Batman panel from Heroes Con 2013. Click the jump to see more.
Heroes Con is held in Charolette, North Carolina. They held a Batman panel featuring James Tynion IV (writer of Red Hood & the Outlaws & Talon), Jimmy Palmiotti (writer of All Star Western & Batwing), and John Layman (writer of Detective Comics).
Here are some things to expect from the Bat-books.
- The next Detective Comics story arc will be very “Gordon-centric” to help readers understand why he and Batman work well together.
- In Batwing, Luke will rescue his father as Batwing. There will be a moment between the two as Lucius Fox describes how disappointed he is with his son, Luke Fox.
- In Red Hood & the Outlaws, Jason Todd will make the decision about what kind of hero he wants to be.
Batman: Zero Year
“Right now, I’m working on … the backups to Scott Snyder’s ‘Batman. It sounds very familiar, but when sitting down and putting the story together, we wanted to give you a story that you can’t expect; something that when you’re reading it month-to-month, you’re excited. You’ll see exactly what I mean when the issue hits stands next week. The backups will be covering moments from Bruce’s training, but moments we haven’t seen before. … We’re doing some very different moments — the first one is him trying to learn how to drive a getaway car in the streets of Rio De Janeiro.”
For the longest time, fans have been skeptical of the new story arc that will reshape the origin story of how Bruce Wayne became Batman. For the most part, this story arc is ambitious and it seems that Scott Snyder (writer of Batman) has really thought this out to the fullest. He hopes that the fans will be open to this new punk rock updated version of Bruce Wayne’s story.
Talon & Red Hood
Talon has taken off into its next wave of popularity as Bane shakes up the status quo with the Court of Owls. Red Hood & the Outlaws are getting new story lines and new places. Here’s what Tynion says about Red Hood & the Outlaws:
“Red Hood & the Outlaws take us into an epic storyline with the League of Assassins. We’re bringing back the Brown Spider and we just introduced the new version of Cheshire. There are a few familiar faces and new ones to come.”
If you haven’t read Red Hood & the Outlaws Annual #1, the annual provides a good start for new readers to get into the series. One would recommend readers to start from Red Hood & the Outlaws Annual #1 to catch up with what’s to come. James Tynion IV is giving Red Hood a solid must read among the Batman titles. Tynion understands how to connect the characters to their well established universes such as Batman and Green Arrow. The series has really taken off recently and will likely become better since James Tynion IV is a master suspense writer.
John Layman has put the “Detective” back into Detective Comics as he brings a different take on the comic book title by calling it “The Law and Order of Bat-books.” Here’s more of what he said:
“Detective Comics is more the ‘Law and Order’ of the Bat-books. What I’ve got coming up is a character called The Wrath. He is the anti-Batman. He’s a rich playboy industrialist, but instead of fighting crooks, he’s killing cops. It’s fun to play with a dark reflection of Batman and then have them face each other. In the back-ups, I introduced Man-Bat in the #19 issue and we’ll be doing Man-Bat with Andy Clarke.”
Man-Bat has been the element used in Batman INC for Talia Al Ghul’s army and Layman has used this element to reintroduce the character into the New 52 stream. Man-Bat was last featured in Detective Comics #19, which told the story of Kirk Langstrom becoming Man-Bat and his strives to do research for the hearing impaired. One of the cool things about Layman’s writing is that he is able to tie characters together and provide an awesome story while at it. He has truly resurrected the Detective Comics title by sticking to the mystery and noir of the comic book title.
Batwing & All Star Western
Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray (writers of Batwing, Ame-Comi Girls, and All Star Western) are the fore runners trying to get fans back onto Batwing. The two writers have made awesome decisions to make the book relatable and exciting. Here’s what Palmiotti says about the comic book title:
“Justin and I had to wrap up every storyline that was going on in the book in one issue (#19). David was a great character, so we didn’t want to kill him off, but I could see where the character was frustrated. … We introduced Luke Fox, who is Lucius’ son. We thought with Luke Fox, it puts [Batwing] right in the middle [of the Batman universe]. And Batman (Bruce Wayne) knows who Luke Fox is, but Lucius has no idea that his son is Batwing. The fun of the character is that he’s getting his dad’s designs and modifying it a bit to make it better. Batman will train Batwing in issues #22-#25.
If you don’t like Batwing you can find him and he’ll give you the money back for the issue.”
By connecting Batwing to the Batman universe, the character has become more relevant. However, fans are still skeptical about picking up this book since the last 18 issues were not interesting enough to grab many Batman readers. So far, Palmiotti and Gray have made the book rock solid by adding elements and references of Batman Beyond into Batwing’s situation. Batwing has basically become the stepping stone of how suit for Batman Beyond will come about. So, the book has received tons of brownie points for its references by Batman fans.
As for All Star Western, Jonah Hex will be coming to modern-day Gotham with the help of Booster Gold. There will be tie-ins from All Star Western to Batman and Batwing. Here’s what he says about the tie-ins:
“Booster Gold will dump Jonah Hex in the middle of modern-day Gotham. There’s some fun stuff with Jonah and Arkham, and for a couple of issues, we have Jonah dealing with Batman, dealing with Batwing and that it’s not okay to shoot people in the face if they’re robbing a bank. It’s kind of fun, the idea for that series — we’re taking Jonah’s point of view of our modern-day society. He finds Arkham’s great-grandson in Arkham Asylum. … ‘Batman’ and ‘Batwing’ tie into that. The great thing of writing these Batman books is we can get together and do crazy things.”
According to the Batman panel, the editorial asked the writers to start bringing in a lot of unexpected elements into their books. So, the tie-ins is one of the ways that Palmiotti and Gray can switch things up. On a serious level though, since Scott Snyder is now taking Batman away from the continuity of the other Batman books, it seems that the other Bat-books can now develop their characters freely without any tie-ins. Batman Zero Year will last until April 2014, so this gives the rest of the Bat-books a year to peak fan interest back to certain Bat-books. Hopefully, most of the Bat-books got the clue and started on their way to make their characters shine. Nightwing, Batwing, and Red Hood & the Outlaws have already gotten the clue, so the other Bat-books should follow suit.
Fan Questions & Answers
Who might we see in the Zero Year flashbacks?
“These are just shorts, because Scott and Greg keep going big and going crazy, so we’re keeping it mostly featured on new figures we introduce from the past. You may see some familiar faces. We’re talking about it.” – James Tynion IV
Will there be a 4th member of the Outlaws?
“I don’t have any current plans to add a fourth member to the cast, and that it’s focused on the dynamic and friendships between the three main characters.” -James Tynion IV
How has the Christopher Nolan films affected the characters in the comic?
“With my version of the character, I wanted to bring in the more militaristic aspects of the movie version, but keep it true to the original version.” -James Tynion IV
What do you plan to do with Man-Bat?
“He’s got these savage instincts. When they’re bad, it feels good and they start going down this dark path, and that makes for good drama. That being said, I’m building up to this Man-Bat thing and it’s going to be awesome. I think it’s issue #26 — but I can’t tell you.”- John Layman