Batman Writer Grant Morrison Unveils 'Arkham Asylum 2' Graphic Novel Plans

Batman Incorporated - S 2015
<p>Batman Incorporated - S 2015</p>   |   Chris Burnham/DC Entertainment
The title will be a sequel to the 1989 best-seller from DC.

Thursday's DC: Meet the Publishers panel at San Diego Comic-Con came with a surprise guest.

Grant Morrison showed up to not only tease the second volume in his Wonder Woman: Earth Two graphic novel series, but also to announce an entirely unexpected project: Arkham Asylum 2, a follow-up to his best-selling 1989 Batman graphic novel.

Explaining that he once joked that the idea of creating a sequel to the fan-favorite title was his personal "jumping the shark" moment, Morrison said that he decided to embrace the ludicrousness of the concept. "Let's take that 'jump the shark' idea and do the best Batman book there's ever been," he said, describing the project as an over-the-top, Luc Besson-esque thriller that will take place in the future timeline he created where Batman's son Damian has grown up to become an adult Batman of his own.

Morrison will be joined on the title by artist Chris Burnham, his partner on the earlier Batman Incorporated series (above is cover artwork for a Batman Incorporated issue by Burnham). Morrison described the graphic novel as a 120-page effort, but no further details — including a release date — were discussed.

He also talked about the next volume of Wonder Woman: Earth Two, which he described as the Empire Strikes Back of the series, which will open with a flashback showing the Amazons' island being invaded by the Nazis. "We're showing you cannot mess with the Amazons," said Morrison. "They've spent 3,000 years doing it better than you [and they] don't do it with violence at all."

DC publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio also answered questions about publishing strategies from fans, revealing that there are no plans for a digital subscription service. Lee recommended fans use Hoopla, the library digital service that includes a number of DC titles, instead. He also argued for the continued need for new characters and low price points on comic book releases.

"We do not want to be a cover band. What do you get when you do that? A pale imitation. We're going to keep putting our character in new stories, and new characters in new adventures," DiDio said to an eager crowd. "We need more people coming into the comic stories. Selling to one person a high-priced book is not the same as selling books to 20 people. One person can go away, but when 20 people go away, that's a problem."