Bat to the Future: Bob Schreck on the Comics of 2002

[DK2 #2]By any standard, DC Comics keeps editor Bob Schreck busy. Not only does he oversee the company's staple Batman line, but he edits a number of other DC Universe superhero books.

It all adds up to a full plate.

Looking ahead to 2002, Schreck sees several projects that get him especially excited about working on them.

"But outside of the fun that all our writers and artists are delivering in the regular monthlies including the grand finale to 'Batman: Fugitive' as well as the conclusion to Frank Miller and Lynn Varley's DK2," Schreck told CBR News on Thursday, "There's the hardcover 'Wonder Woman: Hiketeia' by Greg Rucka, J.G. Jones, Wade Von Grawbadger and Matt Hollingsworth, and the other hardcover 'Legacy: Last Will & Testament of Hal Jordan' by Joe Kelly, Brent Anderson and Bill Sienkiewicz."

Shreck expects "Green Arrow" and "Green Lantern" to be the books that most surprise readers in 2002.

Speaking of "Green Lantern," this was a title that Schreck said he never expected to be working on as the full time editor.

"When I accepted the job at DC I was expecting to be working exclusively on the Batman rooster of titles. 'Green Lantern' was one of the first books I inherited when Kevin Dooley left DC, this was helped along by the fact that Ron Marz (the then writer of GL) and I had worked very well together when I was at Dark Horse editing 'Batman/Aliens' with he and Bernie Wrightson."

The heat – no pun intended – that Marz took during his tenure, one in which Hal Jordan exited the title, and this new Kyle Rayner kid took over as Green Lantern, was fairly extreme. With the arrival of new writer Judd Winnick, Schreck says things haven't changed all that much.

"Yes and no. In the beginning, Judd took the same heat. Character developments in recent months have both angered fans and increased sales simultaneously. Go figure. It appears that both will continue to increase."

Always controversial is DC's heavy use of line-wide or company-wide crossover stories. Last summer's "Our Worlds At War" crossover was followed by the Joker-themed "Last Laugh." And 2002's first such crossover has already begun, in the pages of the just-released "Batman: The 10 Cent Adventure." Schreck thinks this crossover is fairly targeted and brief.

"We are only asking the reader to follow two solid months of 'Batman: Murderer?' as it runs in every [Batman] title in January and February. 'Fugitive' will pull back to having important clues necessary to solving the crime appearing in only four different titles each month through to July 2002. The other titles will reflect some of that storyline, but are not essential reading for the 'Batman: Fugitive' mystery. Each of the four different titles each month with be denoted with a jigsaw puzzle piece on its cover."

Schreck says that there were no plans at this time for another line-wide crossover later in 2002.

Spilling over from limited series to something more ongoing might be the fate of Frank Miller's alternate future Dark Knight stories.

"It's not exactly a line of books, per se. Frank has expressed an interest in establishing his own Dark Knight Universe (DKU), in which he can explore and examine various other DC characters, without having Batman be the catalyst and/or featured attraction. DC and Frank are exploring this possibility during the coming months, but we're more focused at getting the current DK project on the stands."

CBR News Editor Beau Yarbrough contributed to this story.

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