DCNu: 52 Brand New #1’s – Batman

Renumbering. It’s a tried and true method of bringing up sales, as well as introducing new readers into the story. Renumbering a popular title is most often done when a high-numbered series is receiving a new creative team, new storyline etc. Spider-Man has done it a few times, The Ultimate Marvel line has done it a few times, but DC has remained relatively unscathed by this trend.

Until now…

Welcome to the DCNu. DC is taking the renumbering to a whole new level after the events of Flashpoint, and releasing 52 new #1’s. This is monumental for some titles, considering this will be the first Batman #1 since 1940. And just when you think DC can’t do anything else with the number 52, they keep on rolling with it.

So this is a first in a series of articles that will take a look at the new “First” issues coming out. And since he is easily one of the favorite characters here at Grizzly Bomb, let’s start with Batman.

Batman #1

It is a bit of a sad time as for the first time in a while Bruce Wayne returns as the only character using the Batman name. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s how it should be, but I really enjoyed Dick Grayson’s turn as Bats, but I would probably enjoy Grayson as Angle Man, so don’t judge that too much.  Scott Snyder writes, and Greg Capullo (probably best known for his work on Spawn) makes his DC debut as Bat-artist.

Detective Comics #1

In another milestone, this will be the first debut issue of Detective Comics to feature the Batman. This series follows Wayne on the trail of a vicious killer known only as the ‘Gotham Ripper’. It is brought to us by writer/artist Tony Daniel, a mainstay of the Bat-titles as of late.

Batman and Robin #1

The moment most Bat fans have been waiting for has arrived. With Bruce back as the only Batman, where does that leave Robin? By his side, where he should be. It’s the father and son team of Bruce and Damian, brought to us by Peter Tomasi and Pat Gleason. I have high hopes for this series. I loved Dick and Damian’s Batman and Robin, but this is how it should be, when it all comes down to it. Batman and Robin, Father and Son, Pure Gold.

Batman: The Dark Knight #1

David Finch continues to bring us his take on Batman, with help on pencils from collaborator Jay Fabok. The series takes us on twisted tale through the halls of Arkham Asylum, so I would expect a wild ride on this one.

Batwoman #1

The long-awaited series featuring Kate Kane as Batwoman finally arrives in the DCNu. This series has been highly anticipated and will be brought to us by J.H. Williams III, Haden Blackman and Amy Reeder.

Batgirl #1

And one of the most controversial things to come out of the DCNu camp, is the return of Barbara Gordon as Batgirl. I’m equal parts excited and sad. We get to see the return of a great character, while losing out on 2 others. I’m speaking about Stephanie Brown, who filled the role of Batgirl until recently, and Oracle, Barbara Gordon’s previous alias. Oracle was a key element to the Bat family, and a shining point in the DC Universe to feature such a strong character, despite of/because of her handicap. You can read a great article on that over at Newsarama. Batgirl will be brought to us by Gail Simone, with Ardian Syaf and Vicente Cifuentes on art.

Nightwing #1

Dick Grayson returns as Nightwing! Easily the title I am most looking forward to, as I have made no secret of my love for the character of Grayson. I love the new costume, although it seems a little bit like a pre-cursor to the Batman Beyond uniform worn by Terry McGinnis. Either way, Dick is back where he belongs, and with Barbara back as Batgirl, who knows what kinds of stories we’ll be seeing come out of this. Brought to us by Kyle Higgins, with art by Eddy Barrows.

Catwoman #1

Catwoman has been a part of the Bat Family for years, so obviously she will be getting a new #1 along with the rest. This series will dive into what makes Catwoman tick; Batman, danger, the thrill of the night, etc. It will be written by Judd Winick and drawn by Guillem March.

Bird of Prey #1

Birds of Prey will be getting a bit of a revamp, as Gotham City’s Covert Ops Team, tasked to take down the villains other heroes can’t touch.  Almost seems like a mix between the old Birds of Prey and Gotham City Sirens, but we’ll see more when Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz bring us the first issue.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #1

Jason Todd returns as the Red Hood (which I thinks suits Todd the best out of all the roles he’s taken since his return) to lead a new team of Outlaws. This group of anti-heroes will include Arsenal, who has been dragged through the dirt for a couple of years now, and Starfire, most recently a prisoner of intergalactic war. It will be written by Scott Lobdell with art by Kenneth Rocafort.

Batwing #1

Batwing follows the first Black character to wear the mantle of the bat and the first to star in his own ongoing series. Batwing is the Batman of Africa from the pages of Batman, Inc. and I for one am excited to pick up this issue. However, I do think they could have gone with a better name. Batwing has always been the Batplane to me, but I can adapt. It will be written by Judd Winick and drawn by Ben Oliver.

