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.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.