Previously reported as a rumor, we can confirm a person of color will inherit the cape and cowl in 2021. It was announced at DC FanDome screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) is writing a limited series about a new Batman.
Ridley also wrote the screenplay for Red Tails and Ben-Hur. He created the TV series American Crime as well. More recently, he was in the news for penning an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times calling for HBO Max and WarnerMedia, DC Comics’ parent company, to remove Gone With the Wind from their platform.
The headline for Ridley’s op-ed read, “Hey, HBO, ‘Gone With the Wind’ romanticizes the horrors of slavery. Take it off your platform for now.”
He would argue in the article that “it is a film that glorifies the antebellum south. It is a film that, when it is not ignoring the horrors of slavery, pauses only to perpetuate some of the most painful stereotypes of people of color.”
DC Publisher Jim Lee and Ridley revealed during the “Legacy of the Bat” panel a four-issue arc drawn by Nick Derington (Doom Patrol) centering around the family of Lucius Fox.
Ridley has hovered this project for about a year. “I think it’s a pretty safe bet that, if I’m writing Batman, it’s probably a little better than a 47 percent chance he’s going to be a person of color,” he said.
He then pivoted into talking about Fox and his son Luke. “This is a family that has secrets, has kept secrets from one another,” he continued. “It’s a little bit different dynamic than the Batman that we’ve always seen.”
This is a pretty heavy indication the next Batman will be Luke Fox, who was primed for a stint in the Batsuit since he first donned the Batwing armor.
Lucius, as CEO of Wayne Enterprises, has been one of Bruce’s closest confidants, eventually learning his true identity and aiding him in his mission. This was an important sublplot in The Dark Knight film trilogy.
The rumor last year suggested we would see a black Caped Crusader in 2020. Likely candidates were Luke Fox, the first Batwing David Zavimbe, Duke “The Signal” Thomas, and Black Lightning – Batman’s partner in The Outsiders.
“We’re so excited to share this first image from the upcoming miniseries with the fans,” said a press release from DC for Ridley’s miniseries, slated to go on sale in January. They issued key art by LADRÖNN that’s in the first issue.
John Ridley is also authoring a DC Black Label book spotlighting the heroes of color in the DCU – The Other Side of the DC Universe. That goes on sale in November.
Before then, DC is holding a second FanDome on Sept. 12th, titled “Explore the Multiverse.”
Will you be tuning in or picking up a copy of John Ridley’s Batman miniseries? Tell us below.