And speaking of Batman, Inc., while I don’t have a cover to show you it has been announced that it will return with a new #1 in early 2012. I have no word where Tim Drake will be seen throughout all of this, whether it be as Red Robin and his Outsiders, or with the Teen Titans. Hopefully time will tell on that one.

And that wraps up our look at all the Bat Family’s new #1’s, and while I was a little hesitant to get behind the DC renumbering, I think I just may be excited. Also being considered widely as a company wide ‘reboot’, I’m hoping for a more flexible history for some of the characters, while retaining the legacy that we’ve all come to love.

For the next installment of Grizzly Bomb’s look at the DCNu, we’ll be going Green…

What do you think of the Brand New #1’s? Do you think it’s merely an attempt to drum up sales? Are you actually excited to jump on board some of the series you may have fallen behind on?

Sound off in the comments section below!

10 thoughts on “DCNu: 52 Brand New #1’s – Batman”

  1. Wow. Where to begin. Ok, first – I don’t think Detective and Action Comics should be rebooted, their too old. That being said – I’m actually really excited to see how this goes, though I don’t look forward to the strain it will put on my wallet. Also, I’m going to miss Dick and Damian together, that just worked. I’m less excited for the Father-Son thing. I don’t think I like Barbara Gordon getting out of the chair, it makes THE KILLING JOKE less important. And while I really like Nightwing’s new duds, Batwing looks stupid. That’s what I got. For now.


  2. This whole reboot is a joke; I’m all for mixing stuff up, and totally support updating characters for the modern day; but do it organically goddammit. Look at how Marvel does it, They’ve gradually shifted the status quo for DECADES and aside from One More Day and Heroes Reborn, have done it subtlety and effectively. And not only that, there’s nothing wrong with having a new imprint ala the Ultimate line for more contemporary heroes not bogged down by continuity. This is going to be one horrific mess of a shit show so DC could be better tied to their film properties that might actually collapse DC comics like how Heroes Reborn did to Marvel.


    1. I’m with you for the most part. I’m not sure about a collapse, but I do suspect it will do more harm than good. Most importantly, make the changes in the existing universe. Hell, if you want to do some “Crisis” that “fixes” a few outstanding odds and ends you want to forget, go for it, but don’t revamp the entire universes.

      Also, why not the alternate imprint. It gives newbies a great place to jump on without losing the faithful.


  3. There’s been a lot of rebooting going on at marvel besides Heroes Reborn. Hulk has been rebooted almost three times, same with Cap and Thor. I think Wolverine has had a couple reboots. Hell even Spiderman did, but returned to original numbering. And one can only wonder when the Fantastic Four title will return at a number one.


  4. Batman – I get it as a way to get new readers on board, and it makes sense to me. I would make it fit in nearly perfect with the movies and start it from there. However, I see no reason to restart the numbering. I see the high numbers that DC has reached as something in which to take pride, and though I’ve said this already, make it a different imprint. How confused are the new kids going to be when the pick up a different bat title and see all these new characters.

    Detective – Again, why restart the numbering for one of the oldest comics in history. Makes no sense to me.

    Batman and Robin – I get that they can’t very well have Dick in Bruce’s shoes if they are trying to add readers, but it is a shame that they couldn’t have let Dick and Damien’s run last a little longer. Dick’s effortless grace and Damien’s abrasive determination made for excellent chemistry. Also, it seems that Damien and Bruce need some space to sort out their feelings and to get used to the way the Bat-clan operates. Though we knew that one day Bruce and Damian would fight side by side, I just see them as too similar in many ways to have a good dialogue…

    Dark Knight – Seems like an interesting premise, but I don’t know how this will work with the rest of the universe. I also do not see how this will help new readers jump on.

    Batwoman – I didn’t catch much of 52, but what I saw of Batwoman there bored me. I have no interest at this point though I am sure I will give it a try.

    Batgirl – Mistake. No if’s, and’s, or but’s. Character wise, Oracle plays a role in the DC universe that no other character in all of comics has managed. Batgirl is a dime a dozen. Continuity wise, this screws everything up. Where has Barbra been the last four years or so? Are we saying she was always there? Was she injured but recovering? Is her past completely retconned? If so, are we losing the relationship with Dick? What about all the relationships from Birds of Prey? New readers wise, how does this make any sense? Barbra as Batgirl was rather Nancy Drew-ish. Stephanie, though not my favorite character, seems a lot more like the All-American girl (though perhaps a little more jaded), and I would think that would attract a lot more newbies. Legacy wise, doesn’t this completely eliminate Joker’s status as the ultimate Bat-villain? He killed Jason and crippled Barbara…or not.

    Nightwing – As long as Nightwing is well written, I will be happy. I am also a big fan of the original Boy Wonder. However, I felt that his old outfit was perfect and timeless, I’m surprised to fine them changing it. I am more surprised to find them change from blue to red. I found Blue to strike the perfect tone for Dick, a trustworthy sort of color. The red eyes are also a bit much. I half expect him to shoot lasers. Nonetheless, I can deal with the costume redesign…just wish it was blue.

