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Snyder on the "New" Batman

In September, Scott Snyder will shift from his stories in Detective Comics to telling new stories in Batman along with Greg Capullo. Comic Book Resources has posted an interview with Snyder in which he addresses some of the concerns of what is to come as well as the direction the Dick Grayson will head.


Batman #1CBR: Your co-writer on "Gates of Gotham," Kyle Higgins, is picking up the ball of Dick as Nightwing in the new series hitting in the fall. With that happening, have you been talking with him about ways your book can sort of hand of things to him?


Scott Snyder: Absolutely. We talk almost every day, me and Kyle, at this point. Mike Marts, our editor, has done a great job of making a collaborative atmosphere on the books. So I talk to Pete Tomasi and Tony Daniel all the time too as well as Gail Simone. So there really is a feel of sharing everything. With a character like Dick Grayson, Kyle and I talk a lot. I've told him my ideas and how "Detective" was going to end, and he's told me his plans for the character. What I really want to stress to fans — because I know in a general way while there's a lot of excitement there's also a lot of nervousness about the fall initiative — the things that you love about Batman, I can't say every piece of continuity will be the same since there will be some small changes that I'm excited about. But if people are worried about things like "Will Tim Drake exist?" Well, you've seen the solicitations for "Teen Titans" so you know he does. But if you're worried that the things you've enjoyed about the Batman Universe for the past few years and the dynamics of the Bat-Family and the stories of "Batman, Inc." and the richness of the mythology in Grant's stuff… the people that work on the books love it as much as you do. We couldn't love it any more. And the last thing we want to do is erase it or change it just for a headline. We would never do it.


In terms of Dick Grayson moving over to "Nightwing," it's not like a magic wand will be waved, and then suddenly he's turned into Nightwing. We're trying very hard — and some of this is on Grant's shoulders as well — but the rest of us are trying to make these changes based on character and story. The things you've loved about the Bat U in general aren't going anywhere. They've asked us not to say "reboot" because, especially on the Bat books, it's not a reboot. The things you love about Batman's history are things we love, and we don't want to mess with that. It's really about having a fresh new start for the stories we're excited about. We're moving forward with some new creative teams, and it's not about shoving Dick Grayson back into the Nightwing role because it's important to have Bruce in the cowl for movies and so on. It's about the stories we want to tell with the characters and the best way we could figure to tell those. I want fans to understand that they don't have to be afraid that Dick Grayson is going to have his memory wiped and be a totally different character or that Tim Drake won't exist. That's not the stuff we're interested in as people. We're just interested in telling new, exciting stories with the characters. This will just give people a good point to enter this rich history, but the history stands.


I understand the fear, and in "Batman" #1 you'll see the status quo, and I think you'll be surprised when you think of the things people are afraid of not being there. None of us are out to mangle Batman or change him for the sake of making him hipper or cooler.


CBR: So let's talk about "Batman" #1… the first comic with that distinction since 1940! What's it feel like to take on that task?


Scott Snyder: It's terrifying! [Laughter] I mean, believe me I'm not going to lie. I've worked on this issue and given it to more of my friends in the comics industry — Jeff Lemire, Pete Tomasi, JT Krul, Tony Daniel — and asked them all to help me make sure it's as good as it can be around and around. It's as important as anything I've ever done. I don't take the idea of taking on Batman in general lightly ever, so I definitely wouldn't take doing a "Batman" #1 even just seriously. I couldn't be more serious and obsessive about making it as good as possible. And I said this before about "'Tec," but I'll say it again: I wouldn't have taken this on if I didn't have a story I was excited about telling with Bruce before the opportunity came to be doing Batman. I had a Bruce Wayne story I came to Mike Marts with where I said, "This is a story I think would be fun to do. It's big and epic. It explores the Bat mythology and the history of Gotham. It has things that will be surprising to Bruce about his own city and new enemies and all this stuff." Mike said they were going to move Bruce back to "Batman" so if I had a story I wanted to tell, that would be the place.


So I talked to Tony, and we compared our plans, and none of this is just things getting reshuffled. I know that it gets out there that it seems like we just randomly pitch for different things, but that's never been my experience, and it's probably the same throughout the rest of the DCU. I can tell you for a fact that in the Bat U we all talk and figure this stuff out as a team. I told them about this story, they said it might be good for "Batman," and so I talked to Tony and asked him if he wanted to stay on "Batman" or if we wanted to flex his muscles on a different book. We went back and forth, and the point is that I wouldn't have stepped on to "Batman" if I hadn't had a story that worked for this book from way back before. But the added pressure of it being "Batman" #1? Yeah, it's extremely exciting and terrifying at the same time.


In terms of what it means for the book, this book is a reintroduction of Bruce to Gotham itself. It counts the fact that his interests have been kind of far flung of late because of "Batman, Inc." and the city might have some surprises in store for him. It's a city he knows so well and knows maybe more than anybody, and since he's its sole protector, the question becomes what if it has things it's been hiding from him this whole time. We wanted to start in a way that would reintroduce Bruce to Gotham in a big fun way. The tag is "Bruce is back!" and it's been that way from the very beginning. We've got some big, fun popcorn moments in the first pages of the first issue that really play on the excitement we have on bringing Bruce back to Gotham.


But on the other hand, while it wasn't that much of a challenge to make this a big new #1 for new readers, I did try to put in some touches that mention his origin story and things like that. They wound up fitting in pretty organically with the rest of the story because of what happens in the issue. I want to it be both things. I don't want it to read for people who have followed Batman like "I know all this stuff already." It's the beginning of a big, epic story, and it's something new that they can jump on and see as an accessible point.


For the entire interview, including talk about his current run on Detective Comics, head over to Comic Book Resources. Batman #1 hits stores this September.


Posted by Dustin Fritschel

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