In this weeks brand new issue of DC Comics' Justice League, the final chapter of the "Trinity War" comes to a close and, presumably, leaves our heroes shattered and the classic DC Universe vulnerable to take over by The Crime Syndicate, super-villains from another dimension that have all the same powers as the Justice League.
But who is left to confront them?
DC has been teasing for months (including here on Huffington Post) this takeover of the DCU by the villains, and now it seems as though the villains aren't taking over to dominate the world, but to protect it from Ultraman and his crime syndicate.
Casting Lex Luthor as a hero takes a lot of setup. It's an intricate, villainous plot, and it all starts with Superman's accidental murder of a fellow super hero member of the Justice League.
Writer and DC Comics Chief Creative Officer, tells me why Superman killing a hero was so important to the villains behind this plot, "You're doing a story about taking down the Justice League, and you're breaking their trust. [The Justice League] are all going to be focused on one thing: can they rely on Superman. I think that's a huge, you take that chip away, and a lot of characters in the Justice League start to collapse and a lot of them stand up for him and say he would never do that, but there's still that voice in the back of their mind saying "what happened?" And that became a big focal point for us."
Asked if Superman's murder of Dr. Light was in some way a response to fan outrage over Zach Snyder's Superman killing General Zod, co-writer of the series (and author of the incredible Vertigo book Trillium), Jeff Lemire said, "When Geoff and I were plotting this it was months before, like January or February, and I had never seen Man of Steel and knew nothing about the plot. It was coincidence."
In either case, what heroes there are left in this world aren't sure if they can trust Superman or not. And a super-powered group of villains are coming through the gates to take over the DCU, and the only people standing in their way are a who's who of scum and villainy.
DC Comics was gracious enough to provide us with some exclusive artwork from the coming story lines, kicking off with this weeks conclusion to "The Trinity War."
To read the full interview with Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire about "The Trinity War" and the future of the DCU, it's available on Big Shiny Robot!