Guess what? We have very exciting news for you. Everything we are about to tell you happened on the latest episode of Kevin Smith's Fatman on Batman. In Part 2 with Geoff Johns, the creators discussed Johns work on Batman: Earth 1 Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. In the Summer of 2013, DC Comics announced that the villain for Vol. 2 will be the Riddler but there is more.
For those who don't know, Earth 1 books are the new Esleworlds books for DC. Instead of taking the on going series route that Marvel did with the Ultimate Universe line, DC decided to publish graphic novels that focused on the origin stories but with drastic changes to the characters' mythologies. In the podcast, Johns described his version of Batman perfectly by calling it "Beta-Batman". For all of Batman's history, Alfred as been portrayed as a former actor and a fail old man. That's not the case anymore. In Earth 1, Alfred is an army buddy of Wayne Thomas, becomes head of security for Wayne Manor and he's a badass. Also, Geoff Johns does something different and radical. The madame name of Bruce's mother is Arkham. For new comic book readers, Arkham is now an Asylum and the home for Batman's rogues gallery. On a really fun note, Penguin is Mayor of Gotham and (Spoiler Alert) Alfred kills him at the end of Vol. 1.
New Info on Earth 1: Vol.
Along side the Riddler, Johns will be introducing Earth 1's version of Killer Croc.
Yes! I am excited for Johns to work on Batman's scrubs. Besides Loeb's Hush, I've never seen the Riddler as an A lister. In my opinion, an A Lister villain always has the ability to beat Batman. Also, my fingers are crossed because I do not want to see Killer Croc as the crocodile version. I want the Killer Croc from the Animated Series. Yes, it's true. I am very conservative when it comes to hero and villain costumes/appearances.
Since Vol. 2 is still sort of an origin story, this is not your Batman. Johns describes a scene where Batman appears from the shadows and is standing on evidence. Detective Gordon notices that and says "You're stepping on evidence". Batman steps back and Gordon says "You're not much of a detective, are you?"
When was the last time we've seen a "Beta-Batman"? The answer might be "Year One". By writing Batman during this period in his life, Johns can accomplish so much. Yes, Snyder is writing a brilliant Batman but the character is flawless. Earth 1 Batman is unpredictable and far from perfect. Johns' Batman gets into a fist fight with Alfred and he does not know how to jump from roof to roof. If you're tired of the same old Batman stories then you WANT to buy Earth 1.
Along with Gordon and Bullock, there will be several new characters joining the cast. There are several volumes planned and Robin, Catwoman and Clayface will be introduced. Johns' plan is to do one volume every fourteen months.