INTERVIEW: SCOTT SNYDER ON ‘BATMAN: ZERO YEAR – DARK CITY’, PART 2
By Chris Sims
Scott Snyder: There have been so many terrific variations on that idea of Gordon being incorruptible that, again, I thought it would be more interesting here if he was vulnerable and human about the choices he had to make. He’s not on the take, it wasn’t a decision that he made where he was deliberately failing at his job or turning a blind eye because he wanted gifts or money, it’s that he wanted desperately for the city to be what he hoped it would be. He wasn’t able to look at it for what it really was for a brief moment, so he does fail in that regard.
The challenge was to try to take all these elements and do them in a way that felt personal to me. I could really relate to hte idea of a Bruce who trusts nobody, who’s in it just himself, and is this angry, rebellious punk vigilante who’s just basically like “I’m not trusting anybody, especially this asshole. He wasn’t there the night my parents died.” The lesson that Bruce needs to learn there, for me, is poignant. It hits a nerve, personally. So I felt that would be the best way to go with Gordon here, even though it means rolling back some of the stories that I adore.
INTERVIEW: SCOTT SNYDER ON ‘BATMAN: ZERO YEAR – DARK CITY’, PART ONE
By Chris Sims
Today, in the first part of our interview, Snyder discusses the return of Dr. Death, why he wanted to pay homage to Frank Miller’s Year One and Dark Knight Returns while at the same time breaking away from them as much as possible, and why “Dark City” was the most challenging part of the story to write.
ComicsAlliance: So let’s start with Dr. Death. He’s a character who’s commonly regarded as the first supervillain to show up in Detective Comics, but I’m curious as to why you went with him rather than Hugo Strange or the Mad Monk, who are both earlier foes for Batman.
Scott Snyder: I actually went back and considered using the Mad Monk in a different way, but I didn’t think I could pull it off. I’ve always loved the idea of Dr. Death and Lord Death Man. Not necessarily the iteration that was in Detective Comics back then, but this idea of Batman facing a character with death in his moniker at the beginning. So much of what Bruce needs to learn, I think, and this actually comes in a lot in the next section, “Wild City,” is that being Batman means transcending death. Both believing that you can physically, over and over again, but more than that, giving yourself up to this bigger idea and sacrificing any sort of personal life and your body to be larger. Your own physicality, your own mortality.
Each week, ComicsAlliance’s Chris Sims and Matt Wilson host the War Rocket Ajax podcast, their online audio venue for interviews with comics creators, reviews of the books of the week, and whatever else they want to talk about. ComicsAlliance is offering clips of the comics-specific segments of the show several days before the full podcast goes up at WarRocketAjax.com on Mondays.
This week, Chris and Matt are talking at length about the first issue of DC Comics new weekly series Batman Eternal by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, and Jason Fabok; then it’s on to Flash Gordon #1 by Jeff Parker and Evan “Doc” Shaner, and Peter Milligan and David Lafuente’s All-New Doop #1.
Listen to the clip in the player above and be sure to check out the full show Monday, in which Matt and Chris talk to Michel Fiffe, the creator of Copra and the writer of Marvel’s All-New Ultimates!
WATCH THE COMPLETE ‘BATMAN: STRANGE DAYS’ BY BRUCE TIMM
Director Bruce Timm’s ‘Batman: Strange Days’ short film is now available to watch in full alongside our exclusive interview with the legendary animator.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: BRUCE TIMM ON HIS RETURN TO BATMAN WITH ‘STRANGE DAYS’
By Andy Khouri
Bruce Timm: Oh, I’m never going to be done with Batman. No, basically what happened was it all came about as a fluke. I was at the premeire of The Dark Knight Returns: Part 2 at the Paley Center. One of the reporters there asked me, of all the different versions of Batman that I’ve worked on, through all the DVDs and the series and stuff, which one was my favorite. I said of course it’s the original, Batman: The Animated Series, because that’s the closest to my own personal vision of Batman. Then I got to thinking, well, you know, even B:TAS was not 100% exactly what I would do with Batman if I was boss of the world and didn’t have to take into account economics or TV executives. If I was the boss of the world, how exactly would I do Batman and some of the things they tried to incorporate into B:TAS but had to change a little for various reasons.
Also in this interview: who will voice the new Batman short?
FRANK CHO REVISES ‘THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS’ SCENE TO MAKE IT EVEN MORE ANTI-SUPERMAN
He went about proving it with a post to his blog this week in which he shared a commission for his pal who goes by the name Hawaiian Dave. It’s a remix of the climactic two-page spread from Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns in which Batman and Superman have their big, final fight in Crime Alley. Cho has added in a bit of commentary, and it is anything but Superman-friendly.
‘BATMAN ’66′ WRITER JEFF PARKER AND ARTIST COLLEEN COOVER: THE COMICSALLIANCE INTERVIEW, PART TWO
ComicsAlliance: Let’s talk about Batgirl
Jeff Parker: The first Batgirl story and the first Eartha Kitt Catwoman story, which was drawn by Colleen Coover.
Colleen Coover: And like you said before about never telling the origin story, we never tell why Catwoman is different.
JP: There’s no explanation for why she’s suddenly a foot shorter and black. She just is.
CC: And awesome, and a little bit more mean.
JP: Right, because her Catwoman was a little more mean. Although, Julie Newmar was pretty mean.
CA: She does suggest that she and Batman murder Robin so they can have an uninterrupted date.
JP: As if you can’t simply send Robin away for a while. You have to kill him.
CA: Boarding schools exist! But why did you want to do the Eartha Kitt version? You’d already used the Julie Newmar version in the first story with Jonathan Case, so was it just a matter of recreating the feel of the show and how sometimes you’d get John Astin as the Riddler with no explanation?
CC: And also so that I could draw Eartha Kitt.
JP: That was the main point, yes. You may remember that Colleen sang an Eartha Kitt song on your podcast, and I work a song into the story.
CC: It’s a different song, though, “I Want To Be Evil.” I sang “Santa Baby.” I don’t know if you remember, but Eartha Kitt was smokin’ hot.
JP: I guess the implication was that she was hooking up with the villains, whereas before, you never thought Catwoman was hooking up with the villains. She was only interested in Batman.
The last time Batman appeared in a Warner Bros. animated production in the Bruce Timm “style,” it was in the Justice League Unlimited series, which ended in 2004.
Now, the big-eared, Timm-designed version of Batman is back in a new short for Cartoon Network’s DC Nation block, titled Batman Strange Days, which finds the Dark Knight taking on Hugo Strange and a mysterious, Solomon Grundy-like giant. It looks dark –virtually black and white or sepia — and features Batman firing a huge gun evocative of Gundam Wing‘s Twin Buster Rifle marked “tear gas.”