Robot 6

Is the Bat out of the bag?

Batman: Battle for the Cowl #2

Batman: Battle for the Cowl #2

Did Tony Daniel accidentally spoil the big mystery of the DC Comics miniseries Batman: Battle for the Cowl?

Be warned: This post obviously contains potential spoilers.

On his blog this morning, the writer/artist posted his proposed redesigns for the Batman and Robin costumes, which include notes about color schemes and special features.

“Batman was a no,” Daniel wrote in the post, which since has been deleted. “They didn’t want the all black, which I understand. But I thought it would be a cool change, and he’d still be recognizable as Batman. Looks a little (or a lot) like the movie version. Robin’s costume was chosen, but the hooded cape was decided upon after this sketch. I have more lying around, different angles. I just need to dig and right now I don’t have time.”

But the potential spoiler appears in his handwritten note on the Batman sketch: “Pitch black cape can envelope _____ & hide him completely.”

To fill in the blank, click “more.”

Warning: There are potential spoilers beyond this point.


Danger! Danger! Potential spoilers follow!

All right, are you ready?


The name that goes in the blank is … Dick. As in Grayson, the original Robin-turned-Nightwing.

Judging from online discussion, that likely won’t come as much of a surprise.

Of course, this could just be a well-planned ruse to throw readers off the scent of, say, Jason Todd. I guess.

In which case I’ll say, Well played, DC Comics.

Batman: Battle for the Cowl #2 goes on sale April 8.

Batman costume design, by Tony Daniel

Batman costume design, by Tony Daniel



There’s been other clues out there. Look at the belt on the Frank Quitely cover to BATMAN & ROBIN #1. The v-shape. Remind anyone of the various designs for Nightwing’s costume much? The posture on that cover, too, speaks volumes. The distance. The mix of amusement and bemusement on Batman’s face at Robin’s puffed up stance.

has anyone ever genuinely considered anyone other than dick being batman?

If it’s not Dick I’ll be sorely disappointed

I hope it’s Dick Grayson he would be a much better Batman then Dick Dastardly, or Dick Tracey or Dick Van Dyke. later!

Maybe Tony just meant that the cape can envelop Batman in case he forgot to zip up his fly.

I keep thinking we’ll have two different Batmen – one for Morrison and one for everyoen else to play with. Dick is a definite though and I didnt even think this was a spoiler after all the interviews and artwork and origin&omens stuff.

“Pitch black cape can envelope dick.” which is more of a criticism. I.E. ” He ain’t worth dick.”

If this is a spoiler, what an utter letdown.

gasp, shock, what a surprise

Why doesn’t anyone say that this was done in Prodigal after Knightfall? This is a complete rehash, completely unoriginal in every way. And we all know it’s temporary, what with Bruce still alive out there. If it wasn’t Morrison, whose scripts are too fun not to read, I wouldn’t buy the new title. As it is, I might wait ’til the TPB’s, as I am with RIP. Sucks that we’re all just reading the same concept over again, though, and that it happens in comics so much, we’re used to it.

Why would the inadvertant “leak” about Bruce Wayne’s first and oldest adoptive son and crimefighting sidekick assuming his mantle be considered some type of revelation? Surely, Dick Grayson, who has spent his childhood, adolescence and young adulthood, going on near-middle age as Robin and Nightwing, and as a Teen Titan and interim JLAer would have to be the frontrunner to “temporarily” replace Batman. (Exclude “Batman Beyond” and the “Titans of Tomorrow” storyline)

I thought I was still in the running to be Batman – thanks a lot, Robot 6! ;)

KaraokeFanboy – while yes, they have had Dick be the replacement Batman before, there are a number of different ways of EXECUTING that idea. There’s no reason they can’t do it again in a way that will be interesting to read.

That’s like saying “They are having Superman fight Luthor AGAIN? They did that already!”

His blog has been deleted, which would seem to me to be DC giving him a firm word.

In other words, the leak was accurate.


March 25, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Yeah, too bad his whole blog was removed. I hope he isn’t in it too deep.


March 25, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Tony Daniel has weighed in a couple times at the DC Batman Board. He said he removed his own blog, and reiterated that he was going to post unused designs for both Tim and Jason as Batman as well, and that his starting with the costume for Dick wasn’t at all significant. I take him at his word, it has been what he was describing from the beginning of this series of posts, and I think a conspiracy was invented where there is none.

“Why doesn’t anyone say that this was done in Prodigal after Knightfall?”

