Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, the legendary team behind an epic Batman run from 2011-2016, has one last Batman story to tell and it’s a big one. It’s called Batman: Last Knight on Earth, a post-apocalyptic tale that sees Batman team up with the Joker for one final quest to save a ravaged Gotham. This three-part limited series will be published under DC’s adult-oriented Black Label imprint.
The book, which was originally going to be drawn by Snyder’s frequent collaborator Sean Murphy (Batman: White Knight), is meant to be Snyder and Capullo’s final Batman story together. The project has been in gestation for a few years now. In fact, Snyder first planted the seeds for Last Knight on Earth all the way back in 2014 in a short story drawn by Murphy for the Detective Comics Vol. 2 #27 anniversary issue. The story, “27,” is about a machine that clones a new Bruce Wayne every 27 years, explaining in weird science terms how Batman has managed to fight crime for 80 years. As Snyder has teased in the past, Last Knight on Earth would be a sort of continuation of that story.
DC dropped an excellent trailer (which animates Capullo’s haunting art) for the new book:
The publisher also shared a sneak peek at the interiors of the book at WonderCon 2019:
At DC Batman spotlight panel at New York Comic Con back in 2017, Snyder shared more details regarding Last Knight. It takes place 25 years into the future in a post-apocalyptic Gotham. Mysteriously, an amnesiac Batman suddenly wakes up as a younger version of himself with only a single memory: saying the words “Yes, father. I shall become a bat.” That line, of course, is from Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s “Year One” storyline that served as the Dark Knight’s official origin story for decades until Snyder and Capullo’s “Zero Year” replaced it.
If that’s not weird enough of an opening, Snyder also teased the Joker’s involvement in the story, which…well, hear it for yourself: “He’s got the Joker’s head chained to his belt, but it’s alive and like, ‘You gotta move, kid!’” Snyder’s eight-year tenure as Batman writer has often highlighted the Dark Knight’s relationship with the Joker, so it’s only fitting that the Clown Prince of Crime is a big part of Snyder and Capullo’s last hoorah. The writer has previously described this story as Batman via Mad Max.
“Old Wonder Woman and Baby Superman” will also appear in the new book, according to Snyder. “It’s like my Lone Wolf and Cub story.”
The writer said that the idea of bringing his take on Batman to a close had to do with some advice he got from fellow Batman veteran Grant Morrison when he was first starting out on the New 52 relaunch of Batman. According to Snyder, Morrison’s advice was to create a beginning and an end for his version of the character.
“Make a birth and a death. Once you do that, he’s yours. He’s your version,” Snyder said of Morrison’s counsel. That doesn’t mean Batman is going to die in “Last Knight,” though. (Snyder has killed off Bruce Wayne once before.) “It’s not a death but it’s the end of my Bruce. This is the closing story of this for now.”
Here’s the solicitation from DC:
BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH #1
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artists: Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion
Cover Artist: Greg Capullo
“Bruce Wayne wakes up in Arkham Asylum. Young. Sane. And…he was never Batman. So begins this sprawling tale of the Dark Knight as he embarks on a quest through a devastated DC landscape featuring a massive cast of familiar fates from the DC Universe. As he tries to piece together the mystery of his past, he must unravel the cause of this terrible future and track down the unspeakable force that destroyed the world as he knew it…
“From the powerhouse creative team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo, the team that reinvented Batman from the emotional depths at “Court of Owls” to the bombastic power of Dark Nights: Metal, DC Black Label is proud to present the bimonthly, three-issue miniseries Batman: Last Knight on Earth, published at DC’s standard comic trim size. This could be the last Batman story ever told.”