When it was announced that Batman would be one of the New 52 series that would receive a back-up, there was on bit of information that came as a small surprise. Scott Snyder would be co-writing with a writer that has never worked in The Batman Universe before. James Tynion IV is that person and he is not only co-writing the back-ups in Batman beginning with issue eight, but also is working on the Batman annual that will hit stores in May. Comic Book Resources talked to Tynion about what we can expect from his stories.
CBR: In the co-features, you and Scott are digging pretty deep into Gotham's past. What can you share with us about the story?
James Tynion: We're excited about the opportunity to play in an era of Wayne Manor that has remained virtually untouched during the storied history of Batman. The back-up, "The Fall of the House of Wayne," is set around 33 years ago, in Bruce's infancy. We were looking to explore the Waynes when they were roughly the age of Batman himself, and we felt that the best window into that era would be Jarvis Pennyworth. The core concept of the three-part story is the question: "What does Jarvis know about the Wayne Family that Alfred doesn't?" And the answer draws the Court of Owls into the young lives of Thomas and Martha Wayne. The art is by Rafael Albuquerque, and the art that's coming in is gorgeous. I think fans are going to be thrilled by a book that looks this good with the incredible Greg Capullo in the front and Rafael in the back. I'm already getting impatient to get the chance to share this with the comic reading public. But it's coming up quick.
CBR: I love that you are exploring the Pennyworth clan's history! What makes Alfred who, in title is simply Bruce Wayne's butler, such an integral part of the Batman mythos? And what can you share about his father, Jarvis Pennyworth?
James Tynion: The Pennyworths are integral to the fabric of Batman and the Wayne Family. In a way, servants tend to be quiet observers, but in the same way that Alfred was extraordinarily close to Bruce and eventually became a surrogate father to him, we'll see that Jarvis had the same interventionist instincts as a caretaker to the Waynes. There's a concept at the heart of the story that there's nothing more dangerous than a Wayne looking to change Gotham City. Alfred has definitely felt the brunt of that danger, but we'll learn that Jarvis ran into the same kind of intense danger. Certain things are simply inevitable when you're caring for the Waynes. Also, Alfred had more of a rebel streak than his father. He was less eager to dive into the family business, but the two men are remarkably similar. The Pennyworths are good men, and it's been great to add something to their legacy. Alfred is an incredible character, and I've started to care deeply for Jarvis as well. I'd love to write further stories with both of them. It's been a while since we've seen Alfred’s early days in Wayne Manor, hasn't it?
CBR: Another project you have forthcoming from DC Comics is "Batman Annual" #1. What can you tell us about the oversized issue and specifically, what can we expect from your take on Mister Freeze – because on Twitter you teased he was to be portrayed as a "Japanese ice cream mascot."
James Tynion: [Laughs] I think Scott also said something about him getting a sex-change, so you can't always trust rascally writers with Twitter accounts. We're keeping Freeze close to his iconic interpretation, but there are definitely going to be a few surprises for Freeze fans. We wanted to expand on the character and tie him in deeper with other major figures in the Bat-corner of the DCU. The story picks up after the events of "Night of the Owls" with Mr. Freeze pushed to the brink after his involvement in that story. Reading it will help add depth to the whole owly affair, but it's definitely a story that stands on its own legs. We wanted it to work as an introduction to the character and his story first and foremost. We're really excited for people to see what we have up our sleeves. And the art from Jason Fabok looks freaking great. I think it's going to be a great story and Scott and I have been poring over it for weeks. I mean, hell, this is the first time there's been a "Batman Annual" in quite some time. It was important to everyone that it be a story worthy of that title.
For the entire interview, including more history about Tynion, head over to Comic Book Resources. Tynion's first TBU work will be in Batman #8 which hits stores in April.
Posted by Dustin Fritschel