James Tynion IV has been crushing it on Batman this past year with “The Joker War” wrapping up in Batman #100. For a long time, there have been rumors he’d be leaving with issue #100 — some have said John Ridley would take over after the milestone issue, but this week Tynion confirmed he’s staying on. Since the rumors, it has been confirmed Ridley would be writing a Batman book with Nick Derington on art, but it appears that may be a miniseries.
In his newsletter, Tynion all but confirms he’s staying on for Batman for quite a while saying there’s a 22-page bible recently approved by “big bosses” at DC Comics.
Before we get into it, you can sign up for Tynion’s newsletter here. Highly recommended.
I’m just going to confirm something that is basically common knowledge at this point.
There’s another universe where Batman #100 was going to be my last issue on Batman. Ask me in another 5-10 years and I’ll tell you what my original plans were, and the key moments through the year when I basically needed to throw out my roadmap because very major top-down story priorities shifted.
In a way, the rumors and delay confirming Tynion would stay on helped, as Tynion put it:
Weirdly, the shifting priorities helped me find the spirit of the book. There were entire issues I was writing, out of order because of the necessities of double-ship, not knowing the ending of the story I was telling. I had to throw out my bag of tricks, and focus on making every single individual issue an absolute BLAST to read. Focus on delivering a series of big cool moments, and exciting character combos, to make sure that there was something in each issue that made that issue worth reading. I knew there were big elements that I couldn’t control, so I latched onto what I COULD control.
The upside of that meant that when something worked, I could pivot into it faster than I’ve ever been able to before. PUNCHLINE’s success showed me the hunger for key new characters in the Gotham mythos, and the fact that Joker War’s ending was up in the air meant that I could rework some of the key elements to fast-track the introduction of CLOWNHUNTER. And when the book became a sales Juggernaut and I was given the official news that I would be staying on the title indefinitely, I was able to reshape Joker War into the engine through which I could create a new, exciting status quo for Batman for 2021 and beyond… You can see that in what we set up last week in Joker War Zone, and what we set up this week in Batman 100. There is a whole big city in play, and we have longform plans that we are going to make the most out of… One key element in that is that I can say that Barbara Gordon is going to be an absolutely central character for the rest of this year, and next year. If you’ve been missing Oracle in the Bat-verse like I have, I think you’re going to be very excited where things go from here… And then there’s GHOST-MAKER, who debuts in a one-page coda this week. Everything we’re doing here, especially now to the end of the year, is in service of setting up 2021 to be your new favorite era of Gotham City.
Tynion also confirmed in the newsletter that the story bible includes a whole new batch of new characters that he says, “fandom are going to lose their minds over.” Jorge Jimenez confirmed he’ll be designing the new characters and will be along for the ride as well.
If you dug Punchline, Clownhunter, and Ghost-Maker fear not, as Tynion confirmed they’ll be involved in his stories for 2021. ” You’ll see the seeds planted for all of that in this week’s Batman #100. The Punchline coda of 100 sets up one of the key elements I’ve just been dying to get to with the character of Punchline. She is about to go on trial, and that trial is going to let her manipulate the whole city into loving her, while she builds a dangerous plan that will run through the back-burner of 2021. The Coda leads us directly into the Punchline one-shot co-written by Sam Johns, and drawn by the incredible Mirka Andolfo. And that one-shot leads us directly into… Something I can’t talk about just yet.”
Are you excited for Jimenez and Tynion’s 2021 Batman run? Sound off in the comments!