DC's twisted, evil version of the Justice League - the villainous Crime Syndicate - is headlining its own limited series starting in March on what the publisher is calling a new Earth-3 in a "reborn Multiverse."
Written by Andy Schmidt and drawn by Kieran McKeown, according to DC the six-issue series spins directly out of Dark Nights: Death Metal which concludes January 5, which is an interesting direct link considering it appears to leap over January and February's Future State event.
A version of the Crime Syndicate appears in the Future State: Suicide Squad series, but this new series does not seem to be related.
"Witness the true origins of the malevolent makers of mayhem known as the Crime Syndicate as a common foe unites them!" reads DC's description. "But how long can alliances last between villains like these?"
Crime Syndicate joins the Joker as villains starring in their own new series in March.
The Earth-3 concept goes all the way back to 1964's Justice League of America #29 and is essentially an opposite Earth, where analogs of iconic characters like Superman, Wonder Wonder, and Batman are evil criminals instead of heroes and Alexander Luthor (a key player in Crisis on Infinite Earths) is a hero.
The concept has been rebooted several times pre- and post-'Crisis' and pre- and post-'The New 52' and was the subject of a popular and well-received '00 original graphic novel JLA: Earth 2 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely.
"A paranoid titan (Ultraman), a narcissist (Super Woman), a nihilist (Owlman), a broken moral compass (Power Ring/Emerald Knight), a sociopath (Johnny Quick), and a sadist (Atomica). Does the world stand a chance?" reads DC's description of the cast.
"Spoiler alert: No. No, it does not."
"Kieran and I were given a once a lifetime opportunity to build a world from the ground up," says writer Andy Schmidt in the announcement, again emphasizing Death Metal is apparently going to result in a widescale reinvention of the DC Multiverse.
"We're establishing the Crime Syndicate's origin story for the first time—how and why they came together. And we're not taking it lightly. You'll find that you've entered a fully realized world—this is the story of the Crime Syndicate, but it's also the story of Earth-3 and it moves fast and pulls no punches."
Additionally and again suggesting a trend when DC's full line returns in March, Crime Syndicate #1 will include a back-up story featuring the origin of Ultraman drawn by Bryan Hitch.
Crime Syndicate #1 also features a main cover by Jim Cheung and a variant cover by Skan.
Look for an interview with Andy Schmidt about Crime Syndicate later Tuesday on Newsarama.
Does the Crime Syndicate make Newsarama’s countdown of the best Justice league villains of all time? You bet they do! Highly-placed, too!