Sep
28
New Batman Creative Team – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly


Don’t let the rug be pulled out from underneath
you when DC announces Brian Michael Bendis or one of his cronies receives
the keys to Batman beginning with issue 100.
DC Comics recently announced James Tynion IV, Tony Daniel, Danny Miki and
Tomeu Morey are the newest creative team on Batman. Fans of the Gotham
Night had been waiting on pins and needles for this information. While this isn’t
the most exciting choice DC management could have made, all four creators have
worked extensively with DC’s flagship character in the past. There’s actually a lot
to like about the new team but it’s not all puppy dogs and ice cream in Gotham
City. I’m going to lay out my list of the good, the bad and the ugly of the latest
team behind the Caped Crusader. Full disclosure I came away with 3 good points,
1 bad point and an ugly point that might not even happen. So my perspective on
the new Batman creative team is mostly positive. The good news is Tom King
lowered the bar for Batman so far there’s literally no way to go but up!
Newsarama is reporting, Writer James Tynion IV and artists Tony Daniel, Dani Miki
and Tomeu Morey will take over as Batman creative team following the
impending departure of writer Tom King. DC Co-Publisher Dan Didio made the announcement
for September 21’s Batman Day celebration during an event at New York
City’s Barnes & Noble Union Square. All four creators have worked on different
volumes of Detective Comics, which Tynion penned during the DC Rebirth era. Daniel,
Miki, and Morey have all previously worked on the Batman core title.
“I loved writing stories for [Batman] Eternal, Detective Comics, and even
Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but my desire to tell a Batman story, one
focusing solely on Bruce Wayne instead of an ensemble, is what drove me back to
the Batcave,” said Tynion in a statement. “I want to dig deep into the Bat himself
and tell an epic story that pushes him to his absolute limits. I want to tell a
Batman story like the kinds I grew up loving, one that embraces the horror and
gothic elegance of Gotham and dives deep into Batman’s greatest villains.”
“I am very excited about this new stage for Batman and about being able to work
with the entire creative team,” added Morey. “Tony manages to create iconic
images of Batman that, along with Danny’s inks, will remain memorable to fans
everywhere, and I can’t wait to work on stories with James. It’s a great challenge
to live up to so much talent, but great motivation, too!”
“I’m totally excited about reuniting with Tony Daniel and Tomeu Morey,” Miki
said. “I’m looking forward to returning to Gotham after Batman stories such
as Zero Year, Endgame, All-Star Batman, I Am Bane, and others. Getting to work
on Batman along with Tony, Tomeu, and James is going to be a great ride!
Gotham City is my home and it’s good to be home.”
The new creative team will take over with January 8, 2020’s Batman #86.
First things first. Lead writer James Tynion is NOT Tom King and that’s enough for
a lot of people. I obviously don’t know Tynion personally or professionally but I do
like the cut of his jib. He comes off as a genuinely good dude who prioritizes
quality storytelling and entertaining readers. Two qualities severely lacking on
DC’s flagship comic series the past 24 months. I can also vouch that his current
Batman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume Three is excellent. It might be the
best present-day comic series at DC outside of Doomsday Clock. Although I can
admit the story probably features the turtles even more than Batman himself.
I think it’s great that James took the time to ask readers on social media what
they want to see in a Batman comic book. He received a crap ton of feedback too.
Do I think he’s going to take all this to heart? Probably not, it sounds like he’s got
the initial trajectory of his story mapped out, which I’ll get to in a second. But
letting Batman fans vent some of their frustrations and letting their voices be
heard (judgment free) is a great first step to establishing a better rapport with
readers. If he does listen, fans overwhelmingly want
a return to Batman being the world’s greatest detective and a stoic, strong character.
People are tired of the same old boring, clich�, deconstructed takes on the
character. It’s time to stop tearing the character down in his own comic series and
let him be a great hero again. During the Batman Day panel DC co-publisher
Dan Didio asked Tynion about his approach to the book.
