” in a bloody process that uses rubber masks and power tools, in order to please his obsessive sense of aesthetics.
In Future State, Gotham has been taken over by the Magistrate, a mysterious tyrant in command of super-soldiers that hunt down members of the Bat-Family. The Batman/Superman mini is a sort of prequel to their respective series, taking place as Batman works to prevent the Magistrate’s takeover. When Bruce Wayne calls in Superman, the Kryptonian discovers that the Magistrate’s forces were more than ready for him… especially a certain amateur cosmetic surgeon who is ready to call Superman onto the table.
Here’s the full solicitation from DC, including that Ben Oliver cover:
- FUTURE STATE: BATMAN/SUPERMAN #1
- written by GENE LUEN YANG
- art and cover by BEN OLIVER
- card stock variant cover by ARTHUR ADAMS
- ON SALE 1/26/21
- $3.99 US | 32 PAGES | 1 OF 2 | FC | DC
- CARD STOCK COVER $4.99 US
- Back in the early days of the Magistrate’s occupation of Gotham City, Bruce Wayne found himself pushed to the edge like never before. So calling the Man of Steel in for backup makes sense, right? Wrong. Gotham’s sinister overlords have already sprung the ultimate trap on the Last Son of Krypton…and with Kryptonian power at your command, no one can stand in your way! Plus…where on Earth did Professor Pyg get a Kryptonite scalpel? Brace yourselves, because things are going to get gross in the caverns below Gotham…
Superman doesn’t usually bend to this particular brand of horror—non-powered, slasher-style villains—so the villains of DC Future State have a unique set of challenges in store for Clark Kent. While we know that Superman doesn’t get permanently converted into one of Pyg’s bizarre creations, the previews have shown us that Superman is involved in a disaster so tragic that the public boos him off the planet Earth. The solicit’s line about the Magistrate having “Kryptonian power at their command” might be a hint as to just what Superman is involved in… and, possibly, why the public thinks Bruce Wayne is dead.
Future State: Batman/Superman #1 will be available from retailers on January 26, 2021.