DC Reveals the Future of Batman, His Allies and Villains

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DC Comics reveals the future of Batman, his allied heroes and villains at New York Comic Con 2022.

CBR is seated for DC’s Gotham City Panel moderated by Editor Ben Abernathy with writers Frank Tieri (harley quinn), Meghan Fitzmartin (Tim DrakeRobin) and Ram V. (Detective Comics) as guests, here to report all the announcements, reveals and more as they arrive.

Attendees are filing into the room set to begin at 10:45 am EST.

The panelists have arrived and the panel is beginning. As surprise guests, The Batman star Paul Dano is in attendance as the writer of a new Riddler tie-in, as well as Ed Brisson as the writer of Batman Incorporated.

Dano was asked about the upcoming The Riddler: Year One, and the actor spoke on the differences between working on a comic and needing a “Birds-eye view” as a writer as opposed to an actor. He said playing the Riddler is “a lot different” from writing the character and building his world. “I had a lot key images in a head, and I had on idea,” Dano continued, saying that he was told to follow up on turning it into a comic. After reaching out to DC and the project being greenlit, Dano recalled thinking, “Oh sh–, I have to do this.”

“Batman, to me, was always his inner gold,” Dano said of the Riddler in the film. “I just kept reading Batman comics throughout the shoot,” Dano added, saying that this was done to get into the mindset of the Riddler who “worships at the altar of Batman.”

“Hopefully it’s just kind of its own thing,” Dano said of the comic and exploring the Riddler’s psyche further, and how it tells an “emotional story about trauma.” Interior artwork from the title was shown, as well as a video message from Riddler: Year One‘s artist, Steven Subic. “I cannot wait for you to see the story,” the artist said in the recording.

After the release date for the first issue was shown as Oct. 25, Dano had to leave immediately due to the “busy schedule” he has.

The conversation then shifted to the main Batman and the mention of characters and events introduced by James Tynion IV’s Batman run, such as Ghost-Maker and “Fear State,” bringing up how Ghost-Maker will be leading Batman Inc. in Brisson’s new series, the mic being passed to the writer to talk on the title.

“I honestly don’t know if he is the right guy,” Brisson said of Ghost-Maker leading Batman Inc., speaking on his rivalry with and push to out-do Batman, as well as how he revisited comics of old to tell the story. “He is a bit of a prick,” Brisson also said to describe Ghost-Maker. “We are going to explore how he earns the trust of the team, something he is not looking to earn.” Brisson continued to talk on the title’s new characters, such as Blackness and more, Brisson saying that Blackness is a “Badass, Irish vigilante” who brings Batman Inc. their new mission in the title.

Brisson complimented John Timms’ art and designs on the series, and how he delivers the title’s emotional core with his illustrations. “He can get lost in his pages, because he focuses so much on the small details,” Brisson described Timm, labeling him as “phenomenal” for how he juggles ten characters and “makes it look easy.”

“John is definitely leveling up as an artist,” Abernathy added.

The next title to be talked about was Tim DrakeRobin, as the first issue of Fitzmartin’s new series with the Robin appeared on-screen. Fitzmartin was asked who her favorite Robin was growing up, which she labeled as “a trap” question because they “are all great.” She said that Tim Drake is the Robin though that she really grew up, mentioning what Dick Grayson was up to then and that Jason Todd was dead at the time. “I feel a kinship about it,” Fitzmartin said of writing Tim.

“I think he represents the burnout generation,” Fitzmartin said of Tim’s popularity and why he means so much to people. She labeled his “Empathy” as what makes him such a great detective and so beloved by readers, because they “see themselves in Tim.”

Fitzmartin was asked about writing Tim across Batman: Urban Legends and following titles, to which she explained were about “Tim finding his identity.” She described how her series is meant to separate Tim from the rest of the Bat Family as a way to figure out and explore who he is on his own.

When asked about Tim’s new boathouse home in Tim DrakeRobin, Fitzmartin said, “I love boats,” and said that Gotham’s warehouses and many areas have been explored, but she really wanted to include a marina in the series. “They’re so abstract and cool,” she said, continuing that they allow Tim to have his own space with his own feel.

Tea Robin writer was asked about working with artist Riley Rossmo on the title, sharing her appreciation for his work and how he can make a marina feel “So lived-in” and that his art is “incredibly kinetic.”

Abernathy’s following question to the audience was “Who likes Harley Quinn?” turning the panel over to Tieri as one of harley quinn‘s train writers.

A new title was announced, Multiversity: Harley Screws Up the DCUwritten by Tieri with art by Logan Faerber and out in March 2023.

Tieri revealed that in the title, Harley is back in Coney Island and finds out that she has inherited a time machine. So, she goes back in time and when she comes back, she finds that the DC Universe is controlled by Starro the Conqueror. The writer continued that while Harley was back in time, she managed to “screw up” all the origins of DC’s heroes, and will need to fix what she has done. He also announced that iconic harley quinn artist Amanda Conner will be making covers for the series.

After talking about Harley Quinn, Detective Comics was the next title to be focused on, with Ram V. talking about his “Gotham Nocturne” arc. “I always felt like there was always that opening feeling of dread and tragedy,” V recounted of watching Batman: The Animated Seriesexplaining how he wanted to bring that “Gothic Tragedy feel” to Batman and the city through an operatic story.

V was asked about Two-Face in the title, who continued to talk about how Two-Face has been “cured” of his condition at the time of his run. “We will see Two-Face become this metaphorical character where Gotham’s duality plays out through,” V said, saying how he will reflect Gotham’s nature in the book.

The writer continued that the goal with “Gotham Nocturne” was organized like an actual opera, and teased that “cool arcs” are in store for readers. He spoke of bringing back Barbatos and the B:TAS aesthetic through his story. He also added his praise for artist Rafael Albuquerque on the title.

“Wow these are going to be some really weird choices,” V remembered thinking while scripting the book, after being asked if he works while listening to opera music, also saying that the title is doing a “full tour” of different kinds of music.

The panelists were then asked about their first and favorite Batman-related books since their exposure to comics. Brisson labeled “Batman: Year One” as a “cop-out,” but said that he reads the story every year. Fitzmartin said that “No Man’s Land” is what “sparked a love and joy for Gotham City,” but said that her favorite story is “Bruce Wayne: Murderer, Batman: Fugitive” storyline. Tieri said his first exposure to Batman was the television series starring Adam West and talked of growing up with the series, and for his favorite story, he said, “I like when they broke his back. Yeah, that sh– was cool. ” V said his exposure was B:TASbut said his favorite story is Batman: The Long Halloweenand added that while working on “Gotham Nocturne,” he has gained a new appreciation for Grant Morrison’s run and the “Return of Batman.”

When asked about what else the panelists have coming up, Brisson mentioned Deathstroke Inc., Batman Incorporated, marvel’s predator and more. Fitzmartin revealed that she has contributed to the upcoming WildStorm anniversary stories with Stormwatch on the way, as well as stories with Apollo and Midnighter and where they are after Action Comics‘”Warworld Saga.” She also mentioned how Dark Crisis: Young Justice will be ending soon. Tieri described his own projects, while V mentioned the collected addition of Swamp Thing coming out, but said that his Detective Comics series is his main focus when he is not emailing Abernathy with more “crazy ideas.”

Abernathy announced that attending fans at the panel will be handed free issues of batman vs. robin #1, Detective Comics #1062 and a free movie ticket to black adam as the panel ended.

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