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Tony Daniel on Future Use of Villains

Tony Daniel completed his first story in the relaunched Detective Comics yesterday and now many wonder what is next? Will Daniel be creating more original villains or using old ones? Next month, Penguin will be taking center stage in Detective Comics, but what's next? Newsarama talked with Daniel to discuss some of the upcoming villains in the pages of Detective Comics.


Detective Comics #5Newsarama: As you came into this relaunched universe with the New 52 initiative, what opportunity did that give you as you introduced these villains to a revamped universe?


Tony Daniel: It's been a lot of fun. I'm in the process now of writing the Penguin arc. What I'm doing now is really thinking of ways we can show him as if we're seeing him for the very first time. Everybody has seen him and knows who he is, and you can't deviate too much from the core elements of the character. But we can magnify some things about the character: his quirks, or his villainy, or add another layer of personality to him that was true to him, yet makes it feel like it's a fresh approach to the same character.


The same thing with the Scarecrow, who is coming up soon after. We're going to have some very good character developing moments where we get to see who this character is and why he's the way he is. My only framework is to not deviate too much from what makes the character special. As long as I keep that in mind, I think the fans will enjoy the new takes on these characters.


Newsarama: With the Penguin, we've seen continuity set up in the Penguin mini-series. Will your new version of him, as he sets up his "Iceberg Casino," follow what we saw in the mini?


Tony Daniel: Yeah, he's going to reflect the Penguin mini-series. I'm definitely keeping that, but I'm adding more to that. He's a character that you don't want to throw away any part of him. He doesn't need fixing. You just want to show him in a light that makes him look fresh, but makes him even cooler. Kind of like Christopher Nolan has approached his villains in the films. Penguin will have the same issues and problems, but my job is to add another layer to that. I'll keep him true to his roots, but try to make him unforgettable. Hopefully, you'll remember the things he does and the things he says, and it will stick in your head 10 years from now.


Newsarama: You've got a lot of readers interested in Joker's face, and issue #4 ended with his face hanging there. Can you tell us anything about that part of your story and what we may see from it again in the future?


Tony Daniel: Well, with a character like the Joker, there's a lot of potential for stories about a guy who is the Joker but doesn't look like the Joker, who's unrecognizable. Who has a different identity. I think that's going to be the ultimate challenge for Batman. When he does rear his head again, it's going to be a head he's never seen before. And we won't know who it is, or how he's been there all along.


I do have some big plans for him and why he had the Dollmaker do this and change what he looks like. I'm sure people are wondering, is he walking around with no face? Well, yeah, maybe for a few hours. But not for long. We will definitely be getting back to that and finding out what his whole scheme is, and why he did this. And it is part of something diabolical and sinister. And it's something that a guy like Joker would do. No one else would do this and go through these extraordinary means to change his appearance and put his life on the line for this twisted scheme.


For the entire interview, including talk about Charolette Rivers and the GCPD, head over to Newsarama. Detective Comics #4 is in stores now.


Posted by Dustin Fritschel

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