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THE BAT SIGNAL: Peter J. Tomasi

by  in Comic News Comment

Peter J. Tomasi talks with CBR News about “Batman and Robin”

When Grant Morrison realized he would be leaving “Batman and Robin” to make way for his new Batbook, “Batman Incorporated,” he handpicked veteran writer Peter Tomasi to take over the monthly series, which features Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne as the dynamic duo.

Before leaving his staff position at DC Comics in 2007 to return to his writing roots , Tomasi served as the editor of Morrison’s run on “Batman.” Since then, Tomasi, currently co-writing “Brightest Day” with Geoff Johns, has delivered the publisher and its readers a steady stream of high quality books, including a year-long run on “Nightwing.”

So Tomasi the writer is no stranger to Dick Grayson — the superhero formerly known as Robin who is now protecting Gotham City as Batman. Riding shotgun in the series is Damian Wayne, the son of Bruce Wayne and the supervillainess, Talia al Ghul. For the new Robin, Tomasi says he’ll channel his own eight-year old son, who shares Damian’s combination of exuberance, boyishness and devil-may-care attitude, though not the younger Wayne’s love of extreme violence.

Tomasi, who began his run on “Batman and Robin” today with his creative partner from “Green Lantern Corps,” artist Patrick Gleason, told CBR News that while he plans to introduce new characters to the Batman mythos in the coming months and years ahead, he’s doesn’t want to miss his chance at utilizing some of the biggest bad guys from the Dark Knight’s past — even if his Batman has a new caped crusader under the cowl.

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CBR News: You have a long history with Batman and Robin, dating back to your years as editor of the Bat-books, but what was your initial, childhood introduction to these characters?

Peter Tomasi: I remember my dad bringing me home some Batman comics many moons ago, and I definitely loved “Super Friends” and reruns of the Adam West TV show. My first Halloween costume was a Batman costume, so Batman was definitely the first superhero who entered my consciousness and my sub-consciousness.

I think they will. Pat’s a great talent, and he’s got a very specific style and a specific vision of the way he takes on characters and books. I’m incredibly lucky to have him as a partner on this title. After “Green Lantern Corps,” I told Pat I wanted him to be the artist on “Batman and Robin,” and aside from being incredibly excited about diving into Gotham, the thought of not having to draw 80 million GL Corps members any more was a big relief.

Pat’s one of those artists that I think as years go by, people are going to look at his runs on titles, and say, “Wow, he brought a lot of energy and dynamism to everything he worked on.” When you look at “Green Lantern Corps,” which was no walk in the park to draw, he had something like 26 issues in a row without a fill in. There are not many artists today that you can look at and say they had that kind of duration, hit those deadlines month in and month out and still delivered at the high level of quality that he does.

The first two issues [of “Batman and Robin] look great, and I couldn’t be happier. I also want to mention what a great job Mick Gray is doing on the inks, along with Alex Sinclair who’s rocking it on color. Mick has a great line and texture to his work and I think he and Pat are an amazing team.

“Batman and Robin” #20, written by Peter Tomasi and featuring art by Patrick Gleason, is on sale now.