Judd Winick has been pulling writing duties on multiple titles since the New 52 began last September. Earlier this month he wrote three of the Night of the Owls stories. With June just around the corner, Winick heads back to his two series in The Batman Universe with Catwoman and Batwing. Comic Book Resources talked with Winick about what is coming up in both series.
CBR: Judd, in "Catwoman," Selina seems to be turning over a new leaf, getting upset about women being kidnapped off the street and wanting to do something about it. Does the specific targeting of women strike a chord in Selina that someone menacing other people would not?
Judd Winick: Yes, I think this is all about dipping our toe in the water of Selina not becoming a hero but embracing that aspect of the anti-hero a little more than we have. It is a slow build. She is still a thief. She is still going to be a thief even if and when we start embracing this more. That is not going to change.
In my opinion, we see a little of it when she decided not to let Penguin get murdered! He is a bad guy who does bad things but she thought it was just wrong. You can't walk away from the guy who is going to get killed. I think anyone reading knows she has a moral center, but we are going to start addressing her having a sense of responsibility, that if there are things she can do, maybe she will. She is not necessarily seeking it out, but things come into her scope that she can't help but take an interest in.
CBR: Without giving away too much, what can you tell us about the villain Dollhouse and how does she tie into those crazy looking flappers on the cover of issue #12?
Judd Winick: Second question first: the crazy flappers are the literal dollhouse that Dollhouse lives in. You get more about what is going on there when you actually see what the dollhouse is. Dollhouse is not only Dollhouse's name, but also the vocation; Dollhouse lives in a self-made, nearly living dollhouse. So the character is creepy as Hell and when you see what the character does, it's going to be even more so!
As far as I can tell about the character: it is someone who is quite formidable. As we get into the identity, it is, as you will see, someone undoubtedly creepy. I wanted to create someone who would really stir up the crap with Selina — but not 100% insane, someone who has a method to their madness. That's how I usually like doing villains. In this case there are reasons that they're doing this, and even a bit of history. That will keep going up through issue 12, which is the big finale with Catwoman and Dollhouse.
CBR: Turning to your other series, while Batwing appeared in Gotham for "Night of the Owls," the next issues will see him operating on an international level and teaming up with Nightwing and the JLI. Did you talk a lot to Kyle Higgins and Dan Jurgens about their characters?
Judd Winick: No. In this case we're doing it through editorial. This isn't a crossover so much as it is just using the characters. I know Kyle a little bit, mostly through Scott Snyder, so through editorial we asked if it was cool. But it goes to a larger issue tact we're taking at DC. We're trying to be better in paying attention to continuity, but at the same time not being so slavish to it we're not producing story. There are different opinions on that even in the room as far as DC goes. "You can't use Nightwing in those issues because he'll be in Austin, Texas that month!" So what? He'll spend two days there doing what he's got to do. Readers understand that. This has been a debate that's gone on for as long as I've been in comics. There are editors that wouldn't let characters get touched in any way because something is going on in their comic.
That said, we're not going to ignore the continuity of what's going on. Right now Nightwing has a prickly relationship with Batman. We're not going to have any chummy moments with them. They're in sort of a snit, so we acknowledge that. But the idea we can't have Nightwing go to China is crazy. We want Batwing to be a part of the Bat family. He knew he needed a hand; Batman is not at his beck and call but Nightwing was more than willing to help. We want to feel the fluidity of the DC Universe and get other characters in there. At the same time we are conscious of what the other books are doing.
So that's the "how we make the sausage" aspect! As far as doing it — we spent a good eight issues in Africa telling the long form story of Kingdom and Massacre. Now I want to tell a shorter story and make it as superhero-y as possible. The tenor and the tone of the book is the same, but let's switch it up a little bit. That included involving everyone from Nightwing to Batman and Robin to the JLI. We're introducing new super villains, high stakes, and a larger scale globetrotting Batwing: Batman of Africa and soldier of Batman Incorporated!
CBR: While the JLI are in the book with issue #12, has the cancellation of "Justice League International" affected the story you're telling at all? Or is what you're doing unaffected as it is specific to your book?
Judd Winick: The script was written before the announcement. Even though the book is being canceled, I don't think the JLI is being disbanded so much as we're not publishing a book about it. I can't tell you how it's being wrapped up, y'all will just have to read the JLI title. In Batwing, we will leap in as a team, and Batwing as a member.
For the entire interview, including talk about the art of both titles, head over to Comic Book Resources. Batwing #10 hits stores next week and Catwoman #10 later in the month.
Posted by Dustin Fritschel