DC reveals the Dawn of the DCU 2023 timeline and a name change

Dawn of the DCU 2023 timeline
Dawn of the DCU 2023 timeline (Image credit: DC)

DC is finally lifting the veil on the Dawn of the DCU, or what's now being referred to as "Dawn of DC" and it appears that Brainiac might be underneath it.

What the publisher is calling a "yearlong publishing initiative" and "line-wide, multievent narrative" designed to be an easy entry point for "lifelong" and brand new readers, the previously announced initiative spins out of December's Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths and will involve 20 new titles, and at least two other major events after Lazarus Planet.

Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 (Image credit: DC)

And as we say, Dawn of DC will also seemingly involves an overarching throughline that (although DC does not say it directly) involves classic Superman villain Brainiac, according to imagery on the Dawn of DC timeline.

DC is promising its superheroes will "step out of the shadows and into the light," and "epic storylines and superstar creative teams forging the future one hero at a time."

Dawn of DC will celebrate classic characters while also "embracing the next generation of new heroes," and "shine the spotlight on a number of fan-favorite superheroes and supervillains that haven't been front and center for some time."

The publisher is also promising "bold new directions" for Batman, Superman, Nightwing, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy.

Dawn of DC kicks off in January with the previously-announced revamp of the Superman family of titles that begins in Action Comics #1051 and then continues in such new titles as the Unstoppable Doom Patrol, Superboy: The Man of Tomorrow, the companion titles Green Lantern: Hal Jordan and Green Lantern: John Stewart, Green Arrow, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Cyborg, Shazam!, The Penguin, and Steelworks (starring the Irons family).

We've got many more details about the announced titles here, but it's also worth taking some time to take a closer look at the Marvel Studios MCU-style Dawn of DC timeline for some other clues as to what the initiative might involve.

Dawn of the DCU timeline (Image credit: DC)

First off, the purple mechanical tentacles that serve as the narrative throughline of the image are not identified, but look a lot like Brainiac technology, and since they originate at the blacked-out far right of the piece, the message seems to be the Superman villain will have his hand in machinations throughout the year, culminating in a year-end event. 

Also of note is DC hinting at a mid-year event in between the previously-announced Lazarus Planet and the presumably Brainiac-driven year-ender. DC is giving readers the first word "Knight" and the first letter of the second word "T." 

Running the image through some image filters seems to suggest the second letter is "E" leaving us with "Knight Te..." which leads us to our first speculative guess about Dawn of DCU - a Batman-centric event called "Knight Terrors." But to be clear, that's just a hypothesis.

Otherwise, the image seemingly gives us one other clue not addressed directly by DC in its announcement of new titles - the Hawk symbol worn by Hawkgirl and Hawkman, suggesting a new title of some kind involving those characters towards the middle of the year.

The Unstoppable Doom Patrol cover (Image credit: DC)

"After the near-Multiverse-ending events in Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths and DC Universe: Lazarus Planet, the DC Universe will be heading toward the light," says DC publisher and chief creative officer Jim Lee in the announcement. "With brand-new series and story arcs from some of the top creative members in comics, Dawn of DC is one of our most ambitious initiatives ever and is a chance for us to tell bigger and bolder stories across our line."

One notable name/title missing from the announcement is, of course, the Justice League. Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths writer Joshua Williamson (who btw, will be writing the new Green Arrow title) has promised all year that there is no Justice League and won't be for a while, and it appears for the time being DC is keeping that promise, and building up anticipation for when it title will eventually return.

The publisher is promising information on even more new Dawn of DC titles soon, but in the meantime, DC readers can look out for the publisher's full February solicitations at 3 pm ET on Friday, November 18.

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I'm not just the Newsarama founder and editor-in-chief, I'm also a reader. And that reference is just a little bit older than the beginning of my Newsarama journey. I founded what would become the comic book news site in 1996, and except for a brief sojourn at Marvel Comics as its marketing and communications manager in 2003, I've been writing about new comic book titles, creative changes, and occasionally offering my perspective on important industry events and developments for the 25 years since. Despite many changes to Newsarama, my passion for the medium of comic books and the characters makes the last quarter-century (it's crazy to see that in writing) time spent doing what I love most.