Paul Dini's more than two-year run on "Detective Comics" ended when all of DC Comics' Bat-books went on a three-month hiatus during the events of Tony Daniel's "Battle for the Cowl."
But fear not, the five-time Emmy Award winning writer and producer of "Batman: The Animated Series" is back with not one but two Batverse titles in the new era of former Robin and former Nightwing Dick Grayson as Batman in the DC Universe.
You have no doubt heard of the "Dynamic Duo" but what about the titillating trio? "Gotham City Sirens" focuses on three of the Batverse's most sensational scoundrels: Catwoman, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. No stranger to the characters, Dini won an Eisner Award with Bruce Timm in 1994 for the graphic novel, "Mad Love," starring their creation Harley Quinn and her powdered-paramour, The Joker.
In this interview, Dini shares news on what makes the three such perfect teammates and why Gotham City better be prepared for what's to come.
CBR: The solicitation for this new series teases: "These tough ladies have a new agenda that's all their own, and they'll use any means necessary to pursue it." What's the new agenda?
Paul Dini: Gotham is a more dangerous place these days. It's a trick just to stay alive. Catwoman, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy have been both allies and enemies over the years, but at this point they realize there is safety in numbers. Ivy is on the loose thanks to the destruction of Arkham and she's not looking to be taken back into custody. Harley was actually released on Bruce Wayne's say-so when he was a member of the Arkham parole board and has been having a variety of adventures throughout the DC Universe.
Catwoman has been dealing with the loss of her daughter and recovering from having her heart removed by Hush. She's obviously feeling vulnerable. So their agenda is really to carve out a place for themselves in the darker, dirtier city Gotham has become and mine it for all its worth. Anyone crosses them, they get scratched.
Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are three of Batverse's most popular supporting characters. What do you love most about each of these three tempests?
I think of Ivy as the total hedonist. She lives for the moment doing exactly what she wants because she's powerful enough and self-centered enough to do it. Other than plants, she only cares about herself and the few people she lets in, such as Harley and now Catwoman. She realizes they all share a common bond in Batman, but that also brings with it an element of distrust, especially where Selina is concerned. Ivy knows Catwoman and Batman have been pretty close in the past, and she frequently wonders whose side Catwoman is really on.
Catwoman is at an interesting crossroads in her life. She's lost a lot; her daughter, the Batman she knew, and even briefly, her heart. She's feeling very vulnerable right now, and does not want to be messed with. Also, she has nearly all of Thomas Elliot's [Hush's] vast fortune currently in her clutches. Of course, it will be a trick to hang onto it, given the dangerous condition of Gotham these days.
Harley is funny and unhinged, this little ray of sunshine tripping her way through the madhouse of Gotham City. She's been apart from the Joker for some time now and seems to be over him, although she's made that statement before. Harley is very gung-ho and passionate. She's really into bonding with the other girls, but she has a notoriously brief attention span, and her flighty behavior might lead to disaster when Ivy and Catwoman need her most.
The development of this "team" dynamic will no doubt be fully explored in the series, but heading into the first issue, what can we expect? Is there a natural leader? Who is the brains of the operation? And the brawn? Who doesn't mind getting their fingers, or claws, dirty?
While the idea of "super bad girl team-up," as Harley says, appeals to them all, there are some trust issues that need to be worked out first. These pop up in the first two issues, and then a series of menaces, old and new, will be surfacing to test the ladies. Each of the women is brainy and each is strong, though in their own respective ways. I hope to show that in different and new ways as the first story arcs get under way.
Are there any rivalries from the outset?
Wait until you see "Gotham City Sirens" #2.
What do they think of the new Batman?
"There's a new Batman?" Don't forget, not every one of the ladies has been trusted with the secrets of the Bat-family, nor should they be. That makes for some interesting dynamics within the Sirens. Who knows what and who can be trusted.
Will they be helping or hindering Batman in the series?
I think they will mainly be trying to stay out of his way. The fewer bats around, the better for them.
Who else will be featured as a supporting character in "Gotham City Sirens?"
We'll add to the cast as we go along. Right now I'm concentrating on the dynamic between the trio. We'll see whom we add after that, though I should mention that Bruce Wayne, and not Batman, will be showing up early on.
Huh? How so?
If you've read "Heart of Hush" and the two-part "Faces of Evil" crossover with Hush and Catwoman, you know "how so." The first issue of "Streets of Gotham" will also spell it out.
Any plans to crossover with your other Batverse series, "Streets of Gotham?"
Other than using Harley in "Streets" #1, not so much.
Will you be telling a long story using an expanding mythos in "Sirens" or will these be done-in-one adventures?
Long stories, but each issue will have elements of a contained adventure.
What does artist Guillem March bring to the project?
He's doing a magnificent job on the girls and their world.
"Gotham City Sirens" #1 goes on sale June 24 from DC Comics.