As Batman leaves Gotham, “Batman: The World” project offers story of the Caped Crusader travelling the globe

US comics publisher DC takes Batman’s war on crime worldwide next month in a new hardcover anthology, Batman: The World, which features a great line-up of artists you might not necessarily expect to take on drawing the Caped Crusader, including Spanish writer and artist Paco Roca and Japan’s Okadaya Yuichi.

The international project, first announced earlier this year, launches just as DC ramps up Batman’s departure from Gotham in November, a storyline spanning several titles, leaving his wards and allies to fill the void as protectors of the city.

Sadly missing from the Batman: The World mix is a British chapter, even though Panini here did launch its own reprint Batman title, Batman: Guardian of the Night, earlier this year.

The 184-page book is a first-of-its-kind publishing event, featuring Batman stories by top creative teams from across the globe, taking place in their home countries. The complete anthology will be localised to the following international territories: North America, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, Russia, Poland, Turkey, Mexico, Brazil, China, Korea, and Japan.

“Batman has grown into a true pop culture icon, known the world over,” said DC publisher and chief creative officer Jim Lee. “Batman: The World is DC’s way of showing fans everywhere that Batman is more than a character; Batman is a phenomenon that transcends languages and borders.”

Kicking off the anthology is a story from the award-winning duo of writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo (Batman: Damned, Joker, Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, Batman/Deathblow). In the story titled “Global City,” Batman reflects on his time in Gotham, protecting his city and its inhabitants from all manner of threats. But when he looks beyond the bridges, alleys, and skyscrapers, the Dark Knight realises that the call for justice knows no borders, as there are wrongs to be righted everywhere.

Art from the Batman story “Global City” by Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo

Their story sets off a series of tales chronicling Batman’s past and present, stories told by some of the best-known international voices in comics, and each international version of Batman: The World will also feature its own unique cover art by the local creative team.

International publishing and distribution partners include Urban Comics (France), ECC Ediciones (Spain), Panini (Italy, Brazil, Germany), CREW (Czech Republic), Azbooka-Atticus (Russia), Egmont Polska (Poland), JBC (Turkey), Editorial Televisa (Mexico, Central America), Sigongsa (Korea), Starfish Media (China), and Shopro (Japan).

Here are some of the Batman: The World covers and in some cases, interior art…

The cover of the Brazilian edition of Batman: The World by Pedro Mauro, to be published by Panini

Brazil: Carlos Estefan (writer)/Pedro Mauro (Artist), to be published by Panini

Carlos Estefan is a Brazilian/Italian, writer, of both comics and games, perhaps best known for his work on the western adventure graphic novel trilogy, Gatilho (“Trigger”), working with Pedro Mauro (art), but his work spans several genres.

Currently working from a studio in Itu, near São Paulo, Pedro Mauro describes himself as a “very precocious draughtsman”, his first published comic book work was as still a teenager for the western “Pancho” series, by Taika Editora. He later went on to work as a very sought after illustrator in the advertising industry, developing comps and storyboards for major international agencies, and finished art for magazine and book publishers in São Paulo.

In the 1990s, Pedro was invited to work and live in New York, where he stayed for 12 years, represented by and providing top level work at Paul Santa-Donato Studios.

He returned to comics in 2013,with a series about a famous female pirate, Back From the Dead Red, authored by Carlos Estefan, still unpublished. In 2014, Pedro began his collaboration with Italian publisher Sergio Bonelli Editore, drawing an episode of Adam Wild by Gianfranco Manfredi.

China: Xu Xiaodong, Lu Xiaotong (writers)/Qiu Kun, Yi Nan (artists), to be published by Starfish Media

The cover of the Chinese edition of Batman: The World by Qiu Kun and Yi Nan, to be published by Starfish Media

Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to uncover information about the creators or publisher involved in the Chinese aspect of Batman: The World – but the art’s impressive!

Czech Republic: Štěpán Kopřiva (writer)/Michal Suchánek (artist), to be published by CREW

The cover of the Czech Republic edition of Batman: The World by Michal Suchánek, to be published by CREW

Writer Štěpán Kopřiva is the co-creator of several graphic novels, including the graphic album, Nitro, (in Polish, “Nitro těžkne glycerínem”), and who has also written several TV series, and scripted the 2004 film, Choking Hazard.

Artist Michal Suchánek has worked on a variety of comics. projects. “I’m super proud to be part of this unique project,” he says, “together with some real industry legends.”

France: Mathieu Gabella (writer)/Thierry Martin (artist), to be published by Urban Comics

The cover of the French edition of Batman: The World by Thierry Martin, to be published by Urban Comics

Mathieu Gabella is a comic book writer well known for his work on historical adventure, fantasy and superhero stories for a variety of French publishers. His early work includes an adaptation of La Guerre des Boutons, by Louis Pergaud, with Vernay and Khaz.

