Last week we went through a date that marked not only the history of the United States but also of the world. I remember watching my morning cartoons and having them interrupted by a special news broadcasting. One of the Twin Towers had been hit by a plane. It is a day of remembrance and of pain for many, and it shall never be forgotten. PATRICK GLEASON paid his respects by making a special Batman piece for the date. We can also say that one of our Batmen was there to help people back on their feet, and you can hear the amazing story of how KEVIN CONROY used his voice to cheer people up as he worked serving soup in the wake of the attack.
Tom King, Mikel Janin, Clay Mann, Joelle Jones, Lee Weeks
It’s been confirmed for a while that the boys are going to be coming to Wayne Manor for the next story arc, and TOM KING seems to be having quite some fun writing them, especially his old buddy Dick Grayson.
We are also approaching the release of the second Rebirth Annual, with art by LEE WEEKS, and we got to see another uncolored panel as the artist works his way through the issue.
James Tynion IV, Christopher Sebela, Carmen Carnero, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Alvaro Martinez
The New 52 changed a lot of the DC backstories and canon, and Timothy Jackson Drake was not one to escape unscathed. With Rebirth, though, we are getting the “I have been a Dick Grayson fan since I could acknowledge my own existence”, the “slightly creepy child who goes around following Batman and taking photographs” Timmy back! His original backstory will once more be part of canon, returning Tim to his original place as deserving the Robin mantle for being that good a detective and that dedicated. If there is a writer out there that will do him justice it surely is James Tynion, so I am fairly confident this will turn out amazingly well.
BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT
Sean Gordon Murphy, Matt Hollingsworth, Todd Klein
Some good news regarding the sales of White Knight came out: the initial pre-order numbers will probably place it on the top 3 of DC Comics. In fact, the pre-orders were so successful that the number of issues has moved up from 7 to 8. Previously, the last issue was going to be an oversized, so what we get in fact is a little more breathing space for the ending to happen – and DC gets to make more money out of it. As I see it, this is a win-win situation, except for our wallets.
MURPHY is currently working on issue #4 and has shared the WIP for the cover.
BATMAN: THE DARK PRINCE CHARMING
The clash of the two biggest clowns in American pop culture, no further words needed for this one.
DARK MULTIVERSE BATMEN
Jason Fabok, Joshua Williamson, Carmine di Giandomenico, Frank Tieri, Riccardo Federici, Sam Humphries, Ethan van Sciver, Dan Abnett, Philip Tan, Peter Tomasi, Francis Manapul, Tony S Daniel, James Tynion IV, Riley Rossmo, Scott Snyder, Olivier Coipel, Bengal
The Dark Knights one-shots are surely going to be varying on theme, but, according to SCOTT SNYDER, the one thread that unites them all is that they will “tell the origins of the nightmare versions of Bruce now brought here”.
Some previews have already come out, but two of the one-shots that didn’t get this treatment was The Merciless and The Murder Machine. FRANCIS MANAPUL is on art duties for The Merciless, and last week he shared both his take on The Batman Who Laughs, the leader of the Knights, and the Merciless himself.
As for Murder Machine, a short excerpt giving us a taste of RICCARDO FEDERICI’s terrific work was shared by Snyder, showing us one of Batman’s fears, that “when Alfred dies he’ll upload Alfred’s mind to the computer and it’ll proceed to…”
Tim Seeley, Paul Pelletier, Rob Williams, Stjepan Šejić, Benjamin Percy, Juan Ferreyra
I was quite happy to realize that JUAN FERREYRA would be the one working on Green Arrow’s issue of the Gotham Resistance. Some of the art he has shared from the upcoming issue includes a very intricate, spider-like machine, a close-up of The Batman Who Laughs and Harley Quinn, as he sticks his tongue out towards her mouth – nightmare material, I’ll tell you that -, a “The Batman who Laughs’ got swag” panel, and, my favorite, a creepy grin. The lighting in this piece is absolutely on point, and the gap between his teeth is such a nice touch. Amazing.
Tim Seeley, Javier Fernandez, Paul Pelletier, Sam Humphries, Bernard Chang, Kyle Higgins, Trevor McCarthy
We’ve got some new names popping up around here. As reported last Friday, Nightwing will be going through a change in the creative team. But hey, not only that, the title will also be going through editorial changes, with Chris Conroy and Rob Levin replacing Rebecca Taylor.
