Bryan Hitch and Warren Ellis are the comic book titans who created The Authority and unleashed them on the world, changing comics for twenty years. Now, the pair are reuniting for the first time since that superhero epic this October for The Batman’s Grave, a 12-issue maxi-series written by Ellis, with art from Hitch and his Hawkman inker, Kevin Nowlan.
“I’ve drawn some covers and used Batman in Justice League and JLA, but since I read Jim Aparo and Don Newton’s Batman runs in the 80’s, I’ve wanted to do a proper, big Batman story. Fellow Authoritarian Warren Ellis had one to tell, so when he mentioned it I said ‘yes’ before even asking what it was about,” said Hitch in a press release. “That’s what you do when Warren says ‘I’ve got a proper, big Batman story.’ It’s been over twenty years since we changed Superhero comics together, and now we get to give Batman the fight of his life.”
This Batman comic looks like it’s going to lean heavily on the emotionally broken version – the Dark Knight obsesses over the crime scene details of murder victims, immerses himself in their lives, going full method actor. This makes sense: Ellis is the prototypical “systems guy” storyteller, the one who laid the groundwork for guys like Jonathan Hickman and Kieron Gillen. He’s a meticulous plotter who knows exactly how broad he wants his scope to be.
“My very first work at DC was two issues of Legends of the Dark Knight, so it’s been twenty-five years since I did a full-length story with the Batman. I’ve decided to revisit the crime scene where my career in American comics began, and I’m so grateful that my old comrade Bryan Hitch is doing this midnight run with me. It’s been too many years since we last did a long campaign together,” said Ellis.
Ellis is coming off of a two-year run reinventing the Wildstorm universe for the modern day with Jon Davis-Hunt in the routinely brilliant The Wild Storm. Hitch has been DC exclusive for years, most recently drawing the most successful Hawkman relaunch since Tim Truman’s Hawkworld.
This Batman story seems to be the inverse of what the duo did together on Stormwatch and then The Authority. While those were both huge, Earth- and universe-threatening, widescreen action flick comics, this Batman tale looks to have a much narrower scope and a more ground-level point of view. It will be very interesting to see what two masters of the form do with the story.
For more on The Batman’s Grave is a 12-issue monthly series from Ellis, Hitch, and Nowlan, head to DCComics.com and be sure to check out the preview art below! The first issue drops on Oct. 9.