DC has announced a new Batman limited series that takes the Caped Crusader across the pond for a globetrotting European adventure starting in April. Titled Batman: The Dark Knight, the six-issue series from writer Tom Taylor and artist Andy Kubert will center on a new villain named Equilibrium, and will introduce new members of Batman's supporting cast.(opens in new tab)
"An epic tale begins that will take Batman on a harrowing, action-packed European adventure in a new miniseries by superstar creators Tom Taylor and Andy Kubert!" reads DC's official solicitation text for Batman: The Dark Knight #1.
"A horrific tragedy in the United Kingdom sends a very personal and deadly message to the Dark Knight—one that will draw Batman out of Gotham City to investigate!"
"From the moment he lands in Europe, Batman will face a difficult investigation and unheard-of adversaries and find the assistance of a partner once more—all in the hunt for the villain known as Equilibrium!" it continues.
"New villains! New allies! A thrilling overseas adventure begins for the Dark Knight, starting with an extra-sized 26-page debut story!"
The series will take a "seasoned" Batman - "a lifetime of broken bones but not a broken spirit - out of Wayne Manor and on a harrowing, action-packed European quest ."
"I will leap at any chance to tell a Batman story at any time,” says Taylor, "but teaming up with a legend like Andy Kubert for a Batman tale is a dream and an honor. I have Andy's Dark Knight statue sitting on my desk, so I can see exactly how his Batman is larger than life."
Kubert describes this new Batman: The Dark Knight series as having a different take and tone from his previous work with the Caped Crusader.
"This series is a different take on the character than I had done before," says Kubert. "Every story that I have done with Batman has been different in tone, and the art takes on a life of its own as the story dictates. Batman and Son, Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader and Dark Knight III-The Master Race along with Flashpoint Batman, had their own look and feel for that particular story. Batman: The Dark Knight is no different."
According to DC, the story begins with a horrific tragedy in the United Kingdom that sends a "very personal and deadly message to the Dark Knight - one that will draw Batman out of Gotham City to investigate!"
"From the moment he lands in Europe, Batman will face a challenging investigation, unheard-of adversaries, and find the assistance of a partner once more - all in the hunt for the villain known as Equilibrium! And what does 'BATMAN 147' mean to Bruce Wayne when it appears after a deadly plane crash - is it a clue, or a riddle? Or just another trap for the Batman?"(opens in new tab)
"When editor Ben Abernathy and Andy came to me with an idea for a world-weary Batman leaving Gotham for Europe," continues Taylor, "I immediately thought of the great stories I'd read of an older, cynical Batman. But the challenge was finding the call to adventure for a Batman who's a little more jaded.
"Fortunately, I already had something up my sleeve. I actually pitched a Batman idea to Ben Abernathy all the way back in 2012 and, nine years later, we were able to find a place for this in Batman: The Dark Knight. The idea was about taking something away from Batman that no one's ever tried to take before. And from that, a new, unique Batman villain was born. It's all about Equilibrium."
As to Batman’s new partner? DC wants readers to know "all signs" point to Knight or Squire (from Grant Morrison's Batman Incorporated) and the publisher promises insight into the people behind the costumes to answer the question "how much will an aging Bruce Wayne be able to help them with cracked ribs, or a dislocated shoulder, or the pain associated with being Batman in the first place? When will enough be enough for the Dark Knight?"
"Andy's Batman never skipped leg day," concludes Taylor discussing his art partner's version of the Dark Knight. "His legs are like tree trunks. He's a bit older, he's a little slower, but he's efficient. He's muscle and bulk and power and he moves like a battering ram. He interacts a little like a battering ram too.
"He's singularly focused. He has a mission, and he won't be pushed off track by hordes of attackers ... or even Andy's terrifying Gentleman Ghost. While this is about an older Dark Knight, we also had an opportunity to flashback to his past, to see a younger Bruce Wayne in training in a way never expanded on before."
The covers for Batman: The Dark Knight #1 by Andy Kubert and Riccardo Federici show off what looks to be a new costume for Batman, presumably designed by Kubert.
The new look calls to mind aspects of the costume Kubert designed for a future story in which Damian Wayne becomes Batman, as well as elements of Mike Mignola's classic Gotham By Gaslight suit, worn in the first-ever 'Elseworlds' alt-universe story set in the Victorian era.
DC is prominently featuring the term 'Dark Knight' in the title, making it just a word away from the Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, the seminal Frank Miller limited series also featuring an older more broken-down Batman.
Batman: The Dark Knight #1 is on sale in April. Watch for DC's full April 2021 solicitations on January 15 on Newsarama.
Keep up with all the Dark Knight's upcoming adventures with our comprehensive guide to all DC's planned Batman comics through April and beyond.