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Who is the Next Batman? DC says he is right in front of us

Next Batman
(Image credit: DC)

Batman is Bruce Wayne - but come January 2021, that'll no longer be the case as DC is introducing a new Batman - the Next Batman - as part of their Future State line-up.

Next Batman

(Image credit: DC)

Set several years in DC's future, Future State: The Next Batman focuses on a Gotham City overtaken by a totalitarian police force known as the Magistrate. They are a police group whose first order of business was taking down the rogue vigilante Batman - and they did, ending up with Bruce Wayne/Batman's apparent death.

And while you can kill a person, Batman has enough friends and followers that you seemingly can't kill the dream of Batman - and a new hero will take up the role...

… but DC has been mum on who the next Batman will be, playing it up as a mystery.

Newsarama asked DC's Batman group editor Ben Abernathy about the next Batman's mystery identity, and he doubled down on writer John Ridley's vague teases - but added another piece to the puzzle.

"To paraphrase John Ridley, there's a 48% chance he's a person of color," Abernathy says. "I can't reveal who he is though."

(Image credit: DC)

While he can't reveal who the Next Batman star is, he can say when you'll see him - and it's well before 'Future State' begins in January.

"I'm excited for what I hope will be a genuine surprise for readers," the editor continues. "By the end of this year, the new Batman will have already appeared out-of-costume somewhere in the Bat group of titles."

Batman #101

Page from Batman #101 (Image credit: DC)

With October 20's Batman #101 fresh on our minds, two of the month likely suspects seem to be Luke and Timothy Fox, the sons of Lucius Fox - who, in Batman #100, acquired ownership of Wayne Enterprises (and almost all of Bruce Wayne's money).

Why just those two? Well, the Next Batman will, according to Future State: Next Batman #1's solicitation, have a "connection to former Batman weaponeer Lucius Fox" - and Ridley has already said the book centers on the Fox family.

"[Fox] has a family and this is a family that has secrets, has kept secrets from one another," Ridley explained in August. "It's a little bit different dynamic than the Batman that we've always seen."

Of the two, Luke Fox seems like the obvious choice, given his tenure as Batman's hand-picked successor to the Batwing mantle early in the 'New 52' era. Luke grew up idolizing Batman, and carried out a similar fighting training process to Bruce Wayne - and like the Dark Knight (and his father Lucius), has an aptitude for tech. Another factor in this is that Batman writer James Tynion IV used him as a supporting character in his 2016-2017 Detective Comics run, so would presumably have some familiarity (and interest) in the character going forward.

(Image credit: DC)

With all that going on, Timothy Fox would be the dark horse candidate out of the two Fox brothers - although his recent re-introduction after being the Fox family outcast for decades seems to denote more than just a simple coincidence. And if it helps, Tim moonlighted for a short time as a masked vigilante already - as the Culture in the Terrible Trio gang (although it didn't last long).

And yes, both of them appeared in Batman #101 out-of-costume like Batman group editor Ben Abernathy said the Next Batman would.

A new Batman will be a big change - but the Dark Knight is familiar with change. Check out our rundown of the biggest changes to Batman in his 80+ year history.

Chris Arrant

Newsarama Senior Editor Chris Arrant has covered comic book news for Newsarama since 2003, and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table.