Over the past couple of weeks a number of media outlets have done interviews with Geoff Johns about tomorrow's Batman: Earth One. The Source happily showed off where all of the interview were located and with each interview is a preview of the graphic novel. As far as the highlights from the interviews, they can be found below.
BuzzFeed: Well, let’s just to dive into these questions then now that you can! To start, for people who aren’t sure what the premise of Batman: Earth One is, what’s a quick summary?
Geoff Johns: Sure, the first Earth One book was a modern retelling of Superman’s origin and Batman: Earth One is a modern retelling of the beginning of Bruce Wayne and Batman and it’s a look at the man more than it is the mask. For Gary and I we wanted to take a very human approach to these characters, Bruce Wayne and Alfred, and you’ll see a very different Gotham and a very, very different Alfred and a Bruce Wayne who is not quite the Batman that everyone knows. He’s not very good yet, he’s not a fighting machine. He’s just a guy who is seeking vengeance.
MTV Geek: When you started on the book, what was the main idea… And how did you go about modernizing it, or changing it?
Geoff Johns: When Gary and I work together, we hopefully go to the heart of the stories. I don’t know if you read any of the Superman work we did, but with Batman… Often it’s about the superhero, and the villain; and we wanted to make it about Bruce Wayne, and the people in Gotham City. The first step in that was removing the white pupils back in his eyes, so we could get to the human part of Batman… So whenever we saw him he was still Bruce Wayne: we could still see those eyes.
If we were going to tackle this, and I had never written a Batman story before – I’ve written him with other characters, but I’ve never really written a solo story… So to do story like this, and take it from the ground up, and strip away all the other stuff, except the people… I wanted to look at the people, and get to what would be a really interesting journey for some characters. I want to see why Bruce would do this, and how that would change, and who Alfred could really be that would resonate a little more for us… Even look at the cops, and change those up, change up our expectations.
Too often, with Commissioner Gordon… He’s Commissioner Gordon. You know exactly what he’s going to be like, and we’re done. I wanted to take a very different approach with everyone in Gotham. The DNA of the characters is still there, but there are very different takes. Hopefully, like the city itself being a maze, where you don’t know which way to turn, you’re not quite sure which way these characters are going to turn, either.
BuzzFeed: You guys introduced a new villain in this graphic novel, and I’m obviously not going to say who, but it’s a fairly awful serial killer. Do you plan to expand their story or origin in the future of Batman: Earth One and their role in Arkham’s mythos since it remained an opaque character throughout?
Geoff Johns: Yeah, in subsequent stories you will learn more about everybody. That’s all I can really say.
MTV Geek: There’s a lot of groundwork laid here for future stories… When you were putting this together, how much was there an eye for the long-haul, versus making this work as a done-in-one volume?
Geoff Johns: Both. We wanted to make sure it worked as a single stand-alone story – it’s very accessible – and also lay some groundwork for where we’re going with the series of books. There’s a lot there – more than people will pick up on. But it’s all going to be built to this tapestry Gary and I are trying to make with this different take on Batman.
MTV Geek: In that case, are there plans for a Batman: Earth Two?
Geoff Johns: Oh yeah, we’re already working on the next volume. You can see from the last scene that we set up the next story.
You can check out previews of the graphic novel and more interviews at USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Hero Complex, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and MTV Geek. Batman: Earth One is in comic stores tomorrow, July 4 and book stores July 10.
Posted by Dustin Fritschel