FAN NEWS

Ask...The Question: What Did Lois Lane Win Her Pulitzer Prize For?

Alex Jaffe

Alex Jaffe

June 24, 2020

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Hello. I’m Alex Jaffe, better known in our Community as HubCityQuestion. My personal mission: to take on any question you have about the DC Universe -- no matter how strange, granular, or obscure -- and present you with an answer. As a faithful steward of the truth, I offer my time in this weekly column to address these inquiries. If you’d like to submit one of your own, you can stop by my office at any time in our Community to state your case, which I will address in turn to the best of my ability. As always, I remain your vigilant detective through the comic book cosmos to discover the answers you crave. Let’s discover what mysteries await us this week.

 

 

I DESIRE NOTHING BUT THE REWARD OF A VILLAIN (READING ORDER)

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“Is there an “official” reading order for Year of the Villain? From prologue to finish, tie-ins and two page “offers”. Just going in publish order seems twisty and I don’t recall any checklists or maps.” -bd1

 

Let me preface by saying: you really, really, really don’t have to read all of this. I promise. All you seriously need to read in order to appreciate “Year of the Villain” is Justice League #25-38, and you’ll be fine. But I know you’re not gonna listen to me, because, heck, / wouldn’t listen to me. So: here’s the complete reading order for every single comic that ties into Year of the Villain.

 

First, some extremely optional preliminary reading: like all of Scott Snyder’s work, “Year of the Villain” is a culmination of everything he’s done since the beginning of The New 52. So if you really want to satisfy your completionist streak, first check out his 2011 runs on Batman and Swamp Thing. A lot of the stuff you see in 2017 and onward is seeded in these earlier runs.

 

In 2017, you can begin the medium-optional preliminary reading with Dark Nights: Metal. That goes directly into Justice League: No Justice. Then, as a pit stop, make sure you pick up DC Nation #0. From there, Snyder’s run on Justice League begins, along with the somewhat optional preliminary reading. This is where we can start to get granular about reading orders.

 

You’re in for smooth sailing for Justice League #1-10. Then, we start getting into “Drowned Earth” territory. For that you’ll want to take the following route:

 

* Aquaman (2016) #41

 

* Titans (2016) #28

 

* Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1 (Don’t mix this up with Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth.)

 

* Justice League #11-12

 

* Aquaman #42

 

* Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1 (Don’t mix this up with Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth.)

 

Okay. We’ve survived the Drowned Earth crossover. Moving on, read Justice League #13-16. Brake for Justice League Annual #1! Those annuals can be tricky devils. Then you’re ready for Justice League #17-24… after which, the actual, factual prelude to Year of the Villain begins.

 

The Flash (2016) #65, the final issue of the Batman/Flash crossover and Heroes in Crisis tie-in “The Price,” concludes on an allusion to the upcoming events of YOTV.

 

Then, we have the opportunity to catch up with The Batman Who Laughs. Read the Grim Knight oneshot prelude, and then go on to all 7 issues of The Batman Who Laughs series.

 

That’s the beginning of the prelude. Now, the prelude REALLY begins. Start with the oneshot Year of the Villain Special. The prelude continues in Justice League #25-26.

 

Okay! That’s it for the prelude! Now we get into… the first of seven phases of “Year of the Villain.” Those phases are “The Offer,” “Dark Gifts,” “Evil Unleashed,” “Doom Rising,” “Hostile Takeover,” “Hell Arisen,” and a big, meaty epilogue. For each phase, start with the associated issue of Justice League. Then, you can read the tie-ins in any order you wish (or, should you so choose, not at all). Each of these tie-ins are meant to be occurring simultaneously, and thus can be read in any order. One thing to keep in mind is the “Infected” subplot, which runs through multiple titles. I’d recommend keeping those together after the other tie-ins, as a way of ushering in the next phase. All the titles under the “Infected” subheaders should, ideally, be read together.

