There was a time when a number of people at DC Comics and Frank Miller intended to crossover Batman with Miller’s popular Sin City. This changed after Brian Azzarello’s Batman: Damned finished its run with three issues. Dan DiDio, the former publisher at DC Comics, went on the podcast The Marvelists to promote the new publishing house he works for, Frank Miller Presents. He talked about a few things. One of which included the dead-on-arrival Batman/Sin City crossover series.
How was the Crossover Stopped?
Brian Azzarello’s Elseworld title, Batman: Damned, was in circulation around the time DC considered the crossover. However, the title already had problems with its release dates. The second issue saw a delay three times, but the third issue was pushed back a total of five times. DC didn’t want to publish anything that would put Batman in an R-rated setting because of the story’s content. DiDio told The Marvelists
We had talked about doing a Marv/Batman crossover once, but at that point we weren’t going to do any R-rated Batman material, and there was no way to do Sin City without without putting an R on a book, so to speak.
What made DC feel this way exactly? A naked Bruce Wayne. In the first issue, a scene showed Bruce examining himself for injuries, and his nether regions were quite visible. Despite a large chunk of fans accepting the art for what it was, another portion of the internet ridiculed and criticized it for happening. Even late-night talk show hosts had entire segments that made fun of the comic. Multiple titles were dropped entirely after this. The Frank Miller penned Batman/Sin City crossover was one such book.
What Is Batman: Damned?
Brian Azzarello’s Batman: Damned was written for DC’s Black Label, an imprint for mature readers. Batman: Damned was a sequel to his 2008 graphic novel The Joker. It’s a supernatural horror that pits Batman against Gotham’s supernatural underworld. Bruce had no memory of his interaction with Joker during their climactic fight in The Joker. This prompts him to team up with the English exorcist John Constantine. The mystery leads the two down a dark and winding adventure through the city’s mystical underbelly. Along the way, the pair cross paths with many magic-based characters like Zatanna and Spectra.