Friday, December 6, 2013

Predictions: Batman Family Books in 2014

Last year, before we got too deep into the new year, I made a post about some things I'd like to see in the Batman universe. Some of my hopes happened, and then some... well let's just say I just realized I've spent a fucking year saying that Catwoman needs a new writer who isn't horrible. But never mind all that, time for the new shit! March 2014 solicitations are (most likely) due Monday, and with them brings the end of Forever Evil, which DC has promised will change the DCU, and every book will catch up to that post-Forever Evil status quo. Whatever happens with the DCU, I'm willing to bet we get cancellations and new books, because let's be honest, DC needs some, as they've sat around while Marvel literally announces 20+ new #1s, most of which are new titles.

With all that in mind, I don't believe the Batman family will be immune any longer to the old cancellation axe, and I may be in for some "______ cancelled" news posts here at Gotham Spoilers as earliest as next week, or perhaps with April's solicitations in January. So what am I here to do? Well, I'm going to go through each Batman family book, one by one, and tell you what I think may be in store for it in 2014.

So let's begin!


Well... we're starting off easy with this one: Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo will continue doing what they do best, and that's Batman. I believe they're contracted to at least issue #50 or something like that? So yeah, DC isn't messing with it's best seller. As for what? Who knows, Snyder hasn't really given much, if anything in terms of hints for the next arc, other than the upcoming weekly Batman: Eternal will be dovetailing into it. Will Harper Row finally actually mean something to the Bat universe? Probably... other than that, I don't know.

Detective Comics

We know that the new creative team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellatto will be taking over, and they'll be taking a different direction than previous writer John Layman, who has gone on record of not caring about who Bruce was dating or whatever, and just wanted Batman and Batman only. From what little details we've gotten, Manapul and Buccellato will have more of a focus on Bruce's personal life, with his life getting entagled with the life of a mob widow of some sort. Also, word is that The Flash #25 sets some of the stage for their Detective Comics run, and I'm willing to bet that means we haven't seen the last of the new street drug called "icarus." 

Batman: The Dark Knight

I think this book is going to be cancelled. Does it still do relatively well in sales? Yeah, but that doesn't mean that the book has a reason to exist, outside of having "Batman" in the title. Let's look at it this way: What has the book been doing recently? Just sort of following up on characters who have just had stories told about them in other books. First Clayface, and now Man-Bat up next. Ethan Van Sciver has already confirmed he's only back for two issues featuring Man-Bat, so I'd bet that means we may not see an issue #30 in April. Next, let's consider this: When Batman: Eternal launches, counting on average, the four issues that title will produce in a month, there will be at least eight single issues that have "Batman" in the name, and that's not counting this book. With the introduction of Batman: Eternal, I just don't think this book serves anymore purpose with what can only be described as side stories. 

Batman and...

I'd be willing to bet Batman and Ra's al Ghul is the next arc, the first issue in this Two-Face arc practically spelled it out for us. That dangling Batman, Incorporated plot is just too specific not to be touched upon, and I do believe that Damian Wayne will be back in some shape or form next year, and it'll start with this arc. I wouldn't be surprised if it also spills into Batman: Eternal and this book ties into it at some point. If solicits roll around and we don't get Batman and Ra's al Ghul at some point next year, well shit... I don't know. What about Carrie Kelley though? Well, my honest opinion is that the reintroduction of Stephanie Brown just sort of killed that. I'm sure Tomasi had some ideas for her, but Batman and Carrie Kelley turning into Batman and Two-Face with no mention of her anywhere smells like plans changed. After all, what are one writer's plans to DC's editorial hive mind?

EDIT: I wrote this on Wednesday… I found out what #29 is going to be on Thursday… UMMM. My prediction still stands, just maybe not in March. 


I bet it just keeps going the way it's going, even if someone at DC wants a different direction for it. Why? Well, because of the internet shit storm that happened after Gail Simone was taken off the first time probably gave her some sort of untouchable status. That said, I wouldn't mind a change. This book has never really clicked into place with me, I've liked some issues and stories, but have never thought they were all that great overall, and the art has been consistent, but not all that remarkable. I will say that I wouldn't be surprised if Gail Simone left the title though. Why? I don't know, I really don't, but I just have one of those gut feelings if it's going to be one book... it'll probably be Batgirl. This also isn't aided by the fact DC hasn't done anything in the past year to reassure me they've got their shit together and no more creator controversies will happen.


