Robot 6

DC reveals details about the relaunched Batman line

Ceçi n'est pas un Batman

Ceçi n'est pas un Batman

DC spent the day rolling out announcements about the Batman books in anticipation of its line-wide September relaunch…with one conspicuous absence until the very end.

So, Bruce Wayne is reclaiming sole possession of the mantle of the Bat, while Batman and Detective Comics are swapping creators: Batman writer/artist Tony Daniel will be taking over Detective Comics, while ‘Tec writer Scott Snyder is taking over Batman with artist Greg Capullo of Spawn fame. Both books will star Bruce Wayne rather than his protege and stand-in Dick Grayson beneath the cape and cowl.

Also featuring Bruce as the one true Batman will be the relaunched Batman and Robin and Batman: The Dark Knight, both of which retain their creative teams of Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason and David Finch (formerly the series’ sole creator) and artist Jay Fabok respectively.

Gotham City’s women vigilantes are well-represented in the line-up, as the publisher announced new series for Batwoman, Batgirl, Catwoman, and Birds of Prey. Batwoman retains its previously announced creative team of J.H. Williams III, Amy Reeder, and Haden Blackman. Batgirl, featuring the formerly paraplegic Barbara “Oracle” Gordon in Bat-gear once more, will be written by franchise staple Gail Simone and illustrated by Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes. Another pair of Bat-veterans, writer Judd Winick and artist Guillem March, will launch a new Catwoman series. And DC newcomer Duane Swierczynski will team with artist Jesus Saiz for the new Birds of Prey.

With Dick Grayson out from under the point ears, he’s slipping back into his previous crimefighting guise in Nightwing, from writer Kyle Higgins and artist Eddy Barrows. Grayson’s fellow former Robin, Jason Todd, will get his turn in the spotlight as well, as the star of the new ongoing series Red Hood and the Outlaws; he’ll team up with Arsenal and Starfire under the guidance of writer Scott Lobdell and artist Kenneth Rocafort.

(No word on the other two ex-Robins currently on active duty, though: The fate of Tim Drake of Red Robin and Stephanie Brown of Batgirl is currently unknown.)

DC also announced at IGN that Winick will be pulling double duty in the Bat-books by debuting Batwing, a series illustrated by Ben Oliver that will star the Batman of Africa from Grant Morrison’s Batman Incorporated.

Speaking of which…after a day of agita-inducing silence about the future of both the title and the writer’s overall presence in the Batman line, DC and Grant Morrison finally announced that Batman Incorporated will return with a new #1 issue in 2012, with a planned 12-issue run that will wrap up his six-year tenure with the character. For several years now, Morrison’s Batman comics have established the line’s most important plot points, most notably by blasting Bruce Wayne through the timestream and installing Dick Grayson in his place, then by bringing Bruce back, outing him as the “financial backer” of Batman, and instituting a franchise approach in which “Batman Incorporated” draws on an army of like-minded crimefighters from around the world. Certainly some of that is still intact — Marts says Batwing spins right out of Grant Morrison’s Batman Incorporated storyline, while IGN’s Joey Esposito says the series “should answer the question about whether or not Batman Incorporated is still relevant.” But with Dick Grayson resuming his Nightwing role and Bruce trumpeted to the heavens as “the one true Batman” — not to mention the absence of any mention of Batman Inc. members Red Robin Tim Drake and Robin Stephanie Brown, and Barbara Gordon’s tenure in the key support role of Oracle coming to an end — it seems like Morrison’s much ballyhooed two-year plan for Batman Incorporated‘s complicated conspiracy storyline will require some revision to reach its original conclusion. Still, the good news is that that conclusion is indeed headed our way, after a brief hiatus during which Morrison will work on a project yet to be revealed.



I so hope Higgins is good.

The only title I’m really excited for is Catwoman. I’m so glad she’s getting her own series back after the clusterf**k called Gotham City Sirens. Love him or hate him, Judd Winick is a fairly well-known comic book writer so I’m glad she’s getting some love in that department. And I loved Judd’s Batman run so I am looking forward to what he does with Selina.

I just hope they play up the romantic elements of her relationship with Batman and don’t retcon out her knowing he is really Bruce Wayne.

I am VERY worried about Tim.

I found this all interesting when it seemed like DC was doing a hard reboot and starting all the stories over from the beginning. Now that it appears that it really isn’t a reboot at all, just a renumbering scheme continuing the same continuity from before, all of my enthusiasm for this project has sadly evaporated. What a wasted opportunity.

The only two things that really bother me with these titles are the costumes and the changes they represent. Katana’s in Birds of Prey just reminds me too much of Shi, and that’s so far removed from the maternal character of Tatsu that it’s not even funny. And Nightwing’s new red costume remind me too much of Batman Forever and Devin Grayson’s… unfortunate run on Nightwing several years back.

But I suppose that’s what this experiment (and that’s what it is) is… throwing EVERYTHING at the wall at once and seeing what sticks.

