The Batman comics group editor Ben Abernathy has left DC Comics.
Abernathy was in charge of coordinating and editing all Batman-related comics for DC. He has held the Batman group editor position since 2019. During his editorial tenure, he hired James Tyrion IV and he also brought on Chip Zdarsky as the most current Batman writer.
In late 2021, he was promoted to Executive Editor, as well as still keeping his group editor role in the Batman titles. Now Ben Abernathy has left the publisher and there’s been plenty of speculation that he’s joined up with publishers like Skybound or the creator-owned DSTLRY. However, nothing official has yet about his new career plans.
Ben Abernathy’s Replacement… For Now
Katie Kubert is filing in for Abernathy’s absence in the meantime. She’s the interim Batman group editor-, but not the new permanent replacement that everybody assumed she’d be. In addition to running the Batman titles, she will continue her job as the group editor for “Global Publishing Innovation” at DC, which helps push DC’s comic book brand beyond the typical comic book shop marketplace and is responsible for projects like Batman: The World and the partnership to bring DC content to the popular Webtoon platform.
The Power of Batman Editors
Historically, the role of Batman editor has been an important one, since so many titles star Batman or are Batman spin-offs. On top of the typical editorial jobs of talent scouting, art checking, script approval, and continuity checking between titles, Batman editors are in a unique position different from others, as they also frequently coordinate entire franchise-wide crossover events with the Bat-titles regularly.
Probably the most notable example of editorial leadership was Denny O’Neil who helped create, write, and coordinate almost every Batman-related title during the massive 1990’s “No Man’s Land” mega-crossover. Unlike most continuing multi-title arcs that only last for a few months, this event covered over 100 individual issues and went on for an entire calendar year. Under a poor editor, these crossovers could be unwieldy and incoherent, but”No Man’s Land” was an unqualified success due to O’Neil’s steady leadership and strong vision to give Batman comics during that time a compelling hook.
So, whoever ends up being the new Batman editor has got some big shoes to fill. As of writing, DC has not announced a permanent new editor yet.
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