New York Comic Con: New Batman Titles Announced
DC Comics has announced several new Batman books at New York Comic Con. This being Batman’s 75th anniversary, DC Comics has gone out of its way to make this year a special one for the Dark Knight. At the Empire Stage in the Jacob Javits Center, some of DC’s Batman brain-trust took the stage to discuss where Batman would be going into the next year. DC's Vice President of Marketing John Cunningham opened up the panel, introducing the creators in the panel:
Batman writer Scott Snyder, with artist Greg Capullo
Batman Eternal writer James Tynion IV
Batgirl writers Cameron Stewart and Brendan Fletcher, with artist Babs Tarr
Batwoman writer Marc Andreyko
Batman and Robin writer Peter Tomasi
Detective Comics writer/artists Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato
Bat-editor Mark Doyle.
Snyder and Capullo, who have been working on Batman since September of 2011, just started an arc called Endgame which sees the Joker launching an attack on Gotham. Most shockingly, the issue had the other members of the Justice League attacking Batman. A huge fight took place in downtown Gotham with Batman in a giant mech. It is revealed, in the final pages of Batman #35, that Joker had dosed the League with his Joker venom and has essentially brainwashed Batman’s allies.
Endgame is a sequel to Synder and Capullo’s Death of the Family, which was Joker essentially declaring his “love” for Batman, while this arc is about Joker hating Batman.
“If [Death of the Family] was a comedy, this is a tragedy,” Snyder said.
"What worries me is that was nice-guy Joker—this is P.O.'d Joker," Capullo added. "Who's afraid of a Joker-ized Superman?"
The conversation turned Batman: Eternal—a weekly series that will run for 52 issues, and just passed the halfway point.
"Every issue we turn gets crazier and crazier," Cunningham said.
“They gave us the best toybox on the table—Gotham City,” Tynion said. “So now we're going to take out those toys and break them a little."
One of the biggest Batman events of the year is taking place in Peter J. Tomasi’s Batman & Robin. The series has been a very character centric story, dealing with the difficult relationship between Bruce Wayne and his latest Robin, Damian Wayne—his blood son who he only learned existed recently. Earlier this year, Damian was killed off, and the series took off in a much darker direction.
Cunningham called "DC's most heart-wrenching book" and "a man's descent into Hell."
Now, they’re in the middle of an arc called Robin Rises.
"We're going to have a cool-ass toe-to-toe with Batman versus Darkseid in Issue #37," Tomasi said, promising that Batman will tear through Apokolips' forces "like a warm knife through butter."
When asked if this arc will end with Damian’s resurrection, Tomasi refused to answer.
New Batman Titles Announced
A new title that was recently released called Gotham Academy. "In my time in DC, I've never seen us publish anything with this flavor," Cunningham said. "This is true YA." The series follows a bunch of teens going to a private school in Gotham. The school itself may be haunted, and the lead character Olive has an unknown connection to Batman. The series is heavily influenced by the Harry Potter book series, whereas another new title, debuting at the end of November, called Gotham By Midnight by Ray Fawkes and Ben Templesmith is definitely inspired by The X-Files. "This book is very different—it's very spooky," Doyle said, comparing it to The X-Files. "It's a cop shop book – they're the midnight shift. They deal with all the weird stuff in Gotham.”
The last of the new titles is Arkham Manor, which is spinning out of Batman Eternal. Releasing its first issue in two weeks, sees Arkham Asylum—the crazy house for Batman’s most disturbed rouges gallery—will be destroyed or somehow closed. Bruce Wayne then decides the best thing to do would be to hand his manor over to Arkham staff and let the inmates live there.
"Basically, bad things happen to Arkham Asylum—so the question is, what do you do with all the crazy people?" Doyle said. "It's a really, really tight thriller… when you take Batman and take his gadgets away, what does he do?"
Scott Snyder loved the idea, saying that Gerry Duggan’s script for the first issue was fantastic.
Other Hints From DC
— Renee Montoya, a character from the GCPD who has been missing from the Bat-titles who has been missing since the New 52—but who is now featured on the television series Gotham—will likely be returning to comics soon.
— Batwoman will lead a team called “The Unknowns,” and will be going into space in upcoming issues.
— Stephanie Brown, one of the most endearing and beloved Bat-family characters, has had editorial difficulties over the years. Due to fan reaction, she was brought back after being benched for two years, and returned in the pages of Batman Eternal, earlier this year. One of the most repeated questions at the panel was about Stephanie Brown getting her own title again.
“I have a lot of pitches on my desk,” Doyle said, curtly.
— Dick Grayson, the original Robin and the former Nightwing, is currently starring in his own eponymous title called Grayson where after faking his death, became a spy. When asked if he would be returning to the Batman family anytime soon, the fan was shut down with a “No.”