See, because it hasn’t. Prodigal was pathetic, a rather poor story, and it never for a moment explored the interesting questions of what kind of Batman Dick would make.

goddammit cbr you got rid of tony daniel….god you guys are douches

an apology to him would be nice.

A note to the good guys and the bad guys,

No trouble from DC, so I can stop that before it gets any legs right there. But the good folks at CBR have helped me come to the conclusion that I should keep more to myself. Thank them for my permanent radio silence from here on out.
For the record – Jason, Tim and Dick each had their own suit designed by me for BFTC. That’s what was shown, and before I could correct it and put the right images up, people ran with it and made it into something it wasn’t.
I would hope that the good folks didn’t mean to be malicious in posting something I almost immediately took down because I realized it was the wrong image. So for my own good I’m going silent. No more blogs. No more correspondence.
Over and out. For good.
Thanks to everyone who’s visited my blog and supported me. Almost half a million since it began. Maybe when I’m old, drunk and senile I’ll do something again.

Tony S Daniel

Who is Tony Daniel to say who the good guys and bad buys are? He made a mistake. He can try to pass the buck and blame CBR, Robot 6 or even the DC comics message board folks for reporting it, but the bottom line is that he messed up.

He should be a man and not stop trying to blame everyone under the sun. It happened…. it’s his fault… now move on.

Tony Daniel went from one of my favorite up and coming creaters to bottom of the barrel. Grow up dude… sometimes in life your mistakes are just that…. YOUR MISTAKES>

Also if there was “no trouble” why go silent for good?

No need to go silent unless there was, in fact, trouble.

This guy strikes me as a little kid throwing a tantrum when getting caught in a lie.

I’m not even reading this stuff until Morrison hit us with the relaunch and I don’t care what happens to get this outcome, but Dick Grayson better be the new Bats!

Exactly… Tony’s “writing” is a fill in at best… I am waiting for Morrison and Dini and Rucka to do their thing….

Winick and Daniel on Batman….easiest pass I’ve ever had in 19 years buying comics. The blind leading the blind…

I’m enjoying Battle for the Cowl, and having clicked over to his blog before he pulled it, I enjoyed seeing the art, the plans, and some nice images I haven’t seen elsewhere – the combined cover, for example.

But his response at the publicity he received for something he himself put up online and out there in the ether, it seems kind of childish.

CBR doesn’t need to be “thanked” for his silence, only Tony Daniel can make that decision to stop interacting with the fandom that way – he’s a big boy and should be responsible for his own actions.

That he didn’t realize that people would read and examine something he posted, or that he didn’t feel it merited a mention that this was only *one* of the designs for *potential* Batman successors… that’s really on him.

If he thought CBR rushed to judgment, all he had to do was update his point pointing out their error..

The reaction pretty much confirms Grayson though. Not that that’s a surprise to anyone. Everyone mostly figured on him… the reveal isn’t in the ‘who’ but the ‘how’ and the ‘why’… which, I’ll say again, I’m enjoying Daniels take on.

But his reaction here isn’t anything worth bragging about.

Sorry, that should’ve been “update his post” not his “point”…

We’re all human. Tony made a mistake. One that probably cost him some pain or embarrassment from his employer.

But to lash out at the fans and CBR is just a joke.

Maybe I am biased. Tony Daniel banned be from his blog because I commented the following regarding BFTC #1 (no exaggeration or altered wording)

Re: BFTC #1
The issue was good. Damien was our of character. Not the type to cry for “mooommmmmy” or ask dick “are you okay!?!?”


Tony called me a troll and banned me from his blog! I said the issue was good! Maybe I am just a bitter fanboy…. but Tony really strikes me as a complete tool who can take no criticism (even in a positive review) and accepts no accountability for his mistakes

Nah, you guys are all wrong.

The new Batman is a regenerated Dick Cheney.

Charles Lobsterman

March 25, 2009 at 9:49 pm

This articles get’s an F+ from me. Seriously you guys.

hey does anyone have the other costume designs saved to his computer? if u do can u e-mail them to me at, beacuse i wasn´t able to see those designs and i want to see them really bad, peace and thanx

Wow Prodigal pt 2 continues….

Mr. Daniel make a mistake trying to give fans more info which is what I always hear them crying for. And those very same fans are ripping him for it….He can’t win….but I admire his attempt to….

I think no one reading.

Who are you to say. Perhaps there will be a Detective Comics issue again. Perhaps not. We wait with baited breath while for some reason there is no Batman in my batman…ah well. At least there is no Trinity in trinity, no Superman in superman and no Wonder Woman in wonder Woman. It seems DC is forgetting why I read there comics. Maybe there’ll be a Flash in the Flash?

