Last week it was announced that the Joker will be returning to The Batman Universe in Batman courtesy of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. Snyder has done interviews with a number of media outlets including USA Today, The Huffington Post, MTV Geek, IGN, Crave Online, Comic Book Resources, Comic Vine, Newsarama and iFanboy. Below are the highlights from all of the interviews.
MTV Geek: On the two big Batman stories you’ve done so far, the first one in Detective Comics, and of course the Court of Owls, you’ve been eschewing the big Batman villains. I think most writers, when they get a chance to tackle Batman, start running down the checklist of villains, but you didn’t do that… So what changed, and why was it important to tackle the Joker now?
Scott Snyder: That’s a great question… It’s the thrill of a lifetime to get to use the Joker; I used him a touch in Detective Comics, and it was incredibly exciting. It made me want to use him again immediately. [Laughs] What happened was, with the New 52, DC wanted to move some of the bigger villains off the table a bit to make room for the new villains that people were excited about. It became more of a process of figuring out when I could begin to do this story I had been thinking about for him and Bruce, and bringing him back.
They asked if Tony would take him off the table in Detective, and he had a few different ways of doing that, so we landed on this one that would tail into my story… Tony really liked that, that face coming off ending, and I knew that would work okay for me. He did that, and all credit to him creatively for that… But it definitely dovetails into the story I wanted to tell.
Here, and my feeling was, we haven’t had a Joker vs. Bruce story in a really long time. You’ve seen him pitted against him in No Man’s Land, and stuff like that, but that was so long ago. He faced off with Dick and Damian in Batman and Robin, and he played a part in Batman R.I.P., but still, as the central villain… As the guy that Bruce is fighting, not some peripheral, or secondary, those stories don’t come along very often. If we’re going to use him, we might as well use him as if we’re never going to get to use him again. So this is really my giant, twisted love letter, or exploration of the Joker, in the central, deep, dark way we could do it. This is my Joker story to end all my Joker stories.
Crave Online: One of the more confusing things about the New 52 relaunch has been trying to figure out what is still canon and what isn't. They've often said that "The Killing Joke" still happened, but did all of it happen? Is that the definitive origin story of the Joker, or are you planning to make some changes to it as you did recently with Mr. Freeze?
Scott Snyder: That's not really part of the story at all. We're not going to re-explore his origin in this story. I love the Killing Joke. It's my favorite Batman story of all time, and you'll see an homage to it in this one. But in terms of going back and trying to redefine who the Joker was beforehand – this story isn't that.
iFanboy: You mentioned the Joker having an axe to grind with the extended Bat Family. Dick Grayson had a prominent role in the “Court of the Owls” storyline this past year. What other characters can we expect to see spotlighted in this next arc?
Scott Snyder: In Batman you’ll see, basically, the extended Bat Family in terms of Damian and Dick, and Tim will actually play a role in it. Barbara. Jason. So, you will see a lot of main Bat Family characters in Batman. But, one of the things we’re really excited to announce today is that Batman will be 1000% self contained. You will not need to read anything else to get the full story that I’m planning for Joker here. But because the Joker does have an axe to grind with those characters and part of his plan is tearing them to shreds, he will appear in a number of those books after the story gets going in Batman. Those stories will be self-contained also, so you’ll be able to pick them up and read them and see the story lines continue in those books you’ve been reading. In some cases they will feature things the Joker has been planning for a long time, while some will be more abrupt where he destroys what’s been going on. But the point, really, is that the Joker has been watching Batman and the family for the full year he’s been away and he’s been setting his traps and sharpening his cleaver and waiting to spring those traps. Now, Halloween, a year later, he’s ready.
CBR: You're talking about how this involves everyone in the Bat family — so is this going to be similar to what you did with the Talons and the "Night Of The Owls" where we're going to see other writers involved, or is this self-contained in "Batman" and you'll be writing portions of these other characters?
Scott Snyder: It's going to be something where you are going to see them use Joker in their books. It's going to cross over into a number of the Bat books as it goes forward, because I feel like it wouldn't be fair for me to write Nightwing into "Batman" to show what I think Joker could do to him. I have too much respect for Kyle [Higgins] and what he does with "Nightwing," and similar to Scott and "Red Hood" and Batgirl and Pete [Tomasi] with Damian. For us, it isn't a matter of trying to build a story that then has all these moving parts. It's similar to "Night Of The Owls" in that I wrote a Joker story, I'm working on this Joker story, and the way that Joker approaches the other members of the family is so dark and twisted that I basically called up the other members of the writing Bat family and said, "Do you guys want to play along?" [Editor] Mike Marts was really gracious about letting us do it and build something together.
So each one will be completely self-contained in the way that you will not have to pick up — and I cannot stress this enough — you will not have to pick up any book other than "Batman" to get the story in "Batman." I would never do that to you as a reader! [Laughs] You will never have to read "Red Hood" or "Nightwing" or anything for the story in "Batman," which is completely self-contained and completely individual.
That said, in those books, the way the writers are designing them, and they're sort of each doing their own thing, is supposed to be completely self-contained as well. So it really will be something where when the Joker enters the book, it will be a storyline that continues and is part of what that writer has been doing with their character for a while. I really have too much respect for the other writers to try and shoehorn Joker in in a way that is completely predicated on how he needs to be in "Batman." This is the Joker facing off with the family in particular ways in each book that really has to do with those characters and what they hold dear — and him basically tearing those things to shreds!
Newsarama: How long are you planning the Batman story arc to be?
Scott Snyder: In Batman, it's going to go from #13 to #17. But #17 is going to be a giant issue, like an Annual-sized issue. And plus, it's also going to be in the back-ups of Batman. So it's going to probably be the equivalent, I would think, of about seven issues. But it will be those five.
The Source also revealed the cover to Batman #13, which can be seen above. Batman #13 hits stores this October.
Posted by Dustin Fritschel