Batman Relaunch: New #1s for ‘Batgirl,’ ‘Batman,’ ‘Detective, ‘Catwoman,’ ‘Birds of Prey’ [UPDATED]
Bruce Wayne will be the only man in the Batman mask following the September relaunch of all DC Comics' superhero titles. Batman & Robin and Batman: The Dark Knight will begin again with new #1 issues, as will Batman for the first time since 1940 and Detective Comics for the first time since 1937. Damian Wayne will return as Robin but will be teamed up with his father, Bruce Wayne. What will become of Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, or Batman Incorporated remains unconfirmed, but an announcement is expected later this week.
The news came via IGN, where a DC representative is quoted as saying that Grant Morrison, the architect of the Batman line for the last several years, "will indeed be involved in the September relaunch." IGN also, apparently accidentally, included cover images for new series of Batgirl, Catwoman and the previously announced Batwoman.
UPDATE via IGN: Batgirl will be written by Gail Simone with artwork by Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes and covers by Adam Hughes; Catwoman will be written by Judd Winick with art and covers by Guillem March; and Birds of Prey will be will be written Duane Swierczynski with art by Jesus Saiz.Batman group editor Mike Marts told IGN that "story first" and "accessibility" will be DC's priorities with the Batman titles, and that Dick Grayson, the former Robin who recently ascended to the mantle of Batman, will no longer be behind any kind of Batman mask.
"In both Batman and Detective, Bruce Wayne is going to be the main star as Batman," Marts confirmed. "Bruce Wayne will once again be the only character to be wearing the Batman costume."
Perhaps also part of the same philosophy, it appears as though Barbara Gordon will return to her original role as Batgirl, a move that would not come without some controversy.
BATGIRL #1 written by Gail Simone and drawn by Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes with covers by Adam Hughes
The cover to Batgirl #1 by Adam Hughes depicts what certainly appears to be Barbara Gordon behind the cowl, although DC has yet to confirm the identity of the heroine. The original Batgirl, Gordon has been confined to a wheelchair since the events of 1988's Batman: The Killing Joke, in which she was shot in the spine by the Joker. Since that time, Gordon has operated as Oracle, a super-hacker and team leader of the Birds of Prey, and is considered a role model and positive media image for the disabled. The creative team of Batgirl includes outgoing Birds of Prey writer and ComicsAlliance columnist Gail Simone, who has been the writer most associated with Barbara Gordon as Oracle for the last few years.
BIRDS OF PREY #1 written by Duane Swierczynski with art by Jesus Saiz
According to IGN, the new Birds of Prey is a group billed as "Gotham City's covert ops team, taking down the villains other heroes can't touch." The team will now include Katana and Poison Ivy as well as a new character we don't recognize. Any ideas?
CATWOMAN #1 written by Judd Winick with art by Guillem March
An apparent image gallery error on IGN's part revealed a thumbnail for what appeared to be a new Catwoman #1. The larger version was obtained by prodigious fans who located the image file on DC's The Source Web server and distributed it to DC Women Kicking Ass, among other Tumblr blogs. The series has since been confirmed by Mike Marts to IGN, and will be written by Judd Winick with art by Guillem March.
March contributes the cover for Catwoman #1, depicting Selina Kyle in a typically tantalizing pose (although why she would hide diamonds in a condom begs some explanation). Her costume remains unchanged from the one introduced by Darwyn Cooke early in the last decade. Does the emergence of a new Catwoman series mean the end for Gotham City Sirens?
BATMAN #1 written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Greg Capullo
It has been rumored for months that longtime Spawn artist Greg Capullo, recently of Image's Haunt, would be working on a Batman title in some capacity. This cover to Batman #1 featuring the Dark Knight in his new costume confirms that rumor. The series will be written by outgoing Detective Comics scribe Scott Snyder, whose work on that title has been praised by ComicsAlliance. The Capullo artwork above features what seem to be redesigned versions of The Riddler, Scarecrow and Killer Croc, as well as a traditional-looking figure of Two-Face.
DETECTIVE COMICS #1 written and drawn by Tony Daniel
Presently the writer/artist behind Batman, Tony Daniel will move to writing and drawing Detective Comics, the series from which DC Comics took its name and the longest continuously published comic book in the United States. Detective Comics will be relaunched with issue #1 in September.
BATMAN AND ROBIN written by Peter Tomasi and drawn by Patrick Gleason
The current creative team of Batman and Robin will remain with the title, but Bruce Wayne will star alongside Damian Wayne in a father-and-son twist on the concept. Batman and Robin was launched in 2009 as a vehicle for the new Batman, then Dick Grayson, to train Damian in the ways of heroism.
BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT written and drawn by David Finch
While only two issues have shipped since its launch in November of last year, David Finch's Batman: The Dark Knight title will return with yet another #1. IGN quotes DC promotional material as saying the book is "a twisted adventure that pulls Bruce Wayne deep into the halls of the famed Arkham Asylum, a jail for Gotham City's most dangerous and criminally deranged." Whether Finch's current The Dark Knight storyline will ever be completed remains unknown.
BATWOMAN #1 cover by JH Williams III
The cover artwork for Batwoman #1 has been circulated for quite some time, but this version with a logo was found on the DC server along with the other new #1s, which if nothing else confirms that the long-awaited series' September premiere should go on as planned.