What would the Caped Crusader be like in the real world? Batman: Dark Age aims to answer that question

Art from Batman: Dark Age #1
(Image credit: DC)

2022's Superman: Space Age limited series took an innovative approach to the Man of Steel. The DC Black Label book by writer Mark Russell, artist Mike Allred, and colorist Laura Allred, re-told the story of Clark Kent/Superman but transposed into something approaching our own real world, while also foregrounding important historical events of the 1960s. The same trio is now applying this approach to the Caped Crusader in a new series, Batman: Dark Age. 

DC is calling the three-issue series "an origin story like no other" and promises that it will show how Bruce Wayne, "Gotham City’s favorite delinquent son," evolves into its shadowy protector while also encountering various characters from Batman lore on his journey to become "a figure in American history fighting for justice in a world gone mad."

We've got a first look at some of the Allreds' beautiful unlettered pages from the first issue, which really show off the gorgeous retro vibes of the book.

The first issue has a choice of four different covers, including (from left to right) Mike and Laura Allred's groovy, '60s-style main cover; a cool 1 in 25 variant also by the Allreds that depicts multiple Batmen; Yanick Paquette's cover, which shows both sides of Bruce Wayne and Batman; and finally a heroically brooding cover by Frank Quitely. Check them all out in the gallery below.

Here's DC's official synopsis for the new book:

"In an origin story like no other, witness the boy become a dark knight shaped by a city in turmoil as it marches towards its prophesied doom. Set against the backdrop of actual historical events, Gotham comes alive, filled with the iconic characters who've loved and hated Batman over the years like you've never seen them before. Spinning out of the Eisner-nominated Superman: Space Age, Mark Russell and Mike Allred return to give audiences a look at Batman as a figure in American history fighting for justice in a world gone mad."

Batman: Dark Age #31 is published by DC on March 26. The trade paperback of Superman: Space Age follows on April 30.

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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.