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John Ridley’s black Batman in upcoming DC Comics Image: John Ridley/LADRÖNN/DC Comics

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John Ridley to write Batman limited series likely starring a Batman of color

‘Better than a 47% chance,’ says Ridley of his groundbreaking casting choice

Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

A Black Batman? There’s a good chance it’s on the horizon, according to a new DC Comics announcement.

Confirmed out of the DC FanDome event, John Ridley (12 Years a Slave, DC’s The American Way, the upcoming The Other History of the DC Universe) and artist Nick Derington (Doom Patrol, Batman Universe, Mister Miracle) will team up for a four-issue miniseries featuring a new version of the Caped Crusader. The fresh take will live alongside the character currently battling the Joker in James Tynion IV and Jorge Jimenez’s Batman run. The announcement came paired with a new piece of artwork by LADRÖNN, seen above.

In conversation with CCO Jim Lee, Ridley wouldn’t confirm if his Batman would be Black, as many have speculated since rumors of the series started, but he more than fueled the speculative fire.

“I think it’s a pretty safe bet that if I’m writing Batman, it’s probably a little better than a 47% chance he’s going to be a person of color,” said Ridley.

There was more concrete info to offer: Ridley’s limited Batman series will focus on the family of Lucius Fox, who is head of Wayne Enterprises in the continuity of the book. “But he [Fox] has a family and this is a family that has secrets, has kept secrets from one another,” said Ridley. “It’s a little bit different dynamic than the Batman that we’ve always seen.”

Lucius Fox is among the most prominent Black characters in Batman comics and movies, thanks to Morgan Freeman’s turn as the character in the Nolan Batman films. And his kids have ties to Batman as well. His son Lucas “Luke” Fox is even a costumed vigilante in his own right, appearing off and on as the vigilante Batwing. It’s possible that Ridley is hinting that we’ll see Luke in the actual batsuit this time around.

In a news brief, DC notes that there will be more news of Ridley’s Batman comic to reveal at the next installment of DC FanDome, currently set for Sept. 12. Batman: Joker War Zone one-shot anthology, and will have more to showcase at that book’s panel.

Ridley’s four-Issue miniseries is scheduled for January 2021.


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