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SDCC Thoughts on Neil Gaiman Writing Batman

You have to hand it to DC. They already had a good deal of notable announcements, from the Milestone characters to Warlord returning to the Archie characters to Kevin Smith’s Batman mini-series.

But then they dropped the big bomb

Whatever happened to the caped crusader?

Neil Gaiman.

Andy Kubert.

January 2009.

Talk about just blowing everyone else out of the water – one of the few comic book writers out there whose mere presence on a comic book gets media attention, and DC has him writing BATMAN (even if it is only for a short period of time, which is likely)?

What a pull by DC.

And that about does it for the stuff that struck my fancy! Feel free to drop a note in the comments about any SDCC news (that I did not mention) that has YOU really excited!


Yeah, DC completely upstaged Marvel at this year’s con.

A mighty two issue run. Which is better than nothing. I’m more confused about the fact Morrison has been saying that he’s going to be sticking around Batman after RIP and now it seems like there is at least going to be a break what with Denny O’Neil and Gaiman filling in on Detective and Batman for at least a month.

Also, they confirmed the Dini Zatanna and I really dont’ know I feel about a guy basically writing the superheroine version of his wife. Just seems weird, I say.

Wish Gaiman were writing more than two issues. I was hoping for a mini-series (even if it’s within the main Batman title itself, like “Year One” was). Still, I’ll take it — and since it’s only two issues, I guess Kubert will have a hard time screwing up that shipping schedule. ;-)

Dunno if this was first announced at the Con or not, but I’m so glad Judd Winick is quitting “Green Arrow/Black Canary.” I stuck it out there for a few too many issues before giving up a few months ago, praying all the while that he wouldn’t spoil two of my favorite characters. Once he’s gone, I can finally give the title a chance again. (It’s kinda sad to be excited about news that a creator is leaving a book, rather than a creator arriving.)

The only problem with Judd leaving GA/BC is that it’s because he’s going to be writing something else.

Hmmm…is this a possible reboot? Or is the title just a coincidence (referring to Alan Moore’s “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?”)

“Hmmm…is this a possible reboot?”

They are going to unmarry Batman and Robin? Nooooooooooooooooo!

ElCoyote's Prophet

July 28, 2008 at 7:38 am

Y’know, of all of DC’s major characters, Batman is the last one I want Neil Gaiman writing. I’d rather see him do Superman or Wonder Woman or even Green Lantern.

I’m just about sick of Batman right now. Sick of the hype over the Dark Knight, sick of people pretending Morrison’s Batman is readable, sick of the mediocre art on the titles.

I’ve been a huge fan of Batman, but it’s wearing thin, I don’t need that extra darkness in my head, I got enough as it is. I need inspiration and aspiration.

The world needs inspiration and aspiration, Batman is neither, he’s a twisted immature child taking his frustrations out on the world. I know that’s ‘kewl’ but it’s not all that fun after a while. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a lot of turnover in Batman fandom, you have a core of obsessives and then teenagers who find the coolness factor interesting and then they grow out of it and comics altogether, the character is as shallow as one can get, and lacks the potential and depth of a character like Superman(or even Wonder Woman) people talk about his ‘normal’ ness but he’s not normal, he’s a loon, and no human could not do all that he does no one could, it’s no more realistic than Superman flying.

Hopefully Gaiman’s story really is a ‘Whatever Happened To”(I’m sure it won’t be, it sounds like a companion to Moore’s “Whatever Happened” Superman story) and takes place without Batman’s participation, a nice post mortem and burial would be good.

Well, it makes sense for DC to have so much more in the term of announcements…they’ve been getting trounced! They have more to prove, especially given the last market share figures, grumblings among fandom and the rampant speculation of Didio being fired soon. Of course Didio wants to generate buzz desperately and fix his public image. Marvel’s sales and fanbase buzz seem to be doing pretty good right now, so it makes sense they don’t need to announce as much.

