The Future Of Batman Is Dick Grayson

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By Will Greenwald

We got a look at the near future of Batman in the pages of DC Comics this weekend at New York Comic Con . DC held a Batman panel (separate from the Dark Knight III panel previously covered) at the show, and brought in some of the creative teams behind several of the currently running Bat-books. As it currently stands, Bruce Wayne is no longer Batman. He seemingly died in a fight with the Joker, and now is in no shape to wear the cowl. Jim Gordon is Batman now, taking the spotlight off of Bruce. That’s fine for DC, which is celebrating the 75th anniversary of Dick Grayson’s appearance in the Batman comics.

Greg Capulo and Scott Snyder, the artist and writer of Batman, confirmed Bruce’s current position. Capulo explicitly stated, “Bruce Wayne will not be becoming Batman again [for now],” though he noted that the upcoming issues 45 and 46 will have Bruce “start to see how he’s been needed, how he’s been missed.” Still, Jim Gordon is the Bat in the comics for now. The Justice League will be learning that lesson in Detective Comics, where they now have a World’s Greatest Detective who actually was a career cop for most of his life.

“He’s the Batman right now of Gotham,” Detective Comics writer Peter Tomasi said, “so they’re opening a door to him, want to see what he’s made of, and at the same time utilize his detective skills.”

Meanwhile, Tim Seeley and Tom Kaine have high hopes for this to be the year of Dick Grayson, and are working to put Dick in the center stage of the DC universe in the pages of Grayson. Seeley hopes to see Dick Grayson stand alongside Batman (a role he played before Jim Gordon took the cowl), Superman, and Wonder Woman in importance. “People are using this character,” Seeley said. “He’s getting out there. He’s becoming something big and important.”

Dick Grayson is currently not wearing any Bat-persona and is currently serving as a double-agent and eventual enemy of Spyral, a dark Hydra-like spy ring in the DC universe. He’s also making appearances in several other Bat books, and his time as Robin in the past and Dick Grayson in the present strongly tie into the upcoming Batman and Robin Eternal weekly series.

Snyder and Seeley will also be writing for Batman and Robin Eternalin addition to their own books, along with James Tynion IV, who was also at the panel. He explained how the book, a structural sequel to 2014’s Batman Eternal, will tie into Grayson’s 75th anniversary. “We wanted to do a story that would be the quintessential Dick Grayson as Robin story in the past, and the quintessential Dick Grayson Agent of Spiral story in the present.”

The story features an as-yet-unidentified enemy from Batman’s past, about whom he never told the rest of the Bat-family, and in Bruce’s current state, he can’t warn them about. The series also reintroduces Cassandra Cain to the New 52, post-Convergence DC universe.

Batman’s villains seem to be taking the back burner in the comics now, but that will change for Poison Ivy, who’s getting her own six-issue mini series, Poison Ivy – Cycle of Life and Death, in January. It will focus on Poison Ivy both in her rogue persona and as Dr. Pamela Isley of the Gotham Botanical Gardens, trying to solve a murder apparently committed by Ivy herself. Writer Amy Chu hopes to explore Ivy further as a character, and to depict just how intelligent (“Lex Luthor smart,” as she said) she is.