DC Comics’s namesake title is getting a new creative team. The publisher has announced that writer Ram V, artist Rafael Albuquerque, and color artist Dave Stewart will take over the reins of Detective Comics starting in July. Kicking off in Detective Comics #1062, the team’s first four-issue story arc finds Batman embroiled in a music-themed mystery. Writer Si Spurrier will provide the ongoing backup stories for the monthly series, with the first story, illustrated by Dani, following Jim Gordon on his return to Gotham as a private investigator.
Here’s how DC describes Detective Comics #1062:
The story starts with “Gotham Nocturne” part 1 of 4: “Overture.” Something is terribly wrong with Batman. No matter the tests Bruce takes, nor the numbers he counts, the greatest detective in the world can’t pin down the source of this creeping dread—of his own inner demons and a looming mortality. He’s not alone in the grips of this terror, as it seems real demons are creeping through the shadows of Gotham City, answering the clarion call of a strange melody that’s haunting Gotham…and seems to be turning its denizens into something else.
The curtains are rising on a new, terrifying mystery as Batman tries to figure out what’s happening to both the city he protects and his own mind in this lush, operatic mystery.
Ram V and Rafael Albuquerque are no strangers to Gotham. The writer just came off a run on Catwoman with artist Fernando Blanco, and has had stories in the Batman: Urban Legends anthology series as well as in Batman: Secret Files. Albuquerque drew a number of back-up stories in the New 52 Batman ongoing series, as well as five issues of the Scott Snyder-written All-Star Batman. The artist also provided variant covers for the Rebirth-era Detective Comics series, though this will be his first time doing interiors for the series.
In a statement announcing their takeover of the title, V and Albuquerque described the experience and their excitement at working together on Detective Comics:
Writer Ram V said, of joining Detective Comics, “It’s a thrill to be writing a title with the kind of history and pedigree that Detective Comics has. When the opportunity first came across my desk, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. For me, the draw of Batman as a character and that of the world around him had always been this blanket of tragedy that lay above it all. So, with that perspective, ‘Gotham Nocturne’ is a quintessentially Batman story, told with the aesthetics of a gothic opera.”
He added, “I’m lucky to be working with a fantastic group of creatives and editors on the project. It is hard to envision a more perfect set of collaborators than Rafael Albuquerque and Dave Stewart. Both of them are already titans in their own right but I think they are great fits particularly for the aesthetic lens of the story. I cannot wait for readers to experience what we’re creating. It is an ambitious story. One that is hopefully worthy of the title that puts the DC in DC!”
Artist Rafael Albuquerque also shared his excitement about telling this story. “Batman is a legend we all grew up with and most of us spent a lot of time just imagining what we would do if we were in this position. That’s how serious Batman is to me and I have been lucky enough to do a little bit of it over my time as an artist. Ram V brings something special to the table. Unique. Ram’s story not only matches my vision of this beloved character but also twists it, elevating it to another level, making me want to be part of this special new take, that I think is going to be as special to the fans as it’s been for me.”
The new Detective Comics creative team picks up the series after the departure of writer Mariko Tamaki, who took over as the book’s writer in March of last year. The weekly “Shadows of the Bat” storyline written by Tamaki and illustrated by a rotating lineup of artists wrapped up its 12-part run a few weeks ago. Tamaki was just the second woman to serve as regular writer for a Batman series, after Devin Grayson‘s Batman: Gotham Knights run in the ’90s. With V’s arrival, the Dark Knight’s adventures are back to being helmed entirely by men.
Check out a pair of variant covers for Detective Comics #1062 by J.H. Williams III (open-to-order) and InHyuk Lee (1:25 ratio) below. The issue will feature a main cover by Evan Cagle, as well as another open-to-order variant by Lee Bermejo. Look for Ram V, Rafael Albuquerque, and Dave Stewart’s first issue of Detective to arrive in stores and digitally on Tuesday, July 26th.