DC Comics will be launching I Am Batman #1 in September by John Ridley and Olivier Coipel in September, following on from August's Fear Event tie-in I Am Batman #0 by Ridley and Travis Foreman. (get a sneak art peek of that here). So how did we get here, what does this mean and what were the original plans?
In September 2019, Bleeding Cool first reported that DC Comics was to give us a new black Batman to replace Bruce Wayne in the comic books., and then that it would be Luke Fox, son of Lucius Fox. That it would be would be written by John Ridley, screenwriter of 12 Years A Slave and was part of 5G, or Generation Five, a publishing event led by publisher Dan DiDio to age up the lead characters in the DC Universe and introducing a new generation to DC Comics. However, earlier last year, Dan DiDio was fired as publisher and 5G hit the skids. The 2020 shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic saw 5G turned into Future State, with elements of 5G already underway integrated into the main line. So we see the new Wonder Girl comic, Jonathan Kent as the new Superman, the old Superman leading The Authority and Jace fox – not Luke Fox – as a new Batman. Just not the new Batman as originally planned. At the Batman Legacy panel at DC Fandome , Jim Lee introduced John Ridley who talked about writing a new Batman series, with Nick Derington, and that was the first time we saw Olivier Coipel's attachment to the project.
DC Comics published Future State: The Next Batman by Ridley and a follow-up digital-first series The Next Batman: Second Son and the continuing Future State: Gotham series. And now I Am Batman as a continuing series by John Ridley and Olivier Coipel. So if you wanted to know why Olivier Coipel is not drawing the second series of his co-created The Magic Order for Mark Millar at Millarworld/Netflix/Image Comics, here is your answer.