Following yesterday's revelation that Batman writer Tom King was going to be leaving the title by the end of the year, DC today announced that King and Heroes in Crisis artist Clay Mann will launch Batman/Catwoman, a 12-issue maxiseries designed to complete the story King set out to tell in Batman. While 85 issues is a hell of a run for anybody, especially in the rapidly-changing market of current superhero comics, King and DC had made it no secret that the writer's arc was to wrap up at Batman #100, leaving fans to wonder what his departure from the main title meant for the story he began telling at the start of DC's Rebirth publishing initiative three years ago.
Beginning in January 2020, DC’s ongoing Batman title, currently shipping twice-monthly, will return to a monthly schedule, allowing DC to incorporate the monthly Batman title into the larger DC universe and continuity and more easily tie in to event stories. Batman's creative team has not yet been announced. The series will ship alongside a 12-issue Batman/Catwoman series by King and Mann. The rest of the Bat-office (Detective Comics, Catwoman, Nightwing, and Batgirl) will have no immediate changes to their creative teams or shipping schedules.
“We’re making changes to our comic book publishing line to set DC up for continued success,” said DC’s editor-in-chief Bob Harras. “We’re starting with the bestselling Batman comic after ‘City of Bane’ wraps up in December. ‘City of Bane’ is an incredible story and an integral part of our overall ‘Year of the Villain’ campaign, and a new Tom King and Clay Mann Bat/Cat series in 2020 fills the gap once Batman begins to ship monthly.”
Featuring art by Tony S. Daniel, ’City of Bane’ kicks off in Batman #75 on July 17th, 2019, when, after three years being broken down by Bane, Bruce Wayne falls to his lowest point. Bane’s minions have moved into Gotham City, taken control and are ruling with an iron fist…and Batman is nowhere to be found. This extra-sized anniversary issue kicks off a storyline that ties together all the threads of the first 74 issues of Tom King’s epic Batman run. ’City of Bane’ will run 11 issues with artwork by series regulars Daniel, Mikel Janín and Mann, concluding in December 2019 with Batman #85.
“Batman and Catwoman is a chance to do what Morrison and Quietly did in Batman and Robin: launch an ambitious, accessible, beautiful, thrilling new series that concludes years of stories and defines what Batman is, can, and will be,” said Tom King. “This will be a comic about what the best Batman comics are always been about, how our greatest hero turns fear into bravery, pain into hope, trauma into love. It’s the story I always wanted to tell, and I’m telling it with the man I consider to be the greatest artist in comics, my brother Clay Mann.
“It’s tough to leave Batman,” added King. “It’s a gift and a joy to be on that book. But I’m leaving it to work on the biggest, most ambitious projects of my career, comics I get to make with the best collaborators in comics. And that’s a gift and a joy too.”
“We’re excited for fans to get more of what they love from DC,” said Harras. “With Joëlle Jones continuing on Catwoman, a new creative team on Batman, plus titles like Detective Comics, Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood: Outlaw, and Batman and the Outsiders, our Gotham City protectors and the talent behind them will continue to offer great stories that cater to the tastes of as many Bat-fans as possible in 2020 and beyond.”