“In the past it’s always been Jim Gordon on the roof of the GCPD, or Alfred in the
Batcave. There have been bigger things in the pages of both Batman and The
Batman Who Laughs miniseries and everything surrounding it that throw a big
wrench into that. The two constants that connect him to Gotham are off the table
or changed in some way. People will be stepping into those roles, one of them is
Wayne Enterprises and Lucius Fox, who is a character I obviously love. But he’s a
character who will definitely be showing up.” “Other characters will be coming forward from
the current run, but I want this to be something you can come into–even if it
picks up the big threads… it’s going to be a moment you can step on. In the story
I’m telling, the family will inevitably show up in some way, but this is Bruce front
and center. And really it’s the villains. Batman has the best rogue’s gallery in comics.
And there is a major rogue who is now very close to him. There’s a lot of big
stuff coming.” I like that Tynion is acknowledging two issues
he has to overcome immediately. The execution of Bruce’s surrogate father
Alfred at the hands of Bane. And Commissioner Gordon being one of the infected
in the Year of the Villain story arc, which should complete in March. Of course,
we don’t know the fate of Gordon quite yet. But based on solicitation
information for December’s Batman #85 Alfred it very much deceased. Lucius Fox
makes a lot of sense to help fill those roles for Batman moving forward.
I pray to God Tynion doesn’t try to replace Alfred with Catwoman. Plenty of
readers are fed up with the romance angle and the two are set to star in their
own event series from Tom King and Clay Mann. Hopefully he doesn’t overthink
this. The most natural fits to aid Bruce in his mission to protect the citizens of
Gotham are Dick Grayson or Tim Drake. I think I’ve talked enough about the good
implications of James Tynion being the writer. Time to move on to my second good
point about the announcement. Tony Daniel is a phenomenal Batman artist
and a great guy to boot. I personally couldn’t be happier to see him get another
extended run with Batman. Tony has an excellent sense for what makes the character
look and feel amazing. During a 2010 interview with Time.com Tony had this
to say about what makes Batman comics look good.
“For him, just running around with his scalloped cape and cowl and his shadows!
Gotham City is like a second character-the film noir style, a little bit of Blade
Runner-when you have those elements together, it’s easy to be drawn in as a
reader.” That is a fantastic approach to the character
and rings just as true today as it did 9 years ago. Gotham is probably the second most
important visual character in Batman and Tony gets that. There’s a reason
he’s been drawing Batman comics since 2007. He appreciates what make the character
and setting great and why they resonate with readers. I honestly can’t
think of an artist I would rather have paired with Tynion to help revive Batman after
years of abuse. In addition to the new creative team comicbook.com
reports, Dan DiDio, Tynion, Scott Snyder, Brad Walker, and Peter Tomasi
all spoke about what’s coming up for Batman. During that conversation, it was revealed
that Nightwing would be returning in 2020, so it seems the days of
Ric Grayson are limited. For those not familiar with recent Nightwing stories, the
book is still called Nightwing, but Grayson hasn’t actually been Nightwing for
quite a while. Ever since he was shot in the head by KG Beast, he has had amnesia
and doesn’t have any emotional connection to his friends or family in the
Batverse. That’s led to him adopting a new identity as Ric Grayson and a job as a
taxi driver, though he’s also been moonlighting as a vigilante because you can’t
get rid of the hero completely. I can’t even begin to express the amount jubilation
I feel hearing this news. Nightwing and Hal Jordan Green Lantern are
my two favorite DC Comics characters. After Tom King ordered the code
red on Dick Grayson in Batman #55 the Nightwing series has been absolute trash.
Initially Ben Percy was supposed to keep writing the series with the new Ric Grayson
character but creative differences led to an abrupt departure. Scott
Lobdell took over on short notice but a Nightwing series without Dick Grayson
or Nightwing proved well beyond his abilities. Finally Dan Jurgens came aboard
and even he can’t get the series to work with Ric Grayson.
