Sean Gordon Murphy has a Batman-filled year or two ahead of him. In late 2016, the acclaimed artist/writer signed a two year deal with DC Comics, during which he will see two separate Batman projects released. The first is a collaboration with Scott Snyder, initially planned as an All Star Batman story arc, but now slated to be a standalone tale in an as yet unrevealed format designed to greater showcase his artwork.
Murphy's second Batman-themed project is a solo gig, which finds him writing and illustrating his own series, planned for eight issues, though "that may change" he teased. “The Batman book I’m doing alone will be my ‘DK’ and my ‘Year 100,'” Murphy said when the series was announced, referring to Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight and Paul Pope’s Batman: Year 100, “an Elseworld-like take on Batman. My attempt at an opus.”
The series will also feature multiple Batmobiles, redesigns of “everything and everyone,” and “as many of the Bat villains as I can,” including, it now seems, the Clown Prince of Crime, and Batman's number one foe, the Joker.
Earlier this week, Murphy took to Twitter, sharing a piece of art he described as a "Joker like you've never seen him..." The image only offered a hint of the villain, cropping in tight around his eyes and maniacal grin, but it's certainly enough to give you a sense of where his story and take on the iconic character is heading.
Murphy followed that tweet up with another, showing the artwork at a different point in its development. He also promises that anyone who has felt guilty about crushing on the homicidal maniac, "My Batman story makes it OK to have a crush on Joker!"
A friend of mine has a crush on Joker, but she feels bad because he's evil. My Batman story makes it OK to have a crush on Joker! pic.twitter.com/rcqTEZt1Po— Sean Gordon Murphy (@Sean_G_Murphy) June 21, 2017
Murphy previously tackled the Dark Knight in 2005’s Batman/Scarecrow: Year One, a two-part miniseries written by Bruce Jones.