Batman Minus Robin? Some Thoughts on the New Batman Solicitations

After dragging their feet all day long, DC Comics finally released the solicitations for The Dark and the Batman families of titles, and...well, nothing is all that out of the ordinary, really, but if you read between the lines, there's stuff there to be seen.

First of all, we've put forth a number of theories as to who might be the big, token death that a crossover of this magnitude requires. No matter the evidence, though, my odds-on favorite has always been Damian Wayne, and frankly I see no reason to change my mind now. The solicitation text for Batman & Robin says basically nothing, only that it's "The Batman & Robin story of the year," and "you dare not miss" it. Batman Incorporated has the Dark Knight pegged for a murderer and on the run, while Batman characterizes the loss at the end of Death of the Family as "an unspeakable tragedy" that placed Batman "in danger of losing his humanity."

Really, there's a single-digit number of people you could kill who would do that to Bruce. It's Alfred, it's Dick, it's Tim, it's the kid.  Alfred's still on the table, I suppose, but both Dick and Tim have specific stories solicited after Death of the Family.

You've also got a solicitation for Worlds' Finest #10 that says "Huntress is personally affected by a tragedy in The New 52," which would be odd if you didn't consider that Bruce is her father on Earth 2 and so the loss of a half-brother she never really got to know could be pretty jarring. One supposes that the same logic could be applied to Alfred, as well, but Alfred is a character who seems less likely to be killed, and whose absence wouldn't be as keenly felt in the solicitations.

Equally interesting is that DC does seem to be girding themselves for the departure of J.H. Williams III on Batwoman by essentially bringing the title back to Gotham and under the larger umbrella of the Bat-family in a way it hasn't been up until now. When I counted Kate as one of the potential Death of the Family fatalities last night, a number of fans chimed in to note that she's only really a Batman character in name--that since she works with the DEO she's really more part of that corner of the DC Universe (almost an Edge book).

And, yes, the fabulous Jim Zub takes over Birds of Prey from the departing Duane Swierczynski. Skullkickers is a great book, so that can't be an entirely bad thing...and Zub turns up at all of the Albany Comic Con shows, so one has to wonder if maybe he's an upstate New York guy who may have been recommended by another Upstate New York guy familiar with his work. Greg Capullo, maybe? I hear he's got a good reputation around the Batman offices.

So...anything important we missed?