New Batman Series Coming From John Ridley

A new Batman mini-series is coming from 12 Years a Slave writer John Ridley! Here are the details.

Photo: DC Comics

DC Comics publisher Jim Lee has revealed that 12 Years a Slave scribe John Ridley is writing a new Batman mini-series that “will have a huge impact on the rest of the line.”

The new project was announced by Lee while talking to THR about the state of DC Comics in the wake of mass layoffs at the comic book publisher. Lee didn’t go into any further detail about the mini-series or how it’ll play into what James Tynion IV is doing on the main Batman book, Tom King and Clay Mann are planning in their Batman/Catwoman maxi-series, and Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok are about to unleash in Three Jokers. While it could just as easily be marketing hyperbole, it does sound like Ridley’s series could bring some major status quo changes to the character.

Since DC Comics first began teasing a big continuity-shattering event called 5G last year, there have been many rumors about major changes coming to the Dark Knight. With 5G‘s emphasis on generations of heroes and superhero legacies, some believed 5G was set to introduce Bruce Wayne’s successor in the cape and cowl. But ever since former publisher Dan DiDio, the crossover event’s mastermind and biggest champion, was removed from his position earlier this year, it seems that 5G may no longer be a thing at DC.

Lee also confirmed to THR that DC is actually cutting back as much as 25 percent of the books it publishes, which doesn’t bode well for a new crossover event that initially seemed to be scheduled for this fall. It actually sounds like DC will instead be focusing on its core characters and books. And nothing related to 5G has been marketed in DC’s solicitations since 5G. The prequel books designed to lead into 5G and introduce DC’s official timeline of superhero generations never saw the light of day, either.

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Was Ridley’s mini-series tied to 5G in any way? We don’t know. It could also be a new direction for the Caped Crusader unrelated to what DiDio had planned.

What we do know is that the mass layoffs at DC sent a shockwave through the comics industry earlier this week. Several top-level editors were let go, including DC editor-in-chief Bob Harras, executive editor and Black Label head Mark Doyle, VP global publishing initiatives and digital strategy Bobbie Chase, senior story editor Brian Cunningham, and others. Virtually all of streaming service DC Universe’s staff was laid off, as well.

When asked whether DC parent company AT&T was considering shutting down DC operations permanently, Lee responded: “I don’t think they want to stop us from publishing comics. Comics serve a lot of different purposes and one of them is it’s a great way to incubate ideas and creating the next great franchises. We want to continue that. Why would you want to stop that? Why would you want to stop creating great content that could be used across the greater enterprise?”

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.