Since his first incarnation as The Bat-Man in Detective Comics#27 in 1939, the caped crusader’s alter ego has always been Bruce Wayne. In preparation for Free Comic Book Day, on May 2, DC Comics has decided that after 76 years, it’s time for Wayne to retire the cowl. DC hopes the new Batman, who has yet to be named, will bring in new readers, says Scott Snyder — who’s been writing Batman for DC Comics for nearly six years.
“This gives us a new lease on the book, and it gives hopefully fans a sense of how fun Batman can be.”
There is no word yet as to who will play the new Batman (though Nerdist hints it may be Commissioner Gordon), but Snyder and artist Greg Capullo have said that instead of the cape we’ve all come to know and love, DC Comics’ new Batman will be sporting a “manga-style” suit of armor. Snyder also mentioned that DC’s new Batman will “change all the pieces on the table,” though the new Dark Knight will have no idea who he is until the time comes.
“The character we’re putting under the cowl never expected it, never saw it coming and never set out to be Batman. It comes out of left field, and he realises that he’s the only one that can make it make sense”
Bruce Wayne fans won’t have to mourn Wayne’s retirement for long because although he’ll no longer be the mystery man inside the Bat suit, Bruce will still be an integral part of DC Comics’ Batman Universe. “He might not be under the cowl when the story starts,” Snyder says, “but his presence will be a big part of the story and shape it.”
This isn’t the first time that a favorite DC character has had a reimagining. Back in 2011, DC Comics did an entire company-wide reboot, called “The New 52,” in which they relaunched 52 new comic series’ featuring well-known characters, like Superman and Wonder Woman, as well as some new characters. This resulted in 52 series all beginning again with #1 issues.
DC Comics also aren’t the only company to relaunch familiar characters with new looks. Marvel recently recast Thor as a woman, and Captain America as an African-American, for instance.
There is no doubt that Batman-sans-Bruce Wayne will touch a nerve for many DC Comics fans and comic book purists as a whole — as the initial idea of a female Thor did — but after 76 years, it may be time for Bruce Wayne to pass the cape to someone new, and hope that the change will bring about a whole new generation of comic book fans.
[Image Credit: Comic Vine]