@Steely Dan:

I don’t think this is just a re-numbering. I still maintain that by the end of Flashpoint we’re going to see that all this is happening on a different Earth in the multiverse… Earth-12 or something. That’s why DC has been so adamant about calling this a re-launch and not a re-boot: these aren’t revisions of old characters… they’re totally new characters that just look like the old ones.

I am concerned about what’s happened to Tim, Stephanie and Cassandra. I am HOPING Steph sticks around and we get a Spoiler series by Bryan Q. Miller. I also desperately want a Blackbat book, or at least Blackbat on a team. If Tim’s gone in favour of Damian, I’ll puke.

No word on Batman Beyond? I guess it has gone to the great beyond.

Paul, I believe they’re setting up a Beyond line of books starring Bats, Supes, and the Justice League.

There’s absolutely no way they can get rid of Tim Drake. Chill, folks. He’ll turn up.

And STILL no word on the true fate of BATMAN: ODYSSEY. Why is DC so reluctant to just come out and tell us, straight up, if the series has been cancelled outright or merely put on temporary hiatus? Is it really going to be resolicited (as Diamond claimed), and if so, WHEN? Or was that just BS? Hey, DC, how about levelling with us? SOME of us actually were buying the book and were rather pissed when you cancelled it HALF WAY INTO ITS RUN. Oh well, at least Dark Horse and Marvel are still publishing Neal Adams work. I guess I can always spend my money there…

So out of 52 new/relaunched titles, 11 of those will be Bat-related (12, if you include next year’s Batman, Inc.). I get that Batman and his supporting cast are popular, but… I don’t know, but something bugs me about having 1/5 of their line devoted to Bat-books. Guess it’s been the case for awhile, though.

I still think Jimmy Olsen & Gorilla Grodd should get their own books. But that aside, I can’t see this being an alternate universe if it still retains some of the elements of the old books. Their holding back Batwoman to publish it now, but it really takes place on Earth-12 sounds kind of corny and a little implausible, and isn’t Finch doing a book too? They’re just going to throw that out into another Earth? Seems fishy to me, but then again when everyone was saying that they were going to reboot the whole line I didn’t believe that either and look at where we are.
Tim Drake is cool, and while I’m not worried he will cease to exist, I do worry about what they’re going to do with him. Of all the books listed, and the creative teams I’m seriously not that interested in most, just a few. Justice League, Hawkman, Teen Titans (or whatever book Booth lands on), Green Arrow.
But how is this shaking up anything if the majority of the creators are the same ones writing their books now? How much of a shakeup can it truly be if its all being masterminded by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee? If you want a real shake up, you’d let the writers go where they want to go and do their own crazy thing.
The more they announce the less I’m interested. I just wish they’d get it all out, because then I actually have to wait until September anyways to actually look at the books and the art and that’s when I’ll really decide what I’m going to buy. The slow tease is really annoying at this point …

I can’t take this anymore. We’re experiencing a cultural de-evolution right here. And I think someone is secretly behind it all. Face it, because of the stupid near-shutdown of our economy, everybody is sticking with tried and true and not moving forward. The only thing that seems to be going forward is green tech, but it’s being blocked and blocked. And like I said, someone or something is secretly behind all this.

^^ Leviathan, obviously.

Simon DelMonte

June 7, 2011 at 1:32 am

We have a whole bunch of decisions here that are baffling. Especially turning Babs from the intriguing and inspiring Oracle back to Batgirl. And keeping the bland Tony Daniel on a Batbook. And demoting Dick. Oh, some of these will work, given much of the creative types involved, But I bet a lot won’t.

And I do hope everyone read the scathing opinion piece about Babs at Newsarama.

Simon, could you provide a link?

Kel-El, thanks for the info!

Found it. Here’s the Newsarama op-ed about Batgirl/Oracle:

I honestly thought I was past being affronted by any wrong-headed decision by a comic book company. Turns out I was wrong. Undoing the character of Oracle truly hurts. Corporate decisions regarding make-believe stories about people wearing pajamas who like to punch each other should never be taken personally, but this is a super bummer.

On the one hand part of me is interested because I’ve heard this is the sort of thing They wanted to originally do when COIE first ended on the other hand I’m quite confused at wither this is suppost to be a reboot or a renumbering/revamping thing. The GL stuff looks like it’s still going where they were planning it while everything else is brand new, Firestorm, Cap. Atom, Savage Hawkman ect.
Is Batwoman and Batman Inc. Leviathan even going to be considered in continuity with the newrevamp or with the old numbering?

Overall it looks like I’ll still be getting more stuff from DC than Marvel regardless of the changes.
I hope this doesn’t mess with the Johnny DC kids line.

I’m glad that Oracle was an inspiration to people, but I always thought it was really stupid that, in a universe full of high tech and magic, the Justice League didn’t absolutely dedicate themselves to healing her spine.

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