His trilogy of superhero graphic novels, Idols, was published by Delcourt, with art by Emem, and wrote La Licorne (“The Unicorn”), a medieval fantasy thriller, working with Anthony Jean. At Dargaud, he wrote Book Three of the World War Two-set series Secret Service, drawn by Vax, and at Glénat, created the fantasy tale 3 Souhaits (“Three Wishes”) with Paolo Martinello, and the Conan the Barbarian story, Au-delà de la rivière noire (“Beyond the Black River”) with Anthony Jean.

He’s also written several of Glénat’s “They Made History” titles, biographies that include the story of Catherine de Médici, Robespierre, Charles de Gaulle and others.

Thierry Martin was born in Beirut, but moved to France in 1975, enrolling in the art schools in Perpignan and Nancy, and had an apprenticeship in animation at the Gobelins school in Paris. Initially working on adult comic titles, alongside work in animation for both TV and film, his first graphic album series was Le Pil, written by Olivier Taïeb, for Dargaud, using the pen name, Matrix.

His first graphic album published under his own name, Vincent, mon frère mort-vivant, written by Jean-Marc Mathis, was published by Soleil in 2005. He has since worked for for both Delcourt and Soleil (Paroles d’Étoiles, La Fontaine aux Fables), and continued his collaboration with Mathis for ‘Le Roman de Renart’ in 2007.

His most recent project is the crowdfunded graphic story, Comics Novel, written by Phil Cordier, a thriller that takes place in the middle of … tadammm .. comics!

Alongside numerous other French creators, Bande Dessinée d’Amiens is currently hosting an exhibition of “Envelope Art”, which includes work by Thierry, a project he instigated.

Germany: Benjamin von Eckartsberg (writer)/Thomas von Kummant (artist), to be published by Panini

The cover of the German edition of Batman: The World by Thomas von Kummant, to be published by Panini

Benjamin von Eckartsberg lives and works in Munich, Germany and has been working as both a writer and artist since 1993, on comics, books and much more.

He’s worked with Thomas von Kummant on the adventure series Gung Ho for some time, the seventh album just published recently.

Also Munich based, Thomas has worked for a range of publishers, magazines, advertising agencies and for film and TV production companies around the world.

Italy: Alessandro Bilotta (writer)/Nicola Mari (artist), to be published by Panini

The cover of the Italian edition of Batman: The World by Nicola Mari, to be published by Panini

Award-winning comics writer Alessandro Bilotta has created several comic book series, both in Italy and in France since the 1990s, including “Le strabilianti vicende di Giulio Maraviglia” and “Romano” for Vents d’Ouest and the ambitious SF title, “La Dottrina”. He’s also one of the writers working on “Dylan Dog”, and creator and scripwriter of the “Il Pianeta dei Morti” saga.

Nathan Mari began working full-time as a comic strip artist in 1989, and is best known for his work on Dylan Dog and Nathan Never, both published by Italian publisher Sergio Bonelli Editore.

Japan: Okadaya Yuichi (writer/artist), to be published by Shopro

Batman teaser art by Okadaya Yuichi

Okadaya Yuichi debuted in 2007 as a graphic novel artist with “The Man of Tango”, followed by the
fantasy Samurai story titled “SEN” in 2010. Okadaya received the Special Achievement Award at 16th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2011 with “Hirahira -kuniyoshi ichimon ukiyotan”, a story about the real life Ukiyoe artist Utagawa Kuiyoshi and his pupils who lived the end of Edo period.

Korea: Inpyo Jeon (writer)/Jae-kwang Park, Kim Jung Gi (artists), to be published by Sigongsa

The cover of the Korean edition of Batman: The World by Jae-kwang Park and Kim Jung Gi, to be published by Sigongsa

Mexico: Alberto Chimal (writer)/Rulo Valdés (artist), to be published by Editorial Televisa

The cover of the Mexican edition of Batman: The World by Rulo Valdés, to be published by Editorial Televisa

Poland: Tomasz Kolodziejczak (writer)/Piotr Kowalski, Brad Simpson (artists), to be published by Egmont Polska

The Polish cover of Batman: The World by Piotr Kowalski, coloured by Brad Simpson, to be published by Egmont Polska

Russia: Kirill Kutuzov, Egor Prutov (writers)/Natalia Zaidova (artist), to be published by Azbooka-Atticus

The cover of the Russian edition of Batman: The World by Natalia Zaidova, to be published by Azbooka-Atticus
A page from the Russian chapter of Batman: The World by writers Kirill Kutuzov and Egor Prutov, with art by Natalia Zaidova

Spain: Paco Roca (writer/artist), to be published by ECC Ediciones

The cover of the Spanish edition of Batman: The World by Paco Roca, to be published by ECC Ediciones

Turkey: Ertan Ergil (writer)/Ethem Onur Bilgiç (artist), to be published by JBC

The cover of the Turkish edition of Batman: The World by Ethem Onur Bilgiç, to be published by JBC

• Batman: The World launches worldwide on Tuesday, 14th September 2021, just in time for Batman Day 2021 (Saturday, 18th September 2021)

• For the latest news on Batman: The World and the World’s Greatest Super Heroes, visit the DC website at www.dccomics.com, and follow @DCComics, @DCBatman and @thedcnation on social media

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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