This could get weird, I'll tell you that. I would not be surprised if the title gets cancelled and relaunched, like Marvel is doing with titles such as Secret Avengers or Wolverine and the X-Men. There are rumors James Tynion is writing it, which I kind of find surprising, since he's got quite a bit on his table with Eternal, but who knows. What about Dick Grayson? Well, I think it's clear that he's the blonde guy on the Eternal spread, so I bet he changes his identity and goes on as the "new" Nightwing or something. "John Blake" has been thrown around a lot in speculation, and I think DC is just lame enough to do something that on the nose and cheesy. 

Red Hood and the Outlaws

It's hard to say where this book will go next year. There were rumors that Tynion had been taken off, to which he answered "oh look, the script for this issue that hasn't been solicited yet on my desk" (paraphrasing). My guess is that it probably goes on, but I wouldn't be surprised if there's a new writer at some point. If James Tynion does stay on, it makes it that much harder to believe he'd be on Nightwing as well, just from a workload standpoint. If things do stay as is, I'd say this book needs two things: First, bring the fun back, in my opinion, it lost this long ago before Tynion even came on board. Second, shorter arcs. This should be a fun, fast paced book, and this amnesia/League of Assassins arc has been anything but.


I think it's a safe bet that we'll learn Talon is cancelled on Monday. There was something floating around that someone saw Tim Seeley say he was only writing two issues, but I can't confirm that. Sales aren't great, and it sounds like Calvin is coming to the conclusion of his story, in search of a lazarus pit to resurrect himself, because after all, he is dead. I don't think this will be the last we'll see of Calvin though, as I saw Chris Burnham's Detective #27 variant as something along the lines of "hey, look, fringe characters, but they won't be very fringe anymore!" Plus, you got the character's creator working Batman: Eternal, sooooo...


Same with Talon, I'm willing to bet this book gets cancelled as well, simple as that. But with Batwing being featured prominently in the Batman: Eternal Thanksgiving teaser,  he has a way better chance of sticking around longer than Calvin, I'd say.


And a big "FUCK YOU" to DC Comics on this one. Talk about one of the worst creative decisions they've made in the New 52. Nocenti's run on Catwoman will probably go down as one of the worst in the character's long history, and not to mention is one of DC's most consistently critically panned titles, in fact, many sites, including me, have just stopped reviewing it all together, because it's that bad. At even logical point where an arc was ending or a change was coming to the character, I thought maybe this would be the time DC figures out how fucking terrible this book has been, and would do something about it... So far, JAAAAAAACK SHIT. So once again, I see Catwoman having Batman reveal the Batcave to her, she's prominently featured in the Eternal art, so we're prime for another opportunity to change this title's situation, and I'm going to do the stupid thing and really hope that this is that time... but who the fuck knows? I bet Nocenti gets one more issue on the title, but if it's anything more than that, DC has officially lost it's fucking mind. If there's a change coming, might as well cancel the current volume and relaunch it, to get as far away from the current stank as possible. If anything, I still hope Tim Seeley will write her at some point, potentially in Eternal.

Birds of Prey

Throw another book into the fire, cus I'm betting this one gets cancelled as well. I mean... what is this book now? I don't understand it. It's the last title that Basilisk has it's presence ruin, no one gives two shits about Condor, Batgirl is just sort of there, as is the Talon Mary, and  Black Canary is far from resembling anything that made her great, pre New 52. Plus, this is the book that unceremoniously showed it's best character the door, for no other reason than "because." Just cancel it. I wouldn't be surprised if DC tries to recreate the Birds at some point, but it's just not working from what I'm looking at, and should be given some rest.


