Our next exclusive interview comes with the writer behind We Are Robin, Lee Bermejo. We Are Robin may have only released one issue so far, but readers are already interested to see what direction the title goes. Duke Thomas plays a key role in the title, but more Robins are coming. On top of that, earlier in the day the Robin War crossover event was announced which Bermejo’s We Are Robin will tie into. We talked with Bermejo about what we can expect form both projects in the coming months.
TBU: Would you say that We Are Robin could be almost an alternate Bruce Wayne story where what if Bruce Wayne didn’t have somebody to back him up and be that sure foundation? Because Duke is practically all by himself.
Lee Bermejo: I wouldn’t make that comparison necessarily because I feel like Duke is such a different character than Bruce and hopefully the more people get to know him, the more those differences are going to start to be really noticeable. We are really trying to craft a lot of characters with this book that don’t fit in the traditional model of what people have seen for like Batman and Robin. I really like the idea of having characters who come from different backgrounds and have different approaches to the concept of street justice. I think Bruce thinks about the world in a much more black and white way and I think that Duke sees the shades of gray a little bit more than Bruce does.
TBU: So a big point is the fact that Duke doesn’t know where his parents are or in what state they’re in.
Lee Bermejo: Right.
TBU: Is that something that’s going to be resolved in the first arc or is it going to part of the ongoing?
Lee Bermejo: I can’t say it’s going to be resolved in the first arc but I also don’t want to say exactly where it lands in the story because it affects some other things going on too. But I think people can definitely expect to see that storyline have some kind resolution.
TBU: We see in the first issue that Duke doesn’t necessarily play well with others. So how is the relationship going to be with these other Robins that are going to sort of drop in on him?
Lee Bermejo: You’re going to find out in the next issue. I wish I could say more but I feel like that’s directly addressed in the second issue to be specific.
TBU: Can you tell us at all why these Robins got together, what sort of purpose they have?
Lee Bermejo: A lot of people have been asking me that. The way I look at it is this. Most people aren’t there at the ground floor of movement starting. Most people learn about it as it’s already going on and I wanted to give readers that same experience and have a character who was introduced to something [the same ways readers are]. I feel like the reason the movement started was directly a response to what’s going on in Gotham. You have these major events like Endgame and the things that affect this population of the city, you really haven’t seen in the past a lot of stories about the collateral damage caused by these big superhero events. I think the fact that you also have Gotham City now with a police run Batman might make some people uneasy and you know you’re one step closer to a totalitarian stage. I think that generally results in, specifically in youth, some kind of reaction.
TBU: You mentioned this ‘Robobat’. You got Jim Gordon and he has made it his purpose to get rid of these unlawful vigilantes, so how long is it going to take for Jim to have a run in with the Robin gang?
Lee Bermejo: Really soon, you can expect that really soon. That’s another thing that gets addressed in the first story arc. That’s something that we’ve talked about from the very beginning is how this new Batman interacts with these characters. I think most people could possibly guess, but at the same time it’s an interaction that has major ramifications in the book.
TBU: Just dropping this morning we’ve got the Batman and Robin Eternal. How will We Are Robin going to fit in with Eternal?
Lee Bermejo: They’re dealing with events in Batman and Robin Eternal that took place in the past. So they’re addressing the Robins that have already come to past. We Are Robin doesn’t really fit into that storyline, but it fits into the Robin War. That’s going to be a crossover event that addresses where these new We Are Robins fit into the whole mythological concept of Robin and it’s also going to be their first interaction with a Robin, specifically Damian. That’s going to be more We Are Robin centric.
TBU: Why is the Robin War considered a crossover? How does it compare to other “crossovers” that The Batman Universe has had since the beginning of the New 52?
Lee Bermejo: It’s basically going to deal with all the youth characters in Gotham City. Robin: Son of Batman, Gotham Academy and We Are Robin. It’s going to be an event that specifically tackles the old guard versus the new guard.
TBU: Jumping back to We Are Robin, is this mostly going to be an ensemble group or you’re going to introduce any other main characters alongside Duke that the story can really explore?
Lee Bermejo: I’m going to be focusing on six characters in this book. There are many other kids in Gotham who are part of this movement, but I’m focusing on six and there’s a reason why I’m focusing on these six that you’ll find that out in the story. People could also expect some guest stars like as I said Batman shows up, issue #4 Batgirl shows up, and obviously with Robin War coming later, Damian will be making his presence known soon. You can definitely expect some of the major Batman characters to be showing up in the book and having a direct presence really having an effect on the story.
TBU: Can we expect original villains or you’re going to be pulling from some established Bat villains?
Lee Bermejo: There are some original villains. There are some classic rogue. And even though it’s a little early to talk about it, I’ll give a little tease about it. There’s going to be a major villain concept that we’re going to be addressing in a different way, which will be the second story arc.
TBU: What are you looking forward to the most with the title?
Lee Bermejo: Just writing the book creatively. I’m really looking forward to seeing what my artists are going to do with this second story arc because it’s just in its infancy stages right now. But I’m really looking forward to seeing how they’re going to tackle the story as it gets exponentially bigger with each issue. So by the third issue it is exploding with Robins. I would say by issue #10 it is just going to be even crazier. Again I can’t talk too much about it because I feel like I’m going to spoil it but it’s definitely going to; just expect it to get bigger and bigger, even in terms of villains.
We Are Robin is in stores now with the second issue releasing on July 22.