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Be Batman's boss: DC's hunt for the next Batman group editor

One of the most important job in comics is now up for grabs: DC's Batman group editor position

Batman: The Dark Age #3 variant cover
Image credit: Steve Lieber (DC)

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Batman is one of the most recognizable names in pop culture - not just movies, not just tv, not just comics. But he originates in comics, and is flourishing as DC's top franchise - and arguably, the top franchise in all of comics in the long-term, even counting Dog Man and Marvel.

So that's why its important when the key role for steering the future of Batman is up for grabs. And it is.

Just a few weeks ago, it became known that longtime Batman group editor Ben Abernathy was leaving the company, leaving a Batcave-sized hole to be filled. While DC takes a moment to make a decision on who will be the next Batman group editor, Katie Kubert is helping out on the Batman group titles.

Katie Kubert
Image credit: DC

And it's a beat Kubert has experience with, but more on that in a moment.

While others have reported that Kubert is the new Batman Group editor based on Batman writer Chip Zdarsky mentioning in his newsletter this week she was now his editor on that specific book, its understood that she's not the Batman group editor as you might think.

In fact, DC has posted a job opening for the Batman group editor position. Why?

It's a no brainer - if a senior figure at any company were to leave, the company would put someone in to manage the departed employees tasks while time is given to make a decision on who would fill the role permanently. If I won the lottery and put in my notice here, Deputy Editor Tiffany Babb would step up - and amazingly so - while senior management decides on a permanent hire.

And it bears pointing out, in addition to being Batman Group editor, Abernathy was also the company's Executive Editor. So it's not a position (or responsibilities) to be decided prematurely.

And I don't know about DC, but the person filling in for the job here would get consideration for filling the job permanently. Journalist Heidi MacDonald, who previously worked at DC as an editor herself, came to the same conclusion earlier this week.

Who is Katie Kubert, DC's interim Batman editor?

Kubert is helping out on DC's Batman titles while managing all her previous responsibilities as group editor of its 'Global Publishing Innovation' department - whose nickname internally, I'm told, is Guppy. That group is responsble for many of DC's comics that are connected to other companies or distribution systems beyond just comic shops, bookstores, and the standard digital apps. Things such as DC's Webtoon partnership including Batman: Wayne Family Adventures, Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point, Batman: The World, the comics based on the Batman fiction podcast, and more.

But Kubert's experience with Batman and Gotham City runs deep. She worked in the Batman offices in the early '10s on such titles as Batman, the Batgirl (the Burnside era), Grayson, and the weekly Batman Eternal series. After a stint abroad including a 2-year stay at Marvel, Kubert returned in 2017 and quickly rose through the ranks to become a group editor.

She's also an avid dinosaur fan, which is somehow apropos given Bruce has a giant one in the Batcave.

So who is the next Batman group editor?

The Batman group editor position is one of the most prominent positions in superhero comics - in some ways, it's more important than the editor-in-chief job in some respects, due to how much Batman matters to DC.

In the mid-'80s Batman overtook Superman as DC's most popular franchise - thanks to the one-two punch of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns in 1986 and the Batman movie in 1989. Since then Batman has been the centerpiece of the DC brand - so much so that former DC publisher Dan DiDio told us they had to caution themselves from being " too overdependent on a single character."

So who are the candidates to be the next Batman group editor? While not a single name has been mentioned to Popverse, Kubert would seem to be a name to be considered - especially since DC management thought she'd be up for filling in temporarily, with little notice. Historically, other candidates would come from looking at DC's group editors managing other character's families - or from former DC editors who are familiar with their system and can 'plug back in' more effortlessly than someone completely unfamiiar with the DC (and Warner Bros.) structure.

Whoever fills the role as DC's next Batman group editor, it'll be one of the biggest news stories of the year - at least behind-the-scenes among comic creators and comic professionals. In some ways, the role is Alfred - and we all know how important he is to the Batman mythos.

Why does DC publish so many Batman books? We asked the people who decide.

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