Over the weekend, the next stop on the DC Comics-The New 52 Art Tour made its way to San Francisco. The art of J.H. Williams III was shown from Batwoman and W. Haden Blackman was in attendance as well. Comic Book Resources caught up with both of them to talk about some of the interesting story elements in the Batwoman series.
CBR: Many fans were a bit worried that it took so long for "Batwoman" to come out after it had been announced by DC. It seemed that people assumed you had been working on it since the end of your "Detective Comics" run, but was that really the case?
JH Williams III: Well, when Greg [Rucka] decided to leave DC Comics and they approached us about taking over ["Batwoman"], there was literally only three days before the announcement was made to the public that we were taking it over. Nothing had been written, and we didn't even know what the plot was going to be and all that stuff. We needed time to develop that. It was misleading to fans, in some ways. People had the idea that we had been working on it already, but we were actually far from any launch date, for sure.
CBR: You brought a character by the name of Bette Kane into the book as Kate's semi-sidekick. Bette Kane's legacy is, in the pre-crisis DCU, she was the original Flamebird. You're showing her become a hero now, as well, and in the end of issue 3, she's suited up as Flamebird. Is that foreshadowing that Bette may become Flamebird again at some point in the New 52 universe?
JH Williams III: I don't want to say too much, but it is foreshadowing. Not in that way, though. I don't want to say too much because I want people to be surprised by what we are going to do, but we are definitely going to revitalize that character in a real strong way. At the same time, subtextually, we want to comment on how she's been treated by other creators and how she's been a character that other creators didn't take very seriously, even though fans love the character. Her overall arc is going to show this sea change.
W Haden Blackman: What's interesting to me about [Bette Kane's] origins is that she became a vigilante because she fell in love with Robin. She had this crush, so she became Flamebird. The opportunity to take Bette Kane, who has this silly origin story and show her as a three-dimensional character that really believes in what she's doing is really exciting for us. But, from day one, our rule has been that we want to take all the vigilante tropes and turn them on their ears. We want to see how Batwoman would deal with a kid sidekick. We see this play out in issue #3 and continue in to issues #4 and 5.
CBR: Are there any plans to touch more on the new Bette Kane's Teen Titans past, or are you going to stay away from that whole continuity mess for now?
JH Williams III: Well, we've kinda been told we can't. [Laughs]
W Haden Blackman: We had some lines that referenced it, but we had to change them. It's because the continuity is kinda evolving over time. If you go back and read issue #1, we have a line in there where [Bette Kane] references the Teen Titans.
JH Williams III: She flat out says it. From that point forward, we can't really talk about it. For now, anyway.
For the entire interview, including talk about the fate of Renee Montoya and Kate's pale skin tone, head over to Comic Book Resources. Batwoman #4 hits stores next Wednesday, December 14.
Posted by Dustin Fritschel