DC Comics has announced a new Batman and he is black. So what? Why is it a big deal? The thing that most people need to remember is that the publisher did not all of a sudden change Bruce Wayne to be African American. That wouldn’t make much sense (for a number of reasons). Instead, they’ve actually taken an existing character in the Batman universe and elevated him to the mantle of the Bat. The title of Batman, like many of DC and Marvel’s most famous superheroes, is a name and a costume. It doesn’t necessarily matter who the man or woman underneath the mask is.
The title of Iron Man was once worn by James Rhodes, Green Lantern – John Stewart, Captain America – Sam Wilson (The Falcon), Captain Marvel – Monica Rambeau, and perhaps the most famous being Miles Morales, taking over as Spider-Man.
The point being that superheroes change identities all the time. The second point worth making is that this new Batman, Luke Fox, son of Wayne Enterprises business manager, Lucius Fox, isn’t taking place in the standard continuity of DC Comics. Instead, he will become the Bat in “DC Future State”, a 4-issue, 2-month comic book event.
This event, written by “12 Years a Slave” screenwriter, John Ridley, and with art by Nick Derington and Laura Braga, will launch in January 2021 and explore a futuristic Gotham City, controlled by The Magistrate, in which Bruce Wayne is believed to be dead. Ridley says that while not all readers of the comics may enjoy his take on Batman, he knows that his two young sons already love it and that’s good enough for him. It’s also good enough for me. We need more diversity in comics and movies and I would already love to see this futuristic storyline adapted for live action.
I hope you’ll join me in picking up a copy of “Future State: The Next Batman” in January 2021.