When the New 52 launched in September, a lot of fans questioned the reasoning for relaunching Batman: The Dark Knight. The series was plagued by delays and had only had five issues release in nine months. The difference with the relaunch was that David Finch would be handing over writing duties to Paul Jenkins. The two still outline the story together, but the art is handled by Finch and the writing by Jenkins. Newsarama caught up with Jenkins to discuss not only what the collaboration element between the two is, but also what is coming up in the series.
Newsarama: What themes are we seeing so far in your run with David?
Paul Jenkins: One of them you've seen so far is: "What is fear, and how do you overcome it?" We've pointed the story that way a bit so far, but once we get a few more issues into the book, with issue #8, I'll be taking over the story and Dave will do artwork, which is fine with Dave because he wants to make sure he stays on there as artist on the book.
But I still discuss the story with Dave. I call him up and say, "What do you think of this?" So he and I are still doing the book together that way. The biggest thing that Dave wants is that fans will see issue #9 still being drawn by Dave Finch, and then they can stop talking about him being late. I know how far ahead he is. He's really ahead.
In fact, he's so far ahead that he's further ahead than the other people I'm working with on other books. Overnight, Dave was suddenly labeled as a late artist, and that shouldn't be the case. He's actually very prolific. And he'll still be drawing on issue #9. He's not taking a break.
Newsarama: Getting back to the theme, is the current theme of fear going to continue through your run, or are you wrapping that up with issue #7?
Paul Jenkins: Well, it runs its course by virtue of what happens in the story as we end this story arc. We investigate the concept of fear by asking, what is Batman afraid of? And if he is afraid, what is he doing in his life to overcome that fear?
Basically, we've got the Scarecrow in the book that's coming up, and he's just shocking. But then it takes a turn, and when people see it they'll say, "Well, there you go. That is Batman's fear." And I think people will say, "Oh, that makes sense." And I'll tell you this: It's not the Scarecrow.
So you'll see that reveal in issue #6 and #7. I think people would have a lot of answers to that question: What is Batman afraid of? We provide one answer and say, this makes sense. And the theme is actually delivered as the last line of the book in issue #7, so I can't spoil it.
Newsarama: What's coming up in the book going forward?
Paul Jenkins: The next story arc will be about Jim Gordon and Batman, and their respective places in Gotham. Jim Gordon is a very loyal guy who works hard. He has put his neck on the line to work with Batman, but he's getting a lot of heat for it. There are a lot of eyes watching him now.
And in our next storyline, Jim gets involved in a very personal case that dredges up bad memories from his past. And he goes to Batman and asks for help. The story highlights the difference between the two men.
For the entire interview, including talk about the character Forbes, head over to Newsarama. Batman: The Dark Knight #4 is in stores next Wednesday, December 28.
Posted by Dustin Fritschel