In 2010, DC Comics launched the "Earth One" line of original graphic novels with the inaugural "Superman: Earth One." Today, the publisher confirmed via its blog The Source the newest installment in the "Earth One" series hits this year. "Batman: Earth One," written by Geoff Johns with art by Gary Frank, presents a unique look at a young man not yet the Caped Crusader who instantly strikes fear into the hearts of petty criminals. While a first look at the cover came in August 2011, the title had never been officially placed on the publisher's schedule.
"Gary and I are tackling Batman from the beginning, before he knows what he's doing and with a very different ultimate goal in mind," Johns told The Source. "He's never left Gotham. And our Gotham and the people in it are very gray. Our heroes unlikely. Our villains hidden. Our story is only beginning with volume one." Although he's written numerous ongoing series for DC, "Batman: Earth One" marks Johns' first original graphic novel. While art fromt he book thus far has only shown Bruce Wayne and Alfred, the writer previously told CBR News Dick Grayson will play a role in the upcoming story.
Artist Gary Frank also expounded on how "Batman: Earth One" begins the evolution of Batman as a hero. "It's essentially the first piece of the jigsaw," the artist told The Source. "He's not the Batman people know, but he might be one day. He's certainly not yet a superhero. The fun is to watch him piece the persona together drawing on his experiences and the influences of those around him and, at this stage, the idea of becoming a 'superhero' hasn't even entered his head."
"Batman: Earth One" will debut more than three years after the initial "Earth One" announcement from DC in 2009 saying both OGNs would hit in 2010. The original concept of the line was to create a series of books following the European tradition of releasing serialized chapters of a story in graphic novel form. "The size of the books, gives us an ability to really dive into these characters and explore them, especially Bruce Wayne," Johns told CBR in 2010. "When we meet him and who he is and where he goes, is going to be something that is a bit different from what people are used to."