On Christmas Eve, DCU Executive Editor Dan DiDio gave Newsarama readers a holiday surprise with a new teaser image for the March mini-series from writer/artist Tony Daniel.
"If you're a Batman fan, the primary story that you need to read is Battle for the Cowl, pure and simple," DiDio said. "In those 30-page issues that are coming out, it will feature mostly every character that has ever fought, or been inspired by Batman, all converging on Gotham City."
Newsarama asked Daniel what he could tell us about the teaser, and he wasn't saying much. However, he did say that the image, which shows four individuals wearing the Batman cowl and a few supporting characters standing at the ready, took him about 16 hours to draw over two days.
"Covers and pin-up types of art like this take me forever," the artist said. "It was very fun to draw it. I got a chance to draw some really cool conceptual Batman outfits. Editorial gave me free reign on all of the Batman suits, so I just did what I thought would look cool. Except the first one, who is obviously Tim, in the classic yellow oval suit. The challenge really was just execution – trying to be consistent with body types."
Although Daniel would confirm the identity of Tim Drake on the left, he wasn't confirming the identity of the other three cowl-wearers. So we asked: Are these actual designs we'll be seeing in the Battle for the Cowl comic? Or are they just representations?
"Just representations for the most part. Though it would be nice to see the yellow oval return, wouldn’t it?" Daniel said.
The artist said the inspiration for the image was to "to do something like the teaser image we saw for Countdown by Phil Jimenez, where you’re forced to interpret what you see."
Many Newsarama readers have already noticed some of the smaller clues, like the limp arm spilling out of the broken crate, the white material around what appears to be Bruce Wayne's leg, and the backwards "J" on the Joker card. But Daniel wasn't willing to say much about the clues other than to confirm that a few of them will specifically show up in Battle for the Cowl.
"A couple things will ring true in Battle for the Cowl," he said with a laugh. "But it wouldn’t be a teaser if I told you which ones they are!"
Got any theories of your own about the teaser? Share them here with your fellow fans and readers.