DC Comics has released new art teasing the upcoming Batman Lost one-shot, a spin-off of the company’s ongoing Dark Nights: Metal series. Seven other one-shot tie-ins about the murderous corrupted Batmen spawned by the bat-demon Barbatos’ dark ritual have already been announced, but Batman Lost #1 remains one of the more mysterious stories connected to the series. The six new pages of unlettered art only add fuel to the one-shot's ambiguity.
The pages seem to be broken into three distinct narratives. The first narrative reveals what may be the real Bruce Wayne surveying a valley in which two barbaric tribes are doing battle. One side appears to be wearing armor reminiscent of Batman’s, while the other side's armor looks to be closer to Hawkman’s. Little is known about Batman Lost at this point, but it has been revealed that the issue will focus on Batman trapped in the Dark Multiverse, facing his greatest fears. Considering that, what could these two armies represent?
The second narrative expands on a scene that was originally teased by writer Scott Snyder via Twitter back in September. A young, mysterious girl listens to a wizened Bruce Wayne while three boys cloaked in shadows run around Wayne Manor, presumably causing mischief (perhaps a reference to the Batman Who Laughs’ three ravenous, man-eating Robins). The next page shows Bruce Wayne reading a story to the girl, which appears to transition into the next narrative -- a more traditional take on Batman.
Interestingly, the art style changes here from thin, detailed lines to thicker ones against a black background. Batman is quick to knock a gun out of a man’s hand before exploring the room’s bloodied window. The reason for the blood? Seemingly not a gunshot, but rather birds that have been flying into the glass.
The panels revealed back in September begged more questions than they did provide answers, and these six new pages continue the tradition. Who is the little girl and her accomplices? Where did the warring armies come from? What’s with this window that seems to continuously draw birds to their death? Why is there a frog-eyed woman wandering around? The only way to know for sure is when the one-shot releases this November.
Batman Lost #1 releases in comic stores on Nov. 8 for $3.99. The issue is written by Scott Snyder, with art by Olivier Coipel and Bengal. The issue's cover is illustrated by Bengal.