Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti sat down with Comic Vine to talk about how they got involved with Batwing, who the new Batwing on the gatefold cover for Batwing #19, how their Batwing will relate to the previous version and a whole lot more!
Comic Vine: How did you guys get involved writing Batwing?
Jimmy Palmiotti: We were asked to pitch our idea. We were asked if we were interested in the book, what would we do? We just figured we'd hit them with the craziest concept we could. Dan [DiDio], Bob [Harras], Mike [Marts] and all those guys loved what we pitched to them. And then we got the gig, which was awesome. It sounds really simple but it's a long and involved process.
Comic Vine: What can you tell us or tease about this new Batwing? Is it a new character or someone we've seen?
Justin Gray: It's a new character but you may have seen him. I know that's a half-assed answer and we're being vague and ambiguous about the whole thing but it's a new guy. It's not David Zavimbe. With issue 19, essentially we wanted to make sure we respected all the fans that have been reading the previous 18 issues with David as the star. We felt that with the way the book was going, it just needed a different approach to it. It's a different take on how we would do the character and it's important to pull him in tighter to the Batman Universe. We're making his connection to Batman stronger than just being a 'chosen one.' Which is obviously an honor in itself and we do play on that with the new Batwing. The idea was it's not just the Batman of Africa or the Batman of Paris. It had to feel like it was important to the character. There had to be something of a risk, which we haven't discussed. There's a measure of risk with this character for Batman himself and other people. That's one of the things we really like about the story. It's not just about a secret identity as a necessary tool for the superhero. In this case, the secret identity is vital to the character, his superhero life and his personal life. It felt natural and exciting for us to work on that.
Jimmy Palmiotti: And who doesn't want to see Alfred in the Bat-suit?
Comic Vine: Spoilers!
Jimmy Palmiotti: I'm kidding, of course.
Comic Vine: How much concern do you have over fans of the previous version?
Jimmy Palmiotti: We were always very concerned because you don't want to lose an established audience. We have a respect for our fellow writers. With issue 19, what we did is we kind of took the book and David, the main character, to a logical place. Meaning, it's not a left field ending. It's a very logical wrap up to what David's been going through and at the same time it makes sense to where the book is going to go in the future. It was a very difficult issue to write in a way because we had to make sure we were not only respectful but we're also tying up all the stories that have been going on. We know there are a certain numbers of fans that have been reading it and we don't want them to go, "Ugh, I've been reading it for this long and now look at what happened." We wanted them to be like, "Oh we've been reading it for this long and how cool it is that this is happening to the book." It was important for us to consider the history of what's been going on and also taking the character to the next step. I think we did it gracefully in issue 19 and with 20, it's a whole new ballgame of madness going on.
Comic Vine: Will David be in the book at all?
Jimmy Palmiotti: David's in 19…We wanted to have an open door policy with that character. The way we leave him, the world's open to that character. I will say it's not the last time you see David. How about that?
Comic Vine: Will the character have the knowledge to repair the suit if it gets damaged?
Justin Gray: Hmmm….that's an excellent question. Maybe the suit repairs itself. That's a possibility.
Batwing #19 will come out on April 3 and Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti's Batwing run will start with Batwing #20 which is due out on May 1. To read the entire interview click here!
Posted by Dane Haji