Bruce Wayne is dead, long live the Batman, in new DC Black Label series Gargoyle of Gotham

Batman pounces.
(Image credit: DC Comics)

The latest release from DC's Black Label imprint is a dark and daring new take on the Caped Crusader, as celebrated writer/artist Rafael Grampá launches Batman: Gargoyle of Gotham.

The four-issue miniseries launches on Batman Day (that's Saturday September 16, in case you were wondering) and will be published bimonthly. According to DC, the new book focuses on a version of Batman who willingly lets go of his life as Bruce Wayne in favor of full-time crime-fighting. This comes at a terrifying cost, however, that we imagine has something to do with that old quote about gazing into the abyss. 

We've got a first look at Grampá's striking art for the series, with colors by Mat Lopes, in the gallery below.

DC's official synopsis for the new book reads:

"In a Gotham City where every day feels darker and more irredeemable than the last, Batman makes a definitive choice - to kill off the Bruce Wayne identity for good and embrace the cape and cowl full-time. But though he knows the streets of Gotham, Batman will soon come to find that he hardly knows himself. A serial killer is on the loose, and while the murder victims seem random at first, every clue draws Batman closer to the terrifying truth - that they are all connected, not just to each other, but to him as well. When an all-new rogues gallery of utterly depraved villains begins to emerge from the depths of the city, Batman will have to contend with the very nature of evil - including that which lurks in the darkest corners of his own heart - to face what is coming for the city he has sworn to protect."

Grampá says that the book was inspired by a small detail from 1940's Batman #1. 

"Bruce Wayne swore revenge by the spirits of his murdered parents and - driven by his belief in an omen - became Batman. For me, this subtle aspect of Bruce's belief system has always been the fundamental core of Batman, and through that lens I recognized this untold story. Batman: Gargoyle of Gotham explores 'who he is and why he came to be.' It makes my dream of bringing my own interpretation of Batman to life a reality as I delve into the darkest corners of his essence. I sincerely hope readers enjoy the ride."

That sounds very dark - and very good - indeed. Fittingly, as well as the regular issue, Gargoyle of Gotham will also be available as a special black and white "Noir Edition" from selected retailers.

The new issue comes with a selection of variant covers from some legendary artists, including Jim Lee and Frank Miller. You can see several of them, including Grampá's cover for the Noir Edition, in the gallery above. As well as the regular cover, the full list includes:

  • A Jim Lee variant, with colors by Matheus Lopes
  • A black and white version of the Jim Lee cover as a 1-in-25 "ratio" variant
  • A 1-in-50 variant cover by Priscilla Petraites
  • A 1-in-100 variant cover by Paul Pope
  • A 1-in-250 black and white variant cover by Frank Miller

Batman: Gargoyle of Gotham and Batman: Gargoyle of Gotham Noir Edition are both published by DC Comics on September 16.

You can stay on top of all the new Batman comics coming your way by keeping an eye on our handy list.

Will Salmon
Comics Editor

Will Salmon is the Comics Editor for GamesRadar/Newsarama. He has been writing about comics, film, TV, and music for more than 15 years, which is quite a long time if you stop and think about it. At Future he has previously launched scary movie magazine Horrorville, relaunched Comic Heroes, and has written for every issue of SFX magazine for over a decade. He sometimes feels very old, like Guy Pearce in Prometheus. His music writing has appeared in The Quietus, MOJO, Electronic Sound, Clash, and loads of other places and he runs the micro-label Modern Aviation, which puts out experimental music on cassette tape.