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Who Should Write Batman?

Illustration: Batman vol 3 Annual #1, artwork by David Finch

Since 2006, the main Batman book has been dominated by three writers with long (and sometimes controversial) runs: Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, and Tom King. And now that Tom King will be leaving the book for a Batman/Catwoman mini-series, the question returns: who should write Batman?

The most obvious choice is Brian Michael Bendis. After all, DC paid good money for him, they should put him on important books — however, Bendis is already writing Action Comics, Superman, Young Justice, and co-writing Naomi, and has a big crossover on the horizon (Event Leviathan) along with his creator owned books (Pearl, Cover, and Scarlet). So I don’t think he would take on Batman as well.

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So who will DC choose? Here are several choices. I hope DC doesn’t simply go with the easiest option, because...well, that would be boring. It would be like that time Tony Daniel wrote and drew Batman. So here we go.

Warren Ellis: My favorite choice, but then again, he’s often my favorite choice. Especially if he re-teams with Declan Shalvey, with whom he did six issues of Moon Knight and his creator-owned Injection. Ellis has already written Batman before, with a two-issue run on Legends of the Dark Knight and the first issue of Gotham Knights, along with the crossover Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth (which is amazing and everyone should read it).

Illustration: Planetary/Batman: Night on Earth, artwork by John Cassaday

Greg Rucka: Rucka is a great, if kind of obvious choice here. Rucka had a long run on Batman in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, being one of the writers for the critically acclaimed “No Man’s Land” arc, along with “Bruce Wayne: Fugitive” and “Bruce Wayne: Murderer?” He also co-wrote Gotham Central and helped create Batwoman. He’s had some issues with DC, but did return for DC Rebirth — he penned the first 25 issues of Wonder Woman and is now set to return again to write Lois Lane. He could definitely be tapped to write for the Bat again, especially with his long-time partner in art Michael Lark.

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Illustration: Gotham Central #25 cover, art by Michael Lark

Kelly Sue DeConnick: This isn’t exactly an “out there” choice as it may seem, since Kelly Sue already writes one of DC’s main books, Aquaman. And looking at her writing for Arthur — as well as her runs on Pretty Deadly and Bitch Planet shows that she has the chops to write the Bat. With a great artist alongside — like Emma Rios, the artist on Pretty Deadly — it would be a new and different take. Also, bonus: it would piss off misogynists and that’s always awesome. (Do you know how many women have been the main writer for a Batman-centric book? One. Devin Grayson. That’s it. And she wasn’t even the writer on Batman, but on Gotham Knights.)

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Becky Cloonan: Another choice that, when you think about it, isn’t that out there. Cloonan was the first female artist to draw Batman and it would be pretty poetic if she was the first female writer on the Batman book. She’s a writer, too, with a notable run on The Punisher (which is another usually male-central book) and the creator-owned Southern Cross. She also did the artwork for a story in the recent Detective Comics #1000, the story itself written by Warren Ellis and colored by Jordie Bellaire.

Illustration: An interior page from Batman vol 2 #12, artwork by Becky Cloonan
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Joshua Williamson: Here’s another safe, if still good, choice. Williamson is the current writer of The Flash and has written crossovers with Tom King on Batman, including “The Button.” He’s also written some excellent creator-owned books, including Nailbiter, Ghosted, and Birthright.

Marguerite Bennett: She was a main writer on DC Rebirth’s Batwoman, so has already shown her talent in writing Bat-characters. In fact, she was mentored by Scott Snyder himself, so is probably one of the more ideal candidates to take over Batman. Has gained pretty critical acclaimed for her creator-owned book Animosity.

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Jody Houser: Her work on Mother Panic, actually, convinced me that she would write a great Batman book. Think about it: a dark, noir book about a vigilante pretending to be a party girl. Yes, please.

What writers or writer/artist combos would you like?

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