As much as I love Milestone, the thought of their futures being stewarded by Dan Didio and company is more depressing to me than keeping them in limbo. And even worse is that they are getting merged into DCU proper. I’m not looking forward to seeing them all call each other by their first names all day while staring at Batman, Superman and Wonder Women with worshipful gazes while talking in hushed tones about how “iconic” and “inspiring” they are to other heroes.

Cool. I was thinking just recently that the “end of Batman” idea is strong enough to stand another intepretation.

So, is this just going to be a fill-in for Morrison or is this a fill-in until they find Morrison’s replacement? Not to speak of Gaiman, but my purchasing of Batman on a monthly basis is entirely based on Grant Morrison writing it.

So, is this just going to be a fill-in for Morrison or is this a fill-in until they find Morrison’s replacement? Not to speak of Gaiman, but my purchasing of Batman on a monthly basis is entirely based on Grant Morrison writing it.

Morrison is coming right back after the O’Neil and Gaiman issues.

Sorry for the blasphemy, but while it certainly makes for a big-splash SDCC announcement, I’m not that jazzed about having Gaiman write Batman. Gaiman in his novels and Sandman? Great. Gaiman on Eternals? Bleh. Gaiman’s 1602? Double bleh.

Of course, I bought both of those Marvel series looking for Sandman-level (or at least Black Orchid-level) thrills, and I guess that’s the point — sales.

I don’t read Batman… I’ve tried, and I just don’t care. The occasional elseworlds or mini (I like Death and the Maiden or whatever) is fine… but I’m just not interested in him at all. But, like many, I adore Gaiman, and I’ll buy whatever he’s writing. So it sucked to hear he was going to be writing Batman, but it was great to hear it was only going to be for 2 issues. I can handle 2 issues! :)

Damn this two issue storyline that won’t fit into a TPB properly! Ah well I’m sure they’ll find somewhere to put it and I’m also sure it won’t come close to living up to Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow

I’ve not really been a fan of Gaiman’s superhero work(with the exception of his unfinished Miracleman stuff), so I’m not really sure what to make of this. Also, Kubert I could take or leave.

Two issues??

Man, I was hoping for a more substantial run than that – although it’ll no doubt feel longer, what with the inevitable 5 or 6 month gap between issues due to Kubert’s slowness.

On gaiman’s website he says they will be “oversized issues” so possibly closer to 48 pages each?
I’m torn on this. I love Gaiman’s early stuff — pretty much everything he did before Sandman is really good — and Sandman is really good. Everything he’s done since then? I haven’t liked it at all. American Gods was enough to tell me I didn’t need to read any more of his novels and 1602 and the Eternals were both very bad and totally forgettable. Since it is only two issues I’ll probably get it but my enthusiasm for Gaiman is on the wane.

This is probably the least-exciting announcement to include Neil Gaiman’s name. I love the guy, but Batman? I’ve found most of his superhero work to be pretty bland, and combined with Andy Kubert, who’s one of the reasons I gave up on Morrison’s Batman, this is a surprisingly unappealing project.

ElCoyote's Prophet

July 28, 2008 at 11:13 am

Andy Kubert may be the faster Kubert, but he’s also the lesser Kubert, Adam’s the craftsman, Andy’s stuff no matter how long he takes always looks rushed and ugly.

That said there’s no reason either of them should take as long as they do, their work does not ever look like it took months upon months to draw, there are better and faster artists out there.

I enjoyed Gaiman’s Eternals, but I’ll admit that it’s a “meh” kind of comic, but am I really the only one who adored 1602? Is it my inner repressed Renaissance scholar? Or do I just like Marvel characters more? I mean, Thor’s fear of damnation is just a stellar moment in comics for me.

I liked 1602, too.

I was just thinking that, if they are going for some sort of bookend to “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow,” then they should’ve gotten some iconic old(er) Batman artist. Too bad Jim Aparo is no longer with us. Or Dick Sprang. Does anyone know if Lew Sayre Schwartz is alive?

