Let me tell you guys, FAN EXPO Dallas was great.  Tons of great comics information was revealed over this past weekend, including the upcoming re-teaming of Snyder and Capullo on Dark Nights: Metal.  Tom King himself was present as well, and he revealed lots of details about what he has in store for Batman.

The Batman scribe, speaking in a spotlight panel Sunday afternoon, discussed his work on Grayson, The Omega Men, and The Sheriff of Babylon, while also divulging a few details about his upcoming Batman/Elmer Fudd crossover special with artist Lee Weeks (expect noir and some delightfully hard-boiled dialogue).

He also went into quite a bit of detail about his current run on Batman, and where the title is going in the next few months.  Some of it is still top-secret, of course, but there was still plenty of great info to be shared, particularly regarding the upcoming epic “The War of Jokes and Riddles” arc.

The basic highlights:

  • Batman #20 wraps up “I Am Bane.”
  • In #20, which is out this Wednesday, King gives Bruce an official middle name.
  • Batman #21-22 will be part of “The Button” crossover.
  • Batman #23 is the Swamp Thing issue with Mitch Gerads, hopefully seriously called “The Brave and the Mold.”
  • Batman #24 will be a sort of recap and wrap-up of the run so far, with a cliffhanger that leads into “The War of Jokes and Riddles.”  He says the last page will be shared and talked about for decades.
  • “The War of Jokes and Riddles” takes place early in Batman’s career, “Year One plus a year or so.”
  • It begins in Batman #25, which is a deluxe sized anniversary issue, and is an eight-part story arc.
  • The basic premise: the Joker and the Riddler clash, as neither one wants the other to destroy Batman and rob them of the satisfaction.  This causes a “gang war” to erupt with people taking sides, all while Batman is caught in the middle trying to keep the city safe.
  • We’ll see some cool fights, like Deadshot vs. Deathstroke and Solomon Grundy vs. Killer Croc.
  • The arc will be broken up into acts, after a fashion: issues 25-26, 28-29, and 31-32 will be part of the main story, with art by Mikel Janín.
  • Issues 27 and 30 will feature a guest artist he couldn’t announce at the time, and they will take a look at what it means be a bottom-tier villain during one of these big wars.  It may or may not focus on Kite-Man.

It was a great panel with a lot of information.  King is positively giddy at what’s to come, and his enthusiasm was infectious.  My personal favorite quotes from him were “What’s the difference between a joke and a riddle?  A joke is chaos; a riddle is order” and “Batman is the comic that makes you think that if you punch a bad guy, he falls.”

King has also been tweeting out teasers and some images from the arc throughout the morning:

More details as we hear them here at Batman-News.  Needless to say, this is some pretty exciting stuff.