DC Comics has revealed the name and launch date of the upcoming Batman project by Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch. DC's blog has the official press release, though of course you heard it here first at Bleeding Cool back in March (pip pip). Kevin Nowlan will ink the 12-issue maxi-series, which is called The Batman's Grave.
The team that brought us The Authority now turn their talents towards The World's Greatest Detective, whose current case forces him to inhabit the mind of a murder victim with a half-eaten face—without filling the empty grave next to those of his parents.
But first, Ellis and Hitch get into the mind of a butler. Once a week, rain or shine, Alfred Pennyworth walks to a little cemetery plot in the Wayne Manor grounds. He meticulously tends to Thomas and Martha's headstones, plinths and slabs: weeding, cleaning, polishing. But how much longer before there's another Wayne memorial to tend to?
Within this dynamic duo's new comic lives a Batman with an almost psychotic identification with murder victims. He immerses himself in their lives and obsesses over every detail of their deaths. Even as Batman would process the evidence and approach the perpetrator from one side, he would live inside the life of the victim as they approached their death.
Ellis said of the project:
My very first work at DC was two issues of Legends of the Dark Knight, so it's been twenty-five years since I did a full-length story with the Batman. I've decided to revisit the crime scene where my career in American comics began, and I'm so grateful that my old comrade Bryan Hitch is doing this midnight run with me. It's been too many years since we last did a long campaign together.
And Hitch added:
I've drawn some covers and used Batman in Justice League and JLA, but since I read Jim Aparo and Don Newton's Batman runs in the 80's I've wanted to do a proper, big Batman story. Fellow Authoritarian Warren Ellis had one to tell, so when he mentioned it I said 'yes' before even asking what it was about. That's what you do when Warren says 'I've got a proper, big Batman story.' It's been over twenty years since we changed Superhero comics together, and now we get to give Batman the fight of his life.
The Batman's Grave hits stores on October 6th, with a variant cover by JeeHyung Lee. Preview art below: