We're here at New York Comic Con in a large, dark room -- not the BatCave, but the panel room where the brains behind BATMAN are here to tell us what's coming up in the Dark Knight's world. Up on stage: Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, James Tynion IV, Marc Andreyko, Kyle Higgins, Ann Nocenti, John Layman, and Pete Tomasi. Get ready for some spoilers!
The next year of BATMAN -- just in time for the 75th anniversary -- is going to be some of the "nuttiest, craziest stuff [we've] ever seen," according to Scott Snyder.
ZERO YEAR is Snyder' and Capullo's reimagining of Batman's origin story. Though it's a classic, YEAR ONE doesn't fully translate with all of the changes made in the New 52, and Batman isn't operating in the same world that he was in 1986. ZERO YEAR takes us through Batman's origin in a modern world -- one with threats like IEDs and terror plots -- and while the creative team has immense respect for YEAR ONE (to which we'll see many nods), they'll be doing some very new things.
SPOILER ALERT #1: In BATMAN #25, Riddler has blacked out the city of Gotham and dared them to restore the grid, but that's just in the background. Batman also has to face off with another major villain, and struggles with his developing partnership with Jim Gordon. Batman doesn't trust cops, and he especially resents Gordon, based on some of the assumptions he's made regarding the night Thomas and Martha Wayne died (another spoiler: Bruce doesn't know the whole story). Get ready for a series of explosive issues and a three-part story involving a big villain. The whole story is a giant homage to everything Snyder and Capullo love about Batman (including the animated series!).
BATMAN ETERNAL, a new weekly series, debuts this fall, bringing us to our second piece of big news -- a true SPOILER!
SPOILER ALERT #2: Stephanie Brown is back! Look out for Issue #3 of BATMAN ETERNAL, where we'll get to see a fresh new Steph.
BATMAN AND TWO-FACE explores the duality of many Gotham characters, including -- who else? -- Harvey Dent. In case you've ever wondered how Harvey Dent sleeps (with one eye open), Issue #24 will be revelatory.
Look for some exciting gadgets -- including the Bat-Plane -- in Issue #24 of DETECTIVE COMICS. Fabok is a fan of drawing high-tech gadgetry, and Layman wrote a script that gave him plenty of opportunity to do so. Later, we'll see a Gordon-centric issue. Layman likes to focus on the detective side of Batman (it's that title, after all!)
BATWOMAN gets a new writer in Marc Andreyko, who just wrapped the Zero Year issue from Kate's point of view. She's home from WestPoint due to a family tragedy, and we'll get to see shades of the woman who will later become Batwoman.
NIGHTWING has been focused on the Windy City lately, bringing Dick Grayson into contact with the man who killed his parents. Complicating his pursuit of Tony Zucco is a reimagined version of The Prankster, who's wreaking havoc on the city and holding its citizens hostage. On the horizon after things wrap up with Prankster: an annual, set back in Gotham, where Dick returns to clear out his loft. Barbara Gordon will co-star in the annual.
SPOILER ALERT #3: the ZERO YEAR tie-in for NIGHTWING involves a young Dick Grayson navigating the streets of Gotham at night in an "urban fairy tale."
CATWOMAN has been a thrill for Ann Nocenti to write, and she revealed that she wanted to give Catwoman a "Q" (weapons and gadgets aide) and a cat.
James Tynion IV is excited to be on the team for BATMAN ETERNAL, and will be seeding some stories in the past that Snyder will pick up and run with in the primary BATMAN series. In RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS, Jason Todd has just taken over the League of Assassins, and Issue #24 will play out like the final act of a thrilling movie. We'll find out who's been masterminding the whole thing, and learn the real motives behind Jason's memory-wipe. In TALON, Calvin Rose will have a reluctant team-up with Batman, and bring some of the Dark Knight's biggest fears to fruition.
That's all for the previews, announcements, and spoilers in the Bat-Family so far, but we'll be sure to let you know everything we hear at New York Comic Con.