 

THE OFFER - Justice League #27-28

 

Tie-Ins:

* Action Comics #1013

 

* Aquaman #50

 

* Batgirl #37

 

* Batman #75

 

* Batman and the Outsiders #3

 

* Catwoman #13

 

* Deathstroke #45

 

* Detective Comics #1008

 

* The Flash #75

 

* Harley Quinn #63 (Parody)

 

* Justice League Dark #13

 

* Justice League Odyssey #11

 

* Nightwing #62

 

* Red Hood: Outlaw #36

 

* Superman #13

 

* Teen Titans #32

 

* The Terrifics #18

 

* Wonder Woman #75

 

Infected:

 

* Hawkman #14

 

* Supergirl #32

 

DARK GIFTS - Justice League #29-30

 

Tie-Ins:

 

* Action Comics #1014

 

* Aquaman #51

 

*Batgirl #38

 

* Batman #76

 

* Batman and the Outsiders #4

 

* Black Mask: Year of the Villain

 

* Deathstroke #46

 

* Detective Comics #1009-1010

 

* The Flash #76-77

 

* Harley Quinn #64 (Parody)

 

* Justice League Dark #14

 

* Justice League Odyssey #12

 

* Nightwing #63

 

* Red Hood: Outlaw #37

 

* Sinestro: Year of the Villain

 

* Teen Titans #33

 

* The Terrifics #19

 

* Wonder Woman #76

 

Infected:

 

* Hawkman #15

 

* Batman/Superman #1

 

EVIL UNLEASHED - Justice League #31-32

 

* Action Comics #1015

 

* Aquaman #52

 

* Batgirl #39

 

* Batman #78

 

* Batman and the Outsiders #5

 

* Catwoman #15

 

* Deathstroke #47

 

* Detective Comics #1011-1012

 

* The Flash #78-79

 

* Harley Quinn #65 (Parody)

 

* Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #1

 

* Justice League Dark #15

 

* Justice League Odyssey #13

 

* Lex Luthor: Year of the Villain

 

* Nightwing #64

 

* Red Hood: Outlaw #38

 

* The Riddler: Year of the Villain

 

* Superman #15

 

* Teen Titans #34

 

* The Terrifics #20

 

* Wonder Woman #78-79

 

Infected:

 

* Hawkman #16

 

* Supergirl #34

 

* Batman/Superman #2

 

DOOM RISING - Justice League #33-34

 

* Action Comics #1016

 

* Aquaman #53; Annual #2

 

* Batgirl #40

 

* Batman #80

 

* Batman and the Outsiders #6

 

* Catwoman #16

 

* Deathstroke #48

 

* Detective Comics #1013-1014

 

* The Flash #80-81

 

* Harley Quinn #66 (Parody)

 

* Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy #2

 

* The Joker: Year of the Villain

 

* Justice League Dark #16

 

* Justice League Odyssey #14

 

* Nightwing #65; Annual #2

 

* Red Hood: Outlaw #39

 

* Superman #16

 

* Teen Titans #35

 

* The Terrifics #21

 

* Wonder Woman #80-81

 

Infected:

 

* Hawkman #17

 

* Supergirl #35

 

* The Infected: King Shazam!

 

* Black Adam: Year of the Villain

 

* The Infected: The Commissioner

 

* Batman/Superman #3

 

HOSTILE TAKEOVER - Justice League #35-36

 

Tie-Ins:

 

* Action Comics #1017

 

* Aquaman #54

 

* Batgirl #41

 

* Batman #82

 

* Batman and the Outsiders #7

 

* Catwoman #17

 

* Deathstroke #49

 

* Detective Comics #1015-1016

 

* The Flash #82-83

 

* Harley Quinn #67 (Parody)

 

* Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #3

 

* Justice League Dark #17

 

* Justice League Odyssey #15

 

* Nightwing #66

 

* Red Hood: Outlaw #40

 

* Teen Titans #36

 

* The Terrifics #22

 

*Wonder Woman #82-83

 

Infected:

 

* The Infected: Scarab

 

* Hawkman #18

 

* Batman/Superman #4

 

* Supergirl #36

 

* The Infected: Deathbringer

 

HELL ARISEN - Justice League #37-38

 

Tie-Ins:

 

* Aquaman #55

* Batman and the Outsiders #8

 

* Catwoman #18

 

* Deathstroke #50

 

* The Flash #84

 

* Harley Quinn: Villain of the Year (Parody)

 

* Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #4

 

* Justice League Odyssey #16

 

* Nightwing #67

 

* Ocean Master: Year of the Villain

 

* Teen Titans #37

 

Infected:

 

* Batman/Superman #5-6

 

* Hawkman #19-22

 

