Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

John Ridley's new Batman will be a person of color

A man dressed as Batman joins the protest near Lafayette Park and the White House on June 3,
A man dressed as Batman joins the protest near Lafayette Park and the White House on June 3,
Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

It was revealed during a DC FanDome panel on Saturday that Academy Award winner John Ridley will helm a four-issue Batman miniseries featuring art by Nick Derington. A new Batman comic isn’t necessarily the biggest news in the world, but what Ridley had to say about his version of the Caped Crusader is what had ears perking up.

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“A big part of my life has been around, Batman—has been around people who choose to do better. And even if some of that is just wish fulfillment, you know, it is part of what we want our young people, kids, to believe in: that everybody can be part of the process. And for a long time, as was said, you know, for those of us who are outside of the prevailing culture, it didn’t matter the race of Batman or Superman or Wonder Woman. We just identified with the idea of trying to be the fabric of an environment that was better,” Ridley said during the panel. “I think it’s a pretty safe bet that I’m writing Batman.... It’s probably a little better than a 47 percent chance he’s going to be a person of color. That’s what I would say.”

Now, we don’t thing Ridley wouldn’t joke about something like that, so we’re assuming his Batman’s skin color has already been set and it’s much better than a 47 percent chance. Or maybe this was his way of forcing DC’s hand to sign off on the idea? This seemed like a pre-taped video, but who’s to say what’s going on behind the scenes.

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“What’s very exciting for me is that I’m going to have the opportunity to delve into the Fox family,” Ridley continued. “So you have Lucius Fox...the person who’s been at Batman’s side nearly the longest. But he has a family, and this is a family that has secrets, has kept secrets from one another. It’s a little bit different dynamic than the Batman that we’ve always seen.”

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John Ridley and Nick Derington’s Batman
John Ridley and Nick Derington’s Batman
Image: DC Comics

Ridley’s Batman miniseries are scheduled to launch in January 2021. The first still from the comics is above.

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UPDATE Aug. 22, 6:39 p.m. CT: DC Comic’s Chief Creative Operator Jim Lee confirmed in an offhand comment in a later panel that Ridley’s Batman will be Black.

A.V. Club Editor in Chief...but really just a She-Ra, Schitt’s Creek, Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor, Big Brother, Top Chef, The Good Place superfan.

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