In James Tynion IV’s latest and last newsletter of the year, he reveals that Batman will resume a monthly schedule come March and follow on from the two-month DC Future State initiative. But, that’s not all he discussed on his upcoming plans for Batman and the Joker in 2021.
Tynion IV mentions his plans for using the Scarecrow – redesigned by Jorge Jimenez – in a storyline called ‘The Cowardly Lot’:
“I am very, very excited to do a Jonathan Crane story. He’s been one of my all time favorite Batman villains for years and I haven’t had the chance to do something substantial with him before. And the design by Jorge Jimenez is one of the creepiest I’ve seen for a major Bat-Villain in a good, long time. In my brain, I’m calling this a cyberpunk horror story. It’s about the relationship between technology and the mind and how fear can shape what Gotham’s future can be. More than that, it’s about the balance of fear and memory and how they shape us into the people we are today, and how they can hold us back.”
Furthermore, Tynion IV will be introducing “the creator of the Magistrate Program, and its Peacekeepers,” which makes me think this new storyline will have more than a passing relationship with The Magistrate of DC Future State.
And, after a two-part Robin back-up strip (by Joshua Williamson and Twitter bad-boy Gleb Melnikov) – who has since apologised for his divisive take on Venom #25) there will be an as yet mystery back-up strip that Tynion IV is keeping under wraps for now. Not even his artistic partner on this. That’s a mystery even Batman can’t solve.
As for his take on the new The Joker comic also debuting in March?
“This is a horror noir book with art by Guillem March. I’m tapping into more of the voice I bring to my creator owned work with this one… And honestly the script to the first issue is maybe my favorite I’ve written in the last year, and I think one of the scariest. The twist to the title is that the protagonist of the series isn’t the Joker. The protagonist is Jim Gordon, and the story is going to send him chasing a mystery about the Joker that will take him all around the world, and put him directly in the crosshairs of all the people out in the world who want the Joker dead… This is a story about the nature of evil, and the different ways evil tempts and breaks good men… and we’ll have Jim Gordon, one of the best specimens of humanity out there in the world walking through this world of evil trying to keep his soul in tact.”
Set after the events of Batman #100 Tynion IV also promises to take a further dive into the character of Bane, who will feature prominently in this new series. That, and a back-ups strip featuring Punchline. A character DC Comics and Tynion IV are determined to make stick one way or the other. But then, with Sam Johns on writing duties and Mirka Andolfo on art chores, I can see myself being easily persuaded, even if the continued prominence of this character seems rather forced. Plus, the cynic in me would also add that a character like Punchline – should she live on in comics and other media – could well be a handy bit of extra income for Tynion IV (and Jorge Jimenez) in years to come. Nice.
With this news and the reveal of creators such as Gene Luen Yang, Ivan Reis (both on Batman/Superman), Mariko Tamaki and Dan Mora (on Detective Comics) and more, the Batman family of titles has never looked so fresh again. And, as Tynion IV promises, never been more instep with one another. Which will be nice as under both Tom King and Scott Snyder’s epic runs, Batman felt like the lead book which the others had to keep up with. Or ignore completely. Although, with a severe cutting back on titles come March and an increase in Batman titles, DC Comics seems to be shrinking in more ways than one. Will this be the future of DC Comics going forward I wonder? Seasons (i.e. limited edition runs once known as maxi-series) like The Green Lantern and the forthcoming The Swamp Thing (by Ram V and Mike Perkins) with a doubling down on the big sleeps; Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.
Of course, I’ve just touched on a few details. For more, maybe subscribe to Tynion’s The Empire of the Tiny Onion newsletter here for much more.