Wayne’s Worlds: DC Returning to Elseworlds

“Imaginary stories” are coming back to DC in 2024, per information released at the recent New York Comic Con!


DC announced during the recent NYCC that they will be releasing a new line of Elseworlds comics next year.

What is “Elseworlds,” anyway? In the original press release, the series “kicked off in 1991 with the release of Batman: Holy Terror, and from the titles coming our way, Batman will once again keep the out-of-continuity stories going.”

The books coming include:

  1. Gotham by Gaslight: The Kryptonian Age. This 12-issue miniseries will be created by Andy Diggle and Leandro Fernandez and will focus on the forming of a 19th-century Justice League.
  2. Batman the Barbarian. This six-issue series is going to be a “brutaland remarkable retelling of Batman’s origin set against a rugged, medieval Earth.” It will be written and drawn by Eisner-Award winner Greg Smallwood.
  3. Dark Knights of Steel: Allwinter. Set in Tom Taylor’s groundbreaking world, this six-issue miniseries will be written by New York Times best-selling writer Jay Kristoff and artist Tirso Cons. Legendary assassin Deathstroke stalks a frozen wasteland, but when he finds himself a reluctant guardian, will he fight to end the icy curse destroying his land or be consumed by the sings of his own dark past?
  4. Green Lantern: Dark. Tate Brombal and Werther Dell-Edera reimagine the DC Universe as a dark fantasy wasteland where monsters overrun a post-apocalyptic earth. Darkness prevails as humanity struggles to survive. Only one hero remains—the one who wields the green flame that can return light to a dark world—the Green Lantern. However, she’s been missing for years.
  5. Batman: Nightfire. What happens when twin brothers Seth & Clay Mann are turned loose in Gotham City? They burn it all down. In this six-issue miniseries, Bruce Wayne tries to rectify a devastating tragedy by traveling to the past.
  6. DC vs. Vampires: World War V. This 12-issue miniseries, sunlight is restored to the earth, but was it too late? As a new Ice Age dawns, humanity faces their most deadly threat yet—Barbara Gordon, queen of the vampires!

This is just the first wave, with more titles to be announced in the months ahead.


Batman, Star Trek, continuity, canon, DC, Elseworlds, What if?, Gotham by Gaslight, Superman, vampires, holy terror, Personally, I’m seriously looking forward to the return of Elseworlds. Some of my favorite comics stories were “imaginary stories” (of course, aren’t they all?) that took characters in new, unexpected directions.

I’m old enough to remember the classic “Superman-Red, Superman-Blue” tale in which the Man of Steel was split into two beings, and there was nothing they couldn’t accomplish. The pair ended up happily married, each to a different sweetheart, and in totally different environments. Loved that!

Then there was Gotham by Gaslight. That initial book by Mike Mignola really was fun, seeing Batman in a different era trying to accomplish the same distribution of justice. I enjoyed that. Of course, Batman: The Doom that Came to Gotham was a graphic novel that was recently converted into an animated film, and that was well done!

Ever since then, I’ve glommed onto the Black Label series of books from DC because they “push the envelope” some beyond what we’ll see in the “regular” monthly titles. I feel it does fans like me good to go places we haven’t been before.


Batman, Star Trek, continuity, canon, DC, Elseworlds, What if?, Gotham by Gaslight, Superman, vampires, holy terror, Of course, the original Elseworlds books were often one-shots, and that meant they were a complete story in a single edition. Today’s industry has necessitated making them into several-issue miniseries’, and they seem to vary from six to 12 issues in length.

In the past, Elseworlds attracted creators who couldn’t (or wouldn’t) commit to a monthly title, and it’s fun to have talents who have not worked on DC’s characters (including Batman, naturally) take their time with the Dark Knight.

Of course, as a Bat-fan, it’s great for me to read more stories about the Batman, and who knows? Maybe something will hit (like The Dark Knights of Steel from Tom Taylor) that will keep going and going even when he’s not at the helm.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t great stories to tell on other fronts, and an Elseworlds story about a lower-tier hero just might promote that person to A-list status!


Batman, Star Trek, continuity, canon, DC, Elseworlds, What if?, Gotham by Gaslight, Superman, vampires, holy terror, All good sci-fi stories ask “what if … such and such happened?” And that’s what good Elseworlds tales can do… go where no DC comic has gone before.

Granted, Marvel has had their “What If?” comics where they explored their own versions of “elseworlds.” However, it seemed to me that the point of those books was to show that any other twist or turn in the story just made things much worse. In fact, that’s what I used to call those books… “Much Worse!” instead of “What If?”

As a Star Trek fan, I’m used to concerns over “canon.” Many want every Trek episode to completely be in harmony with every show ever run. When it comes to comics, “continuity” is the word for “canon.” I’m not a big fan of either, frankly. I just want a good story. I don’t care if Batman is carrying his Batarang in a different pouch this month versus where it was last month. Just tell me an “engaging” tale that makes me glad I read it!

I’m particularly intrigued by the Gotham by Gaslight follow-up as well as the Dark Knights of Steel continuation. I want more of that, for sure!

DC will continue their current practice of going where no miniseries has gone before! I guess ongoing titles are tougher to keep running, sadly!

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