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Snyder: The Stuff You've Loved About Batman Over the Years is Still There

There has been a lot of speculation as to what will be occurring in the Bat-books when the relaunch happens in September. With the announcements on Monday of Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon returning to roles they have held in the past, a lot of fans are concerned as to how exactly this will be explained, or more specifically does events from the history of Batman disappear? Scott Snyder, who was announced as the new writer on Batman cleared up some of these things in an interview with Newsarama and laid out the basis of hoe he will approach the character's title series.


Batman #1Newsarama: How did you end up working on Batman, basically switching places with Tony Daniel, who's working on Detective?


Scott Snyder: Before the fall initiative solidified, months ago, I went to the editor with an idea for a story, and I thought I'd do it in Detective. Then when we talked about Bruce coming back in the fall, we just thought since this is an epic story and has a really large scope, I should try it in Batman. So I talked to the other writers, and we were all cool with it. In the Batman universe, these were stories we wanted to tell even before the initiative got hyped.


Newsarama: With a character like Batman, it's probably even less necessary to explain things to new readers, isn't it? I mean, everybody knows Batman. You probably don't have to introduce him like you would have to explain other characters.


Scott Snyder: Yeah, we do want it to be a point, because it's a new #1, that anybody who's never read Batman can jump on and will have some jumping-on-point information, the basics of the character.


But one thing we were really concerned with, me and Greg Capullo, was that it wasn't expositional. It wasn't stuff that just came off as, "Oh, in case you haven't read Batman before, here's some long diatribe about his parents and so on."


So for us, the introduction of Batman and who he is was something that was very easy to organically work into the fabric from the beginning of our story, because it's very much about Bruce and his relationship to Gotham. It's about what Bruce thinks Batman's role in Gotham is, and some very, very dark and big surprises that are going to rock his sense of what Batman is to the city, and what it's been historically.


Newsarama: We've been told that characters like Catwoman and Batwing and Nightwing are back, as well as some other Batman characters. Does Bruce interact with these other characters in this title?


Scott Snyder: Yes, and I understand that there's a lot of confusion and excitement about what the shape of Gotham is going to be, in terms of the cast. I know there are a lot of wild rumors out there, because we're trying not to spoil things that are coming in story.


But one thing I can definitely say is that the stuff you've loved about Batman over the years is still there. We're not just taking away things that people have liked from the past so that they haven't existed or don't matter. That isn't the mission at all here.


If there are elements of the Batman world and Batman history you love, I can tell you with confidence that those things are still there and still did happen. And they are part of the mythology of Batman as we're using it here.


So in terms of the cast in Gotham, DC was very excited about the way certain things were going on in the Batman world, and certain elements, like the supporting casts. So this may not be a place where there are changes to upset what fans have been liking. I love what we've been doing in the Batman universe, and I think fans have responded well to it.


We've put a lot of thought into the changes you'll see in the Batman world in terms of how to make those transitions and shifts work within story. And I can assure you as a fan of Batman myself: Nobody was interested in just doing things that are surprising for the sake of doing things that are surprising. We're very respectful of history and continuity, especially for Batman, who has some of the best moments in comics’ history.


Newsarama: But getting back to the overall approach to your run on Batman, you are approaching this as a solo title for Bruce Wayne?


Scott Snyder: Yes, overall, it's a solo title. In Batman #1, we'll have establishing moments where you'll get to see the roles played by Damian, Tim, and Dick. They are part of the first issue. But I do want the book to be more of a solo book. Batman and Robin is going to be more about Bruce and Damian. And you're going to have a Nightwing book, obviously. There are going to be places for the team aspect.


Even though these other characters all appear in Batman #1 to establish the status quo, this is a Bruce Wayne story. In Detective, I wanted to bring back that sense of Batman as a detective, solving street-level mysteries that escalate. In Batman, I really want this story to be about Bruce being confronted with dark forces and dark secrets that really shake him up personally and are about him as Batman and his city and his relationship to it. And to the Bat-family as well. So it is going to be more of a solo book.


Until more is revealed or the books launch in September, the important thing to take away from this interview is the following quote:


But one thing I can definitely say is that the stuff you've loved about Batman over the years is still there. We're not just taking away things that people have liked from the past so that they haven't existed or don't matter. That isn't the mission at all here.


So speculation aside, it seems that the changes occurring to the Bat-books will not be as dramatic in the continuity area as some of the other characters in the DC Universe.


For now, Scott Snyder's take on The Batman Universe can be read in the pages of Detective Comics and then will appear in Batman starting in September.


Posted by Dustin Fritschel

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