Hey, remember how Batwoman was pretty much on her own in Gotham? Well fuck all that. There were pluses and negatives to Batwoman being so secluded, and I'm optimistic to see what things will be with her now more connected to the Batfamily, especially since we straight up know she and Batman are cousins now. We know there will be an annual next year that concludes the story that was left dangling, and I'm willing to be it'll be pretty weird, and there will be a lot to be cynical about. But, for now, I'm openminded to where Andreyko will take the character, and I'm going to laugh if something comes from the glint we see on Batwoman's finger in that Eternal teaser... Not a "ha ha" laugh but a "this is awkward, when are the passive aggressive tweets coming?" sort of laugh.


No idea, this book isn't really that much of a "Batman" book. It's new, it'll continue... Jae Lee will probably be back at some point? Who knows. 

Harley Quinn

It's hard to predict what will happen in this book, mainly because 1. It hasn't even had it's first issue yet, technically speaking and 2. It's not a book that lends itself well to making serious predictions about. Like the old Power Girl book, you can expect this title to be fun, absurd, ridiculous, and entertaining. Are we going to get deep character drama that will change Harley Quinn forever?! No, we're probably going to get a bunch of dark slapstick gags that will be very fun to read, provided everyone doesn't get their panties in a bunch at every little thing.

New Books?

Let's bring this sucker to an end. So, at the very least, I'm expecting four flat-out cancellations in the Batman line alone, so maybe we'll get some new books as well? Well... not so fast. Batman: Eternal will count as four single issues alone in a month, so a cynical part of me believes DC might not bother to replenish their stock, especially given the fact that they haven't published 52 titles in a single month for quite some time now, outside of Villains Month. But if they were to launch some new books, here are my quick thoughts.

Red Robin. Tim Drake got pretty fucked over by the New 52, and it seems like DC might try and fix that. I mean, is even a member of the Bat family anymore? Not really.

If Damian comes back, fucking give him his own Robin solo. He'll need a good supporting cast, but he fucking deserves it. This obviously wouldn't be immediately, but still... Damian deserves it.

Something with Stephanie Brown. Once again, this won't be immediate, but I'd be shocked if she doesn't show up in something outside of Batman: Eternal at some point in 2014. If DC relaunches Birds of Prey or something, there's one cast member right there.

Past that, I'm not sure what other characters from the Bat family could be given a book, everyone is pretty covered, everyone that exists in this universe, that is.

Hopefully whatever changes starts to happen with this next batch of solicitations, because I for one, am tired of using this image as a representation of where DC comics has been for the past couple of months, while every other publisher has had exciting announcements seemingly every week.

...Actually, I'm not that tired of it, because I think it's pretty humorously spot on.


  1. I can't speak for the titles I'm not reading, but I will for the ones I am. I agree that The Dark Knight and Talon are probably ending. As for Nightwing, that's probably cancelled, but I wouldn't say it'll get a straight relaunch. If Dick's going to change his identity, hair and all, he'll probably take on a whole new name. With Batman and..., I feel a Ra's al Ghul arc may be the last for the book, since that would be the last dangling plotpoint set up so far; plus maybe it could lead into Damian's own book.

  2. Yeah, sadly Talon is probably gone. It's a shame too because I love that book and its my last third wave book I'm regularly buying.

    "Nocenti's run on Catwoman will probably go down as one of the worst in the character's long history, and not to mention is one of DC's most consistently critically panned titles, in fact, many sites, including me, have just stopped reviewing it all together, because it's that bad."

    No kidding. I'm probably the last guy who will even talk it in the review circles (except for something called DC Comics News, that gave #24 a 5 out of 5). The book is just completely baffled, but yet I'm drawn into reading and reviewing it every month to see how bad it gets. I'm sort of actually looking forward to seeing how bad its Gothapia arc will be. It's weird.

  3. I like the Batgirl book. The art has been so-so but enjoyed the look and feel of #26. The problem has been the crossover issue and the villains month which has artificially elongated what should have been a sharp 4 issue story.

    Totally agree with Catwoman. The sewer storyline is just plain dumb.

    Damian and Carrie book?

    Would love a good Robin or Red Robin book, but please keep Scott Lobdell the hell away from it!

    Looking forward to seeing Steph back.