    Catwoman – I don’t much care what they do with Catwoman. It isn’t that I don’t like her, but with the switch from evil to good to pregnant makes me thoroughly disinvested in her as a character. Just write her well, and I’ll be happy.

    Birds of Prey – It seems like the exact same premise as Outlaws, but whatever. An Oracless BoP fills me with a sick feeling, but I’ll try to reserve judgement. And is that Harlequin and Poison Ivy playing the part of the good girls? Hmmmm.

    Red Hood and the Outlaws – This is the only title that actually excites me. The Red Hood was an excellent character, but since then, he has been horrible as an anti-Nightwing or general aimless pain in the ass. The identify of the Red Hood had a beautiful irony to it. It gives him an attachment to both Bruce and the Joker, the two men who made him who he is. I think Roy and Starfire will make interesting teammates too. High hopes (of course this could have been easily done in universe). It will also be interesting to see if they fix Jason’s back story. The universe-was-changed-because-of-alternate-universe’s-Superboy-pounding-on-time/space-barrier explanation was about the sloppiest possible writing.

    Batwing – I have the same feeling about the first Black Batman as I do about the first black president…I don’t care about your color, just do a good job. I think I like the design on Batwing though it does differ significantly from the original Bat. Looks very robotic. Still, it seems to have potential. The name is okay. A lot better than Red Robin.

    Speaking of which, I am very displeased about the lack of a Tim ongoing. Drake has been my boy for a long time now. I have nearly every issue of Robin/Red Robin (despite the stupid name), and now they possible cancel it. I am hurt and annoyed.

    With the overarching DCnU, I think certain elements of the verse do need a good booting, but I wish they had found a better way to go about it. I am hoping they will go with this for a year or two, judge the reactions to these different concepts, and then retcon the parts of the new universe that do not seem to be working. Making this the DCnU instead of just DC makes me think they may play with this for awhile until they have milked sales and then go back to a universe more similar to the old one. Time will tell.


  5. My first comment is on the mistake you made in the first paragraph saying the Batman title hasn’t had a #1 issue since 1940. It’s Detective Comics that hasn’t ever been restarted til now, not Batman.
    Batman, Detective Comics, Dark Knight
    I agree about Bruce being the only Batman. I personally think Richard Grayson earned the title of Batman. If it weren’t for him, Bruce wouldn’t have had anything to come back to. I was hoping they were going to leave Grayson as the Batman for Gotham and make Wayne more on International Bat, one for the Justice League and for seeding other Batmen around the world. It is too bad we won’t see him in the cape and cowl anymore.
    Batman and Robin
    How it should be? HA! Bruce never has been able to handle Damien. When he tried Alfred and Tim almost dies. It was Grayson who finally got something good out of the little brat and it is Grayson, Damien Wayne’s loyalty is to, not his absentee father. Damien should have gone with Nightwing when dear ol dad returned. Bruce spent years training Tim Drake Wayne and for him to not take him back as his Robin after Drake single handedly brought him back from being lost in time is a joke. He owes Tim big time. Everyone else was always saying Tim was stupid for believing Bruce was alive but he was right. He saved Bruce when everyone else turned their back on him. He deserves that spot, not Damien. Grayson and Damien should partner up and Bruce and Tim should.
    This series is a joke, mostly because the art in Batwoman has always and still sucks. It could be way better if they were to put a more normal looking artist in charge like the other Bat titles.
    I have mixed feelings about this because I wanted Barb back for a long time, but why do it now when for the first time; she finally has a worthy successor. I would have rather seen her come back with a new name and them be a team than this. Just act like Stephanie never existed why don’t you? It’s not right. Stephanie doesn’t deserve to be just swept under the rug. And Barb is way too old for the name girl. Come on. If anyone should be Batwoman it’s her, not Katey Kane.
    I like the new costume except that I would have like to have seen a more Batman like costume after spending time in the Cowl. I guess Grayson is going back to what he knows best.
    This series seems ok. It seems to be exploring more of the relationship she has with Batman.
    Bird of Prey
    Seems like a good mix of the Sirens and the old Birds although Id kick Ivy to the curb.
    Red Hood and the Outlaws
    I can see Red Hood and Red Arrow as supposed anti heroes but Starfire. It is interesting that all 3 have red hair. That had to be planed.
    Batwing seems like a good new title. It seems to be one of the few #1s with an original character.
    Teen Titans
    One you didn’t mention but should have since it features the new Red Robin in the greatest costume changed brought about by the DCnU. Not much info is given about the changes to the characters in this book but I would guess Red Robin would be their leader. Maybe he can get some respect her since his former mentor didn’t have the cajones to reinstate him as the one true Robin.


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