Dark Knight fans, I hope you have deeeeep pockets in June.
DC Comics released its June solicitations (aka promos for upcoming issues)this week and there's just a ton of potentially great Batman material coming out. After these solicitations (cut and pasted here for your convenience), find out my spoiler-ish thoughts on the new Batman, who Red Robin might be and the character taking over DETECTIVE COMICS:
BATMAN #687 (Written by Judd Winick; art by Ed Benes & Rob Hunter; cover by Tony Daniel & Sandu Florea; variant cover by JG Jones): In this special epilogue to BATTLE FOR THE COWL, new BATMAN writer Judd Winick rejoins the Bat Family!
This 40-page issue explores the final moments of the Battle for the Cowl as the new Batman learns that winning the Cowl comes at a high price! Witness the new Batman taking to the streets of Gotham City for the first time! Putting a new man inside the Bat-suit was the easy part – now the fun begins! Guest-starring Superman and Wonder Woman, this issue is a must-read for any Batman fan.
BATMAN AND ROBIN #1 (Written by Grant Morrison; art and cover by Frank Quitely; variant cover by JG Jones; sketch variant cover by Frank Quitely): "Batman Reborn" begins here! With the reunited team of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, WE3, New X-Men), this first issue kicks off a 3-part story arc that can't be missed!
The new Dynamic Duo hit the streets with a bang in their new flying Batmobile as they face off against an assemblage of villains called the Circus of Strange. They also tackle their first mission investigating a child who’s been abducted by the mysterious Domino Killer. But will everything go smoothly? And who exactly are the new Batman and Robin? The newest era of The Dark Knight begins here!
BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM #1 (Written by Paul Dini and Marc Andreyko; art by Dustin Nguyen & Derek Fridolfs and Georges Jeanty & Karl Story; cover by Dustin Nguyen; variant cover by JG Jones): An all-new Batman series by the DETECTIVE COMICS creative team of Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen!
As a new Batman rises on the streets of Gotham City, the heroes, villains and citizens take notice. How will the police feel about this new Batman, and can he control the crime in Gotham the way the old Batman did?
DETECTIVE COMICS #854 (Written by Greg Rucka; art by JH Williams and Cully Hamner; cover by JH Williams; variant cover by JG Jones): “Elegy” part 1 of 4!
A new era in the history of DETECTIVE COMICS begins as Batwoman is unleashed on Gotham City! Marked by the blood-red bat, Kate Kane is a soldier fighting her own private war – one that began years ago and haunts her every waking moment. With a script by Greg Rucka and breath-taking art by JH Williams III, you've never seen anything like this!
Featuring the debut of a new co-feature starring The Question written by Rucka! Odds against you? Alone and nowhere to turn? Willing to fight, but you don't know how? When you're searching everywhere for an answer, sometimes all you need to do is ask the right Question. Renee Montoya again dons the faceless mask to help those in need, all the while searching for her own answers in this new adventure with art by Cully Hamner (BLUE BEETLE).
GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #1 (Written by Paul Dini; art and cover by Guillem March; variant cover by JG Jones): This all-new series features the bad girls of Gotham City! Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are tired of playing by other people's rules regardless of which side of the law they're on. These tough ladies have a new agenda that's all their own, and they'll use any means necessary to pursue it. But can they get along and work as a team? And who will get hurt along the way?
RED ROBIN #1 (Written by Christopher Yost; art by Ramon Bachs; cover by Francis Manapul; variant cover by JG Jones): Writer Chris Yost (NEW X-MEN, X-FORCE) and artist by Ramon Bachs (CIVIL WAR: FRONT LINE) kick off a brand-new ongoing series right here with “The Grail” part 1 of 4!
Following the aftermath of BATTLE FOR THE COWL, a new Batman watches over Gotham City. But not everyone is ready to give up on the old one. Someone believes that Bruce Wayne may still be alive…and that someone is Red Robin. But who is wearing the Red Robin costume, and why is he traveling the globe looking for a dead man? Whoever he is, he's not alone in his search!
