DC Comics’ Round Robin Tournament Returns to Make One Comic a Reality

DC Comics’ Round Robin Tournament Returns to Make One Comic a Reality
Image: DC Comics

Last year, DC Comics ran its first Round Robin tournament, which wasn’t about an eating contest between Batman’s various sidekicks (although I would definitely read a comic about that). Instead, it was a March Madness-style bracket where DC allowed fans to vote on which six-issue, digital-first series they wanted, while only knowing their titles and brief summaries. The tournament returns today with 16 — yes, sixteen — potential comics that fans can vote on. Care to meet this year’s challengers?

Match #1

HAWKMAN & HAWKWOMAN: THE CHANGELING

Hawkman and Hawkwoman have never had children together. They know that for a fact. Then who is Hektor Hol, the hotheaded, razor-winged teen who claims to be their son? Can they trust their own memories — or each other?

Vs.

WILDCAT: NINE LIVES

Wildcat’s spent eight of his nine lives showing the ropes to some of the DC Universe’s heaviest hitters, and he’s got the scarred knuckles and reset bones to prove it. But now he’s only got one more life to go. How fearless would you be if you knew it was your last round in the ring?

Match #2

THE QUESTIONS: GRAND SOLUTION

What happens when people from all walks of life are activated as faceless vigilantes, each forced to solve an Alternate Reality Game where the stakes are life and death? That’s THE QUESTION, but does RENEE MONTOYA have the SOLUTION?

Vs.

CONSTANTINE & THE DEMON: VACATION FROM HELL

Arcane guile meets hellish fury! John Constantine is forced to play host to Etrigan the Demon and the pair embark on a deeply personal — and potentially apocalyptic — mission. Journeying back home to Liverpool, Constantine must confront ghosts from his past, and Etrigan isn’t exactly his first choice for an ally!

Match #3

SUICIDE SQUAD: DARK

A team of occult misfits and monsters, assembled by Amanda Waller and led by Vampire Batman, are forced into a mind-melting suicide mission to assassinate Earth-13’s League of Shadows.

Vs.

JUSTICE LEAGUE [REDACTED]

Green Arrow has watched many heroes — the great, the good, the kind — be forever scarred by the darkness they swear to fight. Rather than sit by and let any more of his friends fall to the festering abyss, he decides to create a Justice League black-ops team of fighters who can survive a few more shadows — because as far as he’s concerned, they may already be lost. Green Arrow’s team of Nemesis, Killer Frost, Manhunter, Metamorpho, and Cheshire are needed more than ever. Green Arrow was worried about what happens when you look the abyss in the eye? That goes double when Johnny Sorrow and Merlyn team up.

Match #4

FIRESTORM: FOURTH WORLD PROBLEMS

When Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch make the startling discovery that the Firestorm Matrix contains a spark of the Life Equation, Darkseid and his army turn their sights toward the teenage nuclear heroes. But can Ronnie and Jason put their differences aside and combine into Firestorm, or will Darkseid claim the matrix for himself and Apokolips?

Vs.

KID FLASH: THE SPEED OF FEAR

REVERSE-FLASH melds with PARALLAX in an unprecedented combination of the Speed Force and the fear-based yellow power ring to create a deadly SPEED RING to shatter OA’s central Green Lantern battery. A confused and isolated Kid Flash (Wallace West) must chase Thawne across a variety of alien worlds to stop him and the Sinestro Corps while his own powers die because of Kid Flash’s slow disconnection with the Speed Force.

Match #5

BLACK CANARY: WHEN CANARIES CRY

When Black Canary intercepts an intelligence operative trying to deliver sensitive material on an encrypted disk, she finds herself plunged into the world of espionage to contend with an international consortium known only as Mysterium. With the help of a French spy, Dinah must stop this shadow organisation from instigating war for their own profit.

Vs.

GREEN LANTERN: THE LIGHT AT THE END OF FOREVER

A dark far-future. A galaxy gripped by tyranny. When an elderly farmer in a backwater system is brutalized by the latest thugs with jetpacks and jackboots to call themselves lawmen, he remembers a forgotten past. An era of champions. A cadre of noble peacekeepers, long since vanished. His name — he’s sure of it — is JOHN STEWART. Whatever happened to the Green Lanterns Corps…and is it too late to reignite the light…?

Match #6

DC HORROR PRESENTS: GHOST TOUR FROM HELL

A frantic mother begs for Madame Xanadu’s help in finding her missing son — last seen on a ghost tour with friends. Xanadu’s reading reveals there’s a nefarious being behind the disappearances in New Orleans. Enlisting the help of the Demon Etrigan and Deadman, the trio quickly realise that they’re on a Ghost Tour from hell and they’re no match for these supernatural kidnappers.

Vs.

ANIMAL MAN: THE METAMORPHOSIS

Buddy Baker, aka Animal Man, has serious problems. His home life is in shambles, his daughter’s powers are awakening, and the world needs him, but he’s stuck. He needs change. Soon Animal Man will enter a cocoon…but when the metamorphosis is complete, what will emerge?

Match #7

GREEN LANTERN: THE BIRTH OF CONSPIRACY

In 1947, three events kindled America’s fascination with UFOs: the men in black, flying saucer sightings, and the Roswell crash. Three low-level government employees, tasked with monitoring superheroes, realise that one person was at all three events: the Green Lantern, ALAN SCOTT. He hasn’t been seen since.

Vs.

CAPTAIN CARROT & HIS BEST FRIEND DARKSEID

The interdimensional space epic no one asked for! DARKSEID is trying to eliminate the newest New God, but the EXTREMELY FUR-IOUS (yes, we hate us too) ZOO CREW is determined to reach their long-foretold CAPTAIN CARROT first…before FRIENDSHIP ruins everything!

Match #8

SUPERBOY: THE MAN OF TOMORROW

Determined to find his place in a strange universe, Conner Kent/Superboy leaves Earth behind. But his journey of self-discovery brings him face to face with a group of freedom fighters who challenge not just everything Conner stands for, but what it means to bear the Superman crest.

Vs.

CYBORG: CYBER GODS

Cyborg has grown so powerful he no longer needs to leave his cold metal lair. He fights the good fight, but only virtually, with Cyborg replicas. When the super-villain Gizmo and Klarion the Witch Boy mix magic and tech, they become powerful technomancers. Cyborg is joined by Beast Boy, who tries to remind him of his true power: his human spirit. Cyborg must reconnect with his human side and face the world, or Gizmo will become an omnipotent, unchallenged cyber-god and Klarion will get what he’s always wanted: chaos and destruction.

Last year, Tim Seeley and Baldemar Rivas’ Robins won the tourney. (Quelle coincidence!) This year, I suspect Suicide Squad: Dark is the title to beat, coming off the rapturous response to James Gunn’s recent The Suicide Squad movie, and fans’ interest in the Dark side of the DC Universe, and its magic, horror, demons, and general weirdness. However, Justice League [Redacted] — which I assume is the true title of the comic, and DC hasn’t actually redacted the word that belongs there — is likely a strong contender as well, as it has the JL name and a great premise. People do love their superheroes being grim and morally dubious, after all.

Voting for round one begins at 3:15 a.m. AEDT tomorrow and runs through April 3, and can be done via DC’s Twitter, Instagram, and the DC Universe Infinite forums, while round two — in which the series’ writers and artists will be revealed — begins April 5. Just don’t expect to read the winning title anytime soon. Last year, Robins wasn’t announced until August, and issue #1 didn’t arrive until October.