Writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo plan to bring their Batman collaboration to an end with Batman: Last Knight on Earth, an upcoming project from DC's Black Label imprint. With the first issue set to debut later this month, DC has released the first seven pages from the much-anticipated series.
The preview pages released to SYFY WIRE show Batman investigating a mystery in Crime Alley, which is where Bruce Wayne watched as his parents were murdered in front of him as a boy.
Batman and Alfred are involved in a mystery that has spanned 363 days, with someone drawing a chalk outline across Gotham City. Using the Bat-computer and a satellite, they are able to determine the chalk outline forms Batman's body, as if it were dead.
Also, the location of Batman's stopped heart puts it right in the middle of Crime Alley. However, once Batman gets there he discovers a boy's deceased body that's set up for a trap. After being shot in the face, Batman wakes up to find himself fully bandaged and in the care of someone who looks a lot like The Joker.
The psychotic villain's severed head is set to play a co-starring role in Last Knight on Earth. Also, if you look closely, the way the narrator speaks about Batman is possibly a clue that Joker is the one talking to the reader.
When discussing why he chose Joker to be Batman's companion, Snyder told SYFY WIRE that "their relationship has been the cornerstone of our run," with Joker challenging Batman to re-examine why he fights crime.
"To me, that really repositions him in a way that speaks to what this story is about, because they're facing something that's so much bigger than the two of them, that really redefines what I think what Batman is meant to be," Snyder said. "That means you have to redefine what Joker is too, because they're yin and yang. The whole world changes and their purpose changes, so they're going to change too. I've also never written a story where they're buddies [laughs], so why not?"
Written by Scott Snyder and penciled by Greg Capullo, the first issue of Batman: Last Knight on Earth is set for release on May 29 and is published through DC Black Label.