* Supergirl #37-40

 

* Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1-4

 

EPILOGUE - Justice League #39

 

Tie-Ins:

 

* Action Comics #1018-1021

 

* Batgirl #42

 

* Batman and the Outsiders #9-Onward

 

* Catwoman #19-21

 

* The Flash #85-86

 

* Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #5-6

 

* Justice League Dark #18-19

 

* Justice League Odyssey #17-Onward

 

* Nightwing #68-69

 

* Red Hood: Outlaw #41-42

 

* Teen Titans #38

 

* The Terrifics #23-24

 

* Wonder Woman #750

 

And NOW, bd1, you’re ready for the story to continue in Dark Nights: Death Metal.

 

 

MASS MEDIA

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“If we start with the silver age and go through bronze, dark age, and post 2000 eras, when were the widest number of titles available?” -DeSade-acolyte

 

We’ve delved into the question of which time spans these “ages” cover in a previous column, but let’s do a quick recap, slightly retooled for these specific parameters. Bear in mind that for a number of reasons, I have chosen to use cover dates on these issues to determine my data points, which as a general rule run 2 months ahead of publication date.

 

From 1956 to 1969 (“The Silver Age”), DC published 103 different titles.

From 1970 to 1985 (“The Bronze Age”), DC published 223 titles.

From 1986 to 2000 (your “Dark Age,” which, while nebulous, I assume from context you place after the Bronze Age up until the year 2000), DC published 1,431 titles.

From 2001 until today, DC has published 4,277 different titles.

 

For a time spanning 20 years, that’s an average of over 200 titles per year -- twice as many titles each year as DC published during the entire Silver Age! But maybe that’s too big picture. These eras each lasted for varied lengths of time, after all. What YEAR, exactly, did DC publish the widest number of titles?

 

The most active year of the Silver Age was 1968, when DC published 61 titles.

The most active year of the Bronze Age was 1973, when DC published 76 titles.

The most active year of the “Dark Age” was 1999, when DC published 300 titles.

And the most active year of the “Post-2000s” eras was, in fact, 2008, when DC published 437 different titles.

 

2008, therefore, represents the absolute height (thus far) of DC’s proliferation of titles. Many factors contribute to this unusually high number, where most of the years in these past two decades feature significantly fewer titles. 2008 was when collections of DC’s reprinted archival material, whether in hardcover, trade paperback, or in special “Absolute” editions, were in their highest demand. Imprints such as WildStorm, Vertigo, amd CMX were putting out titles regularly. Short, limited series had become commonplace. And tie-ins to event titles like Countdown and Final Crisis could be found on shelves practically every week. 2011 gave us “The New 52,” but 2008 was the year we hit Peak Comics.

 

 

EYES ON THE PRIZE

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“Has it ever been revealed in a story, exactly what it was that got reporter Lois Lane her Pulitzer Prize?” -wrightline1.42471

 

Only once: in the 2006 film Superman Returns. There, in the continuity of the Christopher Reeve and Brandon Routh portrayals of Superman, Lois won her Pulitzer for an editorial piece entitled “Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman.” The piece was written during Superman’s long absence from Earth, entreating the people of Metropolis who had come to depend on the Man of Steel to believe in themselves once more.

 

Of course, that’s a separate continuity from the comics. Lois Lane was first established as the OWNER of a Pulitzer in 1967’s Superman’s Girl Friend, Lois Lane #80. But the actual story which earned her the coveted prize has yet to be nailed down for sure. Last year, New York Times editor and comic book news correspondent George Gene Gustines posed this very question to Greg Rucka and Mike Perkins, the creative team of the contemporary Lois Lane limited series. Rucka and Perkins were of two minds on the issue: Rucka believes that Lois won her Pulitzer for a story on Superman’s debut. Perkins, on the other hand, believes that Lois earned her Pulitzer before Superman showed up, establishing her credibility as a reporter even before she became the best known byline on the Superman beat. Personally, while I have all the love and respect in the world for Rucka, I like Mike’s theory best.

 

Lois may have her Pulitzer, but the only reward I need for my journalistic efforts is the questions you continue to bring to my door. Never stop being curious when it comes to this great universe of ours. And wherever your mind leads you, make the time to ASK… THE QUESTION.

 

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Alex Jaffe and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.