An upcoming issue of James Tynion's Batman run will introduce that rare animal in modern Marvel and DC comics: an entirely new major villain for a marquee hero. Rather than using his time on the title to tell his definitive version of the Batman/Joker grudge match, Tynion will introduce a new baddie called The Designer in Batman #90. Per the official solicitations released by DC, the character will have a "grand design" to unite villains and commit the perfect crime, but somehow Catwoman is wrapped up in all of this, and if we have learned anything in the last few years, it's that the romance between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle is making a lot of these "master plans" more complicated.
It's probably no surprise that a big new villain would come during Tynion's run. During his time on Detective Comics at the start of DC's Rebirth initiative, he revitalized old characters, brought in some new ones, and generally expanded the scope of Batman's world. That seemed to more or less be his marching orders going into Rebirth, since the years following The New 52 had contracted the DC Universe -- and in particular, Batman's world, since it had so much history -- significantly.
"I remember, one of my discussions right at the beginning with the Bat Group and with Geoff Johns was that the most remembered runs on Detective had been the runs that tried something a little different. I think in recent times there was the 'Black Mirror' which starred Dick Grayson rather than Bruce as Batman. Before that, it was the Rucka Batwoman run, and bringing all of those characters back into Detective, and being able to do something in the book that really hasn't been done before, and start a new era. That's something that I want to be very clear," Tynion explained at the time. "This isn't just going back to classic. This is brand new villains. In issue 2, we're going to see their new base right in the heart of Gotham City. Basically one of the coolest things I've ever done is sit down and it's just like, 'Okay, if I was to build a secondary Batcave from scratch, what would it look like?" When I saw the first design from Eddy Barrows, I was running around my house showing my roommates like, "Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. This is the coolest thing that's ever existed, and I get to introduce it.'"
You can check out the official solicitation and cover image for Batman #90 below.
The mysterious master criminal known only as the Designer once brought together Gotham City’s greatest criminals to plot the perfect crime, and now his plan has been unleashed upon the city in all its might. Batman will go to any length to uncover the grand design, but Catwoman is the one who holds the greatest secret. If Batman wins against the Designer, he will lose everything.
On sale 03.04.20
$3.99 US | 32 pages