Personally I hope Dick does become Batman – mainly because I care more about him than the other two main contenders.

I also think putting Dick in any non-Batman costume other than Nightwing would be a mistake. As for the silence – it’s just good sense – can’t give something away in future or get caught up in dealing with fallout if you don’t say anything.

Whether or not he meant to, HE put information on the internet that appeared to be spoilers (whether they were or not isn’t really important either).

He got his wrist slapped by DC and decided to blame CBR fo doing what they’ve always done: reporting comic book news to the best of their ability.

And this isn’t a re-hash of Prodigal as, although we know Bruce’ll be back, whoever the new BAtman is doesn’t. Remember, the DCU genuinely believe he’s dead.

Are his shorts ribbed for his pleasure or hers?

Am I the only one who hopes it’s Jason that wins and gets to wear the suit?

Don’t get me wrong, I love Richard (I will NOT type ‘I love Dick’) and I think he’s the most logical choice to take over if Bruce is ever really, truly, permanently sidelined, but if I’m a writer, the possibility of a Jason/Damien team is just too delicious and ripe with possibility. Espeically if Dick and Tim are on the other side of the fence…

You guys suck!

I liked Tony’s blog page.

Big coupe for Robot 6 though, considering it’s new and on the bottom tier of the comic book blogverse. This is the most comments you’ve ever received for any story you’ve posted.

You still suck!

So Batman’s going to be a Dick again?

Bad form Robot 6, and Bad form Robot 6 comment posters.

I’ve said all along it would be Dick.

I also agree that Bruce will be back.

There might be two different people as Batman; maybe three.

For sure it’s only a matter of time before Bruce is Batman again, but I think Dick will stay as Batman too.

Think about it : They can take turns like the day shift and night shift Batman. How could Batman be in the JLA and fighting Joker in Gotham too ? You just got your answer. He’s in two places at the same time because he, Batman, is two different people.

I think it would also add to the spookiness factor of Batman could be anywhere despite being seen somewhere else by say the media.

Almost forgot

I guess I’m one of the few that like the character of Damien. It’s been painfully obvious since he was introduced that he would be the new Robin too, though I’m all for it.

Any criticism of CBR seems pretty unwarranted. Mr. Daniels posted material on his site for public viewing in hopes that would stir interest in his product. A member of the public noticed that material and posted it on a blog site. Happens every day.

Frankly, this article was written more fairly than most. It warned of spoilers and then even suggested that this might be a way of DC throwing people off the trail.

I think Mr. Daniels did himself and DC a real disservice here. He could have simply said “I pulled that one down because it was one of several drawings I put together and I didn’t want to be accused of misleading people later”. He could have posted similar pictures with Jason and Tim in the cowl (much like Marvel did for their Black Panther build-up). Instead, he took his ball and went home, thereby disenfranchising those people who followed his blog.

Sorry for those who are mad, but I dont’ see how any apology to Mr. Daniels is necessary.

The difference is that in Prodigal, Dick knew he was only a fill-in. In this case, he’ll believe himself to be a permanent replacement. I the first, he was Nightwing pretending to be Batman. Now he’ll actually have to be Batman.

While the designs aren’t that bad, I wish they could have brought in Brian Stelfreeze (the designer of the current Nightwing costume) to do redesigns. When iconic characters pass on their mantle, a big part of the fun is the redesign. Hell, that was a big part of what made Ultimates cool. Cully Hamner, Bryan Stelfreeze, Paul Pope, Grey Williamson (designer of the current Mr. Terrific), etc. There are a lot of really good costume designers out there. It would have been nice to see one of them reinterpret the Batman costume for Dick.

Personally Dick being Batman is just plain idiotic, and boring.

Dick’s is a wuzz and always have been, Batman can’t be as soft as he is.

Tony made a HUGE mistake, and that’s why “he” took the blog down, asi it would
have been easy for him to deviate this to another thing or just ignore it in case “pointy ears”
was going to be someone else.

> Also if there was “no trouble” why go silent for good?

Because he’s got better things to do with his time than to waste it dealing with fandom and its more obnoxious and purille members.

Frankly, I wish more creators would follow his lead and just stay away from the ‘net.


It’s either a brilliant PR move or (most likely) yet another dunder-headed, uncoodinated gaffe. If I were the editor of the books, I would make it clear from the start that there will no posting of any images until after the reveals are known.

Daniels should understand that when he brings shares his creative process on the web, all bets are off when it comes to its distribution and interpretation. A sad fact, but a fact nonetheless.

