Scarecrow & Unannounced Back-Ups In James Tynion IV's 2021 Batman

Here's the solicitation for Batman #106 in March, following on from Infinite Frontier.

BATMAN #106
written by JAMES TYNION IV
art and cover by JORGE JIMENEZ
backup story written by JOSHUA WILLIAMSON
backup story art by GLEB MELNIKOV
ON SALE 3/2/21 $4.99 US | 40 PAGES | FC | DC
Following the tragic events of Infinite Frontier #1, Batman and his new ally, Ghost-Maker, must reckon with a new gang operating in Gotham City—but are they connected to the reemergence of the Scarecrow? Meanwhile, shadowy billionaire Simon Saint pitches an advanced law-enforcement system to the new mayor! The creative team behind the epic "The Joker War" returns with a thrill-packed, dangerous new storyline called "The Cowardly Lot."
Plus, the backup story "Demon or Detective" begins as Damian Wayne is on the run! After everything Damian has gone through, can he escape Gotham and find his way back to where his journey started—to his mother, Talia al Ghul? This two-part tale concludes this month in Detective Comics #1034!

Batman #106 from DC Comics
Credit: Batman #106, DC Comics

In his newsletter, The Empire Of The Tiny Onion, James Tynion IV confirms The Cowardly Lot as a storyline with The Scarecrow as the central antagonist. Tynion writes;

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. This story is also going to introduce the creator of the Magistrate Program, and its Peacekeepers, along with a host of new characters, both good and bad… There's a group called The Unsanity Collective that I am particularly excited about. Jorge's design for a character named Miracle Molly is one of my favorite things he's drawn in all the time we've worked together. When we get a little closer to her debut, I'm going to show you the amazing color guide Jorge made for her with her pages in 108.

You remember that bit in Alan Moore's Twilight Of The Superheroes pitch where he talked about his future story having an impact across the DC line in that creators can show the clues of what happened in that event, being formed, and giving them greater gravitas as a result? And I quote;

A character who hasn't been seen yet… say Barbara Randall's proposal for a female Flash… could be presented in Twilight as an old established character who's been in the Justice League for years. When the character appears on the newsstands in her own title some months later, this should strike a suitably ominous resonance back to the Twilight storyline; is it all coming true?

Future State seems to be working like that, for Batman at least. And you can read our Batman Future State gossip here and here. Tynion continued;

I'm so damn excited to keep making Batman comics with the incomparable Jorge Jimenez, and the incredible Tomeu Morey. The pages that are already flying in from next year are stellar beyond belief, and as much as I loved Joker War, I think this work leaves all of that in the dust. We're going to have big action, big horror, big drama, and big excitement on every single page of every single issue. Jorge is already a giant, and I think his work here is going to cement him as one of the all-time great Batman artists. I wish I could just fill this whole newsletter with art I'm not supposed to, but then what would I get to tease you all with over the next two months??

The Batman title is going have an unannounced backup features starting in April (After a two part ROBIN backup by my good pal Joshua Williamson and one of my favorite new artists, Gleb Melnikov, running between the March issues of both Batman and Detective) – I've been working with the artist on the next round of Back-ups since late this summer, and I could not be more excited to tell you about it. It is high octane manga-influenced action insanity, with an artist I love, and can't wait to bring to into the Gotham fold.

And if recent days are anything to go by, Gleb Melnikov is everyone's favourite artist right now.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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