Basically a group of police officers and firefighters found Ric’s old Nightwing
uniforms and became a team of Nightwings. Babs and Alfred tried to help Ric heal
but he refused because he didn’t want to be Dick Grayson again. But he still kinda
wanted to be a superhero. Needless to say the series has been an unmitigated
disaster. Jurgens did his absolute best and even made a couple of the Nightwings
compelling to a degree. But every time Ric Grayson arrives on page the series
doesn’t work. My god friend Dylan from The Real Comic Book
Gamer YouTube just did a great rundown of the current state of Nightwing
and what’s wrong with the series. I’m going to drop a link in the video description
and during the endscreens. I highly encourage you to check it out if you haven’t
already. After this video is over of course.
I can’t wait to see what Jurgens can do with the series with Dick Grayson and
Nightwing restored. I so badly want to start reading Nightwing again. Thank you
very much to James Tynion and Tony Daniel for fixing the travesty that is Ric
Grayson. Now that I’ve covered my three good points
about the new Batman creative team. Time for me to counterpoint myself and
talk about what I don’t like about the announcement.
James Tynion was the writer for Detective Comics during Rebirth and in my
opinion it sucked. It was all about the drama within the Bat-family and honestly it
was portrayed as if Bruce had ruined all his understudies’ lives. There was even a
time-travel story that was borderline heinous. I read Batman for action and
detective work. Not sci-fi mumbo-jumbo like that. If you enjoyed his Detective
Comics run this is likely a positive for you. I remember him making Tim Drake one of the
biggest douche characters I’ve ever read. James Tynion’s Tim Drake made Damian
read like Superman. And I can’t stand Damian unless he’s with Jon Kent or
Dick Grayson. Jon’s the only character that takes the edge off Damian and Dick is
the only one who puts him in his place regularly. Needless to say if Batman becomes
a bat-family book under Tynion I’ll check out immediately. I’ve had more than
my share of angsty Batman understudies to last a lifetime. And that
goes double for the first signs of another James Tynion Batman time-travel story. Gross.
I think I’ve made my feelings clear about Tynion’s Detective Comics run. Now it’s
time to hit the ugly about this announcement. There’s a very good chance this a limited
run for Tynion and Daniel on the series. Earlier this month there were numerous reports
that Luke Fox aka Batwing will take up the mantle of Batman in 2020. If this
is still in play and I can’t confirm that because nobody at DC is talking anymore. Tynion’s
Batman is likely just a place holder until Brian Michael Bendis or one of
his cronies takes over Batman at issue 100 and Bruce exits Gotham to work on his
relationship with Selina Kyle in the pages of Tom King’s Batman Catwoman event
series. It wouldn’t surprise me for a second if Dan
DiDio is just placing Tynion here to get some space between King and Bendis. Because
he knows the announcement will be universally dumped on by Batman readers.
But I am willing to acknowledge maybe DC read the tea leaves and recognize
Batman is quite ready for another round of character assassination via Brian
Michael Bendis. But I guarantee you Bendis will take the Dark
Knight for a spin sometime in the near future. And I predict his Batman run
will be even worse than Tom King’s. His current work on Superman, Action Comics, Event
Leviathan and Legion of Superheroes: Millennium are establishing a
new benchmark for what low quality writing can be. His current DC work is making
his run with Riri Williams Iron Man look Eisner worthy in comparison.
That just about does it folks. My version of the good, the bad and the ugly
regarding DC’s newest Batman creative team; James Tynion IV, Tony Daniel,
Danny Miki and Tomeu Morey. Despite my feelings about Tynion’s terrible
Detective Comics run I see this as a major step-up from Tom King. He’s saying the
right things and reaching out to readers, which is very smart. Tony Daniel is
absolutely the right artistic choice for the series. He’s a Batman staple and weary
readers know they’ll receive visuals worthy of the character. Returning Dick
Grayson Nightwing back to the DC fold is a great move that will leave many DC
fans very happy. But it could all be a ruse. Don’t let the rug be pulled out from
underneath you when DC announces Brian Michael Bendis or one of his cronies
receives the keys to Batman beginning with issue 100. It’s a very real possibility.
Please let me know your thoughts regarding the new Batman creative team in the
comments section!