On the eve of the DC relaunch, David Hine is charged with not only wrapping a series up, but also concluding the relationship of Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne in the pages of Batman and Robin. Comic Book Resources talked with Hine about his story that will appear in the last issue of Batman and Robin before the title is relaunched in September.
CBR: From that cover it looks like Dick and Damian are in for a fairly trippy adventure. What can you tell us about the story?
David Hine: This was always intended to be an offbeat story but it ended up being a little more experimental than I thought it would be. I originally pitched it as a longer, multi-part arc, but with the events of September looming, I had to reduce it to 20 pages. I had a lot of ideas of what I wanted to do with the French version of Arkham Asylum, known as Le Jardin Noir, and a lot of inmates to introduce. I wanted the whole thing to resemble an art-project and with the curtailed page count it made sense to make it a work in progress. It's almost a collection of 'sketches' for a finished piece. Each page has a scene title and the story is quite elliptical. I'm hoping readers are intrigued enough to want to fill in the gaps some time in the future.
Essentially the story is that some of the inmates of the asylum have been freed by the Son of Man, who proceeds to unleash their transformative powers on Paris, turning a whole area around the Louvre into a work of performance art. Batman, Robin and Nightrunner have to unravel the working of the Son of Man's mind to uncover his motivation, so they can figure out how to put things back to normal.
CBR: How does Le Jardin Noir differ from the American Arkham?
David Hine: The inmates we meet, unlike most of Arkham's residents, aren't really villains. They are there because they are mentally unbalanced and possess paranormal powers. They're all metahumans and their powers all relate to altered states. They can mess with reality or unhinge the mind, so it's all very Freudian.
CBR: I understand this issue involves Nightrunner. What role does the French Batman play in the story?
David Hine: With the inmates from Le Jardin Noir on the loose, Nightrunner is clearly out of his depth and is forced to appeal to Batman for help. Once they arrive they work as a well-adjusted team to combat the bizarre forces ranged against them — or, they screw up in spectacular fashion and go surreal on us! Some of what you see on the cover does come to pass. Given the restricted page count, I'm afraid there won't be a lot of in-depth exploration of Nightrunner's character here. That will have to wait for another time.
For the entire interview, including what a British Arkham could be, head over to Comic Book Resources. Hine's story appears in Batman and Robin #26 which will hits stores in August.
Posted by Dustin Fritschel