Academy Award-winning screenwriter John Ridley and artist Nick Derington (Batman Universe) are launching a four-issue Batman miniseries with a first issue dropping in January, Ridley announced Saturday at the online DC Fandome event.
In announcing the series, Ridley also noted there was “probably a little better than a 47% chance [Batman’s] going to be a person of color,” adding that the story will focus on the family of Lucius Fox. All of this seems to fit with rumors from earlier in the year that Ridley would be writing the Batman ongoing, wherein Bruce Wayne would not be under the cowl but rather Lucius’ son, Luke Fox, formerly known as Batwing.
Of the Fox family, Ridley said, Fox “has a family and this is a family that has secrets, has kept secrets from one another. It’s a little bit different dynamic than the Batman that we’ve always seen.”
The rumor was originally that DC Comics would be launching this new series under a linewide initiative that would see many of its traditional heroes swapped out for new characters taking up their mantles. That initiative — for a number of reasons — seems not to be happening, but if one connects a few dots, it looks like the work done for Batman in this context is now being repurposed into this 4-issue mini-series (which looks and sounds downright excellent to me, btw). As DC noted in the announcement, the new miniseries will feature “a version of the Caped Crusader different from what many fans know,” and it will exist alongside the current ongoing Batman flagship title run by James Tynion IV and Jorge Jimenez.
You can find a full press release about the new book from DC Comics below. The preview artwork released with the announcement is courtesy of the artist, LADRÖNN.
DC CONFIRMS BATMAN LIMITED SERIES WRITTEN BY AWARD-WINNING SCREENWRITER JOHN RIDLEY
Four-Issue Miniseries Scheduled for January 2021 Featuring Art by Nick Derington
“Better Than A 47% Chance This Batman is a Person of Color,” Says Ridley
Today’s Legacy of the Bat panel in DC FanDome’s Hall of Heroes contained great topics and panelists in a celebration of the Dark Knight’s heritage and the impact he’s had on his allies as they continue to do their part to protect Gotham City.
In addition to lively discussions spotlighting Talent and creators from popular DC shows such as Batwoman and Titans, as well as from Warner Bros. Games Montréal, DC also ended months of speculation regarding Batman’s upcoming comic book adventures, confirming that award-winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, Guerrilla, American Crime) and artist Nick Derington (Doom Patrol, Batman Universe, Mister Miracle) will team up for a four-issue miniseries scheduled for January 2021, featuring a version of the Caped Crusader different from what many fans know and existing alongside the current Batman run by James Tynion IV and Jorge Jimenez.
During his conversation with DC Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee, Ridley revealed a breathtaking piece of key art for his version of Batman by artist LADRÖNN.
The writer also provided further credence to fan speculation that this Batman definitely will not be Bruce Wayne:
“I think it’s a pretty safe bet that if I’m writing Batman, it’s probably a little better than a 47% chance he’s going to be a person of color,” said Ridley.
In addition, Ridley raised additional curiosity when he revealed his series will focus on the family of Lucius Fox, head of Wayne Enterprises. “But he [Fox] has a family and this is a family that has secrets, has kept secrets from one another,” said Ridley. “It’s a little bit different dynamic than the Batman that we’ve always seen.”
While this will be the first time Ridley has written a series featuring Batman, he’s no stranger to comic book writing, nor to DC. In 2004, he wrote The Authority: Human on the Inside (with artist Ben Oliver) and contributed an arc to the 2005 series, The Razor’s Edge: Warblade (with legendary artist Simon Bisley). Most recently, Ridley also collaborated with artist Georges Jeanty on the groundbreaking limited series The American Way (2006) and its sequel, The American Way: Those Above and Those Below (2017).
Fans interested in learning more about Ridley’s plans for this series should check out the Batman: The Joker War panel at DC FanDome: Explore the Multiverse, Saturday, September 12 at 10amPT/1pmET. Ridley is writing a short story (with art by Olivier Coipel) for the Batman: Joker War Zone one-shot anthology that may provide drop additional hints at his plans for the January miniseries.