A Goodybe to Batman: The Dark Knight

Batman is forever, but sadly not all of his titles are. Batman: The Dark Knight will be ending with Issue 29. When I first signed on to do a single arc with David Finch, I never imagined I’d stay this long. Because of my work in novels and screenplays, I’m rarely sure what sorts of deadlines I’ll be juggling at any time, so I usually commit to a single six-issue story at a time and write way out ahead of schedule. DC has been great and gracious about accommodating this, and because of their flexibility, I wound up writing on the title for two (really damn fun) years.

The Bat-office has been terrific, and I want to thank Mike Marts and the other host of DC folks (Geoff Johns, Rickey Purdin, Darren Shaw in particular) who lent support over these past years, as well as my stellar colleagues on the writing side—Scott Snyder, Peter Tomasi, Gail Simone, JH Williams III, Kyle Higgins, and so many more I overlapped with. Sonia Oback, Brian Miller of Hi-Fi, Dave McCaig, and John Kalisz did fantastic work on colors, and Dezi Sienty provided expert lettering for much of the run.

In particular, I’m grateful to my artists—first and foremost David Finch. He originated this book, initially handling both writing and drawing duties, and he’s the one who first invited me to the dance. We had a blast with our depiction of the delightfully wicked Mr. Crane and we hope you did too. I loved working with Ethan Van Badass on our Hatter arc, and later with Alex Maleev, who drew Clayface with skillful, staticky delight. The annual and a few fill-in issues saw me reunited with my Penguin: Pain and Prejudice artist, Szymon Kudranski. Looking at that roster of names, I’m pleased to say that Batman gave me opportunity to work with some of the finest comic book artists in the world. Thanks, boys. And thanks, Mr. Wayne.

It’s been almost four years ago to the day that I sat down for a breakfast meeting with Dan DiDio. DC had put out some feelers to me, wondering if I might be interested in doing a project over there. So when Dan asked what sounded fun, I told him I really wanted to do a Penguin story. I don’t think this was the answer he was expecting, but I’d recently read Azzarello and Bermejo’s superb Joker and I thought they really elevated the game with what they did there (plus, I love my villains). To my delight, DC said yes, and some months later we announced the project to what I can only describe as a resounding lack of enthusiasm in the Blogosphere (or whatever more contemporary noun has replaced the Blogosphere). I remember one contest rating upcoming titles had poor Oswald pulling a mere .07% of the vote. And this is where I get to my last and biggest thank you—to the readers.

It was you guys who picked up Penguin and through word of mouth turned it into the commercial and critical success it was. It was you who put TDK consistently way up there on bestsellers charts, landing us at the top of the New York Times hardcover graphic novel list. And it’s been your enthusiasm and energy that’s made my run on the title one of the most gratifying jobs I’ve ever had.

Before we take our bow, we still have great stuff in store for you. The gifted Alberto Ponticelli will be bringing to life a two-parter that is very dear to my heart. And our Dark Knight finale issues will see my good buddy Van Sciver introducing a Man-Bat you’ve never seen before.

I have more coming up beyond the title as well. I’m honored to be contributing to the Detective #27 anniversary issue with a story drawn by Neal Adams, and I’m hoping we’ll find more excuses for me to dive into Batcave beyond that. But for the moment, I want to dim the Bat-Signal and thank you all for supporting Batman: The Dark Knight. The ride would not have been possible without you.

–Gregg Hurwitz, Los Angeles, 12th December 2013