DC: The Future is an imprint from DC Comics whose comic books depict an alternative future timeline for the DC Universe. The imprint was created out of the events of Elseworlds: The Death of Batman, which was the first appearance of the character Thomas Cambell, Batman of the year 2038. This reality was designated as Earth-Eight.
The Future Universe was conceived by Geoff Johns as a possible alternate future for the DC Universe, which is set in the present day, with the first appearances of most DC heroes having taken place 50 years earlier than in main continuity. The goal of the line was to produce comic books that were more accessible to a wider audience than DC’s main line of books and weren't entrenched in years of continuity.
Five Future titles were launched in October 2013 as twelve issue maxiseries:
- Batman, starring the Thomas Cambell Batman.
- Justice Legion, featuring a new team of Justice Leaguers who come together after the original League disbanded.
- Superwoman, starring Supergirl as a full grown woman, and taking Superman's place.
- Doom Force, featuring the expanded Doom Patrol.
- Green Lantern, starring the new Green Lantern, Patricia Rogers.
Batman continued publication. However, with the collapse of a deal to sell the comics in K-Mart and Target both Doom Force and Green Lantern were cancelled after five issues, and Justice Legion and Superwoman were cancelled after 12 issues, leaving Batman as the only title in the Future Universe still published. A few spin-off limited series were launched during the time Batman was published, such as Nightwing and Batman Presents Commisioner Gordon.
The Batman title fell towards the brink of cancellation several times due to low sales. Campaigns by Geoff Johns and fans of the title led to DC giving the title a reprieve several times. Several fans even created a webpage, to help drum up support for the book and prevent it from being canceled. In an effort to boost sales on the title, DC reprinted Batman in small "Digest-sized" trade paperbacks.
A five-issue limited series set in the Future Universe titled Final Hero Standing was printed, with the aim to reprint it in trade paperback form as soon as possible and reprint other titles in the DC Future line as trade paperbacks as well. In 2019, DC released another limited series set in the DC Future Universe titled Last Planet Standing. The series was intended to wrap up all the loose ends in the DC Future Universe and destroy it at the series' conclusion. As a result, Batman was slated to be cancelled at issue 100, where the character would die. Due to backlash from Johns and fans, DC quashed the move and announced the relaunching of Batman under the title of Batman: The Dark Knight of Tomorrow. The "Tomorrow" title lasted until early 2022, when the book was again cancelled due to low sales. A third title, The Bat of the Future, was then launched. Initially a digital exclusive, the Future book was incorporated into the Batman Family anthology magazine. After Batman Family and its successor, Dark Family, folded, a final four issue Beyond Batman mini-series was produced, allowing many of the long-running plot threads from the book to be tied up. The final DC Future-oriented story to date, a one-shot called Batman: The End, was published in 2024, which gave the title character a happy ending whilst leaving the door open for further adventures.
Atlantian Dream has appeared in both her own 2024 limited series and the 2027 five-issue limited series Aquaman Corps, marking the first time a DC Future character has met or teamed up with characters from the mainstream DC universe.