Meet The New Batman, Same As The Old Batman?

The soliciations for DC Comics' June releases are out, including the brand new Batman line-up post-Battle For The Cowl. But who is the new Batman? And what's going on with Robin? Speculation ahead.

Admittedly, the solicitation text doesn't really reveal a lot about the new Batman. Take the advertising copy for Batman #687:

This 40-page issue explores the final moments of the Battle for the Cowl as the new Batman learns that winning the Cowl comes at a high price! Witness the new Batman taking to the streets of Gotham City for the first time! Putting a new man inside the Bat-suit was the easy part – now the fun begins! Guest-starring Superman and Wonder Woman, this issue is a must-read for any Batman fan.

Similarly, the solicit for new series Batman: Streets of Gotham doesn't help much:

As a new Batman rises on the streets of Gotham City, the heroes, villains and citizens take notice. How will the police feel about this new Batman, and can he control the crime in Gotham the way the old Batman did?

If nothing else, the solicitation for a second new series - All Star Superman's Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's Batman and Robin - tells us about their mode of transport and promises answers:

The new Dynamic Duo hit the streets with a bang in their new flying Batmobile as they face off against an assemblage of villains called the Circus of Strange. They also tackle their first mission investigating a child who's been abducted by the mysterious Domino Killer. But will everything go smoothly? And who exactly are the new Batman and Robin? The newest era of The Dark Knight begins here!

(Honestly, anyone who doesn't get a little bit excited or amused by "their new flying Batmobile" is a little bit dead inside.)

If you want a real clue who the new Batman and Robin are, however, it's better to just talk to Morrison himself, whose hints are just a little bit too easy:

I don't want to give away who they are just yet with [writer-artist] Tony [Daniel] still doing "Battle for the Cowl." But what we've got is a more light-hearted, more spontaneous Batman and a real bad-ass, violent Robin. So I think people are going to enjoy it. It's a very different dynamic between the two characters... It's the classic buddy thing. It's the original partnership. And it's always worked. And I think it's going to work in even more interesting ways in this book. Their personalities are very, very different. So where we saw Batman before in a leadership role, a mentor role, this shows Robin as having some big ideas of his own. It's the sparks that fly between the characters in this incarnation that makes it very interesting. It's a real fresh kind of feel.

Meet The New Batman, Same As The Old Batman?

A light-hearted Batman? A bad-ass violent Robin? That sounds ridiculously like Dick "Nightwing" Grayson is taking over as Batman (a hunch accidentally confirmed by one of DC's writers in his blog - thanks, Rajiv!), with Damien, Bruce Wayne's slightly psychopathic son, taking on the Robin guise. But if you're wondering where that leaves Bruce Wayne and Tim Drake, the former Batman and current Robin, then I'd suggest that new series Red Robin may be the place to look:

Someone believes that Bruce Wayne may still be alive…and that someone is Red Robin. But who is wearing the Red Robin costume, and why is he traveling the globe looking for a dead man? Whoever he is, he's not alone in his search!

Never mind the flying Batmobile, this may be the series to follow for science fiction thrills. After all, we know that Bruce Wayne is alive, and trapped in the past... and Morrison himself admits that "We're not really entertaining the notion that Bruce won't be back at some time. This isn't like 'Captain America' with the Winter Soldier story and Cap's really gone." Open the sci-fi closet, Alfred. Strange times may be ahead.

DC Comics in June [DC Comics]