Or, to go with an iconic ’70s Batman look, of course there’s Neal Adams.

If you are going to get a Kubert to draw it then Joe is the only one that matters. If it was Gaiman and Joe Kubert then I’d be excited because I know I’d like the art. The Kubert kids? I got nothing against them but I don’t care about their work either. Can we at least get some Dave McKean covers or something out of this?

I’ll probably buy it, because it’s only two issues and I liked American Gods. But this news doesn’t particularly excite me at all.

Everyone remember: If you don’t like Gaiman’s work, or you don’t like Batman, you have the inalienable right to not buy those two comic books.

No… I think if read comics you pretty much have to buy this or you’ll be run out of town or something. That’s the problem with printed text. You have no idea if I’m kidding or deadly serious.

Whatever. I’m just hoping it’s good, and maybe the sort of thing I can pass along to one of my friends who doesn’t read comics.

Have a good day.
John Cage


July 28, 2008 at 5:38 pm

They have more to prove, especially given the last market share figures, grumblings among fandom and the rampant speculation of Didio being fired soon. Of course Didio wants to generate buzz desperately and fix his public image.

The rampart speculation of Dido getting fired was from the fans – not anyone with any inside knowledge.
He won’t be.
They may be getting beaten by Marvel, but overall, sales are up.

Mike Loughlin

July 28, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Gaiman has a talent for literary synthesis. I liked Andy Kubert’s art on 1602. This could be fun.

Two issues eh? At least they should ship on time, but knowing Gaiman, they’ll have to resolicit as nine issues to tie up all the loose ends he’ll undoubtedly create within the first issue.

I can’t wait until Batman becomes a neo-pagan lesbian.

Why not? We already have a Jewish lesbian Batman ;)

meh to gaiman & batman.

YAY FOR THE BLACK HOOD! I hope they do the impact version – dude wears bloody 500 yr old mask.
and get rick burchett to draw it!

I didn’t get what was going on until I read the comments. So they will bring back Denny O’Neil to write the second to last Batman story, with Neal Adams as the rare dealer incentive second cover, and then since Alan Moore couldn’t be lured back, they bring in an analogue in Neil Gaiman to write the last two part story on what happened to the Cape Crusader to close out the Batman of the Bronze Age. Then they have Judd Winick fill in the John Byrne role and write a six issue miniseries on the “New and Improved” Batman called The Dark Knight (to tie into the movie synergy). What better guy to reboot Batman so they can make him a neo-pagan lesbian who battles HIV and his drug addiction who is half cyborg with latent mutant healing abilities among his other super powers like the ability to fly and bat-strength. What the world needs is a superpowered Batman. A Batman who is human like the rest of us is so 20th century.

So there is no misunderstanding in the unlikely event a movie producer or Dido reads this, this is a really bad idea.

Honestly, a Gaiman-written Batwoman might be something I’d read.

Eh, give her time to fade first — then he can bring her back like he did Element Girl and Prez.

“So there is no misunderstanding in the unlikely event a movie producer or Dido reads this, ”

JJ Abrams already thought a superpowered Lex Luthor was a good idea, so don’t worry – I’m sure there’s a Batman with Superpowers script making the rounds somewhere in Hollywood regardless.

But I think it’s safe to say that Bendis is far more the Byrne equivalent these days, as impossible as it would be to get him to jump ship. Of course, he’d have Bruce reveal himself as Batman three issues in….

I don’t get the negativity toward 1602 and Eternals, I thought they were fine series. Enjoyed them very much. They were “light”, they didn’t destroy the world or cross over across titles; but they were fun and interesting, and well done.

Remember when Judd Winick used to be good? Barry Ween is still one of my favorite comics; Pedro & Me remains a book you can give your girlfriend to show her that comics can be good; and I enjoyed his Exiles and Green Lantern.

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