Great, you guys! Now DC’s gonna change the ending at the last minute because it was leaked!

You doomed Dick! Now they’ll make Jason Todd Batman just to keep the surprise! You see what you’ve done, CBR?

Hopefully DC wouldn’t do that, as I am sure they’ve learned their lesson from the “Monarch/Hawk/Capt. Atom” debacle. Please let that ring true..

Dan, get over yourself. You were not banned from the site, as far as I am aware You were asked not to troll, which you were doing in that post (which was edited) and other posts. It seems YOU are the baby here being all mad and bitter because someone called you out on the fact that you are an @$$.

Mickey Double Vodka

March 26, 2009 at 10:16 am

Morrison already said Dick would replace Bruce in Batman 666… and, honestly, who else could it possibly be?

Wow! Superhero ‘dies’ and gets replaced by their younger,almost as famous prodigy. Thats never been done before! * Cough * Captain America * Cough *

Wow! Superhero ‘dies’ and gets replaced by their younger,almost as famous prodigy. Thats never been done before! * Cough * Captain America * Cough *

Yeah, b/c ideas are never recycled between the Big 2…

Good call.

And really, I love Tony, but he put the info on his blog. It’s Robot 6’s, and everyone else’, obligation to report on it. If it’s on the ‘net, that means you’re putting it there for EVERYONE to see. I think Tony’s on the wrong side of this one.

Really, it should be Dick. It would be the natural progression of the character.

Its their job to shine the world’s biggest spotlight on it? See, that’s why DC/Marvel never tell anyone anything, because we act like we deserve to know every little detail. Tony’s not on the wrong side; all the fans who just *have* to know everything before it happens are.

But they’ll never admit that.

Dan, get over yourself. You were not banned from the site, as far as I am aware You were asked not to troll, which you were doing in that post (which was edited) and other posts. It seems YOU are the baby here being all mad and bitter because someone called you out on the fact that you are an @$$.


Tom, he did shut down my ability to post.

Also, how can I be troll? I posted there a total of twice.

Once i asked if Tony was bummed that Whatever Happened to The Caped Crusader was delayed to end after BFTC began….

The next I said his issue was good and had one criticism.

2 posts, both constructive… some troll


to Tony Daniels: grow up
While you were cool enough to let fans in on your thoughts & cool designs with your Blog – giving them valuable insight to the creative process – the only person to blame for the leak is yourself. You posted it, it was obviously an oversight that the revelation of who Bats is was in there, but it happened and no one is to blame but yourself. CBR can’t be blamed for reporting on what was posted out there for the world to see, it’s not like they hacked your computer, it was there left for anyone to see. It is however, your right to ask them to take the picture you posted on your blog down from their site, as it is your work.

That being said, if it is Dick Grayson replacing Bruce as Batman – hopefully they explore how Dick would be different in the guise. Would he make a great Batman – or just a bad wannabe. Hell, he might be a superior Batman for all we know.

It’d be cool to see jason as batman, as he’s been potrayed as what Batman would be like – if he went that much further in his pursuit of justice. As for Tim, in my eyes – Tim is still only 15 or 16 and not big for his age, though artists are indeed in inconsistent lot so who knows.

Hopefully, DC doesn’t get annoyed by the leak and change it at the last minute like they did with Captain Atom/Hawk/Monarch.

“Shorts are black + black ribbed for texture”?

Sounds like something else that costs $2.99…

Somebody said Captain America. Let’s face it, Civil War sucked and it wasn’t going to do Cap’s title any good to die after such an embarrassing crossover. I don’t know how good DC’s crossovers were, but I doubt they were as bad.

As for Bats, I read some of Morrison’s stuff. Cofusing, but good. I think Tony Daniel is great. He’s art is great and didn’t we all love him playing C3PO?

Nightwing would make total sense, he does seem a little too soft, so he needs to be toughed up some more in his first year.

Dick is the most deserving of succeeding Bruce Wayne as Batman, just as Bucky Barnes is most deserving of succeeding Steve Rogers as Captain America. Anyone else taking the mantle of the bat is ludicrous, Jason Todd is not the mentoring type, and neither is Tim Drake. Dick’s attitude to Damien is the same Attitude that Bruce has toward Dick in the hugely popular All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder.

