With the reveal of the “evil behind the evil” at the end of “Trinity War” and the impending Villain’s Month, it seems the Crime Syndicate of America is poised to take the spotlight in the DCU.
When asked about the Outsider’s origin, Mr. Gates indicated that the special would reveal much. “This one-shot is the Outsider’s secret origin and how and why he assembled the Secret Society. I think you’ll be very surprised with the plot of this one-shot; it’s all from the Outsider’s point-of-view and really digs into his relationship with his master.”
He also added that readers would learn how he acquires his moniker, as well as back story on Earth-3.
“Obviously, with the revelation that an alternate Earth is in the mix, you’re going to see alternate universe versions of some of our characters. The Outsider has an idea about just what Superman can do, because he’s from a very dark world where Ultraman rules over chunks of the population.”
“Things are a little different from the Outsider’s Earth – east is west and west is east – but the Outsider has spent a lot of time studying our world and the heroes within it. He’s been here a few years. He knows what’s up in the DCU better than most people.”
Mr. Gates also had some glowing reviews of the artist working on the special, Szymon Kudranski, whose interiors you can see littered throughout this preview.
“Our artist is the incredible Szymon Kudranski. It’s a gorgeous book. I’m convinced that Szymon just bleeds India ink, because his pages are slathered in it. Geoff and I wanted the tone of the issue to be very dark, and that type of story just screams for someone like Szymon. Every time a page came in, I’d email Geoff and just gush about how great Szymon’s art was. I’d never worked with him before, but I’m very, very glad he drew this issue.”
Mr Gates also describes the tone of the issue:
“Very, very dark. With Szymon drawing it, you know it’s going to be dark. Very gritty, too, though we let your imagination fill in some of the less…um, less appetizing pieces of the story.
Actually, Secret Society is hands-down the darkest of the three Villains Month one shots I worked on. The Black Adam one-shot is a little lighter than the Secret Society issue, and the Killer Frost story is probably the lightest of the three tonally…though that story goes to some terrible places, too.
I mean, it’s called “Villains Month.” It’s not all giggles and puppies. The Secret Society one-shot is by far the darkest story of the three. Geoff and I talked about publishing that issue in black-and-white at one point to fit how dark a story it was.”
In conclusion, Mr. Gates had this to say to fans:
“One of the goals for Villains Month was to make sure that anyone can pick up these books and be introduced to these characters are and get a feel for what they do — or want to do — in the DCU. Very open stories, very easy to read.”
Justice League 23.4: Secret Society, written by Geoff Johns and Sterling Gates, with artwork by Szymon Kudranski, releases on September 25th.