Over the summer, during the massive DC FanDome event, writer John Ridley teased an upcoming Batman miniseries team-up with artists Nick Derington and Laura Braga that would reveal someone new under the famous cowl. Ridley and Derington teaming for Batman is exciting enough on its own, but when Ridley teased of his Batman that there was a "better than a 47 percent chance he’s going to be a person of color," comics fans sat forward even further, eager to learn more about this shift in Batman storytelling.
In a little more than three months since that news arrived, we've learned quite a bit more about Ridley's Batman, most notably that it will be part of Future State, DC's ambitious two-month event that will allow a wide variety of creative teams to tell various stories of possible DC Comics futures through characters new, old, and in-between. Titled Future State: The Next Batman, the four-issue miniseries promised to put a person of color under the costume as Bruce Wayne's successor, and while we got plenty of new information about Gotham City's future along with that news, what we didn't get was the identity of the so-called "Next Batman."
That changes today. DC announced Thursday morning that Tim Fox, aka Jace Fox, the estranged son of Batman's ally Lucius Fox and the brother to Batwing Luke Fox, will be stepping into the Batsuit as Future State's Next Batman when the event kicks off in January. The news was revealed via a variant cover for Future State: The Next Batman #2, drawn by Doug Braithwaite and Diego Rodriguez. Check it out:
First introduced in Batman #313 back in 1979, Timothy Fox has always strayed further from his father's influence than his brother Luke, but recent events in Gotham have led to a reunion of sorts. In the wake of the Joker War, as Lucius Fox gained more financial influence in the city, he reached out to his son at the urging of his wife Tanya, reconnecting in an attempt to heal a longstanding divide. We don't yet know exactly how that'll go in the months to come, but Tim felt strongly enough about Gotham's future that he apparently wanted to take up the Batman mantle in a post-Bruce Wayne era.
Tim will certainly have his work cut out for him, though, because the Gotham of Future State is a particularly hostile place for costumed heroes. A private police force known as The Magistrate has transformed the city into a surveillance state, outlawing masks and even issuing orders to shoot Batman on sight. But of course, stuff like that never stopped the old Caped Crusader, so why should it stop the next one?
Future State: The Next Batman debuts January 5, and will run every other week throughout January and February with backup stories starring The Outsiders, Arkham Knights, Batgirls, and Gotham City Sirens. Tim Fox is also set to appear in the February issue of DC's revamped Batman: Black & White anthology series, dropping February 23.
As for how he became Batman and why... well, we'll have to read and find out.