Jason Aaron has given some insight about his new series Batman: Off-World.
In an interview with comicbook.com, Aaron expressed how he wanted to take Batman out of his comfort zone. The twist is, that the story’s set in a time in Batman’s life when he was just starting out as a vigilante. Not only was he still building up his skills as a crimefighter, but also not friends with the Justice League or any other superpowered individuals. Essentially, Batman goes into an alien world, completely alone with no backup.
So, I knew I wanted to do a Batman story, and I wanted to do something that was a different, a different kind of Batman story than we’d seen, and I liked the idea of taking a young Batman, the guy who’s just fresh off of Year One.
He’s still pretty much the Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli Batman, a guy who’s kind of just starting to get his arms around Gotham and figure out what he’s doing and how to take control of the city, sort of street by street, alley by alley. Then, suddenly, he runs up against something that he’s wholly unprepared for.
He spent years traveling the earth, learning everything he thought he needed to know to fight to protect Gotham, and then he finds out there’s a whole universe of threats out there that he knows absolutely nothing about. So, this young Batman has to go out into space for the first time and start fighting the kind of forces he had no idea even existed.”
Aaron went on to emphasize how Batman prepared for everything as a crime fighter. However, how can he even anticipate extraterrestrial threats? The answer is that he can’t. Batman must grapple with the thought that the crimefighting tactics that he trained using mean nothing in an alien world where they don’t even know what a bat is.
He’s fought so very hard to strike fear in criminals, to become the Bat, and then he goes out here, where they don’t know what a bat is. They’re like, ‘What is this guy with his pretend wings? What are you supposed to be?’ They have no reason to be afraid of him. I told Doug, right from the get-go, Batman should be the only person who looks human in this whole book. Everybody else should be strange and alien. He is utterly alone out here. That to me is the fun of it, of where does he go with that? How does he respond to that? What does he have to do to achieve his goal? Also, what does that mean for him?”
The other inspiration for Off-World came from Aaron’s childhood memories of reading DC comics.
That part of it, to tell a cool new Batman story, but the other part of it, the more personal part of it is since I look at this as kind of my DC debut, I wanted to do something that sort of spoke to the comics from my childhood that got me into reading DC for the first time.
Really, DC was my gateway into comics, period. Issues of World’s Finest and Adventure Comics with those big thick ones that gave you stories about Hawkman and Green Arrow and Flash and Superman and Batman, everybody. Those were the first books I ever picked up, and that led me to New Teen Titans.
Atari Force was big for me, which is a book that kind of debuted right around the time I was, it was the first number one issue I saw in the spinner rack and loved. So this book is kind of an ode to some of those comics that made me a fan. I wouldn’t be here without those books, without Atari Force, without Teen Titans, that first space arc of New Teen Titans where they went in to save Starfire from her sister and brought in the Omega Men, plus some Batman Year One and Dark Knight Returns.
You cram all that stuff together, those are my most formative reading experiences as a comic book fan and I think as a writer. So this book is very much an ode to those.”
For more on Aaron talking about Off-World, including what to expect in issue one, click the link here, and look out for an exclusive interview with our editor-in-chief, Steve J. Ray, conducted at the 2023 Thought Bubble convention in the UK.
Batman: Off-World #1 hits comic book shops on November 21, 2023.
Images may be subject to copyright