For years Smallville fans clamored for a guest appearance by Batman. And they weren't the only ones: Producers frequently tried to get the Dark Knight (or at least his alter ego, Bruce Wayne) to swing into young Clark Kent's world. Alas, corporate red tape kept the ultimate team-up from happening — until now.
As announced earlier this week, Batman will finally find his way to Metropolis in DC Comics' digital series Smallville Season 11, the continuation of the late, great WB/CW show. And he won't be coming alone. Series writer Bryan Q. Miller (who also wrote for the TV version) tells TV Guide Magazine that Batman's partner is none other than Nightwing.
In a twist, the character behind the mask is Stephanie Brown, rather than Dick Grayson, the former Robin, who ultimately became Nightwing in the comics. Stephanie debuted in the DC Comics universe as the vigilante Spoiler. She later became Batgirl, in a series Miller wrote from 2009-11.
This new version of the Dynamic Duo comes to Metropolis to follow a lead on the man who killed Bruce's parents. It was those murdered that spurred him into a life of caped crusading. "Batman's been operating in a vigilante/urban legend capacity for probably a little bit longer than when Clark started being The Blur," Miller says, referring to Clark's pre-Superman identity on the TV series.
As to why he picked Stephanie for the sidekick slot, Miller says, "Bruce can be somewhat of an angry man. Stephanie's personality is so can-do and unsinkable and bright, so it's very much on purpose on Bruce's part that he has a good cop going out on patrol with him every night." (Miller says it will eventually be addressed as to why Stephanie is Nightwing in this comic and not Batgirl.)
Batman and Nightwing show up in early August in a digital-first chapter of the series. (Printed collections of the chapters come out monthly, with the start of this arc slated to go on sale in September.) To download chapters of the comic go to readdcentertainment.com.
"I'm thrilled by how it's been received so far," Miller says of Season 11's positive feedback and strong sales. (DC says that it's consistently one of their top 10 digital comics.) "Even with this Batman announcement there's a heavy amount of griping about Batman's armor [as seen in the preview image above]. But people are talking about it, which is not necessarily a bad thing. And I'm hearing from people that it's bringing them to comic shops and the DC app, and they're discovering all kinds of other comics. In the best way, I think it's a good gateway drug for all of the storytelling that DC has to offer."
For an exclusive sneak peek at this week's chapter of Smallville Season 11 (featuring Green Arrow/Ollie and Chloe) click here.