This fall, DC will launch its Black Label imprint, which will feature new, limited series that take place outside of the main continuity, and told by some of the company's biggest writers and artists. The books will be published in a prestige format, which is wider and sturdier than your usual comic book issue. The first miniseries to come out of the imprint will be Batman: Damned, by frequent collaborators Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo.
While the series' prestige format issue will feature a regular cover by Bermejo, it was revealed that superstar artist and DC Entertainment Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee has drawn a variant cover for Batman: Damned #1. Lee revealed the beautiful cover on Twitter Friday night, which features stunning color work by Alex Sinclair.
My Batman Damned variant cover for issue 1 with lushish colors by @sinccolor. Out this September written by the incomparable @brianazzarello with dazzling art and colors by #leebermejo! #batmandamned #DCblacklabel #dccomics #batman #ogn #wideformat #pencilsandinks pic.twitter.com/BPwwTrMcrD— Jim Lee (@JimLee) August 18, 2018
Batman: Damned #1 starts with the surprise death of the Dark Knight's sworn enemy, the Joker and will plunge the character in the mysterious world of the Gotham City occult. The limited series promises to feature a dark and disturbing adventure that will bring in the DC Universe's foremost magician, demonologist and master of the Dark Arts, John Constantine.
Lee's cover unveils the Batman costume that Bruce Wayne will sport in the series, which appears to be a tweaked version of the tactical costume Bermejo usually draws. The occult symbols behind the figure of Batman hints at the involvement of Constantine, while promising a story that will see the Dark Knight taken into a supernatural world he rarely deals with.
The official synopsis of Batman: Damned reads as follows:
“On a deserted Gotham City bridge, a body is found. Whispers spread the news: Joker is dead. But is this a dream come true or a nightmare being born? Now Batman and DC’s outlaw magician John Constantine must hunt the truth through a Gotham City hellscape. The city’s supernatural recesses are laced with hints about a killer’s identity, but the Dark Knight’s descent into horror will test his sanity and the limits of rationality, as he must face a horror that doesn’t wear a mask.”
DC’s Black Label will launch this fall. The first issue of Batman: Damned, written by Azzarello and illustrated by Bermejo, hits store shelves Sept. 19. Then, next up on the imprint's schedule will be the three-part series Superman: Year One by Frank Miller and John Romita Jr., which is slated for release this November.