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Meet DC Comics' New Batman

Every few years, DC switches things up and sticks a new prominent chin inside of the Batman cowl. In the '90s, Jean-Paul Valley took up the mantle of the Bat. Then there was Dick Grayson, Damian Wayne, Terry McGinnis, and Detective Jim Gordon. The list goes on. Considering that Bruce Wayne's whole deal tends to be secrecy and surreptitiousness, it's frankly a little startling how often he lends his private time clothes to his friends.

Now, with the upcoming DC Comics title Future State: The Next Batman, yet another gentleman is poised to take a shift as Gotham's Dark Knight: Tim Fox. That the character has chosen not to call himself "Flying Fox" is a blow from which the comic publisher is unlikely to recover.

Tim's current place in DC continuity is nebulous — he first appeared roughly 40 years ago, and has been largely absent ever since. The universe in which he resides has rebooted and retconned itself on more than one occasion in his absence, but the broad strokes of his biography will likely stay the same: the occasionally estranged son of Batman's tech guy Lucius Fox, Tim fell out with his father over Wayne-related issues, before eventually making amends. His return to Batman's orbit in Prime Continuity came in December of 2020, when his relationship with his old man came off as tense. The Foxes' strained father-son dynamic will undoubtedly play some part in things to come, but fans will probably be more interested to find out how a new Batman comes to be, and what his existence means for the fate of Bruce Wayne.

DC Comics once again asks 'Who's your Batty?'

DC's Future State line of comics, which debuts in 2021, is described by the company as "a two-month extravaganza that reveals what lays in store for the World's Greatest Heroes." Batman isn't the only Justice League member getting some fresh blood — Superman and Wonder Woman are both on the block as well, with new faces taking over their roles, accompanied by a slew of previously unseen characters in DC's near and far-off future. The series is touted as taking place between the next few years and "the end of time," so there's plenty of world to play with for writers like Brian Michael Bendis, Brandon Vietti, and Future State: The Next Batman's John Ridley.

Tim Fox's place as the new Batman represents a purposeful step forward for representation in the DC universe. To date, he'll be the first Black character to serve as the world's greatest detective in the main comic book continuity. His relatively blank character slate makes his upcoming tenure as the Dark Knight a mystery, and it'll be interesting to see how a new player handles the pressure of being the hero Gotham deserves.