It was first revealed that Batman would be teaming with Superman for the first time in Smallville back in June. Not the TV series, but the digital comic series, Smallville Season 11. There has been some controversy along the way regarding DC deciding to change the identity of Nightwing in the series that was revealed at Comic Con International. IGN spoke with series writer Bryan Q. Miller about his plans for the Dark Knight in Smallville.
IGN: Let’s get the elephant out of the room first and put it to rest: Nightwing. Stephanie Brown. What’s the real story behind the change to Barbara Gordon?
Bryan Q. Miller: The editorial staff wanted a more “iconic character” in this case. Given the nature of our female Nightwing’s use in the story, of the available replacements, I leaned toward having Babs wielding the charged-escrima. That really was the beginning and the end of it.
IGN: Did the change affect anything significant for you story-wise? Did it require any rewriting other than dialogue?
Bryan Q. Miller: The story itself only featured Steph as a supporting player, and was never directly about her, so the adventure was and remains a Superman/Batman World’s Finest action-packed romp in which Bruce is accompanied by a strong, positive, female apprentice.
IGN: What’s the nature of Batman’s introduction? Is he already operating as Batman when Clark meets him or will we see him take up the mantle after the fact?
Bryan Q. Miller: You will most certainly meet a Batman who is knee-deep in his career within the first 10 pages of the arc. Intergang’s been shipping high-tech anti-hero weaponry to any city with a “cape problem.” Batman and Nightwing’s run-in digs up a connection to his parents’ murder, lo, those vaguely many years ago.
IGN: From the cover images that we’ve seen, Batman looks like he’s more armor-plated than we’re used to seeing him. Can you talk a little bit about the design of the Smallville version of Batman and how it relates to the character that we’ll meet?
Bryan Q. Miller: He’s very much just a man, and a smart one at that. And he’s also quite wealthy. Batman doesn’t take his war on crime lightly, and does his best to equip himself for any situation. This isn’t Year One for Batman. We’re somewhere between year 5 and 10 for him. You’ll see a Nightwing who’s far less armored – literally armed with escrima, a few gadgets, and a ton of moxie. She’s the scout. She’s the dancer. Batman – he’s the tank. And Gotham criminals don’t play fair. So Bruce is going to carry around as much with him as possible.
For the entire interview, as well as preview pages from the upcoming issue, head over to IGN. Smallville Season 11 releases digitally every Friday.
Posted by Dustin Fritschel