Batman #4 is in stores today and ever since Scott Snyder took over the series the book is holding steady in the top five comics of the month. Comic Book Resources talked with Snyder about some of the elements of the Court of Owls as well as some of the other things playing into the series.
CBR: We've also got this mayoral candidate character in Lincoln March, who every time he shows up I just wait for the other shoe to drop. [Laughter] He just CAN'T be as good as he seems! What's it bring to this story to have that tension hang over a character and his relationship to Bruce?
Scott Snyder: I know! I'm very aware of that. The second a nice guy walks into Gotham, everyone is expecting him to be the villain of the world, so it's not something I'm looking to suddenly go "And guess what? He's a villain!" People are hoping that will happen or maybe won't happen, but he's going to be a more complex character than that. That's not to say he won't be a villain. Who knows? But there's not going to be a sudden "I'm pulling off my mask…I was the Talon, but now I'm Lincoln March!" Don't worry about that. It's not like there's one person who's an unknown quantity, and he just ends up being the big villain. That's not exactly something I would go near.
Again, I'm in no way saying he might not be a villain. I love how people are wondering if he's a big villain or a small villain or crooked. I want to keep that in play. He absolutely might be. But I don't think it will be one-to-one, and the other thing I'll propose is that there's almost something sadder about a person who's tragically doomed who's a hero to Gotham. To Bruce, this is an example of someone who's trying to make a difference on the civic front. And in the past few years, Bruce has come out of his shell and tried to shape Gotham as Bruce Wayne – to embrace a personality of Bruce Wayne that's more honest and closer to his persona of Batman that's not just a stupid facade that he took on for so long. "I'm just a bumbling playboy, and I don't care about anything." Instead, he's taking an active role in Gotham politically and architecturally. That's really exciting to me. To have someone who is a father figure to him – someone who's a little older saying "I'm trying to do the same thing as you, but I don't have the resources you have, and if people come after me to try and kill me, I'm going to keep going because Gotham is worth it" – and then have something bad happen to that character is in some ways more interesting to me than the guy just pulling off his face and becoming the Scarecrow or whatever.
Again, in no way am I trying to give away who he is or who he might be in the end, but he's a character who's going to play an important role for Bruce and I think set an example for him that will have repercussions in the long run. He's not a throw away character at all for us. He's a very big keystone in the story, and how exactly it plays out I hope will involve people in the story going forward.
CBR: Overall, you speak to a lot of the guys who write Batman books from Tony Daniel to Peter Tomasi and on down the line. What kind of discussions are you having right now about how the books play off each other? Will we start seeing more crossover between the books, or will those impacts be subtle as the New 52 continues to plot its own course on a title-by-title basis?
Scott Snyder: It'll be a little bit of both. I love taking ideas from Tony and Pete, like the grandfather clock in "Batman and Robin" or what's going on with Damian. We talk quite often, and we talk to Gail [Simone] and a number of other people in the Bat Office. [Editor] Mike Marts does a great job of keeping us all in touch. And there are going to be some pretty big things that crossover between "Batman" and "Nightwing" in a few months as well as between "Batman" and the other books in the line. Without giving away too much of how this will all work, the story in "Batman" will have a pretty big impact on other books coming soon. Stay tuned for all that. But that doesn't mean that everything happening in "Batman" isn't self-contained. I don't want you to think that you're going to have to read other books to understand "Batman" of vice versa. That's not something I'd do as a writer or ask of other writers. There's no storyline requiring you to move to other books, but some of what I'm interested in might also interest the guys on other books. And things they do are things I want to incorporate thematically into "Batman." Even though we want each book to stand on its own, there are some ideas that will be shared in small and big ways coming up over the course of the year.
For the entire interview, including some of the origins of the Court of Owls, head over to Comic Book Resources. Batman #4 is in stores today.
Posted by Dustin Fritschel