By Todd Allen

Before we get into the Bat-office’s announcements, it has come to my attention that Detective Comics #1 has made the December Top 300 List for Diamond.  When #4 is coming out, #1 is still charting?  With an index of 3.01, that means Detective #1 sold about 3% of Batman #4.  Figure Batman #4 is selling roughly 140-150K, then Detective #1 probably had ~4200-4500 copies orders THREE MONTHS after it debuted, if my rough math holds up.  I know Animal Man is the fashionable pick for surprise title, but it seems like a lot of people are jumping on the Detective band wagon after the fact.  Tony Daniel seems to have hit a nerve.

Now, back to the official announcements.  This had been mentioned before in passing, but the Bat-books are going to be having an event:

These back-up stories with continue to reveal more about the Court’s sinister agenda as we move toward “The Night of The Owls” – a massive crossover event coming in May, which will span the Bat-books and reveal the full breadth of their master plan.

Which is not without precedent for the Bat-books, though one wonders how gracefully Red Hood and the Outlaws, a book with a VERY different tone from Batman and Detective, will fit into such an event.  One also wonders about this IO9 interview with Tony Daniel showcasing Detective Comics as showing Batman’s early days as a crimefighter.  Will May see Detective’s storylines jumping to the present day?

As for the back ups:

BATMAN #8 will feature the first of a series of back-up stories exploring the dark history of the Court of Owls, the mysterious and malevolent secret society wreaking havoc upon Gotham City in the ongoing series.

The back-ups will bring together the fan-favorite writer/artist pairing of Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque, whose ongoing collaboration on AMERICAN VAMPIRE has made the critically acclaimed title one of the iconic series of the Vertigo line. James Tynion IV will co-write with Snyder.

And, as Rood and Wayne said last week, that _does_ make sense with the Event coming up.  Bringing Snyder & Albuquerque together for the back-up does continue the New 52 tendency to move Vertigo creators over to the formal DCU, too.  But, hey — people like ’em together and it’s not like they brought in the B-team for the back-up.

Newsarama has the back-up as a 10 page comics feature, so no text-page/sketches combo to worry about.  They also have Synder saying that the Court of Owls story is 11 issues long and he’s signed to be working on the back-ups indefinitely with “No end in sight.”  So the back-ups would appear to be set to outlast this Event.

Comic Book Resources is reporting “the history of the Court of Owls will debut in “Batman” #8 with subsequent chapters alternating between issues of “Detective Comics” and “Batman” in the months to come.”  While that would make complete sense in the context of an Event, I haven’t seen it mentioned elsewhere and Synder didn’t mention Detective in his Newsarama interview… so maybe, but not confirmed.


  1. It’s interesting that Tony Daniel and that interview position Detective as taking place in the past. People have certainly come to that conclusion based on the content. However, DC has never positioned the title that way – there’s no “5 years ago” or anything like that on the book like there is with Action Comics. So perhaps there was an intent to do so early on, that was passed on? Without Daniel going back and really changing anything?

    I think the end result is a little bit of an inconsistency between how Batman gets along with the police, but while that might be a problem now, I think it will straighten itself out in the long run, as regardless of its official standing, this run gets pushed back further in Batman’s history. It doesn’t even have to go back 5 years or more, just perhaps 1 or 2 years.

    I remember a fan’s chronology of the DCU that was created years after Crisis, and many of the events in Superman’s life were spread out and moved around to make up for the fact that Byrne jumped from Superman’s earliest days to “now” with nothing much in between.

  2. There’s no way that Detective takes place in the past. Books like Batman: The Dark Knight and Suicide Squad have mentioned events in that story that makes it sound like they happened recently.

  3. The notion that one was originally intended to take place further in the past might also explain why Daniel and Snyder needed to “trade places” on Batman and Detective, if there was going to be a difference in the setting. Otherwise, why couldn’t they just stay on the books they were already on?

    But yes, I imagine that plan was dumped, and while some elements of it remain, those Suicide Squad et al references depict it as being more current.

  4. As I posted over at Robot 6, if DC brings talent like Snyder and Albuquerque to the back-ups, I’m along for the ride, no question. If they start passing them off to interns and random dudes off the street again, though, that’s where I get off, and this James Tynion IV guy-–who has no credits on either ComicBookDB or so I assume he’s a complete newbie–-is definitely, as you put it, Todd, “the B-team.” That said, I like Snyder, Capullo and Albuquerque enough to stick with Batman at $4, but Detective? It’s $3 good but it ain’t $4 good. I’d be very disappointed if they alternated the back-ups between ‘Tec and Batman, though I don’t see anything in the posting at The Source that even mentions what ‘Tec’s backup will be.

    What worries me more, though, is what this means for American Vampire, as I’d much rather see Albuquerque spend his time there.

  5. DC just cancel all you’re new 52 titles and relaunch as new Batman 52 in 2012. 52 comics about Batman. All will sell out guaranteed.

    Marvel could relaunch with 23 X-titles or however many fewer they wish publish in 2012. X-Men Vs. Batman the new intracompany crossover of the 21st century!

  6. So all this efforts about a new start and the new 52 and how great it will be to start fresh and so on. And they can´t even bother to give a series enough breathing space to develop its own voice, begin the next crossover already with issue 8? DCNu, right where the old one ended, along with a product price which the content doesn´t merit. Back-up or no back-up.

    Why doesn´t DC go to the next logical step? Just publish one Batman comic weekly. Less meaningless work for editorial and marketing.

  7. “And they can´t even bother to give a series enough breathing space to develop its own voice, begin the next crossover already with issue 8?”

    Except if you read Snyder’s interview, that’s not what’s happening here.

  8. My feeling is that this bat-event will be a bit like Batman RIP in its structure, with a pretty much self-contained story in the Batman title, and then ripples of the main story in the other monthlies. I do not think anyone buying Batman will “need” to buy the other series, though the opposite may not be true.