DC NATION: As I write this, there is a Batman costume sitting in a box beside my desk
It's not mine; it's my son's. He's 3 and he has decided to go as Batman for Halloween this year. The costume is made for a tiny, tiny human being, with a cape about as big as a hand towel, and yet I can't stop looking at the thing. Because it reminds me of all the times I went as Batman for Halloween myself - and of just how large the character has loomed in my imagination over the years.
Which brings me to November. Starting with issue 871, I'll be taking over as writer on Detective Comics. On the surface, the run will constitute a kind of back-to-basics approach, with Dick Grayson, as the newly anointed Batman of Gotham, solving brutal crimes around the city with new, high-tech CSI toys. But the run will also be about the dark and mysterious relationship the city has with Bat. Because for Bruce, Gotham has produced the Joker, Two-Face and all the great villains we know and love as dark and twisted reflections of Bruce himself. And now, with Dick in the cowl, the city seems to be changing, becoming meaner, more vicious. Which makes him wonder - what if being Batman in Gotham means having to face your worst childhood fears come to life, in the flesh? What if Gotham is like a black funhouse mirror to whoever wears the cowl?
So as you can guess, we'll be introducing a lot of new villains in the coming year: street criminals who've stepped into the vacuum created by the fall of the Black Mask and the families, as well as some genuinely scary, evil individuals. Jock is drawing the feature, with the great David Baron on colors, and I cannot say enough good things about these guys. Jock was born to draw Batman, period.
The first three issues of the run will include a backup, too, a story about Jim Gordon and a dark figure from his past who is returning to Gotham after a long time away (if you’re a good detective, you might even find some clues in the layouts DC released a couple of weeks ago). The backup is tied to the feature - it's all one big story, and honestly, I could not be more eager for people to see the amazing work Francesco Francavilla has done to bring this story to dark, gritty life. After the first three issues, his story will continue in the feature, between arcs drawn by Jock.
Lastly, I just want to say thanks to you, DC Nation, for giving us - and me - a chance to tell this story. Jock, Francesco, David Baron and I, we all understand how high the bar is set when it comes to Batman, and I can promise you, none of us would have stepped up to do Detective if we didn't have a story we were excited about. We've talked the story over a lot during the last few months, sharing ideas, and this is our story, together as a team, and we're all very, very proud of it. Can't wait to hear what you think.
And as for me this Halloween, I'll be going as Robin. Look for me standing next to a three-foot-tall Batman.