I saw the Solictitation for Red Robin, and i have to say, bringing a character from Kingdom Come to DC is wrong, The Kansas Disaster hasn’t happened, Gog/Magog hasn’t killed the Joker yet after the Joker set off a nuke in Metropolis. The Kingdom Come Universe is part of Hypertime as explained in the conclusion of ‘The Kingdom’ Storyline. We know that Nightstar will never be born. Dick already said in The Titans, he doesn’t love Kory. I know Jason Todd is an Excellent Detective, but when i saw him wearing the batman outfit hunting down Two-Face in the subway, i knew Tim won’t be the new batman, because he was wearing the Classic Golden Age costume.

Richard Grayson deserves the costume even if it costs him, his sense of humanity for the time being, he spent more time working also side bruce than anyone, if anyone deserves to honor Bruce’s Legacy, it’s Dick, in the words of Stan Lee, nuff said.

I remember working with Tony at a con when he was doing Spawn….
He got into a shouting match because a dealer wouldn’t take a check from him. Mind you, not everyone would take a check at a con, but when your “real” name is NOT Tony Daniel but you are wearing a name badge that says it is… he never tried explaining the stage name, but went off on a long rant about not getting respect.

Tony needs to grow the fuck up!

Devyn Rodriguez

March 26, 2009 at 7:32 pm

I don’t think that CBR did anything wrong. Tony Daniel posted that image for the world to see. As a media outlet it would be crazy if they didn’t say anything about it. You just have to be careful what you post on the web these days. I think people are getting to upset for no reason at all.

You’re a blind, deaf monkey if you can’t tell that it’s Dick and Damian on the cover to Batman & Robin #1

Its their job to shine the world’s biggest spotlight on it? See, that’s why DC/Marvel never tell anyone anything, because we act like we deserve to know every little detail. Tony’s not on the wrong side; all the fans who just *have* to know everything before it happens are.

But they’ll never admit that.

That’s absurd. Robot 6 was reporting the news, which it usually does. “Shining the biggest spotlight on it” is what it’s supposed to do. Let everyone know what’s going on in the comic world. It’s part of why they exist.

It’s not fans wanting everything now. It’s a group doing their duty. Tony let the info slip, and he’s paying.

Let’s put it another way. If one person goes to the site, and see’s the image, whose fault is that? Tony’s? Or the guy for wanting to know every single thing?

When Dan DiDio lets info slip at Cons, whose fault is that? Newsarama’s, for telling everyone else?

dick grayson will be the new batman i think any other than him will be so disgusting!!!!!

Didn’t we already have this storyline 10 years ago? ‘Prodigal’?

Matthew Stockfarleysolomonburger

March 27, 2009 at 5:31 am

Well, that didn’t seem obvious from the get go?

But now that Dick has been drawn into the Cowl he has his otherwise perfect record tainted. Perfect record as in he hasn’t been killed off and resurrected multiple times. Or turned into a criminal or reform later.

Who knows what emotional burden and psychological trauma he’ll inherit by undertaking the Cowl.

This is not a huge surprise. I’m not following the series but those who were complained weeks ago that the book was telegraphing that the outcome would be Dick as Batman.

its JASON folks. dicks worked to hard as nightwing to just ditch it. i see Dick as JASons mentor in all of this. i think Jasons learned his lesson back in COuntDown and is ready to grow up. even if im wrong, WInnick, DAMian as RObin and MORRISON and QUitley team return… dude BATMAN Comics kick ass again. awsome.

Between the serious points being made, the pretty decent snark, and the multiple uses of “Dick,” this may well be the best comment thread I have ever read.

Didn’t we already have this storyline 10 years ago? ‘Prodigal’?

Except Prodigal stinks. That warrants a remake in my mind.

It’s got to be Dick. Jason is warped. Is the Batman family going to just forgive all his transgressions and hand over the cowl to a crazy man? Plus it needs to be Dick. The whole thing about the sidekick deal is that you’re one day supposed to take over when the big guy is gone. The former Kid-Flash became the Flash didn’t he?

I smell art theft.

Tony’s under a lot of pressure. Writing, drawing, deadlines, people trying to weasil spoilers out of him, & lost of art theft.

I’m trying to get him onto DeviantArt. If he posts art there & you post it here, DA will get on your ass about it. I’ve already lost favored sites of a few artists who shut their sites down because they were sick of finding their art on forums, posted without permission. You can get sued for that you know?

well it has to be Dick grayson taking the mantle ; I forget where I saw it but there is a video out there that states that Tim believes that Bruce is alive and that he will start looking for him….just like the new Red Robin

Plus Jason Todd has been outed as the gun toting Batman(something neither Dick or Tim will let happen; they both respect the non-fatal ways of Bruce…excluding Darksied that is)

and Jason would make a better arch-enemy to Dick than anything

FYI Tony Daniel put his blog back up this weekend.

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