John Ridley Talks About the New Batman’s Identity

Article by Eric Lee

The Next Batman writer, John Ridley, has discussed the new Batman’s identity, and how he differs from Bruce Wayne, the original Dark Knight.

SPOILERS ALERT

It’s comic’s worst-kept secret that Tim Fox is the new Batman in January and February’s Future State: The Next Batman title. However, the question is why did Ridley decide to make Fox the new Dark Knight?

According to Ridley, making Batman a person of color was intentional. Fox provides a fresh, angle for the character that Bruce Wayne cannot touch. Ridley says that Fox allows Batman to get into deeper issues like family and privilege.

For me, Tim was the first choice. When I was invited in to start talking about this project, there was a real commitment to have Batman be represented as a person of color. As we were talking about the ideas DC had, there were things the executives really wanted to get into about perspectives, family, and privilege in ways that are not normally engaged in wider media. When we looked at all of those things, Tim was the obvious choice, and I’m very happy that he was, because it allows so much for the storytelling.

Batman with a Family

Despite surrounding himself with a Bat-family, Bruce Wayne does not have a living biological one. However, Tim Fox does. Those familial interactions make him different than Bruce. Here is Ridley on Fox’s family.

For me the biggest difference is family. Everything about Bruce is driven by the loss of his parents, and he has never been good at connecting with other people. He is driven by an innate desire to war against crime, but underneath it all, he’s doing it because deep down he really just wants his parents back. It has made him a very lonely man and a compelling character in literature.

Tim is also driven by his family but in a very different way. He’s going to have to reconcile his issues with his family in real-time. He has to deal with everything that goes on in a family, such as pride, love, and respect. What excites me is the opportunity to highlight these differences, and show that these motivators make him unique. All of the motivators in the story, not only with Tim but with the other characters, are centered around family and is a demonstration of how everything we do is wrapped around the idea of family.

For more on what readers can expect in The Next Batman, check out John Ridley’s full interview here.

Future State: The Next Batman hits shelves on January 5, 2021.

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Eric Lee

Eric Lee hails from San Francisco, California and has been one of the biggest fans of Batman since he was 2 years old when his dad showed him Tim Burton's 'Batman' on a fuzzy VHS. Currently, Eric is an avid comic book reader and writer and illustrator working on his own graphic novel. You can see his doodles at meeleeart.com.