James Tynion IV recently sent out a three-part newsletter detailing some of his plans for the new year. The second installment dealt exclusively with the goings-on in Gotham City with Batman. Let’s see what’s in store for the Caped Crusader in 2021!
I love the newsletters put out by creators. They often tip their hat about what’s coming down the pipe. As collectors and speculators, we can use that information to prepare for the new year. Tynion gave us a great deal of information and I’m still trying to get my head around it all. But I think there were (at least) three big takeaways.
The Times They Are A’Changing
I’ll start with the changing of the guard. Tynion notes that the most familiar version of Gotham City is no more. Batman is not going to be meeting Jim Gordon on the roof next to the Bat-Signal or returning to Alfred in the Bat Cave. Jim is retired, though Tynion has plans for him, and poor devoted Alfred is dead. Millionaire Bruce Wayne is replacing billionaire Bruce Wayne (thanks to the events of Joker War) and he will be occupying a townhouse rather than Wayne Manor. Perhaps most importantly from a collector’s point of view, the Fox family will be coming to the forefront.
This would seem to give a boost to Batman #77, the death of Alfred as well as all of the Fox family keys. I would focus on Batman #307 from 1979, the first appearance of Lucious Fox. GoCollect has an FMV of $475 for CGC 9.8. There aren’t many in the census, so dig in those long boxes for this underappreciated book. My copy is pretty beat up, so I’m going to keep my eyes open for a nice one to send into CGC.
New Characters Will Be Sticking Around
Secondly, recent new creations are here to stay. Punchline and Clownhunter figure to keep the ball rolling in 2021 after bursting onto the scene last year. Here is what Tynion has to say:
“Punchline has dominated a lot of the discussion of the new characters I’ve introduced this year, but I’ve been thrilled to see more and more young readers connecting with our dangerous young vigilante, and I’ve been dying to unpack more of him. This issue (Batman Annual #5) sets the stage for the next part in Clownhunter’s evolution, and plants the seeds for a story that will start playing out next year… Clownhunter’s a key piece of my long-form plans in Gotham City…”
I would make sure I had a copy of Batman #96 in my collection. I especially like the 1:25 design variant.
Batman vs. Scarecrow
Finally, Tynion disclosed that Scarecrow will loom large in this year’s Batman storyline. (Batman is returning to a monthly release starting in March). I’m looking forward to seeing how Mr. Crane is portrayed. Tynion says, “the design by Jorge Jimenez is one of the creepiest I’ve seen for a major Bat-Villain in a good, long time.”
Does that make Batman #189 a “buy”? I’d focus on the 6.0 mid-grade range which has a current FMV of $375.
I’m excited to see what’s in store for us this year in Gotham City. One thing’s for sure, between Scarecrow and Clownhunter, not to mention Punchline and Harley, it should be a fun ride.