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Van Sciver to Take on Batman: The Dark Knight

It was announced just over two months ago that David Finch would be leaving Batman: The Dark Knight for the upcoming Justice League of America series. That left the question of who would be replacing him. Comic Book Resources has revealed that taking his place will be Ethan Van Sciver. Sciver will join current Dark Knight writer, Gregg Hurwitz, on a new story featuring the Mad Hatter.


Batman: The Dark Knight #16CBR: This book was launched very much as a title that matched the style and tone of David's interests as an artist and writer, but Gregg seems to have continued very much in that darker, crime-driven vein for the book. Is that something you feel your work is a good match for?


Ethan Van Sciver: Yeah. David will tell you that Gregg is an incredibly challenging writer to draw for. Gregg writes novels, and he writes for television, and so he packs a lot of story into 20 pages. And he also apologizes to me and says, "Ethan, I'm sorry, but I just wrote a ten-panel page." I just have to laugh and remind him that I don't mind drawing ten-panel pages as long as it's fun, as long as it's cool and exciting and as long as something interesting is being said or done in those ten panels. And it is. He's very, very challenging. He asks for things that other writers won't or just haven't asked me to do yet. I think this is the perfect thing for me. I've been drawing comics for nearly 20 years now, and Gregg presents a really sophisticated Batman story – a big challenge that's something I really want and need at this point in my career. I'm enjoying it immensely. I can't even tell you how much fun I'm having.


CBR: Tell me about the story you'll be working on here. The first arc involved the Scarcrow and was a kind of psychological horror story wrapped in a detective tale. Will the next story follow in that vein?


Ethan Van Sciver: This is what Gregg is doing. He continues to focus on one particular Batman villain at a time and spend six issues taking that character apart – deconstructing them and explaining their motivations. With Scarecrow, a lot has already been said about who is he, but not a lot has been said about the villain we've chosen: the Mad Hatter. It really is going to be a revelation to a lot of Batman fans who have seen this villain around for a long time but haven't given as much thought as to what makes him tick. We're inventing a lot of things as we go along with it.


CBR: Are there any other pieces of Batman's world from Commissioner Gordon to Robin or any of the sidekicks that you're looking to play with along the way?


Ethan Van Sciver: I love them all. I love all the characters, and I hate to be cliché, but I'm just waiting in the wings for my chance to draw the Joker. Everyone else has gotten to draw him, and so I'm waiting for my turn, which hopefully will come. I plan on drawing Batman for a while now. I told Dan that I've got my hooks in the character and you'll have to pry me off this book with a crow bar. This is where I want to be. I guess I'd like to draw Robin, and I'd really like my shot at Catwoman. And I really want a chance to draw the Batcave a lot – to draw it from different angles and really show off what's inside it. All of it is so exciting. I look forward and would be happy with five years on this character.


For the entire interview, including talk on how Van Sciver got involved with the project, head over to Comic Book Resources. The first issue to feature Van Sciver's art will be issue #16 out this January.


Posted by Dustin Fritschel

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