John Layman Named as New Writer of DETECTIVE COMICS

Not long ago, we found out that Tony Daniel would be stepping down from Detective Comics, and today we can announce that the new writer is none other than John Layman (Chew, Mars Attacks), along with artist Jason Fabok, who you might remember from the recent Batman Annual #1. You’ll see the duo’s debut on October’s Detective Comics #13. This is what the cover of that book will look like:

I am pleasantly surprised by this announcement. Since the relaunch, DC Comics has mostly stuck to familiar names from the DC stable, and the less recent past, and the new writers who were brought in, were quickly phased back out. Bringing in a guy like Layman is exciting, since we know he’s got the chops for all sorts of different kinds of stories. Layman said this is his first work in the DC Universe, but he’s not without ties to the current regime. He was previously an editor for Wildstorm, working with current DC Editor-in-Chief Bob Harras. Regardless, this is a great reason to get excited about a book that has lagged behind Batman in excitement levels.

It looks like they’re finally getting the Gotham house in order, other than the flagship title, and it might be a very good time to be a Batman fan.


  1. Good writer, good artist, good story idea. Good.

  2. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I love it. Pleasant surprise.

  3. Just when I think I’m out…

  4. Didn’t see that one coming…I’m in

  5. I’ve not been hating Detective Comics quite as much as some but this will be a good reason to stick it out through the next few issues because I was wavering.

  6. This feels like as random of a match-up as you can get, but then, so did Lemire and Animal Man. I’m excited to see what he does with something darker and more serious. Also, if this works out for him maybe DC will eventually put him on a Plastic Man book. Now *that’s* would be a perfect match.

  7. Big fan of that first issue of Mars Attacks, and of course Chew is always a solid book, looking forward to reading Detective Comics again!

  8. Interesting. Good choice, DC. I enjoyed the art in that Batman Annual as well.

  9. tripleneck (@tripleneck) says:

    Great news that will get me to buy the title again after dropping it like a hot potato when the New 52 hit. I also like the Batman & Robin book so I wouldn’t agree that Batman proper is the only Bat title worth reading. But I do think Batman is the best of the Bat line for sure.

  10. WOW! This is big. Layman on Detective, I’m soooooo there!

  11. This is shocking and excellent. I’m curious what Layman’s approach will be like, having only read Chew. And I mostly like Fabok, but I think he can improve. Hopefully he’ll grow now that he’s on a regular, high-profile book.

    And it’s been a good time to be a Batman fan for more than a few years, already. It just keeps getting better and better, with minor, negligible bumps along the way.

  12. Layman + Batman = Sold.

    Can’t wait

  13. Yes.. Yes, I say!

  14. Well played, DC, well played…

  15. why doesnt dc do this,on superman and make me buy the book instead of lobdell. congrats to layman well deserved. it just piss me off that superman is such a fn after thought in dc..

    • Agreed.

      I wish we lived in a world where I sampled as many Superman books as I’ve sampled Batman over the last year.

      That being said, I’m definitely checking out Layman on Detective.

    • I wouldn’t say Superman is a afterthought. Superman is more like a rubik cube. It’s very difficult to write Superman, even in the New 52.

  16. This could be really cool. Very excited. Layman did a really cool story a year or so ago on those Marvel Annuals, where he weaved a bunch of stuff together. It was really fun, and he was able to bring some of the humor over into big 2 stuff….i’m sure he’ll do great work with Detective….really fascinating to see if he’ll bring any of that over or keep it dark and gritty.

  17. I dropped ‘Tec as of last issue, looks like I’ll put it back on my pull-list! 😀

  18. My only experience with Mr. Layman is CHEW, which I love. Very surprised and excited for this.

  19. With Tony Daniel off the book and Layman on, I’ll now pick up the book. Hopefully Bat editorial will continue to be as new writer friendly, unlike the Superman office which keeps using old (and bad) 90s Marvel writers.

  20. Jacen Chris (@jcbhatestweeter) says:

    I’m so in love with this decision.

  21. I’ve dropped every Batman title except Batman Incorporated, which I read for the writer, not the character.

    I may pick this up though.

  22. this is the best news I’ve heard all week

  23. I super enjoyed the Annual Art, I am actually looking forward to this!

  24. Sold!

  25. Added to pull list, no questions asked. Chew is amazing, I can only hope Layman’s Batman will be on par.

  26. This is really great news. Layman is fun, and though I’m not at all familiar with the artist, I really love that cover. Hs batman looks awsome.

  27. Didn’t see this choice coming and has me more interested than I thought I’d be and the artist is good too, #13’s cover looks good. He draws a solid Batman as well as a creepy Cobblepot. Its cool when the new artist does the cover as well as the interior.

  28. after this week of detective I have decided to drop it! but wiith this new writer maybe i should hang on a little longer and see where it goes.

  29. Rob Guillory variant is needed.

  30. Penguin’s got some pretty rockin’ sideburns there.

  31. I would never have thought of this combination in a million years. I’d assume that Layman was sticking to Indie full time but I guess not…

    But I’m not complaining. Cause he could definitely bring back the fun to this title like Dini once brought. Fabok is someone I am not a huge fan of. His annual with Snyder/Tynion was okay but it was rough in a lot of places. But it was his first ever comic he did by himself so I can’t judge too harshly. Either way this is a great way for me to try this series again.

  32. I’ve got a feeling he could really do something here. Daniel’s Detective started out strong for like five pages then continued to tank. I realized today I have 11 issues of this thing in my box and I can tell you briefly about the Dollmaker and that’s it. Layman could bring us the necessary whimsy to tell a Batman tale that doesn’t end up as just another semi-delightful drudge through the dark, murky pits of Gotham City’s underworld.