The Batman screenwriter asks "What if Batman was real?" in new comic book series

Batman: The Imposter
(Image credit: DC)

Batman: The Imposter, what DC calls a "unique vision" and "a new and different look at Gotham's guardian as he begins his war on crime," is an October-launching three-issue prestige format limited series.

Although not mentioned by the publisher in the announcement, according to the cover images it'll be part of DC's Black Label mature readers imprint.

Batman: The Imposter #1 cover by Andrea Sorrentino (Image credit: DC)

The high concept of the series is examining Batman through the lens of trying to make him and Gotham City seem as real as possible. 

According to DC, the October 12 'day and date' on-sale debut in print and digital will be mirrored by "localized print" versions of the series in 13 territories - Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Spain, Italy, and France. 

DC has already gotten out front of announcing the series will be collected in a hardcover edition on February 22, 2022.

Batman: The Imposter is written by film director and screenwriter Mattson Tomlin. DC lists his credits as Project Power and Little Fish in its announcement but somewhat interestingly doesn't even mention Tomlin is credited by IMDB and sources like the Hollywood Reporter as a screenwriter for The Batman, director Matt Reeves reboot starring Robert Pattinson that opens on March 4, 2022. 

Warner Bros.'s own production notes only list Reeves as the film's sole screenwriter. 

Batman: The Imposter is illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, who has cut his Gotham City teeth on Batman-related titles like writer Jeff Lemire's  Joker: Killer Smile and Batman: The Smile Killer. 

DC says Sorrentino has created a "gritty, hard-boiled version of Gotham City, where every punch leaves a broken bone and every action has consequences far, far beyond Batman’s imagination!"

Batman: The Imposter #1 variant cover by Lee Bermejo (Image credit: DC)

The story takes place early in Batman's career during the first year or so, but the new Dark Knight is seeing the positive results of his war on crime. Which of course, makes him the enemy of some very powerful players in Gotham City, who doesn't like what Batman is doing to upset their plans. 

"…and it seems one of them has a plan to neutralize him," reads DC's description. 

But sort of in the spirit of some of the opening scenes of The Dark Knights, there's a second Batman seemingly inspired by Bruce Wayne and this other Batman has "no qualms about murdering criminals, live and on tape."

"With the entire might of the Gotham City Police Department and Gothamss rich and powerful coming down on his head, Batman must find this imposter and somehow clear his name," continues DC's description. "But how can you prove your innocence from behind a mask?

"As a lifelong Batman fan, putting my spin on Gotham City has been a dream come true," says Tomlin. "Taking the question of 'What if Batman was real?' as far as narratively possible conjured incredible potential that hasn't recently been explored in the comics. Batman: The Imposter treats Bruce Wayne and the people around him as tragically flawed and vividly real, with the obstacles Batman faces coming from a reality that closely mirrors our own."

Sorrentino will provide the cover to Batman: The Imposter #1 with a variant cover by Lee Bermejo. 

Check out a preview of Sorrentino's interior art in our gallery. 

Speaking of more real-world versions of Batman, Newsarama examines Batman's complicated history with guns

I'm not just the Newsarama founder and editor-in-chief, I'm also a reader. And that reference is just a little bit older than the beginning of my Newsarama journey. I founded what would become the comic book news site in 1996, and except for a brief sojourn at Marvel Comics as its marketing and communications manager in 2003, I've been writing about new comic book titles, creative changes, and occasionally offering my perspective on important industry events and developments for the 25 years since. Despite many changes to Newsarama, my passion for the medium of comic books and the characters makes the last quarter-century (it's crazy to see that in writing) time spent doing what I love most.