Industry Insider Alleges DC Comics Wanted A Black Batman To Permanently Replace Bruce Wayne
In early 2021, DC Comics replaced their iconic characters with diversity counterparts in their Future State line which spun out of their 5G Imitative plan. This was not originally meant to be a glimpse into an alternate future as a quick mini-event, instead planned to be a complete reboot of the DC Universe, much like had already been done a few times under the stewardship of Co-Publisher Dan DiDio.
The most shocking proposal, according to an industry insider present at the 5G Initiative summit, was to turn the character Lucious Fox into Batman and have the ongoing Batman title feature the black lead instead of Bruce Wayne.
A contingent at DC Comics apparently thought race-swapping the beloved character after the wake of Black Lives Matter would add additional diversity to the book lines.
The insider who spoke with Bounding Into Comics under the condition of anonymity said DiDio looked visibly stressed at the meeting. Our source stated DiDio had been excited about new initiatives in the past, but the 5G situation felt much different like it was being forced on him.
DiDio’s supposed fears were justified. He left or was fired from DC Comics in early 2020, right as the pandemic was hitting and the comic industry suffered a catastrophic collapse from the closure of stores nationwide.
The proposal to replace Bruce Wayne as Batman with a black character was met with grumbles from the retail sector of the meeting. Allegedly, one of the retailers present told DiDio point blank that he should be prepared for Batman sales to drop to a third of the book’s then-current levels.
The reality of the situation is when readers read Batman as a title, they expect to see Bruce Wayne.
DC Comics followed up on the plan anyway with their Future State: The Next Batman book. The Bruce Wayne replacement, Tim Fox, was met with poor reviews from both fans and critics, and the book did not last very long before DC Comics changed directions again.
Both Marvel and DC seem obsessed with trying to replace their iconic characters with new diverse skinsuits. Marvel has done everything it can to promote Miles Morales as Spider-Man ever since Brian Michael Bendis created the character as a follow-up of a joke by Donald Glover stating he wanted to play Spider-Man in a movie.
However, the Miles Morales iteration of the character still doesn’t sell anywhere near the numbers Amazing Spider-Man does monthly.
Whether the forced diversity comes from corporate management or from the newer generation of writers who are obsessed with destroying iconic characters, every time it’s tried, it fails spectacularly. There’s a danger to retailers beyond simply losing sales on one book as well.
When people go to a comic shop to buy a Batman book, they don’t often keep coming back and returning to try out different books just because they stop buying Batman. Comic readers are devoted to the characters they follow, and more often than not, they’ll stop coming to the shops altogether if they’re given a reason to quit. This attrition of readers has been plaguing the industry for a long time and is a herald of great problems ahead for the future state of comics.
What do you think of DC’s attempt to replace Bruce Wayne with a Black Batman?