When DC signed Brian Michael Bendis to a "multi-faceted" exclusive creator deal in 2017, one of the most obvious potential assignments for the accomplished noir/superhero writer was one of the publisher's two main Batman titles - Detective Comics or Batman. In the three years and change since then, that speculation/hope among readers was never realized.
But then, Brian Michael Bendis recently tweeted this:
pic.twitter.com/1TISJcTAYrSeptember 15, 2021
Yes, Bendis wrote a great Batman story with the Walmart-first 'Batman Universe' storyline, once famously pitched a Batman/Daredevil crossover in a public forum, and has been featuring Batman as part of an ensemble in his current Justice League series and the evolving Event Leviathan saga.
So his ambiguous tweet could mean a lot of things, especially considering his exclusive DC deal expired, and many of his DC titles came to an end … or in the case of his creator-owned line, are being moved to Dark Horse Comics
But a few things have occurred around the Batman titles that make his tweet worth some pondering.
First, writer James Tynion IV very publicly exited the Batman title recently and subsequently explained that he was in talks to write the series for "years" (plural) before he decided to opt-out in favor of creator-owned work.(opens in new tab)
Now what that did to DC's schedule nobody but DC knows, but it quickly filled the Batman role with the already-busiest-writer-at-DC, Joshua Williamson (along with artist Jorge Molina), albeit only temporarily … at least as far as we know. DC officially announced Williamson and Molina as creating a four-issue arc beginning in December, as opposed to announcing them as the new Batman regular creative team.
And after a year of twice-monthly shipping for its reliably best-selling ongoing title under Tynion and artist Jorge Jiménez, Batman will return to monthly shipping for at least December, suggesting perhaps the switch from Tynion-Jiménez to Williamson-Molina didn't happen with enough lead-time to keep the twice-monthly shipping going.
And for the record, as of August, Jiménez tweeted he will remain on Batman (opens in new tab) after the current 'Fear State' crossover and Tynion's departure, which seems to suggest he knew of plans to start working with a writer while Williamson and Molina give them a few months lead time.
It's also worth remembering when Tynion originally took over Batman, he said he understood it was to be a short-term run ending with Batman #100 (opens in new tab) with someone else, already decided at the time, taking over after. That mystery writer(s) has never been publicly confirmed, but we wonder if the same thing could be happening with Williamson.(opens in new tab)
And that brings us full circle back to Bendis' tweet, his evolving relationship with DC in the background all this time, and again, his obvious fit for the role.
Could "things change" in context to Batman be about a Bat-window that seemed closed opening up again for Bendis?
Hmm…. that's a lot of freehand speculation, for sure. DC generally runs a tight ship announcing this sort of thing, but Bendis's tweet almost certainly means something.
So maybe readers are in store for some interesting Bendis/Batman comics coming in 2022, and if that comes to pass, maybe the story behind it all would make for a compelling sequel to Bendis' tell-all Fortune and Glory (opens in new tab) series.
Time will tell if James Tynion IV's run stacks up with the best Batman creators of all time.