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 – though of late, a previous version of Luke, Tim Fox has been considered a more famous candidate. 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. With Batman to be an old man, and tutoring and oracling the new Batman. The original plans were for John Ridley's take on Batman to be permanent – or at least, as I heard it "as long as Dan DiDio is publisher of DC Comics." Which turned out to be about ten days after I heard it. That Bruce Wayne was to have been aged up as part of the new DC Timeline, to be an old man, and tutoring and oracling the new Batman. But then Dan DiDio was fired as publisher, the pandemic and shutdown kicked in, and plans changed radically. The shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic underlined this as 5G was shrunk from the mainstream DC Universe to, as we learnt, an imprint. James Tynion IV was no longer off Batman from #100, Batman was no longer to be relaunched… but of course, none of this had been announced and some people still thought Bleeding Cool made it all up. But today the final Batshoe dropped, as just part of a two-month Future State event for January and February 2021. The Next Batman.
Future State: The Next Batman #1 by John Ridley, Nick Derington and Laura Braga
In this future, Gotham City is controlled by the Magistrate. This villainous regime has taken control of the city, now under constant surveillance. All masked vigilantes have been outlawed and Batman has been killed. But led by an all-new Batman, a new assembly of Gotham's guardians rise to give hope to all of those who lost it!
Bruce Wayne dead? I heard he was faking it. The oversized issues will also include the following:
- Outsiders, by Brandon Thomas and Sumit Kumar
- Arkham Knights, by Paul Jenkins and Jack Herbert
- Batgirls, by Vita Ayala and Aneke
- Gotham City Sirens, by Paula Sevenbergen and Emanuela Lupacchino
Ironically, DC Future State is now made up of DC's past plans that will no longer be its future. But what are the odds that if The Next Batman is a hit, it will return fairly sharply? And if any of the Future State comic books will sell big, you can guarantee it will be this one.