It's a story that Bleeding Cool has been covering from the beginning. 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 learnt it would be Luke Fox, son of Lucius Fox. We then learnt it would be would be written by John Ridley, screenwriter of 12 Years A Slave and part of 5G, or Generation Five, a publishing event led by publisher Dan DiDio to replace all the lead characters in the DC Universe and have them aged up, introducing a new generation to DC Comics. however, earlier this year, Dan DiDio was fired as publisher and 5G was pushed back. The shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic underlined this as 5G was shrunk from the mainstream DC Universe to, as we learnt, an imprint. But of course, none of this had been announced and some people still thought Bleeding Cool made it all up.
At the Batman Legacy panel at DC Fandome yesterday , Jim Lee introduced John Ridley who talked about writing a new Batman series, with Nick Derington, bets known for his work on Mister Miracle, Batman Universe and Doom Patrol. The comic book will, as John Ridley put it "a slightly greater than 47% chance that he will be a person of colour" and that he will be using the comic to "delve into the Fox family" and that "Lucius Fox has been at Batman's side the longest."
The DC Comics Blog confirms all this but goes no further. It seems to ignore that at the later Goldhouse panel at DC Fandome, Jim Lee doubled down confirmed directly that that Ridley will be writing a series with a Black Batman. He confirmed it is a four-issue mini-series (rather than the ongoing series we know was originally planned) and he says that Ridley will address his own relationship with his two sons in the comic book. Which, given Ridley's comments regarding how it will explore the Lucius Fox character, adds greater weight to our original reports from last year that Luke Fox, son of Lucious Fox, will be the new Batman. Just not as wide-ranging as originally planned.
The DC blog does come closer to ever to acknowledging Bleeding Cool's previous reporting, saying "The panel revealed key art for the first issue from LADRÖNN, and Ridley's series will center on the family of Lucius Fox, confirming rumors that this Batman will likely be a person of color." I'll take that… oh and the first issue will be out in January. It just will no longer be the original Batman #1 that was initially planned to follow Batman #100 and, instead, will run alongside the main Batman comic book written by James Tynion IV.
The site also confirms out speculation that this will all kick off in the Batman: Joker War Zone one-shot anthology and tells people to check out the Batman: The Joker War panel at DC FanDome: Explore the Multiverse on Saturday, September 12 at 10amPT/1pmET/6pm BST – which was originally planned to have run yesterday. Ridley is writing a short story with art by Olivier Coipel for the Batman: Joker War Zone one-shot anthology that January miniseries will precede the new series for January.