The signs were there that James Tynion IV was wrapping up his well-received run on Detective Comics.  There’s been some speculation about who was going to get the new assignment, but it turns out the answer was not on the list of usual suspects.  It’s Bryan Edward Hill.

Hill’s currently writing Michael Cray as part of the Wildstorm revival line.  He’s also writing the recently announced Black Lightning / Hong Kong Phooey  for the second round of DC / Hanna Barbera crossovers.  Previously, he was working on Top Cow titles like Postal and Cyberforce.

Which is to say, once he got in the DC system, it sure didn’t take him long to grab a spot on a flagship title.

As announced over at Den of Geek, Hill is scheduled to be on Detective for a 5-issue arc titled “On the Outside.”

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Here are the solicitations:

DETECTIVE COMICS #982
Written by BRYAN HILL • Art by MIGUEL MENDONÇA • Cover by EDDY BARROWS • Variant cover by MARK BROOKS
“On the Outside” part one! Duke Thomas. Cassandra Cain. They and other young heroes don’t intend to stand down, no matter what Batman thinks is best. Who can Batman trust to guide them? They need a teacher…and Black Lightning fits the bill!
On sale JUNE 13 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

DETECTIVE COMICS #983
Written by BRYAN HILL • Art by MIGUEL MENDONÇA • Cover by EDDY BARROWS • Variant cover by MARK BROOKS
“On the Outside” part two! Batman wanted Black Lightning involved in the lives of his protégés—but how involved was the Dark Knight thinking? What kind of missions will Jefferson Pierce take them on? And what, exactly, is he whispering in their ears about Batman himself?
On sale JUNE 27 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Adding Black Lightning to the cast makes a person think that “On the Outside” is play on “The Outsiders,” the 80s series that started out as Batman & The Outsiders, written by Mike W. Barr and mostly drawn by Jim Aparo and Alan Davis.

And it’s not clear what’s slated for Detective after these 5 issues are over.  Is this setting up the current Batman family supporting cast to move over to a new book and make Detective a more Batman – or Batman/Damian – centric title?  Setting up a Black Lighting ongoing, as he does have a TV show now?  For that matter is there a new creative team coming on?  That’s implied, but not explicitly stated.

We’ll find out soon enough, but this announcement does raise a few forward-looking questions.  In the meantime, somebody call Mr. DeMille, Bryan Hill is ready for his close-up.

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