On the creative team, Sam Humphries, who was previously behind Green Lanterns, will be taking Nightwing, and Tim Seeley will be going to Green Lanterns, basically swapping places. Joining Humphries for his first arc “The Untouchable” will be Bernard Chang, who had been on the Batman Beyond team. All three parties have expressed their feelings on social media, but let us start with our goodbyes from Seeley.
When the news broke out, TIM SEELEY made a thread on Twitter talking about his thirty-one issue run on the title. He started by saying Bye Bye to Dick, and stating that it was a good run, “2x intensity” – due to the double shipping schedule -, and that he got to work with great collaborators. He proceeded to say that writing Nightwing is much harder than writing Grayson was, but that he is glad he got to make some cool new villains. One of those villains is Raptor, and he reminds us all that his last arc is coming out after the Gotham Resistance crossover, titled “Raptor’s Revenge”, where we’ll see Blockbuster and Raptor face off. Well, not all is tears, for Tim is preparing himself for a future of endless backside-shot commissions, and it is with a Nightwing drawing on a Grayson cover that he says sayonara to his ol’ buddy.
SAM HUMPHRIES is head over heels about taking over the title. His current profile pic on Twitter is him wearing a Nightwing beanie. Precisely one month ago Sam had confirmed that he would be leaving the Lanterns because DC had offered him an “amazing opportunity“. He said that he wouldn’t be leaving the Lanterns if the next project (which turned out to be Nightwing) weren’t “absolutely, incredibly irresistible”, and went on to say that this project involved “one of the greatest DCU characters EVER” and that he was “real psyched. Dream gig.” By then, Tim Seeley was also announced as the new writer on Green Lanterns.
As for BERNARD CHANG, he made a post on Instagram wearing a Beyond shirt, officially saying goodbye to the title after over two 2 years on it. Coloring his art will be Marcelo Maiolo.
Despite all of the fuss that comes with changing a creative team, the most important move made by DC was surely the editorial change. Rebecca Taylor was the editor responsible for both Gotham Academy, a title that has now come to an end, and Nightwing. Taking her position are Chris Conroy as editor with Rob Levin as assistant editor. Chris is no less than the editor of Detective Comics, Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman and Batman: Creature of the Night, all of them successful titles in Rebirth – well, except for Creature, which is still to come out. He also was responsible for Batgirl & The Birds of Prey and Batwoman, two titles he will have to step down from because of his workload now that he has taken Nightwing.
And now to close off this absurdly immense Nightwing section, we have the cover for Nightwing: The New Order #5, featuring powerless Superman.
FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA has this series, this amazing series he calls Batman 1972. He has been doing versions of the characters for a while now, including turtleneck Batman, hippie Joker, black panther Catwoman, pimp Riddler, long-haired Gordon, and now we got gangster Two-Face.
Coming from another master we have a piece from ALEX ROSS. I’m calling this one Legacy, despite the presence of some who are not exactly legacy characters, like Robot Man and Negative Man from the Doom Patrol, and the Metal Men.
And from PAUL HARDING we got some shots of a Joker statue he is working on.
We had to borrow the Batwing in order to get this week’s Gothamite to the Batcave on time. Henrik Sahlstrom is a concept artist, illustrator and comic book artist based in Stockholm, Sweden. To browse through any of his social media is to find stunning, widely varied artwork. His Batman related pieces go from a highly dynamic Batman/TMNT crossover done with thick, marked lines, to a softer edged, more somber The Dark Knight Returns inspired piece, to cartoonish, colored reinterpretations of the villains – and his Penguin will probably be stitched to my mind as one of the best I’ve ever seen. Not only does he make stunning single pieces, but we can also get a taste of his talents with graphic storytelling with a noirish 3-page short comic that has the Joker blowing up a bank (roll down the page, it is the last few images and they are well worth it). It was this taste for Noir that caught my attention as I roamed through the hordes of bats on the internet.
Hendrik has a series titled DC Noir which appealed right to all of my aesthetic preferences. When asked about the series, Henrik said “The point of the Noir illustrations was to bring Batman back closer to his 1939 roots and put my own dark, pulpy noir spin on it. It all came about because I was drawing the Catwoman one for fun and it turned into me spending way too much time just thinking about the world, the characters and stories in it.”
Here we can see yet another facet of Hendrik’s style as he works with painted art. I have to say my favorite piece is the Joker, not only because of the concept, but also the light and the composition. The bloody bat card, the toothpick, the bow-tie, the fact that you can barely see his face, all of that create a dangerous mood that is incredibly conveyed in Joker Noir.