Back to Cary: Ready for my thoughts? Are you sure? I'm not holding back. You were warned: Granted (pun intended), I'm as event-fatigued as the next guy.
I'm sick and tired of DC having a crisis after crisis. Enough already!
And for the record, I quit watching the "Batman Beyond" cartoon simply because I couldn't hack Bruce Wayne not being Batman.
BUT I'm willing to give this post-"Batman R.I.P." world a go. As frustrated and disappointed I am with the way the continuity between "R.I.P." and "Final Crisis" was mishandled, I'm not willing to be a fair weather fan and give up comics because the original Batman is no longer the Dark Knight. (Check out Batman-on-film Webmaster Jett's thoughts about BOF not being happy with Batman in comics.)
Why, you ask? I have faith DC can spin some good yarns out this Batman-is-gone scenario. It should be a heckuva ride.
After all, I've referred to myself as a diehard Batman fan for too long to jump ship now.
The new Batman: As I wrote for "Cary's Comics Craze" in mid-November, I have no doubt Dick Grayson (aka Nightwing) will be the new Batman. He's been groomed to take over for Bruce Wayne ever since he became the first Robin.
And frankly, like Marvel's "Captain America," I'd love for DC to take a long time with Dick in the cowl and truly try to make a go of it without the promise of Bruce returning to Gotham City. That would make for much more interesting story possibilities. And when (not if) Bruce comes back, why not take a bigger chance of keeping Dick as the Dark Knight?
BATMAN AND ROBIN: First of all, it's about time we had a series focused on the Dynamic Duo.
Yes, this is a roll-your-eyes way of DC getting readers to buy more titles, but the post-Bruce Wayne world is the best time to debut this title. My heart wants to see the new Dynamic Duo being Dick and Robin III (Tim Drake), but my instinct is telling me Robin might be Damian, Bruce's biological son.
Morrison gave a lot of clues to that end in this extensive interview with blog.wired.com. Having Damian as Robin would be extremely disappointing, especially considering how great the interactions have been between Dick and Tim and how much time other writers have taken to develop their brotherly relationship. Besides, I just don't see Tim suddenly giving up his Robin identity or Dick wanting his partner to be someone both people haven't been able to trust.
Morrison's "David Lynch directs the Batman TV show" pitch makes me nervous, but I'm usually that way with him — or utterly confused. How 'bout some linear narratives for a change, huh, Grant? I hope he approaches B&R with the same respect and novelty he did ALL-STAR SUPERMAN.
Regardless, it should be an intriguing approach to the Dynamic Duo.
Batwoman in 'TEC, GOTHAM CITY SIRENS: I'm all for Batwoman getting her time in the spotlight. She was way too underused in 52. Why introduce a character with ties to DC's past and not do much of anything with her?
Let's face it: Batwoman's time in 'TEC is an audition for her own series.
I might not pick up SIRENS much past its first issue or storyline, but if it's anything like the Webisodes of "Gotham Girls," we're in for a treat. Besides, Dini's run on DETECTIVE COMICS was stellar, if not (dare I say it?) an instant classic. SIRENS could be the villainous answer to BIRDS OF PREY, but probably will be much more interesting, at least under Dini's more than capable pen.
Who is Red Robin?: All evidence points to Jason Todd being Red Robin.
The second Robin has had an annoying habit of taking up other people's identities since he was resurrected. So it makes sense for him to bear the name of the middle-aged, alternative Dick Grayson in KINGDOM COME and the duds that what JT wore in COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS No. 17.
But wait … Dan Didio in this video interview about Batman's future said Tim Drake doesn't believe Bruce is dead, so could Robin III become Red Robin? Keep in mind a Red Robin attacked Jason Todd and Robin III in the recent pages of ROBIN.
Readers, it's your turn. Let's start yackin'!